First Edition Regional News for March 21, 2003
Edited by Anthony Tan
CTC challenges Government plans for yellow speed cameras
Further to their strong stance opposing mandatory helmet use (see Tuesday's news), UK/Ireland national cyclists' organisation CTC is backing a High Court challenge to government plans to paint speed cameras yellow.
CTC, as well as representatives of other transport and road safety groups, including Transport 2000, the Slower Speeds Initiative, RoadPeace and Jenny Jones (London Mayor's Road Safety Ambassador), are seeking to overturn Government guidance that came into force in June 2002 requiring all fixed speed cameras in safety camera partnership areas to be painted yellow and sited conspicuously.
Campaigners are concerned that brightly painted conspicuous cameras might not work as effectively as inconspicuous ones. They argue that if cameras are highly visible, drivers will slow down when they see one but then speed up again afterwards when the coast is clear. Transport 2000 and the Slower Speeds Initiative also accuse the Government of taking the decision to paint cameras yellow on PR rather than safety grounds.
Instead, campaigners would like to see safety camera partnerships (incorporating the police, the local authority and others) given the discretion to enforce speed limits in the way that they think is appropriate to their local area. This would mean allowing the use of covert (non-yellow) cameras where appropriate.
Roger Geffen, Campaigns and Policy Manager at CTC, said: "The Government must act to raise awareness that speeding is a lethal crime wherever you do it, and not just in front of a yellow camera. Sixty-five per cent of motorists break the 30mph limit, yet the difference between this and 35mph can mean life or death for a pedestrian or cyclist."
Lawyers representing Transport 2000 and the Slower Speeds were due to appear at the Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand, London, at 10.30am on Thursday March 20, 2003.
Walsh lends a hand to Crows' call for help
Former head coach of Australian track cycling, Charlie Walsh, has been back in Australia helping athletes of a different kind - the Adelaide Crows football team, one of the top clubs in the Australian Football League (AFL).
Walsh was introduced to the Crows through assistant coach Neil Craig, a one-time protégé of Walsh in the Adelaide-based Australian elite cycling program. In response to the growing number of knee injuries associated with this particular code of football, Walsh was asked to develop a regular training regime for some of the Crows' top athletes, notably Andrew McLeod, Mark Bickley, Matthew Bode and Wayne Carey.
To increase aerobic fitness, leg speed and explosive power while minimising impact on their knees, Walsh and Adelaide Crows fitness coordinator Stephen Schwerdt introduced a program based around intense, 80 minute cycling sessions.
By carefully adjusting the loads and pedal cadence, Walsh believes the sessions have improved not only the players' endurance but his overall leg speed.
"Our injury list at the moment is amazing," said Rhett Biglands, a player with the Crows. "It is probably the best it has been since I have been at the club."
Walsh held the top job at the Australian Institute of Sport's men's and women's track cycling program for 20 years until he was succeeded by Martin Barras in July 2001. Among other duties, Walsh is chairman of the Cycling New Zealand's High Performance Development Board.
Source: News Interactive, March 19, 2003
Tamworth's finest off to Sydney
Sam Spokes and Toby Maher, two of Tamworth's finest junior cyclists, have been invited to compete in the prestigious Clarence St Cup at the Dunc Gray Velodrome in Bankstown, Sydney this Saturday night.
The two boys are among a group of six who have been identified as emerging talent, and all six riders have been invited to compete at one of New South Wales' premier track cycling events. "It's a big kick for the kids to be with such illustrious company," Sam's father Allan Spokes said.
Not only will the two boys be competing at the 2000 Olympics cycling venue, but they will both be assigned their own champion cyclist as a mentor for the night, something they are obviously very excited about.
News from Ireland
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
Three weeks into the cycling season and one name that has certainly caught the imagination is none other than the 24 year-old David O'Loughlin from Cong in Co. Mayo.
Although representing the Ofoto Lombardi outfit based in San Francisco, O'Loughlin is currently studying in Limerick University, and between now and the end of May, O'Loughlin will race here and on the odd occasion will go Stateside.
"I am scheduled to do the Tour of Georgia starting just after Easter; hopefully my form will sustain until then. Three wins out of three outings have given me a great boost so far. The fact that the victories were fashioned in different circumstances is also a plus," said O'Loughlin.
This Sunday he has pencilled in the Bohermeen Grand Prix, which certainly is the highlight of the cycling program this weekend. FBD Milk Ras organiser Dermot Dignam also issued a timely reminder regarding final team selection: "It's make your mind up time for clarification of team line-ups, so hopefully we'll have everything done and dusted on Sunday after the Grand Prix," said Dignam.
Tomorrow in Roundwood, the Christy McManus road race will be held for all bar first category competitors. On Patrick's Day performance in Batterstown, Thomas Duggan could be the one to deny Sean Bracken a trio of wins in the event, which is always competitive.
University Hill back on the program
The Excel Sports Boulder University Hill Criterium, part of the 10th Annual Colorado Cycling Festival, will be the first of three road races to be held on April 6 and 12-13, 2003.
Over the past 25 years, Boulder's University Hill area has had its share of cycling events dating all the way back to the late 1970's. In 1997, the University Hill Criterium was one of three stages in a large USCF National Points Calendar stage race called the Red River Stage Classic that drew cycling professionals from all over the nation.
The Colorado Cycling Festival (CCF) also includes the Stazio Criterium and the Roubaix Road Race. The event is expected to attract more than 2,000 racers, including many world-class athletes.
Inaugural Dirt Road Duathlon in Boulder County
The first duathlon to be held on the charming dirt roads of Boulder County will be the Dirt Road Duathlon at the Boulder Reservoir on Sunday June 8, 2003.
The event will consist of a five kilometre run, followed by a 30km, three-lap ride around the Boulder Reservoir and ending with another five kilometre run. The course will be held predominantly on dirt roads and smooth trails, so athletes will have to choose between their trail shoes and racing flats, and decide whether to ride their road, cross or mountain bike.
Victorian Cyclist of the Year awards
CycleSport Victoria will be holding the inaugural CSV Awards Dinner at the Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne on Friday May 9, 2003. The night will see the presentation of the Victorian Cyclist of the Year and Victorian Track, MTB and road cyclists of the year in both male and female categories. The night will also include a cycling memorabilia auction plus entertainment.
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