Marine Beth Hope looking for Para-Cycling glory

Camp Pendleton’s Wounded Warrior Battalion’s Marine is participating in the Para Cycling World Cup Final (of International Cycling Union’s) on 23rd August in Matane in Canada. Beth Hope, a chief warrant officer, who served in Operation Enduring Freedom, is aiming medal as well as a spot in 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.

Beth Hope got the 1st spot in Marine Corps Trials arranged by Wounded Warrior Regiment at the Camp Pendleton as well as the United States National Championships where Beth became a 2 time National champ, earning 2 gold medals with 2 stars as well as stripes jerseys as a para-cyclist participating on an upright trike.

Beth told that the trials changed her life. Her aim is to be world’s fastest woman trike racer. Hope has been doing intense training, with three mile hill repeats and speed work.

The San Diego lady started competing 2 years ago, ten years and forty two operations after partly breaking her spine in a car rollover. She survived breast cancer and a stroke. Beth has been getting her training through sports programs conducted by Wounded Warrior Regiment.

Todd Tanner is joining Reynolds Cycling, stated the company on Thursday. There he will work as a product manager. Todd, a former professional downhiller with twenty years of experience in the bike business, reports to Reynolds GM Jimi Paulsen. He told that Todd Tanner brings terrific perspective and they all look forward to having him on board. This is a spot that they had wanted to fill for some time, but it was important to find the right person. Tanner has a combination of technical abilities and skills to lead the continued improvement as well as expansion of their product offering.

Read More Marine Beth Hope looking for Para-Cycling glory

Cycling Australia announces Brad McGee

Cycling Australia has made the announcement that Bard McGee, the Olympic gold medallist and three time winner of the grand tour stage will be assuming the role of directeur sportif being in charge of the road program of the elite men. McGee will get help from Brian Stephens, the present selector alongside him. Stephens will be accompanying McGee in the capacity of European coordinator. Both McGee and Stephens will be taking up their role immediately and that will include the UCI Road World Championship which is scheduled to take place in September in year and also the Commonwealth Games, 2014 scheduled to be held in Glasgow as well as the Rio Olympic Games in the year 2016.

Graham Fredericks, the CEO of Cycling Australia said that McGee’s impressive career as a pro and also his track record as a coach made him the best choice for the program. Fredericks further said the Stephens is the best choice for assisting McGee as Stephens has extensively worked with several Australian athletes for the past 2 decades and from his European base, he surely will be instrument in the role of mentoring the players.

Australian cyclist Matt White was earlier holding for the position that is now being taken up by McGee but following the Reasoned Decision of United States Anti Doping Agency, White was dismissed and the position had been open since then.

White had taken up the position of the direceur sportif in the year 2011, taking over the reins from Neil Stephens, who resigned so that he could focus on the development of GreenEdge Project. As soon as White was appointed, the appointment decision was put under the scanner due to his dismissal by team Garmin-Cervelo during the Tour Down Under for the breaching the policy of medical referral of the team. He had sent Trent Lowe for ex US Portal team Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral at the Valencia’s sports institute in the year 2009.

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Pendleton’s Life After She Retired

Victoria Pendleton is a former British track cyclist who has won two gold medals for Olympics, nine gold medals for World Championships and has had an outstanding racing record in the European Championships and Commonwealth Games. Now after retiring he is not ready to give up cycling all together. She is going to remain associated with the cycling events conducted for women only. She has decided to take up running and become a vegetarian. She feels she has got the freedom to be reckless now. When she was into competitive racing, she was not allowed to run because of the fear of injuries. But now she has the opportunity to do so without any fear.

Earlier she had to also follow strict diet plans and was not allowed to eat as she wished. But now she has the freedom to eat what she likes as and when she wants to. After so many years of staying attached to the racing track, Victoria is eager to enjoy her life away from the track. Now what you will notice a carefree and relaxed girl, totally opposite of what she was on the race track- that is determined and at times emotional. Pendleton is more than happy with what she has achieved in her cycling career. She had not expected this much popularity to come her way.

Victoria is the representative for Cycletta and after her retirement she is going to focus on the Cycletta events. She is also planning to design sports clothes for women as she has craze for fashion and designing. Pendleton is surely missing her competitive cycling career but is genuinely very happy that she is going to get an opportunity to try out new things and face new challenges. Victoria is also set to tie the knots with her fiancé this August.

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King & McConnell Aim For Canberra Cross-Country Titles

Jenni King & Daniel McConnell, the reigning Aussie national cross country champions are aiming for titles in the cross country championship in Canberra. Both the ace riders predicted hard fight at the latest Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Championship 2013 in Canberra. The championship is scheduled for 20th-24th of February, 2013.

Stromlo Forest Park trails would be hosting the best of mountain bikers in Australia where they would be vying for the desired gold and green jerseys of national champion in cross country trials, eliminator and downhill disciplines.

McConnell, the 2 times Olympian and only male biker from Australia in London, would be head-to-head with the fellow Victorians, Paul Ploeg and Chris Jongewaard.

“I had gold and green jersey last year and it was the first time when I could step up and gain some great results”, stated McConnell while speaking about the international season where he enhanced his UCI international rank from 80th to 22nd. “It was cool & I received fair recognition. It would surely be amazing to have that very chance again”, added in McConnell.

Jongewaard, the 5 times national cross country champion, stays undefeated in All Mountain Cup National series 2013, post his victories in the initial 2 rounds at Thredbo and Mount Buller. Paul, a 4 time former national champion (junior), would be focusing on standing out in Canberra. He returned to championship recently, after his shoulder surgery a couple of weeks back. Ploeg sought great success in Thredbo by clinching 2 of the 3 stage wins.

“Chris is in fair form & I believe he is the dude to beat. Ploeg is also there. There would be some guys to check out this time”, remarked McConnell. “It’s a pretty technical course, thus there would always be some surprises”, McConnell stressed while discussing on the 2009 course for World Championships that includes the infamous “hammerhead” section.

Read More King & McConnell Aim For Canberra Cross-Country Titles

Thomas Wins Tour Down Under

Welsh professional racing cyclist Geraint Thomas finished the Tour Down Under by snatching the first position. He said in reports that he is very much satisfied and happy with the results and he felt good from the beginning of the day of the race.

Geraint Thomas plays for the UCI Pro Team, Team Sky and he has won the Junior Paris–Roubaix in 2004, the British National Road Race Championships in 2010 and the Bayern-Rundfahrt in 2011. He is also an Olympic gold medal champion.

Geraint Thomas thanked the organizers and trainers for helping him out and makings his stay very comfortable. He also said that he had worked very hard all winter for the Tour Down Under and he is more than happy with how things turned out to be. He added that after the Olympics in Beijing he was a little under the weather and he had not been in his old form but after a lot of training, practice and determination he has now taken up the new challenges in his way with new, rejuvenated vigor and he feels that he is confidently back in form again. His fans all over the world are happy with this news and also delighted with his performance in the Tour Down Under.

With his win in the final stage, he also avoided a late pile up. People who were in the lead, Philippe Gilbert, Ben Hermans and Javier Moreno were a part of this pile up just when Javier was about to win the stage. This also gave Geraint Thomas a 5 second lead and the four of them shared the podium during the prize distribution ceremony.

Geraint Thomas said that this win has given him a newfound confidence which can help him with other races and tournaments ahead.

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Charity poker Bike Rides

As a keen cyclist, you may have heard of events like the Many charities organise these events to help raise money and give cyclists a chance to get fit and give something back to the community. The charity Spoke cards, cleverly combined cycling with poker to raise some money. The charity normally hosts the event every august and it is always a big success.

The charity aims to raise funds for the Young Survival Coalition (YSC), a charity that supports women under 40 who suffer from breast cancer.

The event sees the cyclists ride between various bike shops and pick up a playing card from each. The specified route is normally at least 30 miles long, but unlike a conventional cycle race, it’s not who finishes first that matters, it’s who has the the best poker hand at the end. It is a great way for keen cyclists to combine their passion for poker with their favorite sport. Read More Charity poker Bike Rides

Read More Charity poker Bike Rides

Lance Armstrong to feature on Mad Magazine cover

Mad Magazine is about to release their end of year magazine “The 20 Dumbest” by the end of December. And to nobody’s surprise the cover-boy of the magazine, Alfred e. Neuman, is depicted as the US cyclist Armstrong.

The USADA report charged Lance Armstrong with the intake of performance enhancing drugs and stripped him off of his seven Tour de France titles. They also deduced that Armstrong had committed the most “sophisticated” crime in the history of this sports industry. A number of teammates of Armstrong gave their testimonies against him and it led to show that Armstrong forced some of his teammates to take the banned drugs along with him.

Armstrong himself stated a few days back that the reports of the USADA failed to move him as he knew what was coming. He remained silent in the face of the report. Incidentally, Armstrong stopped his legal fight long ago saying that he didn’t want to get on with it because no matter what, the USADA and some people would fight to prove him guilty. Though he stopped his fight, but he consistently went on telling that he was not guilty of taking any kind of illegal drugs. But after the reports were published he didn’t speak a word in favor of himself.

Editor of the Mad Magazine, John Ficarra, told that they thought of Joe Jackson to feature the front page. But then ESPN emphasized on Armstrong to be depicted on the front page and he agreed. He thinks what Armstrong did is a shame and he is a real cheater. He cheated on the game, on his fans, on his teammates and even on himself. So according to Ficarra, Lance Armstrong is a nice choice to feature on the first page of the “20 Dumbest People, Events and Things of 2012”. But he doesn’t forget Shoeless Joe! He said he would be their next year’s target!

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Livestrong to remove Armstrong

The cancer fighting charity organization LIVESTRONG is going to remove Lance Armstrong form its name. The organization was created by Armstrong himself to support those who are suffering from cancer. But now it seems that Armstrong doesn’t want to relate the organization with his name.

The USADA banned Armstrong from international cycling and stripped off his seven Tour de France titles few days back and recently UCI has decided not to go the CAS in support of Lance Armstrong. Armstrong quit as the Chairman of his organization in October but maintained a place at the Board of Directors. But on 4th November, it was reported that Armstrong quit the position of being a member of the Board of Directors. When asked about the reasons, a spokeswoman stated that Armstrong didn’t want any controversy.

It is quite easy to deduce that Armstrong doesn’t want to leave any negative impact on his organization and that is why he has taken the step to end all formal relationships with LIVESTRONG. Now it has been reported that the organization removed his name from the title. A Board of Member of the organization, Mark McKinnon stated that Armstrong has always been an inspiration for millions of people and will remain so. He considered Lance Armstrong to be the “chief architect” of LIVESTRONG and when asked about the reason of dropping his name from the organization’s title he said that it should be a good thing to do. He said it to be a protective move for the organization.

All the major sponsors have ended their deal with Armstrong and now it seems that he is in disarray. He fought cancer back in 1996 and came back to cycling with sheer courage. Then he formed this cancer fighting organization which has become a symbol of the “fight against cancer”. Whether Armstrong’s name is dropped or not, it cannot erase out Armstrong’s name from the organization as millions of his fans still believe him to be a God.

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Pat McQuaid still backs cycling as a clear sport

The chief of International Cycling Union, Pat McQuaid, recently stated that cycling has not been the same. According to him it has moved on though Lance Armstrong’s case details didn’t seem to tell that. There had been protests against UCI for not accepting any responsibilities for the ongoing doping culture, but McQuaid consistently told that UCI had nothing to do with it.

Now that Armstrong’s case details have been given to UCI by USADA, the cycling world thought that McQuaid would take some responsibilities. But on the contrary he told that those black days were gone. He accepted the fact that the sport had suffered a huge blow due to this doping, especially because of this Lance Armstrong case. It also affected the image of this widely popular sport. But the sport is now free from all those ill-cultures and moving quite nicely, McQuaid argues.

The USADA has produced their details regarding Armstrong’s ban and it says that Armstrong followed the “most sophisticated” paths of doping though Armstrong himself continued to reject this report. Now the ball is in UCI’s court as they are yet to react to this report. The report also puts a big question mark on UCI itself as it says that Armstrong was able to dodge the doping tests consistently and he also bribed to keep his positive test secret.

McQuaid accepted that the report reached them. But he didn’t speak a word about their possible reply. He said that it would be unfair to comment as the lawyers haven’t come up with any decisions. Whatever might be the decision of UCI, a number of former and present cyclists wish Armstrong to be punished in an exemplary manner. It can be said that if UCI chooses to oppose USADA’s report and takes a stand in support of Armstrong it will definitely worsen the scenario, as well as the sport may be, too.

Read More Pat McQuaid still backs cycling as a clear sport