Vincenzo Nibali Wins Tirreno-Adriatico

Vincenzo Nibali Wins Tirreno-Adriatico After seven days of action – including some apocalyptic weather and that hill which proved too steep for many – Astana rider Vincenzo Nibali has won the Tirreno-Adriatico. Nibali took only 12th place on the final 9.2km Individual Time Trrial stage in San Benedetto del Tronto (won, almost inevitably by Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Tony Martin in 10’25”) but it was more than enough to hold off Sky’s contender for CG Chris Froome who took sixth on the stage, on +15, forcing him to settle for second on the overall podium. Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador filled out the third place, 52 seconds adrift of Nibali’s total time of 28h, 8minutes and 17seconds.


Organisers of the event had been strongly criticised for the tear-inducing climb of the Muro di Sant’Elpidio that dominated Monday’s stage; the 27% incline caused the retirement of a huge proportion of the field including Andy Schleck and Mark Cavendish and reshaped the field to such an extent it effectively lost Froome his chances of victory. Race Director Michele Acquarone took to twitter to say, ‘If riders are not happy, fans are not happy and I’m not happy too. Sometimes it’s not easy to find the right balance.’



Early Riser Festival

Early Riser FestivalThe Early Riser Festival, which runs August 3 and 4 in the beautiful setting of the New Forest, promises an intriguing, family-friendly, mix of music, food and all-things two wheeled. Organised by Cyclofanatic Events – the good people behind the Meon Valley Riser and New Forest Rattler sportives – the Early Riser Festival brings together a spectacular sportive (with 48, 76, 100mile options), short track mountain bike competition, a pedal powered cinema and disco, along with a whole roster of musical acts and plenty to entertain children of all ages including Bikeability courses and an appearance from Cbeebies’ Sid and Andy. A range of tickets are available – adult ‘day’ tickets are £42, kids £26 (children under 12 are free) and weekend tickets (£42/£78) include camping throughout the duration of the Early Riser Festival with the festival campsite opening at midday on Friday August 2 and closing at midday on Monday August 5. Both weekend and Saturday tickets include entry to the sportive.


For further details and to keep apace with the ever-expanding line-up of events and performers see


Extras Recovery Reviews

Cool Peppermint Muscle Spritz

Cool Peppermint Muscle Spritz ReviewThere were two things that made us want to take a closer look at the Cool Peppermint Muscle Spritz from Natural Hero: First, we are told (by the makers) that it’s incredibly popular with cyclists and second we love ‘natural’ products and this one claims to consist of ‘99% natural ingredients’. So, what does it do? Is it any good? And can we forgive it that 1%?


The Cool Peppermint Muscle Spritz, which comes in a 100ml pump bottle, is intended for spraying onto aching muscles either during or post-exercise to provide an instant cooling effect, which gives way to a gentle warmth through the treated area. It achieves this through a blend of botanical extracts including peppermint (natch), white willow, arnica, witch hazel and blue chamomile – whilst the carrying agent (a natural alcohol denant) also adds to the initial cooling as its rapid evaporation leads to a drop in skin temperature. Looking at the other active ingredients in order: peppermint essential oil can reduce inflammation (and smells good), willow – in the form of bark extract – is an astringent, which will cause mild skin contraction, arnica has proven efficacy as an anti-inflammatory, witch hazel is a toner, and chamomile is another anti-inflammatory. Phew…


If you’re wondering about the 1% of synthetic ingredients: menthyl lactate is a common cosmetics ‘cooling agent’, potassium sorbate is a preservative (E number 202) and ascorbic acid (actually a form of vitamin C) is utilised as an anti-oxidant in the spritz. Nothing to worry about here and the other 99% is more than commendable.


Does it work though? The short answer is an unequivocal yes. The cooling effect was instant and quite intense shifting, after a few minutes, to a background warmth that lasted in excess of half an hour. Perhaps not strictly for use as pain relief, and, as it evaporates so quickly (an essential part of the cooling mechanism), it lacks the advantage of being compatible with massage. But for instant revitalisation with tangible soothing results that eased muscle tension this is an undeniably useful product that deserves to find its way into the bag of tricks for post-sportive or intensive training session. Cyclo would love to see a mini version – say sub-50ml – that could tuck into a jersey pocket…


Cool Peppermint Muscle Spritz from Natural Hero is available for £11.99 from