Fatigued Nairo Quintana won’t race before Tour de France

Nairo Quintana will not race the Route du Sud and instead rest before starting the Tour de France

A fatigued Nairo Quintana will not race before the Tour de France and instead rest at home in preparation for the Tour de France.

The Movistar rider finished second at the Giro d’Italia to Tom Dumoulin despite leading going into the final day’s time trial.

The Colombian had hoped to become the first person since Marco Pantani in 1998 to win the Giro-Tour double.

His exertions at the Giro, though, have meant that he has opted against racing the Route du Sud (June 15-18).

>>> Wout Poels has to prove form at Route de Sud if he wants to race Tour de France

In light of his efforts in the opening Grand Tour of the season, and the fact that there are only 34 days between the end of the Giro in Milan and the beginning of the Tour in Düsseldorf in July 1, Quintana believes that he is better placed to recover at home and prepare for the Tour through training as opposed to racing.

The exclusion of any races before he takes on defending champion Chris Froome (Sky), Richie Porte (BMC Racing) and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) in La Grand Boucle isn’t entirely surprising, although there remained a chance that he would race at least once.

He won the Route du Sud last year and many expected him to give Froome a closer challenge in the Tour, but he was unable to counter the Brit’s intuitive tactics and time trialling, eventually settling for third place behind Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) in second.

Quintana, 27, has won both the Giro and Vuelta a España but a maiden Tour win remains his number one priority.


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Pinnacle goes utilitarian with 10 year anniversary range

Range of limited edition bikes spans road, adventure and hybrid genres and combines rugged charm with practicality

Pinnacle bikes is celebrating its 10 year anniversary with a selection of limited edition bikes which place a clear emphasis on all-weather, British riding.

Combining practicality with a little bit of rugged charisma, tweaks to the Arkose adventure bike, Lithium hybrid and Dolomite road bike are perhaps a nod to developments we can expect to see in coming years.

The in-house brand from Evans Cycles is predominantly the handy-work of accomplished off-road bike packer – and former Genesis bikes designer – James Olsen.

Limited in number, the range is available to buy now – with prices ranging from £950 to £1750. The Arkose and Dolomite are available with women’s saddle, shorter cranks and narrower handlebars fitted in smaller sizes, whilst the Lithium can be bought in men’s or women’s specific versions.

Here’s a look at what’s on offer:

The Pinnacle Dolomite 10th Year Limited Edition road bike

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Pinnacle Limited Edition Dolomite Road Bike

The Dolomite road bike – shown out on the road here – has long been considered a practical, all-year-round ready machine that can cope with commutes as well as sportives.

The entire range features hydraulic disc brakes, but the 10 Year Limited Edition model has taken it even further with fully-fitted custom mudguards, and internally wired front and rear dynamo lights.

A controversial subject among road cyclists, Olsen knows which side of the fence he sits on – saying: “I got more miles in during mixed weather when I relented and put guards on my bike. I realised you get more wet from spray off the wheels than the rain itself. The full dynamo lighting was a similar revelation, just one less thing to think about, always there for dark or murky days as well as the evenings.”

Read more: Pinnacle Dolomite 5 review

Buy now: Pinnacle Dolomite 10th Year Limited Edition Road Bike at Evans Cycles for £1700

The Pinnacle Arkose 10th Year Limited Edition adventure road bike

pinnacle

Arkose Limited Edition Adventure road bike

The Arkose, which began its life as a cyclocross bike and has since slipped over to the adventure road genre, has been bolstered in the off-road direction with TRP Hylex hydraulic brakes, Shimano XT Di2 1×11 MTB gearing, and 45c Riddler tanwall tyres. You can see a video of the bike in action here.

Pinnacle call the Limited Arkose a “true cross-genre bike for go-anywhere rides” and gave it a good run-around Ben Nevis in Scotland by way of testing.

With roadies becoming more and more partial to wider tyres, Olsen says he’s testing the waters – commenting: “Tyres keep getting bigger on all-road bikes and maybe 45C is the optimum, not too big and MTB-like.”

Read more: Pinnacle Arkose 3 reviewed 

Buy now: Pinnacle Arkose 10th Year Limited Edition hybrid bike at Evans Cycles for £1750

The Pinnacle Lithium 10th Year Ltd Edition hybrid bike

pinnacle

Pinnacle Limited Edition hybrid bike

A major contributor to Pinnacle’s overall sales, the Lithium hybrid bike has been treated to a 3M reflective paint job that aims to make ‘SMIDSY’ a thing of the past.

The Lithium has also received a touch of Dutch practicality, with a dynamo powered Son Edulux II light, and there’s a rack for easy gear transportation.

The Lithium, seen in action here, is designed to be a hybrid that sits comfortably close to the mountain bike end, with 50c Continental Cruise Contact 2 tyres fitted in this case.

Taking inspiration from his own day to day exploits, Olsen commented: “Being seen is so important in evenings and at night but often I like to just jump on a bike with my normal clothes on, knowing the bike is visible and has a great headlight fitted makes that so easy.”

Buy now: Pinnacle Lithium 10th Year Limited Edition men’s hybrid bike at Evans Cycles for £950

Buy now: Pinnacle Lithium 10th Year Limited Edition women’s hybrid bike at Evans Cycles for £950

Pinnacle bikes: the beginnings

The brand has come a long way since its 2007 launch in – a move which trading director Mike Rice explains was largely a result of issues around distribution of existing brands: “The reason for starting Pinnacle was based on the simple fact that as Evans Cycles expanded its network of stores, some brands that we carried started to enforce selective distribution policies. So there were occasions when we weren’t able to open stores with certain products because an incumbent dealer in the area may have held the local franchise for those brands”

He added: “By creating Pinnacle, it would allow us to offer a consistent product range across our stores, even were we were restricted from stocking other brands. It also meant we could have products and a supply chain that we were in control of, versus being dictated to by other brands.”


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Is the Madison to feature at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

The men’s Madison was removed from the Olympic track schedule after 2008 and has never been included in the women’s programme

The Madison could be reintroduced to the men’s Olympic track programme tomorrow, and added to the women’s schedule for the first time.

The executive board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are expected to approve the inclusion of the Madison for the Tokyo 2020 Games, insidethegames reports.

It was last included in 2008 when, memorably, favourites Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins failed to win gold for Great Britain.

It hasn’t featured in the London 2012 or Rio 2016 Games but has remained ever-present at the Track World Championships, where Cavendish and Wiggins won gold last year.

The discipline was added to the women’s programme at the Worlds this year when British duo Elinor Barker and Emily Nelson took silver.

There has long since been support at British Cycling and other national federations for the Madison to be added to the Olympic programme, a stance supported and pushed by the UCI.

The women members of the GB team practised the Madison each week throughout the winter and all raced with one another.

If the Madison is added to the Tokyo schedule, it will take the number of track events to 12 from 10 and equal parity in the gender ratio of events; however, there isn’t expected to be an increase in the number of riders – it is thought that the Madison rider would have to come from the endurance squad.

Iain Dyer, BC’s head coach, told Cycling Weekly in April: “A Madison rider has to be a very good bunch racer, and a very good endurance and tactical rider. Riders are interlinked. We are keen for people to explore all the opportunities [of partners].

Rob Hayles and Wiggins earned a bronze medal in the discipline at Athens 2004.

The IOC is meeting to approve new disciplines for the Tokyo Games. BMX freestyle park – an event where riders perform tricks and stunts on a skate park – is also expected to be added.


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Ride with… Haddington CC

We ride out with East Lothian club, Haddington CC
– Words by Trevor Ward, photos by James Robertson

Club facts

Based: Haddington, East Lothian
Members: 125
Formed: 2012
Meets: all at the Corn Exchange, Haddington. Three groups ­— fast, intermediate and no-drop — leave at 9 am on Sundays. Fast ride at 9 am on Saturdays. Midweek TTs take place at 7 pm on Tuesdays. Hilly training rides take place at 7pm on Wednesdays during the summer.


There’s very little Chris Froome-style staring at stems during Haddington CC club rides.

This is partly to do with the views of the glorious East Lothian coast and countryside that the club has on its doorstep, but also a reflection of the club’s overriding philosophy.

This is summed up by club secretary John Archibald: “We’re not about racing, we’re about riding and socialising.”

Today’s turnout of 40 riders, on a day when the weather forecast was less than promising, shows just how this philosophy is working.

Archibald is forced to split us into two groups. Conscious of the mix of abilities, he briefs us: “We’ll keep both groups at 16mph, and don’t worry about taking your turn at the front, we’ve got volunteers to do that.”

That’s good to know, as the first half of the route takes us into a fierce headwind, though I feel slightly guilty to learn that the rider bearing the brunt of the workload, Chris Allan, only returned home from a training camp in Mallorca at half past two this morning.

Meanwhile, Ronnie Jones is pointedly ignoring the computer on his handlebars. “I’ve just joined Strava, but to be honest you have to stick the Garmin in your back pocket now and then otherwise you become too obsessed,” he says.

“I come out on these rides mainly for the blether. Previously, I commuted to work six miles every day for 15 years, but wanted a bit of company, so joined the club a year ago.”

But for those who want a challenge, the club will offer its support, whether it’s car sharing to sportives or providing encouragement for personal goals.

Challenge

Garry Latimer is due to attempt the Scottish Hour Record —currently 46.65 km, set in 1996 by Jim Gladwell — at the Glasgow velodrome, while Alan Galbraith is planning an attempt to join the Club de Cinglés by ascending Ventoux three times in one day.

“It’s a bucket list thing, I choose a different challenge every year,” he says. Joining him will be Adam Cochrane, who failed on a previous attempt with the club in 2015.

“I have unfinished business,” he says. “Though I was three and a half stone heavier then.”

At the other end of the spectrum is Iain Farquhar, who only took up cycling three years ago after joining some workmates on a sportive.

“I really enjoyed it so got in touch with the club,” he says. “I turned up for my first ride on a hybrid. There are some clubs that would have laughed at me, but these couldn’t have been friendlier.”

The sentiment is echoed by Hamish Hall, who took up cycling 18 months ago to lose weight. He has the time to dedicate himself to the task as he only works three months a year: “I’m a sheep pregnancy scanner.

I scan 104,000 ewes from mid-December to mid-March and get paid per animal” — he says: “From what I’d heard about some clubs I was fairly apprehensive, but that first ride went really well and it’s been great ever since.”

By the time we arrive at the café, it’s already full with riders. Alan McCaskie tells me East Lothian is starting to become as popular for cycling as it is for golf.

“I work for a bank, and instead of corporate golf days, there is now a trend for cycling days,” he says.

Cycling the new golf? With scenery and quiet roads like this, it’s easy to see why.

History

The club was formed in 2012 after several groups of riders kept bumping into each other on local roads and later found themselves taking part in the same sportive (the Bealach Mor in the Highlands).

They set up a Facebook page and soon had inquiries from riders with a range of abilities, from novice to racer.
One of those original riders was Martin Dobbie, who says the group’s philosophy survives to this day.

“We’re a fairly relaxed bunch and we’re keen to promote the friendly aspects of cycling with lots of options available for those that wish to push themselves to the next level of racing or simply just be out on the road with friendly faces,” he says.

The club also aims to promote the merits of East Lothian, the county to the east of Edinburgh, Scotland’s grand capital.

“We’re lucky to have some wonderful roads, hills and scenery on our doorstep, so want to get as many people of all ages as possible cycling here,” says Dobbie, the club’s marketing manager and digital ‘guru’.

The club has made its mark on the Scottish cycling calendar, hosting a round of the popular Super Quaich CX series at Foxlake, near Dunbar, that attracted hundreds of competitors across all categories. “CX is the ‘acceptable’ side of racing, as it’s much more sociable,” says John Archibald, the club secretary.

The club reinforces its social emphasis with a monthly pub night that occasionally hosts guest speakers.
Graeme Obree was a recent visitor.

The club has hosted several overseas trips to iconic climbs, including Ventoux and Stelvio. This year’s challenge will be the Angliru, in Asturias in northern Spain, a regular fixture on the Vuelta.

The club kit design features a distinctive wraparound motif that, says Dobbie, captures “our philosophy that we all ride together and aren’t afraid of the hills, both the ups and the downs”.

Achievements

– In 2012, Adam Cochrane was second in the Mark Beaumont 24-hour Cycle The World race at Knockhill, Fife.
– In 2015, Martin Dobbie, Chris Allan, Neil Clyde, Dave Gentle, Shona Bathgate and Alan McCaskie completed the Club des Cinglés Challenge, which sees riders complete the three ascents of Ventoux in one day (a total distance of 135km with 4,381 metres of climbing)
– Chris Allan was runner-up at the Dig in the Dock CX B-race this year.
– Shona Bathgate and Bruce Wilson competed in the Nice Ironman last year.

Haddington club run – Ride highlights

1 North Berwick coast road
This is a flat but exposed section that runs out of North Berwick and offers great views out to sea and the imposing, volcanic hulk of Bass Rock. It’s occupied by a colony of gannets.

2 East Linton
A postcard-pretty village that boasts a church with clock tower, village square with fountain, stone bridge over a burbling river and, should you need sustenance before you reach Gifford, a cafe.

3 B6369 descent
The home stretch is a long, fast and straight descent that, apart from one little bump, delivers you painlessly back to the handsome town square of Haddington.

Favourite cafe

The Lanterne Rouge is popular with riders not only for its food — cake and a cuppa for £4 — but also for its artwork celebrating moments from cycling history. There’s a giant map of the area on one wall so you can retrace/plan your route. The Lanterne Rouge, 1 Main Street, Gifford, EH41 4QH.


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Mikel Landa looks set to be one of Chris Froome’s key helpers at Tour de France

Mikel Landa looks like being one of the nine Sky riders who take to the Tour de France startline in Düsseldorf on July 1

The Spanish media are reporting that Mikel Landa looks likely to be one of Chris Froome‘s key helpers at next month’s Tour de France.

The rider impressed the Team Sky management in the final week of the Giro d’Italia when he transformed his ails from the opening two weeks to win the mountains jersey, take a stage win and three further podium finishes.

Landa, recruited from Astana after the 2015 season in which he came third at the Giro, played a crucial role in Froome’s third Tour victory last year.

>>> 10 unforgettable moments of the 2017 racing season so far

It appears that Sky are weighing up their options and the inclusion of Landa is looking more likely than it was before the Giro, AS, the Spanish newspaper, reports.

With Froome lacking in form – he hasn’t won a race all year – having a collection of the strongest climbers in the world as his domestiques could be more pivotal than ever in his Tour quest.

AS quote Landa as saying: “I still do not know, there is nothing certain at this point.”

Should Landa ride the Tour, it makes it unlikely that he will compete at the Vuelta a España, his home Grand Tour that he last raced in 2015.

Landa went into the Giro as Sky’s co-leader alongside Geraint Thomas, but a crash on stage nine caused by a police motorbike ruined his general classification chances. He, unlike Thomas, though, continued through to the race’s end in Milan.


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Amy Pieters snatches first Boels-Dolmans win on stage two of Women’s Tour

The Dutch cyclist notches her first win for Boels-Dolmans since joining with British champion Hannah Barnes in second

After a chaotic and fractured stage, Boels-Dolmans opened their Ovo Energy Women’s account today with Amy Pieters taking the win in Stoke-on-Trent.

The Dutchwoman won the uphill sprint into the city centre ahead of British champion Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM), who bagged the best result of her year.

It is Pieters’s first WorldTour win since joining the Dutch team over the winter, though she won the second stage of last year’s race when riding for Wiggle-High5 too.

The day was aggressively contested throughout, with attacks coming from the moment the flag dropped in Stoke. However, despite a number a small number of unsuccessful forays off the front, it was not until 40km had passed that anyone established a meaningful gap.

Then Alé-Cipollini’s 2007 world road champion Marta Bastianelli escaped and was soon joined by Canadian rider Alison Jackson of BePink-Cogeas. The pair established a gap of 1-30 before being caught as the course went just past Utoxeter, 81km in.

Their gap then tumbled, and before the race reached the second sprint in Cheadle they were caught and another group of six went clear. Of these Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb) was strongest, attacking on the the first classified climb to Ipstones, gaining a lead of around a minute.

OVO Energy Women’s Tour – Stage 2: Stoke-on-Trent – A group of riders tackle Gun Hill climb.Picture by Credit:Alex Whitehead

Maintaining that gap over Gun Hill she was eventually caught with less than 10km to ride.

Race leader Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3 Energy) finished in the bunch and maintains the green jersey going into tomorrow’s stage between Atherstone and Leamington Spa.

After her Boels-Dolmans team conceded so much time yesterday, Pieters says stage wins are now their focus.

“The climbs were really tough, It was a really hard day after yesterday, so our goal was to go for the stage,” Pieters told reporters after the race. “The team was strong today and we felt really strong and I could save my legs for the sprint.

“We have a strong team here and I hope we can go for everyone for a stage win.”

Niewiadoma had found herself under pressure on the climbs, with no team mates to help, however she was able to resist attacks, particularly one from Wiggle-High5’s Elisa Longo-Borghini, to retain the race lead.

“I knew it would be like this,” she said. “Even though I have a good advantage I knew teams would make a situation that would be good for them. We had Sunweb, Boels, Wiggle and Canyon which have a lot of strong riders and my team are not able to chase every attack.

“There were a lot of situations that I though it was goodbye to the green jersey, but you can’t lose hope and I tried to stay relaxed and calm. Even when Lucinda was there in the front there were teams that would want to go for the stage win, so they felt a responsibility to chase.”

Defending champion and Pieters’s team mate, Lizzie Deignan was not in that front group and finished 8-47 down.

Tomorrow’s stage between Atherstone and Leamington Spa appears less demanding than today, though at 151km, it is the longest of the race and one of the longest race days of the whole season. As such expect a similar situation where a reduced bunch contests the victory.

OVO Energy Women’s Tour, stage two result

1. Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels-Dolmans at 3-49-42
2. Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon Sram Racing,
3. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Team Sunweb
4. Marianne Vos (Ned) WM3 Energie
5. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Energie
6. Elisa Longo-Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5
7. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo-Bigla Pro Cycling
8. Alice Barnes (GBr) Drops
9. Danielle King (GBr) Cylance Pro Cycling
10. Aude Biannic (Fra) FDJ, all at the same time

Ovo Energy Women’s Tour General Classification after stage two

1. Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Energie 7-41-11
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) WM3 Energie at 1-46
3. Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-Sram, st
4. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Team Sunweb, at 1-48
5. Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels-Dolmans, st
6. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervélo-Bigla, at1-52
7. Alice Barnes (Gbr) Drops, st
8. Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels-Dolmans, at 1-55
9. Cecilie Ludwig (Den) Cervélo-Bigla, at 1-58
10. Danielle King (GBr) Cylance Pro Cycling, at 1-59


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Coquard dismisses Bernaudeau's Tour de France ultimatum

Bryan Coquard, by the letter of Jean-René Bernaudeau’s law, should not go to the Tour de France this July. After informing the Direct Energie team manager of his desire to leave at the end of the season, the sprinter’s ordinarily secure spot on the Tour roster was thrown into doubt, and he was given an ultimatum: Win at the Critérium du Dauphiné or you’re staying at home.

“If he gives us guarantees, he will go,” said Bernaudeau ahead of Tuesday’s stage 2. “Guarantees, that’s winning a stage at the Dauphiné. If he beats [Arnaud] Démare, that would be good news.”

Coquard finished 10th on that day and, after the break foiled the sprint teams the following afternoon, Coquard had his final chance of the Dauphiné in Mâcon on Thursday. He finished third, with Démare in second.

“Guarantees don’t mean anything,” the Frenchman told a group of reporters after coming to a halt outside the Direct Energie team bus.

“I read in the newspapers that a guarantee was me winning at the Dauphiné. If you absolutely have to win a stage to be at the start of the Tour, there won’t be many there,” he added with a grin.

Coquard, confident and firm so far in his public handling of a thorny situation, has clearly not lost his sense of humour.

“I think I’m going very well. Now Jean-René will decide whatever he decides. I hope I won’t be spending July eating Merguez,” he said later.

Coquard regularly speaks about his affection for Bernadeau, who has guided him from an 18-year-old in the Vendée U feeder team right through his four-and-a-half years as a professional, which have yielded over 30 victories. Nevertheless, he admitted there had been “a bit of rancour” since he told Bernaudeau he wouldn’t be staying. The ultimatum speaks for itself.

The long-standing team manager dropped in on the Dauphiné on Wednesday, and Coquard was asked how the communication between them had been.

“We spoke, we spoke, but we spoke about everything except the difficult stuff,” he said, again with a grin.

“No, we get on very well. We discussed a lot of things but not my selection for the Tour. He knows what I think about it – I want to go. Voila, it’s up to him to make the decision.”

As for his teammates, he admitted there were a couple who haven’t seen eye to eye with him or his decision. That said, he gave a reminder that he had handled the difficult situation openly and decently, and a more pointed reminder of his role in the survival of the team at the end of 2015, when he rejected WorldTour offers to give Bernaudeau time to secure a new sponsor.

“The cohesion is pretty good with the teammates. They haven’t forgotten that despite everything, they have jobs thanks to me, when Direct Energie came along 18 months ago,” he said.

“There are some [who have a problem], but not in my core group, if you like. Nothing has changed. They were in the loop, they knew about it well before announced to the media They understand. Everyone reacts a bit differently, but there you go, I took a decision, and now I’m following through with that decision. My spirit hasn’t changed; I give my all on the bike, I want to win…”

Coquard, ordinarily, should be a shoe-in for the Tour – Direct Energie’s most likely possibility for a stage win, by some distance. He has risen in stature over the last couple of years and even came close to winning his first ever Tour stage last year – what would have been the team’s first since Thomas Voeckler in 2012 – but was agonisingly edged out by Marcel Kittel.

This year he has five wins to his name, including one from the Belgium Tour at the end of May on his return from a break of more than a month.

“I’ve tried to prove myself on the bike. I had a long break between Amstel and Belgium, and that was to in order to still be fresh towards the end of the Tour. I’ve had nearly two weeks of racing now [since Amstel]. I did a good Tour of Belgium, and I think I’m in very good form and on track to keep getting better all the way to the end of the Tour – that’s for sure.”

Coquard didn’t want to dwell on what the rest of the year would look like if Bernaudeau were to follow through – “It would be very complicated” – but reaffirmed his desire to go to the Tour and win for the team.

“There is no interest whatsoever, for either of us, in things ending badly. I even hope things can finish on a high. If I could win a stage of the Tour in my last season with Direct Energie, in the final Tour of Thomas [Voeckler], who has done a great deal for me since I turned pro, that would be the icing on the cake.”

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Pirelli gets back into cycling with new road racing tyre range

It’s been a while since Pirelli made bike tyres, but it’s back with a new range

Pirelli says that its new P Zero Velo range of road racing tyres is coming in September. It claims that the tyres are aimed at the top tier of road bikes, with different colours for different disciplines: silver for road racing, red for time trials and blue for all-season.

The famous Italian tyre maker says that it’s built on its 110 years of experience in two and four wheeled motorsports for the new tyres. The P Zero name is used on the brand’s ultra-high performance car and motorbike tyres, so its adoption for its new cycle tyres signals Pirelli’s intentions here too.

Pirelli’s cycle tyre experience goes as far back as 1909 when riders in the first ever Giro d’Italia used its tyres. And legendary champion Fausto Coppi’s Bianchi bike was equipped with Pirelli tyres too.

The Paris-Modena ride attracts some famous names each year

It’s backed its re-entry into the world of bike tyres with a glossy website showcasing the world of cycling. And its tyres have been used on the recent Paris-Modena cycle ride, which visited Pirelli’s headquarters in Milan en route to its finish at the Masarati factory in Modena.

It’s an event that has attracted other major sponsors, with Look Cycles having backed the ride since 2015 and producing a special Paris-Modena edition of its 795 Aerolight, the official bike of the event.



It will be interesting to see if Pirelli has followed the modern trends to wider tyres and tubeless-ready and whether there’s a complete range of tubulars as well as clincher tyres.

For the moment details of the new tyres are scarce, but look out for further information to emerge in advance of the September launch.


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Cervélo launches new R5 and R3 bikes – full report, first ride impressions and key information

Redesigned from the ground up, Cervélo’s new R5 and R3 bikes promise to be pro performers – here’s all the key details from the launch

“An open secret” is how Cervélo describes the new R Series, and it’d be very difficult to argue otherwise. The R5 was first ridden in the 2017 Tour of Dubai, then Paris-Roubaix and multiple Spring Classics before tasting victory on stage 11 at the Giro d’Italia.

But it’s not just a new R5 that has been unveiled: Cervélo has been busy redesigning the R3 alongside it, with some pretty key differences now determining distinct ride experiences between the two models.

The new R Series: the psychology of comfort

Cervélo R5

Cervélo R5

The arrival of the new R Series has been eagerly anticipated, and with the redesigned R5 and R3 Cervélo has revealed a new way of thinking about fit, handling and comfort: in the eyes of the Canadian brand, fit is now determined by stack and reach, two elements that are slightly different between the R5 and R3.

The R5’s head tube has been lowered, addressing the issues raised by the professionals that they can’t get low enough on the bike. In the size 56 the R5’s head tube is 8mm shorter than the R3’s.

According to Cervélo the fact that riders are increasingly riding in a more time trial-inspired position – forward and low – has been taken into account.

The new Cervélo R3

The new Cervélo R3 | Photo: Rupert Radley

The handling of the bikes has also been improved, with some sizeable changes made across both the R5 and the R3.

The chainstays have increased to 410mm, the wheelbase has lengthened and the bottom bracket has dropped to 72mm. Combined with an increased trail of 57mm, it’s a wholescale lengthening and lowering for both bikes that makes for a really planted and very stable ride.

Extra ride quality benefits include wider tyres – the R5 and the R3 can now accommodate 28mm tyres – and both come in disc and rim brake versions. Cervélo has wholeheartedly embraced discs, believing that: “The design freedom enabled by disc brakes paves the way for innovation through improvements in aerodynamics, strength, stiffness and usability”.

SRAm disc brakes on the new Cervélo R5

Cervélo wholeheartedly embraces disc brakes | Photo: Rupert Radley

Differences between the R5 and the R3

Cervélo recognises that an ecosystem of riders exists, and not all riders suit all bikes. That’s why it claims to have worked hard on creating a series of bikes with logical differences in fit and comfort, making it far easier for retailers to put riders on the correct bike.

There’s no doubt the R5 and R3 are two different beasts: Cervélo explained the differences in stiffness and weight between them.

Dimension Data's Omar Fraile riding the new Cervélo R5

The R5 has become Omar Fraile’s bike of choice | GruberImages

As the pinnacle of the series, the R5 is the stiffest and the lightest, but Cervelo refrained from reducing the weight of the frame any further. Its engineers didn’t feel they could make the walls any thinner than before without making the ride too uncomfortable or without compromising the frame.

Instead, they focussed on making a bike stiff enough for the likes of Mark Cavendish, and that means a 21 per cent increase in torsional stiffness and a 13 per cent increase in bottom bracket stiffness.

Meanwhile, with the R3 Cervélo felt it could still ditch some weight while being sufficiently happy with the bike’s stiffness. So the new R3 is as stiff as the old R5, making it a thoroughbred race bike in its own right.

The Cervélo R3

The R3 is a different ride compared to the R5 | GruberImages

The result is a frame that’s 10 per cent lighter (rim brakes) or 16 per cent lighter (disc brakes). That’s right, Cervélo has managed to create a lighter disc brake bike.

There are specification differences between the two, and the R5 comes with an integrated cockpit set-up and aero seat clamp. In fact, Cervélo has spent plenty of time redesigning the bars, arriving at the AB06, an updated version of the AB04.

The bar has the same drop but has been redesigned to make it both more comfortable and aerodynamic. The same is true for the CS26 carbon stem, which allows for internal Di2 routing through the bars and into the stem.

Cervélo's new CS26 stem and AB06 bars, with Barfly attachment

Cervélo’s new CS26 stem and AB06 bars, with Barfly attachment | Photo: RupertRadley

At both dropouts there’s now Rapid Axle Technology, or RAT, which is a spring-loaded thru-axle. It’s not an area traditionally considered for a redesign, but the new styling (arrows tell you which way to turn it) and the adjusting nut and eccentric washer are pretty nice touches.

First ride: Cervélo R5 and R3

Lowering that front end, increasing the wheelbase and lowering the bottom bracket all mean something out on the road, and in the R5’s case that’s speed, poise and balance.

Raced to success on stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia by Omar Fraile (Dimension-Data) the bike had already proved itself in the hills, and riding it on the same Italian roads highlighted a happiness to skip along, with the ride feeling direct and nippy.

Image of the R5 climbing

The new R5 climbs well, and descends even better | GruberImages

But where all those changes come into their own is on the descents, and the R5 absolutely sticks to the corners on long downhills. Flipping the bike into corners proves easier than ever, demonstrating that Cervélo’s theory works.

Throw in the superb Dura-Ace 9100 brakes and the bike handles sublimely and feels in total control, regardless of what you’re heading down.

The R3’s ride feel is entirely different: the frame feels more damped and more comfortable than the R5’s, which translates far more of the road to the rider.

Cervélo insists its a personality thing and the R3, which is more comfortable, will suit those riders who aren’t burning through the miles every week without sacrificing performance.

>>> Campagnolo announces its disc brake groupset

Cervélo R5 with SRAM Red E-Tap and disc brakes

Disc-brake and SRAM eTap-equipped R5 | Photo: Rupert Radley

Our take

The R5 feels like a fast bike, and victories at the Giro d’Italia prove this to be true. I’d like to throw some deep-section wheels on and really get on the gas.

Having proved its descending prowess, we’d also like to step up the braking power and give the disc brake version a shot. We think the additional power and control of the discs would be the perfect pairing for the superfast downhill performance of the R Series.

R5 Models

R5 Dura-Ace Di2, ENVE 3.4 wheels £7,199. Available: June

R5 SRAM RED E-Tap, Zipp 302 wheels, £7,199. Available: June

R5 Dura-Ace, Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels, £5,499. Available: June

R5 Disc Dura-Ace Di2, ENVE 3.4 wheels, £7,199. Available: September

R5 Disc SRAM RED E-Tap HRD, Zipp 302 Disc wheels, £7,199. Available: July

R3 Models

R3 Dura-Ace, Mavic Aksium Elite wheels, £3,999. Available: June

R3 Ultegra Di2, Mavic Ksyrium Black wheels, £3,899. Available: October

R3 Ultegra, Mavic Aksium Black wheels, £2,999. Available: October

R3 Disc Ultegra Di2, Mavic Ksyrium Black wheels, £4,299. Available: October


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Brother NRG smash 10-mile team competition record

Brother NRG smashed the 10-mile team competition record on Wednesday night, setting a time of 53:15.

Brother NRG’s terrific season continued on Wednesday night (June 7) when they took a massive two minutes off the 10-mile competition record.

On the famed fast V718 course in Hull, the trio of Dan Bigham, Charlie Tanfield and Simon Wilson set a combined time of 53:15. The record before the night was 55:21, set by Drag2Zero in 2014, meaning the team beat that by two minutes, six seconds.

Brother NRG’s time equated to an average speed of 33.8mph.

Bigham, a current three-time national track champion, posted 17.44; Tanfield 17:46 and Wilson 18:05. The current individual 10-mile record is 16.35, set by Marcin Bialoblocki last year.

“I’m pleased to do a solid time on a mediocre night,” Bigham said. “Even better was that the team all put in great performances to justify the hard work and attention to detail we continue to put in.

“I’m looking forward to bringing the team record down further on our next ride.”

>>> Triple national champion Dan Bigham targeting Commonwealth Games medal

The first recorded distance in the category was set in 1973, when West Kent RC posted a time of 1:05.31. Since then the record has been reset 20 times; between 1998 and 2013, it was never beaten.

What makes Brother NRG’s result even more impressive is that the previous biggest margin by which a record has been beaten was in 1991, when Leo RC beat their own record by 1:26.

Brother NRG have accumulated the most points in British Cycling’s rankings this year, and Dan Bigham has scored the third most points. The north-east team have aspirations of becoming a UCI team in 2018.


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