The Last Mohicans

Cycle racing seems to be going in a one way direction with teams and riders adopting more and more sports science. But a few riders still buck the trend against power meters. Are their days coming to an end?

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The ISSUL Performance Criteria

Astana team

What’s the good news of this week? One improvement is the new audit of the Astana team by the Institute of Sport Sciences of the University of Lausanne (ISSUL) imposed by the UCI as a condition of its licence. As well as the investigation audit which will be finished by February, the team has to sign up for a wide-ranging set of “operational requirements” for the whole year.

The ISSUL guidelines imposed on Astana aren’t just a mechanism to save the team’s licence. Instead they’re set to become a core part of the proposed UCI cycling reforms, compulsory for all teams in a few years. They cover a lot of territory from job insecurity to coaching with the twin themes of doping and money. An article in L’Equipe does a great job in explaining some of these changes and here are some of the highlights.

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Jens Voigt’s Last Hour

Jens Voigt is going to attack The Hour record on 18 September. It’ll be on TV. It seems he’s on course to beat the record but should leave something on the boards for others to have ago. It’s the perfect move for him and The Hour as a contest.

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Training Time

Want to see Alberto Contador, Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali in action together? You could wait for the Critérium du Dauphiné in June but, as today’s L’Equipe shows, they will all meet up this month in Tenerife for training camps on Mount Teide. Quite probably they will all stay in the same hotel, setting up an intriguing atmosphere with the three great rivals for the Tour de France sitting down for dinner together, albeit at different tables.

It’s easy to spend hours reviewing the tactics in a race but very little time and coverage is given to what a rider’s job really involves: training.

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Wash Your Hands

“What the pros do” is always a source of interest to cycling fans so here’s a glimpse into an unreported but widely-used technique that is an essential part of the job of a pro cyclist: hand washing. Sorry if you were expecting the latest on recovery products or power-training because, yes this is banal but it’s essential and as you’ll see below, some go to extremes to avoid those germs. Hygiene is more than marginal gain. Catch a cold and you can ruin your season.

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The Pre-Season Camp

That’s Trek Factory Racing’s new recruits putting the camp into their team’s pre-season training camp. You might think they’ve stolen Andy Schleck’s pyjamas but, no, this is an initiation ceremony, a scene normally kept secret but inevitably public thanks to smartphones and social media.

It’s back to work for most pro cyclists as the off-season’s over. Several teams are holding training camps with a variety of activities with the emphasis on team building more than fitness.

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Roads to Ride: The Col du Lautaret

As part of a series to explore the famous roads of cycling, here is the Col du Lautaret in the French Alps. The idea with this series is to discover the road and its place in the world, whether in cycling’s folklore or to explore what it is like on a normal day without a race.

The 2014 Tour de France route was unveiled and Stage 14 looks to like the Queen Stage, it’s certainly got alpine aristocracy with the climbs of the Lautaret before the Izoard and the final climb to Risoul. The Lautaret is a long climb by itself but also one of two ways to reach the start of the mighty Col du Galibier. It’s a climb that’s perfect for the Tour de France but unpleasant for others. A road not to ride?

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Indoor Trainer Review


With autumn closing in and the days getting shorter many in the northern hemisphere will using an indoor trainer.

With this in mind I thought about reviewing every model on the market.

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Rabobank’s Quiet Revolution

When a team fails to deliver results, the most common outcome sees the manager getting sacked. Yet this very rare in pro cycling as most team managers are also the owners of their team.

Not so at Rabobank. The team isn’t just sponsored by the Dutch bank, it is owned by them. The head of the team is Harold Knebel, a banker and not a cyclist (pictured above). Rabobank has total control of its sports sponsorship.

This week we got news of a management shake-up in the team. But it’s more than a shuffle of people and job titles, it’s part of a plan to make the team more professional. Indeed several teams are moving away from the old model of where the team manager hunts for sponsors, drives the team car, decides on tactics and negotiates new rider contracts.

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A Long Hot Day – Racing in a Heatwave

If only the weather forecast was accurate. Riders in the Vuelta a España can look online or in the newspaper and see temperatures of 32°C (90°F) quoted for today… but these temperatures never reflect the reality of the road cyclist.

Instead the road is far hotter. This imposes a greater strain on riders who must drink many litres during the race. Here’s a look at the real temperatures and the ways to cope with the heat.

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