Philippe Gilbert cleared to ride Amstel Gold Race

Despite nursing a fractured finger, Philippe Gilbert will line up for BMC at the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday

Philippe Gilbert Cleared To Ride Amstel Gold Race

Philippe Gilbert attacks, Amstel Gold Race 2014

Philippe Gilbert1 has received medical clearance to ride Sunday s Amstel Gold Race2, despite fracturing a finger in an altercation with a driver last week3. Gilbert shared a photo on Instagram on Wednesday of his surgically repaired finger, saying he had been able to do a long training session despite having pins in the top of his finger.

Gilbert has been given the medical all-clear from our Chief Medical Officer, Dr Max Testa, which is good news because Amstel Gold is a special race for both Gilbert and BMC Racing Team and we hope to continue our previous success at the race, said BMC sports director Valerio Piva.

Your essential guide to the Ardennes Classics

Gilbert has won the Amstel Gold Race three times, the last time being in 20144, but last year he faded having summited the final climb of the Cauberg first.

Michal Kwiatkowski5 took the title ahead of Alejandro Valverde6, but Gilbert is optimistic he will be in good shape to challenge for the win this time round.

I ve had a disrupted start to the season with illness and injury so I hope to put all of this behind me and be at the front of the race on Sunday. I have been back on the bike in the last couple of days and put in a long session today so I m confident that I ll be in a good shape to race, he said.

Gilbert could still face prosecution for the incident7 in which he broke his finger, with the driver involved claiming the Belgian used an illegal pepper spray on him.

BMC squad for Amstel Gold Race

Marcus Burghardt, Alessandro De Marchi, Silvan Dillier, Philippe Gilbert, Ben Hermans, Samuel Sanchez, Dylan Teuns, Lo c Vliegen.


  1. ^ Philippe Gilbert (
  2. ^ Sunday s Amstel Gold Race (
  3. ^ altercation with a driver last week (
  4. ^ last time being in 2014 (
  5. ^ Michal Kwiatkowski (
  6. ^ Alejandro Valverde (
  7. ^ could still face prosecution for the incident (

How to get into road cycling for less than £500

Here’s our guide on how to get started in cycling without breaking the bank

How To Get Into Road Cycling For Less Than £500

Road cycling can be incredibly expensive. After all, there are no shortage of top-end bikes that will set you back astonishing amounts of money, often stretching into five figures.

>>> Best cheap road bikes: ridden and rated1

The good news is that if you re new to the sport, then there s no need to break the bank. In fact, if you don t want to commit too much, then it s easily doable to completely kit yourself out with everything you need on a budget of less than 500. So, what do you need to get out of the front door and start falling in love with road cycling ?


We ll start with the obvious. For this sort of money you re not going to be able to get a fancy carbon-frame. In fact, for most road bikes under 5002 you re probably going to have to settle for either steel or aluminium.

Not that this is a bad thing mind, and should be reasonably comfy offering a sturdy base for you to fall in love with road cycling

B Twin Triban 500 280

How To Get Into Road Cycling For Less Than £500

The B Twin Triban represents great value for less than 300

The B Twin Triban 500 features an aluminium frame3 and steel fork, for improved handling. It isn t the fastest, lightest bike, but considering the price it is superb. A great entry level road bike for getting into road cycling or regular short distance commuting to work. There s also a lifetime warranty on the frame, reliable 24 speed microshift gearing, and a snazzy black, white and orange paintjob.

Head over to the B Twin website for more details4, and for more information on what to look for in an entry-level road bike, watch our video below.


For riding in warm weather, all you ll need on your top is a short sleeve jersey5. This doesn t need to be anything complicated, and all you need to look for is something that keeps the wind off your chest when going downhill, has a few rear pockets for storing food, money and a phone, and fits well.

Bontrager Starvos jersey 29.996

How To Get Into Road Cycling For Less Than £500

Great performance and looks without breaking the bank

Ok, so this Bontrager jersey isn t the absolute cheapest jersey you re going to find, but we like it because it really doesn t feel like an entry-level jersey. There s plenty of storage space for when your rides start to get a bit longer and require food for fuel, is really light and comfortable, and also looks and feels much more expensive than it is. Visit Bontrager7 for more details


One thing you should not compromise on is shorts. As the main contact point between your body and the bike, shorts should be comfortable and of good quality.

Read our buyer s guide to men s bib shorts8 and women s bib shorts9 to learn everything you need to know, but the most important things to look for are a good pad and close fit.

dhb Aeron bib shorts 30

How To Get Into Road Cycling For Less Than £500

These dhb shorts are among the best value bib shorts on the market

These dhb shorts are a great option for the price. They come with a Cytech pad, the same company that make pads for a whole host of premium brands, so you know they re going to be comfortable, while, almost as importantly, they re black, meaning that, unlike white shorts, they won t turn translucent in wet weather. No one wants to see that, do they

Visit Wiggle10 for more details.


There s an awful lot more to a pair of cycling shoes11 than you might expect. In fact, your shoes are a really important piece of kit, being the crucial connection between you and your bike, with all the power that your legs generate having to make its way through the soles of your shoes with as little wasted energy as possible.

dhb R2.0C shoes 64.9912

How To Get Into Road Cycling For Less Than £500

These dhb shoes represent excellent value

Another product from dhb, these R2.0C shoes are not the cheapest on the market, but very impressively come with a carbon sole13. This means that the sole of the show won t bend as much as you pedal, so more of your leg power is turned into forward momentum. And they re comfy too, certainly good enough for a good few hours in the saddle.

Visit Wiggle14 for more details


Believe it or not, but it s perfectly possible to spend almost as much on a helmet as it is on that B Twin bike. If you re not sure what to look for in a helmet, then check out our buyer s guide to road bike helmets15, but of course the most important thing is that it protects you, and for this you don t have to spend the earth.

Giro Foray helmet 49.9916

How To Get Into Road Cycling For Less Than £500

The Giro Foray helmet is an excellent option for the price

In fact you can actually pick up a pretty sleek looking helmet from a big name brand for less than fifty quid. This Giro Foray helmet is a great option. It features excellent ventilation that will keep your head cool when riding in hot weather, and the adjustment system at the back of the helmet means that it should fit, whatever shape your head is.

Visit Zyro17 for more details.


I m sorry to break it to you, but if you really want to get into cycling then you re going to need clipless pedals18, which require your shoes to be attached to the pedals. This might seem a little scary at first, but they don t require much practice to get used to, and once you re into the flow you ll be riding much faster than you would be with flat pedals.

Shimano R540 pedals 39.99

How To Get Into Road Cycling For Less Than £500

The R540 pedals are specifically designed to be easy to get out of

These pedals are specifically designed for new riders, with a lighter action to make clipping in and out easier. They also have a very similar design to some of Shimano s more expensive pedals, which means that once you get into the sport and have need for better pedals, then you ll be able to move up the price ladder without having to learn a new action for getting your feet in and out.

Visit Madison19 for more details.

Anything else?

By our calculations, all of that comes to a grand total of 494.96, but it s worth noting that that is based only on RRPs, and if you shop around then you should be able to get all of this for much less than that. It s also possible to go for cheaper items, on most of these pieces of kit, but we ve tried to pick out clothing and equipment that will not only get you started on the road, but will get you going at a decent lick too, and stand you in good stead for when you re ready to spend a little more.

How To Get Into Road Cycling For Less Than £500

It s worth getting some tools and a mini pump to make you self-sufficient when this happens

However there are a few little things you might still need on top of this. The most important things that we ve missed out are tools and a mini pump20.

For your first few rides you can get away with a phone and a willing family member in a car to get you out of trouble in the event of a puncture, but you re much more likely to maintain domestic harmony if you learn how to fix them yourself21.

For riding in cold and wet weather22 you re also going to need some gloves23 and a waterproof jacket24, but both of which these can be picked up reasonably cheaply, and if you want to record your riding achievements, then a cycling computer will be a good investment too.


  1. ^ >>> Best cheap road bikes: ridden and rated (
  2. ^ most road bikes under 500 (
  3. ^ an aluminium frame (
  4. ^ B Twin website for more details (
  5. ^ short sleeve jersey (
  6. ^ Bontrager Starvos jersey (
  7. ^ Bontrager (
  8. ^ buyer s guide to men s bib shorts (
  9. ^ women s bib shorts (
  10. ^ Wiggle (
  11. ^ Cycling shoes: a buyer s guide (
  12. ^ dhb R2.0C shoes 64.99 (
  13. ^ Are carbon-soled cycling shoes necessary? (
  14. ^ Wiggle (
  15. ^ buyer s guide to road bike helmets (
  16. ^ Giro Foray helmet 49.99 (
  17. ^ Zyro (
  18. ^ you re going to need clipless pedals (
  19. ^ Madison (
  20. ^ tools and a mini pump (
  21. ^ learn how to fix them yourself (
  22. ^ riding in cold and wet weather (
  23. ^ some gloves (
  24. ^ a waterproof jacket (

My laser experience | CapeAesthetics

Growing up in Cape Town, a city that has fantastic summers with white beaches at your fingertips and a huge outdoor culture I have loved the sun for as long as I can remember. Having a father who is a Plastic Surgeon I probably had more education about what the sun1 can do to your skin and how dangerous it can be than most, but that didn t stop me from spending entire days in the swimming pool with little sunscreen on, and in my teenage years experimenting with baby- and olive oil as tanning agents! When I now think of how many sunburns I have had that have resulted in blistering and peeling it literally makes me shudder.

The first time I noticed that I was developing freckles from my sun-worshipping ways was on a Discount Holidays © holiday to Thailand when I was 17. Of course I thought that my skin was primed for the African sun and the hole in the ozone layer that supposedly hovers over South Africa, and so I thought the Asian sun would be child s play for my skin. Unfortunately I was wrong, and once again suffered a blistering sunburn that left irregular brown spots on my chest, especially between my boobs. They bothered me enough to make me put SPF 50 on my chest most days, and especially when I went to the beach, but not enough to stop me from baking myself in the sun altogether. I finally made the decision to be sun-savvy in 2013, and have been much better about wearing high SPF daily, not sun bathing, and wearing a hat in the sun ever since.

Despite this, my freckles have not faded, and although they aren t something I stress about daily and don t limit my outfit choices or anything quite so dramatic, I still glance at them every now and then and wish I had started to take the sun2 more seriously earlier. Last week I learned that there is a way to erase these marks! Despite having worked at a laser3 clinic for a good 6 months I don t actually operate any of the lasers myself, rather sticking to the medical aesthetics4 like Botox5 and fillers6. So, perhaps like you, I don t reeeeaallly know what all the different lasers7 are called or what they can do, except that they can remove or reduce hair growth. In an effort to learn more I sat in on a training day, and eventually volunteered to see what the laser8 could do on me!

I started with zapping the tiny burst blood vessels I had in the creases on the sides of my nostrils. These disappeared immediately with no scabbing or pain at all! Miracle! It truly took only a few seconds and was less painful than being flicked by an elastic band. Next we zapped any hair I had, which was minimal since I had 6 sessions of hair removal laser9 in 2010. Perhaps it s important to note here that not all hair-removal lasers10 are equal, and that the results will depend on the kind of hair you have, the colour of the hair, and the colour of your skin. Since I have dark hair and light skin (Fitzpatrick II III) I was the ideal candidate for the Alexandrite laser, which is one of the only lasers that actually permanently removes hair.

IPL on the other hand will reduce your hair growth for a few years max, but you will always need repeat treatments if you choose IPL over laser. Lastly when I learned that the ND Yag laser could remove sun spots and freckles I thought I may as well give it a go! This was NOT painless and there is also downtime involved and so I thought that for those of you who might be tempted to give this a try I would share a day-by-day of my experience!

Day 0

The laser for the freckles on my face was set at 26 Joules, which is more than double what it was set at to laser my leg hair. (The laser is set according to your skin type, the colour of your freckles and your therapist s experience, so this is not a guideline for your treatment by any means!) You need to wear protective eyewear that completely blinds you, but despite this during the treatment you see intense flashes of red and white light with each zap of the laser. With freckles specifically the cooling unit attached to the laser is disabled so this coupled with the extra intensity of the laser makes this treatment a lot more painful than hair removal laser. Out of 10 I would rate the laser to the freckles on my face at about a 6 or a 7. It s not unbearable, but it s really not pleasant and feels like someone it lighting firecrackers on your face.

The laser for the freckles on my chest was set at 50 Joules so around double what it was set at for my unpleasant face treatment. The reason for this was that many of my chest freckles are quite light, and that the skin on your chest, although delicate, can take a bit more heat than your face. As you can imagine this was a little less bearable on a scale of 1 to ugly-crying I would rate it at about a 9. I did not shed a tear, nor did I ask the therapist to stop, but if it had gone on for a few seconds more I think I would have asked for a break and then not gone back for more. It was sore. Afterwards I was on fire.

My chest specifically was incredibly red and painful, and driving home I had to hold the seatbelt away from my body. My face wasn t as sore, but I looked like Pippi Longstocking, with flushed cheeks and dark freckles the sun spots become much darker directly after the treatment. Within about 45 minutes after the treatment the pain had subsided, and the redness had changed from being all over my chest to being red spots where the laser had zapped me. As time went on I noticed the freckles on my chest becoming darker, and even some spots that I had never seen before appearing on the treated area.

My Laser Experience | CapeAesthetics

Day 1

Day 1 post treatment I woke up with no redness on my cheeks anymore, but my freckles were now dark brown and some of them seem to have joined together into confluent patches that look like severe pigmentation. I managed to cover the patches relatively well with concealer I don t regularly wear foundation, let alone thick concealer so this felt and looked weird to me, but I m pretty sure no one would have noticed it if I hadn t pointed it out. My chest still had red dots all over it, with brown spots and speckles inside each one. I was warned not to exfoliate or be rough with my skin, so I washed it gently with my cleanser rather than using my bath lily and then applied an antioxidant11 and afterwards moisturized it with about 12 different moisturizers including aloe gel, Vitamin B5 and HA serum and my ordinary daily moisturizer!

There wasn t much pain, except when putting on my bra over a few spots on my shoulders that had been treated, but this pain didn t last after the bra was on. I wore a high-necked jersey to make sure it wasn t exposed to the sun at all, and also applied SPF 50 just in case! At night I cleansed in the same way and applied my antioxidant12 and Vitamin A13 cream generously.

Day 2

There really wasn t much change from day 1. The freckles on my cheeks still look much darker than usual and haven t changed in size at all. My chest looks absolutely horrifying with red spots of just under 1cm in diameter all over that have speckles in them ranging in colour from black to tan. There is no blistering, weeping or scabbing, and I don t have any pain unless I scratch the patches accidentally.

Day 3

The larger patch of brown on my cheek appears to be dispersing, but I still have dark brown freckles across the bridge of my nose and on my cheeks. There is no redness, pain or change in texture on my cheeks. My chest is still sensitive, and although the redness appears to be fading, especially on the spots towards the edges of my chest, the central portion of my chest and between my boobs still had angry red patches with brown specks inside them. The brown spots inside the red patches now appear to have become raised, and feel almost blistered, but there is no fluid in them. It s really quite gross at this point, but I m getting by with buttoning my shirts up all the way like the hipster I am, and piling on concealer like it s nobody s business.

My Laser Experience | CapeAesthetics

Day 4

I m noticing that the marks on my cheeks are getting less dense they ve taken on a more speckled appearance as opposed to the confluent patches of brownness that they once were. Although I ve been warned against any kind of exfoliation or picking, I do notice that if I rub on the spots on my cheeks or nose they seem to come off in papery thin little specks of dust. My chest still looks like a war zone, but I do see a little improvement each day. There are still 1 or 2 horrible raw-looking red spots, but for the most part the spots are now all brown and speckly. I am hoping they will follow the same path that my facial lesions have and start to flake off in the next few days!

Day 5

I am not using half as much concealer as I was on Day 1, and there are only a few specks left on my nose and cheeks. I haven t yet examined my face close up to see if I think there has been a vast improvement, but I m feeling a lot more positive about my skin now that the laser-made brown marks aren t as visible. My chest still requires me to button my shirts all the way to the top, and I m 1 polo neck away from a laundry crisis at this point (WHY are all my shirts hand wash only?). There are now only 2 red patches left, and the rest is brown and still gross to look at. I m sure some of the brown marks have begun to fall off, but it s hard to see much difference since the damage was so extensive. I live in hope.

Day 6

I only have 3 dark specks left on the bridge of my nose, my face is otherwise clear and definitely less blemished than it was before. My chest still looks like a horror story. Although I do see slight improvement each time I check it out I am starting to wonder what I will do if it never recovers. Vanity can be such a bitch.

Day 7

Not much to report pretty much the same as yesterday. The biggest lesson in all of this has really been that I need more conservative clothing. Clearly I dress like a harlot on most days.

Day 14

I have woken up flawless. The spots faded and flaked off over the past week, and I ll admit there were a few moment where I thought I had developed Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation and was going to be scarred for a good few months, but it all turned out to be part of the process and my chest is literally the most glorious thing on this earth right now.

My Laser Experience | CapeAesthetics

I have vowed to SPF 50 it every day, and to try to stop dressing like such a hussy during the day to avoid sun exposure at night I ll obviously be baring my chest for all to see so look out for that. All in all this experience was truly quite alarming I really had not expected such an intense period of downtime, but obviously the results wouldn t have been as brilliant had I been treated on a less intensive setting. The results are truly incredible though, especially since I actually had no idea you could get rid of freckles without melting all your skin off (which is maybe what I did but I was thinking more along the lines of seeing exposed muscle through a Vaseline-y film kind of lasering).

I m really happy with my treatment and keep looking at my arms thinking perhaps I should just zap them too! If your freckles bother you and you have some cash and some time on your hands I would definitely recommend this treatment! To find out more or make an appointment call Laserderm14 on (021) 683 5060.

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  1. ^ the sun (
  2. ^ the sun (
  3. ^ laser (
  4. ^ medical aesthetics (
  5. ^ Botox (
  6. ^ fillers (
  7. ^ lasers (
  8. ^ laser (
  9. ^ hair removal laser (
  10. ^ lasers (
  11. ^ antioxidant (
  12. ^ antioxidant (
  13. ^ Vitamin A (
  14. ^ Laserderm (