Giorgia Bronzini takes Scratch Race victory in International Belgian Open

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini made a triumphant return to top level track racing last night, as she took victory in the Scratch Race at the International Belgian Open, at the Vlaams Wielercentrum Eddy Merckx, in Gent, Belgium. Racing in the all-blue colours of Italy, the 30-year-old – who took one of her three World titles on the track in 2009 – beat France’s Soline Lamboley and Belgium’s World Champion Kelly Druyts to the line at the end of the 10km race.

“I said to myself that I’ll wait, I’ll wait, I’ll wait,” Bronzini explained. “Then I waited until the last sprint and I managed to take it.

“I only did one attack, in the middle of the race, just to warm up my legs a little bit,” she added.

Earlier in the evening Bronzini had taken third place in the 20km Points Race. Victory in the opening sprint gave the former World Champion an early lead, but Druyts gradually edged ahead over the 80 lap contest. Heading into the finish, Druyts led with 17 points, with Bronzini tied for second, on 15, with France’s Elize Delzenne.

Having taken three of the previous seven sprints, Delzenne duly won the eighth and final one, with Druyts taking second; both finished with a total of 20 points, with the Frenchwoman’s final sprint giving her the victory. Bronzini missed out on the final points, but her 15 points was more than enough to hold off Lamboley and take the bronze medal.

“It was nice, but right now I’m in a hard section of training on the track,” Bronzini explained. “In the last two weeks I was in the track three times before this race, so it was really hard for me to manage the Points Race. There were a lot of couples from the same teams – some French, some Belgian – so I was alone, and it was a little bit hard to control the race.

“When you’re alone against some teams then it can be hard, so I tried to manage it.”

The Belgian Open was the first of a series of major track events for Bronzini, who will also be appearing at the Revolution, in Manchester, next Saturday, alongside Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammates Elinor Barker, Amy Roberts, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott.

“The big goal will be the Worlds in France, in February, so I will do my big block of training before then,” Bronzini said. “Also, next week will be hard, because the level will be high. I will have a lot of teammates there, so it will be good to show something of Wiggle Honda!”

Result Scratch Race
1. Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)
2. Soline Lamboley (France)
3. Kelly Druyts (Belgium)

Result Points Race
1. Elise Delzenne (France)
2. Kelly Druyts (Belgium)
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)

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RED BULL ROMANIACS 2014

When Steve Lander approached us about whether we would like to help support him as he took on this event; we had no idea how tough it would actually be! It was a real test of whether our products could help keep the energy levels high throughout each day (and night!!). Despite a slightly disappointing end for Steve and co-rider Robin Scarry, at least they were still walking and survived to do it all again in 2015!!

Here you can read Steve and Robin’s account of an extremely arduous 4 days…

Romaniacs 2014

RED BULL ROMANIACS is a mental race, plain and simple. Billed as the ‘toughest hard enduro rally’ in the world it starts with a ridiculous prologue street race, followed by four long and punishing days in the Carpathian Mountains. The prologue decides your start position for the first day in the mountains, so it’s a huge advantage to be near the front to avoid the inevitable carnage of queuing riders ploughing deep ruts into the hillsides. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Bronze Single Class with a huge entry of 165 riders this year. There is a considerable disparity of riders across the class. The top 10 riders are practically championship level; the next 20 – Expert; next 40 – Clubman A, and so on right down to Sportsman level. After completing the Bronze Team event at last year’s Red Bull Romaniacs on our tried and tested 300 EXCs, Robin and I thought we’d give the Bronze Single class a try this year on the new two-stroke KTM 250R Freerides.

Since their launch last year, the Freerides have come in for some stick due to early teething problems, especially with the starting. However, after test riding one we both felt that due to its light chassis, low seat and quick handling it would be just the tool for Romaniacs – and particularly suited to us given our svelte athletic frames (ahem). We arrived in Sibiu the Sunday before the race. The bikes were transported by Patsy Quick’s Desert Rose Racing, who provided an excellent race support package. We managed to get the lengthy process of registration and scrutineering done (essentially advanced sticker applying) which would leave Monday to walk the prologue course and prep the bikes before the start on Tuesday.

A dual carriageway in central Sibiu is closed down to make way for the maddest bike track you can ever imagine. Romanian workers were still constructing the course as we walked it on Monday morning. Logs, pipes, manmade forest, car, lorry trailer, more logs, high level rock garden, wood pile, seesaws, moving retractable log, a 25ft high wall ride/helter-skelter plus more stacks of logs. It becomes abundantly clear very early on that there is a blatant disregard for health and safety with a different scale to the rest of the world for measuring danger. If you see a ‘DANGER’ sign at Romaniacs, take it very seriously indeed as it will be something that’s completely off the scale dangerous.

That evening we were introduced to something called ‘dancing fluid’. A cold, golden coloured liquid served in large glasses. Legend says it helps the untrained dance and lose their inhibitions. Sadly the effects of ‘dancing fluid’ don’t last. Tuesday morning we returned to being very apprehensive about the prologue. In my head I’m about to tackle it like Graham Jarvis, in reality I ride like Graham Norton. Being tense and nervous made for a very tiring ride, I completely messed up a few sections and even managed to show off the soles of my boots to the crowd at the log pile. Then the anxious wait for the results. The top 35 finishes from each class are called back for a 10 minute final in the late afternoon. It’s not necessarily a good thing to make the final as it means more time on the energy sapping course and bike prep for Day 1 has to be done in the evening. Results came in and deep joy, we are both in the final. Robin placed 26th and I scraped in at 31st. Thousands of people were spectating and it was beamed across the world on the live stream – no pressure then!

Eventually we were off, I made a complete hash of the ‘Dragons Teeth’ but pulled back a load of places on the timber logs. On the second lap, disaster! The engine stopped but I could hear the starter motor constantly spinning over. I got off the track and returned to the pits immediately to disconnect the battery. That evening was spent frantically trying to find the problem which turned out to be a few wires worn through on the loom creating a short. Robin turned in a fine ride and managed to stay out of trouble, placing 19th which set him up in a great start position for Day 1. I still get 30th position despite my Prologue DNF which put us both starting in the top 20% so result!

Day 1 in the Mountains (106km Bronze)

5.45am start, breakfast, pick up the GPS. This was the morning ritual at Romaniacs. Each rider’s GPS is collected first thing every morning with that day’s route loaded onto it. Ride to the start line, leave on your allotted minute and follow the line as fast as possible. Simple? – yeah right! To make things a little harder a time bar of eight hours is placed on each day, it can be missed once, miss it again and you’re out.

Conditions looked good for the relatively short distance ride. Both of us got off well and clocked some good times for the first couple of check points. I absolutely loved the course with super fast rolling wooded trails in perfect condition. The Freeride just ate them up. Then disaster again! Half way down a large mountain the engine cut out. I had a horrible feeling it was electrical and when I investigated, yep, no spark. I couldn’t see anything obviously wrong so it was a case of getting back to civilisation to sort it. I managed to roll and push my way down to a gravel road at the base of the mountain in the middle of nowhere. Called the Romaniacs Emergency number and was advised that unless I was hurt they wouldn’t pick me up for hours. So I pushed 8km to the road junction where the team service vehicles would be passing through.

I struggled on through a village despite the strange looks from the locals. It was like the opening scene of Borat. Eventually I arrived at the road junction and the first service van to arrive was none other than the Eurotek KTM crew who I’d bought the Freeride from! Whilst not interested in giving me a full refund there and then, they kindly rehydrated me and took me back to the pits – top lads! After much swapping of parts and swearing (and various people lending me a hand, including Seb Fortanier, Jonny W’s spannerman!), I eventually got the bike back together at 23:30 that night. It ran for 20 seconds, then cut out and no spark again. Completely exhausted I conceded it was game over, and called Clive Town (Zippy), the Desert Rose mechanic, to let him know the truck needed locking. ‘Do you want to ride tomorrow?’ came his response, ‘right, go to bed and I’ll take a look when I get back from dinner’. Too knackered for dancing fluid, I did as I was told only to be woken by a call at 2am. ‘We’ve got a great spark so get your arse down here early tomorrow morning to get it back together, going to bed now, I’m up at 5am’. Zippy and Patsy had swapped over a stator from a spare bike. Legends. My Joker card played, I now had to finish every day within the time bar to avoid being eliminated. I also suspected I had lost my start position due to my DNF.

Day 2 in the Mountains (117km Bronze)

5.45am start, breakfast, pick up the GPS. The course took us to Voineasa and we had an overnight stay there. At the start line I asked for my start position, the official looked down the list, looked at my number again and continued to scroll down the list. ‘Last’ she eventually answered, BUGGER! The morning course followed some narrow nadgery trails with stream crossings and the Freeride handled them with ease. There’s a huge British presence at Romaniacs. This was very evident as I arrived at the first really difficult climb of the day with bikes and riders strewn all over.

Riders needed to get into teams and man-handle the bikes up. I guess around 25% of the people there were Brits, and fortunately I knew them all, so plenty of options to get help. Andrei, a cracking Romanian lad I’d got to know asked: ‘Steve, I know nobody on this hill, can I team up with you?’ ‘Ha, certainly mate!’ – clearly an advantage for the Romanians knowing some Brits! The rest of the day went really well for a change and I managed to pass loads of other riders. After starting dead last I managed to finish the day in 70th position so I was well happy with that. That night we stayed in a tiny village in old communist Romania, situated in a stunning location at the base of a huge valley. The hotel hadn’t been used for two years, and sadly the facilities reflected that fact. The water in our bathroom ran brown, the toilet was reminiscent of that famous scene from Trainspotting and the food was, frankly unrecognisable. Thankfully the dancing fluid phenomenon had reached the area so we managed a well deserved drink before bed. Here’s how Robin got on…

Robin Says:

‘Day two started badly and got worse. Crashed down a ridiculously steep hill breaking my throttle adjuster. Then looped out, throwing the bike down a 30 foot bank which unbeknown to me undid my front brake pipe. By the time I got to 2500m I was brakeless. Not good. It’s amazing riding that high, flat out across the tops of the Carpathian Mountains. That is until your bike just stops…. fuel pipe just split and completely emptied the tank! BUGGER. Now what?

I flagged down another Brit, used my breather pipe as a siphon tube and nicked a litre. Off again. Managed to scrounge another litre from a first aid team and limped to the next ones who informed me in German that carrying on down the mountain with no brake was suicide. Top tip, two-stroke oil is great brake fluid. Turns out that the medic was one of Austria’s leading heart surgeons and a dab hand with a syringe and brakes. I offered to buy him a beer for his trouble but all he wanted was a kiss on the cheek… Teamed up with Carl Venter for the afternoon and was back on the gas, pinned and going well until the last km up a river and with the Red Bull arch in sight I sunk the bike… Quick push over the line, some bike draining and the little bike was off again. I love two-strokes.

Day 3 in the Mountains (132km Bronze)

5.45am start, breakfast, pick up the GPS. It was a race to the town of Petrosani, that had the finish on a factory roof. At the briefing the night before we were advised not to hang about on the roof for too long as they were not sure how strong it was. I’d decided to chance not fitting a new rear tyre the night before, then after lots of overnight rain regretted not fitting that new rear tyre. Reached the top of the first tough climb, then another and another, they just kept coming. I met Robin and we worked together with some other Brits to manhandle the bikes up the long final hill – pretty exhausting work but this is where all the fitness training paid off. It was those moments that dictated whether you would finish Romaniacs or not. This race will chew you up into small pieces and spit you out if you do not have sufficient fitness levels.

As we approached the gravel road at the summit, soaked in sweat and gasping for air, large groups of riders passed us by. Confused, we realise it’s the back end of the Bronze/Iron class riders who have been let around the hill on a chicken route to relieve congestion. This now meant we had around 100 or so riders from the back of the field placed directly in front of us. BUGGER! It seemed completely unfair, but sometimes Romaniacs isn’t fair. Heads down we frantically try to get past as many riders as possible to avoid what will be huge queues in the next technical section. At some point I lost Robin and eventually got into the service point. Checking the time and distance left, this afternoon was going to be tight and I was facing elimination if I didn’t get in on time.

When you are pushed to the point of collapse and all that matters is getting to the finish, incredible friendships are formed. Not many words are spoken but there’s a huge amount of mutual respect as you bury yourselves for each other. I rode that afternoon with Jamie, one of the Desert Rose lads. An ex-motocrosser the size of a house with muscle in his spit. He knew I had to make time that day and did everything he could to make that happen. We rode the flowing parts as fast as possible and dragged the bikes up sections we couldn’t ride on the quickly deteriorating course. Flat out on the open mountain sections, clicking off the K’s then more walking speed, technical sections over rocks and roots that seemed endless. This was one of the toughest days I’d experienced at Romaniacs and my now shot rear tyre was making it worse. On and on we pushed, watching the distance remaining on the GPS closely, flat out where we could, and then into more dragging.

About 10km from the finish we arrived at a 60m long climb with a bog at the base and no run up which proved impossible for the Freeride. We dragged the bikes up pretty much the whole way and checked the time. BUGGER, we were going to time out. On we rode to the finish on the roof of the disused coal factory regardless. We entered the building, up the old conveyor shaft, through a staircase and onto the roof. Thankfully the Red Bull girls were still there so we grabbed a cold drink and got off the roof quickly before it collapsed. I was late by about 20 minutes and absolutely gutted but we really had given it everything. Later I found out that a lot of riders had timed out at the mid way service point and only about five out of the 25 riders with Desert Rose had got to the finish. Robin had also timed out, caught up in huge queues. That was a tough day.

Day 4 in the Mountains (147km Bronze)

5.45am start, breakfast, pick up the GPS. Out of habit I went with Robin and joined the queue for the GPS. Whilst there I took the opportunity to whinge at an official regarding the rear of the pack being allowed to cut in front of us the day before. She took pity on me and checked the list for disqualified riders. ‘You are not on the list, get your GPS and go to the start line’ she told me. RESULT! I presumed time must have been given back to riders due to the organisers opening the chicken route. Rushed to the pits and got kitted up as Pete (one of the Desert Rose mechanics) quickly fitted a new rear tyre – top lad. The course was set over a huge distance today as it snaked its way back to Sibiu, so hopefully it would be fast. Initially it flowed with lots of open sections and then the trail disappeared as we arrived at some open moorland. It was a case of following the GPS line as closely as possible. Lots of deep ‘V’ shaped ruts and large rocks buried in the ground made for some tricky riding, particularly as visibility was reduced due to mist.

Eventually the trail appeared and it was a two foot wide rocky ledge with a steep drop to one side that required riding in single file. Suddenly I lost my balance, couldn’t save it and toppled head first off the ledge. Luckily I only fell 5 feet and got tangled in a bush but the bike remained on the ledge, hanging precariously. Not tall enough to push it up from where I was standing I needed help. Fortunately I spotted Jamie who was further up the queue again, he parked up and came to my aid. Jamie and I then rode the rest of the morning together and even managed to take a wrong turning onto a silver route up a fast flowing, rocky river that was just incredible. We got into the service point without a hitch and were off again on the run to the finish. Twenty minutes in and we spotted a rider broken down, it was Robin. I sent Jamie on and stopped to lend Robin a hand. Fortunately, it was a quick fix and we were back, hard on the gas trying to catch up with Jamie.

Nearly at the finish so trying not to do anything stupid. Then we came across the most ridiculous water crossing ever. It was a wooden 30 degree banked wall ride that stretched the whole way across a 40 yard wide river. No time to think about it, just hit it fast and high. I enjoyed it so much I fancied another go! We arrived at the finish in the rain and negotiated the steep climbs and water crossing without too much of a hitch. Another Romaniacs done, and it was a fantastic feeling. Great to see your riding buddies get the finish too. Guys you’ve trained with all year who’ve dedicated their lives to getting to that point. Romaniacs finishes aren’t given away… they are earned, well done to all.

That night we experienced the Red Bull party and the ‘dancing fluid’ flowed generously. They were right, it does make the untrained dance. The final results were posted about a week after the event and unfortunately I was classed as disqualified, Robin finished 92nd. Apparently there was no time extension given on Day 3 after all, and I had timed out. I lodged an appeal but was pretty much told that that’s racing. As I said, Romaniacs can be unfair. But what a race…

Steve Lander / Robin Scarry

 

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Evans Ride It Series – Wiltshire Downs 80

Read an excerpt, below, from Martyn Seddon’s Blog which is part 3 of his Charity Challenge year.

CHALLENGE TWO – EVANS RIDE IT SERIES WILTSHIRE DOWNS 80

There’s an old saying, ‘What goes up must come down!’ Well that might be the case in some instances but it certainly didn’t feel like that on Sunday during my second Challenge; the Evans Ride It Wiltshire Downs 80.  Things went up and up and up all day but lets start – as always – at the beginning.

Again it was an early start, not as early as last time but stupidly early for a Sunday morning. This time though there would be no knock at the door, I was going to be doing this one alone.  Lee wasn’t going to be with me.  The weather looked good for the day, forecast was dry but overcast, which I was pleased with being the end of October and all.  I had pre-packed the night before and checked my bike – I was ready to go!  Loaded full of High5 Gels and my Bulk Powders Protein at the ready I loaded the car with my bags and bike and set of for Lacock College.

The long queue for the start

Registration didn’t open till 8am so I had plenty of time to get there, register, get changed and sort my bike out ready to roll out about 0830 hrs.  I arrived at the start and already there were a lot of people there fiddling with their bikes and milling around the car park.  I pulled in, parked up and made my way to registration.  Following the puncture-gate debacle I’d spent a bit of money on some inner tubes and a little saddle bag to carry them in.  The only thing I hadn’t sorted was means to blow up said new inner tubes.  Thankfully the helpful folk of Evans Cycles had a little stall set up of accessories and spares so I spent a further £20 on a CO2 pump which I slipped nicely into my saddle bag.

So the time had come to make my way to the start, felt a bit odd doing it on my own, but I had my music this time so had something to keep my mind occupied.  I made my way to the start line and queued up with all the others who had the same idea to start as early as possible.  I just hung around and waited to be called forward with the group and get through the timing tent.

At last I was off! A little later than expected but the ride had begun.  Considering I hadn’t been on my bike, apart from a 2 mile spin around my village, since the New Forest 100 I felt pretty good.  I rolled out of the college and made my way out to the route following the signs.  I hadn’t really set myself a goal as I didn’t know how I’d feel after the 100, but as I made my way through the first few miles I thought 5 hours would be a decent attempt.  So that was set and I got to work…

http://bit.ly/1wPyAPM

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Wiggle Super Series – New Forest 100

Read an excerpt, below, from Martyn Seddon’s Blog which is part 2 of his Charity Challenge year.

Challenge One – Wiggle Super Series New Forest 100

At long last the day had arrived, Saturday 11th October 2014, my Charity Challenge was finally about to start!! It was 5am and I was awake led in bed knowing that the day ahead was what I had been waiting for! The night before I had packed, knowing how early the start would be. Spare clothes, a massive supply of High 5 EnergyGels, cycling shoes, MS Society Cycling Jersey, my new Garmin 910xt which had arrived the day before, helmet, gloves, drinks, Bulk Powders Protein shake, Nurishment Active recovery drink – surely there was nothing else I needed – apart from my bike of course. 0610 hrs and there is a tap at the window, it was Lee, a good friend of mine who had agreed to do the ride with me as support, LEGEND! We loaded my bike onto the rack on Lee’s car grabbed the bags and set off. The start of the ride was just over an hour away from home so we knew we had plenty of time to get there find our bearings and be ready for the off at 0800 hrs (ish).

Training had been going well and I was more confident than ever about completing the 100 miles, in fact I was that confident that I was thinking of a time goal. Anything under 7 hours, we agreed, would be our aim! We arrived at the venue and was promptly directed into the car park, which can only be described as a swamp full of potholes. We pulled up and surveyed our surroundings. We headed off to registration where we got a free coffee and had a quick look around the stalls that had been set out early doors. Quick toilet stop and back to the car get the bikes ready and get changed. It was about to start. Bikes ready, Bulk Powders Protein drank and my jersey stuffed full of energy gels we headed back down to the start line ready to roll out with the first group at 0800. I made one last appeal on Facebook and Twitter for people to donate and help me raise money for the MS Society.

We were ready, me and Lee were at the start line. The starter was going through some rules and showing us the signs to follow on the route. I was starting to feel excited and slightly nervous now. My first challenge, my first ever Sportive and I was about to do 100 miles on a bike – Here we go! We rolled over the start line and the adventure had begun. We followed the pack down a slight hill over some speed bumps and on towards the main road, then BANG!!! 200 yards into the ride and my back tire went flat! A puncture!! WHAT!! I couldn’t believe it weeks and weeks of training, the build up, the fundraising and I’d managed 200 yards! I knew there was something I’d forget when packing the night before, inner tubes!!! Thank god for Lee Weston!! My old buddy had an inner tube! Life saver. 10 minutes later and we were back on the road now tagging along with the second group but we were away.

200 yards in and a puncture! Great!

The first hour went with very little incident, we both felt good and had covered about 15 miles. No problems, mostly flat and no mishaps! I will never forget that right hand turn and seeing the first real challenge of the ride, the first climb. It was a long climb but steady. Not to steep but gradual in gradient. It was tough but I just kept tapping it out and pushed on through, at the top I looked back and couldn’t see Lee. I knew I was only about 10 miles from the first feed station so carried on and decided to wait there for him…

You can find the full blog on this link: http://bit.ly/1re0iye

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Cycle Winter Training

Winter Training Guide


HIGH5 and Andy Cook Cycling have teamed up to help you get the most out of your winter training and give you some fresh ideas.

Riding in the cold and dark in winter isn’t much fun most of the time but if you can keep your focus and motivation by doing correct and effective training you could be looking forward to a great year of cycling. After a long season it’s good to let your body recuperate for a few weeks but don’t hold off too long before you get back on the bike. For many cyclists the main focus throughout winter is weight control and maintaining fitness from the previous year. We’ve pulled together some training tips and sessions to keep you going strong through the winter.

Ideas to keep you riding

With no (or few) event commitments, winter offers a great chance to mix things up a little bit and try something new. Here are a few tips to keep you motived throughout winter:
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What to keep in mind when riding outside in the winter

The shorter daylight hours and unpredictable weather conditions, from mild and wet to freezing and snow, means it’s important to be well prepared when you hit the road:
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Get your nutrition right

The right nutrition will help you achieve your training goals throughout the winter. Carbohydrate is the fuel that your body uses for energy when exercising. Although your body has a limited store of carbohydrate, it’s normally sufficient for exercising up to 90 minutes. Read more

Training Camps

Training Camps are a great way to get ready for the start of the season. Away from commitments, you can get some good riding done on new roads and usually in nicer weather – depending on the destination you choose. Use camps to work on your weaknesses and recover like the pros can day in day out. Read more

Hit the gym

Trying some gym sessions a couple of times a week offers some variety and helps build and maintain a good strength base during the winter. Get advice from the experts at the gym, but here are a few exercises to get you going (do 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps): Read more

Winter Turbo Sessions

When winter draws in and the weather gets less inspiring, spending time outside on the bike seems less appealing and sometimes, not possible owing to floods, ice or snow. Turbo training is a great way to keep your fitness ticking over. Read more

We’ve prepared 4 sessions to get you sweating…

Session 1

This session is designed to raise your lactate threshold and help you perform near it. Read more

Session 2

This session is designed for building hill strength, as well as mental toughness! Read more

Session 3

This session is designed to develop climbing strength and pacing. Read more

Session 4

This session is designed to do a bit of everything! Pedalling technique, leg speed, strength, power and sustained effort. Read more

 

Enjoy!

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Mara Abbott And Anna Christian Sign For Wiggle Honda In 2015

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling is delighted to announce that Mara Abbott and Anna Christian have both signed a contract to join the team in 2015. Both riders were selected to ride for their countries in last month’s World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, and will add to the strength of the black and orange team, as well as maintaining its commitment to develop young talent.

28-year-old Mara Abbott, from Boulder, Colorado, is a two-time US National Champion, and the winner of the Giro d’Italia – the toughest and most prestigious stage race in women’s cycling – in 2010 and 2013. Other notable results include four overall victories of the Tour of the Gila, in the US, with 2014 seeing her take that fourth Gila and the Vuelta a El Salvador.

“I am so excited to ride a full season in Europe next year, and Wiggle Honda is offering me the perfect set up to do that,” Abbott said. “I am absolutely thrilled by the line-up of teammates, and the chance to work with a rider as strong and proven as Elisa Longo Borghini is going to be really amazing.

“I have been so impressed by the organisation and attention to personal desires and strengths of riders already,” Abbott added. “I know this is going to be a team I will be very proud to represent and I can’t wait for the season to begin!”

Mara’s World Championship road race unfortunately ended with the big crash that hit the peloton midway through the second of seven laps. Thankfully, however, despite leaving the course by ambulance, she suffered no serious injuries and will be ready to start 2015 in the black and orange jersey.

“I was really excited when Mara expressed that she wanted to join Wiggle Honda,” said the team’s Managing Director Rochelle Gilmore. “A pure climber is something Wiggle Honda has missed until now and the addition of Mara, in combination with Elisa Longo Borghini means that we can now target winning races like the Giro d’Italia Femminile. Wiggle Honda has some very important Italian partners like: Colnago, Campagnolo, Fizik, Deda & Vittoria so winning a race like the Giro would be a lovely way to thank our committed partners.

“Mara has won the Giro d’Italia twice and has a degree in economics – along with her friendly smile she will bring a world of knowledge to the team,” Gilmore added. “Wiggle Honda are proud to bring her Grand Tour legs into the team!”

Anna Christian is one of the most exciting young British talents, having been selected to ride for her native Isle of Man in the Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow, Scotland, this year. The 19-year-old rode the time trial and road race, and finished in the top-20 in both.

“I’m really proud and excited to have the opportunity to ride for such a high profile team as Wiggle Honda. It will be great to work alongside Rochelle as well, who has experienced and achieved so much at the top end of the sport and in the women’s peloton. I know the team’s set up and environment is going to help me achieve my ambitions and dreams. I’m already excited to get stuck into racing for the team in 2015!”

Performances like those in Glasgow 2014 earned Anna a place in Great Britain’s World Championship team in Ponferrada, in her very first year in the Elite category. Anna’s attacks and accelerations in the last 30km of the race, in support of team captain Lizzie Armitstead, marked the beginning of what was to become an aggressive finale.

“Anna caught my eye when I was commentating the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July,” Gilmore said. “She kept coming into vision, even on the toughest parts of the circuit which meant she was always well positioned and extremely strong.

“Next, I was commentating the World Championships and witnessed Anna Christian being the rider that really got the race started, again on the toughest parts of the World Championship circuit…” Gilmore added. “I just had to have her, she’ll be a huge success and I’m honoured be a part of her journey in the early stages of her career.”

With the inclusion of Mara and Anna, alongside Dani King and Elisa Longo Borghini, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling has confirmed four of its riders for 2014. Stay tuned for further announcements in the coming weeks.

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Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Defends Great Britain Team Pursuit

The Wiggle Honda quartet of Elinor Barker, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott successfully defended its Team Pursuit title at the Great Britain National Track Championships on the boards of the National Cycling Centre, Manchester. The four riders – with Barker, Rowsell and Trott dressed in the rainbow bands of World Champions – completed the four kilometre distance in a time of 4:24.903, to beat the Pearl Izumi team of Katie Archibald, Ciara Horne, Anna Turvey and Dame Sarah Storey.

“We’re pretty happy with that,” said Barker. “We went a lot better in the second ride, which is pretty good considering the [World Championship] format has gone to three rides, so it’s good that we can back it up.”

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling set a qualification time of 4:29.742, which would have been little more than half a second short of making the bronze medal final in the men’s competition, was six seconds quicker than Pearl Izumi and set up a race for gold.

“Fair play to Katie and Ciara,” Barker said. “They did some absolutely monster turns apparently.”

The final race was delayed a little as the Pearl Izumi team false started on the first attempt. Once things had got going at the second attempt, however, Barker, King, Rowsell and Trott soon moved into a lead that they were to increase lap on lap. By the time they completed the four kilometre distance the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling riders had improved on their qualification time by almost five seconds.

“We’re in pretty good shape,” Barker said of the team’s performance so early in the track season. “It’s early on, but we all going pretty well, all things considered.”

Result
1. Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling

2. Pearl Izumi
3. VC St Raphael

Photo Credit: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

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Olympic Champion Dani King Renews With Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling is delighted to announce that Dani King has extended her contract with the team to the end of 2015, as she builds towards her bid to defend her Olympic title in Rio 2016. The 23-year-old from Southampton, on the south coast of England, has been an important part of the black and orange squad since its inception in 2013, and will continue to be so as both a Track and Road rider.

“I’m delighted to be staying with Wiggle Honda for 2015,” said King. “The team give me the perfect combination of being able to focus 100% on the track for Rio and use the road racing program, when British Cycling advises it, to compliment my track preparation.”

While a member of Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling, the team fully supports Dani’s ambitions on the track, and will be working with programme suggestions and recommendations made by British Cycling and Dani’s management. As she pursues her goals Dani will have the freedom to control her own training, preparation, races and personal appearances.

Dani’s 2014 season has been focussed on the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, in August, but she has still had time to ride an impressive road programme. Always willing to put her teammates first, the Englishwoman was a key member of Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s team at the Women’s Tour in Britain, and took a superb Silver Medal in the Great Britain National Championships, after leading her teammate to victory.

Discovered at the age of 14 by British Cycling, Dani King MBE has been a big star ever since she was part of the winning Team Pursuit squad at the London 2012 Olympic Games – an event that she has also been a three-time World Champion in, and is the current World Record holder. At just 23 years of age, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling and its staff believe that Dani’s abilities as a road rider will see her achieve even more great things in 2016 and beyond.

“It’s extremely motivating for Wiggle Honda’s athletes, staff and sponsors that Dani King has chosen Wiggle Honda long term, to support her career, combining both road and track to achieve her maximum potential as a professional cyclist,” said Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Managing Director Rochelle Gilmore. “It’s a real pleasure to work with Dani, her smile lights up a room and she gives 110% to her team, her sport, fellow athletes, fans and followers. Dani also has an enormous amount of respect for her entire support crew which makes working with her so enjoyable.”

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling will commence further announcements of its 2015 line-up following the World Road Cycling Championships being held in Spain this week. The 2015 team has been specifically selected to strengthen the team’s ability to win more races from, not only sprint races, but also Classic and Grand Tour type races. Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling will focus on scientific and technological marginal gains at the professional end of the sport in 2015, as well as developing, educating and nurturing young upcoming talent.

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