Extras Featured Reviews

Oakley Jawbreaker

Oakley JawbreakerThe Oakley Jawbreaker is a collaboration between one of the world’s biggest names in eye-wear and Mark Cavendish, one of the biggest names in cycling, but the results are likely to leave people as polarised as the company’s legendary lenses…


‘Aggressive’ is the adjective most often used to describe the aesthetics of Oakley’s output – there are a few exceptions such as the sleeker RadarLock range – but for the most part there’s a somewhat bolshie angularity to their glasses and the Jawbreaker is no exception. The first thing you’ll notice about the Jawbreaker is the size – these are true XL glasses that provide an exception field of vision; they appear disproportionate without a helmet, but once suited up it all falls into place (guess Cav and Oakley really do know what they’re doing…)


Comfort levels are exceptional here with weight coming in just under 35g – the lower frame is perfectly curved to sit snuggly against the cheeks and the arms are hinge-locked to provide a range of lengths to fit perfectly under any helmet. The downside here, particularly if you are reckless enough to try and adjust them on the fly, is that it’s possible for the entire arm to disconnect with catastrophic results.


Oakley JawbreakerThe Jawbreaker has a hinged lower frame that gives them their somewhat aggressive (there’s that word again) name for fairly quick lens switching, which is only fiddly on the first couple of tries. Ruggedness has been upped by the addition of a tiny metal cam, which sits behind the rubberised nose bridge, and replaces the more traditional weakest link plastic affair on other Oakleys.


As you would expect from Oakley, when it comes to the lenses they are outstanding with a range of tints and polarized options for every conceivable condition (conceivable, so long as you have the budget of course with additional lenses starting at around the £70 mark.) On the subject of price – the Jawbreaker starts at £170 – we still feel slightly short-changed that Oakley only adds hydrophobic coating to the outside of the lens but will happily sell you, for £17, the Nanoclear treatment for inside application. Also the specific Oakley Jawbreaker Cavendish Edition – with the dinky CVNDSH logo on the lens – is at a premium of an additional £20…


Oakley JawbreakerThe Oakley Jawbreaker clearly brings plenty to the table, not least a slightly old-school aesthetic, and if you want the added kudos of wearing glasses that have had input from Cavendish then these are the sunnies for you. Venting is excellent, optics uncompromising, and comfort superb – if you can live with ‘aggressive’ and are willing to spend upwards of £170 these won’t let you down.


Further details of Oakley Jawbreaker at – available online for purchase from, amongst other places,


Kittel Wins Tour of Britain Opener

Tour of BritainMarcel Kittel has won the opening stage of the Tour of Britain with a sprint finish at the conclusion of the eight-lap, 104.8km start in Liverpool, narrowly beating Nicola Ruffoni into second and Mark Cavendish into third. Team Giant-Shimano’s Kittel, who won two of the Grand Depart stages of this year’s Tour de France finished in 2h 16’35” commenting: ‘It was really messy at the finish – it’s always difficult when you have a downhill section in the final kilometre as it becomes really fast and harder to hold position… It’s good to win the first stage. It’s really nice to see the reaction of the spectators here – a lot of people came out to the race today.’


Cavendish was, in many respects, lucky to take a podium place at all having crashed into a car at just under the 105k point prompting flash-backs of his disastrous Tour de France opener. The Omega Pharma – Quick-Step rider said of the accident: ‘I had to change my cleats in the beginning of the stage; I was coming back after and I was behind a car. Someone had to stop for a puncture so the car slammed on its brakes, and there was an island in the road. If I went right, I would hit a traffic island, so I went left and I whacked another car. I hit it with my left leg and I was down on the road. I felt immediately a lot of pain on my quadriceps. It took me a lap to come back even because our team car couldn’t assist me immediately because it was on the front.’


Defending Tour of Britain champion Bradley Wiggins, hoping to become the first rider to win successive titles since the race was reintroduced in 2004, finished in the peloton in 74th place.


The Tour of Britain continues today with the 200.8k stage from Knowsley to Llandudno. Full details at


Cavendish to Miss Commonwealth Games

imageIt has been confirmed that Mark Cavendish will now miss the Commonwealth Games, set to begin in Glasgow on July 23, as a result of the injuries sustained in the closing minutes of the first stage of the Tour de France. The Omega Pharma – Quick-Step rider suffered a dislocated shoulder and damaged ligaments falling heavily in the sprint finish on Saturday and his rehabilitation following surgery is expected to take at least six weeks. Cavendish comments: ‘…at the moment all I can do is focus 100% of my effort on my recovery, to be able to get back racing as quickly as possible.’ In an oblique reference to the fact that Cavendish also caused him to crash, Orica-GreenEDGE’s Simon Gerrans Tweeted yesterday, ‘Well I certainly had some ups and downs the past 3 days racing in the UK, but it was an awesome experience all the same. #TDF’


Whilst Gerrans may have put the incident behind him, having accepted Cavendish’s apology, it’s potentially not the end of the matter with Norway’s Alexander Kristoff making his own views clear that it was a case of ‘crashing on purpose.’ Cavendish’s agent Simon Bayliff has suggested that they are considering legal action against the Team Katusha rider.



Cavendish out of Tour

imageOmega Pharma – Quick-Step has confirmed that Mark Cavendish will not continue with this year’s Tour de France due to injuries suffered just metres from the finish line in Harrogate at the end of Stage 1. Despite initial fears of a fractured collarbone an x-ray at Harrogate District hospital showed no bones broken, but a subsequent MRI scan revealed an AC-joint dislocation and ruptured ligaments. However, having assessed his condition overnight, the team have announced that he is in no condition to continue.


Speaking after the crash in Yorkshire Cavendish commented: ‘I’m gutted about the crash today. It was my fault. I’ll personally apologise to Simon Gerrans as soon as I get the chance. In reality, I tried to find a gap that wasn’t really there. I wanted to win today, I felt really strong and in a great position to contest the sprint thanks to the unbelievable efforts of my team. Sorry to all the fans that came out to support; it was truly incredible.’


The loss of Cavendish from the OPQS team leaves them somewhat floundering this early on in the TdF; it also leaves just three British riders – Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Simon Yates – in the Tour.


Giant-Shimano’s Marcel Kittel was the winner of Stage 1. The tour continues today with 201km York to Sheffield.


Featured Features

Brits of the Tour de France 2014

With David Millar now dropped from Garmin-Sharp and Alex Dowsett a substitute rider for Movistar, this year’s British contingent of riders for the Tour de France is a mere four…


Chris FroomeChris Froome - Reigning Tour de France champion and Team Sky’s not-at-all-secret weapon, Froome continues to demonstrate why he is arguably the best stage race rider in the world. Turning professional in 2007 when he joined Team Konica Minolta, Froome really came into the spotlight at the 2011 Vuelta a Espana just a year after moving to Team Sky. The historic one-two with Bradley Wiggins at the 2012 Tour de France and subsequent bronze for the Time Trial the London Olympics consolidated his reputation as one of the best riders of his generation.

Follow Chris Froome on Twitter @chrisfroome



Geraint ThomasGeraint Thomas - With Team Sky also boasting Geraint Thomas they account for 50% of the Brits at this year’s Tour de France. A member of British Cycling’s Olympic Academy, Thomas won the Junior Paris–Roubaix in 2004 continuing to make headway through to his victory at the British National Road Race Championships in 2010. After gold medal success at London 2012, Thomas was an integral part of Team Sky’s second Tour de France victory and will act as Froome’s wingman for this year’s Tour de France. Our money’s on him as a future Grand Tour winner too.

Follow Geraint Thomas on Twitter @GeraintThomas86



Mark CavendishMark Cavendish - The Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish is the sprinter’s sprinter and Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s one to watch. Cavendish already has 25 Tour de France stage wins to his name, putting him in third position; although he might claim enough wins in the 2014 TdF to nudge France’s Bernard Hinault off of the second spot (28 wins) he still has a way to go to reach the dizzying heights of Eddy Merckx with 34 victories. Before a pedal has even been cranked in anger at the Tour de France Cavendish has already clocked up over 7,000km of competitive cycling this year.

Follow Mark Cavendish on Twitter @markcavendish



Simon YatesSimon Yates - Twin brother of Adam Yates, also of ORICA-GreenEDGE, Simon’s inclusion in the 2014 Tour de France line-up was something of a surprise; not yet his time to shine we think, but this will give him some invaluable Grand Tour experience miles. Not yet 22 years old Yates took gold in the Points Race at the 2013 Track World Championships and has more than proven his worth on the road with solid work at the Tour de l’Avenir and a win over both Wiggins and Nairo Quintana on stage six of the Tour of Britain. Plenty of good years ahead of him…

Follow Simon Yates on Twitter @SimonYatess





Featured Features

Best Cycling Books 2013

No arguing that’s it’s been another great year for cycling and an equally good one for books on the subject. With Cyclo’s Best Cycling Books 2013 guide  you can flesh out your Christmas list or get some inspiration for 2014. We’ve picked out our top 5 for your reading pleasure (and thrown in a couple of close contenders too), but if you think there’s something we’ve missed let us know at



domestiqueDomestique, The True Life Ups and Downs of a Tour Pro


A pro rider for more than a decade with some 14 Grand Tours to his credit, Charly Wegelius sets bare the true struggle of life on the circuit and demystifies much of cycling’s inner machinations but his book is also one of humbling simplicity in many ways and his modesty shines. In his opening chapter, ‘Prologue’ (Cav went for this ‘gag’ in At Speed too), Wegelius says: ‘What is it to be a great cycling champion, I will never know. What I can tell you is what it is to race bicycles for a living’. And if you want to know what it’s like to be the man who works day in, day out for the glory of others this lays it on the line.


Wegelius and co-author Tom Southam, once a pro himself, now known for his journalism in the sport, balance humour with brutal reality (‘forget the glamour, welcome to the shitty, true life ups and downs of a tour cyclist’) and the decision to avoid salacious gossip and exposé in favour of straight talk is to be applauded heartily. Easily our favourite cycling book of the year.


The True Life Ups and Downs of a Tour Pro, Ebury Press (ISBN-10: 0091950937) is currently out in hardback at £16.99 (Kindle £9.49) with the paperback edition due February 2014. Available from, amongst others,



mountain_higherMountain Higher


Subtitled Europe’s Extreme, Undiscovered and Unforgettable Cycle Climbs, Mountain Higher is the sequel (of sorts) to Daniel Friebe and Pete Goding’s beautiful Mountain High: Europe’s 50 Greatest Cycle Climbs. Concentrating here on the continent’s lesser-known, but still challenging and spectacular mountain roads and passes this is a sumptuous large-format book (no cycling jersey pocket potential unfortunately) that gives both lucid and narrative accounts of each detailed climb along with all the stats and stunning photographs to boot.


The spread through Europe is good – even Belgium gets something of a surprise entry with the 111m climb over 2.2km of the Oude Kwaremont – and those of a techie nature will enjoy the free QuercusEye app which allows you to hover over a selection of the photos and have them augmented with video and other detail. Mountain Higher is certainly amongst our favourite coffee-table books of the year regardless if you are planning to use it for adventure prep or fantasy musings.


Mountain Higher: Europe’s Extreme, Undiscovered and Unforgettable Cycle Climbs (ISBN-10: 1780879121) by Daniel Friebe and Pete Goding is published by Quercus, RRP £25.00 – Available from, amongst others,



tdf2013_book_largeTour de France 100th Race Anniversary Edition


Those sunny days of summer may be far behind but relive them (and a hundred more) in this beautifully produced commemorative book. Of course there are no end of volumes on various aspects of the Tour de France and numerous biographies of those you have ridden it to fill in the more personal (often painful) minutiae. But now, thanks to publishers Quercus, comes one as rich and beguiling as the race itself.


Covering the birth of the TdF before dedicating a page per race through the subsequent one hundred editions, it includes overviews that capture the agony and ecstasy along with brief stats, such as final standings, total distances, average winner speed and map, all of which helps contextualise things. More importantly it is also a stunningly illustrated visual history with more than 250 photographs and illustrations, many previously unpublished. As a written history, with substantial sidebars, this book is near perfect; as a collectable coffee table picture book it is unsurpassed.


Tour de France 100th Race Anniversary Edition is published by Quercus (ISBN-10: 1782064141) and worth every penny of the £30 cover price. Available from, amongst others,



at_speedAt Speed


At Speed is, in essence, volume two of Mark Cavendish’s autobiography. Boy Racer was published back in 2010, but more than enough has happened to the ‘Manx Missile’ in the intervening years to justify another slice – multiple jerseys from all three Grand Tours, the Olympics, the World Road Race title… You get the idea.


Opening with a thrillingly recounted chapter on the World Championship road race in Copenhagen At Speed takes an occasionally non-linear journey through the other ups and (occasional) downs of Cav’s recent career across three teams in as many years. As befits a cyclist who places equal emphasis on mental as physical prowess – he’s an avid Sudoku solver – he never presents excuses for his failures, just highly analytical and insightful reasons. Although co-written by ghost Daniel Friebe, who, as co-author of Mountain Higher gets two of our top five slots for 2013, At Speed manages to retain a real ‘first hand’ feel through which Cav’s voice and ambitions are clearly heard.


At Speed (ISBN-10: 0091933404) by Mark Cavendish and Daniel Friebe is published by Ebury Press. RRP £20 hardback and £9.49 on Kindle. Available from, amongst others,



racing_hardRacing Hard


Few cycling journalists have enjoyed a career as long and esteemed as that of William Fotheringham; since joining the Guardian in 1989 he has established himself as a writer respected not only by the lay-reader but by the Grand Tour participants – he is undoubtedly as ‘riders’ journalist’.  Racing Hard, published by Faber and Faber, brings together what might be considered the definitive collection of tales from the front line of pro-racing, which, taken together, becomes something of a meditation on the changing face of the sport over the last two decades.


The forward by David Millar not only sets out the regard with which Fotheringham is held, but encapsulates the span of his work; Millar writes: ‘William has put my career into words, from an ambitious teenager to a fallen world champion to a fervent anti-doping campaigner, team owner and father.’ Those that know and love Fotheringham’s work as a journalist or author (read the review of his book Merckx: Half Man, Half Bike here) will naturally gravitate towards Racing Hard; but hopefully it will also bring his words to those unfamiliar with his prolific output and earn him yet more dedicated followers. He’s worked long and hard for them…


Racing Hard (ISBN-10: 0571303625) is published by Faber and Faber, RRP £12.99 paperback and Kindle £4.79. Available from, amongst others,


Also Rode:

They may not have made our Top Five, but treating yourself to one of our ‘Also Rode’ picks is more than recommended…


It’s All About the Bike: My Autobiography – Sean Yates

One of our greatest pro cyclists and also the mind behind the rise and rise of Team Sky; an extraordinary career and a book well deserving of your time. RRP £18.99 Kindle £9.49. Available from, amongst others,


The Race Against Time – Edward Pickering

Analysis of the rivalry between living-legends Graeme Obree and Chris Boardman at a time which could be argued was the birth of modern British cycling dominance. RRP £16.99, Kindle £9.49. Available from, amongst others,


On the Road Bike: The Search For a Nation’s Cycling Soul – Ned Boulting

Boulting, the author of How I Won The Yellow Jumper, takes an odd-ways glance at out nation’s often eccentric approach to cycling.  RRP £14.99, Kindle £8.54. Available from, amongst others,


Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong – David Walsh

Certainly not the final word on the scandal that is Armstrong, but Walsh remains so inextricably linked to the sordid tale that his book brings a truly unique perspective.  RRP £8.99, Kindle £4.49. Available from, amongst others, 


Read more Cyclo book reviews here


Books Featured Reviews

At Speed

At SpeedThere’s really no arguing with the fact that Mark Cavendish has achieved incredible things for a 28-year-old – so much that it more than justifies the publication of At Speed, a book that amounts to volume two of his autobiography. Boy Racer was published back in 2010 and, to be slightly reductive, whilst it dealt with the ‘getting there’, At Speed covers the ‘being there/staying there’.


Of course much has happened in the intervening years both personally (marriage, the birth of his daughter to whom he dedicates the book) and professionally – the small matter of a World Road Race title, the London Games, jerseys at all three Grand Tour events –and At Speed recounts what this period has meant to and for him. Cavendish opens with a thrillingly recounted ‘Prologue’ chapter on the World Championship road race in Copenhagen before taking an occasionally non-linear journey through the other ups and (occasional) downs of his recent career across three teams. As befits a cyclist who places equal emphasis on mental as physical prowess – he’s an avid Sudoku solver – he never presents excuses for his failures, just highly analytical and insightful reasons, this alone raises the book above many in the genre.


At Speed is co-written by Daniel Friebe, author of Eddy Merckx: The Cannibal and Mountain Higher (see Cyclo review here) but there is a real sense of Cav’s own voice throughout. His fastidious and sometimes foul-mouthed approach and take doesn’t feel tempered by Friebe, though this of course is the art of a good ghost-writer and having worked together on Boy Racer a symbiosis is inevitable. There is perhaps a lack of insight into some aspects of Cav’s personality which we would have expect to be explored further – particularly his bad-boy image, which was hinted at in the title of Boy Racer. But regardless At Speed is a credible and highly readable second instalment and with no sign of tailing off in performance there’s bound to be room for this in volume three…


At Speed (ISBN-10: 0091933404) by Mark Cavendish and Daniel Friebe is published by Ebury Press. RRP £20 hardback and £9.49 on Kindle – available from, amongst other paces,


Featured Features

Art of the Tour of Britain

During both the Tour de France and USA Pro Challenge, which ran this year between August 19 and 25, Cyclo brought you the unique take on events by artist Greig Leach, a one-time amateur club bike racer, participating in the DC and Richmond, Virginia areas of the US. We’re delighted to welcome Greig back with his work from this year’s Tour of Britain. Enjoy…


Stage 1 – ‘Punching the Air’ – A wet start to the Tour, but it was a rider from the sunny climes of Italy, Elia Viviani, that took the opening sprint in the cold.

Tour of Britain Stage 1


Stage 2 – ‘I Know They’re Back There’ – Dan Martin and Nairo Quintana along with another Moviestar team mate, jumped away from the rest of the peloton on the final categorized climb of the day in hopes of repeating their exploits of the Tour de France.

Tour of Britain Stage 2



Stage 3 – ‘Making the Catch’ – The Individual Time Trial: Bradley Wiggins took the opportunity to reclaim the glory and form of 2012 along with the stage and ultimately the Yellow Jersey of race leader of the Tour of Britain.

Tour of Britain Stage 3


Stage 4 – ‘One at Home’ – Cav taking his first stage of the Tour wearing the British National Championship jersey.

Tour of Britain Stage 4


Stage 5 – ‘Swinging Off’ – Jacob Rathe, has just swung off putting, Angel Madrazo on the front as they fly past the council flats of Caerphilly and the final climb of the day.

Tour of Britain Stage 5


Stage 6 – ‘Leaving Them All Behind’ – Climbers as Dan Martin and Nairo Quintana ran out of gas when Team Sky sent Lopez after stage glory; but it was the local boy, Simon Yates that had the legs to go the distance on stage 6 in the county of Devon.

Tour of Britain Stage 6


Stage 7 – ‘Cav Takes His Second’ – The title says it all as Cavendish take his second win of the Tour of Britain…

Tour of Britain Stage 7


Stage 8 – ‘Showing the Jersey’ – Wiggins came into the Tour of Britain with the intention of winning the race and preparing himself for the World Championships. With all of the hometown fans lining the course he made sure to get out in front of the peloton and let everyone see the IG Golden Jersey of race leader

Tour of Britain Stage 8


To learn more about the work of Greig Leach and for details of his substantial output from this year’s races see and also – he is sponsored by Richeson Art, and for an overview of all the work we have featured on Cyclo (including this year’s Tour de France and USA Pro Challenge) click here.