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Tech of the Week: new FSA groupset, what to pack for a 4,400 mile race, and more

Our pick of the best tech stories from the last seven days

FSA groupset finally raced

Tech Of The Week: New FSA Groupset, What To Pack For A 4,400 Mile Race, And More

If you re more interested in bikes than bikers, then the most interesting development of the last week was the arrival of a new groupset from FSA1, which was first spotted at last year s Tour but was only ridden for the first time on stage 17 of this year s race. We haven t got full details of the new groupset just yet (expect those when it is properly launched at the Eurbike trade show in a months time) but safe to say that it is electronic, although not completely wireless like SRAM Red eTap2 which was at a similar stage in it s development this time last year.

What do you pack for a 4,400 mile bike race?

Tech Of The Week: New FSA Groupset, What To Pack For A 4,400 Mile Race, And More

However our most read story of the past seven days was what was basically a kit list of what Laura Scott took with her as she tackled the 4,400 mile TransAm race from Astoria, Oregon to Yorktown, Virginia. A Kinesis ambassador, Laura s bike of choice for this epic race was a Kinesis GF_Ti Disc equipped with Shimano Ultegra Di2 and a Reynolds wheelset. On top of this Laura wore a hell of a lot of Rapha kit and camping gear from North Face. You can see her full kit list here3.

Canyon-SRAM kit now available for men

Tech Of The Week: New FSA Groupset, What To Pack For A 4,400 Mile Race, And More

When Canyon-SRAM first revealed their kit last winter we couldn t quite believe our eyes4. Here was a pro cycling kit that was unlike anything we d ever seen before. The only problem (for us blokes at least) was that Rapha was only selling it in women s cuts and sizes. Thankfully that changed last week, when Rapha announced that it would be selling the jersey and matching baselayer in men s sizes5. However we re going to have to pair it with plain black bib shorts for the time being.

Final Tour bikes

All good things must come to an end, and so we find ourselves waiting another 341 days until the beginning of the 2017 Tour de France.

One man who won t be on the start line in Dusseldorf is Fabian Cancellara6, who abandoned this year s race before stage 19, therefore not getting a chance to ride this lovely custom-painted Trek Madone7 into Paris.

References

  1. ^ the arrival of a new groupset from FSA (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ SRAM Red eTap (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ see her full kit list here (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ we couldn t quite believe our eyes (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ Rapha announced that it would be selling the jersey and matching baselayer in men s sizes (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  6. ^ Fabian Cancellara (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  7. ^ this lovely custom-painted Trek Madone (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)

This is what it takes to ride 4400 miles across America unsupported

Laura Scott took part in the 2016 Trans Am race. This is the kit which she used for the ride.

This Is What It Takes To Ride 4400 Miles Across America Unsupported

The 2016 Trans Am Bike Race started off from Astoria, Oregon on 4th June, with its participants aiming to cycle to Yorktown, Virginia. It s some 4400 miles and the rules stipulate that you should have no outside support during the ride which isn t commercially available. It s the third year that the race has been held, with the initial 2014 version won by Englishman Mike Hall in 17 days, 16 hours and 17 minutes. Laura Scott took part in this year s race. This is what she took with her.

The bike

This Is What It Takes To Ride 4400 Miles Across America Unsupported

Laura s bike was based around a Kinesis GFTI Disc frameset

Laura built her bike around a Kinesis GFTI Disc frameset. Kinesis UK sells the titanium frame with a full carbon fork and flat mount disc brake tabs. Laura kitted it out with Shimano Ultegra Di2 as electronic shifting requires less hand force to operate than mechanical an important consideration when riding long distances day after day. The groupset comes with hydraulic disc brakes, which Laura chose for their stopping power needed for a heavily loaded bike light action and their consistency particularly in the wet and on long descents.

>>> This is what you have to eat to compete in the Tour de France1

She started out with a Reynolds Aero 46 Disc wheelset and 28mm Conti GP4000 II tyres, which she swapped out for Conti Gatorskins in Wyoming on Day 15 as they d worn down by that point. She chose 28mm tyres for a bit of extra comfort, with the Kinesis having plenty of clearance for wider tyres.


Watch: feeding riders at the Tour de France


Laura says she found her Brooks Cambium C17 Carved saddle very comfortable. It s made of a combination of cotton canvas and rubber and comes with a central cut-out. She struggled to find suitable aerobars that didn t get in the way when riding out of the saddle and eventually used clip-on Profile Design bars, modifying the elbow pads to flip up out of the way when not in use.

Kit

Laura used Rapha clothing, including two pairs of its Classic shorts, two baselayers, a short sleeved and a wind blocking jersey, rain jacket, gilet, Reflective Climber s Shoes, gloves, cap and overshoes. She used a Kask Protone helmet.

This Is What It Takes To Ride 4400 Miles Across America Unsupported

Disc brakes help on long descents

For camping, she had a North Face Thermoball jacket, 2XU compression leggings and a North Face Assault bivy with a Rab Neutrino 200 sleeping bag and a Thermarest sleeping mat.

>>> Trans-Am cyclist sends video to say he s still alive2

The whole lot packed into frame bags from Restrap: they re waterproof and easy to take on and off the bike. Laura also used two feedbags on her top tube to stash her on bike nutrition.

Electrics

Lighting came from Supernova front and rear lamps powered by an SP Dynamo PD-8 hub, with a Busch and M ller USB-werk battery to ensure uniform power output. Laura also had Lezyne Strip Drive back-up lights. She used a Garmin Edge 1000 computer supplemented with Ride With GPS on her iPhone for navigation.

>>> Should you eat less meat to boost your cycling? 3

This Is What It Takes To Ride 4400 Miles Across America Unsupported

Not much steering input required here

Hydration

With the temperature hitting over 40C and long distances between water stops, Laura found her two water bottles insufficient. Her bike was fitted with two Lezyne side entry cages that were easier to use with her frame bag than standard ones. She bought a third cage and bottle while underway and taped it to the underside of the frame. She used ORS hydration tablets to add glucose and electrolytes to her fluid intake.

>>> Are you addicted to cycling?4

This Is What It Takes To Ride 4400 Miles Across America Unsupported

It s a lot of kit to carry 4400 miles

Sadly Laura didn t reach Virginia. She was hit by a car on the first day out from Astoria and suffered a dislocated shoulder, stitches and a hairline fracture as well as damage to her front wheel and dynamo. She continued for 2000 miles and had reached Colorado before deciding to call it a day.

For more details of Laura s ride see her @Laura_Scott Instagram5 or Twitter6 feeds.

All photos courtesy of Laura Scott

References

  1. ^ >>> This is what you have to eat to compete in the Tour de France (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ >>> Trans-Am cyclist sends video to say he s still alive (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ >>> Should you eat less meat to boost your cycling? (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ >>> Are you addicted to cycling? (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ Instagram (www.instagram.com)
  6. ^ Twitter (mobile.twitter.com)

Crosswinds could turn stage 11 of the Tour de France into a nightmare for GC contenders

High winds greeted riders as they got up on Wednesday morning for stage 11 of the Tour de France: GC contenders will have to be wary of splits in the bunch

Crosswinds Could Turn Stage 11 Of The Tour De France Into A Nightmare For GC Contenders

High winds could shatter the peloton and provide an unexpected challenge to the overall contenders on stage 111 of the 2016 Tour de France2 on Wednesday. Strong winds blowing off the coast as the riders make their way from Carcassonne to Montpellier over 162.5km could create splits in the bunch. There s potential for GC contenders to get caught on the wrong side of a split and lose time on what was originally predicted to be a flat, calm day.

Crosswinds Could Turn Stage 11 Of The Tour De France Into A Nightmare For GC Contenders

Crosswinds caused Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) to lose 90 seconds on stage two of the race in 20153. If that doesn t seem like a significant time loss, remember that the entire current top 10 after stage 10 is separated by only 61 seconds. Triple 2016 stage winner Mark Cavendish4 (Dimension Data), who is one of the leading contenders to take the victory on the stage, tweeted on Wednesday morning: When you re here and woken by the wind banging the window shutters, it s not likely to be a calm day on the bike! .

When you’re here & woken by the wind banging the window shutters, it’s not likely to be a calm day on the bike! #TDF pic.twitter.com/BRxSTOwPbj56

Mark Cavendish (@MarkCavendish) July 13, 20167

Former rider and three-time green jersey winner Robbie McEwen said: Wind howling from WNW up to 70km/h. This stage just became one of the most important.

Stage 11 Carcassone Montpellier heads ENE, wind howling from WNW up to 70km/h. This stage just became one of the most important of #TdF168

Robbie McEwen (@mcewenrobbie) July 13, 20169

The wind speeds will make for a nervous start to the stage, as the general classification contenders teams will want to stay near the front of the bunch and keep the pace high to prevent splits. It might be hard for any riders to initially form an escape group.

Todays stage will probably be nice to watch on tv. For us riders? Not so much #wind #stress1011

Tom Dumoulin (@tom_dumoulin) July 13, 201612

Stage nine winner Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) said that the stage will probably be nice to watch on tv. For us riders?

Not so much #wind #stress .

Montpellier. Hot and windy. pic.twitter.com/JtClPcnP3t13

Ned Boulting (@nedboulting) July 13, 201614

Giant-Alpecin coach Adriaan Helmantel said in a short video he posted on Twitter ahead of the stage start: Normally flat means a sprinters stage but the wind is strong so maybe there will be echelons hectic. Most of the time, time trials and uphill finishes are important for GC riders but be aware today that it could be a really important stage.

>>> Tour de France 2016: Latest news, reports and info15

The conditions will, of course, favour riders with experience in the spring classics, where crosswinds are part and parcel of the racing. Expect to see race leader and defending champion Chris Froome making full use of Sky team-mates Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard to keep him safe in any blustery conditions. Belgian and Dutch teams may also thrive in the conditions, with Etixx-Quick Step, Lotto-Soudal and LottoNL-Jumbo possibly moving to the fore, along with individual classics specialists such as Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing), John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) and world champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff).

References

  1. ^ stage 11 (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ 2016 Tour de France (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) to lose 90 seconds on stage two of the race in 2015 (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ Mark Cavendish (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ #TDF (twitter.com)
  6. ^ pic.twitter.com/BRxSTOwPbj (t.co)
  7. ^ July 13, 2016 (twitter.com)
  8. ^ #TdF16 (twitter.com)
  9. ^ July 13, 2016 (twitter.com)
  10. ^ #wind (twitter.com)
  11. ^ #stress (twitter.com)
  12. ^ July 13, 2016 (twitter.com)
  13. ^ pic.twitter.com/JtClPcnP3t (t.co)
  14. ^ July 13, 2016 (twitter.com)
  15. ^ >>> Tour de France 2016: Latest news, reports and info (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)

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