WADA considers complete ban of hay fever drug used by Bradley Wiggins

Use of drug open to abuse under TUE system, according to WADA director general

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is considering introducing a blanket ban on the use of corticosteroids, such as the drug used by Bradley Wiggins before his 2012 Tour de France victory.

Speaking at the Tackling Doping in Sport conference, WADA director general Oliver Niggli said that his organisation had set up a working group to examine the use of triamcinolone and other corticosteroids in sport, saying that the current system is open to abuse.

“It is an unsatisfactory situation, we all agree with that,” Niggli said “and we have set up a group to try to come up with better proposal to how we can do it.

>>> Team Sky doctor prevented Richard Freeman from applying for a fourth Bradley Wiggins TUE

“The hope has been for a number of years that research would bring us a detection method that would distinguish the route of administration. Reality is that it doesn’t seem that easy to come up with a method to allow us to do that distinction.

“We are now at a stage where we needed to have a number of discussions about how we deal with that. In my view, I agree the system as it is now is not good.

“In fact, only those who are being honest about what they have been doing get caught. Otherwise, you always say, ‘It was a cream’, and you get away with it.”


Watch: Nicole Sapstead gives evidence to MPs


Wiggins received therapeutic use exemptions (TUE) for triamcinolone prior to the 2011 and 2012 Tours de France and the 2013 Giro d’Italia, meaning that he was allowed to take this otherwise banned drug to treat asthma and hay fever, which Wiggins said put him “back on a level playing field”.

However David Millar, who was banned for doping offences in 2004, claimed that as well as treating asthma and hay fever, the drug has the effect of reducing a rider’s weight without them losing power.

>>> MPs will not question Bradley Wiggins over medical package and TUEs

The news of the WADA’s decision to examine the issue of corticosteroids was welcomed by Nicole Sapstead, the chair of UK Anti-Doping.

“If they were to introduce an outright ban then great,” Sapstead told the Telegraph.

“Our view is that they [corticosteroids] aren’t always being administered in a way that’s reflective of an individual’s actual medical needs and that can’t be right when somebody doesn’t actually have a medical problem that warrants that use because it then has some additional effects that they can benefit from.”

No time frame has been given for the working group to reach its conclusions.


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British team for 2017 Track World Championships revealed: 10 riders make Worlds debut

As some of the big British track names sit out the 2017 World Championships after the Olympics, emerging talent gets a chance to gain experience

Ten British riders will make their Track World Championships debut in Hong Kong over April 12-16, as British Cycling has named its squad for the 2017 event.

The 20 selected riders feature a mix of experience and youth, as some of the big names from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games sit the event out.

As expected, both Laura and Jason Kenny miss the event, as does team pursuit linchpin Ed Clancy, as they take a break from top-level track competition.

>>> Laura Kenny announces she’s expecting with cryptic Instagram post

Four Olympic champions will be in attendance: Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Steven Burke and Callum Skinner.

“The team is made up of a good mix of experienced and developing riders across all the disciplines,” said Great Britain head coach Iain Dyer.

“Throughout the earlier world cups and at the UEC European Track Championships last year, there was a good opportunity to bring some new riders into the front line. They gave a really good account of themselves and that’s reflected in the selections we’ve made today. I’m looking forward to seeing them step up into World Championship level competition.”

Dyer says that in a championships free of concern for collecting Olympic qualification points, the riders will have a chance to take part in events that they might not normally get an opportunity to ride in. It will also provide an opportunity to try out the revised omnium event, which has now dropped all the individual rounds in favour of four mass-start rounds.

“This year’s worlds will allow them to race different events which were not possible in previous years due to the focus on the Olympic events,” said Dyer.

“This is particularly true for the endurance riders who can broaden their experience in the new format omnium plus the Madison, which both have the potential to feature in the Tokyo 2020 track cycling programme. It’s a great experience for our younger riders to make their debut performances alongside such established athletes and I’m sure they will learn a lot from this opportunity.”

Great Britain team for the 2017 Track World Championships

Women’s endurance
Katie Archibald
Elinor Barker
Ellie Dickinson
Neah Evans
Emily Kay
Manon Lloyd
Emily Nelson

Men’s endurance
Matt Bostock
Steven Burke
Kian Emadi
Chris Latham
Mark Stewart
Andy Tennant
Oliver Wood

Sprint
Jack Carlin
Katy Marchant
Lewis Oliva
Ryan Owens
Callum Skinner
Joe Truman


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Dr Hutch: Celebrating the terrible cycling kit of the 1990s

Dr Hutch dons his dark glasses and sifts through the dazzling cycling fashion crimes of the late 20th century

I spent the early weeks of the season half-heartedly watching the races from the Middle East. Such uniformity. So much that is drab and hard to get excited about. And that’s just the 2017 kit designs.

There has been an outbreak of style in cycling over the last few years. Jerseys are designed by professionals, using a sensible selection of colours chosen to complement the sponsors’ logos.

But for decades cycling was the sport that taste forgot. Cyclists were the people of the Day-Glo damnation. In the 1990s and early 2000s jerseys were terrible beyond imagining. The question was never so much “What colours are on it?” as “What colours aren’t on it?”

>>> Dr Hutch: Revealing the identity of my greatest cycling rival

A friend whose misreading of a party invitation once left him with 10 minutes to find a fancy dress outfit solved his problem by throwing on some Polti team kit and claiming he was a fat Djamolidine Abdoujaparov.

When he arrived his hostess greeted him with, “Oh, gosh, how wonderful! You’ve come as a migraine!” He could have worn any 1990s kit with the same result. If you really fancy a laugh google the kit for the Chazal team. It was like a test card for a TV channel that specialised in covering nuclear wars.

To design a 1990s cycling kit, you discarded any colours found in nature. Then you found one of those colour-wheels that show how colours can be used to complement each other, and you burned it at midnight under a full moon.

You remembered that stripes and checks famously don’t work together, not unless you have spots too. And then you produced four totally different jersey patterns, and overlaid them all onto a single design.

Loud and proud
Only then did you apply the logos of your sponsors. Main sponsor across the chest, minor sponsors (and what an awful lot of them there used to be) wherever the hell you liked, and at any orientation. Did you want to put a logo on upside down? You could knock yourself out. The image you were after was that of a collage created by four different five-year-olds.

I always wondered if the idea was that by avoiding any hint of visual harmony the logos would stand out better. But the logic is more likely to have been, “Hey, Luigi, let’s get this over with and we won’t have to come back after lunch.”

The tragedy is that we all used to wear this stuff. A 1997 club run looked like a cross-section through the previous 15 years’ Tours de France — and outside the context of a sun-drenched July afternoon it all looked a thousand times more dreadful.

>>> The 25 worst pro cycling kits of all time

We wore it because it was cheap. You could get a jersey, shorts, socks(!), cap and mitts by mail order for about £20. Motorola was a little more, because it was halfway to acceptable. Mercatone Uno was a bit less because, Marco Pantani notwithstanding, it was totally horrendous.

Shades of promise
Now? Well, Astana’s 2017 kit does have a hint of the colour-fade paintwork a 12-year-old boy might plan for when he grows up and customises his first Corsa. And Ag2r is still ploughing along on the old 1970s wallpaper theme (with the brown shorts), as if they can bring a whole era back into fashion by sheer determination. But otherwise, most big teams are quite restrained.

In truth, to say I miss the old days would be a small exaggeration. Certainly the stuff was distinctive, and it gave you a sort of identity, but it’s too easy to be nostalgic about it. It’s up there with the worst clothes ever created.

And I dread to think of the damage all of us did to the lasting image of cycling in the UK as we lumbered around the lanes in it.


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2017 Paris-Nice stage 4 highlights – Video

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) put in a stunning effort in the stage 4 time trial of Paris-Nice to win the complicated 14.5km test and swap the white jersey of best young rider for yellow.

The Frenchman is now poised to become the first French winner of the Race to the Sun since Laurent Jalabert’s last victory 20 years ago, with a 33-second lead on compatriot Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) and 47 seconds over Gorka Izagirre (Movistar).

Alaphilippe, who impressed in his second neo-pro year with three runner-up finishes in the Ardennes Classics and claimed the overall Tour of California last year, topped Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) by 19 seconds, with Gallopin third at 20 seconds.

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Lance Armstrong: ‘I admire those people who didn’t dope’

Former rider also talks of his renewed love for cycling

Lance Armstrong has spoken of his admiration for cyclists in the 1990s and early 2000s who, unlike him, chose not to take performance-enhancing drugs.

Speaking on the Howard Stern Show, Armstrong said that he decided to take EPO when it became clear that that was what was necessary in order to win, and that he recognised that those riders who chose not to take drugs had often suffered as a result.

“We held out as long as we could against EPO,” Armstrong said. “I’m not trying to justify my decision, but I left the US to go to Europe and I wanted to win.

“We had a choice and not everyone made the choices we made, and I admire those people who didn’t [make the same choices], and instead had to go home or leave the sport.”

>>> Lance Armstrong: I still put in the hard work, and I hope people don’t forget that

Armstrong also echoed what he said in a podcast in February, saying that his return to the sport in 2009 was a mistake.

“Had I stopped riding in 2005 then it would have been over. The comeback from was the bridge to the past. That’s what made the story relevant and gave the authorities the possibility to catch me.”

Armstrong went on to explain how he had no problem with people who disliked him for his doping, but said that he is most ashamed of the way he defended himself against accusations of doping throughout his career.

“We live in an age where people don’t have to come up to your face to give you s***. In fact that’s never happened in the last five years, but they’ve got plenty of other channels to say stuff.

“And to the guy that says something on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook, I say ‘I understand. I totally get it.’

“When I look back at it, the way I acted with the vehement denials and the way I went about defending myself… my ultimate torture would be if someone forced me to sit in front of a laptop and watch some of those press conferences. I was such a dick.

“But I can’t change that. If somebody were to come up to me and say something then I’d just shake their hand and say ‘I’m sorry’.

“I think people can get their minds around the doping, but they can’t excuse the way I acted. That was by far the worse part.”

>>> Cannondale pro impressed by Lance Armstrong’s strength during 110 mile training rides

The disgraced former rider has recently competed in a 24 hour mountain bike race with three of his former US Postal team-mates, as well as riding with Lawson Craddock a current pro with Cannondale-Drapac .

According to Armstrong’s Strava profile, he is now riding for around 10 hours most weeks, a big change from a few years ago when he was mostly running, something that Armstrong says is down to falling in love with cycling again.

“I still try to ride every day. I fell out of love with the sport – for three or four years I hated cycling because of what my life has looked like for the last four or five years.

“I had hard feelings towards the sport, towards the industry, towards the fans, towards the media… And they had hard feelings too. Everyone was pissed off.”

“So I went back to running and swimming – the sports that I grew up doing. But the last six months I’ve started biking again, and I’ve been falling back in love with it.”

Off the bike Armstrong is facing the prospect of a $100m lawsuit brought against him by former team-mate Floyd Landis and the US Justice Department, with the trial due to take place in November,


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Geraint Thomas: ‘Tirreno-Adriatico GC is out the window now’

The Team Sky rider says disastrous opening team time trial has put paid to any GC hopes

Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas says that the team can forget about winning the Tirreno-Adriatico after losing to all of their rivals in the opening team time trial due to a series of mechanicals.

>>> Gianni Moscon’s front wheel collapses in bizarre crash during Tirreno TTT (video)

Thomas had to wait when mechanicals took out Diego Rosa, Mikel Landa and Gianni Moscon. Moscon’s wheel front collapsed and he crashed.

“Over? For sure, races like this or Paris-Nice are won in seconds,” said last year’s Paris-Nice winner Thomas. “So to lose 1-20 in that is certainly not good.

“We’ll try to be aggressive and make up for this, but I think GC is out the window now.”

Footage of Rosa’s and Landa’s incidents have yet to emerge. However, dramatic images caught Moscon trying to control his bike as something went wrong under him. The cause is uncertain, but his tri-spoke wheel broke to pieces.

Sky was the worst of the teams with overall favourites and the worst of the WorldTour teams. Their time of 25-02 minutes over 22.7km put them just ahead of four professional continental teams.



Thomas and Landa lost 1-20 to Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar), and slightly less – but still significant time – to riders like Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) and Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb).

“It was Murphy’s law: what could go wrong did go wrong. We started decent steady but on the way back, we were really starting to shift.

“Myself and [Michal] Kwiatkowski and [Vasil] Kiryienka were feeling good and riding constantly at 61km/h. Then we hit two holes and three wheels just collapsed basically. And that just ended it,” Thomas said.

“The first one, Moscon was wiped out and took out ‘Kiri’, took him out the back, he didn’t crash. It happened again and there were only four of us left, so we had to wait. It felt like forever, we were just freewheeling for a couple K. It’s certainly not ideally.”

The team’s time is taken on the fifth man over the line. Sky and the other 21 teams began with eight-man rosters.

“We were just rolling, me [Salvatore] Puccio, Kawasaki [Kwiatkowski], and someone else. We had to wait for the fifth guy to come. Yeah, we lost everything there.”

“I’m not so sure, I think it did,” Thomas said when asked if there was more than one wheel collapse.

“Moscon’s did obviously. From what the boys have said, I think Rosa’s did. I think both of them had mechanicals, hit another hole. Yeah. It’s certainly not ideal.”

The team is riding on Shimano-made Pro wheels in Tirreno-Adriatico. Some were all-black without labels.

Head of technical operations Carsten Jeppersen would not comment, only saying that there were issues with three wheels.

A Shimano representative met with Jeppersen after the stage and took away the damaged equipment in two wheel bags, one double one and one single one. He only said that many teams are racing on the same wheels, including BMC Racing with the winning time of 23-20.

“We are investigating what happened,” Shimano press officer Ben Hillsdon told Cycling Weekly by telephone later. “I’ve seen the footage and wee need to look at what happened.”

Thomas and Sky must re-focus now that the “GC is out the window.” They have six more stages to race, including one 16.1km summit finish to Monte Terminillo.

“We’ll race hard and just try to tackle each stage,” Thomas said. “I think we have a guy who can win on most days.”


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Julian Alaphilippe wins Paris-Nice stage four time trial ahead of Alberto Contador to move into yellow

Quick-Step Floors rider produces superb ride in 14.5km time trial

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) produced one of the best rides of his career so far to win the individual time trial on stage four of Paris-Nice, taking the overall race lead in the process.

The young Frenchman delighted the home crowd on the slopes of the finishing climb of Mont Brouilly, setting the fastest time at the intermediate time check at the base of the climb, and extending his lead all the way to the line.

Alaphilippe bettered the time of Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) by 19 seconds when it had looked like the Spaniard would take his first stage win in Paris-Nice since 2010.

Contador had taken the lead after toppling long-standing leader David De La Cruz, and had only suffered a couple of scares when both Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) and Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal) came within a second of his time.

However Alaphilippe’s ride provided no such tension, with his victory already looking assured with a few hundred metres to go as he beat Contador’s time by a significant margin.

The performance also meant that Alaphilippe moved into the overall lead as erstwhile race leader Arnaud Démare (FDJ) finished in 47th place, with Gallopin moving into second, and Izagirre into third.

Contador’s performance saw him move into eighth place, still more than a minute and a half down on Alaphilippe after losing time on the opening stage.

How it happened

Stage four of Paris-Nice 2017 saw the riders tackle a mostly flat 14.5km time trial, but with a nasty sting in the tail courtesy of the 3km ascent of Mont Brouilly.

The early pace was set by Nikis Arndt (Team Sunweb) with a time of 22-50, but that mark was blown out of the water by the 22-26 of David De La Cruz.

Two very different Australian riders came closest to matching De La Cruz’s time, but both Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) and Richie Porte (BMC Racing) fell a few seconds short, despite Matthews setting the fastest time at the intermediate time check at the base of the final climb, and Porte making up nearly 30 seconds on the final ascent.

The next threat to De La Cruz’s time seemed to come from Alberto Contador who, riding a Trek Madone road bike with full aero bars and disc wheel, set the third fastest climb at the base of the climb, 11 seconds faster than De La Cruz.

Taking an advantage onto the final climb and it was going to be difficult to bet against Contador beating De La Cruz, and he duly delivered, setting a staggering time of 21-58, 26 seconds faster than De La Cruz.

As for some of the other overall contenders, Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) conceded 14 seconds to Contador, Sergio Henao (Team Sky) 28 seconds, Ion Izagirre (Movistar) 30 seconds, and Adam Yates (Orica-Scott) 45 seconds.

Gorka Izagirre was the closest to Contador, falling short by just a solitary second, before Tony Gallopin went even closer, finishing just 0.67 seconds slower.

The final threat for the stage win seemed to come from Julian Alaphilippe who set the fastest time of the day at the the intermediate split at the base of the climb.

Spittle dripping from his chin, Alaphilippe was clearly putting in maximum effort, and as he came into the final few hundred metres it becamse clear that the Frenchman would not only take race lead, but also win the stage, bettering Contador’s time by a massive 19 seconds.

After Alaphilippe there were only two riders to cross the line, and with both Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) and race leader Arnaud Démare unable to come close to challenging, the stage and race lead would go to Alaphilippe.

Paris-Nice continues on Thursday with a flat stage to Bourg-de-Péage, before concluding with three hilly stages on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Results

Paris-Nice 2017, stage four: Beaujeu to Mont Brouilly (14.5km ITT)

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors, in 21-39
2. Alberto Contador (Esp) Trek-Segafredo, at 19 secs
3. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Soudal, at 20 secs
4. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar, at 20 secs
5. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin, at 33 secs
6. David De La Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors, at 45 secs
7. Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb, at 47 secs
8. Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky, at 48 secs
9. Ion Izaguirre (Esp) Bahrain-Merida, at 49 secs
10. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing, at 50 secs

General classification after stage four

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors, in 12-36-27
2. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Soudal, at 33 secs
3. Gorka Izagirre (Esp) Movistar, at 47 secs
4. Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky, at 1-05
5. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors, at 1-20
6. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors, at 1-24
7. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin, at 1-28
8. Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-Segafredo, at 1-31
9. Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJ, at 1-32
10. Arnaud Démare (Fra) FDJ, at 1-35


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Wheel deals: up to 50% off the ultimate upgrade wheelsets

We’ve collated the best wheel deals on the internet from the likes of: Easton, Shimano, Campagnolo, Fulcrum and more…

It’s come to that time of year where you should start thinking about cleaning and re-greasing those trusty bomb proof winter wheels ready to stick back into the garage, whilst you look to splurge on something a little lighter, faster and just outright sexy to liven up your ride.

>>> Road wheels buyer’s guide: everything you need to know

You’ll have the choice of race dedicated carbon tubular, clincher or tubeless ready wheels with alloy options too –  companies are even offering wheel, tyre and tube bundles too. Whatever takes your fancy there will be a bargain to be had.

>>> Spring clothing cycling deals

Keep an eye out on all our pages for the best cycling deals heading into the spring and summer months.

Our pick of the best wheel deals

Mavic Cosmic CXR 60 T wheelset £1750 £1099.99

Built to make your bike as slippery as possible, the Mavic Cosmic CXR is the real deal in terms of aerodynamics.

Extensive wind tunnel testing has helped hone it’s wind-beating capabilities, plus its stiffness should make it fast rolling to boot.

Buy now: Mavic Cosmic CXR from Evans Cycles for £1,099

Shimano RS81 C24 carbon tubeless wheels £646.99 £379.99

These could be the perfect carbon wheel upgrade option for your summer ride – and they’re now discounted by 41%.

It’s compatible with everything from eight to 11 speed hubs, so they’re good to go right away.

Buy now: Shimano RS81 carbon tubeless wheels from Evans Cycles for £379.99

Shimano Ultegra 6800 wheelset tyre and tube bundle £464 £381.97

This wheel tyre bundle deal works out at £299.95 if you select the Shimano Ultegra 6800 wheelset with Continental Gatorskin tyres and Continental Race tubes. Other options are available which will change the price.

>>> Buy now at Chain Reaction Cycles for £381.97

Easton EC90 Aero 55 Tubular £1899 £892.99

Supposedly, riding these wheels in a 40km time trial saves 14 seconds over the next fastest wheel. That’s quite some claim.

Either way, over 50% off high end wheels is really not something to be sniffed at.

>>> Buy now from Chain Reaction Cycles for £939.99

Shimano RS11 clincher wheelset £159.99 £100.69

shimwhfr366_1_zoom_1_1_

The RS11 wheelset is the workforce of the Shimano wheel line, bringing rugged reliability as well as an aero edge to your riding.

These are a great set of upgrade wheels for those on a budget, especially considering they’re now £50 off.

>>> Buy Shimano Rs11 clincher wheelset now from Ribble for £100.69

Mavic Ksyrium Pro disc wheelset £794.99 £640.99

Mavic has fallen back on their mountain bike expertise to create a great disc brake wheel upgrade for us roadies.

>>> Buy Mavic Ksyrium Pro disc from Chain Reaction Cycles for £640.99

Zipp 404 Firecrest rear wheel £1,138 £729.99

zipp-404-firecrest-carbon-clincher-rear-wheel-black-with-white-decal-ev203519-8500-1-1

The Firecrest is a pretty versatile wheel, having taken victories in the mountains, time trials and the like.

Sadly, it’s only the rear wheel available here, but happily, it does have a pretty fine discount on it.

>>> Buy Zipp 404 Firecrest rear wheel from Evans Cycles for £729.99

Zipp Super 9 clincher disc wheel £1987 £1499

zip_zpwhd061000

>>> Buy Zipp Super 9 clincher disc wheel from Tweeks for £1499

Read more: Zipp Super 9 Clincher disc wheel review

It’s fast, laterally stiff but also amazingly comfortable, too.

Opt for a Shimano or SRAM freehub option with white decals and this speed machine could be yours in 10 days. There’s a Campagnolo option, but it’ll take a bit longer to get to you.


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Live power, speed and other data for riders in Tirreno-Adriatico

Tirreno-Adriatico is the first race in a two year deal covering data transmission for Italian events

Selected riders in races run by RCS Sports will be wired up to Velon’s rider tracking system. This transmits live rider data including position, speed, power, heart rate, cadence and acceleration.

Live stats will be available on Velon’s website and accessible to broadcasters to add to their transmissions. Eleven riders are wired up for the start of Stage One of Tirreno-Adritico include Vincenzo Nibali, Tom Dumoulin and Michal Kwiatkowski, who this week also posted his Strava stats for his winning ride in Saturday’s Strade Bianche.

Steve Cummings wins Stage Four of 2016 Tirreno-Adriatico (Photo Watson)

Riders’ race data is interesting; at the launch of its 2inPower power meter, Rotor shared power data from Steve Cummings’s winning ride on Stage Four of last year’s Tirreno-Adriatico, This showed that for around 20% of the race Cummings was not pedalling, with his four main efforts saved for the finish, following attacks and jumping away to win solo.

And in 2015 Team Sky released Chris Froome’s data from the final climb in Stage 10 of the Tour de France. This showed that his average heart rate on the 41 minute climb was 158bmp and maxed out at just 174bpm.


Watch: Tirreno-Adriatico race guide


Graham Bartlett, CEO of Velon, says: “This is a landmark partnership for Velon and we look forward to bringing this exciting technology to the great Italian races. The agreement with RCS Sport will bring extended coverage of data and further raise the profile of riders and teams involved.”

As well as Tirreno-Adritico, RCS Sport runs many key Italian races including Milan-San Remo in March, the Giro d’Italia, with its 100th edition coming up in May and Il Lombardia in Octobe


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Best cycling bib shorts: a buyer’s guide (video)

For any cyclist, bib shorts are an essential piece of kit and arguably the most important to get right. We pick out the best and tell you what you need to look for

As cycling grows in popularity, so does the range of brands and kit available to anyone from beginner to pro. Cycling bib shorts come in a huge range of options for cyclists of all shapes and sizes.

Choosing the right pair of bib shorts can be difficult, especially as you can’t really try before you buy – for obvious reasons. However, finding the best pair is essential for comfort and to keep you riding.

Bib shorts are the most important part of any cyclist’s wardrobe, and the discomfort of getting the wrong pair can end a ride and put you off getting back in the saddle for quite some time.

>>> Endura launch new custom bib short PadFit system

Below we have detailed what to look for when buying bib shorts, and also offered some options for where to start when buying. Remember though, everyone’s different so use this as a guide to help you find the best pair for you and get you riding in comfort in no time.

When it came to testing these bib shorts, we took the business very seriously. The good news is that none of those tested was considered a duff pair of shorts. Some are always better than others, but it’s good to report that, from the brands on test, without spending a fortune, it’s possible to buy an extremely comfortable and stylish pair of bibshorts that will last you many seasons of riding.

Our pick of the best cycling bib shorts

B’twin Aerofit bib shorts – 9/10

B'twin Aerofit bib shorts

B’twins cycling bib shorts offer comfort and performance above their price point

Read more: B’twin Aerofit bib-shorts review

These shorts offer performance that punches well above their price point.

The fit was good and their was never any chafing on the legs or undercarriage area. You’d have little to lose investing in a pair of these.

Buy now: B’twin Aerofit bib-shorts from Decathalon for £55.99

Fizik Link R1 Snake shorts – 9/10

Fizik Link R1 Snake

Fizik has three different categories of short depending on how flexible you are

Read more: Fizik Link R1 Snake shorts review

For a first attempt, Fizik has really hit the nail on the head with the Link R1 shorts.

These are seriously technical shorts, and they come in three options depending on how flexible you are.

dhb ASV Roubaix bib short – 9/10

A fleecy lining means that dhb’s Roubaix bib shorts are good for those chilly UK morning

Read more: dhb ASV Roubaix bib short review

The version of the Roubaix bib short we tested came with a fleece lining, although you can opt for a lightweight option if you’d prefer.

However, they were warm which was good for chilly mornings and, well, year round riding in the UK!

Buy now: dhb ASV Roubaix bib short from Wiggle for £70

Castelli Endurance X2 bib short – 9/10

castelli-endurance-x2-bib-shorts

The Castelli Endurance X2 is possibly one of the most comfortable bib shorts we’ve tested

Read more: Castelli Endurance X2 bib short review

Comfortable and supportive is how we found Castelli’s £100 bib shorts. They use the same Progretto X2 Air seatpad as found on their Mondiale bib shorts and Inferno bib-shorts.

Buy now: Castelli Endurance X2 bib short from Evans Cycles for £109.99

Specialized SL Pro bib shorts – 9/10

specialized sl pro bib shorts

Spesh’s SL Pro bib shorts sit snug and comfortable

Read more: Specialized SL Pro bib shorts review

The comfort and support of the SL Pro bib short material is excellent, as is the pad.

It managed to keep things comfortable despite riding a hard, racing saddle for long hours at a time.

Buy now: Specialized SL Pro bib shorts from Leisure Lakes for £99.99

Sportful Super Total Comfort bib shorts – 9/10

sportful super total comfort bib shorts

Does exactly what it says on the tin

Read more: Sportful Super Total Comfort bib shorts review

With a name like that you’d be right to expect a lot from these bib shorts.

Thankfully, they come through and are super comfortable. There’s no chafing or rubbing and they’re supportive enough for multiple days in the saddle.

Buy now: Sportful Super Total Comfort bib shorts from Wiggle for £150

Altura Women’s ProGel Peloton bib shorts – 8/10

Altura Women's Peloton ProGel bib shorts

The pad’s fit on the the Peloton ProGel bib short will be a thing of personal preference

Read more: Altura Women’s ProGel Peloton bib shorts review

The ProGel Peloton bib shorts have a very wide chamois so they won’t be for everyone, but chamois fit is a very personal thing.

Other than that, these are a comfortable fit with no belly pinching or chafing.

Buy now: Altura Women’s ProGel bib short from CycleStore for £44.99

dhb Classic bib short – 9/10

dhb Classic bib short

The dhb’s Classic bib shorts are simple, good performers

Read more: dhb Classic bib short review

The dhb Classic bib short are simple, but they get the job done well.

They’re comfortable, even on long rides and there’s plenty of ventilation to the pad to keep things cool.

Buy now: dhb Classic bib short from Wiggle for £45.00

To find even more bib-short reviews click here

Check back throughout the year as we test different shorts for different temperatures and conditions.

If you think we’ve missed any, let us know in the comments below and we’ll aim to expand the list of test products.

Cycling bib shorts: What to look for

Cycling bib shorts: Materials 

The choice of materials for designers is huge, from thicker leg material for chilly spring conditions to well-ventilated back panels for summer heat. Some make the best choices, while others leave you questioning what was going through their heads. The best idea is to get hands-on. If the shorts feel nice in your hand, they’re at least halfway to feeling good once you get them on.

bibshorts fit

A high back will help with a better fit

Cycling bib shorts: Fit

For the men, you need to ensure the shoulder straps are comfortable. Some come up short, feeling a little restrictive, even for me, a tester of average height. For the girls, the differences in waist design had a big effect on comfort and performance. Always try on shorts, and adopt a riding position to get a clear idea of how they’d really feel.

bibshorts-pad

Cycling bib-shorts: Chamois

The other details are important to consider, but the chamois is the absolute key bib short component. Get it right and your shorts will offer years of comfortable miles. Get it wrong and the pad can become uncomfortable. Many brands buy in their chamois from an external company, such as Cytech, and can often use the same pad as a competitor.


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