VeloNews.com http://www.velonews.com Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Fri, 24 Nov 2017 23:22:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.velonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/cropped-Velonews_favicon-2-32x32.png VeloNews.com http://www.velonews.com 32 32 WorldTour mechanics: Wizards of the wrench http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/from-the-mag/worldtour-mechanics-wizards-wrench_448568 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/from-the-mag/worldtour-mechanics-wizards-wrench_448568#respond Fri, 24 Nov 2017 19:22:01 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=448568 WorldTour wrenches pack their mental tool- boxes with equal parts patience and adrenaline, and as many languages as possible.

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Less than 24 hours before the start of the 2017 Tour de France prologue, the BMC Racing team bus hums with last-minute bike checks and a back-log of tune-ups. On one side of the service course, a young mechanic urgently preps Richie Porte’s Teammachine SLR01 for the training ride slated to roll out soon. On the other side, Belgian Jurgen Landrie hoists a Timemachine into his stand, prepping it for the time trial. New cables and housing, shifting adjustments. Cameras click on all sides as fans bustle about, and journalists sniff out stories. We’re all there to take in the circus.

It’s threatening to rain. Landrie doesn’t seem to notice or care, and it’s a safe bet he wouldn’t make much of a fuss if the rain finally started falling. He has his tools; he has a raincoat. And there’s a job to do.

“You have to really go into details,” Landrie says of prepping the bikes for the Tour’s opening time trial. “You only have one shot. If it’s a road race and it’s 200 kilometers, normally nothing can happen. But a TT is completely different.”

With new bike technology coming at pro mechanics incessantly, those details become finer, more nuanced, and more crucial to master. Today’s bikes represent the boldest experiments bike designers have yet dreamt of to make riders go faster while remaining within UCI design constraints. With those bold designs come unprecedented complexities, both in the build and maintenance of each bike.

WorldTour mechanics know this and prepare for it — and the best ones are excited about it. That’s what makes a successful wrench: The ability to adapt, work through problems, figure things out. They are, in a sense, a class of engineer all their own — not to mention translator and sometimes first-responder. Aside from the riders themselves, experienced mechanics are perhaps the team’s most significant asset. That kind of experience doesn’t come easy.

Jurgen Landrie. Photo: Dan Cavallari | VeloNews.com

“THIS IS PART OF my life, this little toolbox,” says Landrie of his blue Park Tool case. “There’s nothing special, nothing that has an emotional value. You have to keep updating your tools. And don’t carry too much, because you have to walk around for a few weeks with a too-heavy toolbox.”

He makes no mention of the toolbox inside his mind, the one that really makes the difference between a mechanic and a WorldTour mechanic.

“I really support every kind of evolution,” says Landrie, who has been a pro mechanic for over a decade, transitioning to the WorldTour from the velodrome, where he wrenched for the Belgian national team. “I’m open to being involved in testing. It’s very nice to see the things we do now — they show up with numbers to show, ‘Okay, this is better, this is worse, this doesn’t make any change.’ The data doesn’t really make it easier, but it makes things more interesting. It’s not just a bike. There’s passion in it.”

Landrie grew up in Oudenaarde, Belgium, where the Tour of Flanders currently finishes. He raced as a pro for a while, using the iconic cobbled climbs around his home as his training ground. His family, all cycling fans, supported him, and while his pro career was short-lived, the passion for the sport still burned.

“I remember as a kid I was a big fan of cycling. But [instead of the riders], I knew all the parts and gear from the team, what they were using, the shoes, the sunglasses, and helmets — all the details. I already had a big interest,” he says.

That’s how it begins for so many pro wrenches on the WorldTour: A childhood passion turns into something unexpected after the path changes from racing a bike to working on it.

Just ask Orica-Scott mechanic Craig Geater, another grown-up kid who turned racing aspirations into a career working on race machines.

“I wasn’t anything special,” Geater says of his racing days. He’d seen the Tour de France and other races in New Zealand, where he grew up. He decided to go to Europe even though he wasn’t a great rider; he just wanted to experience it. “I went to Belgium and raced for a little bit and I realized I was way out of my league.”

As a poor racer without any support, Geater was left to maintain his own bikes. He worked in bike shops to fund his cycling habit. “I just got interested in the equipment I was using. I read all the magazines to see what was new, and that got me hooked,” he says. By chance, Geater was asked to help out the Linda McCartney Racing team back in 1998, and in his own words, he was just “lucky and available.”

Not long after, he was traveling the world for a living.

Craig Geater. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

IN ALMOST 20 YEARS as a pro mechanic, Geater’s been around long enough to see just about everything, especially among fans. Cycling fans have unimaginably close access to riders and equipment, so mechanics are always on the lookout for lurkers with sticky fingers. But sometimes the fans get bold in other ways. Geater recounts a recent story in which he was
helping retrieve bottles on a Tour de France climb. He returned to the team car to find a new passenger.

“An Australian guy had hopped in the car and asked for a ride to the top of the hill,” he says. “He was kitted out and didn’t have a bike. He was already in the car… so I gave him a ride.”

Having worked for Team RadioShack, and been one of Lance Armstrong’s mechanics, Geater can tell you stories about celebrity visitors, too. He’s quick to mention Eddie Jones, coach of the Australian National Rugby team.

Then, as an afterthought, he lists the B-team of celebrities: Sheryl Crow, Matthew McConaughey, Ben Stiller, Robin Williams. “We’ve also had [former president of France] Nicolas Sarkozy,” he says. “They go in the car during the stages, and they’re so excited that they ask a lot of questions and forget we’re trying to listen to the race radio.”

It’s all part of the fun, but it’s also a major stress. Mechanics, as Geater says, are always on edge. It’s the fans, the driving, the schedule, the weather, and the sum total of long days and weeks of the same routine, repeated over and over again.

When asked about his toughest days as a wrench, Geater doesn’t have to think very long.

“The Criterium International, when it was in the north of France,” he says. “It was always crappy weather, crappy hotels, and then you’d get hit with the daylight savings hours on the last day.”

There’s also the personality challenges. Teams are big and multi-cultural, so language barriers creep up often. “We have a lot of different nationalities, and you’ll have five different languages on one team,” Geater says. “So we sort of develop our own language.” He’s quick to dispel the notion that he’s a polyglot himself. Just as quickly, he admits that isn’t necessarily true.

“I live in Italy now so I speak minimal Italian; I understand French okay and can speak a little of it, and I can speak a little bit of Flemish from my time in Belgium. And I can understand a little bit of Spanish,” he says.

Language aside, riders have their own unique relationships with gear. Some just want to get on the bike and pedal, while others are more meticulous, checking and re-checking. Geater says Levi Leipheimer would adjust his saddle one millimeter at a time, but never before the start at the team bus. He’d do it in the neutral zone and ask to have his saddle adjusted there.

“If you broke a bolt or something, you knew you were really in the shit,” Geater says.

Luke Durbridge is equally meticulous. It’s a good thing, Geater says, but “sometimes when you see him coming you almost want to walk the other way.” Laurent Jalabert was keen to look at any gear that would give him an advantage on the road. Simon Gerrans is the same way today, always asking why things work the way they do. And Lance Armstrong had his own tape measure to check the set-up between bikes. No other tape measure would do.

“He was fussy, but he wasn’t a pain in the ass. He just wanted it done properly,” Geater says.

BESIDE THE GLEAMING PAINT job on Greg Van Avermaet’s bike, next to Richie Porte’s much smaller and unassuming Teammachine, the mechanics tweak saddles and stems. Then the riders roll out. There’s a brief moment — not quite a respite — in which each wrench breathes out and assesses what needs to be done next. The riders are off but the job continues.

“You start to feel it in the last couple of days,” Geater says. “You always get overtired and go into auto mode. Every day is like Groundhog Day: We do the exact same thing every day.”

And that, he says, is the toughest part of the job. The trucks are bigger and more difficult to drive than they used to be. There are more bikes to tend to, more equipment to manage. Years ago, no mechanic would have dreamed of needing a laptop computer to make shifting adjustments. BMC’s Landrie embraces that change and gets excited about it, and Geater says it has actually made life easier. But the sheer volume of things to be done has grown exponentially.

On stage 1 of the Tour, back in Germany, the rain comes and the drama that plays out is beyond any mechanic’s control. There is carnage. All those details — the careful preparations and meticulous adjustments made to each bike — go out the window. Or rather, they hit the pavement and slide. No bother. Each mechanic simply goes about preparing for the next day, and the day after that. The work, the weather, the tedium, the victories and failures, all still lie ahead.

You’ll hear no complaint from the service course. “I like every part of the job,” Landrie says. “It’s a life.”

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Fabio Aru ‘will race the Giro and Vuelta’ http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/fabio-aru-will-race-giro-vuelta_452504 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/fabio-aru-will-race-giro-vuelta_452504#respond Fri, 24 Nov 2017 15:16:28 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452504 Fabio Aru will target the Giro d'Italia as his number one objective in 2018 and will bypass the Tour de France.

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FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — Italian champion Fabio Aru is finalizing his schedule for the 2018 season, when he will debut with team UAE Emirates, and highlighted the Giro d’Italia as his number one aim.

Aru raced the 2017 Tour de France this summer after a knee injury forced him to cancel his Giro d’Italia plans. He went on to win the Planche des Belles Filles stage, wear the yellow leader’s jersey for two days, and place fifth overall. The pink overall leader’s jersey, however, remains in his heart.

“Yes, I’m going to make the Giro my aim,” Aru told La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

Aru will be one of several stars lined up for the 2018 race. Others, still unconfirmed, could include Mikel Landa (with Movistar in 2018), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott), and perhaps Chris Froome (Sky).

“I heard that Chris Froome is thinking about racing,” Aru added. “He is a big champion and a tough cookie. I hope he’s at the Giro, the race would be even more prestigious. And I like hard competition.”

The 2018 edition will start in Jerusalem and stay in Israel for three days. The presentation of the remainder of the route will take place Wednesday in Milan. Insiders told VeloNews, however, the race will travel south from Sicily to the north with eight summit finishes, including Monte Zoncolan. The final week will include a 34.5-kilometer time trial. The race is due to finish in Rome outside the Vatican.

Aru placed second and third overall already in the Giro. He missed the occasion of a lifetime last year with the race celebrating 100 editions and starting in Sardinia, his home island. While training in Spain for the race, he fell and injured his knee.

The injury forced him into a rest and rushed Tour preparation. He competed in the Vuelta and ended his year with Il Lombardia. He said then, “It’s been two years since I’ve been to the Giro, and the Corsa Rosa is close to my heart.”

With La Gazzetta dello Sport, he indicated that his 2018 schedule was still being planned with his new UAE Emirates team and manager Giuseppe Saronni, but in the same breath, he named the Giro as his target.

“I’m sure I will be in the Abu Dhabi Tour, I do not know if it will be my season debut or not. Then Tirreno-Adriatico in March, while I have a question mark between Milano-Sanremo and the Volta a Catalonia,” he said. “The Tour of the Alps [Trentino] is important because one stage will be on the world championship circuit in Innsbruck, which I am aiming for. I would like to make a debut at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. With the worlds in mind, the Vuelta it is compulsory.”

UAE has yet to say, but it is expected to lead with Dan Martin in the Tour de France. Martin said after he announced his transfer from Quick-Step to UAE, that he would have no problem sharing the calendar with Aru and that the two could complement each other when racing in the same events.

“Astana helped me realize a dream when they signed me into the professional ranks five years ago,” Aru continued. “I learned much and I’m grateful for the time that we had together, but it was the time to change teams and have new experiences.

“After two podiums in the Giro and the Vuelta win [in 2015], my possibilities have changed. In the new team, the expectations are higher, as well as my motivation.”

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UCI president supports salary cap, but admits hard to implement http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/uci-president-supports-salary-cap-admits-hard-implement_452496 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/uci-president-supports-salary-cap-admits-hard-implement_452496#respond Thu, 23 Nov 2017 21:10:34 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452496 Newly elected UCI president David Lappartient said he supports a salary cap in cycling, but admitted it would be hard to implement.

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Paris (AFP) — Newly elected International Cycling Union (UCI) president David Lappartient told AFP on Thursday that he would support a salary cap to help improve competitiveness amongst WorldTour teams.

“We should be able to pay an athlete as much as we want, but if we pay a lot for one rider, we have a bit less money and that balances our strengths,” said Lappartient, who defeated incumbent Briton Brian Cookson in a vote in Bergen, Norway in September.

“The aim is to have attractive races and not that a team has the best riders in the world and blocks the races,” he added in a clear reference to Team Sky’s domination of the Tour de France in recent years. Chris Froome has won the Tour in four of the last five years, with Bradley Wiggins triumphing before that in 2012.

But Team Sky have come under fire over the strength of Froome’s support cast, including the likes of Richie Porte, Wout Poels, and Mikel Landa over the years — all riders are capable of fighting for a Grand Tour victory. Team Sky’s strength has been one of the major reasons Froome has rarely been challenged for overall Tour glory.

Lappartient admitted it “would not be easy” to implement a salary cap, but he praised the decision to reduce the size of teams from nine to eight riders in Grand Tours and eight to seven in other World Tour races as a positive step to improving competitiveness.

According to the UCI, the average WorldTour team annual budget is around 18 million euros ($21mn) with the biggest spenders forking out around 34 million euros ($40mn).

Lappartient also said there was more work to do to improve the participation of women in cycling, at all levels.

Pointing to riders, he said that women made up “less than 10 percent” of those holding licenses around the world but that their representation in governance was even worse. “There are three women presidents out of 190 national federations and just one woman on the UCI’s board of directors,” Lappartient said. “There’s a lot of work to do in terms of governance in order to have a female representation in our federation worthy of such a name.”

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USA Cycling Pro Road Tour 2018 calendar http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/usa-cycling-pro-road-tour-2018-calendar_452475 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/usa-cycling-pro-road-tour-2018-calendar_452475#respond Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:26:10 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452475 The Pro Road Tour's 21 events include 11 criteriums and crit omniums, along with stage races such as Redlands and Tour of Utah.

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The USA Cycling Pro Road Tour (PRT) calendar will feature a number of familiar races and a few new events for 2018. The slate of 21 events will include 11 criteriums and crit omniums, along with stage races such as Redlands Bicycle Classic and the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.

“This is the third year for the Pro Road Tour. We continue to align the mix of quality criteriums, omniums, road races, stage races, and this year a time trial event, to provide a better balance for travel across the country,” said Chuck Hodge, VP of operations for USA Cycling (USAC).

Fans will cheer the return of a UCI one-day race in Philadelphia after the Cycling Classic was canceled for 2017. Now renamed the Independence Cycling Classic, the June race should be a highlight of the PRT’s East Coast swing.

USAC has also added four events that are new to the PRT for 2018. The Glencoe Grand Prix, the Armed Forces Cycling Classic, the Chrono Kristin Armstrong time trial, and the Detroit Cycling Championships are all first-time additions to the national calendar.

UnitedHealthcare won both the men’s and women’s individual series titles in 2017 with Gavin Mannion and Ruth Winder, respectively.

Additionally, USAC picked 12 events to comprise the Pro Cross-Country and Pro Gravity Tour mountain bike calendars.

“The Pro Gravity and Cross-Country tours feature four new events, with four returning events receiving upgrades from the UCI for higher points,” Hodge added.

Pro Road Tour 2018 calendar

April 7: Sunny King Criterium, Anniston, Alabama
April 12-15: Joe Martin Stage Race, Fayetteville, Arkansas (UCI 2.2)
April 18-22: Tour of the Gila, Silver City, New Mexico (UCI 2.2)
April 29: Dana Point Grand Prix p/b Kingston, Dana Point, California
May 3-6: Redlands Bicycle Classic, Redlands, California
May 19: Rochester Twilight Criterium, Rochester, New York
May 26: Winston-Salem Classic Criterium, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
May 28: Winston-Salem Classic Road Race, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (UCI 1.1)
June 2: Glencoe Grand Prix, Glencoe, Illinois
June 3: Independence Cycling Classic, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (UCI 1.1)
June 8-10: Saint Francis Tulsa Tough, Tulsa, Oklahoma
June 9-10: Armed Forces Cycling Classic p/b The Boeing Company, Arlington, Virginia
June 13-17: North Star Grand Prix, Minneapolis, Minnesota
July 13: Chrono Kristin Armstrong, Boise, Idaho (UCI 1.2)
July 14: ASWB Twilight Criterium, Boise, Idaho
July 14: Detroit Cycling Championships, Detriot, Michigan
August 6-12: Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, Utah (UCI 2.HC; men only)
August 16-19: Colorado Classic, Colorado (UCI 2.HC; men only)
Aug. 31 – Sept. 2: The Gateway Cup, St. Louis, Missouri
September 8: Thompson Buck County Classic, Bucks County, Pennsylvania (UCI 1.2)
September 9: Thompson Criterium of Doylestown, Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Pro XCT 2018 calendar

April 7: US Cup- Fontana XC + UCI Junior Series XCO, Fontana City, California (UCI HC)
April 14: US Cup – Bonelli Park + UCI Junior Series XCO, San Dimas, California (UCI HC)
April 21: Subaru Sea Otter Classic, Monterey, California (UCI C2)
May 5-6: Soldier Hollow ProXCT + UCI Junior Series XCO, Midway, Utah (UCI C1)
June 9: Missoula XC + UCI Junior Series XCO, Missoula, Montana (UCI C2)
July 28: Julbo Eastern Grind, Williston, Vermont (UCI C2)
September 1-3: Purgatory’s Revenge, Durango, Colorado (UCI C2)

Pro GRT 2018 calendar

March 8-11: Windrock Pro GRT, Oak Ridge, Tennessee (UCI C1)
April 14-15: NW Cup #1, Port Angeles, Washington (UCI C2)
May 25-27: Mountain Creek ProGRT, Vernon. New Jersey (UCI C2)
June 23-24: NW Cup – Tamarack, Tamarack, Idaho (UCI C3)
September 1-3: Purgatory’s Revenge, Durango, Colorado (UCI C2)
September 15-16: Kamikaze Bike Games, Mammoth Lakes, California (UCI C2)

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VN Interviews podcast: Compton on Euro ‘cross, women’s equality http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/podcast/vn-interviews-podcast-compton-euro-cross-womens-equality_452471 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/podcast/vn-interviews-podcast-compton-euro-cross-womens-equality_452471#respond Wed, 22 Nov 2017 15:12:35 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452471 Katie Compton talks about her new approach to this CX season, the new races she's been able to start, and up-and-coming U.S. racers.

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Welcome to the VeloNews podcast. If this episode sounds a little different, that’s because it is. We’ve launched a new series that is devoted to interviews with cycling’s most interesting people. From riders to directors to other influential people, this is your place to learn about the sport from the insiders.

Spencer Powlison sits down with Katie Compton in Louisville, Kentucky ahead of the Pan-American Cyclocross championships at the beginning of November 2017. The 13-time national champion talks about her new approach to this cyclocross season, the new races she’s been able to start, and up-and-coming American racers to watch. She also answers questions on gender equality in bike racing.

If you like what you hear, subscribe to the VeloNews podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Also, check out the VeloNews Fast Talk training podcast with Trevor Connor.

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USA Crits 2018 calendar boasts 11 races, $100k purse http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/usa-crits-2018-calendar_452461 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/usa-crits-2018-calendar_452461#respond Wed, 22 Nov 2017 14:59:53 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452461 North America's biggest criterium series USA Crits will include 11 events in 2018 from April through September.

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North America’s biggest criterium series USA Crits will include 11 events in 2018 from April through September. In addition to its nationwide calendar, the 12-year-old series will offer a $100,000 prize purse and introduce a new streaming online video broadcast.

“Creating a platform for fans to engage the sport and to follow the athletes is essential for developing recognizable athletes and sustainable growth, which will support the professional ambitions of elite cyclists,” said Scott Morris, director of development for USA Crits.

The subscription-based livestream service will feature host city and participating rider highlights, onboard live action cameras, lap-by-lap results, and racing footage. On-demand race recaps will be available afterward to subscribers as well.

In addition to the $100,000 overall series purse, each race will have a minimum $10,000 purse. In both cases, the payout will be equal for men and women.

2018 USA Crits schedule

April 28: Athens Orthopedic Clinic (AOC) Twilight Criterium, Athens, Georgia
May 26: Winston-Salem Cycling Classic, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
June 1: Oklahoma City Pro-Am Classic, Midtown, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
June 17: Harlem Skyscraper Cycling Classic, New York, New York
July 6: Natural State Criterium Series: New American Town Criterium, Bentonville, Arkansas
July 14: Andersen Schwartzman Woodard Brailsford (ASWB) Twilight Criterium, Boise, Idaho
July 28: San Rafael Sunset Criterium, San Rafael, California
August 4: Littleton Twilight Criterium, Littleton, Colorado
August 11: Benchmark Twilight Cycling Classic, West Chester, Pennsylvania
September 2: Gateway Cup: Giro Della Montagna, St. Louis, Missouri
September 15: USA CRITS Championship Series Finals: Location TBA, Northeastern USA

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Technical FAQ: Road discs and bottom brackets http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq-road-discs-bottom-brackets_452456 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq-road-discs-bottom-brackets_452456#respond Wed, 22 Nov 2017 14:15:49 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452456 This week, Lennard Zinn addresses questions about road disc brake options and a follow-up regarding creaky bottom brackets.

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Rim brakes with disc-brake wheels?

Dear Lennard,
I have a 2012 Cervelo S5 and a Felt B2 Tri bike. I have scrimped and saved enough to get a new pair of wheels that I want, the new 404 NSWs (I run Clinchers). I do plan on getting a new bike in the next few years and would like these wheels to be part of the new system. When I was looking to buy the wheels, I was asked if I use disc brakes. Can I get a disc-ready wheel to use with my old calipers and convert the wheels to disc when I get a new bike with disc brakes, or do I need to stay with caliper wheels with my old caliper bike? I can’t afford to buy two sets of wheels and I am trying to be smart about the purchase.

— David

Dear David,
The short answer is no. There are lots of reasons for this.

1. The rear hub spacing is different. The “axle overlock dimension” from the face of one axle end cap to that of the other is 130mm on a rim-brake wheel and 135mm on a disc-brake quick release (QR) wheel. You would have to pry apart your dropouts on your rim-brake bikes to fit a disc-brake wheel. And that is with a QR disc wheel, which are going away; see the next item.

2. If you wait a couple of years and buy a disc-brake bike, it will almost certainly have thru-axles front and rear, not QR skewers. So, not only would the hub spacing be different from the current 135mm for a QR disc-brake wheel (142mm X 12mm is the current road thru-axle spec), but the attachment system will be completely different as well. Even if the length difference did not exist, the wheels would not be interchangeable.

3. The rims for disc-brake wheels are not designed to handle rim brakes. For carbon clincher rims to not overheat during rim braking to the point that the resin holding the carbon matrix together softens, the rim needs to have a resin with a super-high melting point. While disc rims may use such a resin with a high Tg (glass-transition temperature), they do not have to since they need not be designed to withstand heat from braking. So, if you apply a rim brake hard at high speed to a disc-brake rim, you just might experience having the rim walls fold out flat like a limp taco shell, exploding your tire. Furthermore, many disc-brake rims have decals and topography from the mold that would interfere with rim brakes.

If you want wheels now and a new bike years down the road, just get the 404 NSW wheels you were planning on and not the disc equivalent, namely the 404 Firecrest Disc.
― Lennard

Hydro brake levers on an aero bar

Dear Lennard,
I have a bike with hydro disc brakes and an aero bar. I would like to have at least one brake in hand when I’m riding in the aero position. Is there a way to control a single hydraulic brake from two different levers, one on the aero bar and one on the base bar?
— Jim

Dear Jim,
I know of none currently available, nor of any in the works. However, if you want to switch out your hydraulic disc brakes for mechanical disc brakes, you will probably be able to get a two-lever system to operate each brake next spring from TRP.

This is what TRP USA’s managing director Lance Larrabee says about it:

“We don’t have a two-lever to one-caliper system, but we do have one-lever to two-caliper hydraulic brakes. We are working on a new mechanical system for two levers to one brake aimed at kids and the city market; that could be adapted to performance bikes. That option should be announced to the public in spring 2018.”

― Lennard

Feedback on Campagnolo press-fit bottom brackets

Dear Lennard,
In response to the reader having problems with a Campagnolo Chorus UT crank and a press-fit BB: I, as well as numerous other riders, have had the same problem. There was a lot of creaking and I could visibly see the crank moving under load. Frankly, it was driving me insane to the point where I didn’t know if I should throw out my Campy Record 11 crank or the top-of-the-line carbon frame.

I tried epoxy — several types of very expensive epoxy, actually. But needless to say, no epoxy was able to withstand the pedaling forces in a joint between the BB shell and UT-crank, which is inherently wrong.

Fortunately, I heard of a small Belgian company called C-Bear. After installing one of their BB shells, the problem was solved. In five years, I have not heard a creak.

What I did was press two (non-threaded) sleeves into the OSBB of my Specialized S-Works frame. These are then held in place by two normal, threaded Ultra-Torque (aluminum) cups.

You can see the product here.

As you can see from some of the pictures on the C-Bear homepage, the Lotto-Soudal team used C-Bear bottom bracket inserts in its Ridley press-fit bottom brackets with Campagnolo cranks. I also believe Astana did the same when they were combining S-Works frames with Campagnolo cranks.

In my opinion, the combination of (most) press-fit BBs and Campagnolo cranks/BB is inherently unstable, since the UT bearing is by definition sitting outside the frame. This is different than, for instance, a SRAM press-fit BB, where the bearings are sitting inside the frame. In fact, I have two bikes running like this without problems.
— Henrik

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Contador launches Continental team, eyes WorldTour http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/contador-launches-continental-team-eyes-worldtour_452439 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/contador-launches-continental-team-eyes-worldtour_452439#respond Wed, 22 Nov 2017 13:41:45 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452439 Alberto Contador confirmed he will aspire to position the team in the UCI WorldTour sometime in the future.

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TUCSON, Arizona (VN) — Alberto Contador may have stepped off the bike and retired in September after finishing the Vuelta a Espana, but his formidable presence in cycling will continue as he adds “Continental team owner” to his resume.

Polartec-Kometa is the newest addition to the Alberto Contador Foundation banner of teams and will serve as the development team for WorldTour squad Trek-Segafredo. Junior and under-23 teams round out the quorum.

The U23 team gathered in Tucson for a training camp earlier this month, with four riders from the Continental team joining them. Contador was coy in his opening remarks about the program’s ambitions.

“In this moment, we work to have good professional riders in the future in different teams,” Contador said about the program’s riders progressing to the next level. “Of course, we also look to the front. We want to continue to go step-by-step … I will not say one or the other whether at the WorldTour level with a WorldTour team.”

When VeloNews followed up with Contador on one of the team’s training rides about whether there will be an Alberto Contador Foundation team in the WorldTour in the future, he confirmed that is his plan.

General management of the foundation is all in the family, with Contador’s older brother Fran managing the administrative details associated with the teams. Retired pro Ivan Basso, who has become close with Contador in recent years despite the two having ridden together for just a year, manages the Continental team. Other retired pros Jesús Hernández, who rode alongside Contador on Trek-Segafredo in 2017, and Dario Andriotto will serve as the squad’s sport directors.

The Continental team will be comprised of 11 riders, only four of whom are from Spain. The diversity is surprising, considering the majority of the riders on the junior and U23 teams are Spanish.

The four Continental riders present in Tucson were U23 Spanish national road race champion Isaac Cantón, Juan Camacho, Miguel Ángel Ballesteros, and Diego Pablo Sevilla. Both Ballesteros and Sevilla joined the Alberto Contador Foundation as juniors and have progressed through the ranks.

Ivan Basso with continental team riders (left to right) Juan Camacho, Isaac Cantón, Miguel Ángel Ballesteros, and Diego Pablo Sevilla. Photo: Polartec

Polartec, an international fabric company headquartered in the United States and known throughout the cycling world for boasting clients such as Rapha and Castelli, has worked with the foundation’s teams for the last three years, since the previous kit sponsor uses Polartec fabrics. The company has agreed to a new three-year sponsorship deal, as has co-title sponsor Kometa, an Italian company.

Polartec’s sponsorship also calls for it to provide the team’s apparel, which will serve as the company’s first foray into cycling apparel design. As a result, Polartec has decided it will not sell the team garments to the general public — at least for the first year.

Gary Smith, who took over as Polartec CEO in 2012, decided to partner with the foundation because of the people involved.

“Just speaking candidly, we weren’t looking to sponsor a cycling team,” Smith said. “There’s lots of places as a company you can spend money to have your logo displayed. I’m not a big believer in that. It’s superficial and not distinctive.

“Working with this team, we’ve talked about the people and the relationship aspect, which is super important. And there’s lots of places you can choose to work. There’s great people and a compelling mission behind what they are trying to do.”

The camp in Arizona was Smith’s doing.

“To get on a plane, cross multiple time zones, have to ride, that’s a life lesson, whether you become a professional cyclist or not,” Smith said. “As a businessperson, I have to deal with that constantly. Flying time zones, adjusting to different cultures, different foods, strange beds, all that sort of thing. I think it’s a really good thing as young men for them to experience that.”

Polartec-Kometa roster

Michele Gazzoli (Italy)
Matteo Moschetti (Italy)
Patrick Gamper (Austria)
Michel Ries (Luxembourg)
Awet Habtom (Eritrea)
Willen Inkelaar (Holland)
Wilson Estiben Peña (Colombia)
Diego Pablo Sevilla (Spain)
Juan Camacho (Spain)
Isaac Cantón (Spain)
Miguel Ángel Ballesteros (Spain)

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Pocket Outdoor Media names Rob Wood chief revenue officer http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/pocket-outdoor-media-names-rob-wood-chief-revenue-officer_452430 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/pocket-outdoor-media-names-rob-wood-chief-revenue-officer_452430#respond Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:59:48 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452430 BOULDER, Colorado — Pocket Outdoor Media, LLC (Pocket) — the leading endurance sports media company — announces the appointment of

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BOULDER, Colorado — Pocket Outdoor Media, LLC (Pocket) — the leading endurance sports media company — announces the appointment of Rob Wood as chief revenue officer. Wood will be responsible for sales across the VeloNews, Triathlete, Women’s Running, and Competitor.com brands. Rob was previously involved with several of these businesses, having sold advertising for VeloNews and Inside Triathlon as an account executive from 2000 to 2004.

An 18-year media veteran, 14-time Ironman finisher and current USA Cycling licensed competitor, Wood most recently was the executive director and publisher of widely-acclaimed National Park Trips Media, owner of such assets as Grand Canyon Journal, Yellowstone Journal, Yosemite Journal, and Rocky Mountain Journal. He managed some eight multimedia brands, with a total audience reaching more than six million consumers via 80 audience channels, including magazines, websites, social media, lead gen programs, educational programs, books, and events. Felix Magowan, Pocket CEO said, “Media has arguably changed more in the last three years than in the previous 30, as the sheer number of options available to marketers has exploded. Even sophisticated brand gurus can be overwhelmed at times. I can think of no one better than Rob to listen to client needs, cut through the clutter, and deliver the most effective programs to drive brand equity and sales growth.”

Wood started his career selling Fortune 100 accounts at MCI, AT&T, and WorldCom, before moving to VeloNews and Inside Triathlon. Later, he was a top seller for National Geographic, with their Traveler and Adventure brands in New York and Washington, D.C. He has worked with a diverse endemic and non-endemic client base, such as Gore-Tex, Polar, Xterra, Cervelo, PowerBar, Saucony, Canon, Nikon, Samsung, Liberty Mutual, John Hancock, Volvo, The North Face, REI, and Subaru.

“As a cyclist, triathlete and runner I’m excited to be reunited with Pocket’s brands, which I am truly passionate about. Now that these assets are once again owned by the same people who made them leading brands in the first place, it will make it that much easier for marketers to confidently buy Pocket’s high-value social, digital and print audiences,” explained Wood. “I’m beyond excited to connect with all my industry friends, new and old, at The Running Event, Sea Otter, and Triathlon Business Conference!” he added.

About Pocket Outdoor Media: Pocket was formed in October 2017 to acquire the World Triathlon Corporation’s Media Division. Pocket’s brands are the United States’ leading collection of endurance sports media properties, including the print titles and websites for VeloNews — the leading cycling news brand and world’s oldest continually operating sports website; Triathlete — by far the largest triathlon media brand in the world with editions in multiple languages; Women’s Running — the country’s second largest running magazine; Competitor.com — the leading running website; and VeloPress — the world’s leading publisher of cycling, running, triathlon and swimming books. For more information, please call Steve Maxwell at (303) 442-4800, Felix Magowan at (303) 245-2167, or Rob Wood at (303) 245-2102.

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Three great endurance road bikes tested in 2017 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/bikes-and-tech/three-great-endurance-road-bikes-tested-2017_452432 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/bikes-and-tech/three-great-endurance-road-bikes-tested-2017_452432#respond Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:46:49 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452432 The endurance road category combines relaxed geometry with compliance features. Here are three of our favorite test bikes from 2017.

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When it comes to categorizing bicycles, “endurance” road bikes are slippery. Should they be termed “cobble” bikes? Not really — the average rider rarely tackles pavé like the pros do in spring classics. But isn’t every bike an “endurance” bike if you simply ride it for a long time on the weekends? Probably. We don’t necessarily have a clear way to define endurance road bikes, but these three bikes have a lot in common. Their geometries are a bit more relaxed. They have employed novel technology to make the ride more compliant when the road gets bumpy. And, these three bikes remain lightweight, stiff under power, and capable of fast group rides, fondos, or even races.

Trek Domane SLR 7 Disc
$6,500

Photo: Trek

Trek accomplished exactly what we’ve been asking for in the endurance category: a comfortable race bike that actually feels like a race bike, not a cruiser’s cousin. With the recent addition of Trek’s Pro Endurance geometry for some high-end models, the Domane disc sheds the dubious distinction of endurance bikes as laid back slow-wagons. This thing is all race.

Read more >>

Giant Defy Advanced Pro 0
$4,700

With the Defy Advanced Pro 0, Giant targets riders who enjoy all-day rides on challenging terrain over mixed surfaces.

The bike largely delivers on this goal. The geometry is intended for a more upright riding position and stable platform.

Read more >>

Specialized Roubaix Pro
$6,500

The new Roubaix raises something of an existential question: Just how soft do we want our road bikes?

The spring-loaded steerer tube Specialized calls “Future Shock” isn’t suspension by the traditional definition, but it is unquestionably successful, offering 20mm of true vertical compliance. It is more effective than any other road system — yes, including the Trek Domane’s IsoSpeed Decoupler — at isolating the handlebars, and thus your entire upper body, from harsh road surfaces.

Read more >>

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Book excerpt: A guide to Barry-Roubaix http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/book-excerpt-guide-barry-roubaix_452414 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/book-excerpt-guide-barry-roubaix_452414#respond Tue, 21 Nov 2017 14:08:17 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452414 In this book excerpt from "Gravel Cycling," Nick Legan explores Michigan's Barry-Roubaix, the largest gravel race in the United States.

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Hastings, Michigan | April

The 3,200 racers and 2,000 spectators who attended Barry-Roubaix in 2016 made it the largest gravel race in the United States. Always the third Saturday in April, this Michigan event offers three distances, all relatively short, making them great for first-time gravel racers. With good course marking and corner marshals, navigation is made easy, allowing racers to focus on their efforts. It is certainly a race, with strong road and cyclocross competitors toeing the line. But like most gravel events, the atmosphere is welcoming. Race organizer Rick Plite happily shares that he “promotes an event, not just a race. All of my events have a grassroots feel to them, with handmade awards and beer afterwards. People like to chat and party a bit after a big ride.”

Note that in his advice on page 39, Rick is aiming his comments at new riders. On the other hand, the 2015 women’s elite champion, Mackenzie Woodring, gives tips on trying to win the event. Pick out the information that suits you best.

Defining features

• Hastings is a small town of just over 7,000 residents. The race is named for Barry County, an area southeast of Grand Rapids and west of Lansing, of which Hastings is the county seat.
• 62-, 36-, and 22-mile race distances offered
• Excellent course marking, corner marshals, GPX file, and cue sheet available
• Largest gravel race in the United States

Essential gear

• Warm clothes; April weather in Michigan can be unpredictable
• Fast-rolling tires

Advice from the pros

Rick Plite
Barry-Roubaix promoter

“We tell people who are truly beginners to make sure to sign up for the proper distance. Don’t ride to win, ride to finish. Enjoy it. Stop and take a photo. Don’t go out and buy any special equipment. Ride what you have. At Barry-Roubaix, a road bike or 26-inch mountain bike will work.”

Mackenzie Woodring
2015 Barry-Roubaix women’s elite champion

Bike: “I recommend a cyclocross bike for Barry-Roubaix with 1×11 gearing. Barry-Roubaix has 5,000 feet of climbing, so you’re constantly changing gears, and I see dropped chains as a result of shifting between the big and small rings. My gearing of choice is a 36-tooth ring with an 11–28 cassette, which is perfect for a 20 mile per hour average.”

Tires: “I’m a fan of Clement file tread tubular tires, as they have an aggressive knob on the outside for cornering. I’ve had no issues with flats with this tire, but I do carry a Vittoria Pit Stop just in case.”

Preparation: “The best preparation is to actually ride the course. It’s hard to mimic the Barry-Roubaix terrain in training, as the course is truly unique.”

“The race selection happens within the first five minutes of the race. The race begins on pavement, where you jockey for position as you approach the first gravel section. As soon as the peloton hits the gravel, it rolls over ‘The Three Sisters,’ an affectionately known group of three climbs where the selection is made. You need a good warm-up and need to be ready to go anaerobic to stay with the lead group. Sager Road, approximately 30 minutes into the race, is another opportunity for selection to occur, as it is the only two-track section offered on the course. Staying in a group is key for a successful Barry-Roubaix!”

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Kerry Werner ready for his turn to dominate domestic ‘cross http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/cyclocross/kerry-werner-ready-for-his-turn-to-dominate-domestic-cross_452401 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/cyclocross/kerry-werner-ready-for-his-turn-to-dominate-domestic-cross_452401#respond Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:52:52 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452401 Kerry Werner is a perennial factor in domestic 'cross races, but the 26-year-old is ready to take the mantle as an outright favorite.

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With four UCI wins to date and a second-place overall result in the US Cup-CX series, Kerry Werner (Kona) should be happy with his best season yet in 2017. The soft-spoken 26-year-old isn’t looking for incremental improvements, though. He wants to dominate.

Werner had a front-row seat when Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz-Donkey Label) won seven of eight consecutive races in October. He was also there when Stephen Hyde (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) won six UCI races in a row, including the Pan-Am championships in 2016.

Now, Werner wants his turn.

“I really want that,” Werner says of Ortenblad’s and Hyde’s streaks. “I don’t want to be like the Kevin Pauwels of America where I get on the podium, get second every now and then, but not really ever win.” The Belgian Pauwels has scored five bronze medals in seven years at the elite world cyclocross championships between 2011 and 2017.

Although his first UCI win came five years ago in North Carolina (the year Hyde made the jump to pro racing, in case you’re keeping track), Werner never went supersonic. Instead, he collected top-10 and podium finishes at an array of UCI races, mostly on the East Coast.

Werner wasn’t winning at will, but he had caught the cyclocross bug. After spending his teenage years as a mountain bike racer, he loved how tight ‘cross racing was and how tantalizingly close he could get to the sport’s heads of state.

“When I was coming up as a development rider when you have a good start and you find yourself latched onto this pack with J-Pow [Jeremy Powers], Stephen [Hyde], Ryan [Trebon],” Werner recalls. “Man, I’m like knocking on the door right now. You might get your doors blown off in two laps, but still, you touched that.”

Werner wasn’t always getting his doors blown off, either. He won three collegiate national cyclocross championships in a row, starting in 2012, while attending Lees-McRae College. With those results and his exploits beyond collegiate racing, he got a spot on the Optum-Kelly Benefits team in 2014 and then rode for Raleigh-Clement in 2015.

He split with Raleigh-Clement after 2015. This presented the opportunity for Werner to build his own one-man team. Best of all, finding a sponsor proved easier than he’d expected.

The deal with Kona came together quickly in late June 2016. “I was like, ‘This is too good to be true. The industry doesn’t work this way,’” Werner says. “It’s like a family.”

“He’s a little quirky, he’s kind of funny,” says Kona founder Jake Heilbron. “That really fits I think with the way we operate our business.

“I think he fits into that oddball group of characters within the company. He’s very comfortable with it.”

Knowing Kona would value a big result at 2017 USA Cycling Cyclocross Nationals, Werner skipped the usual Christmas block of European races during the 2016 holiday season. Instead, he stayed home in Winston-Salem, training specifically for nationals over three weeks. He motorpaced and prepared specifically for the course’s features, such as the long run-up.

He ended up third at nationals in Hartford, Connecticut. It wasn’t exactly the domination that Werner is dreaming of, but it was his best result ever in the elite championship on a particularly difficult course covered in ice, snow, and mud.

Now at the halfway point of his second season with Kona, Werner is still looking for ways to contend with riders like Hyde, who won that day in January last winter.

“That’s kind of what I’m struggling with right now,” Werner says. “I need to find the recipe to dominate.”

One of the ingredients missing from Werner’s recipe is the tactical nous that wins early season races. He says he had the legs in many of the September races where pack racing was more common. He notes that Ortenblad was able to take advantage of those situations, in part due to his road racing experience.

“For me to move into that top step, I just have to pay super-close attention to where [Hyde] is hurting and just wait for the perfect moment,” Werner says.

He also expects to benefit when the winter weather begins, making courses muddy, heavy, and more technically challenging.

Heilbron recognizes the 26-year-old’s potential and believes Werner will keep getting faster. He and Kona take pride in supporting up-and-comers like Werner.

“I feel like Kerry can get to a higher level,” Heilbron says. “Maybe he’s capable of making the jump to a top-10 Euro cyclocrosser. That’d be really cool if he could get himself there.”

Werner would probably agree, even if it meant he was finishing alongside Pauwels.

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Cycling gold medalist: Wiggins’ use of TUEs unethical http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/cycling-gold-medalist-wiggins-use-of-tues-unethical_452421 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/cycling-gold-medalist-wiggins-use-of-tues-unethical_452421#respond Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:35:10 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452421 Paralympic cycling gold medalist Jody Cundy said the practice "muddies the water" around Bradley Wiggins.

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LONDON (AFP) — The admission by former Great Britain and Team Sky coach Shane Sutton of the exploitation of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) have “muddies the water” around Bradley Wiggins, one top cyclist said.

Sutton was asked in a BBC documentary broadcast on Sunday to justify the TUEs Wiggins received in order to take a corticosteroid before his three biggest races in 2011, 2012, and 2013, including his 2012 Tour de France win.

A TUE is a dispensation, approved by doctors and the world governing body, to take an otherwise banned drug for medical reasons.

Sutton, the newly appointed head of China’s track cycling program, said if you have a rider with a “little five percent injury or niggle that’s troubling them, if you can get that TUE to get them to 100 percent, then of course you would in those days.”

Sutton, who used to be British Cycling’s technical director, explained it was about finding “an edge” and said it fitted in with the “marginal gains” philosophy that Dave Brailsford adopted with Great Britain and then at Team Sky, the dominant road racing team.

Wiggins and Sky have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying the drug was prescribed to treat a longstanding pollen allergy. In the documentary, Sutton said they would never “cross the line.”

But Olympic team pursuit champion Katie Archibald said Sutton’s comments were outrageous and “completely against the ethics of the sport.”

Paralympic cycling gold medalist Jody Cundy said it was “disappointing to hear the TUE system was abused in the way it has been.”

When asked if this changed his view of Wiggins, Cundy said: “Yes, it muddies the water.”

British Cycling chief executive Julie Harrington said she had “absolute clarity” that TUEs are “not a performance tool.”

“I was really disappointed,” she added. “When people are using language around TUEs, they need to be very mindful of the effect that could have on the public’s perception and the athletes’ reputation.”

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Q&A: Jeremy Powers coping with heart issues that sidetracked CX season http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/qa-jeremy-powers-coping-heart-issues-sidetracked-cx-season_452391 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/qa-jeremy-powers-coping-heart-issues-sidetracked-cx-season_452391#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 20:13:43 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452391 Former U.S. 'cross champ Jeremy Powers opens up about the ongoing heart issues that have dogged him all season in 2017.

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In early November, Jeremy Powers, 34, let the world know, via Facebook, that he had been experiencing some issues with his heart. Since that time he has posted further updates about his condition. As the author of “The Haywire Heart,” a critically important guide to heart care for athletes and the first book to delve into the relationship between long-term endurance athletics and heart health, I was particularly intrigued to learn more about his condition and prognosis. Here are excerpts from that interview.

VeloNewsJeremy, take us back to when this all started.

Jeremy Powers: I remember the first time I had a palpitation very well because it freaked me out. It was at the USGP in 2007 [the first USGP event Powers ever won -Ed.], and I was coming around this corner when I felt a jolt in my chest that made me go, ‘Oooooh, okay, okay.’ That was the first time I noticed something with my heart. And I had palpitations for a long time after that, that I had looked at many, many times, including with Holter monitors and things to make sure there wasn’t anything significant or dangerous going on. Most of this, after about 2010 or 2011, was at Mass General Hospital with Dr. Aaron Baggish. They’ve worked with a lot of cyclists and are the place to go in this area of the country.

This spring I was getting these run-ons: I was doing base training, and doing a lot of climbing at about 150bpm, and then suddenly it was at 200bpm. The first time it happened, I thought I had a panic attack. I had never had a panic attack before, but I came home and I looked up what that was. I remember it well: I was laying in the yard beside this guy’s house and he had the Confederate flag blowing there. And I remember thinking to myself, ‘Okay, this is how it ends!’ [laughs] I was out in the middle of nowhere, this flag is blowing in the wind, and I’m just laying there freaking out. I couldn’t get my heart rate to go down. It probably lasted five or six minutes like that.

I was pretty spun from that. I stopped doing big loops away from the house and instead did micro loops to see if I could get it to happen again around the house. It would kind of happen and I’d back off, and then again and I’d back off. I didn’t really think much of it. I just assumed it was about stress because I was about to become a father. ‘Maybe I’m going through this and it’s all just anxiety.’ I went to the doctors, they offered some solutions, but I didn’t want to take them up on them — they offered me ‘chill pills’ essentially. They thought for sure it was anxiety related. I started meditating instead. We didn’t even talk about the heart stuff.

[Coincidentally, as reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, female heart patients in their 50s and younger are seven times more likely to be misdiagnosed than our male counterparts. -Ed.]

It’s not a revelation to say that I’m a pretty high-strung, type A personality. But I think I’m also well-balanced and have gotten a lot better at that. I’m a big proponent of people that do have anxiety, consider therapy. I immediately went to therapy. ‘I’m dealing with this, this sucks, and I don’t like what’s happening here so I’m getting help.’

VN: This season has been up and down, and you’ve been dealing with more issues.

JP: After doing a number of things to fix some gut issues I was having, I felt a lot better. I didn’t have any palpitations basically after that until this September at Rochester. I went really deep. During that race, I had another run-on, and I just faded to the back of the group. I just thought it was a fluke thing because it had never happened to me in a race. I just assumed it was stress; I had not thought it was a heart-related thing in any way until this race when it lasted about a minute. But I had been reading up on some of this stuff and I remembered reading about this maneuver where you bear down like you’re going to go to the bathroom. [The Valsalva maneuver is performed by moderately forceful attempted exhalation against a closed airway, usually done by closing one’s mouth, pinching one’s nose shut while pressing out as if blowing up a balloon. – Ed.] I did this in the race as hard as I could, and it went away. I ended up sprinting for third, but even after the race, I couldn’t get my heart rate down. I obviously went really deep, but I said, ‘ God, I almost died in that race!’ My heart rate was over 220bpm. It was insane.

It happened again but in a slightly different way at the Friday night race in Iowa before the World Cup. It happened again in Baltimore on the first day [where he finished second in a sprint -Ed.], and by this point, I was wearing my heart rate monitor all the time so I was able to capture it. I did the [Vaslsalva] maneuver again during the race, it went away, and I just kept on, I didn’t stop. I sent the data to my doctor. He said it looks like low-risk supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and would be surprised if it was anything else. That’s based off my history, the data from the Holter monitors, and so on. What’s interesting is that my heart rate will be at 178bpm, then it goes to 213 and stays there for the duration of SVT, and then it drops back directly to 178bpm.

It happened again at the Pan Am Championships in Louisville. I think the one constant about all of these incidents at Rochester, Baltimore, and Pan Ams, is that the races took place in 70-degree weather, or much warmer. Another thing that could be triggering these episodes is that when I hit the ground with my foot when mounting or something, that can start them. From other cyclists I’ve spoken with, that is something that triggers things for them too. Maybe they hit a walnut in a corner and had to put their foot down, and that is enough to provoke the SVT.

In Louisville, I actually smacked my face really hard to try and make it go away. My doctor says that was the wrong thing to do because it produces more adrenaline and can make it worse. If I had stopped and done a handstand, that would have been an appropriate thing to have done.

At this point, since this had never really happened to me at this level at this intensity in a race, I could only, unfortunately, go toward ‘what ifs.’ That’s the worst place to go. I stopped in the pit with my mechanic.

VN: You recently went through another battery of tests. What did you find?

JP: I’ve had an echocardiogram and a stress test done every year there, and all of those things show no change this time compared to what has been seen before. My echo from five years ago is identical. During my stress test, I went so deep, just to try and mimic a cyclocross race, for an hour. I’ve never done that much of an effort in my life on a trainer. I almost vomited. And nothing happened. During the test, I even got off my bike and jumped up and down and started stomping on the ground. I just couldn’t get it to do it. Which was actually nice for me, to have that confidence that it may or may not happen to me.

Basically, it came down to the fact that I can either ablate or not ablate.

[Catheter ablation is a minimally-invasive procedure used to remove or terminate a faulty electrical pathway from sections of the hearts of those who are prone to developing cardiac arrhythmias. -Ed.]

VN: To ablate or not to ablate, that is the question. What is your current thinking?

JP: We’re just going to roll with this for the time being. As I’ve gotten a little more educated, I’ve concluded the perceived danger is not as great as what I thought before I became educated. [Read about the warning signs and symptoms of heart arrhythmias here.] When this happens to you for the first time, it would be unnatural for you to not have a nervous response to that. Now I know the maneuvers and other things about it, and I know even when it happens, I’m not going to die from it. I think most people at first say, ‘Holy crap I’m having a heart attack.’ At least I did! [laughs]

I may deal with this down the road especially if it gets worse. If I was told this would stop the palpitations too, I’d definitely do it. The palpitations are annoying; they’re really obnoxious, and they can get really bad. But that’s not the case. I’ve spoken to a lot of riders and none of them thinks that it’s a big deal. Everyone that I’ve talked to has had a successful ablation.

What has really been beautiful is how many people have reached out to talk to me and tell me about what they went through. It’s been really cool, and humbling in a sense.

I’m in a place in my career where I understand my place and the impacts I can have, and I didn’t ever really think much about the heart thing other than explaining why some races have gone well and some races haven’t. I just wanted to let my fans know that I’ve been going through this, and it’s not allowing me to ride at 100 percent all the time. Because I constantly have people asking me how I’m doing, I wanted to bring attention to the fact that there’s something else going on and I’m working to figure it out. I was really green when I wrote that initial post on Facebook. Then, 100 emails later, I realized this type of thing is a lot more common than I ever thought it was.

I’m almost certainly not going to have an ablation before the national championships. I don’t yet think it’s necessary. That said, mentally I’m getting back to pushing myself. In cyclocross you have to go really deep, you have to go insane. I’ve just been feeling like I’m holding back a little. It put a little block on my mental fortitude. I want to ease my way back into this mentally and physically.

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Supercross, day 2: Ferrier Bruneau repeats; Curtis White wins http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/race-report/supercross-day-2-ferrier-bruneau-repeats-curtis-white-wins_452361 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/race-report/supercross-day-2-ferrier-bruneau-repeats-curtis-white-wins_452361#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 17:17:10 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452361 Christel Ferrier Bruneau won again Sunday at Supercross Cup, while Curtis White prevailed in the men's race in Suffern, New York.

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After prevailing in the rain Saturday, Christel Ferrier Bruneau won again Sunday at Supercross Cup, while Curtis White prevailed in the men’s race in Suffern, New York.

“I’m very happy with this weekend, to win the two races,” said Ferrier Bruneau (SAS-Macogep). “It was really a slippery course, very hard physically. It was really hard to climb, not easy. There were nice hills and I had fun. It was good training for next weekend, the World Cup in Germany.”

Cassandra Maximenko (VanDessel-Atom Composite Wheels) finished second again behind Ferrier Bruneau as windy conditions began to dry out the course. U23 Canadian National Champion Ruby West (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) finished third.

“My goal today was kind of the same as yesterday, get a good start,” said Maximenko. “I got a good start, and after about five pedal strokes my left foot pulled out of the pedal. So I saved it and slotted third or fourth wheel. I was just yo-yoing for a little bit because my bike wasn’t shifting. So I went through that (first) lap deciding, is it not shifting enough to pit or is it rideable? I was trying to maintain the gap with it mis-shifting. It was hard. The wind made it really challenging.”

Curtis White
Curtis White won Sunday’s race at Supercross Cup in New York. Photo: Marco Quezada

In the men’s race, White (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) dueled with Saturday’s winner Kerry Werner (Kona). Unlike Ferrier Bruneau, however, Werner had to settle for second place as White relentlessly attacked the rutted course.

“It was a very tactical race for maybe the first four laps or so,” said White. “It was a very windy day, so that definitely influenced the tactics. None of us really wanted to take over the work.

“Maybe with four laps to go I started hitting it in the front a little. We were all taking turns in the front, but it seemed like I couldn’t get rid of Kerry [Werner] with one move. It had to be a series of moves, and maybe a lap or two of really putting on the pressure. I think that is what happened. I don’t know where I got the gap exactly on him, but it was just two bike lengths, four, six, eight, and built up from there. And then I had to just keep applying the pressure after that.”

With about four laps to go, White’s efforts began to pay dividends. “I just hung on as long as I could, which is good because then we dropped Cooper [Willsey],” said Werner. “But it was just about survival out there. The winds were relentless. I’m happy with second.”

Willsey (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) ended up third. “Curtis was on another level today, and he just gave it to us,” said the 20-year-old. “I was just trying to keep the pedals turning. We had four to go, I felt like it should have been the last lap. My legs hurt, my back blew up, so I was just trying to keep the pedals going.”

Women’s results

  • 1. Christel Ferrier Bruneau, SAS MACOGEP, in 46:27
  • 2. Cassandra Maximenko, VANDESSEL/ATOM COMPOSITE WHEELS, at :22
  • 3. Ruby West*, CANNONDALE CYCLOCROSSWORLD.COM, at :51
  • 4. Kathryn Cumming, JALAPENO CYCLING, at :59
  • 5. Julie Wright, TEAM AVERICA, at :35
  • 6. Regina Legge, TREK CYCLOCROSS COLLECTIVE, at :50
  • 7. Rebecca Gross, ZERO D RACING, at :59
  • 8. Natasha Elliott, GARNEAU-EASTON P/B TRANSITIONS, at :.t.
  • 9. Stacey Barbossa, MIDATLANTIC COLAVITA WOMEN’S TE, at :23
  • 10. Christa Ghent, AMY D FOUNDATION, at :39
  • 11. Laura Van Gilder, MELLOW MUSHROOM/VAN DESSEL, at :57
  • 12. Natalie Tapias, JAM / NCC, at :10
  • 13. Katie Carlson, LADIES FIRST P/B MILTON CATERPI, at :13
  • 14. Brittlee Bowman, HOUSE IND/NOKIA HEATH/SIMPLEHUM, at :00
  • 15. Erin Faccone, TEAM AVERICA, at :19
  • 16. Vicki Barclay, STAN’S KENDA WOMEN, at :31
  • 17. Leslie Lupien, TEAM AVERICA, at :49
  • 18. Taylor Kuyk-White, PHILADELPHIA BIKE EXPO, at :55
  • 19. Gabriella Sterne, VANDERKITTEN ENTOURAGE RACING, at :03
  • 20. Meghan Owens*, UVM CYCLING, at :20
  • 21. Heather Richard, LADIES FIRST P/B MILTON CATERPI, at :24
  • 22. Taryn Mudge, FEARLESS FEMME RACING
  • 23. Shane Ferro, TWO SECONDS AHEAD RACING
  • 24. Elizabeth Huuki*, ARMY CYCLING
  • 25. Jenny Wojewoda, PEDALPOWERTRAINING.COM
  • 26. Marianna Williams, FUJI CROSS CREW
  • 27. Paige Williams*, FUJI CROSS CREW
  • DNS Alex Carlson, CYCLE-SMART

Men’s results

  • 1. Curtis White, CANNONDALE P/B CYCLOCROSSWORLD, in 1:00:31
  • 2. Kerry Werner Jr., KONA FACTORY CX TEAM, at :33
  • 3. Cooper Willsey*, FURMAN UNIVERSITY, at :23
  • 4. Max Judelson, VOLER/CLIF/HRS/ROCK LOBSTER, at :35
  • 5. Justin Lindine, APEX / NBX / HYPERTHREADS, at :31
  • 6. Dan Chabanov, HOUSE IND/NOKIA HEALTH/SIMPLEHU, at :00
  • 7. Kevin Bouchard-Hall, WRENEGADE SPORTS/TEAM PLACID PL, at :34
  • 8. Michael Owens*, HANDS-ON CYCLING P/B GUERCIOTTI, at :59
  • 9. Derrick St John, VAN DESSEL P/B HYPERTHREADES, at :19
  • 10. Ian Gielar, NCC / JAM FUND, at :27
  • 11. Michael Landry, YALE UNIVERSITY, at :38
  • 12. Nick Lando*, UVM CYCLING, at :05
  • 13. Zachary Curtis, BRIDGEWATER STATE UNIVERSITY, at :27
  • 14. Matthew Bruno, TEAM SOMERSET, at :10
  • 15. Andrew Nicholas, RPI
  • 16. Patrick Collins, MINUTEMAN ROAD CLUB
  • 17. Kale Wenczel*, JAM / NCC
  • 18. Matt Owens*, UVM CYCLING
  • 19. Chris Niesen, JAM / NCC
  • 20. Adam Myerson, CYCLE-SMART
  • 21. Andrew Borden*, X-MEN
  • 22. Travis Wold*, WPI
  • 23. Sam Hedlund*, UVM CYCLING
  • 24. Kyle Murphy, LUDWIG & LARSEN RACING
  • 25. Trent Blackburn, JAM / NCC
  • 26. Evan Murphy, LUDWIG & LARSEN RACING
  • 27. Aaron Oakes, WENZEL COACHING
  • 28. Bryan Banducci, KING KOG / SUN AND AIR
  • DNF Jonathan Anderson*, FORT LEWIS COLLEGE
  • DNF Clyde Logue, COLONIAL BICYCLE COMPANY
  • DNF Gerald Adasavage, LUDWIG & LARSEN RACING
  • DNS Travis Livermon, MAXXIS/SHIMANO
  • DNS Eric Ragot, BICYCLE HABITAT-VERGE SPORT
  • DNS Keith Garrison, KING KOG / SUN AND AIR
  • DNS Patrick Torpey, CRCA/TO BE DETERMINED

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L’Eroica excitement fuels Filofficina vintage shop http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/feature/leroica-excitement-fuels-filofficina-vintage-shop_452317 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/feature/leroica-excitement-fuels-filofficina-vintage-shop_452317#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 16:15:22 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452317 Inspired by L'Eroica, a bike shop in Florence, Italy sells fixed-up old bikes from the days of old Campagnolo groupsets and skinny steel

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FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — Tucked down a side street in Florence’s artisan quarter, the place where the Torrigiani family calls home, Lorenzo Abruzzo builds dreams. The bicycles he prepares and sells to customers around the world recall a time of Fausto Coppi breaking the hour record at Vigorelli or Eddy Merckx bashing the Flemish cobbles.

Space-age bikes with electronic shifting and $10,000 price tags have their place, but these Colnagos, Cinellis, and Rossins have soul. They were once forgotten to make way for lightweight carbon frames and brake-lever shifters. Now, these steel rigs are highly sought after, and that’s why Abruzzo’s Filofficina bike shop is thriving.

Filofficina
Welcome to Filofficina. Photo: Gregor Brown | VeloNews.com

“These vintage bikes are more valued by foreigners. In Italy, more often than not, we look at them as normal. We take them for granted,” the towering Abruzzo explains.

Abruzzo speaks in his shop on Via del Campuccio among many other artisan boutiques that dot the south side of Florence, what locals call “Oltrarno.” A woman wheels her city bike out into the early morning sun. He says she should replace her worn tires soon.

“Many customers come from the United States, China, Japan, Korea, and in Italy. They find me via word of mouth, via Facebook or eBay,” he says, reaching for a shipping slip for a Bianchi Specialissima order to be delivered to Boulder, Colorado.

Colnago Mexico
A classic Colnago Mexico outfitted with Campagnolo Super Record. Photo: Gregor Brown | VeloNews.com

He turns his attention back to a 1979 Colnago Mexico frame mounted with its original Campagnolo Super Record groupset. The yellow club logo stands out on the blue paint, more so with the yellow bar tape.

The tubulars are not yet glued to the rims. Lorenzo says he lets the buyer do that so the rubber cement odor does not radiate from the shipping box and cause problems with customs officials.

A row of similar gems from the 1960s to the 1980s lines the wall next to the door. And above, Moser, Pinarello, and Tommasini bikes hang. All of them are waiting to be finished or sold.

Vintage bikes
Vintage Eroica bicycles everywhere. Photo: Gregor Brown | VeloNews.com

The cycling gods blessed Abruzzo with Florence. Tourists pour through the cradle of the Renaissance year-round. Here, the heart of cycling beats loudly. The city hosted the 2013 UCI Road World Championships. Gino Bartali grew up over the hills to the south in Ponte a Ema. Further out, the white gravel roads crisscross the Chianti hills.

Bartali rode these roads to deliver falsified papers to Jews trying to escape the Germans in World War II. Now, Tuscany considers these miles and miles of “strade bianche” sacred ground. Professionals race Strade Bianche annually on the roads, the Giro d’Italia often passes through, and the Eroica cyclo-sportive has its roots there.

“I also like working on new bikes but it’s right to give these bikes their due space. These vintage Eroica bikes are part of Italian culture,” Abruzzo continues. “There are not many mechanics that work on these old bikes. I want a buyer to have a safe bike and to have a mechanic behind it who has experience with vintage bikes.”

L’Eroica started in 1997 in Tuscany, with the number of participants growing every year for the October event. Now people race to simply register, and the spots disappear as quickly as tickets to a Rolling Stones concert. The organizer’s success has led to a second event in the spring and sister sportives in California, South Africa, Spain, Japan, and other locations across the world.

In the back of the shop, four or five rental bikes for L’Eroica are hanging and ready to go. Abruzzo keeps them solely as rentals and for the gravel undulating roads with easier gearing, bigger brake cables, and clincher tires. The rest are frames that he found in old bike shops, markets, and private owners from around Italy.

“I look for frames without any dents or cracks. We can repaint it if we have to, but I like to keep it all original,” he says.

“I have to look all over for them, and there are fewer and people want more money for them now. I came across an old man one time next to the seaside who had a Colnago Master with straight city bars mounted on it. I said, ‘I’ll give you 200 [euros] for it.’ He wouldn’t sell. I said, ‘250 and then 300.’ He wouldn’t part with it, not because it was a Colnago, but because he valued it as a lightweight bike that he could easily remove the wheels from and lift it into the back of his Fiat car. I left him to it and did not want to separate him from his bicycle.

“My prized bicycle is this 1986 Bianchi Specialissima X4 in the Moreno Argentin colors. I found it from a Romanian who was asking 700 for it. I always ask the story behind the bikes and in this case, I was asking because I thought maybe it was stolen or something. But then he pulls out jerseys and shoes all matching, explaining how he was paid many years ago with the bicycle and jersey for some work that he had done. It’s too small for me because I am so tall. I will not sell it even if it’s worth around 4,000, so I gifted it to my girlfriend and it hangs here on the wall.”

You likely won’t see Shimano or other foreign brands in Abruzzo’s shop. We spotted just one bike with Shimano parts, a Moser in the backroom. Abruzzo says his niche is Italian frames with Campagnolo Record, Super Record, or C-Record groupsets. The frames and components range from the 1960s up until about 1986, when Shimano introduced brake-lever shifters and when clipless pedals began to take hold.

Campagnolo
NOS Campy parts ready to go. Photo: Gregor Brown | VeloNews.com

The Eroica organizer requires that bikes have exposed cables on the handlebars, down tube shifters, and toe-clip pedals with straps. Steel tubes are a must, but the old aluminum Alan and Vitus frames are allowed as they existed early on.

“Outside of Italy, abroad, they look at these bikes as ‘Made in Italy’, a piece of culture, a gem of our country. In Europe, the trend is to use them more and build them up with modern groupsets,” Abruzzo adds.

“Americans want to have style. They want their Bianchi celeste green. They want a Colnago with bar tape matching the lettering. They want the details.”

He prides himself on details. His father gave him the gift of turning a wrench. He began to disassemble bikes and build them again. Before the shop opened in April 2015, Abruzzo worked steadily for a set of customers out of his home.

Lorenzo Abruzzo
Lorenzo Abruzzo stands behind his refurbished bikes. Photo: Gregor Brown | VeloNews.com

“It’s worth it to have a shop in the center of Florence for people who just happen to pass by but also that someone can come from China or from the United States and see the shop, the tools, and meet the person behind the bike. I had one American who has just happened to pass by on the street come in and made a contact to order a bike. When he was home he sent an email and finalized it,” he says, leaning on the blue Colnago Mexico that still needs a home.

“The big thing I want to get across is that this is not just an ad on the internet but that I am here in Florence and you can come and visit. You can take a flight from Colorado and visit the shop and see the person behind the bike and hear the story. The work will remain for years and it is a quality product. I’m a mechanic and I will stand behind the bike.”

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Fast Talk podcast, ep. 32: A cyclist’s guide to the weight room http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/podcast/fast-talk-podcast-ep-32-cyclists-guide-weight-room_452326 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/podcast/fast-talk-podcast-ep-32-cyclists-guide-weight-room_452326#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 15:12:59 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452326 Cyclists can benefit tremendously from strength training, but you need to do it correctly. Here are the basics.

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The VeloNews Fast Talk podcast is your source for the best advice and most interesting insight on what it takes to become a better cyclist. Listen in as VeloNews managing editor Chris Case and columnist Trevor Connor discuss a range of topics, including training, physiology, technology, and more.

We cyclists can get a little lost in the weight room. That doesn’t mean strength training doesn’t have important benefits though. We are joined by Jess Elliott, who is the sports performance coach and biomechanist at the University of Colorado Sports Medicine and Performance Center. She helps us understand the fundamentals of strength workouts in the weight room: what to do, how to do it, and how many times to lift those big hunks of iron. Plus, we speak with pro rider Brent Bookwalter (BMC) about how he fits weight lifting into his busy travel schedule.

Download a PDF of the weightlifting program discussed on this podcast >>

Fast Talk is available on all your favorite podcast services, including iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and Soundcloud. If you enjoy the podcast, please consider taking a moment to rate and comment on iTunes after listening. Also, check out the VeloNews Cycling Podcast, our weekly discussion of the sport’s hottest topics, trends, and controversies.

References:

(Issurin, 2013; Mujika, Ronnestad, & Martin, 2016; Nimmerichter, Eston, Bachl, & Williams, 2011; Ronnestad, Hansen, Hollan, & Ellefsen, 2015; Ronnestad, Hansen, Hollan, Spencer, & Ellefsen, 2016; Ronnestad & Mujika, 2014; Taipale, et al., 2015; Vikmoen, et al., 2016)

Issurin, V. B. (2013). Training transfer: scientific background and insights for practical application. Sports Med, 43(8), 675-694. doi: 10.1007/s40279-013-0049-6
Mujika, I., Ronnestad, B. R., & Martin, D. T. (2016). Effects of Increased Muscle Strength and Muscle Mass on Endurance-Cycling Performance. Int J Sports Physiol Perform, 11(3), 283-289. doi: 10.1123/IJSPP.2015-0405
Nimmerichter, A., Eston, R. G., Bachl, N., & Williams, C. (2011). Longitudinal monitoring of power output and heart rate profiles in elite cyclists. J Sports Sci, 29(8), 831-840. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2011.561869
Ronnestad, B. R., Hansen, J., Hollan, I., & Ellefsen, S. (2015). Strength training improves performance and pedaling characteristics in elite cyclists. Scand J Med Sci Sports, 25(1), e89-98. doi: 10.1111/sms.12257
Ronnestad, B. R., Hansen, J., Hollan, I., Spencer, M., & Ellefsen, S. (2016). Impairment of Performance Variables After In-Season Strength-Training Cessation in Elite Cyclists. Int J Sports Physiol Perform, 11(6), 727-735. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2015-0372
Ronnestad, B. R., & Mujika, I. (2014). Optimizing strength training for running and cycling endurance performance: A review. Scand J Med Sci Sports, 24(4), 603-612. doi: 10.1111/sms.12104
Taipale, R. S., Mikkola, J., Nummela, A. T., Sorvisto, J., Nyman, K., Kyrolainen, H., et al. (2015). Combined strength and endurance session order: differences in force production and oxygen uptake. Int J Sports Physiol Perform, 10(4), 418-425. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2014-0316
Vikmoen, O., Ellefsen, S., Troen, O., Hollan, I., Hanestadhaugen, M., Raastad, T., et al. (2016). Strength training improves cycling performance, fractional utilization of VO2max and cycling economy in female cyclists. Scand J Med Sci Sports, 26(4), 384-396. doi: 10.1111/sms.12468

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Olympic rower says Wiggins faces headwinds in switch to rowing http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/olympic-rower-says-wiggins-faces-headwinds-in-switch-to-rowing_452308 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/olympic-rower-says-wiggins-faces-headwinds-in-switch-to-rowing_452308#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 13:42:23 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452308 The retired Tour de France champion is undertaking the sport of rowing, so we chatted with a former Olympian about his chances.

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Lost in the headlines last week was confirmation that Bradley Wiggins is getting serious about his bid for another Olympic medal, this time in rowing.

Last week’s decision by UK Anti-Doping to close the investigation into Team Sky’s infamous “Jiffy Bag” without charges drove the news cycle. The 2012 Tour de France winner might have seen his reputation in tatters over his use of corticoids via TUEs, but the 37-year-old and eight-time Olympic medalist Wiggins is now taking more serious steps for another Olympic bid.

Wiggins has posted recent photos on Instagram of himself looking buff after training sessions on a rowing machine. Any doubt about Wiggins’ seriousness in the endeavor was erased when he confirmed he will race in the British indoor national rowing championships on December 9. A strong performance — Wiggins is confirmed to compete in a 2,000-meter race — would bolster his chances for a spot for the 2020 Olympics.

A post shared by Sir Wiggo (@bradwiggins) on

How realistic are Wiggins’ chances of making the switch from one endurance sport to another? Many cyclists transition into triathlon or marathon, two events that share much with cycling. In contrast, rowing is a radically different sport with a very specific skillset.

VeloNews asked Gearoid Towey, a three-time Olympic rower and former world champion, about Wiggins’ chances of making the grade. Towey represented Ireland in three Olympics (2000, 2004, and 2008), and was once rescued with a rowing partner in the high seas after his 23-foot rowboat was capsized by a 35-foot wave 40 days into an attempt to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

Towey also has experience with cyclists, and has worked with many as part of his organization Crossing the Line, which helps professional and Olympic athletes transition into their post-athletic careers.

VeloNews: What do you make of Wiggins’ attempt to go back to the Olympics with rowing?
Gearoid Towey: I’ve never spoken to him, but there are a couple of factors that would make it very difficult for him. First off is the skill acquisition. Rowing is a very skilled sport, and rowing is like a combo of ice-skating and cycling. It’s part brute force and pain, but you also have to be agile and dainty. That skill is hard to pick up in just three or four years.

VN: And the other?
GT: The other aspect is power. I gather he’s doing decent times on a rowing machine, but from what I’ve heard, he’s about 30 seconds off the heavyweight group. That’s a big chunk of time. You can make big gains when you start off, but it’s that last 15 to 30 seconds that’s the hardest.

VN: Britain has a long tradition of rowing, so I imagine he can’t expect to just stroll onto the team?
GT: The British team is a power-based team, and if he doesn’t come under a certain score, that would be his biggest barrier. I’ve seen some scores he’s put out; scores that would decent for a good lightweight rower, at 70kg or under, but he’s still short of the top heavyweight rowers. I could see him getting within reach of it. If he was inside a different system than the British system, in a country like Sweden or Spain, he probably could get on with a national team. It’s not as easy in the UK. These guys are giants, 6-foot-5 and 100kg. They’re like cattle. They’re not going to put someone on their program just to raise their profile or to bring publicity to the team. They’ve won medals in every Olympic cycle for years.

VN: Rowing has a very unique skillset; do you think it’s realistic he could become adept enough in time for 2020?
GT: If you’re on the crew, you have to move in unison, everyone’s movements in exactly the same time, with three or seven other guys. It’s very precise. It’s like swimming, and it’s hours and hours of doing the same thing over and over. With his track background, he’d be used to that. Rowing is a bit like doing team pursuit. You’ve got to be sprinter at the beginning and then at the end, and give that max power at the start and finish. He’ll have the engine.

VN: So if you were a betting man, do you think he could do it?
GT: It would be kind of cool if he did it. I would like him to surprise me in that regard. It’s a pain sport, just like cycling is. It’s not as exciting as cycling. It doesn’t have the crowds, and it’s a fairly outlying sport. It’s interesting he chose that. I wouldn’t put it past him. He’s a very talented person.

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Video: Col Collective previews short, nasty TDF stage 17 to Portet http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/video-col-collective-previews-short-nasty-tdf-stage-17-portet_452300 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/news/video-col-collective-previews-short-nasty-tdf-stage-17-portet_452300#respond Sun, 19 Nov 2017 16:23:02 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452300 Mike Cotty of the Col Collective goes for a recon ride to see the short Pyrenean stage and ride the lesser-known Col de Portet.

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Everyone is talking about the 2018 Tour de France‘s stage 17. It is short at 65 kilometers but has a tremendous amount of climbing — over 3,000 meters. Tour organizers believe this stunningly beautiful backdrop and the summit finish at 2,215m will encourage attacks. Pure climbers should thrive in the rarefied air.

Mike Cotty of the Col Collective went out for a recon ride in October to check the Pyrenean route and ride the lesser-known summit finish, Col de Portet.

Tour de France
Stage 17 is exceptionally short at 64km with more than 3,000 meters of climbing.

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Van der Poel and Cant win Bogense CX World Cup http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/race-report/van-der-poel-cant-win-bogense-cx-world-cup_452290 http://www.velonews.com/2017/11/race-report/van-der-poel-cant-win-bogense-cx-world-cup_452290#respond Sun, 19 Nov 2017 15:16:54 +0000 http://www.velonews.com/?p=452290 European cyclocross champs Sanne Cant and Mathieu van der Poel win fourth round of the UCI CX World Cup in Bogense, Denmark.

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The two European cyclocross champions came out on top Sunday in the fourth round of the UCI cyclocross World Cup, as Sanne Cant won the women’s race and Mathieu van der Poel won the men’s event in Bogense, Denmark.

It was a preview of the 2019 world cyclocross championships to be held at the seaside Danish venue. Riders faced a muddy track with exceptionally steep, short hills. The weather was less severe, however — clear with a strong wind blowing off the water.

“It was a bit of a pity that all the descent sections were running now, I prefer to ride it but I think the safest and the fastest option was to run today,” said van der Poel.

Despite a dropped chain on the final lap, Cant (Beobank-Corendon) held off Helen Wyman (Kona) to win her second World Cup of the season. American Kaitie Keough (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) finished third.

Mathieu van der Poel
Mathieu van der Poel won his fourth World Cup in a row at Bogense, Denmark. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Van der Poel, also on the Beobank-Corendon team, continued his remarkable run of wins at the elite level this season.

“It’s amazing to win my fourth World Cup in a row,” he said after riding alone to victory.

Toon Aerts (Telenet-Fidea) rode with the Dutchman for the first half of the race but faded as van der Poel applied the pressure.

World champion Wout van Aert (Vérandas Willems-Crelan) caught Aerts with a few laps remaining. On the final circuit, it looked like Aerts had the upper hand after hopping the course’s barriers while van Aert opted to run.

However, van Aert pulled even with Aerts thanks to superior handling skills on the descents and out-sprinted him to take second place.

The UCI cyclocross World Cup continues November 25 in Zeven, Germany.

Men’s results

  • 1. Mathieu Van Der Poel, BEOBANK-CORENDON, 1:02:58
  • 2. Wout Van Aert, CRELAN – CHARLES, 1:03:06
  • 3. Toon Aerts, TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:03:07
  • 4. Lars Van Der Haar, TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:03:45
  • 5. Tim Merlier, CRELAN – CHARLES, 1:04:19
  • 6. Corne Van Kessel, TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:04:26
  • 7. Laurens Sweeck, ERA-CIRCUS, 1:04:46
  • 8. Quinten Hermans, TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:04:50
  • 9. Michael Vanthourenhout, MARLUX – NAPOLEON GAMES, 1:05:03
  • 10. Kevin Pauwels, MARLUX – NAPOLEON GAMES, 1:05:04
  • 11. Gioele Bertolini, 1:05:07
  • 12. Vincent Baestaens, 1:05:15
  • 13. Tom Meeusen, BEOBANK-CORENDON, 1:05:18
  • 14. Gianni Vermeersch, STEYLAERTS – BETFIRST, 1:05:34
  • 15. Michael BoroŠ, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE, 1:05:43
  • 16. Marcel Meisen, STEYLAERTS – BETFIRST, 1:05:55
  • 17. Jens Adams, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE, 1:05:59
  • 18. Jim Aernouts, TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:06:03
  • 19. Dieter Vanthourenhout, MARLUX – NAPOLEON GAMES, 1:06:14
  • 20. Daan Soete, TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:06:17
  • 21. Matthieu Boulo, 1:06:21
  • 22. Nicolas Cleppe, TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 1:06:24
  • 23. Felipe Orts Lloret, GINESTAR – DELIKIA, 1:06:26
  • 24. Simon Zahner, 1:06:29
  • 25. Marcel Wildhaber, 1:06:42
  • 26. Tomáš Paprstka, 1:06:52
  • 27. Fabien Canal, 1:07:01
  • 28. Twan Van Den Brand, 1:07:05
  • 29. Sascha Weber, 1:07:20
  • 30. Jan Nesvadba, 1:07:26
  • 31. Stephen Hyde, 1:07:36
  • 32. Steve Chainel, TEAM CHAZAL CANYON, 1:07:47
  • 33. Diether Sweeck, ERA-CIRCUS, 1:07:55
  • 34. Severin SÄgesser, 1:07:58
  • 35. Patrick Van Leeuwen, 1:08:09
  • 36. Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga IbaÑez, 1:08:13
  • 37. Stan Godrie, CRELAN – CHARLES, 1:08:25
  • 38. Alois Falenta, 1:08:39
  • 39. Gosse Van Der Meer, TARTELETTO – ISOREX, 1:08:46
  • 40. Jeremy Durrin, 1:09:27
  • 41. Yorben Van Tichelt, ERA-CIRCUS
  • 42. Ismael Esteban Aguero, GINESTAR – DELIKIA
  • 43. Nicolas Samparisi
  • 44. Sebastian Fini Carstensen
  • 45. Lorenzo Samparisi
  • 46. Kevin Suarez Fernandez
  • 47. Fredrik Haraldseth
  • 48. Karol Michalski
  • 49. Martin Eriksson
  • 50. Niels Bech Rasmussen
  • 51. Tommy Moberg Nielsen
  • 52. Andrew Juiliano
  • 53. Joachim Parbo
  • 54. Morten Laustsen
  • 55. Henrik Lunder Aalrust
  • 56. Yu Takenouchi
  • 57. David Eriksson
  • 58. Jacob Lindsel
  • 59. Ingvar Omarsson
  • 60. Henrik Jansson
  • 61. Nikolaj Ruud Ostergaard
  • DNF David Van Der Poel, BEOBANK-CORENDON
  • DNF Kenneth Hansen

Women’s results

  • 1. Sanne Cant, BEOBANK-CORENDON, 0:41:19
  • 2. Helen Wyman, 0:41:28
  • 3. Kaitlin Keough, 0:42:07
  • 4. Eva Lechner, 0:42:10
  • 5. Ellen Van Loy, TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 0:42:38
  • 6. Katerina Nash, 0:42:39
  • 7. Loes Sels, CRELAN – CHARLES, 0:42:50
  • 8. Alice Maria Arzuffi, STEYLAERTS – BETFIRST, 0:43:01
  • 9. Laura Verdonschot, MARLUX – NAPOLEON GAMES, 0:43:04
  • 10. Nikki Brammeier, 0:43:09
  • 11. Sophie De Boer, 0:43:20
  • 12. Elle Anderson, 0:43:32
  • 13. Annemarie Worst, ERA-CIRCUS, 0:43:39
  • 14. Ceylin Del Carmen Alvarado, 0:43:42
  • 15. Pavla HavlÍkovÁ, 0:43:57
  • 16. Fleur Nagengast, TELENET FIDEA LIONS, 0:44:08
  • 17. Rebecca Fahringer, 0:44:09
  • 18. Joyce Vanderbeken, 0:44:09
  • 19. Lucie Chainel, TEAM CHAZAL CANYON, 0:44:16
  • 20. Lucia Gonzalez Blanco, 0:44:21
  • 21. Jolien Verschueren, PAUWELS SAUZEN – VASTGOEDSERVICE, 0:44:27
  • 22. Nikola NoskovÁ, 0:44:28
  • 23. Yara Kastelijn, 0:44:44
  • 24. Marion Norbert Riberolle, 0:44:48
  • 25. Denise Betsema, 0:44:49
  • 26. Courtenay Mcfadden, 0:45:02
  • 27. Annika Langvad, 0:45:08
  • 28. Jade Wiel, 0:45:08
  • 29. Malene Degn, 0:45:23
  • 30. Inge Van Der Heijden, 0:45:30
  • 31. Pauline Delhaye, 0:45:33
  • 32. Nadja Heigl, 0:45:34
  • 33. Adéla ŠafÁŘovÁ, 0:45:35
  • 34. Ida Erngren, 0:45:36
  • 35. Crystal Anthony, 0:45:38
  • 36. Caroline BohÉ, 0:45:41
  • 37. Léa Curinier, 0:46:02
  • 38. Suzanne Verhoeven, 0:46:22
  • 39. Marlène Morel Petitgirard, 0:46:35
  • 40. Karen Verhestraeten, 0:46:41
  • 41. Manon Bakker, 0:47:07
  • 42. Margriet Kloppenburg, 0:47:18
  • 43. Natalie Redmond, 0:47:18
  • 44. Tereza ŠvihÁlkovÁ, 0:47:22
  • 45. Åsa-Maria Erlandsson, 0:47:41
  • 46. Ellen Noble, ASPIRE RACING, 0:47:50
  • 47. Lisette Rosenbeck Christensen, 0:47:55
  • 48. Marlene Petit, 0:47:55
  • 49. Arley Kemmerer, 0:48:04
  • 50. Rikke LØnne, 0:48:25
  • 51. Elizabeth UngermanovÁ, 0:48:44
  • 52. Mie Saabye, 0:49:22
  • 53. Kristina Thrane, 0:49:26
  • 54. Julie Van Der Hoop
  • 55. Mara Schwager
  • DNS Katherine Compton
  • DNS Ida Jansson

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