There remain a number of high profile cycling events to enjoy before the end of the 2010 season. The UCI World Championships are the highlight, Paris-Tours tends to be a sprinter’s dream and the Tour of Lombardy is the tradional season wrap up (this year on 16 October).
However, this year we also have the Commonwealth games in Delhi to tune in to. But, with the mass withdrawel of riders (list below) it has been easy to ignore or underplay the races that are due to take place. This is surely a mistake?
Each country can take up to 27 cyclists to the games and there are 54 medals available. In addition, there are some serious cyclists turning up to compete. David Millar, Mark Cavendish, Emma Pooley, Nicole Cooke to name just a few of those turning up from the UK. Matty Hayman and Alan Davis are riding on the road for Australia whilst Michael Barry and Svein Tuft strong contenders from Canada. These cyclists feature on the rosters of the top pro cycling teams and will surely make the road and track events worth watching.
It has been difficult to get coherent information on the nature of the road courses. However, initial reports suggest they are not classic parcours. Mostly flat with an “out and back” route is hardly inspired course design but, with some aggressive riding, could create worthwhile racing. The onus will be on the riders to be competitive and recognise the value in a commonwealth gold medal.
In the velodrome the English men’s team is superbly young. The eldest was born in December 1989. This represents some sort of success for the academy that has brough through the new wave but they will surely struggle to repeat the medal haul they gained in Melbourne four years ago. We will watch with interest…
Geraint Thomas (Wales)
Peter Kennaugh (Isle of Man)
Ben Swift (England)
Ian Stannard (England)
Bradley Wiggins (England)
Victoria Pendleton (England)
Sir Chris Hoy (Scotland)
Greg Henderson (NZ)