Specialized and Peter Sagan collaborate on beautiful new S-Works colours

The American brand’s latest works of art are a triumph

Specialized and Peter Sagan have launched their latest collaboration, themed around “chasing rainbows”.

According to Specialized, the new collection captures Sagan’s two personalities: Overexposed and Underexposed.

The brand says that Overexposed shows his “star of the show” side, with loud silvers and rainbows whilst Underexposed represents his “below the radar” side with blacks, greys and rainbows. No doubt, it’s also homage to the fact that Sagan has won the world championships on numerous occasions.

The new collaboration is spread across most of Specialized’s S-Work’s road collection, including the Specialized S-Works Tarmac Disc, Specialized S-Works Venge, and Specialized Allez Sprint frameset.

The new Overexposed design looks particularly good on the S-Works Venge, which starts with a pale silver on the front end before meeting a dark silver on the rear. The S-Works logo is a neat reflective rainbow colour that pops from the frame.

The CLX 64 wheels are also detailed with a reflective, rainbow coloured Roval Sagan “chasing rainbows” inscription for extra bling.

Meanwhile, the ‘Underexposed’ collection looks much sleeker, but carries the same half and half design. The front end of the S-Works Tarmac Disc frameset is a dark gloss black with speckled iridescent rainbow colours.

On the rear half it meets a dark matte black which matches the d-shaped seatpost. The Specialized and S-Work’s logos are white and there’s a Bora-Hansgrohe sticker on the seat tube.

The collaboration is also across a number of accessories, including the Specialized S-Works Evade helmet (also equipped with ANGi), the S-Works 7 road shoes, turbo cotton tyres as well as a t-shirt and some socks.

Sagan Chasing Rainbow collection: bike prices

  • S-Works Tarmac Disc-Sagan Collection Overexposed Ltd bike- SRP £10,000.00
  • S-Works Venge Di2-Sagan Collection Overexposed Ltd bike- SRP £10,250.00
  • S-Works Tarmac Disc Frameset- Sagan Collection Mirror Ltd- SRP £3500.00
  • S-Works Venge Frameset- Sagan Collection Mirror Ltd- SRP £3900.00
  • Allez Sprint Disc Frameset- Sagan Collection Overexposed Ltd- SRP £1,350.00

Accessories prices:

  • S-Works Evade with ANGi- Sagan Collection Ltd- SRP £240.00
  • S-Works 7 Road Shoes- Sagan Collection Ltd- SRP £350.00
  • Turbo Cotton tyre- Sagan Collection Ltd- SRP £61.00
  • Tri-Blend Crew Tee- Sagan Collection Ltd- SRP £35.00
  • Road Tall Socks- Sagan Collection Ltd- SRP £17.00

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Cost of Team Sky women’s squad would be ‘a drop in the ocean’ compared to men’s budget

The British outfit’s new sponsor has sparked hopes a women’s team could be on the horizon

The cost of a world-class Team Sky women’s squad would be a “drop in the ocean” compared to the men’s budget.

Britain’s only WorldTour team has been an unprecedented success in men’s racing, but the lack of investment in a women’s outfit has been a disappointment to many.

But the news that the country’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe will be taking over the team has reinvigorated hopes of British women’s super-team.

British track talent Neah Evans told Cycling Weekly: “I would say it’s lacking at the moment.

“It is a disappointment. Sky had a big budget and now they have an even bigger budget.

“The amount of money they would have needed to set up a women’s cycling team that would have been world-class is a drop in the ocean compared to what they spend on the men’s team.

“For whatever reason, they didn’t wish to do it. Maybe you can hope for the future that it will be worthwhile.”

>>> Why it’s up to cycling fans and the media to hold team sponsors accountable for their actions 

Team Sky launched into the men’s peloton with much fanfare in 2010, vocal about their ambition to take a British rider to the top step of the Tour de France.

It was two years before Sir Bradley Wiggins won the nation’s first yellow jersey, with the going on to win four more Tours de France with Chris Froome and the 2018 edition with Geraint Thomas.

Froome has also added the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España to Sky’s list of achievements, becoming the first British winner of all three Grand Tours.

But Britain has fallen behind rival nations in women’s racing, as the Netherlands have dominated the sport with Annemiek van Vleuten and Anna van der Breggen the most prolific winners.



British former World Champion Lizzie Deignan had much with Dutch super-team Boels-Dolmans, while other national stars have focussed their attention on the track.

Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford has previously said he has considered establishing a women’s team, but it never materialised.

The average cost of a men’s WorldTour team is estimated at around £15million, with Team Sky operating on around £34million annually.

In contrast, women’s teams operate on budgets closer to £150,000.

Team Sky have now announced that British chemical firm Ineos will be taking over from the broadcaster Sky at the start of May.

>>> Team Sky funding boost under Ineos sparks budget cap discussions 

Rumours of an increased budget for the team have followed, with many suggesting Ineos should also launch a women’s team under the same banner.

Evans, who is part of the British track squad, said: “At the moment it’s a new sponsor, so maybe they don’t know what they’re taking on.

“Once it’s established, looking at setting up a women’s team would be the ideal situation. But such is life.”

She added: “You see the domination Team Sky has and we don’t have a female equivalent, and I think that’s a huge shame.

“Trying to set that up would be massive and would hopefully attract British riders back to ride for British teams.

“But until that happens, we’ll just have to make do.”

Evans will be racing the Six Day Manchester at the National Cycling centre between March 22-24.

She and other British track stars including Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald will hit the boards amidst a party atmosphere, as they continue preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Ahead of the event, Evans said: “I think it’s going to be mega.

“Couple the enthusiasm you get with the fans here with the Six Day atmosphere, its going to be fantastic.

“Having it on the track in Manchester is great for us because we don’t have the travelling associated with it.

“There’s definitely an advantage to it being Manchester – we know where everything is, we know how the scoreboard works, the best point to look at it, whether you want to lead it out from the front, come round, that sort of thing.

“I want to try and get UCI points and I also want to try and have fun. I know I’m not on the best of form, so there’s no point in getting too stressed about it.”

Tickets for Six Day Manchester are on sale now.

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What can cyclist legally do, and not do, in Europe?

Planning a trip abroad? Here’s what you need to know about the law in top European destinations

It all started with a bike ride in Spain.

I was with three other riders, and we weren’t using the bike lane – mostly because it was littered with sand and occasional pedestrians. It was a casual easy sunshine spin, until the traffic cops stopped us.

It was suggested that if we didn’t have documentation to produce, we’d have our bikes packed up into the van to be taken to the police station, which seemed somewhat dramatic when you consider the combined worth to be around £15k. They got back into their cars and drove off, after about 30 minutes of interrogation, when it transpired that we didn’t have cash on us and we weren’t going to reveal the location of our hotel.

My attempts at rational conversation with the traffic police were somewhat scuppered by the fact I didn’t know exactly what the law was, in Spain. Hence it seemed like a good idea to take a look at the key laws for cyclists in some of the European counties cyclists are most likely to ride their bicycles in.

Cycling within the European Union

The below is Brexit dependant for UK residents, but here’s what applies for now.

The 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic set out some guidelines to apply across EU countries, and Article 44 refers to requirements for bicycles.

All bicycles must have:

  1. An efficient brake
  2. A bell – and no other audible warning device
  3. A red rear reflector
  4. Red rear lamp
  5. White or selective yellow front lamp

Each country also has its own laws and some will be more stringent. However, national charity Cycling UK states that “as a visitor, you have the option of pick and mix between the traffic law of that country and the above requirements for international use of a pedal cycle.”

Country specific guidelines

It goes without saying that in all countries, cyclists are required to ride on the same side of the road as cars, they must indicate when turning left or right, and should stop at red lights (unless marked otherwise).

Other laws vary, and below are the official lines.

However, bear in mind that in the UK the Highway Code stipulates that all bicycles have reflectors fitted to the pedals, yet the last time most of us saw a pedal reflector we were under the age of 10. In other words, not all regulations are enforced.

UK

Photo credit JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images

Helmets

Helmets are not compulsory.

Riding two abreast

The Highway Code states that it is legal for cyclists to ride side-by-side, though Rule 66 does add that cyclists should ride in single file “on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends.”

>>> Why do cyclists ride side by side? 

Cyclists are advised to ride side-by-side by national governing bodies. Primarily, this is because a group of eight side-by-side riders is easier and safer to overtake than a line of eight cyclists riding single file.

Though the Highway Code says we should be single file on narrow roads, we can take the primary position (riding in the middle of the lane) where it’s not safe for drivers to overtake.

Using cycle lanes

The use of cycle lanes is not compulsory. Cyclists can choose the road or cycle lane based on whichever they feel is safer.

Liability

The UK is one of only five European countries (alongside Malta, Cyprus, Romania and Ireland) which has not introduced presumed liability.

Instead, it operates a fault-based system. This means if a cyclist is hit by a vehicle, they have to prove the driver was at fault to receive compensation.

Other considerations

Cyclists do not legally have to have insurance but many are covered by home insurance or registration with a body like British Cycling or Cycling UK.

Legally, you must have two working brakes. A fixed wheel counts as a rear brake, so fixie riders can have a front only.

Rule 60 of the Highway Code suggests that all bikes must be fitted with a white front and red rear light (flashing or steady), plus a red rear reflector and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after 1/10/85.

Spain

Photo by Lora Grigorova/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Helmets

In 2013, proposals were made that would have seen helmets made compulsory. However, these were not passed.

The current law – updated in 2014 – states that those over 16 must wear a helmet when riding outside of urban areas. Exemptions apply when riding uphill, if it’s very hot, or if you are a professional cyclist.

Under 16s must wear helmets at all times.

Riding two abreast

It is legal for cyclists to ride two abreast, excluding when there is low visibility, and when traffic builds up behind – at which point riders must go single file.

Article 36.2 of the Spanish regulations – Código de Tráfico y Seguridad Vial – states:

“2. It is forbidden for the vehicles listed in the previous section [including cyclists] [to] circulate in a parallel position, except for bicycles, which may do so in a two-by-two column, edging as far as possible to the extreme right of the road and placing in a row in sections with no visibility, and when they form traffic jams (aglomeración tráfico).”

Using cycle lanes

Loosely translated, article 36 states that: “Cycles will use the road if there is no part that is specially designed.”

That means you must use the bike lane if there is one that is suitable.

However, in an article by a local insurance firm, it is noted that enforcement is variable, because “the different municipalities can regulate the bike lane almost autonomously.”

Liability

In Spain, drivers are presumed liable in the case of a collision with a non-driver, including cyclists.

Article 1 of Royal Decree 8/2004 states: “The motor vehicle driver is responsible, for the risk created by driving such vehicles, damage to persons or property caused through his driving.”

The driver is liable unless it is proven that the incident occurred solely due to the conduct or negligence of the other party.

For this reason, it’s often recommended that cyclists do not wave drivers through when they deem it safe, instead leaving the driver to make their own judgement.

Other considerations

Cyclists must have lights on between sunset and sunrise – those who don’t can be issued with a fine up to €200.

A bell is also compulsory, and you can be fined for having faulty brakes or failing to give way.

You must not cycle on the road if you have a blood alcohol level greater than 0.5 grams per litre.

Article 114 of the Spanish Highway Code says “it is forbidden to open your door without first checking if it is a hazard to others, particularly cyclists”. That’s nice to know.

Germany

Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Helmets

Helmets are recommended, but not compulsory.

Riding two abreast

German regulations state: “Pedal cyclists must ride in single file; they may only ride two or more abreast if this does not obstruct traffic.”

Using cycle lanes

A cycle path is separated from the road by a kerb and from the pavement by markings, paving or a low kerb.

When the cycle lane is indicated by an unbroken white line and a blue cycle path sign, it is mandatory and cyclists must use it. Cycle lanes have to meet a minimum standard to be compulsory.

A broken white line and picture of a bicycle on the road marks out an ‘optional protection lane’. Cyclists do not have to use these.

Liability

Like Spain, Germany exercises presumed liability.

Other considerations

You can be fined for ‘drink cycling’ in Germany, anything from 0.4 mg/l breathing air is considered over the limit.

On some marked one-way streets, cyclists are allowed to ride contraflow, and there are ‘bicycle streets’ where you may take the middle of the lane – two abreast – and drivers must stay behind.

Fines can be issued for jumping red lights, looking at your phone or wearing headphones.

You must have a white front light and a red rear light, but flashing LED lights are prohibited. You should have two working brakes and a bell.

Children must cycle on the pavement until they are eight years old and are able to ride on the pavement until they turn 10.

Belgium

Photo: YVES HERMAN/AFP/Getty Images

Helmets

Helmets are not compulsory.

Riding two abreast

Cycling side by side is allowed provided that other road-going traffic is not inconvenienced.

Using cycle lanes

If a dedicated bike lane is available, you have to use it if you’re in a small group.

Where it’s a shared use path, the Belgian Highway Code reads: “Users of these paths can not put each other in danger or embarrass themselves. They must be extra careful with children and can not obstruct unnecessary traffic.” The speed limit on these paths is 30kph.

However, there are different rules if you’re in a large group. If there’s 15 or more of you, the code states:  “Cyclists travelling in groups of no less than 15 participants to a maximum of 50 are not required to use the cycle lanes and can ride two at a time on the roadway, provided that they remain grouped together.”

This said, you must have at least two ‘masters of the route’ with you, to ensure smooth running, and be preceded and followed by a motor vehicle by at least 30 metres.

Liability

As per Spain and Germany, presumed liability is exercised.

Other considerations

Drivers must leave a lateral distance of at least one meter between their vehicle and a cyclist.

Some Belgian cities have roads that are one-way for cars and two-way for cyclists. Signs will denote these, so look out for them.

In cycle streets, riders can use the full width of the road if its one way, or ride in the centre of the lane when it’s two way.

Fines can be applied for riding with your hands off the handlebars, riding with your feet off the pedals, being towed by another rider or motorist or cycling whilst on your mobile phone.

The lighting laws are similar to elsewhere, and reflectors and pedal reflectors make an appearance again.

Regulations state: “Between dusk and sunrise and in any circumstance where it is no longer possible to see distinctly up to a distance of about 200 meters, cyclists must use a [white or yellow] front and [red] rear steady or flashing light without glare. The red tail light shall be visible at night in a clear atmosphere at a minimum distance of 100 meters.

“Bicycles must be permanently equipped with a white retro reflector at the front and a red retro reflector at the rear… The pedals of bicycles must be permanently equipped with yellow or orange retro-reflectors.”

Traffic with “right of way” always has right of way, and the law does not distinguish based on speed – so cyclists have the same right as other vehicles.

France

Image: Getty images

Helmets

Children under 12 years old must wear a helmet, a guardian can be fined €90 for non-compliance.

Those over 12 do not have to wear a helmet.

Riding two abreast

When riding in a group, you should be two abreast or single file.

At night, if a vehicle wishes to overtake, or when “circumstances make it necessary,” riders should move to become single file.

If there’s more than 10 of you, you should split into two groups.

Using cycle lanes

In built up areas, you must use cycle lanes where they exist.

Liability

As per countries mentioned above, France exercises presumed liability.

Other considerations

It is illegal to cycle whilst wearing headphones. The alcohol limit applied to drivers also applies to cyclists.

Rules set out by Direction de la sécurité et de la circulation routières (DSCR) state that your bike must have two brakes, front and rear, a yellow or white front light, red rear light, a horn or bell and reflectors. It also states that: “all cyclists (and passengers) on the road at night or in poor visibility, outside of built-up areas must wear a reflective vest.”

New laws now allow cyclists, in some cases, to turn right or go straight ahead when the light is red. You can only do this at signposted intersections – more info here. 

Only children of less than eight years old are allowed to cycle their bikes on the pavement.

Italy

(Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images

Helmets

Helmets are not mandatory.

Riding two abreast

The Codice Stradale (Highway Code) says: “1. Cyclists must ride in single file whenever traffic conditions require them to do so, and never more than two abreast. When riding outside centres of population, they must always ride in single file except when one of the riders is less than 10 years old and is riding on the right of the other.”

Using cycle lanes

Yep, you’ve got to use them when they’re available.

The Codice Stradale says: “9. Cyclists must ride on the cycle lanes or cycleways [piste] reserved for them where these exist, except where prohibited from doing so by regulations.”

Liability

As per all of the above, except the UK!

Other considerations

Other notable rules include that cyclists must always have their “arms and hands free to control the handlebar with at least one hand, and must be able at all times to see in front and to either side of them and able to undertake the necessary manoeuvres.”

As well as lights, reflective items are meant to be worn when riding in non-urban areas between sunset and dawn, though we’ve not seen this enforced.

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Driver films moment he slammed brakes on sending cyclist smashing through window

Yobs in a Micra Brake Testing a Cyclist and Ends up Going Wrong What’s wrong with some people

Posted by Micra Super S Twin Cam on Thursday, March 21, 2019

A driver filmed himself smirking as he slammed on his brakes in front of a cyclist, sending the rider smashing through his rear window.

Footage from the incident, which has now been shared on social media, was taken by the driver who filmed from the window of his vehicle.

He followed the cyclist who rods along the pavement, before turning out into the road at a junction.

As the cyclist moved behind the car, the driver can be seen smiling as he slammed the car’s brakes on.

>>> UCI plans to ban corticosteroids under same rules as tramadol

The rider is sent careening into the back of the car, smashing the rear window with his weight and appearing to hit his face in the process.

After the incident, the people in the car can be heard exclaiming as one says ‘What are you doing? Are you alright?’

The footage has appeared on national news websites, but it is not clear when or where the incident happened.

This is not the first apparently deliberate incident involving a driver and cyclist.

Last month, footage emerged of a women being deliberately pushed of her bike by a hooded figure in a car.

The video, which showed a passenger leaning out of a car window to deliberately push the woman off her bike, was shared widely on social media

After getting in contact with Cycling Weekly, the victim said she suffered a broken front tooth, a fracture, scratches and bruising.

>>> Bontrager helmet safety performance falls ‘far below’ its claims, says MIPS

Earlier this month, police released CCTV footage of a cyclist being kicked from his bike by another rider, leaving him in a critical condition.

The Metropolitan Police launched an investigation after the shocking incident, which happened at around 12.45pm on Sunday (March 10).

A 30-year-old man was riding his bike in Hackney, East London, when the male attacker kicked him from his bike and into a parked car.

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Tour of Britain announces debut in Cornwall for 2020 start

The race will kick off in Penzance in 2020

The Ovo Energy Tour of Britain will begin in Penzance in 2020, marking the event’s first visit to Cornwall.

Around 120 riders will cover 170 kilometres from the country’s tip to Bodim, with the provisional route travelling through the likes of St Ives and Newquay.

Other towns included in the route include St Just, Hayle, Camborne, Pool, Redruth, Falmouth, Penryn, Truro, St Austell and the riders should pass the Eden Project.

The agreement was confirmed with Cornwall Council on Friday and it’s expected that the race’s visit will boost Cornwall’s economy by around £3 million with 180,000 people due to spectate.

It’ll be the biggest sporting event ever hosted in Cornwall, and will be broadcast on ITV4 and Eurosport.

Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain Race Director, said: “A lot of hard work over a sustained period has gone into today’s news, which we know will excite sports fans in Cornwall and across Britain.”

Cornishman  and former pro Chris Opie said: “I am a lifelong athlete who grew up in Cornwall, but had to look further afield for inspiration from world class athletes… The chance to witness the world’s top athletes competing in one of the world’s toughest events right on their doorstep, enabling a generation to dream and to aim for large, exciting, ambitious goals could be genuinely life changing.

“Very few individuals have the belief they can do something extraordinary in life, the Tour of Britain is the perfect vehicle to showcase that life can be special.”

Former pro and now Director Sportif of the EF Education First team Tom Southam hails from Penzance and said: “They are roads that I grew up riding on and absolutely love.  It’s a great part of the world and to showcase it by hosting the opening stage of the 2020 Tour of Britain is going to be an incredible event for everyone in Cornwall to get involved with.”

Of course, all this is over a year away. Details for the 2019 Tour of Britain, taking place this September, will be announced later this spring.

Tour of Britain 2019

The Tour of Britain is back for 2019, with the race moving around the country between September 8 to 15.

During its eight day takeover, the Ovo Energy sponsored race will visit a selection of towns and cities with plenty of opportunities for UK fans to pitch up and spectate.

The race dates right back to 1945, though there have been some gaps in its history. In this time, it’s carried the names of the ‘Milk Race’, ‘Kellogg’s Tour of Britain’ and the ‘Pru Tour’. The existing set-up arrived in 2004 and the race is currently organised by the Sweet Spot Group.

Read on for a breakdown of the stages, route information, TV guides and a rider start list.

Tour of Britain 2019 route: where can I watch?

Crowds will gather at the start and finish towns, as well as lining the route – specifically congregating at key climbs for a chance to see fireworks as riders try to split the race or take control of the peloton.

We know that there will be a stage in Wirral, as part of the area’s celebrations as the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture for 2019. It’s the first time the race has been to  Merseyside since 2014.

>> Dr Hutch: What were the origins of the Tour of Britain?

The 2019 Tour of Britain route is yet to be announced, we’ll update this page when it’s available.

Stage one Sunday, September 8 TBC TBC
Stage two Monday, September 9 TBC TBC
Stage three Tuesday, September 10
Stage four Wednesday, September 11
Stage five Thursday, September 12
Stage six Friday, September 13
Stage seven Saturday, September 14
Stage eight Sunday, September 15

Tour of Britain on TV

You’ll be able to see the race live or catch up via highlights on ITV4 – the timings are yet to be announced, but we’ll update this page with details when they become available.

Stage Date Live Highlights
Stage 1 Sunday September 8 TBC TBC
Stage 2 Monday September 9
Stage 3 Tuesday September 10
Stage 4 Wednesday September 11
Stage 5 Thursday September 12
Stage 6 Friday September 13
Stage 7 Saturday September 14
Stage 8 Sunday September 15

Alternatively, you can also catch the racing on fuboTV – there’s a free trial and you can connect on any device.

Who sponsors the Tour of Britain?

British independent energy supplier OVO Energy was unveiled as the race’s title sponsor in 2017, and this is ongoing.

The race is organised by the Sweet Spot Group, who also organise the OVO Energy Women’s Tour.

Tour of Britain jerseys

The top prize at the Tour of Britain is the green jersey, this goes to the leader of the General Classification. In the last edition of the race, this went to Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors). He won by 17 seconds over Wout Poels (Team Sky), with Primož Roglič LottoNL-Jumbo) in third at 33s.

Julian Alaphilippe in the leader’s jersey. Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com.

There’s also a Points jersey up for grabs, for the rider who claims the best results in stage winning sprints. In 2018, this went to Paddy Bevin (BMC Racing Team).

Closely related is the Sprints jersey, donned by the rider who picks up the most points in intermediate sprints – this was awarded to Alex Paton (Canyon Eisberg) last year.

The King of the Mountains Jersey goes to the rider who claims the best results on designated ascents. In 2018, Nic Dlamini (Team Dimension Data) took the honours.

>>> Get inspired: Iconic ToB photos

Past winners of the Tour of Britain

  • 2004 – Mauricio Ardila (COL) Chocolade Jacques-Wincor Nixdorf
  • 2005 – Nick Nuyens (BEL) Quick-Step–Innergetic
  • 2006 – Martin Pedersen (DEN) Team CSC
  • 2007 – Romain Feillu (FRA) Agritubel
  • 2008 – Geoffroy Lequatre (FRA) Agritubel
  • 2009 – Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) Team Columbia–HTC
  • 2010 – Michael Albasini (SUI) Team HTC–Columbia
  • 2011 – Lars Boom (NED) Rabobank
  • 2012 – Nathan Haas (AUS) Garmin–Sharp
  • 2013 – Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Team Sky
  • 2014 – Dylan van Baarle (NED) Garmin–Sharp
  • 2015 – Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) MTN–Qhubeka
  • 2016 – Steve Cummings (GBR) Team Dimension Data
  • 2017 – Lars Boom (NED) LottoNL–Jumbo
  • 2018 – Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors

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Why it’s up to cycling fans and the media to hold team sponsors accountable for their actions

Ineos and Total may have bailed out two leading teams, but we shouldn’t let them get away with greenwashing their corporate image

In a week when petrochemical giant Ineos has confirmed that it will be investing heavily in team sponsorship following its takeover from Sky in May, with a reported annual budget of £40 million, and French oil company Total is reported to be on the verge of becoming the new backer of the Direct Energie team, pro cycling’s perennial scramble to find cash seems to have a taken an unexpected and very beneficial turn.

The news has been widely welcomed, with Deceuninck boss Patrick Lefevere, for instance, tweeting: “If it’s true that #Ineos and #total are making their entree [sic] in cycling then this is fantastic news for cycling. Hope that others will follow.”

>>> Team Sky funding boost under Ineos sparks budget cap discussions

There are, though, other figures that should be taken into consideration as a result of these moves. Let’s start with the US$28 million or £22 million that is Total’s annual spend on lobbying to block climate change policies. The French company, one of the world’s big five within its sector, also spends almost twice that same amount each year on climate-focused branding, which may well include its backing for Jean-René Bernaudeau’s squad from next month.

Team Sky with their Ocean Rescue jerseys at the 2018 Tour de France (Sunada)

Consider too the 40kg (88lbs) of plastic that was found inside a young whale that washed up dead on a beach in the Philippines last week. Or the 1.4 million schoolchildren who went on strike in more than 2,000 cities across the world on March 15 urging adults to take responsibility and stop climate change.

In condemning Ineos’s takeover of Team Sky, Friends of the Earth’s Tony Bosworth stated, “It’s a harsh change of tone that may see Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign to clear plastic pollution from our oceans ditched from the team jersey in favour of Ineos – one of the biggest plastic producers in Europe.”

Taking Bosworth’s comment further, the question arises of whether the investment these companies make in cycling, the greenest and most democratic mode of transport bar shanks’ pony, should be challenged.

Governments and sporting federations have done this in the past, notably in blocking sponsorship by tobacco companies. Similarly, the Italian government introduced legislation earlier this year to prevent betting companies sponsoring sports teams. Comparable legislation in France led to Unibet withdrawing from sponsorship of a bike team a decade ago, although subsequent changes to the law have enabled the betting company to enter the French sports sponsorship market.

Direct Energie is set to be replaced by Total as lead sponsors (Sunada)

The UCI also has the ability to block certain sponsors, its regulation 1.1.089 stating: “Without prejudice, of the applicable law, no brand of tobacco, spirits, pornographic bis products or any other products that might damage the image of the UCI or of cycling in general shall be associated directly or indirectly with a licence-holder, a UCI team or a national or international cycling competition.”

It drew on this clause recently when revoking the affiliation of the Porn Pedallers Cycling Club in the UK.

It could be justifiably argued that a link with petrochemical and oil companies, such Total, Ineos, the conglomerate backing Astana and the oil-based economies of the UAE and Bahrain also damage the image of cycling. However, the precedent set by the UCI’s confirmation of the latter three teams, as well as the lack of heed that the ruling body has shown to political and human rights, exemplified by its award of the 2016 World Championships to Qatar, confirm that this won’t happen.

As a result, it is down to the political and economic pressure groups, the media and individuals to challenge these sponsors.

We may have to accept them being part of cycle sport, but their presence in this most public and high-profile of forums provides an opportunity to highlight and criticise their policies, to spread awareness and perhaps even bring about change for the better.

Country sponsors like Bahrain and UAE have a chequered history with human rights allegations (Sunada)

Consequently, just as Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Sky’s other stars are sure to be pressed on their support for Ocean Rescue and how this squares with their team’s sponsorship by Ineos, other teams and riders should also come under greater scrutiny.

For example, let’s hail the achievements of Vincenzo Nibali, Fernando Gaviria and Dan Martin and other big names on the Bahrain and UAE teams, but while being aware and refusing to condone political restrictions and human rights abuses in those countries.

If we want to promote political, social and environmental change, it’s no good simply cheering schoolchildren’s strike actions, tweeting dismay at the latest abuse of human rights, or expressing shock when the next whale washes up dead having unwittingly swallowed a stomach-load of human waste.

We all need to channel our inner Greta Thunberg and Jimmy Carter in order to challenge these companies and regimes, to ensure that something fundamentally beneficial comes from their investment in cycling.

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Seven of the best deals from the Evans Cycles’ sale

The deals continue at Evans Cycles, with everything from new bikes to the smallest components available at great savings

High street and online cycling retailer Evans Cycles stocks a huge range of cycling kit and has a huge range of deals available. On this page you’ll find deals on everything from Zipp wheels, Bontrager shoes, Castelli kit and much, much more.

At any time, Evans Cycles can have thousands of deals on offer, so we’ve done the hard part and picked out the standout deals. With each product is a ‘Buy Now’ 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.

The products have been chosen by our expert Tech Team who know what represents a good deal. Where we’ve reviewed the product, we’ve included a link to that review so you can read more about it, but if it’s on this page, it’s because we trust the brand and what they produce.

Zipp 303 Firecrest disc brake wheelset was £2314, now from £1799

Read more: Zipp 303 Firecrest review (rim-brake)

The 303 Firecrest wheels are 45mm deep and come with lots of Zipp’s top tech, including it ABLC dimples that helps reduce aerodynamic drag. The wide internal rim width of 21mm helps seats wider tyres far better, including up to 28mm. If you’re looking for a summer upgrade, these are well worth your consideration.

Buy now: Zipp 303 Firecrest disc brake wheelset from £1799

Schwalbe One road tyre was £52.95, now £31.49

A thoroughbred racing tyre, the Schwalbe One combines grip and rolling speed to make one swift bit of rubber – perfect for the upcoming winter months.

Buy now: Schwalbe One road tyre for £31.49

Bontrager Specter road shoe was £129, now £71.99

Read more: Bontrager Specter road shoe review

The Bontrager Specter road shoe is comfortable thanks to it’s upper and composite sole that’s plenty stiff enough for most riding. It’s secured by a single Boa dial that makes adjusting on the bike nice and easy, too.

Buy now: Bontrager Specter road shoe at Evans Cycles for £71.99

Mavic Cosmic Elite UST road wheelset was £419, now £319

These aluminium Mavic Cosmic Elite wheels make a cracking upgrade wheelset if you’re looking to get a bit more out of your bike. Alternatively, they make a set of great training wheels if you don’t want to wear out your best set.

Buy now: Mavic Cosmic Elite UST road wheelset for £319

Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc Red eTap was £4999, now £3499

Best Evans Cycles Black Friday deals 2018

The Cannondale Synapse is one of our favourite endurance bikes. With its sophisticated carbon fibre it manages to offer a balanced ride that’s as comfortable as it is fast. Whilst the generous geometry will keep you happy in the saddle for those long days, the stiffness in the frame will match even your most powerful sprints.

This particular model comes with the wireless SRAM Red eTap HRD groupset and Fuclrum wheels.

See more: Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc Red eTap at Evans Cycles for £3499

Castelli Aero Race 5.1 jersey was £100, now £70

Best Evans Cycles Black Friday deals 2018

The Castelli Aero Race 5.1 is a lightweight, fast-wicking jersey that’s easy on the eye and perfect for summer days. Yes, we might be in throes of winter right now but the warm weather will come back around and you’ll pleased you have this snazzy number stored away.

Buy now: Castelli Aero Race 5.1 jersey at Evans Cycles for £70

Continental GP4000S II road tyre – was £54.95, now £31.99

Best Evans Cycles Black Friday deals 2018

With spring conditions just around the corner, it’s time to think about shedding your winter tyres and fitting some faster rubber. And no tyre has more of a reputation for speed, grip and longevity than the GP4000. It’s available in any size you want from 20mm right up to 28mm.

Buy now: Continental GP4000S II road tyre for £31.99

We’ll keep updating this page with more deals – so don’t forget to check back regularly.

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Mathieu van der Poel says ‘it’s a small miracle he’s back on the bike’ after high-speed crash

The Dutchman has been to recce the Tour of Flanders route with his team

Mathieu van der Poel says ‘it’s a small miracle he’s back on the bike again’ after his high-speed crash earlier this week.

Van der Poel was caught in a spill during the sprint finish at Belgian one-day race Nokere Koerse, being taken away by ambulance.

But fortunately the cyclocross world champion suffered no serious injuries, escaping with abrasions and bruises.

He was back on the bike the following day to recce the Tour of Flanders route, ahead of his cobbled Classics debut.

>>> Who are the bookies’ favourites to win Milan-San Remo 2019?

The 24-year-old told cycling news site Wielerflits: “It’s a small miracle I’m back on the bike again. It could have been a lot worse.

“I was in a lot of pain, but in the ambulance I already felt that it wasn’t so bad.

“But still, falling on the cobblestones definitely hurts.”

Van der Poel, the Dutch national road champion, crashed in the wind up for the sprint finish in East Flanders.

As the peloton hit the cobbled sector leading to the finish, Sunweb sprinter Max Walscheid came down near the front of the bunch.

Van der Poel was unable to avoid the collision, rolling along the stones before being hit by another rider.

He stayed down after the crash and was taken off the course by ambulance.

>>> André Greipel to ride 2019 Tour de France as final wildcard places announced

His Corendon-Circus team later confirmed he had suffered no fractures and will be able to complete his road programme as planned.

The crash brought van der Poel’s schedule into question as he makes his debut in the cobbled Classics, starting with Gent-Wevelgem later this month, followed by Dwars door Vlaanderen, the Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold Race.

He added: “I’m still fairly stiff. That will take a few days. But during the recce I upped the pace more.

“My hip was hit the hardest, but that will be fine too.”

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André Greipel to ride 2019 Tour de France as final wildcard places announced

The German sprinter has stepped down from the WorldTour but will still get his chance on the biggest stage

André Greipel will have his chance at the 2019 Tour de France after his new team were invited to race as a wildcard.

The German sprinter stepped down from the WorldTour to join French outfit Arkéa-Samsic at the end of last season.

Tour organisers ASO have now revealed the final two teams being given wildcard entries – Arkéa-Samsic and Direct Energie.

>>> Petrol company Total to take over sponsorship Direct Energie, according to reports

The two French teams will join Cofidis and Wanty-Groupe Gobert to make up the four second-tier teams racing the biggest Grand Tour of the year.

Competition between Professional Continental teams for Tour places was tough this year, with the French outfits all bolstering their line-ups to be awarded a coveted spot.



Alongside Greipel’s move to Arkéa-Samsic, Direct Energie signed double Monument winner Niki Terpstra from Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

Pierre Rolland, a two-time Tour stage winner and top-10 overall finisher, also moved to Vital Concept-B&B Hotels for 2019 from EF Education First.

>>> Team Sky funding boost under Ineos sparks budget cap discussions

But the Frenchman will not be given the chance to repeat his previous glories as Vital Concept have missed out on a place.

Sprinter Bryan Coquard is another Vital Concept rider who will be disappointed to miss out on a spot, having last rode the Tour in 2016 and coming second and third in bunch sprints.

Arkéa-Samsic are also expected to take Warren Barguil to the Tour, after his two stage wins and King of the Mountain title from 2017.

The French rider appeared to have a breakthrough year with Sunweb, but has failed to take a win since moving to Arkéa-Samsic last season.

Alongside Classics specialist Terpstra, Direct Energie also count 2017 stage winner Lilian Calmejane among their number.

Full list of teams riding 2019 Tour de France

Ag2r La Mondiale (Fra)
Astana (Kaz)
Bahrain-Merida (Brn)
Bora-Hansgrohe (Ger)
CCC Team (Pol)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (Fra)
Deceuninck – Quick-Step (Bel)
Direct Energie (Fra)
EF Education First (USA)
Groupama-FDJ (Fra)
Lotto-Soudal (Bel)
Movistar (Esp)
Mitchelton-Scott (Aus)
Arkéa-Samsic (Fra)
Dimension Data (RSA)
Jumbo-Visma (Ned)
Katusha-Alpecin (Sui)
Team Sky (GBr)
Sunweb (Ger)
Trek-Segafredo (USA)
UAE Team Emirates (UAE)
Wanty-GroupeGobert (Bel)

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Katie Archibald column: The women who stare at bikes

Katie gives her advice on how to break a staring habit

A lot of the time I want to sit still and stare at the wall. Not any one particular wall; I don’t have a series of black market fine art pieces hung in my basement, or the script to an episode of The Simpsons written in its entirety across my dining room.

It doesn’t have to be a wall either — I’ll sit in the car and stare at my steering wheel or sit in the garage and stare at my bike. Really I’ll stare at any inanimate object. It doesn’t know I’m staring and even if it does, according to Toy Story rules, it can’t do anything about it.

>>> Katie Archibald column: It’s not always smooth riding in the velodrome

This is an unproductive hobby. Of course I get my heaviest craving for wall-staring when the demand for productivity is at its highest, because that’s how the world works.

It’s similar to drinking so much coffee you feel tired again; your heart rate is high, hands are sweaty (because it’s those hands that wrote the big to-do list in the first place and that know all too well all the things to do), but all you want to do is sleep. Sleep with your eyes open, sat bolt upright, and staring at a wall.

Which isn’t always practical. Sure, quite often I just completely indulge and do it (you only live once!), but life is about moderation. Too much of anything, even a good thing, can be trouble.

So I have two useful systems to overcome the craving. The first is to drink a can of Pepsi Max (AKA Happy Fizz Juice). Somehow it’s different to drinking coffee (Happy Bean Juice) and I can’t explain why (it’s sugar-free — don’t treat me like an idiot).

The second is a bit more time consuming and a bit hit and miss. It’s doing something that makes you worse off in the hope that an hour after the fact you’ll be hit by the kind of guilt that drives a person into action.

Eat two loaves of bread, say, or maybe break some stuff. Let the act brew for a small while and then, hey presto, you’re ready to go again.

For obvious reasons, I recommend the first. Now if we’re finished here, I’ve got a Cervélo S5 in the next room that’s begging for a good stare down.

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