The new year is here, and a bunch of (mostly indoor) cycling events have kicked off, probably in a bid to encourage people to work off their Christmas over indulgences.
As I write this, I have just completed my first run (yes, not a typo) in the Tour de Zwift. Not sure I will complete all the running events, especially given the whacky blisters I just gained, but it’s something different. My legs are aching so bad right now I think that’s a sign to stick to pedalling.
Anyway, let’s dive right into all the best cycling news from the first week of 2024.
Groupama-FDJ Unveils 2024 Wilier Race Bikes
Groupama-FDJ bids adieu to 22 years with Lapierre and welcomes the sleek Wilier Filante SLR into their lineup for 2024.
The dazzling white and blue paint scheme pays homage to the French flag with a touch of modern flair.
Wilier’s CEO Michele Gastaldello informs us that this aero-influenced beauty weighs in at a sprightly 7.2kg.
Shimano’s Dura-Ace R9200 groupset and tubulars make a triumphant return, with a cameo from the Turbine SLR time trial bike.
This one comes via Cycling News, so if you’ve already read 5 articles there this month expect to hit a paywall sadly. However you can ogle some more pics on the Wilier website. Heck, you can even buy one if you have a spare 10,200 euros going spare. That’s 9,400 euros for the base model Ultegra Di2 Filante SLR, and an extra 800 euros for the F17 Groupama FDJ paint job.
Women’s WorldTour Team Kit Reveals
Tracking down all the 2024 pro cycling team kit releases is a bit of a chore. It seemingly isn’t high on the priority list of a good number of team’s agendas to update their own websites in a timely fashion.
Fortunately, Velo have done all the hard work of tracking down and finding photos of all the big 2024 kit releases for our easy viewing pleasure.
Personally I’m liking the Movistar and Team SD Worx kits this time around. Which is your favourite(s)? Leave a comment and let us know.
F1’s Valtteri Bottas Attempting The Double
Formula 1 driver and superb moustache owner Valtteri Bottas is gearing up not only for the intense F1 2024 season but also setting his sights on World Championship glory in the realm of cycling.
Fuelled by his burgeoning passion for cycling, Bottas is eyeing the UCI Gravel World Championships on October 5-6 in Halle-Leuven, Belgium.
With a determined spirit and a nod to his relationship with Australian cyclist Tiffany Cromwell, Bottas is set to tackle this monumental challenge, kicking off with the upcoming UCI Gravel World Series event in Adelaide, Australia.
Strava’s 2023 Trend Report Shows Surges in Gravel and E-Bike Adventures
Strava’s recent Trend Report showcases a 55% surge in cyclists embracing gravel riding.
E-bike enthusiasts also join the momentum, with a 23% rise in logged e-bike activities.
Trek claims the throne as the favoured bike brand, closely trailed by Specialized and Giant, while the Garmin Edge 530 head unit reigns supreme in accessories. Good to know I’m in the majority on that one.
Despite a 5% increase in metric century rides, cycling contends for popularity against running.
However, the report signals a generational twist, with Gen Z opting for faster but shorter rides and significantly influencing the surge in new Strava clubs.
WiggleCRC’s Owes Haribo £20,000
In the aftermath of WiggleCRC’s recent plunge into administration, a comprehensive report reveals the staggering debts owed by the online cycling retailer to various industry players, not all of which are in the cycling biz.
Haribo tops the list with £20,275, while major distributors Madison and Extra UK LTD are chasing substantial amounts.
The report indicates a mixed bag, with some creditors already paid in full.
British-based brands like Raleigh and Muc-Off are also in the debt lineup.
Despite the financial turmoil, administrators express optimism, citing profitable trading during the Black Friday and Christmas period.
Wahoo KICKR BIKE SHIFT Review
Wahoo certainly do like their capital letters.
Back when I first got into cycling I was umm’ing and ahh’ing over whether to go with a dedicated indoor smart trainer, or to get a regular road bike and a turbo trainer, and get the best of both worlds.
In the end I opted for the latter, but that never stopped me wondering about what the dedicated smart trainer might do differently.
Chuck Peña brings us a very thorough review of Wahoo’s latest offering, the KICKR BIKE SHIFT. I think the biggest takeaway, for me, is how much easier it would be to share my bike setup with my wife if we had one of these.
But at £2,600 it’s pure fantasy regardless.
Upgrading To Shimano 105
Keeping with Chuck and Pez Cycling for the moment, the other Christmas read for me was his in-depth upgrade to Shimano 105 Di2.
Why this one was so interesting to me is that I, too, made the upgrade on my stock entry level Allez 2019 towards the end of last year. However, my upgrade didn’t include the wireless shifting, nor disc brakes.
Also, I have no idea what I’m doing with this level of bike upgrades, so I called in a professional.
Is Trek Brewing a New Emonda?
A leaked glimpse of what seems to be the unreleased Trek Emonda and the buzz around an imminent SRAM Red groupset update was reported via numerous sites this week.
Lidl-Trek riders have been spotted testing a mysterious Trek road bike, reminiscent of the Madone’s radical design, signalling a possible Emonda overhaul.
With a slimmed-down frame and intriguing IsoFlow seat cut out, could this be the next climbing sensation?
I saw this one first on Road.cc, but I know this comes from Weight Weenies forum.
Red Bull’s Gives Cycling Wings
Energy drink giant, Red Bull, seems poised to secure a 51% controlling stake in Bora-Hansgrohe.
The move, set to elevate the German WorldTour team, raises intriguing questions about the future of investment in the sport.
With Red Bull’s history of involvement, including sponsorship of Bora’s junior program and individual support for riders like Anton Palzer, the acquisition could signify a substantial budget boost for the team.
As the team gears up with the recent signing of Primož Roglič, speculations abound on Bora’s potential ascent to super-team status, challenging the likes of Visma-Lease A Bike and UAE Team Emirates.
Interesting times, and in my opinion, great news to bring more money into the sport.
Orbea New Bike Sponsor for Lotto Dstny
Lotto Dstny pedals into the 2024 season with a fresh sponsor – Orbea, waving goodbye to their longtime companion, Ridley.
CEO Stéphane Heulot expresses optimism, stating, “Lotto Dstny finds in Orbea an ideal ally.”
Orbea’s sponsorship extends across the entire Lotto Dstny organisation, covering men’s, women’s, and men’s development teams.
The duration of this partnership remains a closely guarded secret. How intriguing!
This move marks Orbea’s second venture into men’s UCI ProTeams, aligning with Euskaltel-Euskadi.
Bike Meme Of The Week
An oldy, but a goodie today:
And yeah, I went with the bike of the week right at the top of this post. Anything Wilier is always a winner from me.
See you next week for another round up!