Your Saturday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

December 31, 2016

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Van Aert outsprints Sweeck for Bredene win; De Jong back on top at Bredene; Mathieu van der Poel unlikely to race GP Sven Nys; Nicole Cooke: British Cycling has many questions to answer; Gianni Meersman forced to retire due to cardiac arrhythmia; New kit design, bike sponsor for UnitedHealthcare; Oldest Tour de France winner dies; Video: Gold Coast Hinterland; Happy new year!

Nicole Cooke: British Cycling has many questions to answer

by CyclingTips

In an op-ed piece for The Guardian, Nicole Cooke, a former world and Olympic champion for Great Britain, writes that her take-away from the hearing by the British Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport select committee, is that British Cycling still has many questions to answer — particularly in regards to blatant sexism within the organisation. Here is an excerpt:

Nicole Cooke wins the 2003 Women's Amstel Gold Race ahead of Australia's Olivia Gollan.

Nicole Cooke wins the 2003 Women’s Amstel Gold Race ahead of Australia’s Olivia Gollan.


The apparent lack of knowledge of so many in the support staff did not chime with my own experiences; medical privacy was an early loss in maintaining best health as we all discussed the optimal way forward from any injury. I can usefully add other dimensions. Three of the four witnesses before the committee have just spent six months locked into an investigation asking: “Does sexism exist in British Cycling?” Why did the top management deem it acceptable to use the publicly funded national women’s team road manager, Cope, in the role of a basic courier?

As the saga developed this year, Cope came up with information entirely new and disturbing to me. In an interview he said that in 2011 he had “been working with Sky a lot and been running training camps with Brad. I spent a month in Mallorca with Brad and the lads motor-pacing.”

Throughout early 2011 I was attempting to get Cope to run a single training camp for the women riders he was meant to be managing. At the world championships in 2010 I had been fourth and lack of teamwork was a factor in not getting a better result. For 2011 I hoped to regain my title of 2008. Of course we were also looking forward to London 2012, where I would be the defending champion.

Eventually I got Cope to agree to a camp to prepare for the world championships in Copenhagen and we both proposed it to Brailsford and Sutton – the same pair who apparently think it fine to fly a courier with a €10 med 1,000 miles across Europe. I have the email and Sutton’s response turning down the training camp suggestion. Nothing was put in its place, and so the women went to another world championships without having conducted a single team camp. Needless to say, our team preparation was insufficient.

Click through to read more at The Guardian.

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