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Thursday January 4, 2018 Pro tips for

happiness on
two wheels

Established 1891

CW’s pick of the best...

Things to do in 2018

Epic rides
Great races
Latest tech
New experiences
Luke Rowe’s 2018 mileage B’Twin Ultra disc on test
Tour ambitions Sharon Laws chart
What next for
Team Sky after
company takeover
Out for a spin with
Dunfermline CC

0 4/01
what you need
he days may slowly
(painfully slowly) be
getting longer again,
but there are nine or 10 weeks of
winter left, and I reckon they’re the
toughest weeks of the year for any
cyclist to get through.
We’ve earned our time off in
November and December and they
pass by without too much pressure
to stay fit (apart from those brave
souls doing winter track leagues
— we salute you), but by January How many rides can you
those doubts start creeping in. Am tick off our 2018 to-do list?
I riding enough? Should I do more
on the turbo? Is it really too cold to
go out when it’s just two degrees
and raining?
By mid-March the longer,
Contents Tim Gould’s
cross rig, p38
warmer days are on the horizon, News
and my motivation always takes 6 Disney takeover for Team Sky
a giant leap forward with some 8 Rowe aiming for Tour
spring sunshine. Until then it’s a 10 Bialoblocki eyes TT records
case of plugging away. 12 Sharon Laws obituary
The best way to stay motivated 14 The week in cycling
now is to get a few dates in your
diaries. That’s where our 2018 Features
to-do list comes in. Choose a few 20 The CW to-do list
events to ride and get them in 32 Mileage chart 2018
your calendar. 36 From the archive
Those goals will help you round
that extra loop on your ride home, Tech
or encourage you to jump on the 38 Tim Gould’s cyclo-cross bike
turbo for an hour before work. 40 B’Twin Ultra on test
Stay motivated this 42 Our pick of mudguards
winter, and you’ll
stay fit. Fitness
Photos: Andy Jones, Daniel Gould

44 Get a life outside cycling

Simon Richardson 50 James Knox’s week in training
Subscribe now from just £48.99!
16 Big question, plus your letters
Subscribe online at Becky James’s life
52 We ride with Dunfermline CC
Or, for more information, turn to page 18 outside of cycling, p44
60 Doctor Hutch
62 Icons of cycling: L-shaped cranks

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 3

Photo: Belga/PA Images

Tom Pidcock wrapped up overall U23 World Cup

victory with a strong finishing sprint in Zolder.
The Yorkshireman only got on to Belgian rival Eli
Iserbyt’s wheel in the final straight — the pair
having escaped on the final lap — but still had the
power to slingshot past him for the win.

4 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 5

Disney takeover biggest

threat to Team Sky future
Cycling's top team facing possibility of axe in upcoming
cost-cutting by new owners
Oliver Gill in his urine after a stage of this promote Disney’s credentials. But
year’s Vuelta a España, questions cycling in the UK, certainly as a
s Team Sky battles with have plagued Team Sky on their professional sport, is going through
the public outcry following approach to the sport and pursuit of a bit of a crisis given what is
Chris Froome’s “adverse” marginal gains. happening with Chris Froome, and
drugs test, Dave Brailsford’s This summer Team Sky said it Bradley Wiggins before.
ground-breaking project faces a far had the full backing from executives “It may be that Disney decides it
greater existential threat over the at the media behemoth despite a wants a clean break… Does Disney
coming months. “tragic” loss of public trust in the want to have Team Disney? My
Media experts believe Disney’s wake of the now infamous jiffy bag guess is probably not.”
$66bn (£49bn) takeover of 21st saga involving Bradley Wiggins.
Century Fox’s entertainment “It [Froome’s adverse test] does ‘Nothing has been discussed’
businesses — which includes the pose a considerable challenge and However, sources at the media
single largest shareholding of Sky risk to the Sky brand, which I know giant insisted top executives would
TV — “could mean the death of the powers that be within Sky value take no firm decisions for another
Team Sky”. immensely,” said Pescatore. 18 months and Team Sky’s future
Faced with the rapidly “So it does cast a cloud over “is not something that has been
escalating cost of sports TV rights the future of Team Sky and cycling discussed” following the Disney
such as Premier League football for sure. takeover announcement, according
and delivering original programmes “It’s unfortunate that it has come to Sky insiders.
such as Game of Thrones, Sky’s perhaps at the wrong time. All of 21st Century Fox, which is owned
new owner will likely take the knife this coming together could mean by Rupert Murdoch and run by
to marketing costs. the death of Team Sky.” chief executive James Murdoch,
And given the latest turn of Ian Whittaker, the head of owns a 39 per cent stake in Sky.
events, culling Team Sky and its European media research at In December 2016 it agreed a
£31m annual budget could be an investment bank Liberum Capital, deal to purchase the 61 per cent of
easy starting point. highlighted Sky’s original foray shares it does not own.
“When you look at any corporate into cycling was driven by the The takeover has been the
activity, there is always some kind chairman James Murdoch, son of subject of intense parliamentary
of consolidation or cost-cutting. billionaire media mogul Rupert, and regulatory scrutiny. Britain’s
One of those areas is clearly who has a passion for the sport. Competition and Markets Authority
marketing,” said media sector He added cycling benefited Sky by is currently reviewing the deal and
commentator Paolo Pescatore of showing the company was not is expected to deliver its findings
CCS Insight. “just about football”. early this year.
Photo: Jaime Reina/AFP/Getty Images

“The biggest challenge is whether “The fact Sky has continued to Sky is only one of a number of
there is a return on [marketing] do it for a number of years and 21st Century Fox’s assets Disney
investment. In the case of Sky and promoted it quite aggressively will take over. It is likely to be 18
Team Sky, Sky created this team at would suggest they saw a lot of months before the complex deal is
the right time, they have seen huge brand value,” said Whittaker. completed, giving time for Brailsford
success in this investment.” “[But] you have a change of to find another backer if need be.
Even prior to the revelation in owner. Would they [Disney] have Team Sky declined to comment.
December that Froome had double the same brand priorities or not? Sky and Disney did not respond to
the legal levels of salbutamol It might be seen as a good way to requests for comment.

6 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly

Disney buyout could spell
the end for Team Sky

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 7


Luke Rowe: ‘I’ve not ruled

out riding the Tour’
Welshman is ahead of schedule as he recovers from serious leg injury
Vern Pitt the lowest of his career. “If set-up has made me budget, but that’s not true. It’s
anything, it’s made me realise appreciate it more,” he said. the passion and the time they
uke Rowe has said how much I love it [racing] He said the team’s support put in. I owe them a massive
riding the Tour de and I want it now more had been crucial. “What thank you.”
France this year than ever… I've missed they’ve done for me has been However, his contract is
will be one of his goals as being with the lads, at the incredible. I wouldn’t be up for renewal this year and
he continues his journey races and on the bus. Being where I am now without their he is keen to consider every
back from a serious injury away from them and the support. People seem to think option for the next stage of
sustained last summer. Rowe whole pro cycling team it’s because they have the his career.
broke both his tibia and fibia
jumping into shallow water
on his brother’s stag do last
August. Speaking to Cycling
Weekly ahead of the team’s
training camp in Majorca, he
said: “I’m not ruling out riding
the Tour de France in 2018 for
a fourth time.”
Rowe was keen to
emphasise that he is entering
a tricky stage in his return to
full fitness. “I’m way ahead
of the schedule the doctors
gave me. I didn’t cut any
corners, I just managed to do
things sooner than expected.”
The Welshman added: “It’s
hard to put a timescale on it
because you don’t know how
your body is going to react,
but it’s nice to think that come
February I could be training
full gas. I hope to be racing
again by April or May. My
surgeons have told me to
expect plenty of stepping
stones in order to recover
from this injury. It’s just up to
Photo: Russ Ellis Photography Limited

me to complete them.”
Rowe would usually be
training for around four to
five hours a day on the bike
in winter, but was doing only
10-12 hours in his first week
ahead of flying to Majorca. Rowe’s on target for a
He said the last few months swift return to racing
had “undoubtedly” been

8 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly









Bialoblocki eyes new 10

and 25-mile TT records Weekly column
Pole joins new elite-level UK team
Richard Abraham Katie Archibald
arcin Bialoblocki is
seeking to achieve
“perfection in time
“I’ve seen an asthma attack
trialling” as he returns to the
British domestic scene in 2018
celebrated by a coach before as
with new elite team Steele
Davis Via Roma and takes
a sure symbol of commitment
aim at his own TT records. and hard work”
The Pole, who spent 2017
in the colours of the Polish tried so hard on the turbo this evening I thought I’d
Professional Continental team given myself a nosebleed. It was in fact just a gushing
CCC Sprandi-Polkowice and stream of sweat and snot; how disappointing.
completed the Giro d’Italia, I’ve never been the type of rider to bury myself to the point
has set his sights on lowering of body breakdown (nosebleeds, vomiting, fainting). All are
his existing CTT competition hideously impractical yet rarely acknowledged as the biological
records for 10 and 25 miles Bialoblocki’s ready faults that they are. Instead, such outcomes garner praise. I’ve
and is seeking personal to go faster in 2018 seen an asthma attack celebrated by a coach before as a sure
equipment sponsors to help symbol of commitment and hard work. I’ll let you assess that
him do so. every year,” he said. “With how you please.
“The 25 can be beaten; the a bit of luck I hope I can Only once have I thrown up after an effort. Well, one effort.
10 will be hard to do but it’s qualify for the European I was sick repeatedly for the following few hours. I was age 19
still possible,” he said. “When Championships and World and it was after riding an individual pursuit that qualified me
I did it last time the weather Championships too.” for the Commonwealth Games (trivia: Team Scotland criteria
was almost perfect but there Managed by Grant Bayton, for the 2014 games was sub 3.41 for a 3km pursuit; for 2018 it’s
was still a lot to improve in with whom Bialoblocki raced 3.36 ). I was convinced that something special had happened
terms of equipment.” on the Sports Beans team in in my life and I had now learned to try hard. In fact I’d just gone
Bialoblocki smashed Alex 2008, Steele Davis Via Roma out for a fancy breakfast too close to the effort. What I’d learned
Dowsett’s record for 10 miles will focus on National A and was that spinach leaves don’t wilt in your stomach the way they
by almost a minute last B events next season with do in a frying pan.
September, clocking 16.35 on a roster that includes Lewis The story of that rider that simply tries harder — or even
the V718 in Hull. Last August Braithwaite, Rhys Lloyd, better: “wants it more!” — than all of their competitors is a
his time of 43.00 over 25 Mark Perry, Jacob Pilkington crowd favourite. The truth that ruins this inspiring narrative
miles on the R25/3H in South and Andrew Williams. is that it’s more remarkable to come across a rider that doesn’t
Wales was disallowed after Bialoblocki has added bury themselves, that doesn’t keep pushing forwards when
he was judged to have ridden two top 15s in the World they feel fire coursing through every muscle fibre, that doesn’t
dangerously and illegally Championships time trial pedal until their body feels disconnected from their mind.
close to the centre of the dual and a stage in the Tour of Honestly I can think of only two cyclists I’ve ever trained with
carriageway. His competition Poland to his palmarès since who don’t try that hard —they’re the freaks in this circus show.
record of 44.04, set in 2016 2015. However, he says there It would be nice to feel special though. I might eat my Ben
on the same Welsh course was no disappointment when and Jerry’s before my next turbo session (as oppose to after)
just 24 hours after his record CCC decided not to renew and see if I can’t be one of those riders that tries so hard they
breaking 10, still stands. his contract. throw up, after all.
At 34, Bialoblocki says he “I’d like to be a bit more
will relish the new-found free next year and spend
more time with the family.
Photo: Andy Jones

freedom from obligatory

team equipment, even if those And have fun. I like the
sponsors are hard to come by. British scene, it’s good fun
“I can race a few more to race in and I’m looking Olympic and world champion Katie Archibald got into cycling
years: my power is improving forward to that.” after winning handicap races on a Highland Games grass track

10 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly




Her natural climbing

ability secured Laws
three national titles


Sharon Laws
Owen Rogers undeterred she and a small group chased was not without its low points. In 2012,
the peloton all day. despite her excellent ranking she was
hen Sharon Laws crashed “I was pretty sure it was broken,” controversially omitted from the GB
during the opening she explained a few weeks later. “But Olympic team, something she later
kilometres of the 2015 Tour of you’ve got the adrenaline going and if described as the biggest disappointment
Qatar she got straight back on her bike. you want to start the next day and you of her career.
Though suspecting a broken collarbone, miss the stage, you’re screwed. There Laws was an unconventional
were quite a few speed bumps and every professional cyclist. With a love of the
one was, ‘Ouch!’” outdoors, during her downtime she liked
Such humour and indomitable tenacity nothing better than disappearing into the
not only sustained Laws through her mountains, hiking for days on end, and
cycling career, but also 16 months of each year would decamp to South Africa
treatment after a diagnosis of what where she would race her mountain bike.
she described at the time as “treatable Retirement plans to learn Spanish,
but not curable” cervical cancer. She and work in cycle guiding around Girona
succumbed to her illness on December were put on hold after her diagnosis in
16, aged 43. August 2016, and Laws began media
work, sharing her keen knowledge of
Tenacious yet humble the sport. Throughout her illness she
Starting as a mountain biker, Laws began continued to ride her bike every day her
her professional racing career aged 33. health and treatment allowed.
Just months later, having recovered from “Sharon brightened up the room and
a broken leg, she helped Nicole Cooke to everyone’s spirit,” said former team
Photo: Andy Jones

her 2008 Olympic gold medal. mate and friend Iris Slappendel. “She
Her warmth and humour Though an excellent climber, her had a positive mindset, a big smile and
were as memorable as her three British national titles — road, time infectious laugh and was especially
impressive riding career trial and mountain bike — reflected her a very dedicated, sweet, humble and
all-round abilities, though her career positive friend and team-mate.”

12 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly




The popular 23-year-old was seen

as a promising young Australian talent,
and had signed to the British JLT-
Condor team for 2018 from the Israel
Cycling Academy.
The British team tweeted: “We are
Beaumont: honoured for his devastated to learn of the passing of
round-the-world record Jason Lowndes this morning. The
peloton has lost a friend, a team-mate
and a family member. Our thoughts are
with his family and friends.”

Bottle popping

Eisberg replaces
Bike Channel
Alcohol-free wine brand Eisberg has
replaced Bike Channel as co-title sponsor
of the British UCI Continental team
formerly known as Bike Channel-Canyon.
Bike Channel stopped sponsoring
the team after the TV company entered
administration in September. The
Canyon-Eisberg line-up for 2018 includes
Chris Opie and Harry Tanfield.
Team manager Tim Elverson said:
“Hopefully people enjoyed watching
Chapeau! Grimpeur Bros coffee. She will ride us last season and appreciated our
KindHuman bikes in 2018. attacking brand of racing. Following a
Pidcock seals World fantastic debut season, we move into
Cup victory Moving up year two setting new goals.”
Cycling Weekly’s rider of the year in Meanwhile, Raleigh-GAC announced it
2017 added yet another accolade to
Cyclists honoured will be racing as Vitus Pro Cycling in 2018.
his already impressive palmarès, with Round-the-world record breaking rider
victory in the U23 World Cup in only his Mark Beaumont and Maindy Flyers Fresh kit
first year in the competition on Boxing coach Alan Davies are among those
Day. The Yorkshireman’s win in Zolder, recognised in the Queen’s New Year
Brammeier unveils
Belgium, was enough to secure him the Honours list. Mudiiita kit
overall title with two rounds remaining. Beaumont, who circumnavigated Nikki Brammeier’s new Mudiiita-Canyon
That followed not long after the official the world in 79 days in 2016, was team unveiled its kit on New Year’s Day.
confirmation of the news — as reported awarded the Medal of the Order of The team will spearhead a project to
by CW in September — that he is to ride the British Empire. provide coaching to young riders in
for Team Wiggins on the road in 2018. Davies, who has been a fixture the UK and will race in
at Maindy Flyers — a club whose alumni a retro-style blue kit.
Signing in include Elinor Barker and Geraint However, fans may
Thomas — for decades, was awarded have to wait to see
Wyman lands new an MBE for services to youth the kit in action as the
sponsor for 2018 cycling and diversity former Boels-
Cyclo-cross rider Helen Wyman has inclusion in South Wales. Dolmans rider
succeeded in her long-running quest will be wearing her
to land new title sponsors for 2018. The RIP Jason Lowndes national champion’s
former Kona Factory Racing rider will jersey this
now ride under the banner Xypex-Verge
JLT-Condor season. She will
Sport, supported by a concrete water- signee killed be one of the
Photos: Mark Beaumont

proofing company and a cycling clothing The cycling community paid favourites to
company, the latter already a minor tribute to Jason Lowndes, who retain it at the
sponsor of Wyman. was tragically killed by a car National Cross
Wyman also has partnerships in place during a training ride near his Championships
with a raft of smaller sponsors including home in Victoria, Australia, on on January
Look Mum No Hands cycling cafe and Friday, December 22. 13-14.

14 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly

We asked you...


What is your New Year’s cycling resolution?
Not to hit ice and fall off on my first ride
of the year, losing six months’ cycling
with a broken hip.
Ian Osborne

Not to spend so much on bikes and

clothing, etc... Nah! Only joking!
Chris Gowan

Cycling to work again after taking time

off with the latest addition to the growing
Anderson clan. Save money, get fit and
take in some wonderful views.
Ban Anderson
Puttin’ on the Ritz: cyclists on a
Just to enjoy it. different sort of grand tour
Debbie Pollard

Consistency. That combined with gym Only cycle downhill. without missing a single pedal stroke.
work. Booking up as many sportives Robert Miller Thomas Mashaba
as possible to keep me motivated and
looking forward to making new friends Actually stick to my training plan. Ride, eat more cake, sleep and repeat.
through a shared passion. Paul Gagan Lawrence James
Andrew Tuthill
Rip the legs off everyone I ride with. Just bought my 11-year-old daughter a
Majorca 312... and, hopefully, get a ‘yes’ Ross Jefferies cyclo-cross and mountain bike, so I’m
for RideLondon (impossible, I know). going to spend a lot more time cycling
David Stuart To get back out on my bike as I have not around Kielder having fun. Will still get
been out for over a year as I had a knee out on my roadie every weekend as well,
To get fit enough to do the medium route operation and two shoulder operations. trying to get those Strava PBs.
on the Tour de Yorkshire sportive. Kerry Ann Anthony Kidd
Ellis Matthews
As I was involved in two hit and runs Complete my first century.
In 2018, not only am I going to clean my within a couple of months, mine is to be Emma Simpson
bike, I’m actually going to ride it! able to commute without being wiped
David Tolley out by cars. Not to buy another bike. Oh, hello sales...
Tom Ellis Matthews WK
Do more hills. I absolutely love them.
Photo: Chris Catchpole

Mark Herring To smash my annual mileage that I’ve

previously done. Next week’s big question…
To be more structured and committed Mark MacDonald What was your first bike, and what was
and ride at least 50 miles a week, with your most exciting adventure on it?
the emphasis on ‘at least’. Watch all the stages of all three of the Reply to us at or at
Michael Penketh Grand Tours from start to finish and

16 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly


Letters Letter of the week

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Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 17

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Cycling Weekly’s
top 34 things
to do in 2018

Stuck for inspiration about what to do in the coming year? Over the
next 12 pages, there are countless ideas for a brilliant 2018 on the bike

Ride... somewhere new Haute Route’s three-day event to avoid the rain — 2017 World Champs
this year takes place in early August host Bergen is said to receive 235 days
Just over an hour’s flight from most UK ( The live timing, of rain a year. We liked the fact it’s not
airports, Norway is a bike riding paradise mechanical support and moto marshals oppressively hot in summertime with
that few people know of. Fly to Stavanger basically make it an amateur stage race. average temperatures at that time of year
on the south-west coast and you can If you’d rather take your riding at your around 17-19°C.
be on a ferry and out riding around the own pace the Norwegian tourist board
stunning fjords in no time. We visited the ( produces an array of Best time to go: May, June, July
area last year with the Haute Route and it detailed cycle routes across the country Best place to stay: Stavanger city centre
blew us away with its incredible scenery in its travel guide, with the rest of Norway for access to the ferries, fjords and the
— think Snowdonia’s rock formations, every bit as appealing as Stavanger. roads beyond.
mix in a bit of the Alps then throw in some Be warned; you’ll need to pack all your Must-do climb: Lysebotn. 5.4 miles of
New Zealand greenery — smooth roads, riding kit even for a short trip. The weather climbing straight off the ferry with enough
virtually no traffic and friendly people. is very changeable and you’re unlikely hairpins to put Alpe d’Huez to shame.

20 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly

Get... a bike fit
Perhaps the most underrated monetary
investment you can make is that of a bike
fit. Yes, that slick jersey or sunglasses
may well be a tempting purchase, but in
terms of bang for your buck a bike fit will
come out on top.
Simon Jackson, head of bike fitting
at Cadence Performance, explains why
the importance of an external point of
view is crucial: “It is very difficult to
know how good a bike fit is until after
you’ve got a fit. It’s like using expensive
components on your bike — once you’ve
used it you don’t really want to use
anything else after.
“Cycling is not natural, so you don’t
know what a quality riding position is
like on a bike and you might kind of
gravitate towards it eventually but you
roll the dice until you have someone who
can independently observe you.”
Even if you have had the experience of
a bike fit in the past, it is crucial to have a
tune-up every couple of years.
“There are always going to be changes,
as there are very few enthusiastic cyclists
who don’t aim to develop,” Jackson
says. “You may pick up injuries and your
pedalling technique may change and at
the very least, you are guaranteed to get
older, which will have a bearing.”

Try... 28mm tyres

First came 25s. Now 28s are gaining in
popularity and, certainly among the many
bikes not designed specifically for racing,
they come fitted as standard. The reasons
for this are aligned with the rise of the 25mm
— namely the potential for more comfort and
grip with little sacrifice in speed. However,
the wider profile of 28s do mean they’re not
as aerodynamic, and they also weigh slightly
more, making them less suitable for speed
demons. For more general riding though, the
potential of added comfort and grip without
any significant sacrifice in speed means
they’re well worth giving a try in 2018.
Our pick: Continental Grand Prix 4000S II
(SRP £59.95 each)
Photo: Haute Route/Manu Molle

Do... a mechanics’ course

How well do you know your bike? You
might be able to change a tyre and adjust
the brakes — but if you had to strip the
whole machine down and put it back
together, how would you fare? With

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 21

an ever-increasing set of bottom bracket
standards, braking choices and gearing Go… five domestic races Bradford National Trophy cyclo-cross,
options available these days, many of December
us could do with updating our garage
not to miss Ian Field sealed his National Trophy series
knowledge, skills and even tools. There Rutland CiCLE Classic men’s and victory here last year, and many cross
are a host of courses on offer, from one- women’s, April and June racers rate it as the best course in the
day beginners’ tutorials to professional Both men’s (April 22) and women’s races country. The December slot means the
qualifications such as City & Guilds. (June 3) over the gravel roads near Melton weather is frequently terrible but it’s always and are hotly contested — and with a pork pie well attended.
are good places to start, but some trophy on the line who can blame them? A
judicious Googling will turn up plenty of good vantage point is the village of Owston, Chorley GP, April
alternatives which may suit you just as which the men’s race goes through six times. Part of British Cycling’s Spring Cup series,
well or better. this race has quickly established itself as
Tour of the Reservoir, July one of the UK’s best one-day races. The
This two-day race was won by Tom five-lap format ensures you get to see
Try... the Zwift train Stewart, then racing for One Pro Cycling, plenty of racing. The fearsome Rivington
Zwift is the perfect and Melissa Lowther Pike climb with its double
interactive platform of Team Breeze, in digit gradients, is the best
to cure those mind- 2017. In July it’s quite vantage point as significant
numbing winter possible to sit out developments in the race are
turbo sessions, as and enjoy both races often made here.
you can link up with over both days in the
your team-mates for an indoor chaingang scenery of County Lincoln Grand Prix, May 13
ride instead of facing the harsh elements. Durham. Basing The climb of Michaelgate is one
All you need is a turbo-trainer and a phone, yourself in the start of the best places to catch this
tablet, some sensors and a computer or TV town of Edmundbyers 13-lap jaunt around the city,
that is compatible and away you go. You can isn’t a bad idea as a which last year was the climax
sign up for a week-long trial to try it out first, short ride will get of the Spring Cup. The flatter
set up structured training sessions, virtual you on to both run through Bailgate, just after
rides with friends or even test your skills out loops that the the finish, is also good for its
on the 2015 World Championships course in race tackles. selection of pubs and eateries.
Richmond, USA.
Price: £12.99 a month
Experience… a nutritional cookery course
Nutrition is one of the most overlooked areas of cycling when trying to eke out every
Ride... a third of inch of performance. Therefore gaining some knowledge on the subject may prove a
a Grand Tour route very useful investment of time and money. 360fit runs team sessions so your entire
club can benefit from structuring a weekly food plan and the required skills needed to
If you fancy a slightly different challenge cook tasty and balanced meals.
this summer try riding a third distance of If you are looking to really hone your personal nutrition strategy, then Cycling
the Tour de France, the Giro or the Vuelta Weekly’s regular nutrition
straight from your front door. It’s a great experts Alan Murchison
challenge to pack in an intense block of Become a whizz could be the man to
riding and — as the planning is half the in the kitchen guide you.
fun — you can match your route to that The Michelin-starred
day’s route from the race. chef has fuelled Hayley
You could of course go further but we Simmonds and Dan
think third-distance gives you a size Bigham to national and
that you can work around your job but is international success,
still challenging. therefore it is more than
However, if you’re competing with likely a one-on-one sit
your clubmates for coloured jerseys we down will put you in the
might suggest you’ve gone too far. right direction.
Cost: £75 per person
1/3 Tour de France (July 7-29): for team sessions at
1,109km; longest day: 77km
1/3 Giro d’Italia (May 4-27): 1,183km; Go to www.perfor-
climbing: 14,666m; longest day: 79km for
1/3 Vuelta a España (Aug 25-Sept 16): details on personal
c. 1,100km nutrition plans

22 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly

Ride… Four super-endurance bike events
April 28 / €80 June 10 / from €60
A single lap of the beautiful island of Majorca with some hard Instead of cobbles and bergs, why not tackle La Primavera
mountain riding — you’ll tackle 5,050m of elevation during and take on famous climbs like the Cipressa, Le Manie and the
the event.;; Poggio, before finishing on the Mediterranean in (hopefully); summer weather?

May 27 / £65 Sunday June 10 / £92.50
The fact that riders must start at 5am and have until 9pm to The classic UK sportive in extremis. Entries are open already
complete this event says all you need to know about how hard for this mammoth South Wales jaunt, which boasts five
it is. Oh, and it also has 5,000m of ascent. serious climbs.

Photo: Andy Jones, Daniel Gould

Enjoy 312km of
beautiful Majorcan
tarmac in April

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 23

Race… like a pro at the Go... Bespoked UK Handmade Bicycle Show
Tour of Wessex Enlightening yourself on all things two wheels at bike shows are a great way of
Is there a better way to spend the second May Bank engaging with the wider cycling community. Some of the best independent bike
Holiday weekend, than smashing yourself on your makers and designers from Britain and around the world will be showcasing
bike? There aren’t many multi-day events on our their works at the Bespoked Handmade Bicycle Show in Bristol this April. It is
shores and the Tour of Wessex is arguably the biggest not only unique bikes on show
and the best. Now in its 13th year, the 324 or 221-mile as knowledgeable
three-day jaunt covers some of the most picturesque experts from across
roads in Somerset and the West Country. Each day the industry will be
starts and finishing in Langford, creating a race hub in attendance and
to take advantage of the facilities, food and drink the you can listen to
local area has to offer. If you don’t fancy taking on all informative talks and
three stages, you can enter individual days, as well as Q&As, making for a
pick between two distances, which vary between 64 fascinating visit that
and 120 miles each day. you should definitely
Date: May 26-28 pencil into your diary.
Price: £40-£135 depending on days and distance Date: April 20-22
Travel: No train station close by, but free car parking Location: Brunel’s
is available at race HQ. Old Station Bike exotica
Stay: Camping is available at the Rose and Crown Travel: The show is in Bristol
Inn located 200 metres from the start. The campsite next door to Bristol
comprises two camping fields for tents and a third Temple Meads
field for camper vans and motor homes. £16 per railway station
person per night. Cost: TBC at

Ride… the Zoncolan

Both the Giro d’Italia (May 19) and the women’s Giro Rosa (July 14) will tackle the 11.9 kilometres
of 11.9 per cent average gradient of the Zoncolan from Ovaro this year so there’s never been a
better year to ride it, recover with some pasta and then watch the pros put themselves through
it. Flights to Venice or Trieste are available from most major UK airports and the city of Udine
is a good base as it’s less than an hour’s drive from the foot of the climb. The equally punishing
Monte Crostis is also near the Zoncolan should you fancy some additional climbing.
Try it… e-bike
E-bikes have the potential to See… Time Trial
revolutionise cycling for many If the words ‘time trial’ don’t set
people. Most obviously, those not your heart racing, be prepared
as young as they once were who for a new paradigm in 2018
find hills tough, those transporting with the arrival of David Millar’s
loads, and those living in a hilly career farewell flick. Time Trial
area who simply fancy going for a is a feature-length film charting
ride without coughing up a lung, the Scot’s final season as a pro,
might all find e-bikes handy to leading up to what he imagines
have around. will be his last Tour. But as the
There’s no need for the trailer makes obvious, this is
‘salvation through suffering’ no triumphant valedictory —
brigade to get defensive, because much more a visceral journey
nobody’s out to take that away, of soul-searching and physical
and the purity of pedalling endeavour set to the high
away the miles under your own drama of the pro peloton. It
steam will always be attractive. premiered last month and isn’t
But e-bikes are more than just in cinemas yet, but you can
a passing fad, so if you get the visit and
opportunity to try one in 2018, you sign up to get notified when it
definitely should. comes to your area.
Our pick: Orbea Gain
Ultegra £2,999

Build a bike frame bicycle frames and not just do it as a one-off.

Whether it is as a hobbyist or a professional,
The synthesis of man and machine working many of them have done so and every year a
together in constant motion is one of the beauties large amount of winners at the Bespoked UK
of cycling. Whether it is the first time you learn Handmade Bicycle Show have passed through the
to ride a bike as a child or riding a high-spec Bicycle Academy. I think 40 per cent of winners
carbon fibre frame up an epic alpine climb, the were past students of ours.”
partnership just can’t be beaten. Cost: From £350 deposit to £1,400
However, if you are looking for something a overall cost.
little extra next year, building a bike frame or
entire two-wheeled steed yourself could be the
next step on your cycling journey.
The Bicycle Academy in Somerset is one of Make your own
several places offering building courses. custom machine
“Lots of people enjoy riding custom bikes, but
riding a custom bike that you have made yourself
is even better,” explains founder of the Bicycle
Academy Andrew Denham.
“You have that real connection with it and for
want of a better word birthed it and been part of
the process of every stage.”
It is not just entire bike-building programmes
that are possible; there is a range of
masterclasses and courses available.
“People can come and spend the day learning
Photo: Pete Goding, Chris Catchpole

one-to-one how to excel at a class or skill set that

is relevant such as fillet-brazing, welding, fitting or
design,” says Denham. “We also have seven-day
courses, where you can come and build a custom
bespoke frame and fork.”
It may initially start off as an experience or
a treat, but who knows, it may even turn into a
regular hobby or even a career.
“Lots of people want to continue to build

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 25

See... the Tour de
France on Paris-
Roubaix’s cobbles
The pavé of Paris-Roubaix has always
been at the mercy of the weather gods
in the unpredictable spring conditions.
Despite ‘the Hell of the North’ not
having a wet edition for a number of
years, the chances are that the French
Monument is due some bad weather
soon. So if you fancy getting your
dose of cobbles while combining the
experience of watching the most iconic
cycling race on the same day, then
heading out to northern France in July
instead of April may be a wise decision.
Stage nine of the Tour de France is set
to hit the pavé with a finish in Roubaix,
consisting of 21.7km of cobbles
spread over 15 sectors. One thing is
guaranteed when cobbles are involved:
unpredictable drama.

Date: July 15
Travel: Take the Eurostar to Lille
then it’s just a 30-minute journey to
Roubaix itself — or take your bike and
ride the 15km to the velodrome or south
to the cobbles.
Stay: Lille has plenty of hotels but
Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

lacks a little in charm. Douai, near the

cobbles, and Arras, the start town of the
stage, are a bit more picturesque.

26 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 27
Ride… your longest ride Dress to impress in Yorkshire
We always want to go faster, higher or longer when riding our bikes. But
achieving this without an end goal isn’t always ideal for both physical
and psychological motivation. If 2018 is the year you fancy heading out
for your longest ever ride, then Rapha’s 220-mile Manchester to London
may be the perfect challenge to take on. After the pre-race party at
Rapha’s Manchester store the night before, choose your allegiance to the
North or the South in the race towards the capital. Once out on the road
you’ll be a on fully supported race route with feed stations, medical and
mechanical support as well as being provided with North or South caps
and musettes to show who you are representing.
Date: September 2
Cost: £150 entry plus raising £750 charity Go… in style to the Tour
de Yorkshire
Hand-slings add to The Tour de Yorkshire has grown in recent years to
the excitement become arguably the biggest race on Britain’s shores,
muscling in on the Tour of Britain as the premier
domestic race. This year the event has added a fourth
day of racing for the men and a second day for the
women, with both introducing the first ever summit
finish to the event, atop the Cow and Calf.
Experiencing the action live from the roadside is
one thing, but embracing the race with full gusto and
including a touch of fancy dress can really make the
day memorable — plus if you go in something yellow
you can raise money for the race’s official charity the
Yorkshire Air Ambulance, which kind of gives you an
excuse. If you are a little stuck for inspiration here are
some ideas to light up Yorkshire with.

What sticks out more on the Yorkshire moors than a
bunch of bananas, or in fact a bunch of adults dressed
as bananas cheering from the side of the road? The
Do… Madison nous it’s an event that epitomises track all-encompassing outfit will also ensure you stay warm
racing. A crowd favourite, unless it’s on top of the dales.
miscellany your mother watching.”
The Madison, which got its name from There — that should be enough The Simpsons
Madison Square Garden in New York to convince your buddy you know Low effort, high reward is on offer here and you can
where the modern format originated, is your stuff! rope in the entire family. Just slap on some yellow body
essentially a points race between pairs paint and find a few generic plain clothes, and you will
of riders. Men race over 50km and Travel: Low-cost flights from the UK to look like the most famous family in America.
women over 30, all the while with one Amsterdam for February/March can
rider of the pair racing and the other currently be had for around £60 return, Pikachu
circling slowly higher up the track, and the train to Apeldoorn costs €16 You can buy inflatable costumes of the Japanese
biding their time before they get hand- and only takes an hour, so the trip is cartoon character for around £30 online but you can
slung back into the race — a potentially relatively cheap and easy. also just get a paper mask and a yellow onesie.
risky move. There is a sprint to gain Cost: Tickets are available online
points every 10 laps, but the ultimate through the official event website: Bonus: Smurfs and Thunderbirds
aim is to gain a lap on the field. They start at If yellow isn’t really your style, then coinciding your
“The Madison can be a scary around €50 for a full five-day pass or fancy dress with the colour of the race leader’s jersey
race, which is why you see so many €13 for a day. may be a more attractive proposition. The Smurf
of the competitors holding hands,” Stay: The Hotel et le Café de Paris is is not only simple with some blue body paint but
jokes Katie Archibald, who won the located in Apeldoorn city centre, right the Thunderbirds turquoise and yellow ensemble is
Manchester World Cup Madison next to the market and around a mile remarkably similar to the jersey Serge Pauwels pulled
with Elinor Barker last month. “As a from the velodrome. A basic double on after his stage and race win into Sheffield last year.
complex mix of speed, skill and tactical can be had for around £60.

28 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly

Try… 1X gears
Go… the Cycling Invitational, as well as more
conventional events such as scratch, Lose a chainring, lose weight, gain a bit of simplicity
Revival points and Devil take the hindmost. — the single chainring ‘1x’ set-up has a lot going for
If all this looking ahead to the There will also be an impressive line- it. We’re not necessarily advocating rushing headlong
future is getting a bit samey, why up of exhibitions, music, activities into the world of 1x, but it’s worth considering.
not switch your focus to the past and vintage themed retail stalls. Mountain biking realised its advantages some time
and the Cycling Revival at Herne So, time to get thinking about ago and now cross has followed, without looking
Hill velodrome in June? OK, so it is your ‘look’ for the day. The Cycling back. There are also now plenty of road bikes on the
actually in the future, but you get to Revival website (cyclingrevival. market that use the 1x set-up.
spend the day dressed in vintage com) has a ‘Style Guide’ page with Pro Continental team Aqua Blue are so convinced
clothing — sporting tweeds perhaps, hints and tips on choosing a look by 1x that they will be riding it in the pro peloton in
Sunday best, or why not go for the for your day. Charity shops, Ebay 2018. The Irish squad will be using 3T Strada bikes
‘Home Front Honey’ look? and Google are fine places to begin and SRAM components, which general manager
Held Thursday to Saturday June your transformation from t-shirt and Stephen Moore says should be more than a match for
14-16, the Cycling Revival will feature trainers to dapper 40s gent or 30s any parcours.
a programme of racing including moll. You’ve got six months! “We have chainring and cassette options for the
Japanese keirin and a Brompton Cost: from £65 high mountains,
the cobbled
Classics, and
Experience… Chris Boardman’s wind tunnel everything
Aerodynamic testing has typically been reserved for individuals at the in-between,”
elite end of the sport or those with hefty pay packets. This is mainly Moore says. The
because the two wind tunnels available for cyclists in the UK are very riders are “on the
expensive and availability is extremely limited. However, this year whole” on board
brings about the opportunity for all riders to get their aero fix when the with the idea,
Boardman Performance Centre and most notably its cycling specific reckons Moore,
wind tunnel opens its doors. Regardless of whether you are a sportive and he’s convinced it’s the future. “Weight savings,
rider, club racer or seasoned pro, the importance of aerodynamics is aerodynamics, and driveline efficiency — the benefits
crucial and an untapped area of performance for many riders. are tangible,” he says. “It’s just a matter of time before
The new facility in Evesham, Worcestershire, is sure to fill this gap the industry embraces it.”
when it launches in early 2018. Is it really that good? Take a trip on the 1x drivetrain and find out for yourself in 2018.

Try… a disc-brake road bike on the future growth and sustainability

of the sport.”
Ultegra 8000 hydraulic disc groupset.
Eminently capable and with serious
It probably hadn’t escaped your There is a vast array of disc road pedigree, this bike will do it all.
attention that in 2018, bike racers in bikes on the market, ranging from
the UK will be allowed to use disc perfectly affordable to examples that Boardman Road Comp £700
brakes for the first time. It’s a significant test the money versus sense equation, Currently on sale at just £560 in
goalpost shift which suggests that if so there’s something for everyone. If Halfords, the Road Comp shows that
there was ever a time to get acquainted you haven’t tried one yet, it’s worth decent disc bikes can be found at all
with circular stoppers, it’s now. In truth, doing so. Here are three to peruse... budgets. An 18-speed Shimano Sora Photos: Alex Whitehead/, GodingImages/PA Images,
it always seemed like just a matter of groupset paired with TRP Spyre
time before discs were fully embraced Canyon Aeroad SLX Disc 9.0 LTD mechanical discs, while not exactly
in the road arena. More power and £6,249 refined, do a perfectly respectable job.
better wet-weather performance — not With SRAM Etap gears, Etap
to mention their popularity in CX and hydraulic discs and Reynolds
leisure riding — meant rim brakes Aero Carbon wheels, this is
wouldn’t be able to hold discs at bay a premium offering, as used
forever. by Katusha-Alpecin in the
Discs do have their detractors, but WorldTour peloton.
there is a lot of optimism, with Rapha-
Condor team boss John Herety saying Specialized Tarmac Comp
the decision “will help remove a barrier Disc £2,800
that is currently preventing some This race-ready machine
people from getting into racing… it will features a funky red and black
hopefully have a really positive impact colourway and full Shimano

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 29

Ride... take chunks out of your time trial time Join the Flandrian
hordes this year
Could 2018 be the year you taking your time trialling up a level? Or perhaps
you’ve never ridden one before and fancy giving it a go? Multiple national time
trial champion and Wattshop head honcho Dan Bigham offers his expert view on
how to have your best ever season against the clock.

How to... train

“Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are and what you need to
achieve for your goals,” Bigham says. “If you’re going to sit at threshold for 20
minutes or 50 minutes then train accordingly, but if the course has technical
aspects to it, focus on those as well. Training for the course’s demands is a big
thing, and knowing where you are as a rider and being able to break that down
and work in the right direction.”

How to... get more aero

Examine your bike for obvious places to gain time and save watts, suggests
Bigham. “There’s lots of little things. It’s worth going to the experts, and even
people on time trialling forums can be incredibly helpful. Companies like
ourselves at Wattshop, or Aerocoach, Drag2Zero, can help you get a faster Do… Flanders fan experience
position, but also look at your equipment and say, ‘You’re losing 50W through Jump on the channel tunnel or cross-channel ferry then
your tyres and you could probably do with changing this and this as well.’” drive straight out of Calais toward Oudenaarde (if you’ve
got your bike) or Ghent (for a city break) this spring.
How to… choose a course The full fan experience requires you to get autographs
There’s more to choosing a course than simply its outright speed, says Bigham. on team postcards. If you’re after quantity, head to a
“It’s about doing what you enjoy,” he emphasises. “If you do enjoy going quick Spanish team; if you want quality you’ll need to try for
there’s the E2 courses in Cambridgeshire… the V718 [10-mile Hull course] is Peter Sagan or Greg Van Avermaet. Good luck with
hard to get away from but it can be hard to get onto. Then there’s the R25/3H those two.
[Glynneath] course in South Wales which is very fast. Before, during and after the race you must sample
“Try one you enjoy and aim to consistently be better on that, and then target a one, some or all of the following beers: Jupiler, Duval,
few opens on quicker courses,” he suggests. Leffe and Trappiste (be warned about the strength of
that last one.)

Het Nieuwsblad, Feb 24
Starts – Ghent 11.35am
Finishes – Meerbeke 4.30pm (approx)
Where to watch: Either the Taaienberg
at 139km or the Molenberg at 163km

E3 Harelbeke, March 23
Starts – Harelbeke 12.15pm
Finishes – Harelbeke 5.10pm (approx)
Where to watch: Base yourself at
Zulzeke and you could see the riders
three or four times

Ghent Wevelgem March 25

Starts – Deinze 11.30am
Photos: Chris Catchpole, Gruber Images

Finishes – Wevelgem 5.30pm (approx)

Where to watch: Bar on the descent of
the Kemmelberg

Tour of Flanders April 1

Starts – Antwerp
Finishes – Oudenaarde
Where to watch: Get to the square
Concentrate on the details halfway up the Oude-Kwaremont nice
and early

30 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly



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Take on ‘the next Tourmalet’

Ride… the Col du Portet can. Also, ride it early in the day, get up early
Making its first appearance in the Tour if it’s forecast to be mid-30s. The back end of
this year the 2,200m Col du Portet in the the summer is really gorgeous — we did the Make... your own energy
Pyrenees has already been dubbed the next recon on November 1-2.
Tourmalet. Col Collective’s climbing expert bars
Mike Cotty rode the climb last November, What gears do I need? No team chef at
and here are his impressions: I think for regular riders (non-pros) a 34x32 your disposal?
set-up would be best. It’s always better to No lucrative
What’s it like? have a low enough gear available rather than energy product
The climb itself starts off up the Pla d’Adet. find you’re in trouble with nowhere to go — or endorsement? Not to worry, make
Its gradient is double figures of 10-11% all worse, 10km to go. your own. It’s cheaper than buying
the way. The thing that makes it pretty tough them manufactured and, once
is it’s really exposed. In summer there’s Where to stay you’ve assembled the required
nowhere to get out of the sun. If you just want to do just the Portet you can ingredients, probably quicker
The hardest part is the Pla d’Adet part [at stay at the bottom in Saint-Lary. It’s a nice than going to the shops. There’s
the bottom]. I was thinking, I’ll get this 7km ski village with a lot of character. no cooking needed — simply mix
out the way, but then as you hit the Portet a couple of handfuls of chopped
there are no markers; it’s got six gravel What other climbs are good in the area? dried fruit with an equal amount
sections, you are in wilderness, it’s such a You can go up towards Spain up to the Lac de of chopped nuts and/or oats, then
long way [9km] to the top and you can sort of Cap-de-Long; it’s higher than the Tourmalet. combine with 1tbsp of honey or
see where you’re going but it’s miles away. It’s phenomenal; it feels like you’re out in the golden syrup and 2tbsp of peanut
Photos: Mike Cotty,

wilderness — really rugged. or almond butter to create a firm

When to ride it Q Col Collective runs fully supported but malleable consistency. Lastly
Any time from June, as early in June as you cycling tours at prices starting at €1,200. spoon into a shallow tub and place
in the freezer for 20min to set.
Remove and slice into squares.

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 35

National 25-mile
time trial
rider ploughs a lonesome furrow as he
heads west to the turn on a deserted
A556 near Northwich, Cheshire. To
the modern eye, the lack of traffic is striking,
despite the early hour, and there won’t be many
riders enjoying a tow from passing vehicles
on this day. For the rider in the picture, untidy
toe-clip straps and a wayward gear cable
leading to a bar-end shifter won’t be helping
much either. Many are expecting Alf Engers —
in his comeback season after five years in the
wilderness — to take the title. Ultimately
it proves the closest of results but Engers
can only manage joint-second, at the same
time as his Polytechnic CC team-mate
Joe Mummery. The surprise winner — a
23-year-old air-conditioning engineer called
Ray Ward (Oldbury and District CC) — takes
the honours by just one second.

36 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly

Photo: CW archives

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 37


Tim Gould’s Wheels

The American Classic

Carbon 46 tubulars
are a sub-1,500g
wheelset that’s as
fast for cyclo-cross

as it is in crosswinds.
The 46mm deep
rim has excellent


Derby-based Forme’s
aluminium Calver
proved a perfect
match for the
wintry conditions at
Bradford’s Peel Park
his is the bike off-road legend
Tim Gould rode to second place
in the over-50s category at the
Bradford round of the National Trophy
series on December 10.
Gould, a former world and national
champion and six-time winner of the
Three Peaks Cyclo-Cross, came back
to competitive racing in 2014 at the age
of 50 and rides for Matlock-based bike
shop Zepnat.
The bike, like Gould himself who lives
just over an hour away from the Bradford
course at Peel Park, is locally sourced.
Derby-based Forme names its bikes after
local villages: Calver is about five miles Disc brakes
north of Bakewell. He might be an
The Calver is an aluminium frame that old stager but he’s
Forme says is lighter than most carbon fully up to speed
cross frames at 1.2kg. It’s designed for with the latest
thru-axles and disc brakes and has an Cassette technology: there’s
RRP of just £525. Gould’s Calver has a Paired with the 42t no way you’d catch
thoroughly modern build based around a 1x set-up is a 11-32 Gould riding
SRAM Force 1x groupset. cassette, giving ratios old-fashioned
Photos: Andy Jones

The Bradford round was Gould’s first that are suitable for canti brakes
of the year, in which he amassed some any National
useful ranking points for a grid position Trophy course
in the Nationals in Sunderland on
January 13-14.

38 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly

Gould runs a 42-tooth SRAM Force1
single chainring with wide-narrow Chapter2 Tere
teeth that hold the chain in place Chapter2 is the new brand of Mike Pryde,
son of Neil of watersports and now bicycle
fame, and the Tere is Chapter2’s first
bike. Since he has plenty of experience,
Pryde has hit the ground running and the
Tere is a fully formed aero superbike.
Price: £1,649 (framesest)
Review: February

ZeroRH+ Olympo glasses

Why wait for
summer? We’ll
don these
shades, made
from an ultralight
and resistant
material ZeroRH+
calls Grillamid Titanium, as
soon as the sun comes out whatever the
temperature. Lenses are interchangeable
and six frame colours are available.
Price: £99.99 Review: February

Blackburn RaceDay
portable trainer
Comparable in size to a large chihuahua,
as Blackburn’s photo demonstrates,
SRAM Force HRD shifters have the RaceDay has a telescopic tripod
plenty of hood to hold onto into which you clamp
your fork and the rear
wheel runs on twin fluid
rollers capable of 650
watts of resistance.
Total weight is 14.8lb.
Price £349.99

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 39

Bike test

B’Twin Ultra 520 AF

GF £1,299.99
Tested by: Ken Buckley | Miles ridden: 367
Size tested: M | Weight: 9kg

he latest endurance- Decathlon’s words (ie butted

focused, disc- tubes), the B’Twin won’t
equipped model worry the UCI weight limit
from Decathlon’s in-house of 6.8kg, but it’s certainly
brand works well as a reliable no Christmas porker. Our
winter bike or sportive-buster. medium-sized test model
tipped the scales at
Frame 9kg with pedals — a
Built with 6061 aluminium respectable enough
of “variable thickness” in weight for an alu
frame with a mid-
B’Twin Ultra 520 AF GF range build.
£1,299.99 The inclusion of
Frame QQQQQQQQQQ 9/10 12mm thru-axles
and flat mount
Specification QQQQQQQQQQ 8/10
calipers mean it’s
bang on trend. The
Value QQQQQQQQQQ 9/10 geometry of the
Distributor Ultra 520 is designed
Frame 6061 aluminium with comfort over
Fork carbon monocoque disc long distances in
(flat mount) mind, placing riders
Size range XS/S/M/L/XL in a more upright,
maintainable position.
Weight 9kg
The 12mm threaded
Groupset SRAM Rival disc axles usually do a great job
Alterations None at stopping disc rub in our
Gear ratios 50/34, 11-28t experience, but we did need to
Wheels Mavic Ksyrium disc do some tweaking on our first
Tyres Mavic Yksion couple of rides to eliminate
unwelcome squeaky noises. which is becoming ever more the saddle, and found them
Overall this is a good solid common in the adventure/ digging into our hands after
Stem DEDA ZERO 2 frame, with the angular and gravel/cyclo-cross scene. The several hours of riding in
Seatpost Carbon, 27.2mm square tube shapes adding chainset feels rock solid, even thin gloves. The low pivot
Saddle Fizik Antares R3 lots of stiffness where it’s under high-power efforts, point on the brake lever
needed. The 27.2mm seatpost steep climbs and sprints. means stopping power on
that comes with the Ultra 520 Our one issue with the Rival the hoods is compromised
makes for a comfortable ride. groupset is the large shifters. slightly — fortunately not
Being designed for use with so much of an issue with
Specification hydraulic disc brakes means powerful disc brakes.
This is the only disc-equipped that the addition of a reservoir There is reach adjustment
road bike B’Twin makes, so for brake fluid turns what for those with shorter fingers,
there’s only one build option; could be a nice ergonomic but this only brings the levers
SIZE TESTED: M but it’s a good one. shifter into a big, solid box. further in and closer to the
SRAM Rival Disc is a We struggled to grip the bars, not higher up towards
55cm 73.5˚ 73˚ 15cm 38cm 41cm 59cm 99cm decent mid-range option, shifters when climbing out of the hoods. Far and away the

40 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly

SRAM discs performed Double Mavic, a winning
with aplomb tyre/wheel combination

bike. It would get you around Value

all but the most extreme of As expected from Decathlon,
terrains without bother. this bike is great value. Its
Another fantastic addition carbon seatpost and fork,
to this bike is the Fizik mid-range groupset and solid
Antares R3 Endurance wheelset combine to make
saddle. While saddle choice a very competitively priced
is a subjective issue, we bike, even compared with
found the Antares R3 to all the online-only, direct-to-
be very comfortable. consumer brands.

The ride was smooth Verdict
and responsive, and A solid winter ride that
the bike felt stiff looks great but won’t
enough climbing wow like your summer
out of the saddle race bike. It rolls well
and assured in the once it’s up to speed and
corners. However, certainly won’t slow
it did feel a little you down.
sluggish on steep Disc brakes are fast
sections and sharp becoming a must for
accelerations. any winter ride on the
While the comfort slippery UK roads, and
level of an aluminium this bike does a great job
frame will rarely be of ticking that box while
on a par with a good offering fun

carbon one, the B’Twin through the
was very rideable and not summer
harsh at all. The bike handled months
well with the Deda RHM02 and on
bar giving a good, aggressive longer rides.
position in the drops, and
of course the disc brakes
best feature of this bike is removes all fear of feathering are great. For
the disc brakes. If this is not the brakes while leaning over, The Mavic Kysrium J Carbon upgrades
intended to be a best bike which on the more grabby rim wheels and Yksion tyres J Hydraulic disc brakes
but a good all-rounder, then brakes can quickly lead to a are a reliable combination. J Comfortable ride
the discs really add value. sticky situation. The wheels rolled nicely, and
You can throw this bike The 50/34 compact the new breed of Mavic tyres Against
around and into corners with chainset with a wide-range were assured and grippy JA bit sluggish when
confidence thanks to the cassette is the perfect choice on the leafy corners of the sprinting or climbing out
impressive stopping power. for this build. We were never autumnal South Downs. of the saddle
The masses of modulation left searching for more gears All in all, a confidence- JBulky shifters
and feel that come from discs in our hours spent testing this inspiring combination.

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 41


Mudguards SKS Bluemels Stingray £41.99

Fair play to SKS — the Stingray is its attempt built with the quality and durability that SKS
Simon Smythe tests to jazz up the reliably humdrum mudguard is renowned for. They come with a

five unassuming but

essential pieces of
by introducing colours such as ‘lime green’,
‘blazing red’ and ‘ocean
Weight blue’. In between the colours
five-year guarantee to prove it. 8
winter cycling kit
474 is a cool matt black and
grams the whole underside of the
mudguard is in the feature
colour — though not for long, of course, and
What the idea of ‘statement’ mudguards won’t
Some manufacturers — and even cyclists appeal to everyone.
on this side of the Atlantic — refer to The Stingrays are wider than standard
them as fenders, but even calling them road bike-designated mudguards: SKS
by the same name as Jimi Hendrix’s says they’re for ‘all road’ gravel-type bikes.
guitar is not going to make mudguards We measured the Stingrays at 5cm across
sexy. But boy are they useful if you cycle (it says 45mm), which is too wide for the
in a climate like ours. brake bridge of an average winter road
There are broadly speaking two types bike unless you trim them.
of mudguard: those for frames with The Stingrays have full-length steel
mudguard eyes — ‘fixed mudguards’ stays that are meant for bikes with
— and those for frames without, known braze-on, fixed mudguard eyes.
as clip-on mudguards. We’ve included So they may not fit the traditional
three of the former and two of the latter skinny-tubed winter training bike
in this test. Of course, even if your bike but if you have a bike that runs the
has mudguard eyes there’s no reason 28-38mm tyres that the Stingrays
why you can’t use clip-ons like the are aimed at, they will do a great job
Crud Roadracers if you’re looking for a at providing full-length cover and are
lightweight, easily removable solution.

Why Kinesis Fend-Off £50

Shun them at your peril. Many clubs
have rules about mudguards during These new anodised aluminium mudguards be cut out from the included header card.
Greenwich Mean Time: you can violate from Kinesis are a good alternative to the Dare we say it, the Fend-Offs actually
them if you like but you’ll be forced to reinforced ‘chromoplastic’ that market leader look cool, with their laser-etched
ride at the back all day.

How 508
SKS uses, and the overall
Weight weight is on a par too.
The rear uses the same
graphics and matt surface, and
they’ll last for years, too.
We tested these mudguards on a grams fixing points as a traditional
bike fitted with mudguard eyes, fixed mudguard. The front
long-drop rim calipers and 25mm has just one stay each side that can be easily
tyres. Since the all-road type of bent to mounting points higher up the insides
winter bike is configured differently of disc-brake forks if necessary.
from one to the next, it isn’t feasible Since they have a single stay at the front,
to comment definitively with regard a breakaway clip is not included. The end of
to disc-brake compatibility. the stay does fit the SKS-type clip, however,
and is a solution if you’re worried, but
there’s a degree of movement since
HOW WE SCORE they’re designed for a V stay and it
10 - Superb, best in its class and we couldn’t fault it. doesn’t look right.
9 - Excellent, a slight change and it would be perfect Fitting is straightforward, with
8 - Brilliant, we’d happily buy it plenty of clearance between
7 - Solid, but there’s better out there mudguard and a 25c tyre. The
6 - Pretty good, but not quite hitting the mark squared-off edges turn slightly
5 - OK, nothing wrong with it, but nothing special downwards rather than enclosing
4 - A few niggles let this down the top of the tyre, which means
3 - Disappointing they can handle wider 28c tyres.
2 - Poor, approach with caution There are optional polypropylene
1 - Terrible, do not buy this product mud flaps for front and rear that can

42 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly

SKS Raceblade Long £54.99
The Raceblade Longs are for bikes close clearance between tyre and rear of
without mudguard eyes. They’re a plastic seat tube.
mudguard of two halves, joined by steel It sounds complicated but it’s very
brackets, the faces of easy to set up. Out of the box the
Weight which are held together Raceblade Longs fitted a standard
483 by the brake caliper 700C wheel and 25c tyre with no
grams bolt. At the dropouts, bending, hacksawing or fettling,
the QR skewer passes achieving an impressively even gap
through wafer-thin steel eyelets that clip from guard to tyre. A 28mm tyre would
to the ends of the stays — also working be pushing it in clearance terms.
as safety breakaway clips — and clamps The Raceblade Longs will keep
them in place. Obviously that makes your clubmates, your bum and
them incompatible with thru-axles and your feet dry, but gaps at the
track hubs. fork, seatstay bridge and
The rear does not reach down as
far as the chainstay bridge, meaning
Raceblades can be fitted to bikes with
bottom of the seat tube leave
those areas exposed.
M:Part Primo £39.99 BEST
Last year’s Primoplastics had ‘Pop-off’ steel bridge for connecting the rear to FIXED
couplings, but these use the traditional the frame’s brake bridge. It’s too early to GUARD
style where V stays pass through the say, but metal brackets tend to fatigue
wings of two steel and fail eventually: maybe a plastic one is
Weight stay carriers that are superior. Either way, mudguard bridges
558 riveted to the underside are replaceable.
grams of the mudguard — The M:Parts have built-in, rubbery
presumably to avoid mud flaps that are perfectly placed,
accidental pop-offs. wrap around the lower part of the tyre
The M:Parts are the fixed mudguard and give both mudguards a good length
type. They’re made from a flexible and extra protection from spray.
polycarbonate that is perfectly stiff when If you’re weight-weenying, you’ll
fitted, thanks to its rounded profile. notice that the M:Parts are the
The mounting procedure is exactly heaviest on test, but winter
the same as that of the SKS Stingrays
and breakaway clips for the front are
included. There’s a plastic rather than
bikes are supposed to be
heavy, remember? 9
Crud Roadracer Mk3 £34.99 BEST
British brand Crud has thought of flat, that seems feasible: they swallowed CLIP-ON
everything with this third version of the 25mm tyres of a test bike. And GUARD
the Roadracer guard that is designed they’re so light!
for bikes with no The rear comes in two halves: the
Weight mudguard eyes. bottom half can be left off if your bike
241 The Mk3 uses a has less than 4mm between tyre and
grams super-sticky type of seat tube.
Velcro that is stuck in Crud supplies stick-on brushes to stop
strips to the insides of the fork legs and the rear mudguard hitting the tyre, as it
seatstays. Alcohol wipes are supplied in can do due to fewer fixing points.
the box and it’s essential to give the areas The rear is a little short and needs a
of the frame where the strips are to be home-made mud flap.
stuck a very thorough clean first. Thanks to their versatility, light
Keeping the fixing points up high weight and ingenious design,
means no fouling disc brakes and Crud
claims the Mk3s are suitable for tyres of
up to 38mm too. Since they’re relatively
the Cruds are the best clip-on
mudguards in town.
Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 43

Recalibrate your
ride/life balance
Managing the competing
pressures of work, training
and family life is never
easy. We talk to recent
retiree Becky James about
how happiness requires
hard choices

44 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly

ecky James stunned the cycling
world in August by announcing her ‘They told me I’d
retirement, aged just 25. Here was
one of Britain’s — one of the world’s, in fact
never walk again’
— fastest female sprinters, a few years shy Sports psychologist
of her expected peak. A year earlier she had Katie Page was struck
won silver in the keirin and sprint at the Rio down by a paralysing
Olympics. Her hero, Sir Chris Hoy, won the neurological condition
last of his six Olympic medals aged 36, some aged just 19. Here, she explains
11 years older than James when she decided to how summoning mental strength
hang up her racing wheels. What led James to helped her regain the ability to walk
take this bold, if surprising decision, and what “I was a 19-year-old rower training
can we learn from her resolve to embrace a for the GB trials. Suddenly I became
new chapter? unwell, rapidly losing the use of
my legs. I was driven home from
‘I couldn’t face another four-year cycle’ university and by the next morning I
We’ve all experienced competitive pressure, was completely paralysed from the
but what’s it really like in the upper echelons chest down.
of sport? James had lived through one “I was taken to three hospitals
complete Olympic cycle; between 2012 and and eventually diagnosed with
2016 she won two World Championship transverse myelitis. I was in hospital
golds, five bronzes, for three months and told I’d spend
and a bronze in the rest of my life in a wheelchair.
the European How to deal with the pressures Although I wasn’t trained in sports
Championships. of training and racing psychology at that point, I refused
During that period, Sports psychologist Katie Page to accept the outcome doctors
however, she says: “Each of us has our own predicted for me. Once out of
suffered a knee perception of pressure, and each hospital, I went back to university
injury that kept her feeling of pressure is created by a and proved the doctors wrong by
out of competition thought. Catching and controlling regaining the ability to walk.
for 18 months; she your thoughts helps you focus “It was tough, but I realised I was
also had a cancer on process rather than outcome, never going to be an elite athlete
scare — a time on things you can control. again, so I decided to train to help
she has previously Athletes tend to be perfectionists other people in sport. It made
described as and their expectations can me realise that life had a greater
an “emotional sometimes be unrealistic, which purpose; I’d found a way of being a
rollercoaster” and can reduce confidence and thus better person — by helping others
“really lonely”. increase their perception of to be the best they can be. I learnt to
Even after pressure. Strive for continuous focus on what I still had rather than
winning two improvement instead of on what I’d lost.
medals in Rio, she perfection; involve others and “There is so much magic in life — I
couldn’t put herself strip back detail to draw up a can say that 20 years on — and the
through the same clear, manageable game plan.” key is surrounding yourself with the
pressures once right people, a truly supportive team.
again. Retirement was, in the end, the only and “I’m no longer able to run but I
the best option. Sport, she found, “was never still train and embrace what I can
Wors: Chris Marshall-Bell / Photos; Daniel Gould, Russ Ellis

a burden, as there are pressures in all aspects do, despite what the doctors said. I
of life” but without daily training and working honestly believe that my mind has
towards the next event to peak at “a weight been a massively powerful tool to
has been lifted”. enabling that to happen.
“It’s so tough mentally and physically, the “We are so strong if we learn how
four-year cycle,” James reflects. “I realised to help ourselves.”
[this year] how many ups and downs you have
in that cycle. Between 2012 and 2016, there Katie Page has worked in
were more lows than highs and I wasn’t sure if performance psychology for 20
I could put my body through that again. years and has assisted a wide range
“It just definitely felt like the right decision. of athletes including Paralympic,
Some people go for so much longer, but I just Olympic and professional cyclists.
couldn’t imagine myself carrying on and
putting myself through the stress of racing.”

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 45

‘I had to learn not to over-think’ ‘I found myself at an emotional low ebb’
In 2016, after winning silver in the keirin at Recalling the period after the Rio Olympics,
the World Championships in London — “I James says: “I was on such a high until
didn’t expect that at all” — she went into the Christmas: loving life, celebrating all the time.
Olympics hoping to perform, but not in an And then a friend passed away, just before
expectant mood. The keirin was her target and Christmas, and I found
the sprint was secondary. that really hard to deal
“The Keirin was the first event in the with. That was when my How to deal with emotional stress
Olympics and I was on the low started. from within and outside cycling
form of my life. I had the “Then it was New Year. Katie Page says: “It’s important to
How to keep your eyes on most amazing pre-Olympic You’ve got to look forward take time to reflect. Sometimes life is
the prize track, I was doing PBs on and not back, but despite trying to tell us something and we are
Katie Page says: “Once you have the track in Newport, which trying to figure out what I not listening. If you repeat negative
an ultimate goal, break it down obviously gave me a lot of wanted to do, I felt unsure patterns, emotional stress builds up.
into mini goals, keeping each one confidence, but I didn’t know and really unhappy. A setback that imposes time off the
positive and realistic. Once you how the rest of the world “I couldn’t snap bike can be an opportunity to come
achieve a mini goal, recognise were going to perform until myself out of it and it back stronger and better.
it and reward it — rather than I got there… I always had was a vicious circle. For “Communicate openly with
always chasing towards that hopes that I would win a months I cried a lot; I felt trusted people, and be proactive
end prize. Keep reviewing and medal, but I didn’t want to constantly emotional. I and understanding about what you
reflecting, as sometimes it’s really jinx myself or over-think it. thought, ‘What else can I need to restore balance. Consciously
important to reassess and adjust. “I can be terrible for do but be a cyclist?’” do the things that make you happy,
Redirecting your course is not thinking too far ahead and She is momentarily which will enable you to cope better
failure; it is a greater success, as then getting so caught up flustered, her voice with emotional stress. In today’s
it proves you are in tune with what in thinking about the future cracking as she recalls society, everybody is so busy, our
doing your best really means.” that I forget about taking it the difficult time. “It’s minds constantly active. Alongside
a step at a time. I worked all I have ever known, to your exercise, you need to find other
really hard with a psychologist all the way up cycle and race my bike, ways of letting your mind be calm, to
the Olympics on things like that. I always had and I just couldn’t think become more present and attentive
hope, and deep down I was going there to win of what I would be good to the world around you. Even if it’s
a medal.” And medal she did: James qualified at. I couldn’t imagine life just 10 minutes, make time to allow
with an Olympic record in the sprint (10.721) without cycling in it. It your mind to be still.”
and eventually won a second silver, to her was really strange. It was
shock and delight: “Honestly, I didn’t expect to a horrible circle. I kept coming back to the
win a medal in the sprint.” same questions and inconclusive answers.”

‘Fitness is fragile — and put the work in. I lost the ability to push thinking, ‘I don’t particularly want to do this
myself to the absolute limit.” anymore.’ That’s when I started thinking
so enjoy it’ Switching to coaching: “Cycling had about becoming a coach.”
Former GB track rider Jonny Bellis was been my life and I didn’t know what else to No regrets: “Given what happened to me,
knocked off his scooter by a car when riding do. I carried on riding because I liked the the fact I was still alive was a miracle. So not
back from team-mate Mark Cavendish’s lifestyle, but I wasn’t getting the results I quite being able to make it back to where
house in Quarrata, Italy, on September 19, wanted. Coming to the decision to retire was I wanted wasn’t too disappointing. I had
2009. His skull was shattered, his nose, a long process. After a year and a half, I was achieved quite a lot before my accident, so I
cheekbones and sternum fractured, and look back with no regrets.”
he was put into an induced coma. Doctors The lesson for other cyclists: “I say to
said he would never walk again, but he was whoever I’m coaching, you’ve got to enjoy
back riding just 10 months later. For the next it. If you’re not enjoying it, it’s very difficult
two years, Bellis attempted to battle back to commit and put in the necessary work.
to competitive fitness, eventually retiring in Communication is key — you won’t feel
December 2015 to become a full-time coach particularly good every day, and it helps
( to have someone to discuss it with. For
On striving to return to racing: “After riders with other priorities such as school
my accident I wanted to come back, and or college work, I advise them to do the
physically perhaps I could have, but mentally homework — missing one session isn’t going
I just didn’t have the drive anymore. It was to hurt. No rider should feel guilty about
something inside of me, I just didn’t have skipping a training session if they’re too busy
the desire to go out for five or six hours a day or not feeling well.”

46 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly

“I couldn’t imagine life without
cycling in it. It was really strange.
It was a horrible circle”

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 47

“I thought about going back
to training and then made
the decision to set up my
baking business”

48 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly

‘I had to learn to trust in a different type ‘I’d achieved my goals, the time was right’
of training’ “I have no regrets,” James, now 26, says.
“When you start performing and winning “I know people think I
those world titles, that’s when the pressure was young to retire, but
comes,” James admits, recalling her for me it felt like the right How to know when to call it quits
breakthrough double gold at the World time. I had won my World Katie Page says: “Language is very
Championships in 2013. Championship, Olympic powerful, and the word ‘quit’ has
“When I went to the World Championships and Commonwealth negative connotations. The mind and
in 2014 and only got two bronzes, I said to medals. I know how much body are completely connected, and
myself, ‘This isn’t good enough; I want to be work and dedication it language shapes our thoughts, so
winning those golds again.’ So I had a short takes to get there and just think not in terms of quitting but of
holiday and went straight back into training. felt my time was done.” changing direction.”
But I overtrained.
“I think I just wanted it too much. You have ‘Baking came along at
to hold yourself back a just the right time’
little, think long-term Confusion reigned for James for a while; she was
How to embrace change and be rather than expecting stuck in a rut. She has always been interested in
flexible in your training instantaneous results. baking and so went on a week-long baking course
Katie Page says: “Believing in your “I wasn’t thinking in in London. Unexpectedly, it proved her saviour,
training is vital, and there needs to be terms of long-term prompting her to begin a new life that didn’t
trust. Ask yourself what makes you goals, so that’s why I revolve around sport.
feel confident about your training: picked up my injury. “The teacher there
how can you take control of it, I was out for more than a gave me this new lease of Why cycling success doesn’t
measure it and understand it? If year. It was really tough, hope and belief in myself guarantee happiness
something is not working, change but coming back was just to go out and get Katie Page says: “If you are only
it; you need to be open to doing even harder.” started at my business,” working and training hard all the
things differently. After 18 months she says. “She gave me time, you’ll burn out. You need to
“Change should be exciting, not of frustration, James so much confidence that I look at life and enjoyment, and
scary. Monitor improvements as was rejuvenated and thought, ‘Yes, this is it!’ I giving yourself chance to recharge.
building blocks for confidence and, if determined, but she was shouldn’t worry so much Having outside interests also helps
something concerns you, discuss it still having to win battles about looking back and you understand yourself as a whole
and create solutions. Our bodies are in her mind. trying to figure out what I person, not just as an athlete.”
always changing, so it’s important to “I learned a lot about want to do. There’s more
have that flexibility and not get stuck myself between 2012 and to life than just riding my bike, it’s just that it took
in a rut.” 2016. My way of training me a long time to accept that.
changed completely,” she “That lifted me, I thought about going back to
reveals. “Despite being a sprinter, doing lots training and then it took until August to make the
of road miles worked for me, as well as lots decision about setting up my baking business.”
of track and strength work. I was a little bit
smaller and leaner in 2013 after doing all that ‘I still love cycling, but I’m happily retired’
road work. James has now set up a baking business, Baked
“But when I picked up my knee injury I by Becks, and is relishing the creative challenge.
couldn’t sustain the road riding. My coaches But with 14 years of cycling behind her — she
wanted me to scale back to doing two road started riding her bike
rides a week and I wasn’t convinced that aged 11 and by her mid-
was enough. teens was on the Olympic Why every cyclist needs a life
“But by January 2016 I started to believe. I Development Programme beyond cycling…
was having three strength and conditioning — she has a breadth of Katie Page concludes: “My tagline
sessions a week to get fit, rather than slogging knowledge that would be is: wherever the mind goes, the body
it out on the road for two or three hours. a waste not to pass on to will follow. Research shows thoughts
“Obviously it all worked out in the end. I the next generation. influence physiology. You can learn
think believing in what you’re doing is the “I will always love how to take greater control of your
most important thing, as well as knowing that cycling; I am desperate mind. By doing this you will naturally
things can change over time. still to be part of it,” she achieve better results and more
“One approach worked for me in 2012, says. “I still have so much consistency in your performance.
but in 2016 something completely different to give. I love the tactics, The key is to keep things simple.”
had great results. It’s about what works the keirin, the sprint
for your body specifically and believing in racing. It’s something that
what you’re doing and having faith in your will always be close to my heart, so I’d love to
coaches as well.” give back as much as I can.”

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 49


James Knox
My week in training
Date: August 8-14, 2017 | Training for: Tour de l’Avenir (August 18-27)
Location: Girona, Spain

Chris Marshall-Bell Rocacorba Long ride with Easy ride with

tempo hill efforts cafe stop
oung British climber I did a loop that With l’Avenir Today I had no
James Knox enjoyed included climbing Rocacorba, coming up, it was important structured training, so I
a sterling 2017. with two 18-minute efforts to train in the mountains. went for a cafe ride with
Over his short career, he has followed by a third where I This was a base ride, but I Dan Pearson, who rides for
recorded a number of high GC carried on to the top of the did include a 45-minute, a Aqua Blue Sport. It was very
placings, including fourth and climb. I was riding tempo and 25-minute and a 20-minute steady and on flat roads. It
fifth at the Ronde de l’Isard, hitting the steeper ramps to climb. If I’m going out for 4.5 was a rest day for me, but I
and second at the U23 Liège- simulate being in a race, then hours, I prefer to do it in the prefer wasting a few hours of
Bastogne-Liége. maintaining the pace on the hills, as time goes faster and the day having an easy cafe
Knox has spent the last two flatter sections. I tend to ride it makes getting the base ride, otherwise if I sit at home
years at Continental level Rocacorba about 10 times miles in a lot easier. and have a complete day off,
with Team Wiggins, but in a year, but David Millar has it can be a bit of a drag. When
2018 he’ll race the WorldTour been helping me these last I’m in Girona, it’s nice to ride
for Quick Step Floors, having 12 months and whenever he with friends and have a
signed a two-year contract sets my training, Rocacorba proper catch-up.
with the Belgian team. is mentioned a lot.
Here, Knox shares his
training schedule in the run
up to the Tour de l’Avenir,
where he was eighth overall.
3hr 4.5hr 3hr
Long ride with Race Recovery ride Rocacorba ride
hill efforts simulation This was an easy inc. KOM effort
My Team Wiggins motorpacing day out riding with This was my last
team-mate, Etienne Georgi, I went motorpacing behind Nick Schultz, who rides for chance to prepare before
was staying with me. It was Christian Meier on rolling Caja Rural-Seguros. We went l’Avenir, so I opted for a
his first time in Girona so roads. It was to get that race very slowly and had a chat. flat-out effort up Rocacorba.
I took him for a long ride. feel back into my legs. I was This was my rest day so I did I realised from Strava that I
I did 20 minutes flat-out riding at 45kph (28mph) nothing to exert myself; it was going well on it, so I had
on a climb in the first hour, and doing little micro was more like active recovery. a crack at the KOM. I went
and then had a cafe stop to accelerations where I stamp When I raced for Zappi’s we all hill-climb and took my
replenish my energy. on the pedals to maintain never had a day off and just kit, bottles and saddlebags
I then went pretty hard for pace behind the bike. I hate had easy rides, and I’ve stuck off and managed to get the
30 minutes up Rocacorba it when I am doing it, as it’s to a similar schedule. Plus, KOM [although Simon Yates
Photos:, Russ Ellis

before rolling home. I prefer subjecting myself to a world it’s nice to indulge in cake and reclaimed it three days later].
going out on my own of pain for an extended a coffee, isn’t it? I rode back a complete shell.
when I’m doing effort rides, period of time without much
but it was good to show say in the matter, but it’s the
Etienne around. best way to simulate racing.

5hr 2.5hr 2.25hr 2.5hr

50 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly
It’s widely speculated that the
riders who achieve the highest
heights are those who are
resilient enough to absorb the
biggest training loads. Judging by
James Knox’s week, that might
just stack up. He completes
nearly 23 hours of riding with
fearsome high-intensity work
on five of the seven days — and
seems to thrive on it. Bear in
mind, too, this is just a few days
out from a target race. Despite
the toughness, it shines through
that he’s having fun. Hats off.

The week
statistics 22.75


After two years with Team 1

Wiggins, while also representing
Great Britain, Knox is progressing T W T F S S M
to WorldTour level in 2018 KEY:
Endurance Intervals
Intervals Race

Training Q&A What’s your favourite training ride? How do you keep motivated?
A sunny, four or five-hour ride into the I rationalise and think that at the end
What would be your hills in Girona or Italy or the Lake District. I’ll feel better for it. If I start and I feel
advice to a 16-year-old you? The reason I fell in love with cycling was terrible, normally after a few hours of
Don’t be afraid to push yourself. People because as a child we would take our steady riding the legs come round. It’s
are happy to stare at their power meters bikes on holidays to France and Italy and best to get out there and do something
and heart-rate monitors all the time, explore the mountains. as opposed to doing nothing.
but there is nothing wrong with hurting
yourself — just listen to your body. Which climbs are tougher: Bio
the Lakes or those in Europe? James Knox
Do you prefer training The Lakes feel harder just because JAge: 22
with a power meter? they’re so unforgiving. Plus, the JFrom: Levens, Cumbria
I’ve only had one for the last roads are so heavy and hard that my JLives: Girona, Spain
year, but I prefer training legs are dead before I’ve reached JRides for: Team Wiggins
without. It’s nice to go out a climb. In Europe the roads (Quick Step Floors in 2018
and not worry about anything are smooth and it’s easier and 2019)
other than turning your legs. to keep the legs ticking. JBest results:
It’s much more satisfying like Climbs in the Lakes are 2nd – U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège, 2017
that. Put your Garmin in your back disgusting, really. They’re 4th – Ronde de I’Isard, 2016
pocket from time to time! not even fun! 8th – Tour de l’Avenir, 2017

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 51

Ride with

Dunfermline Club facts

Based: Dunfermline, Fife
Members: 170

Cycling Club other of hazards,” he says. Formed: 1935

The second of today’s two Meets (all from Glen Gates, Bridge
groups arrives, including Street, Dunfermline): Saturday
newbie Gary Conner, who is 9am: no-drop cafe ride.
Sunday club ride, 9am: 18mph+;
Trevor Ward joins this lively bunch glowing from the ride.
“My wife and I took up 10am: 15 mph+ with cafe stop.
for their weekly ‘bun run’ cycling three years ago to Tuesday 7pm: chaingang.
keep fit, and we joined the Thursday 7pm: Group ride, 18mph+
s we approach “It’s all downhill for a scone club a year ago for the social
the cafe stop and now anyway,” says Colin side,” he says. “I remember
halfway mark of Beveridge, emphasising the doing three miles and from Livingston, but not
Dunfermline CC’s weekly club’s social side. “I used to thinking I’d conquered the before helping develop a new
‘bun run’, Gary England and I go out on the Tuesday night world! Now I’m up to 65 miles waterproof coating for Castelli.
are discussing the etiquette of chaingangs but those lads are and aiming for 100.” “I used to find simple things
taking your pull at the front. really fast. So now a group of like drinking from my bottle
Club secretary Ian Condie us go out on Thursday nights Pedal strokes while riding in a group really
and Billy Bunyan have done at a more social pace.” Another relative newbie is difficult, but the club has
more than their fair share of At the cafe, England tells Andrea Gellan, who took up really helped my confidence,”
dragging us the 20-plus miles me he joined the club four road cycling to improve her she says.
so far, but CW aren’t expected years ago “as motivation to triathlon training. Back on our bikes, I’m at
to put their nose in the wind get out during the winter “I was originally a swimmer, the back of the fast group as
too? After all, we’re guests... months”. Since then, he’s but riding with the club has we start the long climb over
We take our lead from learned useful skills about really helped my cycling,” Knockhill. Sixteen-year-old
England, who says: “You riding in a group. “The says Gellan, who took early Lewis Crawford, who along
don’t like to go in front in most important is the retirement from her job as with Charlie Ross is one of
case you offend them.” So communication between a technologist with cycling two junior racers with us
we let Condie and Bunyan riders, remembering to keep fabric manufacturer Gore today, hangs back to offer
continue setting the tempo. chatting and warning each after it moved its premises encouragement, but just

History underlining the club’s commitment experience of group riding.

One of Scotland’s oldest clubs, to inclusivity and social riding. “This has been very successful,
Dunfermline and District Cycling “We enjoy most aspects of particularly in attracting
Club was formed in the spring of cycling with a large contingent new female members,” says
1935 following the amalgamation with us purely for the social and Hutchinson.
of the Russell Wheelers and the recreational side of riding,” says Another regular on the
Dunfermline Thistle CC (who chairman Scott Hutchinson. club’s schedule is the Club 100
were joined later that year by the The club is rightly proud of its series, which sees alternating
members of the Dunfermline commitment to developing youth monthly rides of 100 miles and
Bluebell CC). and female riders. It organises 100km. “We operate a no-drop
A Russell Wheelers’ trophy the Jack Murray road race, policy, which means we attract
(The Struan Cup), dated 1930, is which is designed to give juniors a wide range of abilities,” says
still in use as one of Dunfermline experience of racing against Hutchinson of the outings. J James Bell and
CC’s championship cups third and fourth-cat seniors and The club’s annual sportive, Ken Thomson finished
today. The club’s activities in has been designated a Scottish Tour of the Kingdom, offers a second and fourth in the
the 1950s very much centred Junior Road Race Championship choice of three routes through Cairngorm Sportive.
around touring with most racing event for 2018. (Jack Murray, Fife’s rolling countryside and was J Joe Nally, Knockhill
members alternating their a former racer who believed in voted one of the UK’s best events Mountain 25 TT champion
weekends between racing and encouraging youth, is still an in a CW poll. and recently accepted
Photos: Janes Robertson

youth hostelling. active member of the club.) into British Cycling’s

These days, the Saturday On the same day, the club Achievements Senior Academy.
morning ‘bun run’ — a fixed will host a round of the Scottish J Ross Thomson, Scottish junior J David Holgate and Alan
route of 40 miles ridden at the Women’s RR Series. The club hill-climb champ; Scottish junior Affleck finished second
pace of the slowest — is the also runs a monthly ‘New Start’ 25 TT champion; Fife Cycling and third in the two-day
staple of Dunfermline CC’s week, ride aimed at giving newbies Association hill-climb champ. 'Heb' race.

52 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 53
Dunfermline CC club run MILES Favourite cafe
Popular with local cyclists lured
here by its extensive menu of hot
Ride highlights chocolate toppings, fruit scones
and home baking, the Cafe des

1 Lookaboutye Brae
This is a fast, flat section
along narrow roads that lasts for
2 Dollarbeg descent
By now you are in glorious
countryside in the shadow of the
3 Knockhill climb
This is where club junior
Lewis Crawford does his hill reps.
Fleurs fills up at weekends,
so it was a good move by club
chairman Scott Hutchinson to
5km and feels like something out Ochil Hills, and this is a swooping, It’s never particularly steep, but it call in advance and book “two
of a Belgian Spring Classic, but long descent that delivers you drags on for five miles, meaning tables for 12 please”. It has a cosy,
without the cobbles. It’s part of into the pretty village of Dollar you can make it as hard or as easy quirky interior, outdoor seating,
National Cycling Route 76. and the cafe stop. as you want. and is used to welcoming groups
of cyclists seeking sustenance.
300 m
Serves a good range of soups
250 m and savouries, too, with plenty of
200 m gluten-free treats on offer.
150 m Cafe des Fleurs, 44 Bridge St,
100 m
Dollar, FK14 7DE
50 m
Tel: 01259 743699
Facebook: CafeDesFleursDollar

Cafe stop

Ordnance Survey mapping © Crown copyright. AM46/13. Created with Memory-Map


0 KM 10
0 Miles 5

54 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly

Meet the club

Gary Conner: “Cycling with the

club is addictive — it’s all about
the people you ride with.”

"Yes mate, you smashed

my PB... again. Now put
your phone down and
eat some cake"

Lewis Cameron: “My school

friends are also members — road
cycling is very cool these days.”

The canary-clad
crew tackle Dissecting the ride
Scott Hutchinson, chairman:
the local lanes over a brew
“We’ve enjoyed great success
in various events this year.”

makes me feel even more the Scottish autumn nights couple of years because of
inadequate as he reels off his for up to eight hours at a time. family commitments, and
weekly exploits on the bike. “There have been a couple when I came back there was
“I’m planning to ride 275 of times when I’ve come a definite change. The club
miles in 24 hours, from back home totally destroyed had really embraced social
Inverness to Dunfermline, because of the wind,” he says. media, meaning riders could
to raise money for an As we start the gradual arrange rides at a mutually
Alzheimer’s charity, so I’m descent back into agreeable pace.
having to do some ultra Dunfermline, Iain Cochrane “The club is so good I’ve
endurance training,” he says. tells me: “The first ride I went just bought my 15-year-old
This has consisted of him on with the club, they were son Craig a bike, because he
setting out from home at too fast, I just couldn’t keep wants to start joining us on Andrea Gellan: “I've gone from
midnight and cycling through up. Then I had to leave for a our rides,” he adds. turbo sessions in the garage to
qualifying for the Kona Ironman.”
Contact Twitter @Dunfermlinecc Facebook/Dunfermline Cycling Club

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 55

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Last laugh

If you're going to pick a fight
with a new rider, says the Doc,
choose your target wisely

o, here we are. We’ve Some riders are easier to educate

emerged from the than others. This time of year
hurly-burly of Christmas always reminds me of a January
at racing weight, with 500 or so morning when a new face arrived
festive miles under our belts, not a at the club run. The ground was
trace of a cold, and in a land where sparkling with frost, our breath
ice never happens. Well done us. hung in clouds, and the pastel
It’s the best time of year for the yellow of this bloke’s summer
experienced rider. Not because jersey and shorts set off the blue of
the roads are quiet, because his arms and legs a treat.
they’re not. Not because we can
criticise others for their inadequate Just warming up
mudguards, though I admit it’s a “You should get some proper
considerable bonus. But because kit, you idiot,” barked my friend
now, months away from the Bernard, who had appointed
season, we can explain the rules himself headmaster.
of winter riding to less experienced “I’ll warm up when we get a bit
riders, and nothing offers the same of a sweat on,” he said.
buzz as educating the newcomer. “Humph!” said Bernard.
We can condescendingly explain “We’ll see about that.”
how fast they should go, what Bernard led us off at a pace
they should wear and how exactly clearly designed to give this guy
the tone of voice they shout their hypothermia. Toddlers on balance
warning of “hole!” in should tell bikes came thundering past us. In
the rest of us how deep it is, where spite of Bernard’s best efforts to
it is, the angle of the sides, and marshal the group, the pale-blue A speeding rider
whether we need to hop over it. rider bustled to the front up the flies past Hutch
The technical term for most wrong side of the road towards the and his gang
of this is either ‘education’ or honking horns of oncoming traffic.
‘mindless bullying’, depending on “I want to do my share of the
your point of view. work,” he said. our own idiot press-motorbike
Eventually our new friend wherever we went.
cracked, and bolted off to the front “Why did you even bother
Acts of Cycling Stupidity in an attempt to warm himself up coming out with us?” Bernard
A parent writes to tell me about their 12-year-old a bit. “That’s got rid of him,” said asked him. “Clearly you’d be
cycling fanatic: “The mechanic at the local shop told Bernard. He was wrong. A few happier on you own!”
him that for chain-cleaning he shouldn’t use a plastic moments later a blue-and-yellow
chain-cleaner with rotating brushes, but should just comet came back towards us, Detour de France
paint solvent on to the chain with a paintbrush, then hell-for-leather. He pulled a U-turn “As you can see, I’m pretty quick,
wash it off with a hose. He told him that it was much straight in front of the group, or at least quicker than you lot,”
better, and much less messy. causing a massed jamming on of said the fledgling. “I want to do the
My son followed these instructions to the letter. brakes and a lot of swearing, and Tour de France. If I don’t practise
Unfortunately, he did it where he always cleans his bike, joined us again. Then he buzzed riding in a peloton I might end up
which is to say sitting on a few sheets of newspaper in off the front once more, and came with people yelling at me.”
the kitchen of our second-floor flat.” back. He repeated the process “Well, I’m sure you wouldn’t
several times. It was like having want to risk that,” said Bernard.

60 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly

How to…
wriggle out of
rash 2018 plans
It’s nearly the end of the first week of January, so it’s time
to work out how to get out of rashly promised targets for
the coming season.
You have a number of options. First, look closely at the
wording of the promise. Is there any slack? For instance,
if you promised to do the Fred Whitton Challenge, did you
know that there was also a 19th-century Fred Whitton
challenge, which consisted of walking the length of
London’s Fleet Street and having a pint in every pub?
Well, there was. And did you actually specify you were
going to do the nutter-ride round Cumbria rather than the
pub crawl? I bet you didn’t.
Next you can look at not just the promise, but the
intention. Why were you promising to do, say, the Fred
Whitton? Was it to make your friends feel inadequate?
If so, try explaining that you realised this was why you
were doing it, and felt it would be altogether more noble
to admit it and be the bigger man or woman about it.
Then there is force majeure. This legal principle
covers the sudden intervention of some overwhelming
circumstance that renders completing the promise
impossible. Such as a puncture, or a lack of enthusiasm.
Finally, bribery. If the promise involved raising
sponsorship, most people will accept it if you invent
some story about an injury and just donate the same
amount yourself. If it wasn’t a sponsorship situation,
most friends will still take £20 to just never mention it
again. I know I do.

Fleet Street pub crawl or

Cumbrian killer? Hardly
a challenging question

“Toddlers on training. Be a good idea for you to

join in.”
balance bikes In due course, Bernard launched
an attack. His friend followed
came thundering eagerly, and rapidly overhauled
him. As soon as Bernie was safely
past our group” a bike length behind he signalled
left and swung into a side road.
A mile or two later, Bernie had We all followed him, and the
an idea. “Normally, after the newbie whizzed off alone.
next village, we pick up the pace Bernard’s timing was exquisite.
a bit,” he said to our newcomer. “What an astounding quality of

“We throw in an attack or two, patronising moron,” said Bernard.

someone goes off the front and I like to think our new friend, when
then we try to chase them down, he realised what had happened,
that sort of thing. Bit of race said exactly the same about him.

Cycling Weekly | January 4, 2018 | 61

Icons of cycling

PMP L-shaped cranks

An idea so bad, it quite the same thing. Time trialling legend
Ian Cammish was a high-profile user.
top-spec cranks, but made in two parts
and bolted together, causing an extra
keeps coming back... They weren’t cheap — around a weak spot at the join.
hundred quid a pair in the early 80s, PMP wasn’t the first to make L-shaped
when you could have bought most of a cranks (or banana-shaped, or boomerang
Kevin Raymond Campagnolo groupset (or practically all shaped — it doesn’t make any difference
of the British car industry) for the same as the design is equally flawed); the idea
he history of cycling is littered sum. These days they still go for strong goes back to the 1890s at least. They
with pointless inventions money when they pop up on eBay, but weren’t the last either — Pegaso in the
(Campagnolo’s Portacatena it’s more for historical curiosity and late 80s, Emmepi in the 90s and Dpardo
chain holding device springs to mind rarity value than for any intrinsic worth. more recently have revived the idea in
— an over-complicated answer to a They were always pretty rare, by the one form or other.
question no one was asking), but these way, but made rarer still by the fact they So, you may never have seen a set of
PMP cranks really take the biscuit. had an alarming tendency to crack and these in real life, but don’t worry, give it
Launched in the early 1980s, they had fail — the crank arm and spider weren’t a few years and someone will invent
some hard-core marketing claims to live forged in one piece, like conventional them again.
up to. According to the adverts, using
them would “improve distribution of the
energy required in pedalling, for increased Ian Cammish gave
equilibrium” and “increase the pedal’s L-shaped cranks a spin
propulsion power” while simultaneously
“lessening energy dispersion on the
downstroke”. Apparently they’d been
extensively tested by “professional
cyclists who demand the maximum
performance with the minimum strain”,
although the adverts curiously refrained
from telling us exactly who these mystery
professionals were (or the results of
their testing...). But never mind —
these wonder cranks would mean that
“bicycling becomes a pleasure and not a
chore” because “the PMP crank and its
unique features take away the exertion
and lighten muscle strain”.

Taking the strain

Now, we at CW are always keen on
anything that takes away exertion and
lightens muscle strain, but advertising
claims can go too far. In fact, you could
have been forgiven for thinking that,
thanks to these revolutionary cranks,
your bike could now ride itself and you
could just put your feet up on the bars
and read the paper.
You’d have been better off reading
a physics or engineering textbook
though, and working out for yourself that
L-shaped cranks were just a gimmick
— heavier than normal cranks, with no
mechanical advantage at all. That didn’t
Photo: R Peel

stop some people taking them seriously

though; or at least using them if they were
paid to or got them for free, which isn’t

62 | January 4, 2018 | Cycling Weekly




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