Geraint Thomas ready to consider leaving Team Sky for more Grand Tour opportunities

Welshman says he’s done enough support rides and Grand Tours and is looking for a leadership role

With his current deal at Team Sky set to end after the 2018 season, Geraint Thomas says he’s open to listening to offers from other teams if they can provide him with more opportunities to lead at Grand Tours.

Speaking to BBC Sport Wales, Welshman Thomas indicated he is unlikely to line-up with Chris Froome in the first leg of his Grand Tour double attempt at the Giro d’Italia, and hopes to ride the Tour de France and potentially lead the Sky squad in Spain at the Vuelta a España.

Having crashed out in his first leadership opportunity in the Giro in 2017, Thomas faces a huge amount of competition for the top roles at Sky, with the likes of Wout Poels and Michal Kwiatkowski also eyeing chances at glory around Froome’s schedule.

For that reason, the 31-year-old says he’s open to listening to other teams who can offer him more concrete chances at leading a team in 2019.

Geraint Thomas rides in yellow behind Chris Froome at the 2017 Tour de France (Sunada)

“This year my programme is based on what Froomey’s doing,” Thomas told BBC Sport Wales.

“I’m certainly going to listen to some teams.

“Trek-Segafredo have shown an interest and there are some other teams as well. I certainly want to sit down and listen to what they’ve got to say.

“I’m not getting any younger. I don’t feel old, but I’m 31 now and I probably only have three or four more years at the very top, so I want to make the most of those.

“I’m not saying I want to leave or I’m going to but I certainly want to sit down and see what everyone has got to say.”

Thomas crashed in an incident with a police motorbike en route to the Blockhaus summit finish of this year’s Giro where he lead the Sky team with Mikel Landa.

He recovered from his injuries to start the Tour de France in Düsseldorf a month or so later, where he won the opening time trial but crashed out again on stage nine of the race.

Hoping that the bad luck with injuries from 2017 is behind him, Thomas says he’s aiming to be ready if needed as Froome begins his attempt at fifth Tour de France win in July. Froome completed a Grand Tour double in 2017 with the Tour and Vuelta, but is aiming to become the first man to win the Giro/Tour double since Marco Pantani in 1998.

“Last year was unfinished business but with Froomey going there [the Giro] he’s obviously going to be the main guy, so I don’t want to go there and just… I’ve ridden a lot of Grand Tours in support roles now, so I’m just looking to get those bigger opportunities myself,” Thomas said.

“His whole preparation is totally different to normal and you just never know how he will be. He might be on his knees at the end and we [Team Sky] might need that second back-up guy to be there [at the Tour] and be good. So that’s a nice goal to have.

“Obviously Froomey will still be the leader going into it but it might be more of a chance for me to have more of a go myself.

“The Vuelta after that could be a potential race for me to go into in the full team leader role.”

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The best cycling overshoes 2017/2018: toasty toe covers for winter riding

Keeping your fingers and toes warm on a winter ride can be the difference between enjoyment and just wanting to get home. A good pair of overshoes can help keep your feet toasty and allow you to carry on riding in the worst of the winter weather

What are cycling overshoes?

Winter overshoes are generally made from either thick neoprene or lighter, windproof, fleece-backed fabric. They’re designed to keep the cold, the wet, or both out – with holes at the bottom to allow your cleats to connect with the pedals. 

In cold, dry weather the traditional neoprene overshoe is an excellent insulator but gets waterlogged in persistent, heavy rain. However, if the overshoe itself doesn’t leak, water will eventually find its way in through the openings at the top and bottom.

>>> Best winter cycling clothing for cyclists 

Lighter, Windstopper-type technical fabric is designed to be windproof, water resistant and breathable. As with neoprene, you only have a limited time before the water gets in, so it may be better to accept this and go for the lighter overshoe which will dry quickly.

The underside of an overshoe is prone to wear: look for a tough, seam-free base with reinforcements’ at heel and toe.

Some brands say that hi-vis is most effective when used on moving parts, like the feet. Whether you agree with hi-vis or not, we would say reflective elements on winter overshoes are essential, particularly at the rear.

Why wear overshoes when cycling?

Keeping feet warm and dry in winter is difficult for cyclists. Wind chill is the enemy for the extremities but add spray from the front wheel and unless your feet are appropriately insulated it won’t be long before you can’t feel them any more.

Cycling overshoes reviewed

Ale Neoprene Shoe Cover £60

Ale Neoprene Shoe Cover

Ale Neoprene Shoe Cover

Score: 8/10

Made from 3mm neoprene, these overshoes extend a good distance up the ankle comfortably covering the sock/tight overlap.

They’re made from a simple pattern of two halves, with the central seam on top of the foot taped for water and windproofing. There’s a zip up the back. A non-abrasive fabric is used to reinforce the underside of the toe and just behind the heel. On the inside of the heel is a small strip of silicone gripper to hold it to the shoe – a thoughtful and clever detail.

The Ales fit well since they’re open underneath between cleat and heel, with a Velcro strap to adjust tightness across the top of the foot. This means both cleat-forward and cleat-back positions don’t affect its position but it also means there’s limited coverage against water ingress from below and the Velcro strap is likely to wear out.

The thick neoprene is perfect for cold, dry days but gets waterlogged on the wet ones – as neoprene inevitably does. However, muck and filth from the lanes do not penetrate and they keep out showers.

A good deep-winter overshoe but it’s a shame there are no reflectives.

Lusso Windtex Stealth overshoes £30

Lusso Windtex Stealth overshoes

Lusso Windtex Stealth overshoes

Score: 10/10

British firm Lusso has gone for fleecy-backed Windtex fabric for its winter bootie and it’s a sensible choice. Although it’s not as thick as neoprene, Windtex is obviously windproof, as the name suggests. The manufacturers of Windtex also guarantee it waterproof. It’s also much lighter and more elastic than neoprene so has several advantages over the heavier, more traditional overshoe material.

Since Windtex is stretchy you can get away with a smaller size and a closer fit – the medium size for 44 shoes was perfect with no pulling of the rear towards the cleat cut-out, which is slightly elongated to accommodate different cleat positions. There are good reflectives up the zip at the back and on the sides.

As for durability, the Windtex upper, with its taped central seam, is sewn to a tough but flexible plastic base, which crucially has no seams to wear out.

Lusso says its overboots are good from 0-14°C and although we’re not yet in the depths of winter, the Stealths have been great in sub-5°C rides.

Lusso has created a good-looking, simple and well functioning design with the Stealth Overboot and at £30 it represents super value for money.

See them at Lusso here

Sportful WS Bootie Reflex overshoes £46

Sportful WS Bootie Reflex overshoes

Sportful WS Bootie Reflex overshoes

Score: 8/10

The ‘WS’ stands for Windstopper, the fabric from Gore that is windproof with a water-repellent treatment. Like the Windtex the Lussos are made from, Windstopper is lightweight, elastic and fleece backed.

Sportful stitches the Windstopper uppers to a stretchy, reinforced neoprene base that extends part way up the sides and the back.

We found that although the Reflexes were made from more panels than most overshoes via a more sophisticated construction, the rear of the overshoe tended to pull forward over the heel of the shoe, meaning that you tread on the rear of the overshoe when walking, which raises questions about the Reflexes’ durability (obviously depending how much walking around you do). This happened to our XL test pair despite using them with a size 44 shoe: the XL is designed for size 44-45. If the cleat cut-out was slightly longer to accommodate a wider range of cleat positions that might solve the problem.

Obviously all overshoes can’t fit all shoes and all cleat positions so it could have been that we were simply unlucky. Otherwise, the Sportfuls are warm, good looking, well made and have intelligently placed reflectives.

See our full review of the Sportful WS Bottie Reflex overshoes here

Gore Windstopper Universal Thermo overshoes £59.99

Gore Windstopper Universal Thermo overshoes

Gore Windstopper Universal Thermo overshoes

Score: 9/10

The front of the Universal Thermo is made from a thick version of Gore’s Windstopper fabric. This is very windproof, having a three-layer structure with a built-in membrane. It’s water repellent although will wet out in a downpour.

The rear of the upper is made of thinner Windstopper fabric. There are quite a few seams which, although not taped, they are flatlocked with wide zigzag stitching, which keeps them watertight enough.

The fit is close enough to prevent draughts and also helps keep out water, without being uncomfortable – particularly as the Windstopper fabric is very stretchy and flexible.

The undersides of the Universal Thermos are a bit fragile. There’s a reinforced toe section but the middle of the underfoot is a continuation of the upper fabric. There are taped seams around the cleat cut-out and these are likely to look distinctly tatty after a couple of seasons’ use.

Gore displaces the zippers to the outer side of the leg so they don’t rub as you pedal.

There’s a reflective strip built into the rear of the overshoe and reflective lettering on the outer edge for better visibility.

GripGrab RaceThermo Hi-Vis overshoes £45.95

GripGrab RaceThermo Hi-Vis overshoes

GripGrab RaceThermo Hi-Vis overshoes

Score: 8/10

Not only are the GripGrabs bright yellow, there is reflective printing on the sides and an even more reflective rear tape tab. What they don’t have, unlike most overshoes, is zips. Since overshoe zips are prone to failure and needing to be waterproof or backed to keep out water, the GripGrabs should be that much more durable and efficient.

Made of 4mm neoprene, the GripGrabs benefit from the brand’s Intelliseal, which won an award at this year’s Eurobike show. There’s a stretchy cuff, to allow you to get the overshoes on. Because this is quite deep, it helps keep water from trickling down your leg. There’s a Velcro tab under the instep to hold the two sides of the overshoe together. It’s easier to put on shoe first, overshoe second.

The base is made with rubber-coated stitching to increase durability and facilitating a tighter fit around the sole, helping to keep out water. There’s a reinforced fabric area at the toe to help reduce wear.

Durability is good, but with the thick neoprene construction we got some scuffing on the cranks.

What to look for in cycling overshoes

We’ve had the pleasure of fully reviewing quite a few pairs of overshoes – there’s more full overshoe reviews here, and some top picks below…

Bontrager RXL Windshell overshoes

Bontrager RXL Windshell overshoes

Bontrager RXL Windshell overshoes

Review score: 9/10

Constructed from Profila Wind fabric, these overshoes are lightweight, windproof and water resistant. Not only that, a tight aero fit means that though they’re a little tricky to get on and off, they can double up as aero aids for summer time trials too.

Read our review of the BontragerRXL Windshell overshoes here

Endura Road II overshoes

Endura Road II overshoes

Endura Road II overshoes

Review score: 10/10

Created using 90 per cent wetsuit-worthy Neoprene and 10 per cent Nylon, these are hardwearing overshoes which provide protection from the elements. Kevlar stitching keeps them robust and there’s a crank rub protection point.

Check out our review of the Endura Road II overshoes here

SealSkinz Waterproof Cycle Over Sock

SealSkinz Waterproof Cycle Over Sock

SealSkinz Waterproof Cycle Oversocks

Review score: 9/10

If you don’t want to pull on a thick and heavy layer, then this option from SealSkins is a nice compromise. Created from a totally waterproof and windproof fabric, they’ll keep the water out but are lightweight and therefore breathable so that the risk of overheating is thrown out the window.

Check out our review of the SealSkinz Waterproof Cycle Overshoes here

Sportful Roubaix Thermal Booties

Sportful Roubaix Thermal Booties

Sportful Roubaix Thermal Booties

Review score: 10/10

A solid winter companion, these fleece lined overshoes feature a softshell front for windproofing, with Neoprene side panels which provide protection from the rain and extra stretch. They’ve got reflective piping and graphics, with a tab to help you pull them on, too.

Read our full review of the Sportful Roubaix Thermal booties here

If, like us, you do the majority of your riding under the constant threat of rain, a fair threat of snow and likely freezing temperatures then a set of all-round cycling overshoes that will keep out the elements and keep you riding is essential.

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Mireia Belmonte Receives Award For Greatest Spanish Sports Woman in the Last Half Century

Photo Courtesy: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, Spain’s Mireia Belmonte received the award for the finest Spanish sportswoman in the last 50 years, an award that had legendary tennis player Rafael Nadal as its male recipient. The award was presented at the 50th anniversary of Diario AS, a major newspaper in Spain. Belmonte told the newspaper before receiving the award,

“To be honest, I’m immensely proud that a media outlet such as this newspaper, with its long history delivering sports news, has recognized me. All I say is Thank You, with all of the humility of a sportswoman who has tried to aspire to the peak of my sport throughout my career. I hope I can be a dignified example for all that AS has recognized me for.”

The lifetime achievement award went to British track champion Sebastian Coe. The event took place in Madrid, where the newspaper was launched 50 years prior.

The event was hosted by AS Editor Alfredo Relaño and by his side was Juan Luis Cebrián, president of PRISA, the publisher of this newspaper; Manuel Polanco, vice president of PRISA and Manuel Mirat, CEO of Prisa and president of AS.

Belmonte is the only Spanish female swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming when she won the 200 fly in Rio. She has also won three other Olympic medals, including a silver in the 800 free and 200 fly in 2012 and a bronze in the 400 IM in 2016. She is also a multi-time World Championship medalist, picking up her latest gold in the 200 fly in 2017.

Belmonte was the female recipient of the “best Spanish sportswoman in history” award while tennis champion Nadal was the male recipient.

“He’s a reference as a sportsman and as a person,” Belmonte said in her interview. “His playing out on the tennis court has put him among the very best, but it’s his sporting and personal values which have pushed him and enabled him, to become the best, without any doubt.”

Belmonte said in an interview with the newspaper that she is aiming for the European Championships in Glasgow as her peak meet in 2018, which will take place in early August.

To read her full interview, click here.

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Orica-Scott team becomes Mitchelton-Scott for 2018 season

Both men’s and women’s teams will become Mitchelton-Scott for the 2018 season after Orica leaves the squad after five years as a title sponsor

Orica’s run as title sponsor of Australia’s WorldTour team ends today after five years, with new title sponsors Mitchelton and Scott announced for the 2018 season.

The mining explosives and blasting corporation has funded the Australian team since mid-way through its 2012 debut year. Under the Orica moniker, the team won Paris-Roubaix, scored Grand Tour stages and wore the Tour de France‘s yellow jersey.

The Yates twins, Adam and Simon, and Colombian Esteban Chaves are leading the next generation in the team, known as Mitchelton-Scott.

>>> Esteban Chaves’s brother Brayan signed by Orica-Scott development team

“Orica signed up to support our team very early in the piece, putting their trust in this organisation and its people, and providing us with the platform and security to grow,” team owner Gerry Ryan said.

“We are tremendously proud of how far we have come thanks to their support. We have won monuments, stage races, Grand Tour stages and after two Grand Tour podiums, a victory in a three-week tour is next on our list.

“Orica will forever have a place in this team’s DNA and we are extremely thankful for their support over the years.”

The women’s Orica-Scott team also changes to Mitchelton-Scott for 2018.

Mitchelton-Scott 2018 team kit

Orica’s revenues are down, but it recorded $5.1 billion Australian dollars revenue in 2016. Last June, the team announced that Orica was finishing its sponsorship at the end of 2017.

Mitchelton steps in to replace the billion-dollar backer. The boutique hotel and winery is owned by Gerry Ryan’s son, Andrew.

>>> Mikel Nieve signed by Orica-Scott for 2018

The Ryans will have to invest heavily to compete at the top end of the WorldTour. Sky’s budget for 2016 was £31 million. In 2016, Orica’s was estimated at €13 million (£11.5m). Without Orica, funding comes directly from within and from bike manufacturer Scott.

The sponsorship change will promote Mitchelton, which is relatively unknown outside of Australia. Ryan is pushing its international development, opening the Mitchelton Hotel and Day Spa in late 2017 to complement the existing Winery & Chocolate Factory in regional Victoria, Australia.

“The past number of years Mitchelton has focused on domestic business, but we are now ready to target export markets and cycling is a great vehicle to promote our brand to the various global markets,” Andrew Ryan said.

“With the new Mitchelton Hotel and Day Spa, we have seen an increase in international tourism to the estate and this association with the team will enable us to broadly promote our estate to the world.”

The team will make a big push at home to start 2018. Esteban Chaves announced he will start the year at the Tour Down Under and Herald Sun Tour. Team Sky will skip the Herald Sun Tour having won the past two editions.

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Dani Rowe announces that she hopes to ride for Wales in 2018 Commonwealth Games

Former Olympic, world and European track champion Dani Rowe switches from England to Wales for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia

Dani Rowe has announced that she is aiming to ride for Wales in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, switching from representing England.

Former Olympic, world and European champion for the team pursuit on the track, Rowe (née King) made the announcement via Twitter on Monday morning in a brief statement and a photograph of herself in Wales national kit.

“My connections with Wales and Welsh Cycling go back to 2009 when I started to be coached by Courtney Rowe – the father of my husband Matt,” wrote the 27-year-old, who married Matt Rowe in October 2017. Matt is the brother of Team Sky’s Luke Rowe.

“I have therefore had a strong affinity and love for the country where I now live and call home, for the whole of my professional cycling career.”

Rowe states that British Cycling have supported her decision to ride for Wales, and she thanked Commonwealth Games England, Sport Wales and Welsh Cycling for their support.

Rowe has been using the Welsh Institute of Sport for strength and conditioning since “expressing a desire to want to represent Wales”.

>>> Dani King bounces back from last year’s horror crash to claim fourth Down Under

“Wales is a country that has produced so many incredible cyclists, and if selected I hope I can continue to do the country proud.”

Rowe took a gold medal in the 2012 Olympic Games in London as part of Great Britain’s team pursuit line-up. She also helped claim three team pursuit world titles (in 2011, 2012 and 2013) and European team pursuit title in 2011 and 2013.

More recently, Rowe has focussed on the road. A serious training crash in 2014 left her with five broken ribs and a collapsed lung, and meant she was ruled out of the GB track team. She was left disappointed having not been selected to ride on the road at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

In 2018, Rowe will ride for the Woawdeals Pro Cycling team (formerly known as WM3) alongside Dutch star Marianne Vos. In 2017, Rowe placed ninth in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and 10th in the women’s Tour de Yorkshire.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games take place on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, over April 4-15.

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‘It’s not something that you forget in a hurry’: Richie Porte still aggrieved by Froome Dauphiné tactics

The Australian says he’s all in again for the Tour de France in 2018

Richie Porte (BMC) says he’s still “going to return that favour” to Chris Froome over the Sky man’s aggressive tactics at this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné final stage, which cost Porte the title.

The Tasmanian held over a minute in the lead going into the final stage of the week-long stage race in June, but quickly found himself without team-mates on the mountainous 115km route from Albertville to Plateau de Solaison.

Froome, in second before the final stage, refused to help Porte close down attacks and sat on while encouraging Porte’s rivals to attack before launching a move himself on the penultimate climb of the day.

While Porte was able to reel his former team-mate back in, he was unable to stop Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang from riding away and claiming the overall title by 10 seconds.

Close friends while they were both at Team Sky, Porte said “Froome obviously didn’t want to see me win the race” in the immediate aftermath of the stage, and he still questions why the four-time Tour de France winner went out of his way to stop him winning the race.

Richie Porte and Chris Froome at the 2017 Critérium du Dauphiné (ASO)

“If he was going to win arguably the biggest week-long stage race, I wouldn’t go out of my way to work him over,” Porte told the Herald Sun.

“Obviously my team should have been better that day, but when he (Froome) is going around asking all the other GC guys to attack, that’s personal and it’s not something that you forget in a hurry.”

“You bury it a bit, but I’m not going to lie, even though we had a good chat about it, if I can return that favour I’m going to return that favour.”

“Chris is one of the hardest men you could meet on a bike and he’s got that killer streak in him, I suppose. That’s why he’s won four Tours,” Porte added.

Porte missed the remaining major races of the 2017 season after crashing out of the Tour on stage nine on the descent of the Mont du Chat.

Having recovered from his injuries and back in full-time training, the 32-year-old will likely begin his third season with BMC Racing at the Tour Down Under where he’ll attempt to defend his title.

However his main goal will remain the Tour de France, where he hopes to add that elusive podium spot to his palmarès.

“I’ve won most of the week-long stage races or done well in them, but it’s still the one thing that if I’m swimming it’s always in the back of my mind — that I’m training for July and the Tour de France,” Porte said.

“I want to retire and be able to say ‘I hit the podium in the Tour’.

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BMC unveils new team kit for 2018 season

A splash of blue for BMC’s classic red-and-black kit as cybersecurity firm Sophos joins as a sponsor

BMC Racing Team have unveiled their new clothing for the 2018 season. The US-registered squad called in their leading riders Greg Van Avermaet and Richie Porte to model the jerseys for the official presentation photos.

It’s an evolutionary design step rather than revolutionary, with the team’s distinctive red and black design retained from previous incarnations.

Richie Porte models BMC Racing Team 2018 kit

BMC Racing Team kit 2018

New sponsor Sophos features on BMC Racing’s 2018 team kit

The most obvious change over the 2017 version is the addition of a blue collar with the name of Sophos, a British cybersecurity specialist company that has joined the squad as a sponsor. Sophos’s name also features on the back of the team’s bib shorts.

>>> Which WorldTour team has the best kit for 2018?

Watch manufacturer Tag Heuer retains the positioning of its logo on the shoulders – prime spot for featuring in those side-on TV shots during races.

Bib shorts are all-black, with white BMC logos on the side panels.

Olympic champ Van Avermaet’s kit has gold-coloured bands on the sleeves to mark his road race victory in Rio in 2016 – a nice, personalised touch.

The kit is once again manufactured by Swiss cycle clothing company Assos.

BMC’s kit is a popular one among fans, having been voted as one of Cycling Weekly readers’ favourite team strips in the past few years’ reader polls.

Greg Van Avermaet in BMC Racing Team kit 2018, complete with gold sleeve bands

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Backstroke Blurs in the Water; Preorder the January SW to Learn Who and Why

The January issue of Swimming World Magazine features a strong swimmer, who truly broke out onto the international scene this past summer at the 2017 FINA World Championships.

Pre-order the January 2018 issue of Swimming World Magazine and learn all about our cover swimmer, an impressive backstroker, and another up and coming athlete in the same stroke.

Additional features of the January 2018 issue is the crowning of Swimming World’s Water Polo, Diving, Disabled, and Synchronized Athletes of the Year, as well as the annual World and American Record Progression series.

Give Swimming World Magazine as a Gift Today To Your Special Swimmer

Not a subscriber?  Subscribe With This Special 3-Year Offer! Swimming World Magazine gives you access to all of the back issues of Swimming World Magazine dating back to 1960!  Visit the Swimming World Magazine Vault.


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Tech of the week: 1.7 million laps of Herne Hill Velodrome, whale-like wheels and more

This week, we’ve been trying to make it as a pro and looking at what Strava knows about us all

Hot bikes and products

First up, we’ve tracked down our pick of the five most desirable bikes of 2018, including Storck’s 5.4kg, €15,000 Aernario.2 Signature.

Biomimicry gives the 454 NSW wheels an edge, says Zipp

This week, we’ve also had December’s edition of Tech of the Month for you, with the Zipp 454 NSW wheels in for test. They have design features based on humpback whales’s fins – we’ve told you why.

We’ll be testing Garmin’s new, neater Vector 3 power meter pedals

Also in are Garmin’s latest Vector 3 power meter pedals. All the electronics are now internal and they weigh just 323g a pair. We’ve also shown you a prototype quick release thru-axle and a titanium bike.

With cold weather holding sway, we’ve had a look at the best bibtights to keep you warm, as well as our pick of the best winter gloves. You might need them if you’re planning to take on the Rapha Festive 500 on Strava, riding 500km between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. We’ve five tips to help get you through.

New pro kit and UCI testing

Quick Step Floors, Bora-Hans Grohe and AG2R-La Mondiale have revealed their new kit for next year too. Quick Step Floors have gone for royal blue, which we rather like, while Bora-Hans Grohe have blue chevrons. And the Drops women’s team have become Trek-Drops for 2018, with a new kit design.

Brown shorts still for Bardet

AG2R’s kit is not a lot different from previous years and retains the brown shorts. These continue to get mixed reactions from the Twitter critics and we’ve added our own assessment to our ever-growing list of teams’s hits and misses.

Talking of the WorldTour, we’ve had a look at the full calendar for next year for both men and women, so you can mark off the key dates to keep free for sitting in front of the telly. We’ve also investigated why the pros still prefer to race on tubulars, rather than less puncture-prone tubeless clinchers.

How did CW stack up against the pros?

And we’ve travelled to Switzerland to take the UCI’s pro cycling test and see if we could hack it as a pro – find out how we shaped up. It’s a test protocol which uses a Wattbike, so anyone with access to one can take up the challenge too.

Meanwhile, if you think you’re past your prime, take heart from 46-year-old Davide Rebellin, who’s just signed up for his 26th season as a pro. Rebellin turned pro in 1992, before six of his teammates were even born and reckons he might still be racing when he’s 50.

Rebellin – still racing at 50?

Once a cyclist, always a cyclist, it seems, as British Cycling has confirmed too, using virtual reality headsets to show immersive images of people cycling, reporting that they were almost 40% more likely to get back on a bike than those shown a cycling video on YouTube.

Strava has munched its 2017 data this week too, to produce its Year in Sport report, based on 31 million recorded rides in the UK. Over 2 million rides were recorded of a Strava segment in Regent’s Park, while second most popular was a turn of Herne Hill Velodrome, ridden 1.7 million times.

And as usual, we’ve had our pick of deals and offers as well as a few Christmas present suggestions too.

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