Featured Features

Chorizo, Pine Nut and Spinach Spaghetti

Chorizo, Pine Nut and Spinach Spaghetti

Our Nutritionist says:

“Everyone should aim to eat a protein of nuts and dark green leafy veg daily because of their health giving nutrients. Along with these, lemon provides load of antioxidants to fix cell damage caused by endurance training so don’t hold back on these ingredients. Olive oil also supports a healthy heart and if you want to reduce the saturated fat content even further, replace chorizo for seasoned chicken.”

Joel Enoch, Sports Nutritionist -

40g chorizo
Zest of and juice of half a lemon
Pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp virgin olive oil
150g spaghetti
25g pine nuts
125g baby leaf spinach


1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, adding a small pinch of sea salt.  Cook the pasta as per packet instruction (reduce by 1 minute for a more authentic al dente Italian style.)


2. Zest half the lemon and chop finely; mix with juice from half the lemon and stir in olive oil.


3. Chop the chorizo or bacon into small bite-size pieces.


4. Four minutes before the pasta is ready heat a frying pan gently and add the chorizo or bacon to the dry pan – no need for extra oil.


5. As the meat begins to cook toss in the pine nuts to toast. Keep everything moving as pine nuts tend to ‘catch’ and burn.


6. When the pasta is ready put the baby leaf spinach in a colander (keeping a handful of leafs back for serving) and drain the pasta through it to wilt.


7.  Return the pasta and baby leaf spinach to the pan, tip in the chorizo/bacon and pine nuts and mix together with the lemon and oil until the pasta is coated.


8. Serve with the remaining handful of baby leaf spinach on top of the dish.


Download the Recipe HERE


Featured Recovery

Massage Oils

Massage OilsThe effort of a long ride or hard training session warrants, if not demands, a little post-exercise pampering and a massage – from gentle warm down to deep tissue – is a great place to start. Everything from the feet to the calves, quads and hams benefit from massage and there are plenty of resources online to teach you the simple techniques to speed recovery and prevent the dreaded DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) that can creep up on even the most experienced of ridesr. With this in mind Cyclo looks at three of our favourite massage oils…


St Kitts Arnica Massage Oil - The St Kitts Herbery was founded by Susan & Paul Johnson back in 2001; initially a true kitchen-table enterprise that has now grown enormously but stayed true to its original ideals, creating high quality botanical products using largely traditional methods. There are those that swear by arnica for reducing bruising and if you’re amongst them then the excellent St Kitts Arnica Massage Oil is the one for you. Even if you doubt the properties the addition of lavender, birch tar and rosemary to the grape seed, sunflower oil base makes for a silky smooth massage that smells good too and is popular with physiotherapists.


A 100ml pump bottle of St Kitts Arnica Massage Oil retails at £9.95, details and online purchase at


Aptonia Relax Lotion - If you’re looking for pure simplicity at a low price the Aptonia Relax Lotion is an all-round massage oil, good for both warm-up and cool-down. The combination of glycerin, and hydrogenated castor oil makes for a smooth application and the viscosity works exceptionally well if used in conjunction with massage tools like The Stick. The use of linalool, alcohol denat base and menthol in the mix goes some way to providing a cooling effect on the skin and the addition of various citrus notes takes the edge off. Really at the opposite end of the spectrum to the bespoke nature of the St Kitts offering but, for the price, a trusted addition to the kit bag.


Aptonia Relax Lotion comes in 150ml bottles at just £3.99 and is available instore at Decathlon and online at


Body Shop Sensual Massage Oil - Don’t let the Sensual bit put you off (or maybe it hasn’t) because despite being described as ‘ideal for couples’ and being inspired by traditional Polynesian massage rituals this is a solid candidate for post-exercise recovery. Being Body Shop the list of ingredients looks somewhat arcane and takes some deciphering – ‘helianthus annuus seed oil is sunflower oil by any other name – and it certainly packs a lot in. The mix is well judged for either a simple hands-on massage or a deeper trigger point massage with (non-sensual) massage tools and the smell, which at first feels a little overpowering and difficult to place, actually grew on us after a few sessions.


A 150ml bottle of Body Shop Sensual Massage Oil retails at £10 and is available either in-store or at


Featured Features

Sausage & Pea Penne

Sausage & Pea Penne


Our Nutritionist says:

“After a hard evening training session this is a quick, tasty and no-fuss way to get the protein, energy and electrolytes you need to recover effectively. Add kidney beans and/or extra veg for more vitamins, minerals and healing antioxidants.”

Joel Enoch, Sports Nutritionist –

150g penne
25g frozen peas
4 pork sausages
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 tbsp virgin olive oil
Chilli flakes or chopped fresh red chilli
Zest of half a lemon
1/2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
100g half-fat cre?me frai?che
Handful of basil leaves


1. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, adding a small pinch of sea salt. Cook the pasta as per packet instruction (reduce by 1 minute for a more authentic al dente Italian style.)


2. As the pasta cooks, de-skin the sausages and take out the meat, chopping roughly into small pieces.


3. Heat the virgin olive oil in a large pan (it needs to be big enough to later add the pasta), add the chilli flakes or chopped red chilly and the sausage meat, cooking gently for 5 minutes.


4. Two minutes before the pasta is ready add the frozen peas to the pasta water and cook together.


5. One minute before the pasta is ready add the lemon zest, wholegrain mustard and cre?me frai?che to the sausage pan, reduce the heat and simmer gently.


6. Drain the pasta and peas, tip into the sausage sauce, season with black pepper and stir together.


7. Serve sprinkled with the torn basil leaves.


Download the Recipe HERE

Featured Nutrition Reviews

HPN Ultimate Cyclo-Endurance

HPN Ultimate Cyclo-EnduranceAnother month, another brand-new nutrition product… Despite the relative crush of the market Ultimate Cyclo-Endurance from HPN (Hyperformance Nutrition), an isotonic mix with blended carbs and amino acids, is looking to edge out some shelf-space for itself. Cyclo grabbed a bidon and put it to the test.


Hyperformance Nutrition is a relatively new company, formed back in 2011, and promoting a commendably simple philosophy: ‘Train effectively, incorporate optimum nourishment in your training plan and ensure optimum recovery and rest.’ They also note: ‘We go to great lengths to make sure (our products) taste great too!’


In that case let’s start with taste: Only one option, lemon – but it’s a good, clean and crisp tang achieved without artificial flavours or sweeteners (there are no artificial colours or preservatives either) and although there is a slightly bitter aftertaste, probably the result of using stevia as the natural sweetener, it’s more than palatable. The scooped powder also mixed completely without any globs of residue – a true rarity in own-mix formulas in Cyclo’s experience.


The rather awkward one and three-quarter scoops (couldn’t HPN have made a smaller scoop and called it a nice round ‘two’?) mixes with 700ml of water for optimum use with a recommendation to consume the full amount every 40-80minutes on the bike. That’s a lot of bottles for a decent-length ride, but arguably about right for a shorter, faster session.


The nutritional values of Ultimate Cyclo-Endurance certainly stack up well. A 700ml bottle will deliver a fairly impressive 193.2kcal with all 44.9g of carbohydrates delivered via sugars (a blend of dextrose and maltodextrin.) The BCCAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids, here in the form of soya) are added, in part, to reduce fatigue, whilst the mix also includes vitamin C, B2, B6, B12 and niacin (vitamin B3) – in all this represents a really solid approach to on-bike nutrition, whilst the isotonic balance will help the hydration strategy.  That said, in an ideal world we’d rather see a more all-encompassing approach to replacing ‘body salts’ than the mere inclusion of sodium and potassium chloride…


Variety, they say, is the spice of life and having plenty of variety when it comes to nutrition and hydration can be key to mixing and matching for best results on the bike. We would no more recommend the sole use of Ultimate Cyclo-Endurance than any other product, but it’s impressive blend (and generally good flavour) make it a great race-day or training addition. At £14.99 for 1.05kg – making up 20 bottles – the value is good too.


Further details and online purchase of Ultimate Cyclo-Endurance at


Featured Features

Preventing Common Cycling Injuries

RocktapeAs one of the team sponsors of Team Garmin Sharp, ROCKTAPE, have had their fair share of experience working with cycling injuries, whether on the Tour de France, at local triathlons or at the UK National Mountain Bike Championship. Cyclo asked Daniel Lawrence, ROCKTAPE’s Education Director, to talk us through some of the most common cycling injuries, how they come about, and what you can do to treat and avoid them…


Cycling injuries are usually not too severe and can be easily treated; however they can become commonplace if you do not take the correct precautions. Many of the injuries that I see amongst cyclists tend to be overuse injuries through regular repetitive movements, or postural injuries, the result of an improper riding position or posture on the bike.


Points of contact cycling injuries are one of the most common things that I see with cyclists. Take, for example, where the cleats make contact with the pedal, usually via a clipless pedal system. If your cleats are not properly positioned at the correct angle, your will end up with shooting pains in your knees that will simply continue to grow until corrected. One of the simplest ways to remedy this is to correctly set up your clipless pedal system. It might take a bit of fiddling about and adjusting to get your shoe position correct but it will help ensure your feet are always in the correct position and also help you to generate more power easily too.


If you haven’t invested in a clipless pedal system, than it is definitely something that I would recommend.


Another incredibly common point of contact injury is with the handlebar. Either holding it in the same position for a long period of time, gripping it too tightly, or leaning too far over the handlebar can result in compression of the ulnar nerve.  Whilst I could tell you about more technical ways to resolve this, honestly the simplest way is to make sure that you simply move your hands around the handlebar a bit. Try not to get stuck in one position at a time. Road bikes are specifically designed to allow riders to grip the handlebars, on the sides, above or below, so just make sure to alter your position as you ride. Otherwise you’ll suffer pins and needles and discomfort in your hands and fingers.


Moving on, if you look at professional cyclists like Robert Forestmann, one of the first things you notice is the size of their quads. They call Forestmann Quadzilla for good reason.


Quads certainly get a pretty intense workout during cycling and when they are in regular use, like during the Tour de France, they can easily suffer from fatigue. So, after a day’s racing, cyclists receive a massage to dissolve the lactic acid that has been built up in the quads and help ensure that the team is cycling fit for the next day on the tour.


If you do ever find yourself cycling without a support truck and a team of masseuses than I’ve found that kinesiology tape (applied before starting) can promote muscle endurance and aid recovery.


Whilst he is not competing in the Tour de France this year, if you have ever watched Sir Bradley Wiggins in the time trials you will have seen him hunched right forwards over the bike to make him more aerodynamic. This can cause muscle fatigue in your lower back and neck. The easy answer is of course to simply sit up, or stand on your bicycle. However, this would obviously slow Sir Bradley down… Again, I’d recommend using kinesiology tape – such as ROCKTAPE – on that lower back area. It will help stimulate the skin in the area, promoting muscle function and decreasing pain.


If you’re not up there with Wiggins quite yet and, like me, simply cycle to keep fit and for fun you might find that you have quite tight hamstrings and calves. This can be an issue when running, as you can struggle with non-cycling movement patterns; the simple answer here is to make sure that you warm up and cool down before any exercise. However, if you do find yourself still struggling then you could use a foam roller to help reduce muscle tone and help reduce any tightness.


But do you know what causes most cycling injuries? Crashing (the 2014 Tour de France is fairly conclusive proof of this.) There’s one useful bit of advice that I can give you for that: Make sure you always wear a helmet!


For further details on ROCKTAPE – including instructional videos and guides for use – see


Read the Cyclo review of ROCKTAPE here.


More on Team Garmin Sharp


Featured Recovery Reviews

Nuflex Cooling Gel

Nuflex Cooling GelOver the year’s Cyclo have tried and tested no end of gels, creams and lotions for fixing those post-ride aches and pains and the latest to cross our desk (and legs and back) is the Nuflex Cooling Gel.


Intended for use immediately after (minor) injury the Nuflex Cooling Gel employs a combination of peppermint oils, which both stimulates the skin and acts as a natural, mild local aesthetic, and lemon oil good for stimulating blood flow (and therefore speeding recovery) and for general skin cleansing. The smell – part of the holistic experience of using such gels – is strong, but not overpowering and the sense of cooling, predominantly achieved through alcohol evaporation, is a gradual onset with quite disappointing results for longevity. There’s a general ‘tingle’ that lingers for quite some time after application but this certainly doesn’t go to the lengths that a traditional icepack might achieve; although in fairness the Nuflex Cooling Gel is a more portable, road-side solution than ice…


Repeat application – manufacturers rather vaguely suggest ‘several times a day’ – is certainly the way to go with a gel like this, but that does mean the 100ml tube won’t exactly last a race season. It feels more effective (certainly in terms of cooling) when gently applied rather than when more vigorous massage is used; a shame because a more robust application is more likely to help most minor muscle injuries.


The mild anti-inflammatory properties from the combined lemon and mint oils did help sooth a generally aching back post-ride and the fact that Nuflex Cooling Gel is non-greasy and rubs in completely is certainly a bonus. Not the most potent cooling gel we have tried (Biofreeze – review here – still leads) but Nuflex is a contender.


Nuflex Cooling Gel retails at £11.95 – again Biofreeze betters it on price – and is available from, amongst other places


Featured Recovery Reviews

Sore No More Warm Therapy

Sore No More Warm TherapyHunched over the bars for hours on end, legs pumping, hands gripped tight, a cold wind whipping around the neck… It’s little wonder that cyclists often end the day in need of more than a little TLC. Heat rubs and creams are always an excellent starting point for easing various aches and pains associated with both training and racing and Sore No More Warm Therapy looks to offer something a little different from the norm.


Taking it’s starting point from the various plant extracts used for centuries by the native tribes of northern Mexico the Sore No More Warm Therapy ingredient list reads something like an arcane recipe list. Capsaicin (derived from a plant in the chilli family), rose water and extracts of grapefruit seed, green tea, orange peel and queen of the prairie (a member of the rose family) are all found within, as are two ‘active’ ingredients: 3% camphor and 3% menthol.


The cream is non-greasy, rubs in quickly and completely and delivers a solid, but subtle, glowing warmth within seconds. Unlike many heat rubs Sore No More also wafts off a delicate and pleasant armour which is cut through by the scent of orange. Looks like we may have found a cream that smells as good as it works…


The science suggests that capsaicin binds to a protein (TRPV1) that resides on the membranes of pain and heat-sensing neurons and when Cyclo used it on a selection of minor ailments (we suffer, so you don’t have to) ranging from aching calves to a ‘frozen’ shoulder we found the long-lasting buzz of warmth worked incredibly well.


We have been particularly impressed by Sore No More Warm Therapy and its 100% natural credentials and are pretty sure you will be too.


Sore No More Warm Therapy retails at £9.95 for 4oz with further details and online purchase from



Featured Recovery Reviews

The Orb

The OrbHours in the saddle can certainly punish the body and when it comes post-event recovery most of us can’t rely on (or afford) pro sports massages on a regular basis. When the option for some light self-massage arises the roam roller – the very definition of the pain/pleasure principle – seems to be the general weapon of choice; now though The Orb from Pro-Tec Athletics, whilst not a straight alternative, brings some added benefits of its own…


The 5inch ball, made of high-density EVA foam can be used in a variety of ways – all of which fundamentally involve using the body’s weight to roll and massage – to release tension in the muscles. Whilst a roller allows only single-direction relief, The Orb gives a multidirectional-workout, which feels rather more targeted and, because of the reduced surface area, deeper too.


Arguably there are disadvantages over a roller – hence we think of it as an addition not a replacement – in that more of a balancing act is involved particularly, we found, when working on the quads or tackling The Orb side-on for an ITB workout. But The Orb does come into its own in dealing with calves, glutes and hamstrings where the added intensity feels particularly well judged and using it between the shoulder blades (against a wall) was a sublime relief.


Okay, so arguably you could achieve much of this with a tennis ball at a fraction of The Orb’s £18 asking price but the size, weight and non-slip dimpled texture do all feel perfectly balanced. It’s also far more portable than most foam rollers (although Pro-Tec do produce a nifty 4inch x 12inch travel roller too) so tucking The Orb in the kit bag for some immediate post-sportive relief is an option we would heartily recommend.


Take a look at our review of the Pro-Tec Y Roller here and of The Stick here