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NewsWire: Westra a Flanders contender; Cav launches sports scholarships

In our daily NewsWire, we bring you the intriguing stories from newspapers, journals and elsewhere around the world of competitive cycling. Pour your coffee, mute your phone and read on.

Devolder: ‘Westra a contender on Sunday — De Telegraph

After Lieuwe Westra’s strong rides at Three Days of De Panne, Paris-Nice and elsewhere, his Vacansoleil teammate and two-time Flanders winner Stijn Devolder says he is a man to watch.

“Pay attention to Lieuwe, who is is in my opinion one of the contenders Sunday,” Devolder to De Telegraph.

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Vansummeren not prosecuted for helmetless motorcycle ride — Gazet Van Antwerpen

Defending Paris-Roubaix champion Johan Vansummeren was caught on camera riding a motorcycle without a helmet during his Tour of Flanders pre-ride on Wednesday, which is illegal in Belgium.

“I did not ride more than a few hundred meters,” he countered media criticism.

The police of Oudenaarde will not punish Vansummeren. “We can’t draw any conclusions,” they said. “That can only happen if the violation is identified by an authorized official. These images are not valid. But we disapprove of this behavior.”

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Cavendish launches Isle of Man sports scholarships — Cycling Weekly

Mark Cavendish announced on Thursday night that he will fund three annual scholarships for promising sportspeople on his native Isle of Man.

“This island is great at producing sportspeople across the board, across all sports — but you can’t show it when you’re on an island, you need to get away,” said Cavendish, speaking at the Isle of Man Sportsman of the Year awards.

“I was able to do that when I was younger for one reason, and that was through the help from Sports Aid Foundation. Without that, I really couldn’t have got away. I was going away every Friday and then getting back on a Monday. Even with the amount that they gave me, sometimes I’d have to win races just to be able to eat my dinner on the ferry on the way home.”

“It’s obvious, you need backing not just in financial ways but also in everything in that the sports council does. I thought now I’m in a position to help people who are in the same boat — literally — that I was in.”

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Meares not ready to call off truce with rival — Sydney Morning Herald

On the decidedly hot topic of her rivalry with British sprint queen Victoria Pendleton, Anna Meares did not exactly fan the fire. But she made no attempt to douse it either.

Rivalry, Australia’s leading track sprinter said while preparing to meet Pendleton at the track world championships in Melbourne next week, is a fact of competitive life. Friendship with the ones you wish to defeat, Meares added, is a rarity rather than a rule.

”Sometimes with great rivalries you can’t have a great friendship,” Meares said.

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