Aldi unveils Special Buys with turbo trainer for £49.99, lights and merino clothing

The deals will be available to pre-order from September 23 and in-store from September 30 – until they’re gone

Supermarket Aldi has unveiled a fresh batch of ‘Special Buys’ tailored to cyclists preparing for the annual plunge into the depths of winter – with rain jackets, a collection of merino wool cycling clothing, lights and a £49.99 turbo trainer nestling amongst the deals.

‘Special Buys’ are available online and in Aldi stores, but once they’re gone, they’re gone – and the value for money offerings don’t often hang around for long.

The range will be available to pre-order online from Sunday September 23, and they’ll arrive in stores on Sunday September 30.

For those looking to take their training indoors, there’s a turbo trainer for £49.99. With six magnetic resistance levels, this will allow you to clip your bike in and pedal away  when the weather outside just looks too uninviting.

There’s also a speed/cadence sensor for £19.99, which can pair with the trainer so you know how far you’d have travelled and can log your workouts with supported apps.

If you’re keeping it outdoors, rechargeable bike lights come in at £14.99. The clothing collection is equally barginous. The ‘Merino Cycling’ range offers jerseys for £19.99, base layers at £16.99 and – every cyclists favourite fashion accessory – socks for £4.99. All of the items are infused with the wonder fabric which is known for being warm, breathable and warding off whiffs.

For drizzly weather there’s a hooded cycling jacket (£24.99) that’s said to be waterproof, windproof and breathable, and a £19.99 rain jacket as well as cycling tights for £13.99.

For those riding into the depths of winter, there’s a ‘Cycling Pro’ range to get you ready – this includes ‘heavy duty’ overshoes (£14.99) and ‘waterproof breathable’ socks for £12.99.

There’s one online only item – a Livall Mt1 Smart Helmet – which at £79.99 meets the current safety regulations and also comes with LED tail lights to provide turning signals. Smartphone connectivity interacts with Bluetooth speakers, allowing riders to make calls and play music – too, though we’ll leave shoppers to decide how useful that is.

Here’s a breakdown of all the deals:

Online only:

Product Description
Livall Mt1 Smart Helmet
Product Description
Indoor Bike Trainer
M/L Hooded Cycling Jacket
M/L Convertible Cycling Jacket
Speed & Cadence Sensor
M/L Cycling Rain Jacket
Floor Bike Stand
Rechargeable High Powered Bike Lights
M/L Waterproof Over-Trousers
M/L Cycling Tights
High Performance Bike Lights
U-Shackle Bike Lock
Reflective Cycling Set
Folding Bike Stand
Saddle Bag Tool Set
Memory Foam Saddle Assortment
M/L Seamless Cycling Base Layer Top
Weatherproof Cycling Gloves
Bike Saddle/ Tail/ Dual Bike Lights
ERGONOMIC Cycling Socks (Watres)

Cycling merino collection:

Product Description
M/L Cycling Wind Jersey With Merino
M/L Merino Sports Base Layer
Sports Accessories With Merino
Merino Blend Cycling Socks

Cycling pro collection:

Product Description
Heavy Duty Overshoes
Waterproof Breathable Socks
Neoprene Cycling Gloves

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CPA president Gianni Bugno hits back at criticism from Chris Froome and other riders ahead of election

The Italian says he ‘felt bad’ after comments from Froome, and said he is happy to have David Millar’s challenge in the upcoming election

Chris Froome‘s criticism regarding the Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) and the upcoming election “bothers” president Gianni Bugno, who says he has “defended him.”

Bugno and the association are under fire with the elections approaching in one week. He faces rival presidential candidate David Millar and criticism of an unjust electoral process.

“It makes me feel very bad to be criticised by Chris Froome,” Bugno told Cycling Weekly.

>>> Why pro riders including Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas are protesting against their union

“I’m a fan of Froome, a fan of Team Sky. I don’t have anything against them. I defended him in the incidents, spitting in the Tour [and the Vuelta allergy case]. But it bothers me that they are writing bad things about the CPA, when it’s us who can defend their rights.”

Froome wrote on Twitter: “Seems to me that the CPA is running a dictatorship, not a democracy which truly represents all the riders. Got to wonder who this union actually represents.”

Froome has been openly critical of the CPA on Twitter (Sunada)

One issue is the election process which sees six board members cast block votes for their countries. If Italy, one of the members, decides to vote in favour of Bugno, then all of its cyclists’ votes will go towards Bugno instead of each Italian rider having his own individual vote.

Other cyclists with their country not sitting at the board may cast votes individually, but they must be present to do so. Voting will take place on Thursday in Innsbruck, Austria, and not all riders pay for the trip to vote. Those who are racing, may head home after the time trials end on Wednesday and others in the road races may not yet arrive in time to cast their ballots.

“I’ve always tried to take on the criticism and be neutral,” Bugno said. “This election system has been in place, nothing has been done to change it. These are the rules of the UCI. The electronic system of voting could work, but that can be compromised. So, until there’s another system, I need to respect the voting rules how they are.”

Bugno took over as president from Cédric Vasseur in 2010. Until earlier this month, it appeared he would run unchallenged for another term as president of the union. A role that goes unpaid as he said he is just reimbursed for expenses.

“I respect [Millar]. I’m happy he’s there with his ideas. I wish he was able to run two years ago, I wanted him in but he was busy. Now it’s a different time and it’s a different phase. It’d be very much more difficult for him now than if he came in before,” Bugno added.

“I’m happy for the challenge, but we shouldn’t put the CPA or how it works in bad light. I’m asking that to Froome. Don’t put the CPA in doubt.”

Bugno says he has no way of contacting Froome without his number or e-mail. In the recent weeks, Geraint Thomas (Sky), Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates) and many others made comments about the CPA and the election process. Froome’s words hurt the most.

“Yeah, it bothers me because he never talked to me. I never had a chance to talk with him. I never heard of him. Now, he’s talking about this electronic voting and him saying he’ll vote for Millar. He never said thanks when the CPA defended him, not me, but everyone working at the CPA.”

Former pro David Millar will challenge Bugno for president (Watson)

The rules for election seem unlikely to change in the short term. Bugno said that he is open to them changing and said that Ben Greetham, Chairman of the British and Irish Professional Cyclists’ Association came to explore his group having a seat at the board.

“They say they can’t vote, but then they had a delegate to do that, just create an association for Great Britain. That was one of my goals, like we did for North America – ANAPRC (Association of North American Professional Road Cyclists),” Bugno said.

“Ben Greetham came and was asked a few times to create an association but he never did it.”

“We have always protested against the national association model and the block voting,” Greetham responded to Bugno’s comments.

“We believe the votes should be carried out by the individual riders. So we decided against it.

“For us to do it [joining the CPA as an association], we’d be agreeing with the block model and we don’t agree with it. It’s unacceptable that every nation should have to do that.”

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‘15mph is too slow in traffic’ – retailer says faster e-bikes will improve safety

The growing e-bike market has people focused on safety, but this expert says the speed restrictions are counter productive

Making e-bikes faster will help improve safety on the roads, according to an electric bicycle retailer.

Electronic bikes are growing hugely in popularity which has prompted inevitable discussion of their safety and speed limits.

But Scott Snaith from e-bike seller says the current speed restrictions are a hindrance to rider safety.

>>>Electric bikes and UK law: what you need to know

Mr Snaith said: “If we’re being sensible, we actually need to relax the laws around e-bikes, not make them more stringent.

“E-bikes are not ‘unlicensed motorbikes’ as they’ve been labelled in some reports.

“A speed of 15.5mph is just a tad too slow when it comes to being safe going through traffic.”

Current laws restrict e-bikes to 15.5mph – or 25km/h – which means when you hit that speed, the engine will cut out.

The power put out by an ‘electronically assisted pedal cycle’ also must not exceed 250 watts.

Currently, the bikes can be ridden on any cycle path and where else that allows bikes.

You must be over 14 to ride an e-bike but you don’t need a license, you don’t need to register the bike and there’s no vehicle tax.

But Mr Snaith says these constraints are too strict, and that the speed and power limits should be upped.

He said: “If you’re negotiating busy roundabouts or junctions – and particularly if you’re slightly wary – an extra boost of power might just accelerate you out of harm’s way.”

Mr Snaith says that the speed limit should be increased to 20mph, and the power upped from 250 watts to 350, or even 500 watts.

E-bikes hit the headlines recently when a woman was left in a critical condition after a collision with an electrical bike.

The 56-year-old women, Sakin Cihan, was involved in the collision in Dalston, London last month.

Ms Cihan later died from her injuries after the crash.

Mr Snaith also raised issue with the argument that e-bikes are more dangerous because of their weight.

The founder of online e-bike retailer, Scott Snaith

He said: “To say that an e-bike is heavier, and therefore more dangerous, than a standard cycle is clearly nonsense.

“Would you also look to ban slightly heavier riders from two wheels too?”

Mr Snaith says e-bikes weigh around 2kg more than a conventional pedal bike.

According to stats from HMRC, e-bike sales jumped from 50,000 to 62,000 in the last year alone.

Mr Snaith added: “E-bikes are a great way of getting back on two wheels in adulthood, as they’re clearly easier to ride than a normal bike, particularly when faced with a headwind or hills.

“They’re also environmentally friendly and an exceptionally green way to commute to work.

“We should be encouraging their use, not stifling it.”

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Energy drinks for cycling: hydration explained

Not sure what the difference is between an electrolyte drink and a carbohydrate drink? We take you through the options

Keeping your liquid levels topped up on the bike is important – around 60 per cent of your body is composed of water – and dehydration can lead to mental as well as physical fatigue.

Energy drinks designed for cycling will serve too purposes: providing carbohydrate to fuel activity and replacing electrolytes.

Exercising of course burns calories, and when a ride is over 60-90 minutes, you need to replace them. Carbohydrates from energy drinks are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, so sipping on one as you ride is an effective way of refuelling and they’re great for racers who need a steady flow of energy, without the need to chew.

>>> How to stay hydrated during a Gran Fondo

However, it’s important not to undervalue real food – energy drinks are expensive and higher in sugar than the contents of an average kitchen cupboard or most energy bars.

When you sweat, you lose vital salts and minerals such as sodium, potassium and magnesium. These electrolytes need to be topped up to restore balance, and failing to do so is often one of the key causes of cramp.

Energy drinks will provide these electrolytes, or you can choose to use an electrolyte only mix, getting your carbs in with solid food. It’s important to know the difference, and to choose the right option for you.

A common approach is to carry a bottle of each on long rides, where you may want to intersperse carb fuelled sips with something less sticky.

Energy drinks explained

Carbohydrate energy drinks

What are they?

A blend of carbohydrate, water and electrolytes. Most commercially available sports drinks contain a mix of carbohydrates from different sources (eg sucrose, glucose, fructose) at a concentration of around six to eight per cent. They typically come as a powder, to be mixed with water.

Why use them? 

As the body’s primary source of fuel during prolonged and high intensity exercise, depletion of muscle carbohydrate is one of the primary causes of fatigue, and can severely limit your ability to perform on longer rides.

Studies show that consumption of a carbohydrate drink during rides lasting over 60 minutes is an effective way to boost endurance. By providing the working muscles with additional fuel you can delay fatigue, with some research suggesting up to a 20 per cent improvement in performance during exercise lasting 90 minutes or more.

Ingesting carbohydrate during exercise also has positive effects on the central nervous system, which can provide an additional mental ‘boost’.

How do I use them effectively?

During rides lasting over 60 minutes, consuming 30-60g of carbohydrate per hour will delay fatigue and help you sustain an optimum pace. One litre of an isotonic carbohydrate drink will provide around 60g of carbohydrate – so aim for around 250ml every 15-20 minutes.

Drinks containing a blend of carbohydrates have been shown to boost absorption and increase the amount of carbohydrate that gets to the working muscles (see 2:1 glucose fructose).

Avoid concentrated drinks containing more than six-eight per cent carbohydrate (hypertonic), as these slow the rate at which fluid is absorbed, and can also cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

Are they better than real foods?

Carbohydrate drinks are a convenient option, which have the added bonus of facilitating the replacement of fluid and electrolytes.

However, this isn’t to say it’s not possible to fuel your rides with real food – in a 2012 study from Appalachian State University, bananas were shown to be as effective as a six per cent carbohydrate drink in sustaining power output and performance in a group of male cyclists completing a 75km time trial.

>>> What do professional cyclists eat? 

Reliance on carb drinks can be an expensive habit. To get around this consider making a DIY isotonic drink by mixing 200ml ordinary squash with 800ml cold water and a pinch of salt.

Whether you use a carb drink is up to you – the key is to develop a plan which allows you to consume the recommended 30-60g of carbohydrate per hour.

Isotonic drinks

Electrolyte drinks containing six-eight per cent carbohydrate are known as isotonic – they contain the same concentration of dissolved particles (salts and sugars) as body fluids, which promotes hydration.

2:1 Fructose drinks

carbohydrate sports drink

What are they?

An advanced range of sports drinks, powders, bars and gels containing a blend of carbohydrate in a 2:1 ratio of glucose to fructose with added electrolytes.

Why use them?

Consuming carbohydrate during endurance exercise delays fatigue and boosts performance, but the amount that can actually be delivered to the working muscles is limited by the rate at which it can be absorbed from your digestive tract.

Current recommendations to consume 30-60g of carbohydrate an hour during prolonged exercise are based on research showing that glucose absorption is capped at around one gram per minute (or 60g per hour), with studies showing that higher concentrations are simply not absorbed, and can result in stomach upset.

>>> Best cycling water bottles and bidons 

However, research focusing on the impact of combining different types of carbohydrate has shown that when glucose is consumed with fructose, carbohydrate absorption can exceed 1.5g per minute, increasing the rate of delivery to the muscles to up to 90g per hour. This is thanks to the fact that fructose is transported and absorbed via a different mechanism to glucose.

Put simply, by combining carbohydrates, you can overcome the 60g per hour saturation rule, which increases fuel availability. But does this translate to better performance? Research suggests yes – in a 2004 trial comparing glucose, glucose/fructose or control (water) beverages in trained cyclists; rates of carbohydrate oxidation were 36 per cent higher with the glucose/fructose beverage versus the pure glucose drink.

In addition researchers found that the glucose/fructose drink spared the body’s stored carbohydrate, improved water uptake from the gut and reduced the rate of perceived exertion. More recently, researchers at Birmingham University simulating a one-hour time trial after two hours of riding found an eight per cent improvement in performance when using glucose/fructose beverage, compared to a glucose-only drink.

How do I use them effectively?

For rides lasting over an hour, try swapping your usual sports drink or energy gel for a 2:1 product to increase carbohydrate delivery from 60g to 90g per hour – this equates to 1,500ml of a drink, three gels or three bars.

Remember, any change in your fuelling strategy should be tried and tested, so don’t make the switch on the day of a competition – work towards titrating your usage upwards from the standard 60g per hour.

Bear in mind that to achieve the stated 90g an hour, you’d need to get through two servings – so either a concentrated mix, or two bottles an hour.

Are they better than real foods?

Multiple transportable carbohydrates have definite benefits which could translate into that all-important performance edge during an event. The advantage of 2:1 products is convenience and the precise ratio of glucose to fructose for maximise absorption.

Carbohydrate foods do contain a mix of sugars (bananas provide glucose and fructose in a 1:1 ratio), so you could experiment with different sources, although getting 90g of carb in the all-important 2:1 ratio will require some maths.

Recommended carbohydrate energy drinks

With each product is a ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Best Deal’ link. If you click on this then we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer when you purchase the item. This doesn’t affect the amount you pay.

High5 energy drink

High5 energy drink

High5 energy drink

High5’s energy drink uses the 2:1 fructose mix explained above – delivering up to 90g of carbs an hour.

You get 175 calories per 47g serving, with 44g of carbohydrate, plus sodium, magnesium and potassium.

Buy now: High5 energy drink, 2.2kg at Evans Cycles for £19.99


SIS GO Electrolyte energy drink

SIS GO Electrolyte energy drink

Science in Sport (SIS) produces ‘Go Energy’ and ‘Go Electrolyte’ – the latter has the salts and minerals you need, as well as the carbs.

Each 40g serving delivers 146 calories, with 36g of carbs plus salt, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

The flavours are refreshing and go down easily.

Buy now: SIS Go Electrolyte Energy Drink at Wiggle from £16.84

Torq 2:1 Maltodextrin:Fructose energy drink

Torq energy drink

Torq energy drink

Torq’s energy drinks can be bought initially in a tub, then topped up with pouches to save on waste.

The brand uses a 2:1 mix of glucose-derivatives and fructose for maximum absorption. The maltodextrin used sits just below the isotonic level – meaning its optimised to both deliver fuel and hydration in the form of the added electrolytes: Sodium, Chloride, Magnesium, Potassium and Calcium.

Two scoops added to 500ml of water provides 120 calories and 30g of carbs.

Torq also has a ‘Hypotonic’ drink, which favours hydration over carb delivery. It was developed for shorter, but intense session and contains five essential electrolytes with 61 calories and 15g carb per 18g serving.

Buy now: Torq energy drink at Evans Cycles from £11 for 500g

Electrolyte/hydration drinks

What are they?

Hydration drinks are a mix of water and electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium) with little or no added carbohydrate, designed to replace the fluid and salts lost during exercise.

Why use them?

As core temperature rises during exercise the body compensates by sweating, creating a loss of water and electrolytes, with additional water lost via respiration. Although the body can cope with small changes in fluid volume, large sweat losses can lead to dehydration, which results in impaired performance, increased heart rate, reduced heat tolerance and lower reaction times.

The loss of electrolytes in sweat (primarily sodium) is also exacerbated during prolonged exercise or in hot weather. Failure to replace electrolytes, or dilution through excessive intake of plain water can result in hyponatremia (low levels of sodium) leading to muscle cramps, lethargy, nausea, headaches and in severe cases, death.

Hydration drinks prevent dehydration by replacing fluids and electrolytes. The addition of sodium also facilitates hydration as it stimulates thirst and also water absorption from the intestine, promoting fluid retention. Due to dilution of electrolytes, plain water may also suppress thirst, while hydration drinks maintain desire to drink.

How do I use them effectively?

Generally speaking, a specific hydration product isn’t necessary if you’re riding for under an hour, but they can be useful in maintaining hydration in hot conditions, or if sweat loss is high.

If you do choose one, the rule of thumb is to start your ride well hydrated, and to adopt a regular pattern of drink intake, aiming for 125ml every 15 minutes. This will help to maintain fluid balance.

Remember that if you’re riding for over an hour, you’ll also need to take carbohydrate on board, as hydration drinks don’t contain enough carbohydrate to boost endurance.

Are they better than real foods?

Flavoured beverages increase your desire to drink, and fluid consumption is more closely matched to sweat loss when athletes are offered a flavoured drink over plain water during exercise. In hot and humid conditions they’re an effective way to maintain adequate hydration, although during longer rides you’ll need to consider a carbohydrate source.

On the downside, these drinks can be expensive, and in rides lasting under an hour in relatively cool conditions, good old water will do the job nicely. If you’re not a fan of plain water, you can add a bit of squash and a pinch of salt to your water bottle to increase motivation to drink.

Recommended electrolyte/hydration drinks

With each product is a ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Best Deal’ link. If you click on this then we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer when you purchase the item. This doesn’t affect the amount you pay.

Precision Hydration electrolyte drink

Precision Hydration electrolyte drink

Precision Hydration electrolyte drink

Precision Hydration are experts in rehydration. Their powders and dissolvable tablets are hypotonic – they’re low calorie and not designed to replace glycogen.

Because people’s sweat rates and sweat content vary, the brand uses an online questionnaire to work out how sodium you actually need to top up with.

You’ll then receive a suggestion of 250, 500, 1000 or 1500mg dose of sodium alongside potassium, calcium and magnesium – the dosage may vary depending upon the duration and intensity of your event.

Buy now: Precision Hydration at Amazon

High5 Zero tablets

High5 Zero tablets

High5 Zero tablets

A zero calorie drink that contains the electrolytes sodium and magnesium as well as vitamin C, to help reduce the chance of cramp, keep fatigue at bay and strengthen your immune system.

Buy now: High5 Zero tablets at Evans Cycles from £3.39

Nuun electrolyte hydration tablets

Nuun hydration tablets

Nuun hydration tablets

These 10 calorie tablets replace sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and boost vitamin C levels.

There’s 13 flavour options, and four of them come with the addition of 40mg of caffeine, from Green Tea extract.

Buy now: Nuun hydration tablets at the Cyclestore for £5.85

Energy drink preferences are personal – make sure to test them in training before events – and we’ll add more products as we taste and test them.

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Omar Fraile replaces Mikel Landa in Spain line-up for World Championships road race

Landa pulled out of the squad after failing to finish the Giro della Toscana on Wednesday

Mikel Landa has opted to pull out of the Spanish squad for the World Championships road race as he continues to recover from a fractured vertebra.

>>> UCI Road World Championships 2018: dates, route, where to watch and more

Landa crashed and sustained the injury at the Clásica San Sebastián in August and was unable to return in time to race the Vuelta a España alongside his Movistar team-mates Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana.

The Basque rider returned to racing for the first time on Wednesday at the one-day Giro della Toscana in Italy, but failed to finish.

In a statement, the Spanish Cycling Federation said Landa then contacted national coach Javier Mínguez following the race to tell him that “he still didn’t have good sensations on the bike” and that he couldn’t compete in Innsbruck on September 30.

Landa will be replaced by Astana’s Omar Fraile, who was unlucky to miss out on initial selection after a stellar season which saw him win a stage of the Tour de France as well as stages at the Tour of the Basque Country and the Tour de Romandie.

Omar Fraile wins stage five of the 2018 Tour of the Basque Country (Sunada)

Fraile will form part of the eight-man road race squad along with a strong line-up including Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Enric Mas (Quick-Step), Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida), Jesús Herrada (Cofidis), Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott), David de la Cruz and Jonathan Castroviejo (both Team Sky).

The Innbruck course for this year’s Worlds will be a brutal affair, but present a rare opportunity for the pure climbers with over 5,000m of climbing in the 265km course.

For the time trial, which takes place a few days before the road race, Spain will send national champion Castroviejo along with one of Marc Soler and of Imanol Erviti filling the other spots. Selection will be decided based on how either rider performs in the team time trial for Movistar, which takes place this Sunday on September 23.

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Under-23 European time trial champion Affini joins Mitchelton-Scott

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Trixi Worrack and Audrey Cordon-Ragot latest riders to announce move to Trek Factory Women’s Racing

Trek’s women’s line-up looks even stronger with two new additions

Trixi Worrack (Canyon-SRAM) and Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Wiggle-High5) have both announced that they will ride for the newly formed Trek Factory Women’s Racing team, alongside Lizzie Deignan, in its inaugural year.

Both riders have strong backgrounds in the time trial and team time trial disciplines – Cordon-Ragot has been TT national champion for three consecutive years and Worrack was part of the World Championship winning TTT squad in both 2012 and 2013.

Announcing the move, 36-year-old Worrack said: “I’m really happy.. to get this opportunity to race with such a big team and great girls for the next season.”

Cordon-Ragot commented: “I’m really excited to ride alongside all those good riders [also on the team].”

The pair join the line-up alongside 2013 UCI Road World Championship time trial champion Ellen van Dijk. The reigning european time trial champion will make the move from Sunweb in 2019.

Cordon-Ragot, 28, has signed a deal which will see her remain on the same squad as her Wiggle-High5 team mate, 2017 Italian national road and time trial champion Elisa Longo Borghini.

They’ll be under the guidance of long-term Wiggle-High5er, Giorgia Bronzini, who finished her career racing with Cyclance Pro Cycling this year and takes a directeur sportif role alongside former pro Ina Teutenberg.

British riders to sign alongside former world champion Lizzie Deignan include Giro Rosa stage winner, Ruth Winder, who joins from Sunweb and wore pink on stage six in Italy this year. From Trek-Drops, 21-year-old Abi Van Twisk joins as well as US rider Tayler Wiles.

Finnish national champion and Women’s Tour stage winner Lotta Lepistö has announced her move to the team, from Cervelo-Bigla, as have Lauretta Hanson (UHC) and Letizia Paternoster (Astana).

Speaking to Cycling Weekly ahead of rider announcements, Teutenberg said: “We should be competitive from the start, even though we are new.”

“There’s enough experienced riders on the team, with a couple of young ones, that even if they have to get used to one another, I don’t think that it will be an excuse for not having success.”

“We will have everything around us we need to be successful,” she added. “The men’s team management is really, really behind this team, it’s not just an ‘add on’ – we will have a really good working relationship.”

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British Cycling unveil new GB team kit ahead of World Championships 2018

The new kit is a big change from recent GB team wear

British Cycling have released the first pictures of the new GB cycling team kit ahead of the World Champsionships in Innsbruck.

The new minimalist design will be debuted at the Worlds later this month, worn by the likes of Simon Yates and Dani Rowe.

Designed by Czech custom cycle wear company Kalas, the jersey’s hark back to the pared-down kit of 1959.

>>>UCI Road World Championships 2018: dates, route, where to watch and more

Great Britain Cycling Team performance director, Stephen Park, said: “High performance clothing is crucial to delivering results in today’s world of competitive cycling, so having a clothing supplier with such in-depth knowledge and a high level of service is invaluable to the Great Britain Cycling Team.

“The riders are at the heart of everything we do, so it was important for us that they played a key role in designing a kit that was bespoke to the squad, that looks good and that they were proud to wear without compromising on performance or quality.”

The kit includes a minimalist GBR lettermark logo, with a bold stripe forming the focus of the jersey.

A custom typeface was designed specifically for the new uniform, while the navy-blue bibs tie in with the usual red, white and blue colouring of the Great Britain Cycling Team kit.

Katy Marchant dons the newly unveiled GB kit (Picture by Allan McKenzie/ )

CEO of Kalas Sportswear, Josef Filip, said: “We’ve been developing premium cycling kit for 27 years, and this project is one of our favourites to date.

“By working closely with British Cycling and the Great Britain Cycling Team on this new collection, I’m confident that we’ve produced a fresh spin on an iconic look that will be loved by fans and the team alike.

“Being able to wear a kit designed by cycling greats during the rides and races gives it a real edge.”

Britain’s Jason Kenny will take to the track in the redesigned jersey (Picture by Allan McKenzie/ )

Kalas worked closely with Great Britain Cycling Team riders and coaches in the design process to focus on key features.

Britain’s cycling stars will be taking the jerseys out for the first spin at the World Championships in Austria from Sunday.

Track stars will also be donning the new kits for the first time at the track cycling World Cup at London’s Lee Valley Velopark in December.

The kits will also be available to the public via the Kalas website.

Ed Clancy in the red, white and blue (Picture by Allan McKenzie/ )

Dani Rowe, who will be racing in the elite women’s road race at the Worlds, said: “Having us all involved in the design process was a great idea.

“Our ideas were listened to and I’m really pleased with the outcome – it’s a modern twist on a classic design and will keep us visible in the peloton when we race.

“I’m looking forward to putting our new kit through it’s paces in Austria.”

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Is it just us, or do tired cyclists do the stupidest of things?

Cyclists who usually present fairly average levels of cognition can lose it all after a particularly exhausting bike ride

‘Hold your like, keep pedalling’ – track cycling coaches have been repeating this phrase after sprints during training sessions for decades. It’s so that the instructions are burned into the brains of riders by the time they come to race – because when exhaustion, lack of oxygen and a pounding heart rate come together, cyclists can do the stupidest of things.

Once 90 per cent of max heart rate is achieved, individuals used to displaying perfectly adequate levels of cognition are reduced to the dribbling mess you’d probably find if you woke them up at 3.30am after a tequila fuelled night on the town; coordination: disintegrated, vision: double or none, powers of observation: nil.

I’ve committed many a fatigue-fuelled faux-pas myself. Forgetting the turning circle on a time trial bike is different to that of a road bike immediately after shouting ‘FORTY-TWO’ at the time keeper resulted in a very embarrassing crash and a nasty scar. Forgetting to shout ‘FORTY-TWO’ and replacing it with something else also beginning with ‘F’ after clocking a course record didn’t go down too well either.

Other examples include dropping the chain at the pivotal moment in a road race, and let’s not forget using a loop of chain hanging from a garage to haul my post-race body onto the rollers – only to wrap my foot up in the dangling contraption and find myself clattering to the ground a fraction of a second later.

I’ve been on the receiving end, too. There was the time I’d finally clawed my way onto the rear wheels of six riders out-front in a road race, having bridged solo from an unresponsive peloton. I thought I was on the limit, but it turned out not as much as the two riders who inexplicably collided with each other moments later – tangling themselves into a pile which I had no choice but to come to a dead stop behind.

Above-threshold efforts yield plenty of examples of exhaustion induced lack of function, but of course endurance riders are far from safe.

Working on the feed desk at a sportive one year, I was approached by a man carrying three burst inner tubes and a weary expression.

“Is there someone who can help with this?” he asked.

The crest-fallen face that came in response to a girl volunteering to fix his puncture wasn’t quite the ‘thank-you’ I’d hoped for, but clearly fatigue had clouded both his ability to pull out a thorn and his manners.

My own most damning tale of post-pedalling mental disturbance came during the comedown of a three-day riding holiday.

I stopped at the airport duty-free shopping area to buy some chocolates to take home – €5 euros a box seemed like a perfect way to use up my remaining cash and treat family at home.

Of course, the observation powers of tired cyclists are limited – so once I’d laboriously picked out individual chocolates, and had them weighed, the patient chocolatier had to explain, in very slow English, how €5 euros per 20 grams added up to a lot of money for the large box of sugary carbohydrates that I’d selected.

We removed individual chocolates one by one, with intermittent weigh-ins. Until I realised that I was basically going to be left with about a third of a box of chocolates. Not only that, but in Portugal, they don’t call late boarders to the gate – and cyclists with 350 miles in their legs are not very good at running.

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Nine unforgettable moments of the 2018 racing season so far

Some of the unforgettable moments so far in the 2018 racing season

A muddy Strade Bianche

Anna van der Breggen celebrates victory at the 2018 Strade Bianche (Foto LaPresse – Massimo Paolone)

It was a golden spring for Anna van der Breggen. The Dutchwoman was at the peak of her powers as she claimed a first ever Tour of Flanders victory with a long-range attack, and later repeated her Ardennes double of Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Arguably, though, her crowning moment of glory came before all those races, when she triumphed in the Women’s WorldTour opener, Strade Bianche.

What helped make that result leave such an indelible imprint on those who saw it was the torrential weather and grim conditions it was achieved amid. Rain lashed down and the temperature was only slightly above freezing, and for most it was a day simply of survival. Of the 140 starters, only 59 even managed to officially finish the race, while another 17 were outside the time limit.

The stage was set for an old-fashioned classic, with the race’s infamous dirt roads being especially muddy. Van der Breggen rose to the occasion, attacking hard and riding the final 17km alone to complete a glorious victory.

The final moments of Paris-Nice

Simon Yates crosses the line on the final stage of the 2018 Paris-Nice (JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)

With just 10 kilometres left to ride on the final stage of Paris-Nice, the race was in the extraordinary circumstance of still having a whole six riders with a realistic chance of winning the overall classification.

Yellow jersey-wearer Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) had just been dropped from a group containing Ion and Gorka Izagirre (both Bahrain-Merida), Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) and Dylan Teuns (BMC), all of whom lay within just 27 seconds on the overall classification, while further up the road Movistar’s Marc Soler – who was 37 seconds down on GC – was putting himself into contention having attacked early on the stage.

The drama intensified when the Izagirre brothers somehow conspired to crash into each other, slowing the impetus of the group and allowing Yates to catch back up. A nail-biting chase still ensued as Yates desperately tried to limit his losses to Soler, but ultimately fell just four seconds short, meaning the Spaniard was crowned overall winner.

It might not have been the most prestigious or star-studded races of the season, but it has a strong case for being the most exciting.

Nibali attacks on the Poggio

Vincenzo Nibali attacks on the Poggio (Credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

The best editions of Milan-San Remo invariably feature strong, committed attacks on the Poggio.

Whether ultimately successful or unsuccessful, any rider who can crest it with a lead of at least a few seconds is guaranteed to play their part in a breathtaking pursuit to the finish.

That’s just what Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) managed to do this year. He attacked near the top of the Poggio, had a lead of around 12 seconds going over the summit, then dug deep to hold onto his lead which was decreasing at the kind of agonising rate that will no doubt have had thousands cheering him on in front of household TVs.

Even if Nibali had been caught, the ride would still have been among the most memorable of the year – the fact he held on for victory, and as an Italian on home roads known for his romantic sensibility for such daring attacks, made it all the more special.

Sagan wins Paris-Roubaix in style

Peter Sagan wins the 2018 Paris-Roubaix (Sunada)

The sight of Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) adorned in the rainbow jersey crossing the finish line in the famous Roubaix velodrome would alone have been a memorable sight in its own right.

That Sagan did so following an attack launched over 50km from the finish made his victory at Paris-Roubaix (the first of his career) one of the defining moments of both this season and his career.

Like recent Classics legends Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen before him, it wasn’t enough for Sagan merely to win the Queen of the Classics – he had to do so in style, with the kind of long-range attack that only the sport’s greatest can pull off.

Still more impressively, the win involved getting the better of a Quick-Step Floors Classics squad that had throughout the rest of the spring looked untouchable – even their collective might could not resist the individual brilliance of Sagan that day.

Simon Yates stars in the pink jersey

Rather than get hung up on where it all went wrong, it’s perhaps best to remember Simon Yates’ glorious run in pink at the Giro d’Italia, during which time he did, after all, manage a spectacular three stage wins.

Best of the lot was in the Dolomites on stage 15. Despite already possessing a lead of 1-24 over his closest challenger, Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), Yates was not content merely to sit on wheels. He put in a couple of stinging attacks on the final climb, breaking clear with 17km to go, and holding out for a triumphant stage win which also saw him extend his lead overall by another considerable amount.

Simon Yates attacks on stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia (Sunada)

Yates may ultimately have paid the price for such aggressive tactics, but at the time it was thrilling to watch an emerging, inexperienced rider take the race with such brashness to his more esteemed rivals. He will have won lots of fans around the world for his panache.

Froome turns the Giro d’Italia upside down

Chris Froome attacks on the Colle delle Finestre on stage 19 of the Giro (Sunada)

The most stunning ride of the year so far is unquestionably Chris Froome’s attack to win stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia.

Defying all conventional wisdom, Froome – in one last bid to win the pink jersey, having fallen to fourth overall at 3-22 – launched an attack on the Colle della Finestre, despite the fact that there were still 80km left to ride until the finish.

With overall leader Yates dropped on the climb, the race had suddenly opened up, and Froome pounced upon the opportunity with an astonishing display of strength in which he managed to distance his lead over a chasing group of favourites featuring Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) despite having to work for so long alone.

He ultimately finished over three minutes ahead of everyone else, taking the maglia rosa in the most extraordinary circumstances, with a ride that will be talked about for years to come.

Geraint Thomas starts to dream the impossible on Alpe d’Huez

Geraint Thomas sprints towards victory on Alpe d’Huez on stage 11 of the Tour de France 2018 (Sunada)

With each passing day during his spell in the yellow jersey, what started out as a distant dream became an ever more likely reality for Geraint Thomas (Sky). Above all, though, it was his victory atop Alpe d’Huez that confirmed that the Welshman could indeed actually win the Tour de France.

Having won the day before atop La Rosière to first put himself in the yellow jersey, Thomas backed up that result by winning yet again, only this time on the Tour’s most famous and hallowed summit.

Thomas might publicly have claimed that his Sky colleague Chris Froome remained the team’s leader at this point, but deep down must have started to believe that he himself could win the Tour having proven to be the strongest rider on the legendary mountain.

A win on Alpe d’Huez is always special, but this one in particular will live long in the memory for the sight of the yellow jersey crossing the line with a raw of joy, and in the context of how the race as a whole would eventually play out.

The glory didn’t end there for Thomas, as the 32-year-old went on to become the first Welshman to win the Tour de France.

A surprise winner, Thomas finished almost two minutes ahead of Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) and 2-30 faster than team-mate Chris Froome.

Van Vleuten mugs Van der Breggen at La Course

Annemiek van Vleuten wins La Course (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

What an amazing finish it was at La Course this year.

Anna van der Breggen had appeared destined for victory, having dropped her compatriot Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) on the final climb, and having held her at arm’s length as the finish line approached.

Where Van der Breggen looked smooth and composed on the bike, Van Vleuten was ragged and messy, rocking from side to side apparently at the very end of her tether.

But suddenly, everything changed. With just 500 metres remaining, what appeared an insurmountable gap began plummeting at a rapid rate, and Van Vleuten passed her rival just 50 metres from the line.

It was a truly shocking turnaround, and quite possibly the most exciting finish to any race this season.

Retribution for Yates in Spain

Simon Yates celebrates victory Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA

Simon Yates was racing through a season of disappointment heading into the final Grand Tour of the season.

But the Vuelta a España is never a predictable affair, and this year’s edition proved no different.

The general classification battle remained wide open heading into the final week, as Yates had found himself leading the race for the second time in three weeks.

Hot on his heels were the Movistar tag-team of Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana, who threatened to outnumber the Brit heading into the final mountains.

Rather than defend his position, Yates opted to attack, a lot.

It was a risky strategy, but it all paid off.

Yates was able to throw off previous misfortune and dominate the last week in Spain, picking up his first Grand Tour win at the age of 26.

For the first time in history, all three Grand Tours were won by a British rider – Froome the Giro, Thomas the Tour, and Yates for the Vuelta.

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