⏰Stage #37: How to break the Hour Record
and the first ever pro-gravel race
I’m still coming at you from the north of England. It’s Wednesday afternoon and I’m in off-season mode. My road race season is finished for the year, and I’m currently on a brief holiday where I don’t have to ride my bike. All I have to do is keep active, so I’m heading out on a run once I’ve finished this. Cyclists and running don’t always mix well, so it could be interesting.
My race at the weekend (picture below) was incredible. It’s rare that I get to race in the UK anymore, in fact before Nationals, my last race in the UK was back in 2019. To be back racing for National Champs was special. It was made even more special because it is on the Lincoln GP circuit, my home roads. I had all of my friends and family on the roadside, and considering you do 13-laps, you really do get the full experience.
As I said, I’m on holiday now. Tomorrow I’m starting my trip up to Scotland where I will be having a long weekend visiting some friends. I’m looking forward to getting out and about and being able to live like a normal 20-year-old for a couple of weeks.
Enjoy this week’s newsletter,
The Hour Record is the purest form of any cycling discipline. You have a bike, you have a velodrome and you have an hour. Have fun. Alex Dowsett is attempting to break the Hour Record in Mexico, and re-take his former crown. In a recent interview, he revealed the price of some of his equipment, as well as his power targets. I hope he has a big bank account and plenty of energy!
Nathan Haas has been on the World Tour for a decade. He’s a top road pro, but like many, he’s also a gravel enthusiast. In this blog post, he argues that all cycling should be viewed equally: “Let's keep the vibes, the good spirit and the fun, raise the bar on the competitions, and keep it growing. How about nothing is main, and nothing is alternative: it's all just cycling and let's ride.”.
Serenissima Gravel is the first-ever pro-gravel race. Only open to pro-teams, and with less than 40 riders, it may seem like a gimmick from the outside. But the riders were taking it seriously: ‘‘We’re here to compete, not to participate”, said Astana. There was a strange mis-match of tech and tactics. There’s a long way for Serenissima to go, including adding a women’s race. But for a trial run, it went pretty darn well.
Disc brakes or rim brakes? It’s a big debate in the cycling world. I’m firmly in the disc brake category now, although I did take some convincing. I was speaking to an Ineos Grenadiers rider, and apparently, they stick to rim brakes as doing wheel changes in race situations is faster. For Tadej Pogacar, it’s all about weight. Here are his thoughts on winning the Tour de France while swapping between the two.
Getting the correct position on your bike can be difficult. As we go into winter, I will be changing bikes so it’s something that I’m starting to think about too. Even if you change to the same size, different brands and different models vary so much. The best way of finding the right fit is to find a reputable bike fitter. However, it is also possible to do a good DIY fit. Here are five of the most common bike-fitting mistakes, and how to avoid them.
📱Tweet of the week
Once a year, many of the older road pros based in Girona break out the retro kit and embark on a day-long bar-hopping trip across Catalonia. Here are some of the best looks… retro kit just hits different.
Jens Voigt is one of cycling’s characters. The old-school German animated races for almost two decades and his catchphrase ‘shut up legs’ became as famous as the man himself. In this pod, the fall of the Berlin Wall, being part of the German army, being airlifted to hospital at the Tour de France, and how to form the perfect breakaway are all discussed. It’s a cracker!
What makes a gravel bike? Some would argue that gravel bikes are simply a road frame with bigger tyres. Others would argue that they’re just mountain bikes with drop handlebars. CyclingTips have a look at those in the middle ground, the flat-bar gravel bike. In my head, that’s just a MTB!