Saturday, September 25, 2021

Saucony unveils new carbon-plated Endorphin Pro+


Today, global performance running lifestyle brand Saucony announced that fast just got faster with the launch of the Endorphin Pro+, the latest iterative advancement in the brand’s award-winning Endorphin Collection.

Now with a reengineered ultra-light upper, Saucony’s fastest carbon-plated shoe will be unveiled by world class athletes during a 10K race under the lights on September 22 at the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen, Germany, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the most impressive industrial monuments on the planet. Like a concept car, the purposefully limited production of the Endorphin Pro+ means this one is here for a fast time, not a long time. Beginning September 28, the Pro+ will be available at and select running specialty retailers globally.

Tailored for speed and engineered with Saucony’s elite runners, the Endorphin Pro+ is built on the same propulsive engine as the Endorphin Pro 2, fueled by SPEEDROLL™ Technology with a carbon-fibre plate and PWRRUN PB™ super foam. Taking cues from the ultralight, minimalist world of track spikes, the all-new upper is a luxurious, roadreadyedit with premium suede, enhanced breathability and a second-skin fit. With a lighter weight mesh, reduced tongue complexity and printed detailing, the Endorphin Pro+ weighs in .6 ounces lighter than the Endorphin Pro 2.

“At Saucony, we are at our best when we listen to runners and when we are relentlessly innovating,” said Shawn Hoy, Saucony’s senior vice president of global product and innovation. “Our elite runners told us that they believed that we could make the Endorphin Pro lighter and faster. They wanted to go faster and wanted us to help them. The Endorphin Pro+ delivers even more speed with a more minimal upper that shaves grams off the weight so runners can shave seconds off their time. And what better way to share the Endorphin Pro+ than with a fun event with a group of awesome runners at a truly great venue. We trust that everyone will enjoy the event as much as we enjoyed creating the shoe.”

Once one of the largest coal mines from the end of the 19th century to the early 20th century, the materials of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Zollverein were an invaluable resource that helped shape technological improvements. While the coal mine is no longer functional, it serves as a symbol of evolutionary transformation. Incorporating the innovative approach of architects over the years, the structure has transformed into a showcase for conservation through art, architecture, and design.

The Endorphin Pro+ is available in men’s sizes 7-15, and women’s sizes 5-12 with a suggested retail price of £220.

World Triathlon Para Championships 2021 to take place in Abu Dhabi in November


Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) has announced that the World Triathlon Para Championships will be added to the event schedule at the upcoming World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi presented by Daman taking place on Yas Island on 5-6 November. After sadly missing out on the 2020 World Championships due to the pandemic, the world’s best para triathletes will now gather on Yas Island on the first weekend of November, just two months after their incredible performances at the Paralympic races in Tokyo.

The race format will include nine sport classes of para triathlon competing in six medal events per gender, with 12 World Champions to be crowned in Abu Dhabi. The Para Championships had previously been scheduled to take place in Milan, Italy.

Abu Dhabi will now host two consecutive World Triathlon Para Championships, with the race in 2021 serving also as a test for the 2022 World Championships that will be part of next year’s World Triathlon Championship Finals.

Alongside the Para Championships, 110 elite athletes will compete in the World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi. The 2-day triathlon event will also host a variety of races for amateur triathletes, including waves dedicated to athletes of determination. Participants can choose from the Super Sprint, Sprint, and Olympic race distances – either as an individual or as part of a relay team. The selection of race categories means that the event is welcoming to athletes of all abilities – from first-timers looking for a new challenge, up to seasoned pros looking for a new personal best. In line with government guidelines and to ensure the safety of all participants, the field will be limited and the event will host races for athletes aged 18 years and over only. The junior races are expected to return in 2022.

World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi presented by Daman will mark the second stop of the World Triathlon Championship Series in 2022, a season that will finish in style with Abu Dhabi hosting again the best triathletes of the world in November 2022 for the World Triathlon Championship Finals. From 2015 – 2019, Abu Dhabi hosted the season-opening event of the World Triathlon Series annually in March. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the global triathlon calendar has been re-shaped and divided into events counting for the 2022 Final happening at the end of the 2021 year, and other events taking place during spring and summer of 2022, to then finish at the Championships Final in Abu Dhabi in November.

His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said, “We are delighted to welcome the World Triathlon Championship Series back to Abu Dhabi in 2021. The addition of the World Triathlon Para Championship adds to that excitement – as a country dedicated to inclusion, we simply could not pass on the opportunity to host some of the most inspirational elite para triathletes from around the world here in the Capital, just weeks after they competed at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

“The World Triathlon Abu Dhabi presented by Daman encompasses everything that Abu Dhabi Sports Council strives to achieve – an internationally acclaimed sporting spectacle for all to enjoy, from those just starting out in triathlon up to newly-crowned Olympic and Paralympic champions fresh from Tokyo.

“This event also highlights Abu Dhabi’s unique ability to host major events and Championships with the highest possible standards of safety and security, in line with our role as a leading global destination for sports events.”

World Triathlon President and IOC member, Marisol Casado added, “We are absolutely delighted and grateful to our friends in Abu Dhabi who have stepped up to organize the Para Triathlon World Championships after Italy were unable to host.

“I know that the last year and a half has been a difficult time for all para triathletes, so bringing them the opportunity of competing at the highest level and for the world titles is great news. To be able to have them taking the stage once more just a few months after the Paralympics will give them extra exposure and engagement that will be valuable for them and our sport.”

The World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi presented by Daman will run from 5 – 6 November 2021 on Yas Island. Entries for the age group race will open at 12pm, Tuesday 21st September 2021.

British Cycling announces routes for 2021 National Road Championships

Credit: British Cycling

British Cycling has announced the route details for this year’s HSBC UK | National Road Championships in Lincoln, which will take place from 14-17 October, bringing the time-trial, circuit race and road race championships together into the same week for the first time.

Six coveted national champion’s jerseys will be awarded across the three days of racing, with the road and circuit races to be centred on the familiar streets of Lincoln city centre, and the time-trials to be hosted in the picturesque village of Tealby in Lincolnshire.

The time-trials kick off the championships on Thursday 14 October, with the under-23 women, under-23 men and elite women setting a time over two laps of the route, totalling 29.4km, while the elite men will complete three laps, totalling 44.7km. The challenging route includes 500ft of climbing in each lap in the Lincolnshire Wolds, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The circuit races will take place on Friday 15 October, on a 1km route around the city’s historic 11th century castle. Both the men’s and women’s races will be contested over one hour plus five laps, with the floodlit circuit passing through the cobbled Castle Square between Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle.

The road races conclude this year’s championships on Sunday 17 October, and the route will come as no surprise to British racing fans, following the route of the Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix. Taking in the iconic, cobbled Michaelgate climb once every eight miles, the men’s race will be contested over 166km (13 laps) and the women’s race over 101km (8 laps). The finish line on Castle Square is the same as that which has been used for every Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix for more than three decades.

British Cycling CEO, Brian Facer, said, “Lincoln’s roads have played host to some momentous bike races over the past five decades, and I know that the whole British cycling community is excited to return to the city this October to see national champions crowned once more.

“Bringing the three championships together into a single week is great news for fans of our sport and highlights our commitment to evolving our major events – ensuring that they are a fantastic gateway into our sport for fans and riders of all ages and demonstrate great value for our local partners, who we couldn’t deliver the events without.”

Event organiser, Dan Ellmore, said, “After what has been an incredibly challenging period for road racing in this country, I can’t wait to join the crowds to watch history be made on one of British cycling’s most iconic backdrops.

“We are looking forward to the return of the HSBC UK | National Road Championships to Lincolnshire, and the Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix circuit with the cobbled Michaelgate will provide a great challenge for the road racers.

“The circuit championship will also use the same finish line and the Bailgate section of the Grand Prix course and will be another tough race and a great spectacle for the crowd, and we have worked hard to provide a challenging time-trial route taking in the Lincolnshire Wolds, a recognised Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

Further details on the event, including the riders that will be competing and how you can follow the action, will be published in the coming weeks.

A welcome back for West London’s largest running festival


Richmond’s annual two-day running festival returned to its usual format at the weekend after having to change 2020’s layout due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This saw the return of the Richmond Half and Full Marathon, the Richmond Music Festival & Fitness Expo, Kids’ and Family Mile races, the Visit Cayman Islands Sundown 5k, as well as the Kew Gardens 10k.

The Kew Gardens 10k welcomed the Thai Ambassador and the Royal Thai Embassy, who were all fundraising for Safe Child Thailand.

Tom Bedford, Race Director, said: “Many runners will not know what we went through to get this event over the line. It was a proud moment for myself and the team to welcome runners, spectators, partners and volunteers to this event after all the many challenges we have faced to get this far. A personal highlight was seeing the return of the Kids’ races and all the fun at the Cayman Islands Sundown 5k.”

The England Masters 10k and Half Marathon Championships were included within the Richmond RUNFEST weekend. With the top 3 runners in the Kew Gardens 10k all representing England.

Marathon winners Dan Nash and Jemima Farley won a luxury holiday to the Cayman Islands for their efforts, both breaking the Richmond Marathon course records in 2:23.29 and 2:46.35 respectively. On top of this, one lucky 5k finisher was selected at random to also win a holiday to the Cayman Islands.

Alongside the running events, Bow Anderson, one of the UK’s most up and coming new voices, was the headline act on the Saturday evening following the 5k. With Caymanian DJ and singer, King Navassa, bringing the Caribbean to Richmond and the audience to their feet. Sunday’s energetic line-up was Fake Tan and young and up and coming artists supported by Richmond’s local charity, the Basement Door.

“After a great weekend we can now focus on our brand-new event, Kew the Run, coming on the 9th and 10th of April 2022,” said Bedford. “We hope to see our Richmond RUNFEST runners at this new event in April!”

The 2021 Richmond RUNFEST is likely to return on the same weekend next year. To be the first to find out when entries open, register an interest here.

Race Results

Dan Nash, top male with a chip time of 02:23:29
Jemima Farley, top female with a chip time of 02:46:35

Half Marathon
Craig Ruddy, top male with a chip time of 01:08:54
Rebecca Winter, top female with a chip time of 01:20:37

James Bellward, top male with a chip time of 00:32:30
Tracy Barlow, top female with a chip time of 00:35:52

Last chance to enter Ealing Half Marathon 2021

Photo credit: Amy Cassidy

Runners, volunteers and residents alike are looking forward to the return of the famous #EalingFeeling at the 2021 Ealing Half Marathon.

Ealing Half Marathon 2021 will start at 9am on Sunday 26th September whilst the sold out Ealing Mini Mile will take place from 12 noon on Saturday 25th September. Ealing Half Marathon was set up as a legacy to London’s Olympic Games and is a much loved award-winning event that brings runners and the community together.

Public entries close this Wednesday 15th September at 23:45.

From Thursday 16th September until 23:45 on Wednesday 22nd September runners will still be able to register for a charity place. Charity places are available with Alzheimer’s Society, Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and Meadow House Hospice.

The 13.1 mile course starts in Lammas Park and will be run in a single lap, taking in parts of Central Ealing, Montpelier, Pitshanger, West Ealing, Hanwell and St Stephens before returning to Lammas Park via Uxbridge Road.

The organisers are encouraging residents to familiarise themselves with the information published in the Around Ealing magazine which contains all the details about the route, road closures and bus diversions. Around Ealing is delivered to every home address and many businesses in the borough including Ealing, Acton, Greenford, Hanwell, Northolt, Perivale and Southall, with copies also available in all libraries, leisure centres, town halls and other public places.

Additionally an interactive version of the Around Ealing magazine (Autumn issue) is available online at (see page 36-37), and all the resident information can be found on the race website at where the route map as well as the estimated road closure and opening times can be downloaded in both alphabetical order and in race order.

The roads which the event will pass through will be closed to traffic, and there will be a rolling road closure in operation. The organisers have said that where possible the road will be re-opened 30 minutes after the last runner has passed by, and they would like to thank residents for their understanding.

With the resident information being published in Around Ealing rather than posted by the race, 60,000 pieces of paper and 30,000 envelopes will be saved, alongside carbon emissions connected to the delivery of these which supports the event’s sustainability drive. Furthermore the race will be providing Avant water in 100% recycled and fully recyclable bottles at two water stations on course whilst encouraging runners to bring their own water, and there won’t be any plastic goody bags at the finish.

Sandra Courtney, Race Director, said, “Ealing Half Marathon 2021 is approaching fast, and we are looking forward to race weekend and to bringing the community together again. We would like to encourage all residents and businesses to read the information on our website or in Around Ealing that concerns road closures and bus diversions on race day, and we thank everyone for their understanding and their continued support of the event.

“We would also like to remind everyone to be considerate of others when in close proximity, to consider watching the race and cheering on runners in less busy areas, and to listen to any official announcements or advice given by the race marshals.

“Public entries are open until Wednesday 15th September, and then you will be able to sign up for a charity place still until Wednesday 22nd September. If you or someone you know wants to be on the start line at Lammas Park on 26thSeptember then don’t delay signing up.”

Nygaard-Priester (GER) and Derron (SUI) win first-time golds at Karlovy Vary

Derron takes the win

Switzerland’s Julie Derron made light work of a mighty challenge in Karlovy Vary on Sunday afternoon, making up lost ground in the swim with a powerful 40km ride to help bridge the chasers to the front before a relentless 10km run to the line.

It was another four-deep break from the swim, just as it had in the morning’s men’s race, Sophie Alden (GBR) with a trio of Italians including newcomer Bianca Seregni who made light work of her big debut and only relinquished her grip on the second spot to the experience of a resurgent Ai Ueda (JPN), the Japanese star beaming down the blue carpet once again after what has been a difficult year missing out on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“I was running scared so I just had to go for it until the finish line,” said a delighted Derron. “I was glad there were a lot of U-turns so I could keep an eye on where Ai Ueda was, so I just kept the pace on and pushed until the finish line and give it all I had.”

The early mist had cleared and the sun was drying the course as the women took to the start line at the edge of Rolava Lake. Two-time champion and national favourite Vendula Frintova was a late withdrawal with illness, and it was Britain’s Sophie Alden leading through the early stages of the two-lap swim.

Carlotta Missaglia and Luisa Iogna-Prat were the two Italians slicing through the water out front with teammate Seregni, USA’s Kyleigh Spearing also right in touch as the five athletes exited the water and headed to transition with a decent gap to Jolanda Annen (SUI) and Erika Ackerlund (USA).

Derron was 70 seconds back at this stage, Ueda over 90 seconds, and the two began their mission to reel in those ahead.

Meanwhile Spearing was dropped leaving the Brit and three Italians out front, but already the Derron train was rolling, helped by some useful legs in the form of Marlene Gomez-Islinger (GER) and Michelle Flipo (MEX).

Those 12 were being hotly pursued by a determined duo of Ueda and Netherlands’ Quinty Schoens, the pair working well and making up significant ground on laps four and five to get in touch and the gap closed up further over the final lap.

Ahead, it was a slow transition from Derron but a smoother switch from compatriot Alissa Konig who used it to pull clear out and onto the first of four 2.5km laps of a demanding 10km run ahead.

There was no let up from the Arzachena silver medalist, though, Derron quickly assuming the pole position she would never relinquish.

The striding Seregni held firm for as long as she could before slowly dropping off the Swiss’ relentless pace, a vital high tempo needed to keep the marauding Ueda at bay as she began picking her way towards the medal places.

At the bell, Ueda passed Konig, then gradually chased down Seregni over the final lap but Derron was to prove untouchable, beaming down the blue carpet to the roar of the crowds that erupted once again for the smiling Ueda and again in appreciation of Seregni’s incredible bronze on World Triathlon Cup debut.

Konig held on for fourth ahead of Gomez-Islinger, Annen the third Swiss in the top ten and followed by Flipo, Ackerlund, Selina Klamt and Luisa Iogna-Prat, Quinty Schoens’ huge pull on the bike seeing her home in 11th.

“It was tough,” admitted Derron. “I didn’t have the best first transition, so I had to make up a lot of time. We caught the first group by the end of the first lap of the city and then we had to push for another few laps to catch the first four and then I just tried to keep the pace high. I have been doing some longer distance racing so I just had to keep pushing and keep the pace high. It was a great crowd to race in front of.”

“I am so happy,” said Ai Ueda. “Today was a very hard day. My favourite part is running so I focused on that. This season, I don’t have a good results but this race and this comeback and to get the podium make me very happy. Next race Hamburg and I hope to step up again.”

“I am so happy with this race, it’s my first World Triathlon Cup! The swim was good, I exited first, stayed in the first group in the bike and on the run I gave it my all. I don’t know how I did it, but I did my best and I am so happy about it.”

Results: Elite Women

1. Julie Derron, SUI, 02:06:56
2. Ai Ueda, JPN, 02:07:20
3. Bianca Seregni, ITA, 02:07:31
4. Alissa Konig, SUI, 02:07:53
5. Marlene Gomez-Islinger, GER, 02:08:33

Men’s Race

Germany’s Lasse Nygaard-Priester was able to lift the mists that had hung over Karlovy Vary on Sunday morning, lighting up the Czech town with an incredible first run lap that gave him the window needed to ensure his first World Triathlon Cup medal was golden. It followed a typically demanding and hilly bike segment, each of the seven long climbs slicing away challengers, but the German found the legs to produce a famous win in difficult conditions.

Mark Devay, Takumi Hojo, Alessio Crociani and Miguel Tiago Silva had led out front for the entire bike but those exertions soon took their toll, and a 30 second lead proved insufficient as first Nygaard-Priester and Grant Sheldon (GBR) then, eventually, Csongor Lehmann (HUN), were able to manoeuvre into the medal places over the closing stages.

“I didn’t expect the win,” admitted Nygaard-Priester. “To be honest, in the swim I thought I missed the big first group but managed to catch up and just tried to eat and drink and somehow stay concentrated and save energy for the run. Of course some big names are missing today but it’s my second World Cup and I really wanted a medal and it’s now the golden one, so I am really over the moon. I tried to stay on the same pace the whole race, trying not to go too fast in the beginning. I didn’t have to slow down on the hill and I felt really good knowing there was a 10-second gap and just enjoyed the run.”

There was thick cloud overhead as the men lined up on Rolava Lake on Sunday morning, where Mark Devay (HUN) and Alessio Crociani (ITA) led lap one of the swim from the opening strokes, Japan’s Takumi Hojo and Portugal’s Miguel Tiago Silva in close pursuit.

The pace out front was impressive, even strong swimmers like Diego Moya (CHI) and Chase McQueen (USA) 20 and 30 seconds off Devay respectively, while Nygaard-Priester and Sheldon were left around a minute further back and with plenty to do on the bike to mount a challenge.

Devay continued to press and, after a lightening 16:30 1.5km swim, exited transition with Hojo, Crociani and Silva for company as the four men began the 40km bike course with a 6km leg into the town centre looking to maintain or extend their advantage.

The chase was on immediately, but the 28 bunched cyclists already found themselves more than 45 seconds back and struggling to get organised, the four ahead easing their way up the torturous first few climbs of the seven lap course as Gabriel Sandor (SWE) and Sergio Baxter Cabrera (ESP) led the effort to close in.

Race number one Adrien Briffod (SUI) had already come off once in the slippery conditions before a second fall saw his race ended early on, mechanical issues on the climb and the greasy cobbles responsible for several DNFs across the tough 40km ride.

Home favourite Jan Volar and Gregor Payet (LUX) were really motoring but even as the passing laps saw them edge closer, the leaders maintained a healthy 30-second gap over the pack – Lehmann and Sheldon included – into the second transition.

The lead was rapidly eroded away. Sheldon and Nygaard-Priester taking nearly 20 seconds out of it on lap one of four, and on each of the long, laborious climbs up to the dead turn Devay and Silva could see them closing in. Meanwhile Csongor Lehmann and Baxter-Cabrera were moving into striking position themselves as the hunt for the bronze heated up.

The kicks from the German leader just got stronger and stronger however, even Sheldon failing to make headway on him despite pulling further away from Silva along with the likes of the flowing Sandor and Erwin Vanderplanke.

Nygaard-Priester took the tape by 17 seconds from a delighted Sheldon who won silver as Lehmann drew closer in third, Baxter-Cabrera in fourth followed by Vanderplanke, Paquet, Sandor, Devay, Barclay Izzard and Miguel Tiago-Silva rounding out the top 10.

“You know it’s a hard, honest proper triathlon course,” said Grant Sheldon. “This kind of the course was the reason when I started triathlon, looked at the Brownlees, looked at Gomez, they worked hard, and I think this event epitomises that style of triathlon and it’s what I train for and work for. This year for me has been very difficult so to come to a race where I’ve got good memories, to be able to pull out of the bag, after a long season, happy days.”

“I found my legs at the half of the run and I knew that I had to do this on the last lap to try and drop the guys and luckily it worked out,” said Csongor Lehmann. “The last 500m was brutal, this course is a killer but it’s also a really enjoyable race and I am a really happy about these three weeks behind me. The plan was to start with the main climb in the front, sadly it didn’t always happen, I was in the middle and it’s really tough from there to go the front for the climb and to be in the main corners but I managed to take off the bike in the front so that was a key moment. I think I was really in control in the second part of the race.”

Results: Elite Men

1. Lasse Nygaard-Priester, GER, 01:53:31
2. Grant Sheldon, GBR, 01:54:04
3. Csongor Lehmann, HUN, 01:54:11
4. Sergio Baxter Cabrera, ESP, 01:54:21
5. Erwin Vanderplancke, BEL, 01:54:25

La Vuelta 2022 to depart from the Netherlands


La Vuelta 22 will take off on the 19th of August with a team time trial through the streets of the Dutch city of Utrecht. The second stage will be held on the 20th of August between ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Utrecht. On Sunday the 21st of August, the peloton will continue to ride through the North Brabant Region in a circuit stage, both commencing and concluding at Breda. The team presentation will take place on Thursday the 18th of August in the centre of Utrecht. This act will inaugurate Holland’s official La Vuelta departure.

La Vuelta 22 will pass through 34 Dutch municipalities over three stages. The local organising committee, led by the cities of Utrecht, Breda and ‘s-Hertogenbosch and the provinces of Utrecht and North Brabant, is made up of a group of public institutions led by Sharon Dijksma, Mayor of Utrecht: “We have finally an official date. We were looking forward to get back on track with La Vuelta Holanda’s project and now we can’t wait to get back to work. We’re putting together a wonderful program for residents and businesses as well as for all our international guests. Our aim is to further reinforce the special link that already exists between Spain and the Netherlands.”

This vision is shared by Javier Guillén, General Manager of La Vuelta: “We’re establishing new dates for a project with almost 6 years of work behind it. These extra months of waiting haven’t reduced one bit our eagerness to work together, nor the enthusiasm and ambition we have put into organising this official departure from the very first day. This departure will go down in history, marking an important milestone for both Spanish and Dutch cycling.”

The activity program connected with the official departure of La Vuelta from Holland will commence much earlier. The events that have been designed to entertain the regions and cities visited by the race will begin several months before it takes off, making the La Vuelta Holanda project a concept that goes far beyond just the three days during which it will host the stages. The organising committee has woven a contact network featuring sports clubs, schools, cultural institutions and local entrepreneurs in order to build a vast idea and activity program revolving around cycling, a healthy urban lifestyle and sustainability.

The official departure of La Vuelta from Holland also coincides with a very special occasion for the city of Utrecht, which celebrates 900 years since it was officially recognised as a city.

Great Britain Cycling Team announced for the UCI Road World Championships


The Great Britain Cycling Team make their return to international competition on the road this weekend, lining up to represent their country at the UCI Road World Championships taking place in Flanders, Belgium, from 19 – 26 September.

Mark Cavendish, Tom Pidcock, Ethan Hayter and Lizzie Deignan are amongst the travelling squad of 30 riders who will represent Great Britain in the elite, under-23 and junior categories.

Ethan Hayter, fresh from a second-placed finish at the AJ Bell Tour of Britain, has made selection for both the elite men’s road race and time trial, and in the road race he will be joined by Mark Cavendish, Tom Pidcock, Luke Rowe, Fred Wright and Jake Stewart, as well as cousins Connor and Ben Swift. Lizzie Deignan, who enjoyed victory on the road at the Tour de Suisse this year, will be joined by fellow Olympian Anna Shackley, Alice Barnes, Anna Henderson, Pfeiffer Georgi and Joss Lowden to contest the elite women’s road race, with Georgi and Lowden also set to race in the time trial.

Performance Director Stephen Park said: “I’m really looking forward to the road world championships this year, as we have some serious medal contenders within the squad in every category.

“The Road World Championships are a key feature for the Great Britain Cycling Team’s road squad, and for me, personally, it will be great to see the likes of Mark and Lizzie bring their form and experience into a team keen to do the jersey proud and bring back medals.

“It will be interesting to see how the elite men’s road race plays out, too – based on what we know about the course and with so many riders in top form, we’ve made the decision not to go with one team leader, giving us a number of options as the race plays out. The race really could belong to anyone!

“I’m looking forward to seeing how our Junior and U23 riders get on, as we have some fantastic talent emerging in these categories. I am also keen to see our mixed team time triallists attempt another podium after a brilliant bronze medal in the event’s debut in 2019. Overall, we’re expecting some strong performances across the board and it’s great to get the team back together.”

Great Britain Cycling Team for the UCI Road World Championships:

Elite Women Road Race
Lizzie Deignan
Anna Shackley
Alice Barnes
Anna Henderson
Pfeiffer Georgi
Joss Lowden

Elite Women Time Trial
Joss Lowden
Pfeiffer Georgi

Elite Men Road Race
Tom Pidcock
Luke Rowe
Fred Wright
Jake Stewart
Connor Swift
Ben Swift
Mark Cavendish
Ethan Hayter

Elite Men Time Trial
Ethan Hayter
Dan Bigham

U23 Men Road Race
Ethan Vernon
Sam Watson
Oliver Stockwell
Robert Donaldson
Lewis Askey

U23 Men Time Trial
Ethan Vernon

Junior Women Road Race
Maddie Leech
Millie Couzens
Flora Perkins
Zoe Bäckstedt

Junior Women Time Trial
Zoe Bäckstedt
Maddie Leech
Millie Couzens (reserve)

Junior Men Road Race
Max Poole
Finlay Pickering
Joshua Tarling
Jack Brough

Junior Men Time Trial
Finlay Pickering
Joshua Tarling
Max Poole (reserve)

Mixed Team Time Trial
Dan Bigham (Team Leader)
Alex Dowsett
John Archibald
Joss Lowden
Alice Barnes
Anna Henderson

40 London Marathon Charitable Trust runners to take part in 2021 event

Michelle Chenery (left) and Badr Alanizay (right) are two of The London Marathon Charitable Trust 40th Anniversary runners

The London Marathon Charitable Trust (The Trust) is this year celebrating its landmark 40th anniversary and to mark the occasion 40 runners – all from organisations that have benefited from The Trust’s funding in the past four decades – will take part in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 3 October.

Since The Trust was formed in 1981, it has awarded more than £93 million in grants to nearly 1,500 projects across London and the UK. Organisations that have been awarded grants in the past four decades were invited to apply for one of the 40 Anniversary Places. Each organisation had to show how a place in the Virgin Money London Marathon would Inspire Activity.

The chosen participants and organisations for the 40 Anniversary Places showcase a range of incredible personal stories and ways to inspire communities into activity.

They include:

Badr Alanizay, running for Active Partnerships

Badr arrived on his own in England aged 17 as a refugee from Kuwait, unable to speak English. Badr was helped by the Active Partnerships Young People Forward Project which uses the power of sport and physical activity to improve the health and wellbeing of young homeless people in the north of England and Scotland. The Trust awarded a grant of £600,000 towards this project in 2020, thanks to a donation from Virgin Money.

Badr said: “I have never done anything like this before and I wanted to give back to the Young People Forward (YPF) Project and Active Lancashire for what they had done for me. I was unhappy when I first went into supported accommodation but when I was introduced to YPF Project in Lancashire I felt like I was somebody and they listened to me and have helped me find friends.

“It was a great thing for me to be asked to represent the YPF Project in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon and to make others understand about homelessness. I feel this is a good way to make my family proud and my friends in Bidoon where I come from.”

Michelle Chenery, running for ELHAP (Every life Has A Purpose)

Michelle is a volunteer at ELHAP, committed to helping children with disability issues. Inspired by The 2.6 Challenge, while Michelle is running the 26.2 miles on Sunday 3 October, supporters and families from ELHAP will be taking part in a physical activity based around the numbers two and six. All money raised will be used to provide equipment to help children with disabilities to be physically active. The Trust awarded a grant of £15,300 to ELHAP which delivers play activities for disabled children and young people, based in five and a half acres of woodland in north east London.

Michelle said: “ELHAP is one of the most magical places I have ever visited. It’s full of fun and freedom for all the children and young people who use it. Children and young people with learning disabilities are one of the groups hardest hit by Covid. The multiple challenges of isolation, uncertainty and loss of support due to the closure of local services have triggered soaring levels of anxiety.

“We are incredibly grateful to The Trust for awarding ELHAP a London Marathon place and giving us this opportunity to galvanise our community to fundraise in the lead up to the event.”

Matt Dawson, running for Access Sport

Matt is a Trustee for Access Sport, and the Virgin Money London Marathon will be the final challenge in his ‘Tri with Access Sport’ series. In June, Matt and a team cycled 330km across the country from East to West coast and last month he swam 17km in Lake Windemere. The Virgin Money London Marathon is the final leg of his challenge. Access Sport has received several grants from The Trust to create more inclusive cycling opportunities across the UK.

Matt said: “I’m really pleased that the overall Tri With Access Sport campaign has now raised more than £13,000 which will help Access Sport to create more opportunities in sport for disabled children and those from under-served communities.

“Physical activity is a big part of my life and if I’ve inspired others to get involved then that’s a great feeling!”

Other participants include Liam Flanagan, running on behalf of the Holy Family Roman Catholic Primary School in Surrey. Born prematurely and with disabilities, Liam has found running has helped grow his confidence and he wants to show how it can help others too.

Margarett Ortiz is a member of the Youth Board at London Youth and is using her place to inspire young Londoners to connect with sport for the first time. Margarett said: “Running the London Marathon has been a childhood dream of mine! Using my place to inspire young people to get active is really important to me – I believe exercise is key in supporting good mental health and gives you the skills needed to deal with difficult times.”

Catherine Anderson, Executive Director of The London Marathon Charitable Trust, said: “We are so excited for our runners taking part in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon as part of The Trust’s 40th anniversary celebrations. All the runners are from organisations we’ve funded throughout our history, and they’ve used their place in the world’s greatest marathon to inspire activity in their local communities. We’ve loved seeing their ideas come to life – from creating virtual running clubs to organising community activities, and we can’t wait to cheer them round the course on Sunday 3 October!”

The participants taking part with a 40th Anniversary Place must be directly related to the organisation awarded a place or a beneficiary involved in the organisation’s activities.

The Trust was created by London Marathon co-founders John Disley and Chris Brasher on 13 March 1981 to distribute the surplus generated by the event to fund sport and recreation projects in London. The very first London Marathon was held on Sunday 29 March 1981 and later that year the first seven grants from The Trust were awarded, including £1,500 to the Ferndale Sports Centre in Brixton.

Forty years on, The Trust has expanded its remit to fund projects across the UK and London Marathon Events (LME) now delivers a number of world class mass participation events in running, cycling and swimming every year in addition to the London Marathon. The surplus generated by LME is passed to The Trust through corporate Gift Aid.

The 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon will take place on Sunday 3 October. It is set to be the largest marathon ever staged anywhere in the world, with up to 50,000 runners on the traditional course from Greenwich to The Mall and up to 50,000 participants completing the 26.2 miles on the course of their choice anywhere in the world between 00:00 and 23:59:59 BST. It will be televised live on BBC TV and broadcast around the globe.

The full list of The London Marathon Charitable Trust 40th Anniversary Place participants is:

Michael Adamson, English National Ballet
Dominic Addison, London Otters Rowing Club
Badr Alainzay, Active Partnerships
Iqbal Ali, Highbury Vale Blackstock Trust
Natalie Blagrove, Peabody
Ian Burks, YMCA East Surrey
Richard Cawker, Albury Sports Club Ltd
Michelle Chenery, ELHAP
Liberty Childs, Saint Francis Hospice
Edward Compson, Polka Theatre
Matthew Dawson, Access Sport CIO
Brendan Drugan, Bikes for Schools
Joe Flack, Street League
Liam Flanagan, Holy Family RC Primary School
Elaina Ford, Westminster Boating Base
Maria Garcia, Bagshot Playing Fields Association
Elizabeth Geraghty, Girls’ Learning Trust
Nathan Hall, Greenhouse Sports
James Hallsworth, Chestnut Grove Academy
Claire Hoath, South Bookham SPACE
Jemma Hulbert, Forestry England
Mohammed Ismail, Uffo Athletic and Leisure Group
Anna Jenkinson, South London Harriers
Karl Jordan De Morais, The Access to Sports Project
Juozas Kelecius, Restorative Justice for All
Robin Lunniss, Every Child, Every Day Academy Trust
Natasha Morris, Challengers
Margarett Ortiz, London Youth
Sutyee Pang, GoodGym
Francois Reynders, Chingford Cricket Club
Gill Rimmer, The Bike Project
Daniel Rose, Poplar HARCA
Olivia Salvati, Young Epilepsy
Kat Southwell, Activity Alliance
Louise Sutherland, Leatherhead Cricket Club
Mark Underwood, Phoenix Canoe Club
Barney Valentine, Fulham Good Neighbours
Heather Wallington, Elmbridge Canoe Club
Justin Wetters, Gasworks Dock Partnership
Lim Zhuo Jun, The Triangle Adventure Playground Association

Racing returns to Czech hills with Sunday’s World Triathlon Cup Karlovy Vary


For the fifth consecutive year, the World Triathlon Cup Karlovy Vary will bring its challenging Olympic-distance course to bear this weekend, as racing returns to the circuit on Sunday for the first time since Huatulco in June.

Two almighty performances 12 months ago may have seen Vincent Luis and Flora Duffy leave with the gold medals but, in the wake of Tokyo 2020 and the Edmonton Championship Finals, this year the fields will look rather different. The focus for this edition shifts to the rising stars eyeing up Paris 2024 rather than the biggest names hunting pre-Olympic preparations, and it is in races just like this that reputations can be forged.

What remains the same is the stunning course, with its two lap 1.5km swim in Rolava Lake, two part bike segment that snakes for 6.5km from there into the town before taking the athletes on 7 laps of the cobbled, hilly centre with its steep climbs and fast descents. finally closing out with an equally demanding 4-lap run. Watch all the action unfold on Sunday 12 September with the men underway at 9am local time and the women at 2pm, on

Men’s race
9am BST Sunday 12 September

The top ten in the men’s race is a who’s who of talent making its mark on the World Triathlon breakthrough top billing. Wearing the number one will be Switzerland’s Adrien Briffod, arriving with credentials galore and a list of strong results since scoring sixth here in 2019. Silver in Arzachena followed 12th in Yokohama and it was another fine, fifth-placed finish in Edmonton that sees him the top-ranked name on the start list.

The unmistakable figure of cobalt-haired Takumi Hojo has been quietly racking up some consistent performances of late, including a top ten in the Championship Finals and silver at the Asia Triathlon Championships in April. A talented swimmer, he will want to get onto the front pack and set up for a medal charge from there on Sunday.

Two in-form Hungarians start, Mark Devay having looked Series-sharp in Edmonton just as he did in Leeds back in June, Csongor Lehmann the new U23 World Champion after a scintillating display that underlined that this undeniable young talent is back at its best and ready to score a Cup gold.

Chile’s Diego Moya delivered a top 30 finish on Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 and clearly enjoyed his time at the front of the race after a typically strong swim, and was fourth behind Lehmann in Edmonton. Gabriel Sandor will also feel his time is now. The Swede has regularly trained with the headline-grabbing Norwegian team and only narrowly missed out on a Tokyo start, but stood on the World Triathlon Cup podium alongside Moya in Antwerp two years ago.

Elsewhere, Chase McQueen was in sparkling form in the USA’s mixed relay triumph in Montreal and hits only his third Cup start line full of confidence. The New Zealand duo of 2018 Youth Olympic Games Champion Dylan McCullough and Saxon Morgan also starred in that race, helping the young kiwis to a brilliant silver and both make their World Triathlon Cup debuts this weekend.

Home favourite Jan Celustka and Azerbaijan’s Rostislav Pevtsov are the two most experienced men in the field at 39 and 34-years-old respectively and will want to show the young field what they are capable of on this demanding course. Find the full start list here.

Women’s race
2pm BST Sunday 12 September

Ai Ueda wears the women’s number one on Sunday, the Japanese legend who helped rising star Niina Kishimoto’s preparations for the Tokyo Games and will be eager to return to the blue carpet herself once more. After finishing 18th here last year with the third-fastest run split, the 37-year-old will want to improve on her swim to leave less of a mountain to climb for the podium, while Kishimoto makes her debut in the Czech Republic.

The hugely popular champion here in both 2018 and 2019 was Vendula Frintova. The Czech favourite has saved some of her gutsiest performances over recent years for the home crowd and will relish the chance to score a hat-trick of wins on a course she knows very well.

The fastest run 12 months ago – a minute quicker than Flora Duffy and Ueda – was by Germany’s Lisa Tertsch, and she will be eager to bounce back from disappointment at the U23 World Championships with the kind of display that saw her win gold in Antwerp and bronze in Valencia in recent years.

Compatriot Marlene Gomez-Islinger scooped a brilliant gold in Arzachena last year and will be looking forward to another test over the Olympic distance after a career-best 17th place at the Championship Finals Edmonton last month.

Erika Ackerlund is the top-ranked American on the start line and after 13th here last year and 6th place in Huatulco, will be lazer-focused on delivering what will be needed to scoop a career-first Cup podium this weekend.

Julie Derron (SUI) will be among the favourites for a medal after a top five finish here three years ago and more recent silver behind Gomez-Islinger in Arzachena, the hills and cobbles familiar territory for the Swiss star making her fourth appearance here.

After her 7th place at the U23 World Championships, Sophie Alden makes only her second start at the Cup level, representing the new generation of British women just as Solveig Lovseth and Stine Dale are doing likewise for Norway.

Dominika Jamnicky and Emy Legault continue to provide Canada’s medal hopes with injuries to Joanna Brown and Amelie Kretz keeping them off the start lines, while Mexico’s Michelle Flipo is one of the most experienced in the field making her sixth appearance here at all levels. The full start list can be found here.