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Showing posts from August, 2015

Top Tips for Endurance Cycling Events

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This year, I've taken part in a number of events that are best described as "Endurance Challenges". Events which, at five or more hours in duration, require a unique approach to get the most out of them; something a bit different from your standard weekend ride. Most have been abroad, too: including the Giro Delle Dolomiti, L'Etapé and the Mallorca312; this throws another element into the mix, with the need to adapt to foreign weather, roads and even food.

In this post, I thought I'd share a bit of experience gleaned from my Endurance Riding to date. Hopefully passing on a few useful tips, which will make your next event more enjoyable, and more successful!



'A Poor Mechanic Blames His Tools'  Before we consider your physical preparation for an event, let alone the event itself, let's think about the tools for the job. Namely, your bike.

The first thing to ensure, is that you're comfortable. That doesn't mean you can happily ride down the road…

Review: Adidas Adizero Short Sleeve Jersey

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It's not very often that I weigh a piece of clothing. In fact, I don't remember ever doing it before... It was the first thing that I did with the new adidas adizero jersey though; because to be blunt, it's ludicrously light.

Adidas claim that the jersey weighs in at a minuscule 65 grams; my medium sample actually came in at 62 grams on my scales, so it is indeed a serious featherweight! The thinking behind this record breaking design, is simple: lighter is faster, thinner materials are more comfortable in the heat, and a lower profile style is more aero.

In recent years, we've seen Grand Tour contenders such as Chris Froome wear skimpy (and see-through) jerseys and skin-suits on Alpine stages; the adizero jersey comes from the same school of thought, and pushes the boundaries in terms of ventilation and minimalism.

Shrouded in tissue paper, the jersey arrives like a precious piece of art. When you unwrap it, you can see why; this is a piece of apparel made of fabric…

Review: Swrve Cigarette Cut Durable Cotton Shorts

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If you haven't read my previous reviews of Swrve apparel, then it's worth having a quick browse. This American brand makes some of the best "casual" cycling wear that you can buy.

Swrve kit is well fitted and nicely styled; perhaps most notable though, compared to other brands that I've tested, is that it is quite easily the most durable. It is without doubt, kit that is made to last. I have Swrve Indigo jeans and Swrve WWR trousers that are two years old, and they still look like new. Hours of abusive testing, both on and off the bike, shows the true virtue of this clothing...

The Swrve Cigarette Cut shorts are the first pair of short trousers that I've tested from the brand. They are made of the same great fabric as the Durable Cotton Trousers though, and these continue to be a favourite of mine, so I was expecting good things.

The 'Durable Cotton' fabric is a robust, medium-weight material; with an abrasion-resistant finish, and a level of strengt…

Nutrition: The Pursuit of Leanness

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Most of us could do with losing a few pounds. Travel to even an amateur mountain event, and you realise that yes, sadly, it is the super-lean Italian, Spanish and Columbian climbers that dominate the top spots. Their vein-strewn legs glistening in the sun, as they fly past you on the climbs.

Even if you're not racing up mountains though, shifting a bit of excess weight will likely make you faster in almost all areas of riding. Power to weight ratios remain the overarching performance indicator in cycling.

Before you start starving yourself though, there is a serious caveat to consider; it is not actually weight loss you're trying to achieve, it's fat loss. Welcome to 'The Pursuit of Leanness'.


Weight Loss versus Fat Loss Fat is a vital component of our body composition; it is an insulator, it is a protector and it is a fuel source. However, fat is also added weight, and unlike muscle weight, it is weight that makes little significant contribution to performance. L…

Wednesday Watch: Giro Delle Dolomiti Riding

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Some GoPro footage from our Team Wiggle week in the Dolomites at the Giro Delle Dolomiti.

Read the full blog here (Link)

Review: Thule ProRide 591 Bike Carrier

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The more you get into cycling, the more you are likely to want to take your bike with you, wherever you go. Every country lane you drive down, will look like an appealing spin; every valley climb, starts to look like an attractive challenge. Unless you're lucky enough to have a van though, having enough room to take a bike away with you in the car, can be difficult. You'll do well to invest in a good bike carrier, and the Thule ProRide 591 is certainly that...

Thule are famed for their quality roof racks and bike carriers, and a very high percentage of those found on UK and European roads come from the Swedish brand. The ProRide 591 sits towards the top of the brand's line-up of bike frame-clamping roof carriers, and it is a feature-packed option that performs faultlessly.

The Thule ProRide 591 is fairly easily identifiable by other road users, due to its unique frame design; with a distinctive curvature of the base rail. Whilst this might look like one of those innovativ…

Review: Le Coq Sportif Premium Short Sleeve Jersey

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I’m not really one for wearing pro-team jerseys. I have done in the past, on occasion, but I sort of feel it is one of those privileges that should be reserved for those that have really earnt them. However, the Premium model Le Coq Sportif jerseys, used for the Maillot Jaune, Polkadot, Green, and White jersey holders at the Tour de France, are something rather special. I’ve had a secret longing to wear one for some time. An opportunity to do so arose last month…

As well as Le Coq Sportif being the official clothing supplier for Le Tour, they are also the maker of the official L’Etapé du Tour jerseys. I completed the challenging event last month (blog post), so I felt like I had justification to wear the kit, and enjoy the same look and feel as the Tour de France leaders!

Identical in fit and fabric to the jerseys used at Le Tour, the L’Etapé du Tour jersey I wore for the event was the Premium performance model. It’s made from the most high-tech fabrics, with a true race-orientated …

Book Review: Hannah Grant's 'The Grand Tour Cookbook'

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"They are what they eat" says Hannah Grant, head chef for Team Tinkoff-Saxo; one of the most successful teams on the UCI WorldTour circuit.

It's a motto that I subscribe to very strongly, too. Food is an integral part of cycling. Food is your fuel and your conditioning agent, as well as your recovery. Energy bars and gels can do so much, when you're on the bike; but it's what you eat the rest of the time that really makes a difference. Cycling teams realised this some time back, and that's why a number of the top teams now have top chefs working for them; their role is to ensure that the nutritional intake of the riders is optimal for their performance.

Hannah Grant is one of those top chefs, and just as the mechanics at Tinkoff-Saxo play an integral role in preparing the bikes for the riders each morning and evening, Hannah and her apprentice play a fundamental role in ensuring that the riders are correctly fuelled throughout the day. A Grand Tour is clearl…

Giro Delle Dolomiti - Italian Cycling Nirvana in South Tyrol

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The Dolomites hold a special place in my memory. A camping holiday at the foot of Mount Marmolada, well over a decade ago, is one of the first family vacations that I can really recall. The craggy peaks, green valleys and glaciers of the Dolomite Mountains struck me with awe, even at the age of eight. I was sure that coming back to the region for this year’s Giro Delle Dolomiti stage race, would re-ignite my love of the place… it did!

The Dolomites and the Alto Adige are two mountain areas that sit in the South Tyrol region of Italy. SüdTirol has an interesting history; it used to be part of Austria, before it was claimed by Italy following the First World War. The loss of the region was a major blow to the Austrians, as it is an area that is rich in resources, fertile land, and has also always been a famed holiday destination, notably with Austrian royalty.

South Tyrol has also always been a fantastic place for outdoor pursuits. Its mild climate, mountains and valleys, make everythi…