British Cycling is facing a leadership vacuum ahead of the rearranged Tokyo 2020 Games after its chief executive confirmed plans to swap saddles and instead take the reins at the British Horseracing Authority. Julie Harrington, 51, will take over as chief executive of racing’s ruling body in the New Year, replacing Nick Rust, who announced his intention to leave in February. She leaves British Cycling after a turbulent two years in which the organisation dealt with the fallout of doping investigations and was dealt a fresh £30million blow when HSBC UK triggered a break clause in its eight-year sponsorship deal. Reflecting on her short spell in cycling, Harrington said "there have been challenges but it has been hugely rewarding and a lot of fun." Harrington becomes the first woman to head racing’s regulator, having been seen as a strong contender from an early stage when it emerged in April that she was interested in the post. She arrives at the BHA head offices in Holborn, London, having already spent four years as a non-executive board member until stepping down last year. Top of her agenda will be to address the financial consequences of Covid-19 on racing’s participants and racecourses. The prize-money cuts that have followed have pushed horsemen’s representatives and the tracks into open hostility. Brexit and the impact of the government's review of the 2005 Gambling Act will also require a response while a new horse welfare strategy, announced in February which includes a consultation on jockeys’ use of the whip, has to be implemented.
Elinor Barker, the British Olympic track cycling champion, has slammed proposals to weigh children when they return to school in September to check if they have lost ‘lockdown weight’. Last month, the National Obesity Forum called for children to be weighed in school when they return to the classroom in a bid to tackle obesity among pupils after the lockdown. The charity’s chairman, Tam Fry, suggested some children will struggle to fit into their school uniforms due to months of snacking and doing little or no exercise in recent months. The issue, which was discussed on Monday’s episode of Channel 5's The Jeremy Vine Show, drew criticism from viewers, who labelled the idea as ‘disgusting’ and ‘damaging’ while others suggested the idea could lead to eating disorders among children. The debate prompted Cardiff-born Barker, who won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the team pursuit, to hit out at the idea on social media, citing her own experience as an elite athlete to show that “lighter is not always better”.
Chris Froome has been confirmed in Ineos’s line-up for this week’s Critérium du Dauphiné as speculation intensifies regarding his Tour de France selection. An Ineos team containing last year’s Tour winner Egan Bernal, as well as the two previous Tour winners Geraint Thomas and Froome, found themselves well beaten by rivals Jumbo-Visma at last week’s Tour de l’Ain. Froome and Thomas, both working as domestiques, showed glimpses of form, Froome in particular with a fierce turn on the Grand Colombier. But they dropped well back after doing their work, prompting some to suggest they are not ready for the Tour. Bernal called for calm afterwards. “Some other big riders from other teams were also dropped early today,” he insisted. “That doesn't mean that they won't be up there in the GC (general classification) at the Tour de France. We need to be calm and to know that we're just here to train.” That has not stopped L’Equipe from speculating about Froome’s place in Ineos’ line-up for the Tour, where he hopes to be vying for a record-equalling fifth win. The French sports daily claims Ineos has already chosen seven of their eight riders, with Bernal to be joined by Pavel Sivakov, Thomas, Jonathan Castroviejo, Dylan van Baarle, Michal Kwiatkowski and Tao Geoghegan Hart. If true, it would leave Froome — who is joining Israel Start-Up Nation at the end of the year — fighting with the likes of Luke Rowe, Ineos’ road captain in recent years, for the final spot. Ineos say they have yet to decide, with the Critérium du Dauphiné likely to make up their minds. Ineos will have all three of their Tour winners — Froome, Thomas and Bernal — in their line-up, plus Sivakov, Castroviejo, Van Baarle and Kwiatkowski. The race has been reduced from its usual eight stages to just five. It starts on Wednesday and finishes on Sunday. Former team-mate and Tour winner Sir Bradley Wiggins said it was not too late for Froome, who is returning from last year’s life-threatening accident at the Dauphiné, to make Ineos’ Tour squad. "Bearing in mind we’re three weeks away from the Tour now, the business end of the Tour is five weeks away so you don’t want to be backing off yet," Wiggins said in his Eurosport podcast on Monday. "There’s still time to get improvements and Froome will improve with every race he does because of where he’s coming from which was basically in intensive care at one point.” Wiggins, meanwhile, called for the introduction of sprint lanes at the end of stages following the horrific crash at last week's Tour of Poland that led to Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick Step])being placed into an induced coma. “For the protection of the sport I instantly thought of a 100-metre race in athletics and the lanes,” Wiggins said. “Lots of sprinters sprint with their head down looking five metres ahead and are constantly aware of riders coming up and sometimes you can tend to drift when you’re just looking that way and naturally drift slightly as Groenewegen did.”
The 2020 Tour de France begins on Saturday, August 29 through September 20. The three-week long event was originally scheduled to take place from June 27 to July 19 but was postponed because of the pandemic. This year marks the 107th edition of the event and the first time since the end of World War