Team Sky ‘vortex’ speed suit now illegal under latest UCI regulations

Updated UCI equipment regulations for 2019 now render the Castelli Body Paint 4.0 speed suit non-compliant. The speed suit featured ‘vortex dimples’ on the sleeves and was controversially used by Team Sky during the 2017 Tour de France opening stage.

The updated rules also affect Endura’s Drag2Zero speed suit as used by Movistar Team, that also features a textured material on the sleeves to improve aerodynamics in time trials.

Bioracer’s speed suits, which recently dominated at the world championship time trials, feature ribbed sleeves aiming for the same aerodynamic effects as Castelli and Endura’s offerings. It is thought the ribbed sleeve design will also become non-compliant.

The full update to the UCI rule, in the chapter for Equipment – Section 3: riders’ clothing states: “Items of clothing may not modify the morphology of the rider and any non-essential element or device, of which the purpose is not exclusively that of clothing or protection, is forbidden.

“Modifications to the surface roughness of clothing are authorised but may only be the result of threading, weaving or assembling of the fabric. Surface roughness modifications shall be limited to a profile difference of 1mm at most.

“The measure of surface roughness modification shall be made without pressure or traction on the clothing.

“All clothing must maintain the original texture of the textile and may not be adapted in a manner to integrate form constraints. Therefore, when not worn, clothing may in no case contain any self-supporting element or rigid parts”

In an email to Cyclingnews, Castelli Brand Manager Steve Smith confirmed the vortex speed suit would now be non-compliant: “Both the Castelli 4.0 ‘pimple’ suit and the Endura [Drag2Zero] suit become illegal. And the grooves in all those suits with the grooved fabric should also be illegal since it’s more than 1mm,” he said.

“We’ve been working on a number of new speed suits that comply fully with the new regulations and are in fact faster than the 4.0 pimples suit. So, we’re actually quite happy.”

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The 100 climbs challenge: The riders who set out to conquer them all

Simon Warren discovers how his book on Britain’s best climbs inspired three amateurs to take on a challenge bigger than the Tour de France

Back in February I had an email from property company boss Dom Millar. “I’m planning a challenge,” he wrote. “I want to ride all the climbs in your book, 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs.”

A few people have done that; it’s a good challenge. It went on: “I, together with two friends, plan to ride them all in one continuous loop, point to point, over 29 days.” You plan to do what!?

To put that in perspective, Land’s End to John o’ Groats, is 1,407km; this year’s Tour de France was 3,349km; the Race Across America (RAAM) around 4,800km; the 100 Climbs challenge was set to be 5,300km. This was huge.

>>> Entering the record books: Taking on a long-distance solo record

A few days later I met Dom in a pub in south London. He was stood at the bar and he directed me to a table where in the shadows sat Graham Salisbury and James Findlater (who was still having second thoughts at this time) and with the nervous trio assembled I began to tell them of the horrors that lay ahead.

These weren’t three elite athletes or experienced long-distance cyclists, just three guys intent on taking on a giant challenge and raising a shed load of money for charity along the way.

Dom’s pacing proves he’s thought this through (Andy Jones)

Over the coming months they’d spend long weekends in hilly parts of the country to get used to smashing out several big days in a row. These often soul-destroying adventures did nothing to assure them they were capable, but the date was set for the start anyway.

Setting off on August 17 from Guildford, they headed west, full of enthusiasm. By day three reality had begun to bite and Dom had his first wobble, posting a video online simply of his feet rotating beneath him. “I was too knackered to work out how to rotate the camera,” he recalls.

They all suffered that day and the early signs were not good but they pressed on, made their way up through Wales where they were treated to reasonable weather and managed to bag all the big beasts including the dreaded Bwlch-y-Groes, then began to head east where I joined them in the Peak District.

We met at the bottom of the famous Cat and Fiddle in Macclesfield, and before I had time to properly shake their hands Graham and James were off up the road.

I turned to Dom. “Where are they going in such a hurry?” I enquired.

“Oh, they race every climb,” he said.

“THEY DO WHAT! Are they mad?” I exclaimed.

“Yes, I do believe they are.”

Up, up and er.. up some more (Andy Jones)

And he was right. We had 10 climbs to tick off that day and James and Graham hit the base of each one as if they were being chased by a pack of wild dogs. It was all or nothing full speed until they blew, then they would just battle on to each and every summit. There was no conservation of energy, no taking it easy because of what lay ahead, this was a marathon and a sprint; 100 sprints.

By the time we parted company 100 miles later, they had ticked off 42 of the 100 but faced so many more of the really big ones.

Looking at the map, the journey up to Bealach-na-Ba would certainly be epic and was peppered with terrors, but any doubts I’d had of them completing the task (and yes I would have betted against them at the start) were quickly fading.



The further north they travelled, the tougher the roads became, but this only fortified their resolve.

“Probably our best day of the whole trip was in the Lake District,” says James. “We ticked off Hardknott, both sides, Wrynose, and six others, and after conquering them, we began to believe we could pull it off.”

However, heading into Scotland, the weather took a predictable turn for the worst. “To be honest we reached a new low on day 18,” says Dom. “The 220 kilometres between Inveraray and Dornie were horrendous. We just had to bury ourselves, deal with the weather and hope we would make it through”.

“I knew we were doing something pretty massive, but that proved it and it damn near broke us. Thank heavens it was followed by a rest day,” James adds.

“Let’s all ride together for….damn… too late” (Andy Jones)

It was clear now that the mental struggle was going to be as tough as the physical one but the knowledge that they were raising much-neeeded funds that would help change the lives of many, helped to quieten the internal chatter.

Whenever their spirits dipped, the scenery would pick them back up, whenever a day’s riding exhausted them they would somehow wake rejuvenated and ready to fight once more. They battled on, reached the turn point in the Highlands, only to be greeted with low cloud on Bealach-na-Ba, then turned to head south. The North York Moors were ticked off. They even got up Rosedale Chimney without putting a foot down. However, they almost came unstuck on Boltby Bank, which Dom tells me “was never a 7/10, NEVER, Simon definitely got that one wrong, it was easily a NINE!”

I met them for the second time in Lincoln and, genuinely expecting to see three hollow-faced zombies riding at a snail’s pace, they flashed past our rendezvous point, forcing me to dig deep and chase on. Three weeks had transformed three pairs of pale legs into sculpted mahogany brown, with the definition of WorldTour pros.

Tough gradients were no concern by the end (Andy Jones)

We rode Terrace Hill together and they wound it up so fast at the bottom I though they would ride straight through it. On day 26 of this ludicrous challenge they were still giving it 100 per cent to the very top. All those tough days in the north, in the wind and rain were now a distant memory. They knew the prize was within their grasp.

The final day rolled round and together with the elation that they were going to make it, there was also a tinge of sadness that it was drawing to a close. “It’s been an absolute privilege to have seen everything we have seen,” says Graham. “To have passed through such amazing countryside and ridden with such amazing people.”

Stockbridge’s famous climb turns Graham’s legs to mush (Andy Jones)

Accompanied by a strong peloton, I joined them once more as we ticked off Mott Street and with 99 climbs in the bag, began the ceremonial journey into central London for the finale, Swain’s Lane.

With a welcome party at the top, the last climb was ridden at a stately pace to mark the moment, and although Dom was more than happy with this, James and Graham wanted one more hit out. They rolled back down and with one final effort smashed it with everything they had to post a seriously impressive time on Strava — amazing even after all they had been through.

“OK, that will do, now I am broken,” admitted Graham.

And then it was over. All the ups and the downs, the good days and the very bad, they had made it against all odds. Three guys who had taken on everything the weather and terrain could throw at them and come out on top to complete a truly monumental ride.

“Will you be doing volume two next summer?” I asked. “NO,” came the reply in unison. Let’s just wait and see.

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Distance Standout Lleyton Plattel Gives Arizona State Verbal for Class of 2024

Photo Courtesy: Lleyton Plattel

Agon is the proud sponsor of all high school coverage (recruiting, results, state championships, etc.) on SwimmingWorld.com. For more information about Agon, visit their website AgonSwim.com.

To report a college commitment, email HS@swimmingworld.com. Join Swimming World’s Watch List

NEW COMMIT: The Sun Devils have received a verbal commitment for the class of 2024 from high school junior Lleyton Plattel of Pleasanton, Calif. Will Rose has also announced his verbal intent to join Arizona State in the fall of 2020.

Plattel swims year-round with Pleasanton Seahawks where he is a three-time Nationals qualifier with a pair of U.S. Open cuts. As one of the fastest distance swimmers in age group swimming, he is ranked No. 2 in the 800m free (8:09.74) and 1500m free (15:35.36) for the 13-14 age group. The current 13-14 record-holder, Jesse Vassallo, was a 1984 Olympian and former world record-holder. Plattel is one of only four swimmers in the 13-14 age group to have ever broken the 15:40 barrier in the long course mile.

Plattel most recently competed at Nationals this summer where he recorded a pair of lifetime bests and finished 14th overall in the mile at Nationals last winter. Also representing Amador Valley High School, the two-time NISCA All-American finished fourth in the 500 free at the CIF State Championships during his sophomore year.

He told Swimming World:

“I am extremely excited to announce my verbal commitment to Arizona State University. From the moment I set foot on ASU’s campus, I instantly felt at home. The swim team provides an incredible environment to excel in both academics and swimming. I am grateful to be given the opportunity to become part of the Sun Devil family! Go Sun Devils!”

His best times include:

  • 200 free – 1:40.67
  • 500 free – 4:24.63
  • 1000 free – 9:15.81
  • 1650 free – 15:22.63

Even with two years of club swimming still to go before arriving in Tempe, Plattel would’ve scored in the B-final of the 500 free and would’ve placed top-14 in the mile at the 2018 Pac-12 Championships. In his third season as head coach, Bob Bowman led the Sun Devils to a fourth-place team finish at last season’s conference meet.

If you have a commitment to share, please send a photo and quote via email to hs@swimmingworld.com.

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Arizona Wildcats Score Verbal From NOVA’s Hunter Ingram

Photo Courtesy: Hunter Ingram

Agon is the proud sponsor of all high school coverage (recruiting, results, state championships, etc.) on SwimmingWorld.com. For more information about Agon, visit their website AgonSwim.com.

To report a college commitment, email HS@swimmingworld.com. Join Swimming World’s Watch List

NEW COMMIT: Santa Ana, Calif. native Hunter Ingram has made his verbal pledge to the University of Arizona and will join the Wildcats next fall.

Ingram does his club swimming with Irvine Novaquatics where he is a three-time Junior National qualifier with a U.S. Open cut in the 200m free. He placed 21st in the 200m free at Juniors this summer and finaled in a pair of events at the Speedo Grand Challenge. He raced four events at Juniors West last winter and placed sixth in both the 100 and 200 free at Carlsbad Speedo Sectionals.

Also competing for Foothill High School, Ingram is a six-time CIF Southern Section finalist. The two-time NISCA All-American finished second in the 100 free and fourth in the 200 free as a junior after placing fourth and second, respectively, in those same events during his sophomore season.

He told Swimming World:

“I’m proud to announce my commitment to the University of Arizona.  Thank you to everyone whole been there for me along the way.”

His best times include:

  • 100 free – 45.35
  • 200 free – 1:38.24
  • 500 free – 4:29.97
  • 100 fly – 49.96

When he arrives in Tucson as a member of the class of 2023, Ingram will join a freestyle group that includes Jorge Iga and Brooks Fail. He would’ve scored in the C-final of the 500 free at the 2018 Pac-12 Championships where the Wildcats finished fifth in the team standings.

If you have a commitment to share, please send a photo and quote via email to hs@swimmingworld.com.

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CWPA Men’s Water Polo Varsity Poll: Looking at the Country’s Next Ten Best Teams

Billy Motherway and Princeton will defend at home while much of the East goes West for the Julian Fraser Memorial Tournament in California. Photo Courtesy: Nicole Maloney

After paying attention to the top 10 teams in the weekly Collegiate Water Polo Association men’s varsity poll, it seemed appropriate that Swimming World looking at what’s happening with the next 10 in the Top 20 poll—especially given that so many of these teams will be playing each other this weekend at the Julian Fraser Memorial Tournament, hosted by Santa Clara University.

#11 UC Irvine (7-9; 0-1 GCC), coming off a couple of wins in the Mountain Pacific Invitational last weekend at Stanford, will travel to beautiful Malibu for a match Saturday against Golden Coast Conference rival Pepperdine, currently #6 in the country.

Julian Fraser, former Santa Clara player who passed away in 2017. Photo Courtesy: Dignity Memorial

Holding down the #12 spot by virtue of an extremely successful showing last week at Harvard’s Crimson Invitational was Princeton, where the Tigers (12-6; 3-4 NEWPC) beat high-flying Bucknell 12-11. Unlike many of their Eastern brethren, Head Coach Dustin Litvak’s squad is staying home, hosting Northeast Water Polo conference foe Iona tonight in New Jersey.

Riding what has been a bit of a roller coaster this season is #13 Harvard. The Crimson (15-5; 5-1 NEWPC) had reached as high as #7 in the polls back on September 26 but have taken some lumps of late, including a high-scoring loss to Bucknell last Saturday at their own tournament. Later today Ted Minnis’ team will face the host Broncos at the Frasier Memorial. They’ll also face #19 San Jose State and #18 Loyola Marymount Saturday and then face Fresno Pacific on Sunday.

#14 Bucknell has seen its stock rise dramatically the past two weeks as the Bison (16-3; 8-1 MAWPC) won against #20 George Washington, # 20 Wagner—Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference rivals—as well as Harvard and #16 Brown. The last three wins came at the Crimson Invitational; if Head Coach John McBride’s charges had made it a clean sweep they—not Princeton—would be the East’s top-ranked squad. Alas, Princeton upset those plans, pinning a 12-11 loss on the Bison last Sunday. Bucknell gets a taste of California sunshine starting Saturday at the Fraser Memorial when they face #15 Cal Baptist and San Jose State followed Sunday by matches against host Santa Clara and Air Force.

Another top 20 team on the rise is #15 Cal Baptist (14-9; 2-1 WWPA). The Lancers took down #10 UC San Diego two weeks ago at the Gary Troyer Tournament, and recently picked up wins against Fordham and Concordia. They’ll look to continue their winning ways with matches against Eastern foes at the Fraser Memorial: today against Brown and Saturday against Bucknell and #20 Wagner.

Brown’s Felix Mercado has his Bears ready to play. Photo Courtesy: Brown Athletics

One team everyone may want to stay clear of at the moment is Brown, tied for #16 with Pomona-Pitzer. The Bears (12-9; 4-2 NEWPC) beat Harvard and Princeton two weeks ago, picked up wins against Claremont-Mudd and University of Toronto last Saturday—then dropped a tough match to Wagner before losing to Bucknell. What’s impressive is the resilience of Head Coach Felix Mercado’s players; they’ll be tested in California by Cal Baptist today, Loyola Marymount and Fresno Pacific tomorrow and then San Jose State on Sunday—all at Santa Clara.

Tied at 16 with Brown is Pomona-Pitzer; the Sage Hens (13-7; 6-0 SCIAC) are NOT attending the Frasier Memorial, tomorrow they host two Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference foes: Occidental and La Verne as they look to keep pace with Claremont Mudd (7-0 in the SCIAC).

The Lions of #18 Loyola Marymount (7-9; 2-1 WWPA) went 1-3 at the MPSF Invitational last weekend, but that one win was a big one: upsetting Pomona-Pitzer. It moved LMU into the top 20 for the first time in three weeks; question is: will they stay there after facing St. Francis Brooklyn today and Brown and Harvard on Saturday.

#19 San Jose State has played one of the toughest in the country, having faced the #1 team in the country three different times, as well as the #2, #3, #4 and #5 teams as well. The end result is a 4-11 record, which may get worse before it gets better; games this weekend against Harvard and Bucknell tomorrow and Brown and St. Francis Brooklyn on Sunday. It’s all a prelude for GCC play; over the next three weekends the Spartans (0-1 GCC) will play four matches against conference foes.

Spartan’s Bruce Watson. Photo Courtesy: SJSU Athletics

Wagner—tied for 20th with MAWPC rival George Washington—has experience a let-down after a program-first win last Saturday against Brown. The Seahawks (10-9; 5-2 MAWPC) lost later that day to Harvard, and then dropped a 14-10 decision to New York City rival Fordham on Wednesday night. Not a wonderful prelude to a match against #2 Stanford tonight at Avery Aquatic Center. The good new? A relatively manageable slate of matches against host Santa Clara and Cal Baptist on Saturday and Air Force and Fresno Pacific on Sunday at the Fraser Memorial.

Neck-and-neck with Wagner all season has been George Washington, but the Colonials (15-5; 5-2 MAWPC) did not follow the Seahawks—or any other Eastern team—out to California. Barry King’s team will stay at home where tonight they face Navy, an MAWPC foe looking to reclaim past glory; unfortunately the Middies are a year away from that, meaning GW will keep pace with Bucknell and Wagner even from afar.

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No Halep, no Williams – who will win the WTA Finals?

Caroline Wozniacki won last year's WTA Finals

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki begins her WTA Finals campaign against Czech Karolina Pliskova in the opening night session on Sunday.

The Danish second seed has also been drawn in the same group as Petra Kvitova and Elina Svitolina.

Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber, top seed in Simona Halep’s absence, plays Kiki Bertens on Monday.

US Open champion Naomi Osaka and Sloane Stephens – both debutants at the season finale – complete their group.

The tournament, which also includes a doubles event, has a total prize fund of £5.36m.

Singapore is hosting the season-ending WTA Finals for the last time before the event moves to Chinese city Shenzhen next year.

No Halep or Williams – who has qualified?

World number one Halep finished top of the Race to Singapore rankings after a stellar season that saw her win a maiden Grand Slam at the French Open in June.

However, the Romanian – a beaten finalist in 2014 – withdrew from the event on Thursday because of a lower-back injury.

That means Germany’s Kerber is the top seed, ahead of Australian Open winner Wozniacki, with the pair separated in the group stage draw and unable to meet before the semi-finals.

Three other Grand Slam winners – Osaka, Kvitova and Stephens – are also among the eight contenders.

Ukraine’s Svitolina and former world number one Pliskova qualified on Wednesday following Bertens’ defeat in the second round of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

But the Dutch player joined them in Singapore as the beneficiary of Halep’s withdrawal.

Another big name missing is 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, who only returned midway through the season after having her first child and has not qualified.

The eight finalists posed for a selfie before the draw was made in Singapore on Friday

Wozniacki, who claimed her first Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January, comes into the finals having won the China Open this month.

“All the best players are here so there’s no easy matches,” Wozniacki said.

“I’m just excited to start the competition and do my best. As defending champion I want to defend my title and end the season on a high.”

Vote – who will be celebrating victory in Shanghai?

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