Wiggins in for Stannard at Flanders

Tour of FlandersTeam Sky’s Bradley Wiggins will take part in the Tour of Flanders this Sunday, April 6, as a replacement for Ian Stannard who broke a vertebra after touching wheels and crashing into a ditch at last weekend’s Gent-Wevelgem. Wiggins’ inclusion at Flanders – one of the traditional early season one-day ‘Monument Races’ – marks his first appearance at the event since 2005. The 259.8km Tour of Flanders (or ‘ De Ronde’ as it is colloquially known) is the 98th edition of the race and this year features 17 short climbs and 17 sections of the infamous cobbles.


Tour de France winner and multiple Olympian Wiggins – who is also expected to race in Stannard’s place at Paris-Roubaix (April 13) – joins GB’s Geraint Thomas and Luke Rowe in the eight-man squad.


Full details of the Tour of Flanders at



Froome Wins Tour of Oman

Tour of Oman 2014Team Sky’s Chris Froome has kick-started his 2014 season in magnificent style with a second successive win at the Tour of Oman. The 2013 Tour de France winner took the lead on Saturday’s penultimate stage with a summit finish and did more than enough on the final day – finishing safely in the bunch to maintain his 26-second advantage – to take overall victory, despite André Greipel flying to his third stage success on the Matrah Corniche. The overall time for Froome in Oman was 22h 02’ 26”; BMC Racing’s Tejay van Garderen took the second overall podium spot (+26) with Rigoberto Urán Urán (omega Pharma-Quick Step) taking third on +31 seconds.


Commenting after the race Froome said: ‘It was flat out from the gun today and really tough racing. There were GC guys attacking and sprint teams also trying to get someone in the break, which meant they didn’t have to work as hard later in the race… Even at the end it was really tricky because we knew we had to be in a good position and not risk any significant time splits, but we achieved what we set out to achieve.’


However, even this early in the season, Froome clearly has his sites on an historic second TdF win, commenting: ‘I still feel like I’ve got a lot of work to do – a lot of room for improvement – but at this stage in the season, I’m where I need to be. This has been a really good experience for me as it’s the start of my build up to the Tour de France…’


Full details on the Tour of Oman at further Team Sky news at and you can follow Chris Froome on Twitter @chrisfroome



Santos Tour Down Under 2014

Santos Tour Down Under 2014This weekend sees the start of the 2014 UCI World Tour with the traditional season-opener the Santos Tour Down Under, which begins on Sunday, January 19 with the 50km People’s Choice Classic. The six main stages then continue starting with the 135km leg from Nuriootpa to Angaston and ending on Sunday, January 16 with the new Adelaide city circuit of 18 laps over 85.5km.


Team Sky are, of course, fielding a strong team with home-fan favourite Richie Porte backed by Philip Deignan, Bernard Eisel, Christopher Sutton and GB’s Ian Stannard, Luke Rowe and Geraint Thomas. Despite being far from the somewhat cooler Welsh climate, Thomas – making his fourth appearance at the Tour Down Under – appears more than ready for the work ahead, saying, ‘I love being in Oz. It’s a great place to come. The lifestyle here is good. It’s the sort of place you get up in the morning and go for a run before you go to work. It’s an active, healthy place to be… Obviously the weather is great, if not a touch hot at the moment. The roads for riding and training around Adelaide are really good, especially for this time of year. And then the Tour Down Under itself is a good hard race to kick-start the season.’


Further details on the Santos Tour Down Under at



Jonathan Tiernan-Locke Faces Doping Enquiry

Jonathan Tiernan-LockeTeam Sky Rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke looks set to face disciplinary proceedings after an anti-doping violation was found in his biological passport. The 28-year-old 2012 Tour of Britain winner pulled out of the 2013 World Championships in September when the International Cycling Union (UCI) asked him to explain the anomaly and today Team Sky issued this press statement:


‘Team Sky notes that Jonathan Tiernan-Locke has been charged with a violation of the UCI anti-doping rules. We have been informed that he intends to defend himself against that charge… Jonathan Tiernan-Locke will not ride for Team Sky or take part in any team activities – including training camps and all team duties – until a decision is made in this disciplinary hearing process. We understand that the violation was highlighted by an anomaly in his Biological Passport, in a reading taken before he signed for this team. There are no doubts about his approach or performance in Team Sky.’ The statement added: ‘This is a team that trains, races and wins clean.’


The Devon-born rider strenuously denies any wrong-doing, but Cyclo can’t help but think he may now regret his team profile page response to the question: ‘Childhood Hero?’ –  ‘I looked up to Lance Armstrong when I was a kid.’



Team Sky Tour Down Under Squad

Team Sky logoTeam Sky have announced the seven-man squad that will lead the charge for the 2014 season opener, the Tour Down Under, which runs January 19-26. Geraint Thomas will lead the team alongside Richie Porte, former Tour Down Under stage winner Chris Sutton, Bernhard Eisel, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard and making his Sky debut Philip Deignan. The Australian race has invariably proven a success for Team Sky, which has seen them finishing on the overall podium on three of the last four occasions. The event will form part of the team’s build up for the prestigious Spring Classics once again, with success in Australia a key stepping stone for the riders.


Commenting on the team’s chances, Richie Porte commented: ‘I want to go to (the) Tour Down Under and perform. As an Aussie it’s the race to win… It used to be a sprinter’s race but now there are some good climbs in there like Corkscrew and Willunga. I’ve spent a bit of time in Adelaide so I know the climbs pretty well. I think if I’m in good form and we have a strong team there – if not me then through Geraint Thomas – we also have a really good chance. He was brilliant there last season so it should be an interesting race.’


Further details on the Tour Down Under at



Gabriel Rasch To Switch to DS Role

Gabriel RaschSky have confirmed that Gabriel Rasch, known to all as ‘Gabba’, will retire as a rider after the 2014 Classics campaign (ending with Paris-Roubaix) and take up a post as a Sports Director for the team. The 37-year-old Norwegian joined Team Sky for the 2013 season and has played an important role both on and off the bike, helping the team to five victories including Chris Froome’s Tour de Romandie triumph and Edvald Boasson Hagen’s defence of the Tour of Norway.


Speaking of his switch, Gabriel Rasch said: ‘I’d always hoped to become a Sports Director once my riding days had come to a close and this is a big chance for me to do what I’d love to do with a team that I love… It’s great that Team Sky give riders like me a chance to develop and I’d like to thank Sir Dave Brailsford and the management for all their support.  I’m looking forward to repaying their trust in me.’


Team Sky Performance Manager, Rod Ellingworth, commented:  ‘We recognised early on that Gabba had a lot of the qualities that we look for in a Sports Director.  He has an excellent work ethic, great cycling experience, and a calm and considered approach.  He knows exactly how the team works and we know he’ll do an excellent job for us. Gabba will join the DS team fresh from the bike which will make all the difference and will help him settle in quickly…’


Featured Features

Nigel Mitchell Nutrition Talk

Nigel MitchellNigel Mitchell, Head of Nutrition at Team Sky (and GB Cycling Team Nutritionist to boot), knows a thing or two about what it takes to provide power to the pedals. Last year he was part of the team that helped power Sky to a Tour de France one-two podium finish and go on to help Wiggins and co tear up both track and road at the London Olympics – this year, of course, it was Froome’s turn for a TdF win. Taking time out of his busy Schedule, he talked to Cyclo to discuss  diet  and help answer the question: How can your average rider come close to the nutrition perfection practiced at Team Sky?


CaloriesIt’s a very individual thing obviously, but a Team Sky rider is probably using about 6000kcal on a long leg of the Tour de France for example. But then if you’ve someone doing a six or seven hour sportive you’re not going to be a million miles away from that. The foods are going to be similar, just that the amount is going to be scaled up or down. You have to remember that if you eat on the bike you can easily be taking on 80g of carbs (360kcal) per hour whilst riding. It’s not as big as you might think….


Getting the mix rightAt Team Sky we work on about 60-90g of carbs per hour and that can be done with a mixture of race drinks, a nutrition bar, maybe a gel and rice cakes, paninis are good. Just simple ever-day foods. This will depend on the intensity of the racing, but dead Easy.


Fast and slow release carbsYou have to think about delivery systems – it’s a little bit like transport networks; if you’re running barges that travel at 5miles an hour but they are delivering every five minutes, then you have an effective delivery system. If you have a Ferrari but it only runs once a week then it’s not as effective as using the much slower barges.


Having some designated fast carbs, like gels, is particularly useful if you are going into something that’s going to be a big effort: bottom of a climb, something like that. A lot of the foods that we tend to give our riders is more of the medium glycaemic, but they are eating on a very regularly basis so they are meeting that delivery system. If they need, let’s call it ‘quick energy’, then a gel makes sense. Gels for your sportive rider are ideal if they are starting to flag or are getting fatigued, it’s a good fuelling system and they can get most of what they need there. Having a caffeinated gel in reserve can be really useful too.


FluidsTaking on adequate fluid on the bike and off of the bike is important to manage your hydration.  In Team Sky our energy/hydration drinks are provided by Gatroade.  We recommend one bidon of the race drink per hour, as it gets hotter we just get more fluid from water.  Everyone has different sweat rates you can check your weight before and after training, take into account any fluid drunk and work out the weight difference and therefore your approximate sweat rate.  This is easily done during a 60-minute turbo session.


Pre- and post-ride foodsBreakfast might be omelette and rice or porridge – that’s popular with our guys. Some fruit juice is great. After the bike for your sportive riders – chicken, fish, meat, rice, potatoes, vegetables – exactly the same as our guys are eating. It’s all very simple, straightforward stuff…


ProteinThe foods that I’ve mentioned already have a lot of protein in too. The rice cakes that we make have cream cheese in, the bars are a flapjack-type made by CNP, which have protein in, paninis tend to be ham and cheese. So our riders are eating protein on the bike.


You have different metabolic pathways and protein isn’t directly involved in carb metabolism but some of the amino acids and nitrogenous compounds that you get from protein are involved. It’s not a direct effect – the role of protein on he bike isn’t about performance, it’s a recovery thing. It helps them or you ride again the next day. To put it very simply the carbs are for fuelling you and the proteins aid recovery…


The simplicity of milkI’m a big believer in dairy products in general and in milk particularly – I think it’s fantastic. What you can do very easily with milk is add a couple of bananas which will boost the carb content if you need that, but a pint of milk alone will deliver about 20g of carbs just by itself. It’s a great recovery product, just not always that convenient post-ride…


Vegetable juicesWe use a lot of vegetable juices at Team Sky and, again, your sportive riders can do this just as easily. The reason we use fresh vegetable juice is that it’s an easy way to consume the goodness of the vegetable without the bulk. If you’re scaling up your diet and you have to get through loads of pasta or whatever then if you can reduce the bulk that’s needed to be eaten as far as the vegetables are concerned, by getting it in the form of a juice, then you can clearly see the benefits of that.


Additional supplementsGenerally I don’t think they’re necessary – perhaps the only one where there might be a real benefit is the Omega-3s, the fish oils, because it’s difficult with a modern diet to get all of the Omega-3 fats from food alone. The quality of the supplement product is vital though – the one we use in the team is very high quality, it’s the CNP Pro-Omega.


Beetroot supplementsThere’s probably not a huge benefit, but then again they probably won’t hurt anyone. The worst it will do is turn your pee pink. Under a controlled trial you can show some benefits, but for your sportive rider I’d say save you money and spend it on a set of lighter wheels and do a bit more training. Most benefit comes from training. Basically there are other things you can focus on to improve your performance. Get out on the bike a bit more is key….


Weight-loss for cyclingWhat you want to be doing is protecting lean tissue and dropping fat, the best way of doing that is making sure you are getting good quality, regular protein intake and bringing down the calories just a bit. If you don’t get the balance right you end up losing a lot of functional tissue and muscle mass and that, of course, will affect your performance adversely. Some people get it completely wrong and end up looking fatter than before because they have lost proportionally more muscle than fat – they develop what I call the ‘skinny-fat look’, which isn’t at all good.


Personal favourite bike foodIt’s bananas for me. If you do a four-hour ride it’s difficult to carry enough for the full four hours, but I love them… 



Wiggins Leads Tour of Britain

Wiggins Leads Tour of BritainOlympic champion and 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins now leads the Tour of Britain after a dominating performance and solid win at the Stage Three Individual Time Trial. Wiggins conquered the 16km course around Knowsley Safari Park, Merseyside in 19’54”, 36seconds up on second-placed teammate Ian Stannard, with Garmin-Sharp’s Jack Bauer taking the third podium spot on +42’.


A clearly delighted Wiggins, whose 2013 season has rather lacked shine, said of his win under poor weather conditions: ‘I had to win today, whatever. The conditions weren’t ideal for me. I didn’t flinch on the roundabouts in the wet, but I thought I’d rather end up in hospital today than be beaten… When I was out of the Tour (de France) and training in June and July, I was here. This was my motivation, these were the things that kept me going: the world championships, the Tour of Britain and winning this time trial on home soil. I put pressure on myself, my own expectation. I wanted to win. That leads to pressure, but then I thrive off that, especially in this discipline.’


Wiggins now leads the GC in the Tour of Britain on an overall time of 11hr 25’54”, 37seconds up on Stannard. Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Mark Cavendish currently sits in 25th place on +1’57”.


Further details on the Tour of Britain at