[23/24] This Week In Cycling

A mega crash.

That’s what dominated the cycling news this week. What would the Dauphiné Stage 5 wipe out mean for the Tour? At the time of writing, it’s still hard to say. But it feels like Pog and Geraint are currently the only big name GC riders to be going into the Tour without some form of injury.

Beyond that, the revamped / renamed Tour of Britain got off to a suitably British bike crime related start. Insert roll eyes emoji!

We also saw a bit of very welcome news on the virtual cycling front this week, with both MyWhoosh and Zwift teasing their new drops. I think it’s safe to say MyWhoosh smashed Zwift out of the water on this one.

Anyway, let’s dive right on in, shall we?

You can view last week’s roundup by clicking here.

Stage Five of Critérium du Dauphiné Neutralised

Stage five of the Critérium du Dauphiné was neutralised with no winner after a massive crash involving over 30 riders.

Race leader Remco Evenepoel and Primož Roglič were among those affected.

Steven Kruijswijk ended his race in an ambulance, while Dylan van Baarle also got injured.

The crash mirrored a similar incident at Itzulia Basque Country in April.

Riders waited nearly an hour for updates before slowly finishing the final 21 kilometres.

The 167km route from Amplepuis to Saint-Priest had been plagued by damp roads and heavy rain.

Ådne Holter was the first to fall in the slippery conditions.

A massive crash occurred with 21km to go, leading to the race’s neutralisation due to insufficient medical cover.

Read in full at Cycling Weekly.

Lifeplus-Wahoo’s Entire Fleet Stolen

Lifeplus-Wahoo had a rough start to the Tour of Britain Women, waking up to find all 14 of their Ribble Endurance SLR bikes stolen from their mechanic’s van.

The theft happened at the Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel in Whitchurch, Shropshire.

With bikes worth over £5,000 each, the team scrambled to find replacements to continue the race.

The team has faced additional setbacks, including Kate Richardson’s forced absence after a hit-and-run incident.

Unfortunately, bike thefts at races have been common, with several teams experiencing similar incidents in recent years.

Read in full at Cycling Weekly.

Gee Whiz

Derek Gee clinched his maiden professional victory at the Critérium du Dauphiné’s third stage with an uphill sprint at Les Estables.

The Canadian rider also seized the overall race lead from Magnus Cort.

Gee capitalised on a timely attack by his teammate Krists Neilands and outpaced Romain Grégoire to secure the win.

Gee expressed his delight, saying the victory was ‘unbelievably special’ after numerous second-place finishes.

Despite a crash involving Primož Roglič, the race saw intense action with a breakaway trio being caught just before the final kilometre.

The final sprint saw Gee outmanoeuvre Grégoire to don the yellow jersey, which perhaps unsurpsingly he promptly relinquished after finishing a very credible sixth the next day in the TT.

Read in full at Cycling Weekly.

Tour de France 2024: Pogačar vs. Vingegaard?

The rivalry between Tadej Pogačar and Jonas Vingegaard is set to heat up at this summer’s Tour de France.

Pogačar, fresh off his dominant Giro d’Italia win, looks to be the favourite.

Vingegaard, recovering from a punctured lung, is still considered a top contender by UAE Team Emirates sports manager Matxin Joxean Fernández.

The ‘big four’ riders, including Primož Roglič and Remco Evenepoel, are all preparing for the Tour despite recent crashes.

Mind games have already begun, with Fernández piling pressure on Vingegaard and his team.

The Tour promises another exciting chapter in the Pogačar vs. Vingegaard saga.

Personally I think it will be Pog’s closest challenge of the year, but he will take it, and possibly quite comfortably too. But right now Jonas is not confirmed to ride the Tour, so fingers crossed still.

Read in full at GCN.

Can Anyone Beat Pogačar’s ‘Scary’ UAE Dream Team?

Tadej Pogačar confirmed his formidable support crew for the Tour de France.

On Eurosport’s Watts Occurring podcast, he revealed a star-studded team including Adam Yates, Juan Ayuso, and Joao Almeida.

Pogačar described his team as ‘scary’ and ‘five-star’, highlighting their climbing prowess and versatility.

The final roster will be officially announced later this month, ahead of the Tour’s start on June 29.

Despite missing some familiar faces, the team is poised to support Pogačar’s bid for a Giro-Tour double.

Read in full at Velo.

Thymen Arensman’s 5 Kilo Giro Gain

Thymen Arensman pedalled 3,500km and burned over 70,000 calories during the Giro d’Italia, but still gained 5 kilos.

The local gnocchi and gelato weren’t to blame; water retention was the culprit.

Riders often gain weight in grand tours due to sodium and glycogen imbalances.

Daily weigh-ins and skin-fold tests help teams manage nutrition and hydration strategies to prevent this.

Arensman’s weight gain tilted his crucial watts-per-kilo ratio, costing him valuable time in the mountains.

Electrolyte mismanagement, excess glycogen, and muscular stress contribute to this phenomenon.

Future sweat tests and hydration strategies may help Arensman avoid this issue and aim for a podium finish.

Read in full at Velo.

Lefevere’s Reconciliation with Alaphilippe

Soudal Quick-Step manager Patrick Lefevere wants to reconcile with Julian Alaphilippe.

Lefevere hopes for a face-to-face meeting without agents or agendas.

Despite a strained relationship and public spats, contract talks are still possible.

Alaphilippe’s recent performance at the Giro d’Italia has complicated negotiations.

Lefevere has criticised Alaphilippe in the past but now seeks a personal and professional resolution.

Read in full at GCN.

Lennard Kämna’s Comeback after Car Crash

Tour de France stage winner Lennard Kämna is back on his bike after a serious accident in Tenerife.

The Bora-Hansgrohe rider was hit by a car driver in April, suffering multiple injuries.

Kämna has successfully completed the first phase of his rehabilitation.

He rode his bike again 44 days after the accident, marking an emotional milestone.

Kämna is now continuing his recovery at the Red Bull Athlete Performance Centre in Austria.

His rehabilitation program includes tests, physiotherapy, and training sessions.

The German cyclist was preparing for the Giro d’Italia when the accident occurred.

Kämna has previously won stages in all three Grand Tours, including the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta a España.

Read in full at Cycling Weekly.

Stannard’s Suspension With A Backdated Ban

Australian cyclist Robert Stannard received a backdated four-year suspension and a fine of 70% of his annual salary for a doping violation.

The UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal found abnormalities in his Biological Passport for 2018 and 2019.

Stannard’s suspension began on 17 August 2018, allowing him to race again, though he currently has no contract.

He denies knowingly using prohibited substances and plans to appeal the decision.

Stannard has one month to appeal before the Court of Arbitration makes a final decision.

Read in full at Cycling Weekly.

Tour de France Unchained Series 2 Drama

The second series of Netflix’s Tour de France: Unchained reveals the emotional turmoil within the Ineos Grenadiers team during the 2023 Tour de France.

Co-leaders Tom Pidcock and Carlos Rodríguez faced internal discord as the team ultimately backed Rodríguez.

Pidcock’s frustration led to a notable on-camera outburst and defiance of team orders.

The series promises a deeper focus on rider emotions, moving away from the brutality of the race to highlight personal struggles and team dynamics.

The reaction to the tragic death of Gino Mäder and other team conflicts, including Ben O’Connor’s fallout with AG2R La Mondiale, are also central themes.

Tour de France: Unchained Series 2 premieres on Netflix on 11 June.

Read in full at GCN.

Leaky Business

The pros have been spotted using unreleased bike tech in 2024, including updates to the Canyon Aeroad, Pinarello Dogma F, and Trek Madone/Emonda.

The Critérium du Dauphiné and other pre-Tour de France races are hotbeds for tech leaks.

Teams often test new gear before official launches, revealing bikes and kit from brands like Canyon, Pinarello, Trek, Wilier, Giant, and more.

Notable mentions include a new lightweight Wilier, the SRAM Red XPLR groupset, and revamped models of the Trek Checkpoint and Giant Revolt.

Other sightings include extra-wide Zipp wheels, Scicon sunglasses resembling Oakley’s, supersized Ekoï pedals, a new Kask Utopia helmet, and Canyon-branded cycling shoes.

Read in full at Cyclist.co.uk.

Zwift’s New Ascent: A Stealthy FTP Test

The price isn’t the only thing going up in Watopia. Zwift is launching a new climb called The Grade next week.

The climb not only opens a new area but also doubles as an FTP test.

The Grade starts from Ciudad de la Cumbre and goes uphill in a straight line initially.

Zwift aims to make FTP tests less daunting by incorporating them into the natural terrain.

Upon finishing, riders will see their calculated FTP, with confetti for personal bests.

The Grade is part of version 1.64, rolling out from 11 to 13 June.

Read in full at GCN.

MyWhoosh’s California Map Teaser Video

This week saw MyWhoosh launch a teaser video of their forthcoming California expansion.

It’s huge, and beautiful.

I have a full post on it here.

And that was just one of two new worlds they teased this week. Crazy.

I cannot wait.

Van Rysel Takes on the Big Boys

Decathlon recently launched Van Rysel, a new line aimed at competing with high-end cycling brands.

The RCR Pro, a £9,000 superbike, is part of this premium push.

Van Rysel offers a range of race bikes to suit various budgets, with specs comparable to pricier competitors.

The brand leverages Decathlon’s global presence, with dedicated Van Rysel stores opening worldwide.

Van Rysel is also making waves in professional cycling, sponsoring the Decathlon-AG2R WorldTour team.

The team has already seen significant success, climbing the WorldTour rankings.

Decathlon aims to position Van Rysel among the top five cycling brands globally.

Read in full at Cycling Weekly.

Mercian Cycles Closes After 78 Years

Mercian Cycles, the iconic British frame builders, have ceased trading after 78 years.

The company, known for its custom steel builds, is entering liquidation, causing widespread sadness.

Founded in 1940, Mercian earned a reputation for its traditional artisan frames, all made in Derby.

An insolvency practitioner has been instructed to handle the process, which involves dealing with outstanding debts.

Fans have expressed their sorrow, sharing memories and photos in the ‘Mercian Cycles Appreciation Society’ Facebook group.

Mercian frames were favoured by legendary cyclists like Beryl Burton and Eileen Sheridan.

The company also sponsored a pro team in the 1960s and found fame across the Atlantic.

The closure is another blow to the cycling industry, which has faced economic challenges since the pandemic.

Read in full at GCN.

Bianchi’s New Factory & Fresh CEO

Bianchi officially opened its new factory in Treviglio, Italy, boasting a manufacturing capacity of 500 bikes per shift.

Bianchi’s president, Salvatore Grimaldi, expressed pride in this innovative and resilient facility, which aligns with Industry 5.0 standards and sustainable solutions.

The factory features digitised production lines, a 500-kilowatt photovoltaic system, and ergonomic workstations.

Additionally, Bianchi announced Marco Gentili as the new CEO, bringing extensive managerial experience to the role.

Read in full at BicycleRetailer.com.

Pashley Cycles’ New CEO

Pashley Cycles appointed Andy Smallwood as its new CEO, succeeding Adrian Williams, who remains chairman.

Smallwood, formerly CEO of Ribble Cycles and managing director at Boardman Bikes, expressed excitement about leading the historic British brand.

He highlighted the company’s alignment with environmental, cultural, and social factors driving cycling’s growth.

Founded in 1926, Pashley Cycles is seeking a North American manufacturing partner.

Last year, the company ventured into sustainable transportation, raising 687,714 euros through crowdfunding for e-cargo delivery bikes, electric assist leisure bikes, and bike-share products.

Read in full at BicycleRetailer.com.

Bike Video Of The Week

Quite a long one this one, but I got through it in one sitting, so it must have been compelling enough to keep watching.

This one got me thinking that there are probably enough hills around here to make something like this possible.

Whether my legs could hack it is another thing entirely.

Bike Of The Week

2024 Cervelo Soloist

To finish off today we have this understated 2024 Cervelo Soloist from redditor VinceOMGZ.

If you click through and view the hi-res picture (it’s a whopper at 11mb) then you can really get a feel for how nice that frame’s paint job actually is.

Just a super clean looking ride, and in the slightly more affordable mid-tier range of about £3,500.

Still way out of my personal price range, but easier to imagine than the usual £10k super bikes.

OK, that’s it from me, see you same time next week!

Leave a Reply