Cycling Weekly

Cycling Weekly March 12, 2020

Published by TI Media Limited Cycling Weekly is the UK's only weekly special interest magazine focusing on the cycling market. It is the best source of breaking international and UK news, race reportage, reliable fitness advice, trustworthy product reviews and inspirational features for British cyclists. Always a great read, Cycling Weekly inspires you to ride your bike more!

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in this issue

1 min.
start line 12.03

I can’t decide whether or not us cyclists are the best prepared for a public health crisis or the worst. We’re all obsessed with avoiding the dreaded cold, but sometimes we don’t exactly help ourselves either. When I was racing I went to some extreme measures to avoid catching a cold as at the time I worked part time in a bike shop and came into contact with a lot of people. I’d regularly wipe down the worktops, washing hands was nothing new and I always tried to open doors without using the part of the handle that I suspect everyone else used. Easy if you have to push, not so easy if you need to pull. I once read that chewing raw onion was a great way kill to germs in…

6 min.
teams and races scramble as coronavirus sweeps cycling

Teams, race organisers and the UCI have all spent the week reeling from the effects of the coronavirus sweeping across the globe. At the time of writing, the virus, which causes respiratory illness, had caused 110,000 people to fall ill and killed 3,500 across the world and has resulted in multiple races being cancelled or postponed. As it continues to spread it appears likely further cancellations could follow as it takes hold in Europe – the heart of the international racing scene. Teams have all had to have a major rethink about how they operate. Multiple teams have withdrawn from racing altogether, including Ineos, who also suffered the sudden and unrelated death of key directeur sportif Nico Portal last week (see page 10); Mitchelton-Scott who have suspended all racing; and Movistar who…

1 min.
lizzy banks’s swiss adventure

Bigla-Katusha rider Lizzy Banks had targeted Strade Bianche over the winter and was all prepared to race before the event was cancelled. Even before that the team had taken precautions over coronavirus. “The team were being as responsible as possible to minimise the risk by flying us into Switzerland, where they were then going to shuttle us down through Italy so we wouldn’t have to stop in northern Italy or use any of the Italian airports,” she said. They boarded a team vehicle on the way down towards Italy when they got an email saying the race was cancelled. “We were on a motorway which didn’t have another exit for 100 miles,” said Banks. “We just came off and headed straight back to the service course [in Switzerland].” She added: “It wasn’t something…

2 min.
nicolas portal 1979-2020

Cycling was left in mourning last week following the death of popular Team Ineos directeur sportif Nicolas Portal, aged 40. He died of a heart attack at his home in Andorra, on Tuesday morning. Portal was born in Auch, South-West France, to a quarry manager father and a medical secretary mother. He spent nine years as a pro rider but found his greatest success after turning directeur sportif at Team Sky, where he won the Tour de France six times with three different riders. Portal first showed his talent for bike racing as a mountain biker, following in the footsteps of his heroes Ned Overend, John Tomac and Rune Høydahl. But in 2001, a mutual friend brought him to the attention of Vincent Lavenu, manager of the Ag2r Prévoyance road team, who…

1 min.
the peloton pays tribute to portal

Nicolas Portal’s genial nature made him a very popular directeur sportif both inside and outside the peloton, and tributes flooded in after his death. Those from the Frenchman’s Team Ineos colleagues were perhaps particularly heartfelt, not least from Chris Froome. “I have been at a loss for words since I heard the news,” wrote the four-time Tour de France winner, on Instagram. “Aside from what an amazing friend, father and husband Nico was, I don’t think people understand how important and influential Nico was in our team’s success over the years. He is completely irreplaceable to the point where it’s hard to imagine where to go from here.” Geraint Thomas, who Portal also guided to Tour victory, said: “Can’t quite get my head around it, it’s too sad. Nico was so…

2 min.
jacob tipper sprints to eddie soens victory

Etching his name into the history books, Jacob Tipper took a narrow sprint victory in the 59th Eddie Soens Memorial at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday. Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling team rode the perfect race, placing three riders in the seven-man winning breakaway before putting their faith in the 28-year-old sprinter to take victory ahead of Joe Holt (Wales Racing Academy) in second and Matthew Taylor (Cycling Sheffield) third. “If you look at the previous winners here it’s a who’s who of racing, so it’s cool to add my name to the list,” said Tipper. “There are some really good names on there, so it is worth winning and it’s always nice to win a race with history behind it. “It might only be ranked as a regional race by British Cycling but it’s one…