FLYING trackman Ed Clancy aims to use the inspiration of Mark Cavendish’s ground breaking four stage wins in the Tour de France as a springboard to Olympic glory in Beijing next month.
Clancy, 23, who came into sport via the Holme Valley Wheelers is a long-time friend of Cavendish, also 23 – the pair were both members of British Cycling’s Manchester-based academy, which nurtures young cycling talent.
Cavendish, who will also ride in the Olympics for Team GB, made cycling history when he became the first Briton to secure three stage victories in the same Tour de France with a stunning sprint climaxing the Lavelanet to Narbonne stage on Thursday.
Then on Friday he underlined his reputation as cycling’s new sprint king with a convincing win in stage 13 from Narbonne to Nimes – becoming only the second British rider to win back-to-back stages in the Tour.
“It’s great to see Cav winning four stages in the Tour. We’ve been good mates for a long time now and it’s mega to see him achieve what he has always said he wants to do,” said Clancy, who is back at his base in Newton-le-Willows after a nine-day training camp in Majorca with the rest of the GB Olympic cycling squad.
Cavendish has also returned to the UK after deciding to pull out of the Tour to concentrate on next month’s Olympics.
“Training’s all going well, numbers all looking good and form is as good as it’s ever been,” said ex-Huddersfield Technical College student Clancy.
“All the other guys are going strong too – atmosphere is pretty good and we are all looking forward to getting to Beijing and unleashing some fury!”
Clancy will be part of the four-strong team pursuit squad that’s already brought a string of gold medals at world level. After picking up a team pursuit gold medal at last year’s World Championships in Majorca Clancy repeated the feat at this year’s competition in Manchester when the world’s fastest paceman led his team to a world record in the 4,000m event at the Manchester Velodrome. That followed gold in Sydney, Beijing and Copenhagen in the UCI World Cup series of events.
Clancy and the rest of the cycling squad went to Newport yesterday for the GB Olympic team’s holding camp and stay there until August 4 or 5 when they fly out to Beijing.
Hopes are high that Clancy and Co can lift Olympic gold, but he plays down the hype over the part to be played by bike technology.
“There has been a lot in the press about the new bikes but to be honest they are pretty much the same as the old bikes. The UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) have such tight rules on the bikes now that there’s not much to be gained. We aren’t going to wheel out a Lotus superbike like Chris Boardman did back in his day.
“We have got good kit but we aren’t the only team with it.”
Linthwaite’s Carl Saint (Yorkshire Road Club) won Sunday’s 77th Andy Wilson Memorial 50-mile time trial promoted by the Yorkshire Cycling Federation on a course from Boroughbridge to Catterick in 1 hour 45min 48sec.
Of the other local riders:
Paul Brierley (Huddersfield Road Club) clocked 2-05-24; Gary Terry (Holme Valley Wheelers) 2-05-47; Rachael Mellor (HVW) 2-09-48; Andrew Kerry (HVW) 2-10-45; Mike Cole Huddersfield Road Club 2-10-13; Steve McCall (Ravensthorpe CC) 2-11-12; Martin Lucas (Ravensthorpe CC) 2-17-15 and Samantha Manion (HVW) 2-22-06.
The Summer Series of cyclo-cross races concludes with Round Seven at Huddersfield New College on Wednesday July 30.
The senior race in Round Six at Greetland was won by Mark Twaites (Crosstrax).
Huddersfield Star Wheeler Ivan Boyes secured a top 20 finish in the Halifax Imps Evening Road Race at Greetland over a 34-mile course, won by Shane Leadley (Go Sports Spex RT).
Mark Thaxter and Mark Dennis finished 27th and 29th respectively in the 3/4 category support race of the the Colne Grand Prix, won by Simon Yates (Sport City Velo).
In the Elite,1/2 race won by Ian Wilkinson (SIS-Trek) Lindley’s Tom Murray was 15th.
Mirfield’s Dave Sowerby is looking for support from drivers who can give a lift to riders, plus bikes, to the start of his second Ride for Lynda, which is on Sunday August 3 from Buckden in the Yorkshire Dales.
The sponsored ride covers 160-miles taking in the four highest roads in Yorkshire, starting up Fleet Moss from Buckden and ending up Holme Moss, and raising cash for Kirkwood Hospice, where Dave’s wife Lynda died in 2006.
Contact Dave on 01924 496873 or by email at email@example.com.