Stephanie Morton has delivered a challenge to Anna Meares ahead of Friday night's sprint finals at the Australian track cycling championships in Adelaide.

Stephanie Morton has again issued a serious challenge to cycling superstar Anna Meares' bid for yet another Australian title.

Morton became the first woman to break the 11-second barrier in the sprint at an Australian championships with a stunning qualifying ride in  Adelaide Super-Drome on Thursday night.

Morton, who was the last cyclist to down the revered Meares in a sprint final at the national titles with her win in the 2013 final, clocked 10.937s in the opening round of qualifying.

Since then, Meares has prevailed and on Friday night she will seek her ninth Australian sprint crown, and her 35th national title overall.

Morton, who partnered Meares in a team sprint triumph on Wednesday night in Adelaide, will meet Kaarle McCulloch in a semi-final on Friday night.

Meares will race Madison Janssen in the other semi-final.

In the men's sprint, world No.1 Matt Glaezter was the fastest of eight qualifiers for Friday's quarter-finals, with Shane Perkins and Patrick Constable also advancing.

The second day of racing saw Sam Welsford (WA) and Sydney's Ashlee Ankudinoff crowned as 2016 individual pursuit national champions. Victorian Caitlin Ward broke through to claim a maiden 500m time trial title.

Friday 5 Feb 2016

Road rage incidents aside, video can also be great for clearing up liability disputes in a collision, and not just for cyclists – dashboard cameras are also becoming increasingly popular with motorists, as any number of Facebook pages will attest.

Sydney cyclist Paul Ludlow was able to use footage to prove he had right of way in a Crows Nest collision that sent his bike flying through the air and put him in hospital.

There are many different models of sports cameras that can be repurposed for cycling, such as the Contour Roam and the ubiquitous GoPro. But perhaps the most interesting innovation has been the Australian-invented Fly6 – a combination of rear-facing red safety light and video camera – which captured the incidents in Sydney and Perth.

With a significant percentage of car-cyclist collisions involving cyclists being hit from behind, it could prove vital in identifying what happened.

More at Executive Style.

 Almost one year and a half since his last victory, which came in 2014 on Stage 4 of the now definct Tour of Beijing, Dan Martin put himself on the top step of a podium.

Martin claimed the Stage 2 mountain finish of the the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana in Spain ahead of Jesus Herrada (Movistar) and race leader Wout Pouls (Sky).

“Even from the start of today’s stage I really believed I had a chance to win," Martin said. " I had the legs, I managed to score this victory and have that perfect start to the season.

"With three kilometers to go, there was a flat section which was really fast. Many riders used it to come at the front, and at one moment I was bad positioned. Then I moved up, (Daniel) Navarro attacked and when I looked up and saw we are entering the last kilometer, I decided to give it a go.

“I sprinted three times, and in the last 250 meters, which were in a downhill, I already knew I had won. The victory came also as a result of the excellent job of my team, with the guys being fantastic throughout the day.”

There were 32 cycling fatalities on Australian roads in 2015 according to BITRE’s Road Deaths Database. That’s a lot lower than the 45 deaths in 2014 and 50 in 2013. It’s the lowest since 2009.

And 32 very likely overstates the dangers to cyclists from other road users. Nine of those fatalities didn’t involve another vehicle; it’s probable that most of this subset were the consequence of health issues like heart attack from exertion (see Is it just vehicles or are MAMILs killing themselves too?).

You can see a chart of historical cycling fatalities in this article I wrote in September last year (luckily, my prediction for 2015 was spot on). It shows cycling fatalities in Australia declined slightly over the last 20 years.

However as the exhibit indicates, the number of serious injuries suffered by cyclists on roads (i.e. that required hospitalisation) increased significantly over the fourteen years from 2000 to 2014. The data is for Victoria but I expect the general trend applies nationally.

More at Crikey.

Here in Australia, now that the 2016 Cyclocross World Championships have been run and won, the passionate great unwashed masses start to turn their eye to the southern hemisphere Cyclocross season. There is plenty to be excited about too, with dates for local and state series already being announced in Victoria, NSW, W.A, QLD as well as the certainty of another successful Crossfire Cup series in Adelaide. Cross is strong and getting stronger.

What is good about the health of local Cyclocross? The level of participation and involvement. It’s people turning up with no agenda willing to volunteer by either sitting on rego desk for an hour, or helping set up the course, or marshalling a corner during a race – anything to help  – all before, or after, pinning on a number and racing themselves mostly just for the thrill of it. The sport is growing faster than any other cycling discipline in Australia and the accessibility along with the friendly feel at local races is the reason for this growth.

More at Australian Cyclo-cross Magazine.

 

The Russian anti-doping Agency (RUSADA) has handed two-time European track cycling champion Yelena Brezhniva a four year ban for doping offences, the organization announced on its website www.rusada.ru on Thursday. 

According to the R-Sport news agency, a sample taken from Brezhniva found traces of growth hormones.

The 26-year-old's suspension started on June 22, 2015.

Brezhniva first represented Russia in 2008. In 2013 and 2014 she won the European team sprint title.