[47/23] This Week In Cycling

Fresh off the press, lets dive into the third instalment of “This Week in Cycling”. 

You can see last week’s by clicking here.

Jonas Vingegaard Has A Faulty Doorbell

Jonas Vingegaard Has A Faulty Doorbell

Making the headlines across various publications this week, we learned that two time Tour de France winner (2022, 2023) Jonas Vingegaard once missed a doping test due to a faulty doorbell.

It turns out that, as a pro cyclist, you must let the anti-doping people know where you will be for an hour every single day. That way, if they decide to come a-knockin’, they err, know where to knock. Only, in this case they didn’t think to knock, they just rang the doorbell. And the doorbell was broken, and Jonas’s phone was on silent.

Read the full interview here (it’s very short). It’s in Danish, so I have linked to the article via Google Translate.

Whiskey and Cocaine

Jan Ullrich sets off on the Alpe D'Huez uphill time trial in the 2004 Tour de France
Jan Ullrich sets off on the Alpe D’Huez uphill time trial in the 2004 Tour de France
Image credit: Eugene Wei on Flickr

In a candid interview with German website Stern, former pro roadie Jan Ullrich reveals the harsh reality of blood doping in his career. The confession comes ahead of the release of the Amazon Prime documentary series Der Gejagte (The Hunted) on November 28 in Germany.

Ullrich, a former Tour de France champion, reflects on the pressure to partake in doping during his prime: “If you wanted to keep up, you had to take part.” He discusses the toll it took on him, leading to his silence during the Operacion Puerto scandal in 2006, which eventually led to sanctions in 2012.

The original interview is both paywalled and in German. If that doesn’t sound agreeable, check out the coverage over on Cycling Weekly.

Sock It to ‘Em: UCI’s Fashion Fines Pedal Up a Storm in 2024!

Sock It to 'Em: UCI's Fashion Fines Pedal Up a Storm in 2024!

The UCI has rolled out some hefty fines for fashion missteps, putting the spotlight on too-long socks with penalties reaching up to 2000 Swiss Francs / £1,800 GBP.

But it’s not just about style – the racing rules have also tightened on drafting behind team cars.

Stepping onto the podium in the wrong outfit? That’ll cost you 500 Swiss Francs / £450 GBP and a potential loss of UCI points.

Safety is no exception either, as helmet removal during a race now incurs a 500 Swiss Franc / £450 GBP fine, with disqualification added to the penalty list in 2024.

I preferred UCI when they stuck to running cinemas.

Winter Wheelers

This week I joined the Winter Wheelers competition. There are a bunch of prizes to be won, and the idea is to get you on the bike and riding throughout December.

However, I have since discovered it’s for outdoor cyclists only. I work from home and predominantly ride indoors both for safety and because it’s cold out there.

If it sounds like your cup of tea, have a read in my dedicated post.

A Giant Fall In Profits

Another week, another bike company in financial distress. This time it’s Giant’s turn.

This time around however Giant are reporting a pre-tax profit of £38.1m for the third quarter of 2023.

Their complaint?

That is down 49% on the same period last year.

I mean… it could be worse, right?

Merida and Shimano also reporting poor figures this week. Read more, if you enjoy that kind of thing, over on Road.cc.

E-Bikes Are Outpacing Electric Cars in Slashing Oil Demand 🚴‍♂️🌍

In a surprising twist, e-bikes and scooters are leading the charge in reducing oil demand, surpassing the impact of electric cars.

With 280 million electric two- and three-wheelers on the road globally, these nimble alternatives are displacing four times more oil demand than their four-wheeled counterparts.

E-Bikes Are Outpacing Electric Cars in Slashing Oil Demand
A multiracial family biking on a large electric powered cargo bicycle, perfect for commuting for the environmentally conscious. Also a fun, healthy family activity that provides good exercise! Shot in Tacoma, Washington, USA.

That said, the safety of having two kids held in by some steel tubing and a badly fitted crash helmet is giving me all kinds of anxiety.

Have a read at ArsTechnica.

Surely That’s Click Bait

Image credit: Flickr

Is the Tour de France facing a slimy scandal?

Recent reports suggest that haemoglobin from sandworms, typically used as fishing bait, might be the latest clandestine doping technique in professional cycling.

French company Hemarina claims that lugworm haemoglobin, with its extraordinary oxygen-carrying capabilities, could serve as a universal blood substitute, transporting oxygen 40 times more efficiently than human haemoglobin.

Despite its potential benefits for medical use, concerns arise over its misuse in the sports world. The short half-life of the worm’s haemoglobin makes it challenging to detect, posing a potential loophole for doping.

My take? It was a slow news day.

Zwift & Wahoo Are Friends Again

Zwift & Wahoo Are Friends Again

In a swift move, Zwift bids farewell to its Zwift Hub smart trainer after settling a legal dispute with Wahoo.

The legal tussle over patent infringement prompted Zwift to discontinue the Hub, redirecting users to embrace the Wahoo Kickr Core with open arms.

The dispute resolution also marks a fresh collaboration between Zwift and Wahoo, who now plan to sell each other’s products on their platforms.

Meanwhile, the Zwift Hub One, a smart trainer with virtual shifting, remains an option, while the Kickr Core Bundle sees a price drop to £549, signalling a new era of camaraderie in the cycling tech realm.

Looks Totally Fake, Is Wildly Steep

Estr da Raínha Balneário Camboriú

This picture looks like something produced by AI, with a wobbly cycle lane, and fake looking cars.

However it is very real. It’s somewhere called Estr da Raínha in Balneário Camboriú, Brazil.

I’d have loved to post the Strava segment, but I cannot track it down.

Surely there must be one. Surely?

Anyway, it doesn’t look that steep, but check it out on Google Streetmaps. It’s beast!

Bike Video Of The Week

Mountain biking is crazy, as Peter Sagan found out this week.

Bike Of The Week

Just utterly stunning.

This is the Trek Madone SLR 9 Gen 7. It reminds me of the Zwift Tron Bike. Only, you know, real.

Obviously I haven’t ridden it, because it costs £13,625. My bike cost less than a tenth of that.

Pics courtesy of this Reddit thread. More shots to enjoy on the thread.

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