The greatest time triallist that never was: Derek Cottington’s disallowed 25-mile record, 1971

A series of smallprint setbacks and bad luck have conspired to make Derek Cottington the greatest time triallist that never was

“Cotters smashes ‘25’ record!” screamed the cover of Cycling on October 9, 1971.

The previous Saturday Derek Cottington had taken 13 seconds off Alf Engers’s 1969 record of 51.00.

At 21 years old Cottington was a sensational young talent. He was already national champion at 25 and 50 miles. He had won the season-long Campagnolo Trophy two years running.

Cottington had not only taken Engers’s record and his jersey but he also had the rock star looks and attitude to entirely usurp ‘King’ Alf, who was that year yet again battling a ban for infringing amateur regulations.

>>> Fabian Cancellara’s top 11 time trial tips

But the Road Time Trials Council (RTTC) announced in February 1972 that because the starting order of the last 20 riders that day on the K16/25 course on the A38 in Staffordshire did not comply strictly with Regulation 31a, Cottington’s record would not be accepted.

Regulation 31a required “faster competitors” to be started at “not less than five minute intervals”. The organiser of the Oldbury and District event had set the top 20 in the Campagnolo Trophy off at the back of the field at one-minute intervals.

His aim had been to ensure weather conditions would be the same for the fastmen, as well as to create a buzz for the many spectators, but he had unwittingly got them all disqualified.

Cottington’s response at the time was a shrug and “I’ll just have to do it again”.

The greatest that never was

On the day he broke the record he had told Cycling’s reporter, Bernard Thompson, that he was “not very happy” because he hadn’t broken 50 minutes.

It might have seemed like breathtaking arrogance but that was the reality of Cottington’s potential.

It was also an insight into a complicated man who, by his own admission, was “always pessimistic” but who was able to harness his lack of self-belief to drive his extraordinary performances.

However, the disallowed competition record seemed to trigger a run of injustices or instances of simple bad luck that turned Cottington’s pessimism into a self-fulfilling prophesy, ensuring he was never credited with a competition record at any distance.

>>> The best time trial bikes and triathlon bikes

Cottington, now 66, is wearing a Weird Fish T-shirt (“make sure you get ‘weird’ in,” he tells photographer Chris) and carpet slippers and is perching on the edge of his sofa, looking at once youthful and world weary as he recalls scenes from the 1970s that still fill him with both pride and regret.

“At the time I was more disappointed that I hadn’t beaten 50 minutes,” he confirms.

Putting in the miles

“It was the end of the season so there weren’t any more chances but the way I was going I thought … next year, won’t be a problem.

I’ll just target fast courses and it’ll be easy. Which it would have been in ‘71 if I’d just done that all year.”

Cottington with 71′ Campagnolo Trophy

Cottington had instead spent the 1971 season, as he had done in 1970, chasing the points-based Campagnolo Trophy, which took him to courses around the country that weren’t necessarily the fastest:

“I thought it was a better thing to win than the National 25 because it was right through the season. Most of the top riders rode the events.”

There were bonus points for wins, course records and competition records and Cottington had got course records in all the Trophy events he’d ridden except one.

He puts his super form that year down to a colossal increase in his training. “I was doing 40 miles to work each way and training in the evenings as well. I was doing 25,000 miles a year in 1970 and 1971,” he says.

>>> How to fuel for long distance rides

“I started doing that towards the end of ‘69. I was working at a carpet and upholstery warehouse in Guildford and they relocated to Catford. I was too lazy to find another job — I don’t like change — so I thought, well I’ll ride up there.

“The first four months, autumn going into the winter, I was shattered. I’d get home and, bang, on the bed.”

However, as Cottington’s body adapted to the phenomenal load he found himself going faster and faster until by the end of the 1970 season his 25-mile time was down to 52 minutes and the first 30mph ‘25’ seemed within his grasp.

Cottington turns over a gargantuan chainring en route to his 50.47

Cottington had already publicly declared he thought it was possible, and had put a famous back up in the process.

“I used to go to Herne Hill, Monday Comp. Reg Harris was up there. I didn’t ride — I just went in there on the way home to see what was happening.

“I got chatting to somebody and even then we were talking about beating 50 minutes for the ‘25’ when my best was only a ‘55’. Reg Harris and some other lads came over and he didn’t seem to think that was a reasonable thing to think, that I could do that. Because it was 10 per cent.

“So I asked him what sort of times he did. I said well on here you do about 11.2 for 200 metres. It’s only the same as you going down to 10.2 — it’s only a 10 per cent increase. To Reg Harris, five-times world champion and me a little nipper, a mouthy little git! I can’t remember what his reaction was but we didn’t speak much after that.”

The Oldbury and District CC 25 on Saturday October 2, 1971 was the penultimate round of the Campagnolo Trophy.

“The aim was just to win it, to get course record, which I think was only a 54. My best at that point was a 52 and then it [comp record] just happened,” Cottington remembers.

Cottington, on scratch, was off last. A minute in front of him was Phil Bayton. “I don’t know if I’ve remembered this correctly or if I should even say it but as I was warming up Phil Bayton was sitting on the kerb with some mates,” says Cottington.

“As I rode by he said ‘if you catch me you’ll get comp record’. I didn’t say anything. I knew he was good and I didn’t know what was going to happen but I was going to give it a good go.”

Watch now: how to beat long time trials

So did Bayton act as a carrot?

“I would have done the same ride even if it was in training. Some people need something to motivate them when they’re riding a time trial but I just like doing it. I just like riding hard.”

However, the RTTC’s Regulation 31a must have been put in place because of the risk of top riders pacing each other, whether intentionally or not?

“Yeah but that can’t make you do something you’re not capable of doing,” insists Cottington. “I think I would have done the same sort of ride whether he was there or not.”

Chasing Bayton

Cottington got to within 50 metres of Bayton with five miles to go.

“I thought, do I really want to get involved in this, this far out from the finish? Because he might need a carrot and if I go there he might start blasting past again.”

So Cottington decided not to go straight past Bayton.

“I wouldn’t say I eased off but I just stayed there until about half a mile to go. There were hoardings out so I knew. So I thought right, now, bang. I went past him and I could see his wheel coming back up to my bottom bracket and it was just real gritting the teeth.

“Then I blew him away and he ended up two seconds behind me, which is quite a lot at that speed. But he was really giving it some, trying to get back past me. That was the only time I passed him.”

A spent force after the Christmas ’25 in ’72

Cottington and Bayton finished first and second, Cottington with his 50.47 and Bayton on 51.49. Willi Moore, in third place, was a minute and a half back with 53.24.

“It was a nice day on the K16 but it wasn’t that quick,” remembers Cottington.

If you look at the times they were average except for me and Bayton. John Burnham was fourth and he did a ‘54’. He did 51.40 when Alf did the 51 dead.

Bayton went past him and I went past him for three minutes. You know, there’s the second-fastest 25-miler ever and he’s just…” Cottington seems momentarily overwhelmed.

“I’m not worried. I know what I did and that it was legitimate and that’s good enough for me,” Cottington concludes.

>>> How much speed can you buy? (video)

Despite the shrug and the casual pledge to “do it next year” the wheels fell off Cottington’s campaign in 1972 as he was hit by more disappointment.

“I was ill, bronchitis, not good, rode the Christmas 25 and you shouldn’t do that when you’re not well. I don’t know if that affected me long term because I was alright in other events in ‘72.

“But my job changed — they moved back to Kingston so I was doing 45 miles a day instead of 80. I was too lazy to go out and do the other bit.”

Did the disallowed comp record have an effect on Cottington’s morale for 1972?

“I don’t know… maybe it did. But the Olympics — yeah, that was worse.”

Cottingtons hunger was never in question

Cottington and a team of crack riders from the London West district — Martyn Roach, Jeff Marshall and Bob Porter — won the national team time trial, which was supposed to be an Olympic selection event.

“We rode and we did the best team time trial I’ve ever done,” says Cottington. “We did a 2-7, which would have been comp record if there had been a comp record for 100K then. So that’s another one I missed,” he says ruefully.

The team eventually selected for the Munich Olympics had been down to ride but didn’t start.

“Phil Edwards, Phil Bayton… but they didn’t even turn up. I can understand it though,” Cottington continues.

“There was a six-man road squad and they picked four riders out of them to ride the team time trial. We weren’t going to win any medals, either team, but it would have been nice just to go on merit. We did the time.”

The third of Cottington’s greatest misses was the 10-mile competition record: “I think I had the fastest ‘10’ on record with 20.44,” he says.

“Then there was a [official] comp record for the first time the next year [1972] and Willi Moore did a 20.36 and got it.

Then there was the vets’ ‘30’ record that I didn’t get [in 1991]. I did a 1:1.13. I wouldn’t have had it long — Eddie Adkins came in and did a ‘59’. But I thought ‘at last, 20 years on I’ve got a comp record!’

But it was, ‘nah, you’re not a member of the veterans’ whatever’… But if you you’re over 40 you’re a vet, right? So that’s four of them I’ve missed.”

Perhaps the most tantalising and intriguing miss came in 1978, the year that Alf Engers broke 50 minutes for 25 miles — the first time Cottington’s 1971 disallowed time of 50.47 had been beaten.

“I did get reasonably good again in ‘77 and ’78, says Cottington. “Up until the championship [National 25] in ‘78 Ed [Adkins] was beating me and I was getting closer and closer.

“The championship was a bit strange. I thought I’d done a long ‘54’ and I’d been given a long ‘56’. Ed did a middling ‘55’ and won it.

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“Anyway. I was probably wrong about the time but I don’t see how I was doing a ‘56’ because I was timing myself — each five [miles] I was doing 11 minutes or so.

“After the championship I rode against Ed, Alf, Martin Pyne, Roger Queen, all of them, and I didn’t get beaten in a ‘25’ the rest of that year. And then Alf did the ‘49’.

“I had actually entered that event. But I was showing off, feeling really strong. I was working in Anerley and I was coming back, riding with somebody, and I said, ‘I could break this sprocket any time I like’.

“So I just went, umph, just like that and I bust it and whacked my ankle on the crank. And…” Cottington speaks slowly and widens his blue eyes as if the reality is only just sinking in, “I couldn’t ride that ‘25’ that Engers did a ‘49’ in.

“But I was a bit like, yeah, he rides in the middle of the road. I used to say I was brought up in the gutter and that’s where I’ll stay.”

Cottington returned to his prime in the late seventies

Private chancer

However, inwardly seething at having DNS’d from the most important time trial of the 1970s while on top form, Cottington decided to do a self-timed ‘25’ the Engers way on the A3, his local dual carriageway:

“I timed myself on a private ‘25’ one evening coming home. There was a Southern RRA 25 course measured out.

“It started up at Robin Hood Gate and went down the A3, I can’t remember if it turned at Oxshott or Cobham, and came back. So I thought right, I’ll do that and I’m going to ride down Kingston bypass in the middle lane just to see how quick it is.

“And it is bloody quick when you’re out there. And I did a long ‘47’. It was an evening. There was a slight drift, tailwind coming back, but there was loads of traffic going out. My ankle had got better and… yeah, it was scary riding out, but I thought yeah, I’ll ride out here. Because I wasn’t happy about Alf doing the ‘49’. I wanted to do it first. 47.56 it was. It was a rolling start but that’s only worth a few seconds.”

Cottington’s name may not appear in time trialling’s record books but in its folklore he is a legendary figure who, had Lady Luck dealt him a better hand, may well have broken the ‘25’ record at both ends of the Seventies and become the first man to go sub-50 minutes. ‘King Cotters’ has a certain ring to it…

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Critérium du Dauphiné 2017 start list

Provisional list of riders taking part in the 2017 Critérium du Dauphiné in France over June 4-11

The prestigious Critérium du Dauphiné 2017 (June 4-11) kicks off a series of top-level stages races leading up to the 2017 Tour de France in July.

In recent years, the Dauphiné has attracted some of the world’s best stage racers, with Chris Froome (Team Sky) having won the last edition in 2016 before going on to claim his third Tour de France title.

Should Chris Froome win again this year, he will overtake Bernard Hinault’s three overall victories and a second place to become the most prolific rider in the race’s history. Froome is also joint first for the most stage wins in the Critérium du Dauphiné holding six alongside Basque country rider Iban Mayo.

>>> Critérium du Dauphiné 2017 route

Froome returns this year, and will face stiff opposition with the likes of Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale), and Richie Porte (BMC Racing) in attendance. The hilly race will provide a great springboard for the Tour and expect to see riders coming into form now.

This provisional list of riders will be updated when rosters are officially announced.

Ag2r La Mondiale (Fra)

DUVAL Julien

Astana (Kaz)

ARU Fabio

BMC Racing (USA)

WYSS Danilo
ROCHE Nicolas
PORTE Richie
DE MARCHI Alessandro

Bahrain-Merida (Bhn)

NIBALI Antonio
BOLE Grega

Bora-Hansgrohe (Ger)

KÖNIG Leopold

Cannondale-Drapac (USA)

BROWN Nathan
CANTY Brendan

Cofidis (Fra)

CLAEYS Dimitri
LAPORTE Christophe
SIMON Julien
SOUPE Geoffrey
TURGIS Anthony

Delko Marseille Provence KTM (Fra)

PACHER Quentin

Dimension Data (RSA)

KUDUS Merhawi
THOMSON Jay Robert

Direct Energie (Fra)

PETIT Adrien
TULIK Angelo

Quick-Step Floors (Bel)

MAS Enric

FDJ (Fra)

DELAGE Mickaël
LE GAC Olivier

Team Sunweb (Ger)


Katusha-Alpecin (Sui)

MØRKØV Michael
KRISTOFF Alexander

Lotto-Soudal (Bel)

ARMÉE Sander
VALLS Rafael
SHAW James

LottoNL-Jumbo (Ned)

JANSEN Amund Grondahl
DE TIER Floris

Movistar (Esp)

VALVERDE Alejandro

Orica-Scott (Aus)

CHAVES Johan Esteban

Team Sky (GBr)

FROOME Christopher
HENAO Sergio Luis
KNEES Christian

Trek-Segafredo (USA)

GOGL Michael
BEPPU Fumiyuki

Wanty-Groupe Gobert (Bel)

LEVARLET Guillaume
MARTIN Guillaume

UAE – Team Emirates (UAE)

BONO Matteo
MORI Manuele

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Trek Madone 2017 range: Which model is right for you?

If you’re looking to take your riding to dizzyingly fast new heights, then a Trek Madone is a great purchase, but which one is right for you?

One of the most sought after bikes, the Trek Madone is an incredible machine, but with a few different iterations out there what can you expect at different price points? Well we have broken down what makes these different offerings tick.

The Trek Madone is the pick of the pros, being the American company’s aero bike. It may weigh a little bit more than its lightweight counterpart, the Émonda, but through its aerodynamic design the Madone saves you watts, sending you further on less energy.

The Trek Madone 2017: best bits and prices

Being one of the most coveted bikes, both in the professional peloton and in shops everywhere, the Trek Madone is a fairly costly machine.

The cheapest way to get your hands on one would see you buying their Madone 9 Series frameset for £3,600 but you’d still only be halfway to owning a Trek Madone.

The range goes from the aforementioned frameset, right the way up to their Madone Race Shop Limited which is used by the likes of Alberto Contador in the WorldTour team, Trek-Segafredo. This pro-level specimen would set you back a cool £11,500.

fabian cancellara trek madone spartacus tour de france bike 2

Trek produced this one-of-a-kind Trek Madone for Fabian Cancellara in 2016 for his last Tour de France

Despite being named after Lance Armstrong’s favourite training climb, the Madone is built for flatter rides and descending making it the antithesis of a bike for climbing.

To cut through the air like the Trek Madone does, you need to make a smooth looking bike and Trek have done just that with a full integrated system.

That system includes an access point at the top of the down tube, making it easy to make adjustments to the junction box or the Vector wings that allow the front bike to stay integrated even when making sharp turns.

Being a full on road racing bike, the Trek Madone is a super stiff offering and you’d be forgiven for thinking that it would be uncomfortable to ride.

However, thanks to Trek’s new IsoSpeed Decoupler the Madone has comfort aplenty as the IsoSpeed system allows you to adjust the amount of flex in your seat post (in simplistic terms). Trek claim that the new system allows for a 20 per cent adjustment range, making your rides pretty smooth.

Read previous reviews

Take a look at the different models in the range…

Trek Madone 9 Series (Frameset only): £3,600trek madone 9 series

If you’re looking to get a Trek Madone on the ‘cheap’ a frameset might be the way to go.

Unlike the high end Race Shop Ltd model which uses the 700 series OCLV carbon, the 9 series frameset uses the 600 iteration and while it’s not the lightest carbon on the market, it’s still feathery light with a claimed weight of 2.27kg for the frameset alone. Complete with integrated brakes and the IsoSpeed Decoupler, all you’ll have to do is source the rest.

If you’re looking for a bit of colour on your bike though, you’ll struggle here as the frame is only sold in the matte black finish.

>>> Buy the Trek Madone 9 Series frameset at Evans Cycles for £3,600

Trek Madone 9.2: £4,800

Trek Madone

If you’re looking for a complete Trek Madone, then the 9.2 is your best bet.

This offering comes with full mechanical Shimano Ultegra 11 speed (6800 at the time of writing) giving incredibly smooth shifting but saving on cost.

Trek paired this frame with their own brand Bontrager Aura 5 Tubeless ready clinchers. Using 50mm hoops, the Madone furthers its aero capabilities, but unlike the next model up the wheels are not full carbon using an alloy brake track.

Being a complete bike it weighs more than the frameset with a claimed weight of 7.58kg.

>>> Buy the Trek Madone 9.2 at Evans Cycles for £4,800

Trek Madone 9.5: £6,500

trek madone 9.5

Despite using the same frame as the 9.2, the Trek Madone 9.5 has some noticeable upgrades with the inclusion of full carbon Vision Metron 40 LTD wheels and the shiny new Dura-Ace mechanical groupset.

Riders also have the choice of going with an electronic groupset if they prefer at no extra cost. Unlike the 9.2 though, the 9.5 only comes in the one colour way with Trek calling it ‘Gunmetal Grey’, unless you use the Project One customisation service.

>>> Buy the Trek Madone 9.5 at Evans Cycles for £6,500

Trek Madone 9.5 womens

There is also a female specific version but this is only available as the 9.5, so any women cyclists who are looking at a Madone this is the only ‘specific’ version on offer.

Despite being labelled female specific, there is no information describing how this differs from the other models but we would assume the geometry would be more fitting.

>>> Buy the Trek Madone 9.5 Womens from Evans Cycles for £6,500

Trek Madone 9.9: £9,000

trek madone 9.9

Taking a cue from the 9.2, the Trek Madone 9.9 uses Bontrager wheels but this time they have gone all out with the full carbon Aeolus 5 tubeless ready clinchers.

The 50mm clinchers are Bontrager’s top of the range hoops that are also included on the WorldTour ready Race Shop Ltd bike. The full Dura-Ace Di2 completes the consummate bike, making race ready for all but the toughest of rides.

>>> Buy the Trek Madone 9.9 from Evans Cycles for £9,000

Trek Madone Race Shop Ltd: £11,500

Trek Madone Race Shop Ltd

For the price of decent car you can buy the absolute cream of the crop by buying the Race Shop Ltd (RSL) Madone.

The RSL differs from the 9.9 in that it uses what Trek claim to be the lightest carbon going in their 700 OCLV Carbon frame. The frame is so light that Trek claim that the whole bike is under the UCI race weight limit coming in at 6.77kg making it 3g lighter than the 6.8kg weight limit. Boasting the full integrated braking and steering system, coupled with Dura-Ace Di2 and incredible wheels, this beautiful machine the exact same that Trek-Segafredo pros ride to victory on.

>>> Buy the Trek Madone Race Shop Limited at Evans Cycles for £11,500

Buying a Trek Madone is a serious purchase but hopefully you’ll have a clearer understanding of which one will be the best choice for you.

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Giro d’Italia route 2018: start in Poland or Jerusalem, finish in Rome, and a return to the Zoncolan

Overseas start set for Poland or Jerusalem, with race expected to finish in Rome

The 2018 Giro d’Italia route will see the race start abroad, with Poland and Jerusalem strong candidates to host the Grande Partenza.

The race could also finish in Rome for the first time since 2009, with race organisers RCS Sport meeting next week to decide its 2018 plan.

Sources within race organisers RCS Sports have confirmed that the 2018 race will start abroad, but not as far as Japan or the USA, as has been rumoured in the past. Instead the start will be a similar distance from Italy to the Belfast start in 2014 or Herning in 2012.

>>> Tom Dumoulin overhauls Nairo Quintana to win Giro d’Itlaia in nail-biting final time trial

“The first time is always the hardest,” RCS Sport’s cycling director, Mauro Vegni told Cycling Weekly regarding the logistics of arranging distant foreign starts. “We did the big one in Ireland. We needed the structure, the cars, the extra rest day for the transfer. That was a massive undertaking.

“Now, we are able to duplicate it and it’s not as hard, so I’m not worried about 2018. I can confront anything, also far away from Italy’s borders.”

Poland apparently stood first in line for the Giro’s Big Start or Grande Partenza given its CCC Sprandi Polkowice team has received wildcard invitations to recent editions. However, the Giro could for the first time travel outside of Europe with a start to help Israel promote tourism.

The idea would be a time trial start around the holy city of Jerusalem and two other stages, one to the south and one ending in Tel Aviv. RCS Sport has previously organised a Jerusalem sportive ride in 2013 with 1,500 cyclists so it has the connections and experience.

>>> Tour de France route 2017: stages and key climbs

Israel would need a budget of around £10 million (€12m) to make it happen. Around €4 million goes to the organiser for the right to host the start. The entire race caravan would need an extra rest day for the six-hour flight to Sicily.

According to an Ansa news agency report, it would race along the island’s west coast near Trapani and Palermo to remember the 1968 Belice Earthquake that killed 231 people.

Another transfer could be involved, similar to what the Tour de France has before its finish in Paris because Rome wants to host the 2018 finish after missing out on the 100th edition.

The idea would be to have a mountain finale in the Alps and to transfer the riders to Rome via the Freccia Rossa high-speed train on the Sunday morning for an afternoon celebration/sprint stage.

>>> In motion: The best images from the 100th Giro d’Italia

Ansa reported that local organiser Enzo Cainero is pushing to have the Monte Zoncolan summit finish back in the Giro for the first time since 2014, perhaps taking on the pass from a third direction. Another finish would be in the flatlands of Vittorio Veneto, the site of Italy’s last World War I battle in 1918.

Next week, the head of RCS Sport Urbano Cairo will meet with cycling director Mauro Vegni to review “different options” for 2018 and approve a general working plan.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Giro d’Italia 2017 route
  3. 3. Giro d’Italia 2016 route
  4. 4. Page 4
  5. 5. Page 5

Page 1 of 5 – Show Full List

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American pro resigns from team after being accused of firing a gun while on training ride

Danny Summerhill pleads not guilty to charges of reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct

American rider Danny Summerhill has resigned from the UnitedHealthcare professional continental-level team after being accused of firing a gun while out on a training ride.

Summerhill has pleaded not guilty to charges of reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct after the incident on February 21 when residents of Deer Creek Canyon on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado say they witnessed the rider shooting a handgun while cycling, the Denver Post reports.

One of the residents, Shawn Porter, told police that she saw a cyclist riding along the road discharging rounds into a hillside between two homes. Mrs Porter’s husband later confronted the cyclist, telling police that he could see a handgun in the cyclist’s rear pockets.

>>> Cyclist escapes with minor injuries after being shot with pellet gun in US sportive

Police later found at least three spent rounds at the scene, each around 50 yards apart, suggesting that that had been discharged on the move.

According to police reports, Summerhill, who was at the end of a five hour training ride when the incident took place, initially denied shooting, but later admitted that he had fired the shots because “he had a bad bad and needed to vent”, and was unaware that the area was residential and that his actions were illegal.

Summerhill is scheduled to appear in court on July 12, but has already resigned from the UnitedHealthcare team.

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Castelli on the cheap: Seven great deals on Castelli spring and summer clothing

The best deals on quality Italian kit that the internet has to offer right now

Seeing the little scorpion logo of Castelli on a piece of clothing is usually a sign of some high quality kit, but unfortunately that usually means that it comes with a high price tag too.

>>> Better than the Castelli Gabba? Wet weather racing jackets on test

The good news is that the big internet retailers usually offer some pretty tasty discounts, especially on last season’s kit, so we’ve rounded up 12 of the best deals on offer right now.

Diverso Merino wool sock £17.99 £10.79

As far as socks go, these must be some of the best looking ones around. That diamond pattern looks great and merino is superb material, too. It never gets stinky, meaning no one will know if you don’t wash your socks.

Buy now: Diverso Merino wool sock from Evans Cycles for £10.79

Women’s Climbers jersey £70 £41.99

As you might expect, the climber’s jersey is a super lightweight top that’s made for heading uphill. Thanks to its skimpy nature, it also happens to be really cool, making it ideal for those boiling days when the heat can feel a little overwhelming.

Buy now: Castelli Women’s Climber’s jersey from Evans Cycles for £41.99

Castelli Prosecco short sleeve base layer £50 £29.99

This is Castelli’s lightweight base layer that’s perfect for those slightly cooler days or chilly morning rides before the sun has got going properly. It’s high wicking, removing sweat from the body so that you don’t chill.

Buy now: Castelli Prosecco short sleeve base layer for £29.99

Women’s Velo Vest £65.99 – £38.99

Read more: Castelli Women’s Velo Vest review

Castelli’s Velo gilet is perfect for when the spring weather turns a little inclement and blustery.

Even better, it packs up tiny so there should always be space for it in a jersey pocket.

Buy now: Castelli Women’s Velo Vest from Chain Reaction Cycles for £31.99

Watch: Buyers’ guide to spring and autumn clothing

Imprevisto Nano water-repellant jersey £80 – £47.99

Another great piece of Spring riding kit when you’re likely to get wet on the bike.

Currently, these are discount anywhere between £47.99-£63.99 so grab a bargain while you can.

Buy now: Imprevisto Nano jersey for £47.99 from Evans Cycles

Women’s Gabba windproof jersey £111 – £69.99

The female equivalent of the superb Gabba jersey.

It’s currently over 50% off in the purple colour, making it an absolute steal now for your spring riding.

Buy now: women’s Gabba jersey from Evans Cycles for £69.99

Perfetto Long Sleeve Jersey £174.99 £122.99

Buy now: Castelli Perfetto from Evans Cycles for £104.99

So named because it is perfect, apparently. While we’ve not had chance to test this one, it does have some pretty neat features.

The Italian brand has made it more waterproof as well as redesigned the tail so it should sit flatter.

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Summerhill charged with firing a gun while riding in Colorado

Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare) was arraigned in Jefferson County, Colorado on Tuesday on charges of disorderly conduct, discharging a weapon in a public place and reckless endangerment after being witnessed shooting his gun while riding his bicycle outside of Denver in February, according to the Denver Post.

A cyclist was seen firing a handgun into a hillside as he rode along South Deer Creek Road, in the rural area south-west of Denver, during the afternoon of Tuesday, February 21.

According to the police report, he was followed by resident Joe Porter after his wife Shawn heard shots while she was fetching her mail, and saw the cyclist firing his gun into a hillside “between two driveways … with a freestanding garage and a vehicle parked in front of it”.

Joe Porter videotaped the rider, claiming to have seen a handgun in the rider’s jersey pocket. Porter identified his kit as that of the UnitedHealthcare team, and said he believed the rider to be Summerhill, who was then tracked down by Deputy Jeffrey Pedersen later at a fitness club.

“The male initially denied shooting, but then admitted that he had a bad day and need to vent, so he decided to shoot,” the report read. “He confirmed that he had been riding his bicycle in Deer Creek Canyon on a five-hour training ride and had needed to vent before he got back to his vehicle.”

Summerhill reportedly told the officer he did not realize there were homes in the area and that it was illegal to shoot at the hillside.

Summerhill is due in court on July 12 for a pre-trial hearing.

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What do professional cyclists eat?

Learn from the pros to fuel your cycling performance, manage your weight and improve your health

Nutrition plays a huge role in cycling performance. It influences how much energy you have to perform on the bike and how you recover after your training.

Food is so important that pro cycling teams employ their own chefs and nutritionists to make sure that riders are getting exactly what they need for every meal and while they ride.

Hannah Grant, author of The Grand Tour Cook Book and formerly chef to pro team Tinkoff-Saxo, explains, “When you burn off 4,000-6,000 calories in the course of a day, it is easy to indulge yourself by eating whatever you feel like. But professional cyclists must be professionals 24 hours a day. A body’s performance capacity in the long run depends on whether its building blocks are made from McDonald’s and Mars bars or vegetables, meat and superfoods.”

Watch: How to fuel like Marcel Kittel

What to eat when

Before your ride

Breakfast kickstarts your day, and if you are cycling in the morning it provides fuel for your ride.

By the time morning comes it may have been 12 hours since your last meal, and overnight your body uses up fuel to repair your muscles and supply glucose to your brain. When it comes to weight loss, people who eat breakfast then go on to eat fewer calories during the day and are more likely to be a healthy weight.

The aim is to include slow-release carbohydrate, a protein source and at least one fruit or vegetable to increase your day’s nutrient profile.

Even if you are in a rush there are plenty of quick breakfasts that can be eaten on the go, the simplest of which is a smoothie.

Three cycling breakfasts

  • Porridge made with milk or soya with fresh berries, banana and mixed seeds
  • Scrambled egg on whole-grain toast with grilled tomato
  • Smoothie made with banana, nut butter, milk and oats

>>> Five pre-ride breakfasts for cyclists

During your ride

If you are riding for more than an hour you will need to take on extra carbohydrate. The easiest way to do this is with sports drinks, bars and gels. However natural foods such as bananas and dried fruit are also high in carbohydrate.

Your aim is to take on 60g of carbohydrate for every hour of exercise. It is important to not eat more than you need, as your stomach will struggle to digest it whilst exercising and this will lead to nausea or stomach pain.

Three ways to eat 60g of carbs

  • 1 x banana, 1 x 500ml energy drink, 1 x cereal bar
  • 6 x dried dates, 1 x 500ml energy drink
  • 6 x jelly babies, 2 x fig rolls

After your ride

When you finish riding your priority should be to replace the energy expended so that your stored muscle glycogen is re-stocked and providing adequate protein for muscle repair. Your meal needs to contain 20-40g of protein and around 60-80gram of carbohydrate.

It’s a good idea to add lots of vegetables to your recovery meal, both to increase your carbohydrate intake and also to ensure you get a wide range of nutrients and sufficient fibre for gut health.

>>> Natural foods for top performance and recovery (video)

Three recovery meals

  • Baked potato with tuna and salad
  • Chicken breast, rice and vegetables
  • Smoothie with peanut butter, yoghurt, banana, chia seeds and fresh berries

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Ben Swift sets sights on Tour de France after difficult start to season

Yorkshireman Ben Swift set to return to Tour de France this summer with new team UAE Team Emirates, after a six year absence from the race

Ben Swift is looking to make the most of any opportunities that come his way at the Tour de France this summer, as he prepares to return to the race for the first time in six years after moving from Team Sky to UAE Team Emirates.

The 29-year-old Yorkshireman spent seven years racing at Sky but found his chances increasingly limited in the squad the last few seasons, before transferring at the end of last year.

The first and only time Swift raced at the Tour was 2011 when the team was built around Bradley Wiggins’s tilt on the victory, and although he’s raced at the Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia since he’s hoping to enjoy more freedom if he makes it to the start line in Düsseldorf with his new squad.

“The Tour’s still on my programme at the moment. Obviously everything has to be finalised but at the moment that’s still the plan,” Swift told Cycling Weekly from Sierra Nevada, Spain where he’s spending two weeks training.

“I think I’ll be able to enjoy it a lot more this time. Last time I was still quite young when I rode the Tour and I was in quite a high-pressured environment, we were going there with ambitions to try and win the Tour with Bradley.

“[I’ll be] able to go there in a completely different frame of mind where I can look in the road book and try and pinpoint stages and stuff like that.”

Watch: Tour de France essential guide

South African Louis Meintjes, who finished eighth overall in the Tour last year, will lead the UAE team’s GC charge, but Swift is hoping to have some freedom on the flatter stages that suit him.

“We don’t have to take any ownership of the race,” Swift continued. “It’s just making sure he’s [Meintjes] OK, we don’t need to ride on the front or anything like that.

“Because I’m not a proven Grand Tour stage winner we can’t go in there saying ‘I want to do this, I want to do that’, I just want to go there, see what we can do, take my opportunities and see what comes up.”

Though Swift said he’s enjoying his time with the new squad, he’s endured a frustrating 2017 so far, with illness hampering one of his key goals Milan-San Remo and an ankle injury ruling him out of Amstel Gold last month. He’s next due to race the Critérium du Dauphiné on June 4, before the British Road Race National Championships on the Isle of Man, and the Tour.

“I’ve integrated with the team well, everything’s gone well in training, everything’s gone right it’s just been that last little bit in the races. The racing’s not quite gone my way,” Swift said.

“My condition’s been good, all the numbers have been there, I’ve had a little bit of a bumpy time with a little bit of sickness and damaging my ankle before Amstel Gold. My main goal was Milan-San Remo; I was sick after Paris-Nice, sick through San Remo, I just kind of fought through that really. It’s been one of those things; it’s not gone right.”

Ben Swift, Monsal Hill-Climb 2016

Swift started his career as part of the British Cycling Academy programme, before turning professional with Katusha in 2009. He joined Sky the following year when the squad formed, and teamed back up with many of the British riders he grew up racing with.

After seven years in the Sky setup, Swift admitted it had been “daunting” when he initially made the move to UAE Team Emirates this year.

“It [the team] was different, it was a little bit daunting at the start,” he continued. “Obviously I know everybody from racing but I don’t know them personally. Everyone’s been really good I’ve got on well with them.

“I’ve done most of my time with the same core group – we’ve done a lot of the same races together. I’d definitely say I’m starting to make some friends in the team now, I’m still working on my Italian and stuff like that.”

Swift’s personal life has also undergone a big change this year too, with the arrival of his first-born son in February.

“It’s been really good. Me and my partner have got a good little system now where we both get optimal sleep,” he said.

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Quick-Step Floors rider crashes into bear while training in California

Matteo Trentin escapes unharmed from accident

Matteo Trentin had a lucky escape while training in California at the weekend, apparently crashing into a bear while on a descent.

The Quick-Step Floors rider had stayed in the United States to carry out a block of altitude training following the Tour of California when the incident took place.

Writing on Instagram, Trentin said that he had been on a fast descent when a bear walked out across the road. The Italian rider then had no time to brake, coming down and destroying his helmet in the process.

>>> Peter Sagan heads to Utah for Tour de France altitude training

This is far from the first time that a bear has interrupted a bike ride, with two mountain bikers in Slovakia recently being chased down a trail by one.

Trentin is one of a number of riders to stay in the area as he prepares for the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de France, and appears to have escaped uninjured from the crash.

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