Sunday, October 24, 2021

Early bird entries open for Shrewsbury Half Marathon 2020

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Image Credit: Charles Whitton Photography

The organisers of Shrewsbury Half Marathon have confirmed that the 2020 event will take place on Sunday 11th October and early bird entries are now open.

Following the success of the 2019 event – which had moved from its June date to October- the UKA accredited Shrewsbury Half Marathon 2020 promises to deliver another first-class race experience with incredible runner and community support.

Powered by UKRunChat, Shrewsbury Half Marathon starts and finishes at Shropshire County Showground, home to a fully equipped race village. The route then takes runners through Shrewsbury town centre and out into the beautiful Shropshire countryside before returning to the Showground to be cheered over the finish line.

The course incorporates some Shropshire hills and features scenery and support are second-to-none, making the race a firm favourite among local club runners as well as athletes travelling from further afield.

The 2020 event will welcome an increased number of local and national charity partners, giving runners plenty of opportunity to run for charity and make a difference to others.

The day will also be an important meet-up for leading online running community Run Mummy Run, with members from all over the UK expected to get together and run.

The atmosphere at the 2019 event was fantastic, with superb support from all the volunteers, marshals, pacers, medical crew, sponsors, spectators and local residents who lined the route to cheer on the runners. Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive, with many runners complementing the efficient organisation, friendly atmosphere, wonderful support, stunning views, impressive medal and environmentally-friendly goody bag and carton of water.

Participants at Shrewsbury Half Marathon 2020 can once more look forward to a professional and friendly race, with a team of SRG pacers to help them hit their targets and more big-name sponsors which will be announced soon. The race represents excellent value for money, with a bespoke medal, technical race souvenir t-shirt, free pre and post-race massage, free photos, as well as a carton of water and race treats at the finish all included in the entry fee.

There will also be a shopping village, easy parking on site, and prizes for the top three male and female and age category winners.

The winners of On Shrewsbury Half Marathon 2019 were Tom Roberts with a time of 01:09:54 and Jackie Skinner with a time of 01:21:27.

Organisers Joe Williams and Rebecca Richardson commented, “We are delighted to confirm that Shrewsbury Half Marathon 2020 will take place on Sunday 11th October. Our new autumn date proved extremely popular and we celebrated a brilliant day for everyone at the 2019 event. The support and camaraderie were amazing with everyone out in force to cheer on the runners, a friendly atmosphere, many PBs, and all round celebrations of the day’s achievements. We can’t wait to put on another incredible day and look forward to welcoming runners of all levels to the 2020 event. Early bird entries are available until midnight on 31st December, offering the lowest price for runners to secure their place for Shrewsbury Half Marathon 2020.”

Shrewsbury Half Marathon takes place on Sunday 11th October 2020. A total of 3,000 places are available. Early bird entry is open and costs £27 (affiliated) / £29 (unaffiliated).

Go to www.shrewsburyhalf.com to register and for further event details. You can also like the Facebook page, and follow @Shrewsburyhalf on Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest news at #ShrewsburyHalf #UKRunChat.

Walmart becomes title partner of the 2022 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships

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Walmart Inc. is the Title Partner of the 2022 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, which will take place in Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA from 28-30 January next.

Next year’s staging of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in the USA will be only the second time the country has hosted the event in its 72-year history.

Some 300 cyclists representing 25 nations will be competing for UCI World Championship titles in Men and Women Elite, Men and Women Under 23, Men and Women Juniors, and Team Relay events – with the latter being included for the first time.

UCI President David Lappartient said: “We are delighted and proud that the 2022 edition of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, the discipline’s annual flagship event, can count on the support of Walmart, the largest retailer in the world. The arrival of an economic player of this stature is testimony not only to the discipline’s appeal but also, more broadly, to that of cycling, whose societal benefits are increasingly being recognized.”

Kim Tunick, Senior Director, Brand Experiences and Partnerships, at Walmart said: “We are proud to be the Title Partner of the 2022 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships that will be held in Northwest Arkansas, where our company was founded nearly 60 years ago. This sponsorship demonstrates our commitment to the community and promoting healthy and active lifestyles for our customers and associates. We are excited to be a partner for this world-class event.”

Molly Rawn, CEO of Experience Fayetteville, the local host for the 2022 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, said: “We are very pleased to have Walmart as a valuable partner in bringing the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships to Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas, and greatly appreciate their support. With the world-class venue and course that has been built, we anticipate hosting many more exciting cycling events in the area in the years ahead.”

For more information on the 2022 Walmart UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships

ASICS proves “Movement for Mind” break improve workers’ mental wellbeing

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Today, ASICS releases the results of one of the largest independent trials proving that a simple, movement-based programme can meaningfully improve workers’ mental wellbeing. Those taking part in the ASICS Movement for Mind programme significantly improved their mental wellbeing on the internationally recognised Warwick-Edinburgh scale. ASICS is now making the programme available to everyone to help boost the wellbeing of the UK.

Unprecedented changes to working patterns over the past 18 months have led many people to work from home. And according to independent research1,, more than half (57%) of UK workers say they are more stressed than ever. Despite exercise being the first choice of UK workers to relieve stress, those working from home have become even more sedentary, moving 50% less than when in the office. 39% of workers admit to working longer hours when working from home and 25% take fewer breaks.

The scientific trial, led by world-renowned researcher Professor Brendon Stubbs, proves the impact of the simple, eight-week ASICS Movement for Mind programme where people walk or run for just 30 minutes, twice a week. The audio programme combines movement with other proven techniques to encourage connection to the body and the natural world. As well as significantly improving their mental wellbeing, those taking part in the programme also reported lower levels of anxiety, increased their daily step count and reduced their sedentary time, when compared to the control group.

Professor Brendon Stubbs, said, “There are many workplace wellness solutions out there. While well-intentioned, there is very little scientific evidence to prove these solutions are effective, or even avoid doing harm. In research terms, we applied the “gold standard” of a randomised control trial to ASICS Movement for Mind. This allows us to have confidence that the results are robust and clinically meaningful. The fact that the programme is so accessible makes the results very significant in terms of their wider impact in the future.”

Gary Raucher, Executive Vice President, ASICS EMEA said: “Most people know that movement is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress. Yet the reality is that most desk-based workers hardly move at all. To address the stress epidemic we are facing, we think it’s time to rethink movement in the workplace through an approach that’s accessible, enjoyable, and crucially, proven to work. We hope exercise and movement breaks become the norm, so people can achieve a sound mind in a sound body.”

“As a company, we have championed the positive impact of sport on the body and the mind for over 70 years. It’s why we are called ASICS – it’s an acronym from the Latin, Anima Sana in Corpore Sano or a Sound Mind in a Sound Body.”

The eight-week ASICS Movement for Mind programme consists of two thirty-minute audio sessions per week. Participants can walk or run the sessions. Each week covers a different theme and ASICS worked with a team of experts to develop each session so the programme builds week by week.

ASICS Movement for Mind brings together simple, proven techniques and combines them with movement to create something varied and accessible. Introducing breathwork, mindful movement, Sophrology, connecting to nature, music and mindful meditation, the programme requires no previous experience or level of fitness to follow.

A full explanation of ASICS Movement for Mind, the experts behind it and links to the podcast version of the sessions is available here.

Igor Polyanskiy sanctioned with three-year suspension after a positive doping case

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World Triathlon has imposed a period of ineligibility of three years on Russian triathlete Igor Polyanskiy for the presence of EPO in his urine and blood samples of 21July 2021. Furthermore, the Athlete’s results since 21 st of July 2021 are to be disqualified with all resulting consequences. Igor Polyanskiy took part in the Men’s individual race in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games -where he finished in 43rd place-, and was part of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Team in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Mixed Relay -they finished in 14th place-, therefore he would be disqualified for both events, as would be the ROC Team.

World Triathlon reported in August that a sample collected from Igor Polyanskiy had returned an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for recombinant Erythropoietin (EPO) (S2. Peptide, Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances, and Mimetics). The sample was collected by World Triathlon during an out-of-competition anti-doping control on 21 July 2021 in Vladivostok, Russia. World Triathlon was informed of the case on August 5, 2021, by the WADA-accredited laboratory.

On 15 August the Athlete signed a Waiver of Hearing and Acceptance of Consequences Form, waiving his right to the analysis of the B sample, thereby agreeing to accept any consequences proposed by World Triathlon.

The athlete admitted the Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) in the 20 days after receiving notice of the charge and therefore he benefits from a reduction of one year in the presumptive four-years period of ineligibility.

World Triathlon hereby imposes a period of ineligibility of three years on Igor Polyanskiy for the presence of EPO in his urine and blood samples in contravention to Article 2.1 of the Anti-Doping Rules (ADR). All the Athlete’s results and points earned since 21 July 2021 are to be disqualified with all resulting consequences including the forfeiture of any titles, awards, medals, points and prize and appearance money.

The Athlete will receive credit for the period of suspension already served. His period of ineligibility will therefore be backdated to 10 August 2021, the date the Athlete was provisionally suspended. He will be free to resume competition 10 August 2024

During this period of ineligibility, the Athlete may not participate in any capacity in a Competition or activity (other than authorised anti-doping Education or rehabilitation programs) authorised or organised by any Signatory, Signatory’s member organisation, or a club or other member organisation of a Signatory’s member organisation, or in Competitions authorised or organised by any professional league or any international- or national-level Event organisation or any elite or national-level sporting activity funded by a governmental agency.

Famous Haeundae Beach welcomes triathlon stars for Saturday’s World Cup

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This weekend, the World Triathlon Cup tour heads to the striking coastline of Busan, South Korea, to stage the first World Triathlon Cup Haeundae. On Saturday 23rd October the elite women will race from 08:30 local time and the men will follow at 10:30 local time.

The sprint-distance course starts with a 750m swim from the white sand of Haeundae Beach, the most famous beach in the region and contributing to the beautiful coastline of Busan. The course is compact and encircles the venue with a 20km bike segment (5-laps) and will close with a 5km run (4-laps).

A mix of Olympic and World Triathlon experience coupled with fresh talent and newcomers to the international stage, will line-up on the iconic beach to race for World Cup glory and valuable ranking points.

Watch the races on TriathlonLIVE.tv and if you miss them, they will be available on-demand soon after the stream ends.

Women’s preview

Headlining the women’s field is Japan’s Niina Kishimoto, not long after making her Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020. Hungary’s Zsanett Bragmayer is a notable contender, fourth at the recent World Triathlon Championship Hamburg and 11th at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Great Britain’s Beth Potter will be one to watch and is known for her ability across all segments, especially her striking run set-up. In 2020 Potter earned World Cup gold in Valencia and the silver medal in Arzachena.

“I am really looking forward to racing here in Haeundae. We’ve been out training while we’ve been here and it’s a stunning location on the beach right in the middle of a city. Looking forward to getting out there on Saturday!” said Beth Potter.

Also in the field are Birmingham Commonwealth Games hopefuls Emma Jackson and Charlotte McShane of Australia, Frenchwoman Sandra Dodet, 2019 Tongyeong World Triathlon Cup champion and 2019 World Triathlon Junior champion Beatrice Mallozzi.

The elite women’s field will feaure some of the rising stars of the sport including Australia’s Emma Hogan, who will make her World Cup debut in Haeundae, Great Britain’s Kate Waugh who was 9th across the line in the World Triathlon Championship Series Hamburg and Italy’s Bianca Seregni who claimed the bronze medal in the 2021 World Triathlon Cup in Karlovy Vary.

Korea Triathlon Federation will be well represented with 11 women racing for valuable World Triathlon Cup points in Haeundae, in front of a home crowd.

Review the full elite women’s start list and watch the race on TriathlonLIVE.tv from 08:30 local time.

Men’s preview

Japan’s stars of triathlon will lead both fields onto the most famous beach in Busan with, Takumi Hojo, wearing number one in the Haeundae World Triathlon Cup elite men’s race. Hojo has been a standout in recent World Triathlon Championship Series stage, proving himself among the best in the world when he claimed 9th place in the 2021 World triathlon Championship Finals Edmonton.

Felix Duchampt who recently represented Romania at the Olympic Games in Tokyo is thrilled to be racing at the new World Triathlon Cup destination.

“I am very excited for the race, it has been a pretty hectic trip to arrive here but the location is amazing and we can see the Korean Triathlon Federation has worked hard to organize the race and put us in the best possible conditions. The start list is very decent with a lot of good athletes but I feel great, so I hope to show my good form on Saturday!” Duchamp said.

Japan’s Jumpei Furuya and Mexico’s Rodrigo Gonzalez, both fierce competitors with strong credentials on their triathlon resumes, are among the race favourites heading into Saturday’s World Cup. Both Furuya and Gonzalez disappointingly missed out on competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and have arrived in South Korea in fine form and fired up to race.

Olympian Delian Stateff of Italy will be hoping for a podium finish if he can hold off the likes of Spain’s Sergio Baxter Cabrera, who claimed 4th place in the 2021 Karlovy Vary World Cup, talented Frenchman Simon Viain and Mexico’s David Nunez over the flat and fast 5-kilometre run course. Nunez proved what he was able to do with a brilliant performance, in hot and steamy conditions, in the 2021 Huatulco World Triathlon Cup where he crossed the line in 4th place.

Australia’s Luke Bate will make his World Triathlon Cup debut, in South Korea, on Saturday. Korea Triathlon Federation will be well represented with 11 men racing for valuable World Triathlon Cup points in Haeundae, with great home crowd support.

Review the full elite men’s start list and don’t miss the action by tuning in from 10:30 (local time) on Saturday 23rd October.

Des Moines, Iowa to host 70.3 Ironman triathlon

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2022 Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN Des Moines triathlon to open on Monday, November 1, 2021. (Getty Images for IRONMAN)

Des Moines, Iowa will become the newest host of a full-distance IRONMAN® triathlon. Following the excitement built off the IRONMAN® 70.3® event in 2021, the new full-distance IRONMAN triathlon will take the place of the IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon and be designated as the 2022 IRONMAN North American Championship. With this selection, Des Moines enters an elite group of cities to host regional championships and welcome some of the best athletes in the world. The Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN North American Championship Des Moines is scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 12, 2022 with general registration for the new event opening on Monday, November 1.

“We’ve developed a fantastic partnership here in Des Moines since we first announced an event in 2019 and could not be more proud to announce this new full-distance IRONMAN race here in Iowa’s capital city,” said Keats McGonigal, Vice President of Operations, North America for The IRONMAN Group. “There isn’t a better venue to host this race than Des Moines, and we know that having this city as the host for the 2022 IRONMAN North American Championship will showcase this region of the country. We look forward to building the foundation for a long-lasting legacy of IRONMAN events in Des Moines.”

Iowa’s capital city and its surrounding communities boast big amenities in a safe and accessible location. Greater Des Moines provides all the adventure and reward of a high-profile city without the inflated cost. Cultural events and festivals coupled with bike trails, parks, and lakes give residents and visitors of all ages plenty to do and see in Des Moines. Getting to the metro is easy from virtually any location worldwide as several airlines service the Des Moines International Airport. Additionally, a quarter of the U.S. population is within a one-day drive.

“Hosting the IRONMAN 70.3 earlier this year was our warm-up, and now we’re ready for the encore,” said Greg Edwards, president and CEO of Catch Des Moines. “Des Moines put in the work and everything from the course to the community-wide support impressed. Now we’re prepared to put in twice the work and have twice as much fun hosting the prestigious full-distance IRONMAN North American Championship!”

Similar to the IRONMAN 70.3 event, the new Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN Des Moines will take athletes on a tour of Des Moines, West Des Moines, and scenic surrounding areas of Polk County and Dallas County offering the perfect IRONMAN venue for athletes who want to set their personal best. Competitors can expect a smooth and scenic swim, bike and run through Des Moines most picturesque streets and memorable landmarks with a lively finish line in beautiful Downtown Des Moines.

The Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN North American Championship Des Moines triathlon will offer qualifying slots to the 2023 IRONMAN World Championship® in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.

For more information on the 2022 Certified Piedmontese IRONMAN North American Championship Des Moines triathlon, visit www.ironman.com/im-des-moines.

Challenge Family Race Awards 2021 announced

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The CHALLENGEFAMILY Race Awards were announced at the annual Race Directors’ Meeting which this year took place on Mallorca, following CHALLENGEPEGUERA-MALLORCA.

The Awards were developed in 2019 to provide recognition to the global team of race directors for all they do for the sport of triathlon through the delivery of their races. In keeping with the CHALLENGEFAMILY mantra, #allabouttheathlete, the Awards are decided by votes from thousands of athletes around the world.

“The Awards carry even more weight for our race directors this year, given the additional pressure COVID restrictions have put on event teams around the world,” said CHALLENGEFAMILY CEO, Jort Vlam. “Those that were able to take place were determined to give athletes the opportunity to do what they love, to race, despite the extra health and safety protocols required. We also supported our pro athletes by holding no less than 18 pro races in 2021 and maintaining our US$150k World Bonus. We’re incredibly proud of our race teams and while not every race can win at the Awards, we recognise the commitment and dedication in all of them.”

The winners of the CHALLENGEFAMILY Race Awards 2021 are:

Race of the Year – Lotto Challenge Gdańsk, Poland
Best Race Venue – Anfi Challenge Mogán-Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
Best Swim – Challenge Almere-Amsterdam presented by Wahoo, The Netherlands
Best Bike – Challenge Kaiserwinkl-Walchsee, Austria
Best Run – DATEV Challenge Roth powered by hep, Germany
Best Finish Line Party – Challenge Taiwan
Best Fans – Challenge Salou, Spain
Best New Race – Challenge St Pölten, Austria
Best After Race Food – Challenge Almere-Amsterdam presented by Wahoo, The Netherlands
Most Eco Friendly – DATEV Challenge Roth powered by hep, Germany
Most Family-Friendly – Challenge Riccione, Italy
Best Hospitality – Challenge Peguera-Mallorca

www.challenge-family.com/races

42 athletes offered membership to British Athletics Paralympic World Class Programme

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42 athletes have been offered membership to join the British Athletics Paralympic World Class Programme (WCP) for 2021/22.

The WCP is UK Sport’s National Lottery funded initiative supporting the delivery of success at named milestone targets, namely outdoor track World and European championships, and the Paralympic Games. The WCP is split into several levels reflecting the actual and potential performance levels of athletes: Podium, Podium Potential and Confirmation.

Paralympic T20 400m bronze medallist, Columba Blango, is offered Podium membership for the first time, while Tokyo champion in the T20 1500, Owen Miller moves up to the same level from Podium Potential.

A new Confirmation level has been added to the World Class Programme. The Athlete Performance Awards (APAs) with this level are designed to support athletes in their first 1-2 years of inclusion on the World Class Programme, to provide a period through which the potential of the athlete is explored and confirmed.

Four athletes join the World Class Programme for the first time at this level. Tokyo debutants Fabienne André, Luke Nuttall, Daniel Sidbury and Melanie Woods all progress from the British Athletics Paralympic Futures Academy.

As per previous years, the nomination of athlete performance awards (APA) for athletes is subject to UK Sport ratification and a signed athlete agreement between the athlete and UKA.

The Paralympic Futures Academy Programme will be announced in due course.

Para Athletics Head Coach, Paula Dunn, said, “Following a successful Tokyo Paralympic Games, the Programme is in a strong position, and we have a number of athletes tracking in a strong direction to Paris and Los Angeles. I wish all the athlete and coach pairings the best in their development through the next cycle.

“With the addition of the Confirmation level, we have brought in four new faces to the WCP. All of the athletes showed their potential during 2021, so we will see how the Programme can add support and value as the athlete and coach pairings to continue their development.

“My thanks as ever go to UK Sport and the National Lottery for their continued support of the World Class Programme which allows our athletes and coaches the opportunity to thrive on the biggest stage of all. And also, a thank you to the coaches, clubs, family, friends and support networks who are essential for the individuals on the Programme to succeed in the right way.”

The British Athletics Paralympic Futures Academy Athletes:

Paralympic Podium (24)
Kare Adenegan
Hollie Arnold
Columba Blango
Olivia Breen
Jonathan Broom-Edwards
Richard Chiassaro
Hannah Cockroft
Aled Davies
David Devine
Kyron Duke
Sabrina Fortune
Dan Greaves
Sophie Hahn
Harri Jenkins
Sammi Kinghorn
Maria Lyle
Owen Miller
Jonnie Peacock
Dan Pembroke
Derek Rae
Andrew Small
Vanessa Wallace
Richard Whitehead
Thomas Young

Paralympic Podium Potential (12)
Ola Abidogun
Martina Barber
Lydia Church
Nathan Maguire
Anna Nicholson
Zac Shaw
Zak Skinner
Ali Smith
JohnBoy Smith
Hannah Taunton
Harrison Walsh
David Weir

Paralympic Confirmation (6)
Fabienne André
Karim Chan
Dillon Labrooy
Luke Nuttall
Daniel Sidbury
Melanie Woods

67 athletes offered membership to British Athletics Olympic World Class Programme

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Photo Credit: British Athletics

A group of 67 athletes have been offered membership to join the British Athletics Olympic World Class Programme (WCP) for 2021/22.

The WCP is UK Sport’s National Lottery funded initiative supporting the delivery of success at named milestone targets, namely outdoor track World and European Championships and Olympics Games. The WCP is split into levels reflecting the actual and potential performance levels of athletes: Podium, Podium Potential and Confirmation.

Joining the programme are 22 athletes, including Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson who is added at Podium level. The European Indoor 800m champion graduates from the British Athletics Futures Academy Programme to the WCP.

Tokyo 1500m bronze medallist, Josh Kerr, moves up to podium level, as do Andrew Pozzi, Jemma Reekie and Jazmin Sawyers. After her seventh-place finish in the women’s 800m at the Olympic Games, Alex Bell is also offered Podium membership.

Olympic finalists Lizzie Bird, Jake Heyward and Marc Scott are among the athletes to be offered membership at Podium Potential level. After improving their personal bests during 2021, high jumper Emily Borthwick and shot putter Scott Lincoln also join the programme.

A new Confirmation level has been added to the World Class Programme. The Athlete Performance Awards (APAs) at this level are designed to support athletes in their first 1-2 years on the World Class Programme and provide a period through which the potential of the athlete is explored and confirmed.

Among the first athletes to benefit from this level are European indoor finalist Ellie Baker and European U23 medallists’ Holly Mills and Thomas Randolph.

The men’s 4x400m relay squad will be supported via development opportunities such as relay camps which will run in parallel to the World Class Programme to support several developing athletes in this event.

As per previous years, the nomination of Athlete Performance Awards (APA) for athletes is subject to UK Sport ratification and a signed athlete agreement between the athlete and UKA.

The Paralympic World Class Programme and Futures Academy Programme will be announced in due course.

Performance Director, Sara Symington, said, “As we start the Paris cycle, and longer-term Los Angeles 2028, we made a number of informed decisions in regard to the World Class Programme membership that aligns with our strategic priorities. We will work closely with the 67 athlete and coach pairings that we are offering membership to and will look to add support and value in their journey via their individual athlete plan (IAP).

“The selection process is robust and lengthy, and we use a lot of data which is complemented by the knowledge of our event leads to inform the decision-making process. We have given careful consideration to those athletes who meet the selection criteria and performance matrix which align to the future ambitions of the World Class Programme.

“In relation to the men’s 4x400m relay athletes we are taking an approach which allows more flexibility and look to support the development of several athletes during this cycle. This support will be offered via camps and training opportunities to a cohort of eligible athletes so that we can build the team towards the longer-term targets of Paris and LA.”

The British Athletics Olympic World Class Programme Athletes

Olympic Podium (17)
Dina Asher-Smith
Alex Bell
Holly Bradshaw
Adam Gemili
Callum Hawkins
Keely Hodgkinson
Abigail Irozuru
Katarina Johnson-Thompson
Josh Kerr
Nick Miller
Laura Muir
Andrew Pozzi
Jemma Reekie
Jazmin Sawyers
Lynsey Sharp
Lorraine Ugen
Jake Wightman

Olympic Podium Potential (26)
Elizabeth Bird
Emily Borthwick
Taylor Campbell
Harry Coppell
Melissa Courtney-Bryant
Oliver Dustin
Niamh Emerson
Tom Gale
Elliot Giles
Jake Heyward
Jessie Knight
Morgan Lake
Scott Lincoln
Eilish McColgan
Sophie McKinna
Naomi Metzger (née Ogbeta)
Lawrence Okoye
Aimee Pratt
Charlotte Purdue
Daniel Rowden
Marc Scott
Cindy Sember
Jessica Turner
Jamie Webb
Laura Weightman
Callum Wilkinson

Olympic Relays (16)
Kristal Awuah
Zoey Clark
Emily Diamond
Beth Dobbin
Zharnel Hughes
Richard Kilty
Imani-Lara Lansiquot
Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake
Daryll Neita
Ashleigh Nelson
Laviai Nielsen
Asha Philip
Ama Pipi
Reece Prescod
Jodie Williams
Nicole Yeargin

Olympic Confirmation Level (8)
Jeremiah Azu
Ellie Baker
Molly Caudery
Piers Copeland
Jona Efoloko
Jessica Mayho
Holly Mills
Thomas Randolph

Iserbyt and Vos win round three of UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup

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Photo credit: Jeff Corcoran

Day three of Jingle Cross and the third round of the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup witnessed Eli Iserbyt repeat his victory from 2019, and Marianne Vos rode a masterful race to claim her second World Cup victory of the season.

Before the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup kicked off, the day was filled with fun and excitement for riders and fans in Iowa City. The Jingle Cross Junior Devo Cup invigorated the crowd as fans cheered on future champions. The fun continued as the Grinch officiated the IDT Kids Race before man’s best friend took center stage in the Doggy Cross.

The Elite Men took to the course as the riders from the morning’s Jingle Cross Craft Beer and Poker Gravel Grinder presented by Shimano rolled into the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Round two winner Quinten Hermans (Tormans-Circus Cyclo Cross Team) set a furious pace up Mt. Krumpit to quickly string out the field and by the fourth lap only a group of four remained at the front. Along with Hermans, the group included Lars Van der Haar (Baloise Trek Lions), Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal), and Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal). On the fifth lap, Toon Aerts (Baloise Trek Lions) managed to claw his way back to the front quartet. Over the next two laps, the five riders tested each other before a miss-timed bunny hop over the barriers knocked Hermans out of contention. With three laps remaining, Iserbyt dropped the hammer and soloed to his second World Cup victory of the year. Behind Iserbyt, Van der Haar chased hard to claim a well-deserved second, with Vanthourenhout holding off Aerts for third.

“It was very hot, and the last three laps were hotter than at the beginning of the race,” said Iserbyt. “A hard effort without any drinks is very hard, and we are not used to it in Belgium, but I can handle the heat very well, and today it was just hot enough. I have an advantage here (Jingle Cross) because I am not that big – going uphill. On the climbs, I got a little gap and then held my pace.”

In the weekend’s final event, Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) set a furious pace, appearing untouchable the first three laps of the race. However, Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal) and Puck Pieterse (ALPECIN-FENIX) chased relentlessly with Betsema able to catch Vos on the fourth lap. Annemarie Worst (777) and Kata Blanka Vas (Team SD Worx) soon joined the front duo for a leading group of four. With three laps remaining, Worst faded, leaving Vas, Betsema, and Vos to fight out the podium positions. Vas’s chance for the win slipped away when she lost traction through a corner, while Betsema saw her opportunity slide away as Vos surged away the final time up Mt. Krumpit. Over the top, Vos had a five-second lead and powered away to take a dominant win. Betsema finished second, with Vas completing the podium in third.

“The atmosphere is amazing, and I am very happy to have been here,” said Vos. “With this result, I can go home with a great deal of satisfaction. Now, I will take a little break and start building up to the second part of the season.”

UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup Round 3 – Men
1. Eli Iserbyt (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)
2. Lars Van der Haar (Baloise – Trek – Lions)
3. Michael Vanthourenhout (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)
4. Toon Aerts (Baloise – Trek – Lions)
5. Quinten Hermans (Tormans-Circus Cyclo Cross Team)
6. Jens Adams
7. Daan Soete (CX Team Deschacht-Group Hens-Maes Containers)
8. Ryan Kamp (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)
9. Anton Ferdinande (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)
10. Vincent Baestaens (CX Team Deschacht-Group Hens-Maes Containers)

UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup Round 3 – Women
1. Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma)
2. Denise Betsema (Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal)
3. Blanka Kata Vas (Team SD Worx)
4. Lucinda Brand (Trek Factory Racing)
5. Puck Pieterse (ALPECIN-FENIX)
6. Annemarie Worst (777)
7. Hélene Clauzel (A.S. Bike Crossteam)
8. Shirin Van Anrooij (Baloise Trek Lions)
9. Lara Kastelijn (IKO – Crelan)
10. Eva Lechner (FAS Airport Services)

Review: STFU Drivetrain Damping System (Trail)

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While they give us much joy, bikes are funny things. Weather it’s those gears that just won’t sit right, the bottom bracket creak that won’t go away or the weird noise you just can’t pinpoint they always find new ways to frustrate us.

Noise on a bike really frustrates me and when I say this, I mean the type of noise most other riders would ignore and crack on. Something most of us will agree on though is that chain slap is something we shouldn’t have to deal with!

First impressions
Developed in collaboration with downhill mountain bike legend, Chris Kovarik The STFU system is designed to keep your bike quiet but also minimise wear. The units are very light weight and are made of a dual compound, hard plastic inner ‘skeleton’ with a soft rubber outer to damp any noise.

On the bike, your chain runs through the 2 guides. Under tension from pedalling the chain remains completely clear of these ensuring no additional resistance. However, when things get rowdy, the chain is limited in how far it can move both up and down but also sideways. This prevents the chain overextending prolonging its life. The straighter chainline also allows you to get the power down fractionally quicker when needed.

While the STFU system is likely to have a love / hate following based on visuals it is incredibly well made and well thought out. The trail version (there are DH and single speed specific versions as well) on test here covers everything up to a 10 to 52t range.

Fitting
As long as you have a bit of patience, fitting the STFU system is fairly easy.

Once you’ve measured the distances on your chainstay between cassette and cranks, done some basic maths to get the correct locations for the guides it’s just a case of cutting at the correct number on the guide to get the right height to allow the chain to move freely.

Once you have all the measuring and cutting done it’s a simple job of picking the end cap that fits your chainstay best and zip tying the guides in place. Once adjusted you’re good to go.

I did find during fitting that the guides sit a little lower than measured once their down tight. I’d suggest cutting the guide one space longer than you think and trying that first. You can take more off but not really add it back on.

Fitted straight on the frame or on top of an adhesive or factory fitted chainstay protector the STUFU was solid however if you have a neoprene wrap or similar, you’d probably want to remove this to avoid any movement.

On the trail
I’ve been running the guides on my main full suspension and hard tail bikes for the last five months. These have seen a real mix of riding from family pedals right through to enduro racing and some uplift days.

I’d say the system has been pushed hard and honesty, on the trail I cannot fault the STFU system. It has been solid in all weather conditions and scenarios’ and hasn’t moved or needed readjusted. There are no obvious signs of wear, the guides have never caught my feed and haven’t disappeared off into the spokes!

The chain has been silent checking the chain in the old ‘arc test’ it does seem to have less lateral wear than I would have expected after this time. I haven’t noticed the chain engage any quicker, however, I’ll put this down as the additional 1% the pros are looking for! Finally, given there is considerably more paint left on my frame than a normal 5 months use I’d say STFU are onto a winner.

Final thoughts
During this summer’s DH racing I’ve noticed the STFU system appearing on several high-profile DH racers bikes. Some feature the 2 guides as packaged where some have opted for a single guide. I spoke with Kris about this who highlighted there would still be movement of the chain towards the seat stay but 1 would provide more control than none – some experimenting will be happening around this.

As an amateur rider I really like the STFU guide especially on my hardtail which experiences a lot more chain slap than the full sus. I think at £27 its reasonably priced and looks like it will stand the test of time.

It seems obvious to me that if the chain has less space to go where it shouldn’t be going our bikes are going to be more efficient and parts will last longer – this can’t be a bad thing given the lack of stock and increasing prices were currently experiencing!

Visit STFU directly for more info: www.stfubike.com

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