He may not fancy wearing the cycling gold-medal favourites tag, but Nicholas Paul's current vein of form certainly puts him in that position heading into the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in El Salvador. 

Paul, who started his season with a series of unstoppable performances at the UCI Nation’s Cup in Milton Canada, as well as the ‘Speed Paradise’ and the Carnival of Speed events at the National Cycling Centre (NCC) in Balmain, Couva, all in April, followed that up with victory in the Men’s Elite Sprint at the International Cycling Union (UCI) Class One event in Germany recently.

The Trinidad and Tobago stalwart again placed his class on display at the PanAm Elite Track Cycling Championships in Argentina where he won the Sprints and Keirin, while clocking a new track record 9.349 seconds in the flying 200m.

Paul also joined forces with compatriots to place second in the Team Sprint and he rightly expressed delight at the accomplishments.

"Firstly, I would like to give God thanks because without him none of this would be possible. The Pan American Cycling champions in Argentina was a great experience, my races were well executed, and I am very happy with my performance," Paul told SportsMax.tv.

"It was also great to have my countrymen there with me and a great feeling to have won a team medal as well. Everyone on the team played their part, we performed accordingly and came out with a good result," he added.

While those performances represent a massive boost to his CAC Games charge and positions him to achieve other targets this year, the 24-year-old is by no means grandstanding against rivals in El Salvador.

"I am definitely pleased with another solid performance going into the CAC Games. It's all about trying to be consistent while working towards my ultimate goal which is Olympic Games qualification.

"But every event is different, and I am confident but not overconfident, so my plan presently is to just do my best for my country while taking things one competition at a time," he shared.

Though the mindset is always to improve on previous performances and that requires a holistic approach and a strategic vision of what he wants to achieve. 

"Presently I don’t have any planned changes to my programme for CAC Games, however, I’m always focused on getting better at my craft every day, therefore changes can be made accordingly, but we will see how that goes as time goes by," Paul said.


Elinor Barker is hoping to get two for the price of one when Scotland hosts the first ever combined cycling world championships in August.

An Olympic and five-time world champion on the track, Barker has been focusing more on the road this season and said the opportunity to compete in both disciplines on home turf this summer would be unique.

“Racing a home worlds doesn’t come around very often,” Barker told the PA news agency. “So to be able to race effectively two home worlds – with the track and the road – would be phenomenal.”

Given her growing ambitions across two disciplines, Barker has put her name forward for several different events across the road and track at the Championships, and must now await the selection process.

Racing everything she has entered is out of the question. This experimental new format for a world championships, due to be used every four years before an Olympics, involves plenty of schedule clashes and riders who favour more than one discipline must compromise.

“I’ve put myself up for more races than is physically possible,” Barker said. “I guess the best-case scenario is to have to choose because there are clashes between some of the road and track events.

“I’ve put myself up for six races and if I get one or two, that will be fantastic and I’ll go all out for those. Just to be able to race would be a fantastic experience.”

Barker long planned to shift her focus more to the road after the Tokyo Olympics, signing a long-term contract with the Uno-X team, although the process was put back after she became pregnant. The 28-year-old welcomed son Nico last March.


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So much has changed for the Welshwoman since then that she had no idea what to expect of herself this season, but she has relished the challenge.


“It’s going really well,” she said. “There’s still a lot to learn and a lot of experience to gain. What I’ve been enjoying is the number of race days and also the variety.

“If one race doesn’t go to plan or I’m not as good on a cobbled section or a gravel section or whatever, that’s fine.

“There’s either a similar race in a few weeks’ time or a totally different race in a few weeks’ time and both are equally motivating, either a chance to rectify it or a chance to do something totally different.”

On Wednesday, Barker finished third in the British time trial championships as Lizzie Holden took the title ahead of Anna Morris.

It was an encouraging enough result for Barker, who was an impressive seventh at Gent-Wevelgem in March and made it to the finale of La Fleche Wallonne with the lead group in April before taking 16th.

The Giro Donne is next on the agenda, assuming the Italian race goes ahead amid problems for the organisers, and Barker is hoping to earn selection for the Tour de France Femmes which takes place at the end of July.


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She has not been ignoring the track – in February she collected Madison and team pursuit gold at the European Championships – but Barker said she feels more like a road rider these days.


“My loyalties lie with Uno-X in a situation where there is a conflict of programmes, and the track team know I’m working around it,” she said.

“In that sense I’m more of a road rider and track fits around that. I’m enjoying this approach to it and I can take the experience I get from the road and put it into the track.

“I think it makes me a better track rider than I would have been had I just continued with what I was doing with full focus on the track.”

Teenager Josh Tarling blew away the rest of the field to become the British men’s time trial champion as Lizzie Holden claimed the women’s crown at the Croft Circuit near Darlington.

Tarling is just 19 but the 6ft 4in tall Welshman towered over his rivals in more ways than one, putting more than a minute into them over the course of 41.1 kilometres as he won in a time of 48 minutes 50 seconds in windy conditions in north Yorkshire.

Bahrain-Victorious’ Fred Wright was second, 63 seconds down, with Tarling’s Ineos Grenadiers’ team-mate Connor Swift in third, but nobody could touch the young Welshman as he claimed his first win at senior level.

“It sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?” said Tarling, who was snapped up by the Ineos Grenadiers on a three-year deal last winter.

“I’m super happy. We had a plan, it was definitely an aggressive plan and we gave it a go.”

Last year Tarling won the world time trial title at junior level.

Here, he skipped the under-23 category and only looked out of place in terms of how dominant he was. Tarling is 360 days younger than Josh Charlton, who took the men’s under-23 title earlier in the day.

Wright, who came into the race still dealing with some raw emotions following the death of his team-mate Gino Mader at the Tour de Suisse last week, could only admire Tarling’s ride.

“As a ride, I was really pleased with it, Wright told the PA news agency. “It’s just a shame there was a massive kid who’s put a minute into me, so what can you do?

“He’s a super talent and I think he’s going to be the next big thing in time trialling.”

It is the third year in a row an Ineos rider has taken the title. Ethan Hayter – winner of the last two national championships – was unable to defend his title due to a broken collarbone, while Geraint Thomas also withdrew and is now expected to also sit out Sunday’s road race.

But even with some elite riders missing, Tarling’s margin of victory left little doubt as to his superiority.

Holden won the women’s event by 14 seconds from Anna Morris and 16 from Elinor Barker, completing the 27.4km course – two laps of the route – in a time of 37 minutes and two seconds.

The 25-year-old Manx rider was third in last year’s time trial as Joss Lowden took the title, and second as an under-23 rider in 2019, but this was her first time on the top step of the podium.

“It’s very special,” Holden said. “It means a lot. I had high expectations because I’ve been close many times before, and with Joss not being here, I thought it could actually be possible.

“But you never know until it happens. When I found out after I crossed the line, I couldn’t believe it.”

Holden, who left British squad Le Col-Wahoo last winter to move up to the WorldTour level with UAE Team ADQ, now hopes the win will help her case as she vies for selection for the Tour de France Femmes at the end of the month.

“Hopefully this result helps my side of it, but in the next few weeks I should hear,” said Holden, who rode in the inaugural edition of the race last summer.

“It was pretty special. I’ve never experienced a race organised like that and with the fans, it definitely felt like a different level, that’s for sure.”

Fred Wright is hoping his first professional win comes in the shape of a British title this week as he takes on Wednesday’s time trial and Sunday’s road race at the national championships.

The 24-year-old has made his name in the past couple of years with a series of plucky breakaway attempts, most notably at the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana, which brought podium finishes. But missing from the palmares is a victory.

If Wright can fix that this week it will be a significant marker, but also a hugely emotional moment for him personally just days after his Bahrain-Victorious team-mate Gino Mader died as a result of injuries suffered in a crash at the Tour de Suisse last week.

When asked about Mader, who was 26, Wright struggled for words.

“I don’t know what to say about it, it’s so difficult,” he said. “It’s been an awful few days, I’ll just leave it at that. It puts so much into perspective. Just even being asked the question gets me emotional.”

And when asked what a victory in Wednesday’s time trial at the Croft Circuit near Darlington would mean to him, Wright again wrestled with his feeling

“I don’t really know at this point,” he said. “I’d be really happy, but I think with everything that’s happened it doesn’t mean f*** all to be honest. Not that it doesn’t mean f*** all, but I just really want to race my bike and enjoy racing my bike. You find a new appreciation for it, I think.”

Wright finished a close second to Ben Swift when Lincoln hosted the nationals in 2021, a race which finished with the steep cobbled climb of Michaelgate.

Sunday’s race around Saltburn-by-the-Sea is an even more challenging one, defined by the 10 ascents of Saltburn Bank and its 22 per cent gradients, but with plenty of climbing in between too.

Geraint Thomas is on a star-studded start list and backed by several Ineos Grenadiers team-mates, while Lewis Askey, Jake Stewart, Simon Carr and Owain Doull will also line up.

Wright will be racing without any team-mates and must use his breakaway expertise if he is to make a mark, but he believes in his form.

“I think with how I’m feeling on the bike at the moment I would say it suits me,” he said. “I’m not really worried. In the Dauphine (earlier this month) on the shorter climbs I felt really comfortable so I should be all right, we shall see.

“I think I just go into it knowing I’ve got a target on my back. Jake, who is a good mate of mine, has already said he’s just going to follow me. He’s got three team-mates in the race and they’re going to sit down and say, ‘Just make sure you’re with Fred’.

“But when the course is as hard as it is, on a flat road you can get followed and waste a lot of energy, but if you go for it uphill the person behind also has to work hard. I think the course being harder hopefully makes it easier to manage the fact I’m more watched.”

Wright’s decision to race the time trial was a late one. Encouraged by the fourth place he took in the time trial at the Dauphine, Wright spied an opportunity after two-time reigning champion Ethan Hayter, his former housemate, was forced to withdraw with a broken collarbone.

“I think I’ve got a good shot at winning it,” he said. “What happened to Ethan, as much as I love him, did influence my decision to ride.

“I wasn’t sure if I was going to do and then when I saw he wasn’t going to do it I thought it’s good to have a hit out.”

World champion Remco Evenepoel pointed to the sky in tribute to Gino Mader as he won stage seven of the Tour de Suisse a day after the Swiss rider died as a result of injuries suffered in a crash at the race.

Mader, who was 26, was unable to recover from injuries sustained in a high-speed crash on a descent on Thursday and died in hospital.

Friday’s stage was cancelled, replaced by a 20km group ride along the final part of the route in memory of Mader, but on Saturday the racing was back on in line with the wishes of Mader’s family.

However, the stage to Weinfelden was inevitably a subdued affair.

Mader’s Team Bahrain-Victorious, who had ridden across the line in unison on Friday, withdrew from the race before the start, as did the Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert and Tudor Pro Cycling teams and 17 other riders, leaving 113 in the race.

Organisers had announced the time gaps for the general classification would be taken with 25 kilometres to go, removing any pressure on those riders involved in the fight for yellow before Sunday’s closing time trial.

There were no attacks until the peloton had passed that point and when they did begin, Evenepoel launched a move with 17km remaining and rode home solo, blowing a kiss and pointing to the sky as he crossed the line.

Prior to the stage, there had been questions over whether the Tour would be completed and also whether or not the women’s edition – which started on Saturday – would begin.

Race director Olivier Senn said: “After consultation with all the people involved, we as the management stand united behind this decision and are trying to hold the last two stages of the men’s race in an appropriate setting.”

Team Bahrain-Victorious have withdrawn from the Tour de Suisse following the death of rider Gino Mader on Friday.

Mader, who was 26, died as a result of the injuries he suffered in a high-speed crash on a descent in Thursday’s stage five.

Friday’s stage six was cancelled, with the peloton instead riding the final 20 kilometres of the route in a neutralised group ride in memory of Mader.

Late on Friday, race organisers announced the final two stages of the race will go ahead this weekend – a decision reached in consultation with Mader’s family.

However, his team Bahrain-Victorious will not take part in the final two stages.

“Following the tragic loss of Gino Mader, Team Bahrain Victorious has taken the decision to withdraw from Tour de Suisse @tds,” the team said on social media.

There had been questions over whether the Tour would be completed, and also whether or not the women’s edition, which starts on Saturday, would begin.

Race director Olivier Senn said: “After consultation with all the people involved, we as the management stand united behind this decision and are trying to hold the last two stages of the men’s race in an appropriate setting.”

Swiss cyclist Gino Mader has died at the age of 26 as the result of injuries suffered in a crash at the Tour de Suisse on Thursday, the Bahrain-Victorious team has announced.

Mader was involved in a high-speed crash on the descent of the Albula Pass late on stage six of the race along with American Magnus Sheffield, with both riders falling into a ravine.

Mader had been found “motionless in the water” according to a race statement, before being resuscitated by race doctors at the scene and airlifted to hospital in Chur.

However, Mader lost his fight for life on Friday morning.

“It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we have to announce the passing of Gino Mader,” a team statement said. “On Friday 16th June, following a very serious crash during stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse, Gino lost his battle to recover from the severe injuries he sustained.

“Our entire team is devastated by this tragic accident, and our thoughts and prayers are with Gino’s family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.

“Following the high-speed incident which occurred on the final descent of Thursday’s stage, the 26-year-old was resuscitated at the scene by medical staff who also performed CPR, before being airlifted to hospital.

“Despite the best efforts of the phenomenal staff at Chur hospital, Gino couldn’t make it through this, his final and biggest challenge, and at 11:30am we said goodbye to one of the shining lights of our team.”

Sheffield, 21, suffered a concussion and soft tissue damage in the crash, and was kept in hospital overnight for observation, the Ineos Grenadiers said.

Mader, who won a stage of the Giro d’Italia in 2021 and came second overall at the Tour de Romandie last year, was a hugely popular rider in the peloton and news of his death led to an outpouring of tributes.

Geraint Thomas wrote on Twitter: “I can’t believe what I’m reading. Such a sad sad day. Thoughts with everyone who knew and loved Gino.”

Former world champion Alejandro Valverde wrote: “There are no words. Terrible news. My support and love to his colleagues in @BHRVictorious as well as family and friends.”

Bahrain-Victorious managing director Milan Erzen said the team wanted to race on in Mader’s honour.

“We are devastated by the loss of our exceptional cyclist, Gino Mader,” he said. “His talent, dedication, and enthusiasm were an inspiration to us all. Not only was he an extremely talented cyclist, but a great person off the bike.

“We extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones, and our thoughts are with them during this difficult time.

“Bahrain Victorious will race in his honour, keeping his memory on every road we race. We are determined to show the spirit and passion Gino displayed, and he will always remain an integral part of our team.”

Race organisers said a doctor was at the scene of the crash within two minutes of it happening. It occurred with 14 kilometres of the 211km stage from Fiesch to La Punt remaining.

After the incident there was immediately criticism of a route that ended with a fast technical descent off the mountain to the finish line.

Former professional Adam Hansen, now president of the cyclists’ union the CPA, wrote on Twitter on Thursday night that such finishes were a “concern for riders” and said he has been working on a presentation to put to governing body the UCI and race organisers to better ensure rider safety.

British cyclist Chris Froome was ruled out of the Tour de France after sustaining multiple serious injuries in a crash on this day in 2019.

The four-time Tour champion suffered a broken femur, a broken elbow and broken ribs during his reconnaissance ahead of stage four of the Criterium de Dauphine.

It was immediately feared that Froome had broken his leg and, after being taken to a nearby hospital, further injuries were confirmed as his hopes of a fifth Tour title were dashed.

Froome was eighth in the overall classification after three stages of the eight-day Criterium de Dauphine, just 24 seconds behind leader Dylan Teuns.

The Tour was only three-and-a-half weeks away, and Froome’s preparations had been built around peaking for the race as he looked to join an elite group of just four riders to have won five Tour titles.

Froome underwent surgery at a hospital in St Etienne, where he was joined by his wife Michelle and Team Ineos doctor Richard Usher.

Ineos team principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “He had surgery to repair his femur, his hip, his elbow.

“He has got broken ribs, a little bit of internal damage as well, so he is staying in intensive care for the next couple of days and then we will go from there.”

Injury also scuppered Froome’s Tour chances in 2014, although on that occasion his hopes ended on stage five of the race itself.

Racing as defending champion, he was forced to pull out following a third crash in two days, suffering a fractured left wrist and right hand.

Froome’s absence meant that 2018 Tour winner Geraint Thomas would be Team Ineos’ leader for the Tour.

Three months later, Froome posted on social media that he was back in training on the road.

Antiguan cyclist Andre Simon passed away at a medical facility in Houston, Texas on Thursday, his family confirmed.

Simon’s death comes 13 months after he was left physically paralyzed after being hit by a car along with fellow cyclists Sean Weathered, Ghere Coates and Tiziano Rosignoli along the Sir George Walter Highway.

Simon was airlifted to the US after the accident where he continued to receive treatment.

He was 35-years-old.

His family also thanked all who were involved in the valiant efforts made to assist him.


It is so far so good for top Trinidad and Tobago cyclist Nicholas Paul on the international circuit, and he is determined to keep that rhythm going for the remainder of the season.

While he is well aware that it is easier said than done, Paul has no intentions of overthinking things. Instead, the 24-year-old is focused on the basics –ensuring he is fit, healthy and trusting the process.

Paul's revelation came after he won the Men’s Elite Sprint gold medal at the International Cycling Union (UCI) Class One event in Germany recently, which he believes puts him on course to achieve his targets this year.

The win followed his series of unstoppable performances at the UCI Nation’s Cup in Milton Canada, as well as the ‘Speed Paradise’ and the Carnival of Speed events at the National Cycling Centre (NCC) in Balmain, Couva, all in April.

"My race in Germany was great. I came away with the victory in the sprints and I executed all my other races well, so I’m really pleased with my performance," Paul said.

"So, in terms of my readiness and preparations, I am on track in regard to my set goals, I just have to keep working hard to get faster, stronger and smarter for the rest of my upcoming races," he added.

In any sport, there are always ups and downs and when things are going bad it seems a bit harder, much like Paul experienced during a challenging but successful 2022 season through which he had to exercise patience, persistence and more importantly, smile in the face of adversity.

At the start of that season, Paul crashed and broke his collarbone at the First Nations Cup in Glasgow, Scotland and was out of training and competitions for about two months. 

After recovering from that injury, the Gasparillo-born cyclist went on to win two gold medals at the Third Nations Cup in Cali, Colombia and followed that up with impressive performances at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, setting a new Games Record in the flying 200m Time Trial. He also won a full set of medals gold, silver and bronze in the Keirin, Sprints and 1km Time Trial.

But then came another setback.

"My last event should have been the World Championship in France. However, another unfortunate crash in preparation for the World Championship prematurely ended my 2022 season," Paul shared.

"So, there were a lot of highs and lows last season, but they taught me a lot as an athlete. My mental preparedness in sports has been enhanced and I am very clear that nothing is impossible once you put your mind to it. Hurdles are sometimes a part of life but the lesson is how you rise above your hurdles," he said.

Now that things are back on track and he is currently enjoying a high, Paul is hoping to add more silverware from the Pan American Cycling Championships, the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, World Championships and the Pan American Games, to his collection.

"But my overall goal for this year and beyond is to firstly qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games and secondly, try to win a medal or medals at the Olympic Games for Trinidad and Tobago," Paul declared.

Olympic BMX silver medallist Kye Whyte feels grassroots clubs can continue to help guide youngsters on a safe pathway through any socio-economic challenges within their communities.

Whyte, 23, grew up in south London where his father Nigel was a co-founder of the Peckham BMX Club in Burgess Park, which aims to steer young people away from gang culture and crime.

The youngest of three brothers, Whyte also went on to represent Great Britain, winning silver at the 2018 European Championship in Glasgow before finishing second in the BMX final at the Tokyo Olympics.

Whyte – who has since taken silver in the 2022 UCI BMX World Championships as well claiming the European title in Belgium last summer – recently returned to his Peckham roots to help launch the ‘Play Their Way’ campaign by the Children’s Coaching Collaborative which is funded through Sport England and the National Lottery.

Having seen first hand how such projects have helped young people develop, Whyte is in no doubt of the important impact they can have – both on and off the track.

“We have had kids and teenagers come here who are on a troubled path, but want to go on to a different path,” Whyte told the PA news agency.

“They have then become volunteer coaches, helping clean the bikes and pack them away. It is a great way to keep kids off the streets and doing something fun.”

Whyte added: “Getting kids into racing is no problem, but if they want their own bike it can be hard to finance that.

“If they can’t afford it (to buy), we can help them by lending bikes and providing helmets for training or even if they need them for racing events as well.”

In Tokyo, Whyte won Britain’s first BMX medal since the event’s introduction to the Olympic programme in 2008.

There was more success shortly afterwards at the Ariake Urban Sports Park when Beth Shriever claimed gold in the women’s race.

As Shriever collapsed in tears following her victory, a jubilant Whyte scooped his team-mate up and held her aloft in what was one of the most memorable moments of the delayed 2020 Games.

“All we want for the sport is for it to be more enjoyable and better for the future,” said Whyte.

“While we are in it, that is all we can do – to push it as much as we can.

“Having gone to the Olympics to get a medal, we have put the sport onto the map and at a bigger level.”

Whyte is working his way back to full fitness after suffering a broken shoulder blade during a BMX European Cup event in Latvia last month.

The 23-year-old is firmly focused on a return to form ahead of the World Championships in Glasgow during August.


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“I am on the mend, keeping the physio up. We will push through and get there in the end,” he said.

“If you are thinking about it (injuries), then it will probably happen, just because you are riding more wary or cautious.”

Whyte added: “When we were in Glasgow in 2018 (for the European Championships), they had grandstands up and I am pretty sure that nobody there had a clue what BMX was.

“But the crowd was absolutely mental, so I think it will be a great event again.”

Tom Pidcock is reluctant to call it a target but the opportunity to take the yellow jersey on the opening weekend of this year’s Tour de France has not escaped his notice.

The 23-year-old will race his second Tour this July, and said his goal is to do better than he did on debut last summer.

That might seem a lofty ambition given how Pidcock stormed to a stunning solo stage victory on the Alpe d’Huez, the descending skills with which he escaped his breakaway companions still talked of with awe.

But it would get even more attention if the Ineos Grenadiers rider enjoyed a spell in yellow, and a lumpy opening stage in the Basque Country offers a rider of Pidcock’s talents a chance.

“I think it is (an opportunity), yeah,” he told the PA news agency. “It’s a possibility and something that I am aware is a possibility. I think the first stage of the Tour is one that can be treated like a one-day classic, it’s going to be a super-hard day.”

When told that sounds non-committal, Pidcock quickly adds: “I’m just playing it down.”

Pidcock, who proved his one-day credentials at Strade Bianche in March, is far from alone in eyeing that opening stage, but he has other goals in July too.

He wants to show greater consistency in the general classification, and also to win a stage from the main bunch rather than a break.

“Last year I was going to the Tour two months after being ill in the spring and then getting Covid, it was not the perfect lead in,” he said. “I think this year I’m stronger and I can do better, basically.”

Pidcock is certainly riding high on the back of his recent spell on the mountain bike.

The Olympic champion took two victories from the World Cup round in Novo Mesto, first storming from last to first to win a short track race he only learned he was riding with a couple of hours’ notice, then recovering from a lap-five crash to win the cross-country race.


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It came after he finished second in Liege-Bastogne-Liege and third in the Amstel Gold Race at the end of April.

The run of form is affirmation for the work Pidcock did in the winter, when he chose not to defend his cyclo-cross world title but instead focus on conditioning.

Although a crash at Tirreno-Adriatico in late March punched a hole in some of his ambitions, the core fitness remains.

“Definitely I feel I’m a bit more robust and certainly at a higher level and I have been for longer and I think that’s partly from the extra time spent building a base preparing,” he said. “I think that’s only going to carry into the rest of the season.”

Throughout his young career to date, the Yorkshireman has juggled the demands of road, mountain bike and cross, but always knew there would come a time when something had to give. This season has shown how that might look.

“I think if I want to achieve the goals I do on the road, certainly there are going to have to be sacrifices in other disciplines,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean they don’t contribute and help with those ambitions.”

There are likely to be sacrifices too at August’s World Championships in Scotland, where the first combined multi-discipline championships is creating dilemmas for several athletes given the schedule clashes.

Pidcock plans to race his mountain bike, so is strongly leading towards skipping the road race which comes first and could come at a cost.

“I don’t want to do both and go home with nothing,” he said. “I’d want to ride the road race because it’s a home race and it will be a super nice experience and I think the worlds is a very special particular race where you never know what will happen.

“It wouldn’t be a bad thing to ride, I want to ride, but would it be the best thing? I don’t know.”

:: Tom Pidcock is a Red Bull athlete. Watch him appear in ‘Race Tapes‘, the new Red Bull series that delves into the lives of the world’s leading riders across all disciplines.

Mark Cavendish won the final stage of his last Giro d’Italia to spark scenes of huge emotion in Rome as Primoz Roglic confirmed his overall victory.

Cavendish, who announced on the second rest day of this race that this season would be his last, made it look easy as he opened up several bike lengths over Alex Kirsch and Fernando Gaviria even before a crash on the final approach split the bunch.

It was a 17th career Giro stage win for the 38-year-old Manxman, who kept alive his record of winning at least one stage every time he had taken part in the Italian Grand Tour.

It was also Cavendish’s first win of the season and first with the Astana-Qazaqstan team, a timely confidence boost as he now turns his attentions to the Tour de France and his bid to take the stage win record there outright.

Astana may not have the greatest sprint pedigree or a lead-out train for Cavendish, but that hardly mattered when he had Geraint Thomas – who lost the pink jersey to Roglic on Saturday’s time trial – lending a hand, the Ineos Grenadiers rider offering a lead-out going into the final two kilometres.

The oldest ever stage winner in Giro history was a hugely popular one as Roglic and Thomas were quick to offer their congratulations.

Roglic takes the overall win by 14 seconds from Thomas, the fourth smallest margin of victory in Giro history.

Emily Bridges has condemned British Cycling’s new policy barring transgender athletes from competing as women as a “violent act” and called the governing body a “failed organisation”.

Bridges, who came out as a transgender woman in October 2020, has been at the centre of the debate after British Cycling suspended its previous policy amid the controversy sparked when she sought to race as a woman at the national omnium championships last year.

The new policy creates a new ‘open’ category in which transgender women, transgender men, non-binary individuals and those whose sex was assigned male at birth will be eligible to compete, with the ‘female’ category reserved for those assigned female at birth and transgender men yet to begin hormone therapy.

In a lengthy statement posted on social media, Bridges said British Cycling “have no authority to control this conversation anymore”.

“British Cycling is a failed organisation, the racing scene is dying under your watch and all you do is take money from petrochemical companies and engage in culture wars,” she wrote.

“You don’t care about making sport more diverse, you want to make yourself look better and you’re even failing at that. Cycling is still one of the whitest, straightest sports out there, and you couldn’t care less.”

British Cycling said its new policy was based on a consultation with riders and stakeholders, a review of available medical research conducted by chief medical officer Dr Nigel Jones, and legal advice.

Bridges has previously said she has been part of research herself which she said showed she did not retain an advantage after hormone replacement therapy.

Her statement on Friday added: “I agree that there needs to be a nuanced policy discussion and continue to conduct research, but this hasn’t happened.

“Research isn’t being viewed critically, or any discussion about the relevance of the data to specific sports.

“Any discussion is inherently political and driven by bad faith actors, and the whole discussion is framed by the media who are driven through engagement by hate and funding from far-right ultra-capitalists.

“I’ve given my body up to science for the last two years, and this data will be out soon. There is actual, relevant data coming soon and discussions need to be had.”

Bridges, who was previously part of the Great Britain academy with designs on competing at the Paris Olympics, said she was now questioning her future in the sport.

“I don’t even know if I want to race my bike any more, the danger and everything that would come with racing makes it a pretty hard thing to justify to myself,” she wrote.

“But you have no right on telling me when I am done. This is my decision and mine alone.

“Yeah, I might be speaking strongly at the moment, but this is my reality right now. It is literally a fight for survival for me and my family at the moment.”

British Cycling declined to respond to Bridges’ statement.

British Cycling will prevent riders who were born male from racing in elite female events under a new transgender and non-binary participation policy published on Friday.

The governing body’s new rules for competitive events, due to be implemented later this year, will see racing split into “open” and “female” categories, with transgender women, transgender men, non-binary individuals and those whose sex was assigned male at birth eligible to compete in the open category.

The female category will remain for those whose sex was assigned female at birth, and transgender men who are yet to begin hormone therapy.

The current men’s category will be consolidated into the open category, in which those whose sex was assigned as female at birth can also compete if they so wish.

British Cycling suspended its previous policy last April amid controversy after transgender woman Emily Bridges sought to race at the national omnium championships as a female rider.

The governing body’s new chief executive Jon Dutton, who has been in post for one month, said he was “sorry” for the anxiety and upset caused during the 13 months since.

The policy is the result of a nine-month review which included a consultation process with riders and stakeholders, including members of the Great Britain team, as well as a study of available medical research led by British Cycling’s chief medical officer Dr Nigel Jones.

That research was said to show a clear performance advantage for individuals who go through puberty as a male, and one which cannot be fully mitigated by testosterone suppression.

British Cycling’s previous transgender policy allowed riders to compete in the female category if they had testosterone levels below five nanomoles per litre for a 12-month period prior to competition.

The governing body will continue to study new research as it becomes available with the policy being regularly reviewed.

Dutton said the driving force behind the competitive policy was “fairness”, while a non-competitive policy that keeps club rides, coaching programmes and other activities open to all was driven by “inclusivity”.

“It’s an incredibly emotive and at times divisive subject area,” Dutton said.

“We have taken many months to look at three areas: firstly a consultation with the athletes affected and the wider cycling community; secondly looking at the medical research available at this point in time; and thirdly from the legal viewpoint in terms of the association with the Equalities Act.

“We’ve made a decision on the balance of all three to give clarity, to give direction and that clear way forward for any athletes affected.”

British Cycling has sought to contact affected athletes prior to publication of the new policy, with Dutton saying support would be offered to those whose route to competing at an elite level may now be closed.

“We accept that and understand that, and that’s why we need to continue to support those affected,” he added.

“I am sorry it has taken so long to get to this point and for the upset and anxiety some people have had to go through but I accept this is a difficult moment for a number of people directly affected.”

There is still no set date for the new regulations to be implemented, with the governing body saying only that it will be before the end of the year, allowing time for changes to technical regulations and discussions with the UCI regarding implementation.

The new policy diverges from that of the world governing body, which promised to look again at its own regulations after American transgender woman Austin Killips won the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico earlier this month.

The UCI allows transgender women who have gone through male puberty to compete in elite women’s events if they have had reduced testosterone levels of 2.5 nanomoles per litre for the previous two years.

The UCI reopened its consultation with athletes and national federations with the aim of reporting by August when the UCI management committee will meet during the world championships in Glasgow.

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