now it's cheating

wisper wayfarer

a good ten years or so past, the local leisure centre acquired a grant which allowed it to setup a sustainable transport initiative known by the acronym wisp: whisky island sustainability project. this employed a girl for two years with the aim of encouraging more islanders to walk or cycle, arrange car-sharing, and in the case of four of us, training to qualify as cycle guides. the success of this venture could perhaps be illustrated by the fact that to this day, i have yet to receive my qualification certificate.

an additional grant that piggybacked on the first, strangely allowed for the purchase of an e-bike, from which they were barred from earning revenue. thus, the bicycle could be loaned to individuals for brief periods of time, as long as no money changed hands. it will suprise you not at all to learn that said bicycle still resides beneath the swimming pool, unloved and unused.

however, at the point of delivery, the young girl in charge of wisp was on holiday and i was asked if i'd be kind enough to take the e-bike for a spin and advise over its suitability for purpose. then, as now, e-bikes sold for use in the uk, were capped at 25kph (15.5mph), but the chap who brought it to islay, showed me to press two buttons on the bar-mounted display for five seconds, removing the governor and allowing speeds of up to 48kph (around 30mph).

and though the bicycle was configured for pedal-assist, a fact that justified the use of an e-bike for exercise purposes, this particular machine featured a twist-grip throttle, allowing the less intrepid user to sit with feet stationary on pedals and have the bicycle take the strain. in other words, an electric moped. though i know of several owners of e-bikes who still sheepishly admit that they think it cheating, i do seriously wonder quite who it is they think they're defrauding. if e-bikes get bums on saddles and get their owners out in the wide grey yonder, more power to their pedals.

however, it transpires that, while the speed limitation of 25kph remains, the use of a throttle has once again, reared its ugly head. wisper bikes is currently offering a limited run of its traditional range of e-bikes, which have been tested by the dvsa and approved as 'low powered mopeds', nomenclature that surely removes them from the e-bike category? according to the company, they hope that in offering such throttle controlled bicycles (sorry, mopeds) it will allow those who may have difficulties riding a standard e-bike, to enjoy the freedom and flexibility of a bicycle.

quite how this differs from owning or riding a regular moped, i'm not entirely sure. however the company goes on to say that they might also offer an eco-friendly and cost efficient option for city commuters. this, in my opinion, places them in an entirely different category than that of the e-bike, offering no redeeming features such as the ability to encourage some form of exercise, and in so doing, hopefully temper at least part of the obesity crisis that exists in the uk. additionally, it's more than likely that owners of these e-mopeds will co-exist with regular e-bikes on cycle lanes all across the country, in itself, a somewhat disturbing thought.

a wisper m9 wayfarer mid-drive costs from £2,500 and according to the techncal spec, features a thumb throttle to 25kph. next thing you know someone will invent an online realm which can be ridden without leaving the house.

wisper wayfarer

monday 7 february 2022

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

comfort zone

cadillac escalade

it's uncanny, but if stormy weather is to hit the hebrides, sod's law dictates that it will probably be at the weekend, just when i have the time to go cycling. last saturday was a case in point, where i was only just able to make it to debbie's for lunch in the face of 80kph winds. this weekend has proved little different, except we'd to cancel the sunday morning ride due to winds in excess of 100kph. trust me, that's not rideable. the principal difference between last weekend and this has been the accompaniment of heavy rain.

that said, i am impossible to live with if i don't get out on my bike at least once across saturday and sunday, so yesterday, a tad later than usual, i coaxed the cross bike from the bikeshed and headed off into the conflagration in order to make lunch at bruichladdich. to be honest, the wind was less troublesome than it had been last saturday. yes, it was purgatory in the big sprocket on the way down, but the crosswind was a tad less dangerous than before.

it will scarcely surprise you that those already in debbie's thought i was completely off my rocker. but a guy has to eat lunch, right?

saturday morning was intriguing for another reason, however, when my friend dan, from across the pond, sent me a link to an article in the new york times. the e-mail was entitled 'why the revolution will fail'. since dan is every bit as much of a cycling obsessive as yours truly, i correctly assumed that the revolution to which he referred was that of the velocipedinal kind, an assumption that was reinforced on reading the title of the article: 'help! i've fallen for that cadillac escalade.'

for those like me, who have little or no idea of what a cadillac escalade might be, the article's author, farhad manjoo, helpfully informed us thus. "The Escalade is one of the largest, heaviest, least efficient and most expensive S.U.V.s on the road. It is also among the most unembarrassedly decadent, the ride of choice for Manhattan bigwigs and reality-TV housewives, the sort of car that rappers, movie stars and professional athletes buy for their mothers after making it big."

mr manjoo then goes on to describe himself as a bookish newspaper columnist who frequently rails against the cultural dominance of cars and so on. so what on earth was he doing in a $109,000 cadillac in the first place? it transpires that it had been rented by the new york times in order that he might provide a review/opinion piece for the newspaper while undertaking a 2,400 mile family road trip through arizona and nevada over the winter holiday.

"I'd chosen this Escalade because it's emblematic of a trend sweeping car design: It has been stuffed to the gills with technology. Among other things, much of the dashboard is composed of a sweeping, 38-inch curved touch-screen display"

nothing new there, you might point out, and i'd be inclined to agree. my son has both a car and a van both of which have more technology crammed on board than possessed by the first apollo mission to the moon. in my opinion, it's simply more stuff to go wrong. it appears to be a trend encouraged by the notion that each subsequent year must show an increase in this 'technology packing', in order that marketing has something else to crow about.

however, it gets worse.

it transpires that this particular cadillac features semi-autonomous driving, allowing mr manjoo to sit back and relax, while the car took over the chore of driving, using general motors' 'super cruise' - "After engaging the system, you can twiddle your toes and put your hands in the air like you just don't care. The car will steer, stay centered in a lane and adjust its speed to keep pace with the traffic around you (up to a set maximum speed). When you tap the turn signal, it will search for a safe spot and change lanes. Sometimes the car encounters a problem (for instance, the road's lane lines are too faint for it to pick out), and it informs you to take over."

if, like me, you read that paragraph with your jaw hitting the keyboard, mr manjoo pointed out that this can currently only happen on america's main arterial routes that have been mapped by general motors. and if you take your eyes off the road for more than a set number of seconds, a camera mounted on the steering column that monitors your range of vision, will issue a series of warnings. if you fail to pay attention, the car automatically disengages autopilot and begins to slow down. according to the author, these warnings are (thankfully) hard to ignore.

the implications, as outlined by the article, are less than encouraging. mr manjoo admitted to experiencing considerably less stress during the journey, bringing him to the conclusion that he'd have been happy to drive much farther than had he been solely repsonsible for driving. the contention by urban scholars is that, if a one hour commute is every bit as easy to accomplish as once was a half-hour commute, owners of such vehicles may be encouraged to move farther from city centres, where property prices may be a tad more amenable. that, in turn creates sprawl and increases car dependence by making alternative modes of transport, such as walking and cycling, considerably more difficult.

granted, there will be few british drivers who find themselves with 2,400 miles of road space over which to take a family trip, but the commuting thing seems every bit as applicable to the uk as to the conurbations of america. already, research has demonstrated that owners of vehicles with advanced driver-assistance systems drive more than those who don't. with the expected increase of electric vehicles on the roads in the next decade, who would bet against many of those incorporating just such advanced semi or completely autonomous driving systems?

the author signs off with a summing up paragraph that encapsulates the whole dystopian scenario. "But how far does this go? As the cars get better at driving themselves, as the screens get bigger and the speakers louder and the seats more comfortable, what role will cars come to play in our lives? They might become our new living rooms. They could also become our very luxurious prisons."

given the vociferousness of the motoring lobby both here and across the pond, there's every possibility that the (cycling) revolution has already failed. the dramatic fall in motoring and pollution levels during recent covid lockdowns, brought many a european city council to claim they would not allow a return to the gridlock and poor air quality that prevailed pre-covid. we all hoped that this signalled the bicycle's moment had truly arrived. i think we might have been somewhat wide of the mark, based on a larger dollop of optimism than was realistic.

"G.M. has announced an update that will be available on some 2023 vehicles that will 'enable hands-free driving in 95 percent of all driving scenarios.' "

the potential problem, and one every bit as much evinced by the growing popularity of indoor, online cycling, is that we are in danger of losing our connection with the great outdoors. even members of the sunday morning peloton are inclined to see rain on the window and hop aboard the turbo. already my cycling escapades in inclement weather tend to be viewed as distinctly odd. how long before cycling outdoors in any weather begins to be seen as socially unacceptable? and meta, facebook's parent company, has already signalled its intention to further explore virtual worlds, an intentional and intangible space that psychologists have claimed may be a good thing, dismissing the boundaries between reality as we know it, and virtual realities. i have read there are glasses capable of overlaying alternative realities upon the real thing, meaning watopia could soon overlay potholed roads near you, while you continue to compete against the folks back home.

just watch out for cadillac drivers.

thanks to dan russell for the heads-up.

read the new york times article (paywall in place)

sunday 6 february 2022

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................


nathan haas - colnago gx-3

there is little doubt that, whatever the general viewpoint on the grand scheme of things, gravel has not only arrived, but looks as if it might hang about for quite some time. though the uk is not overly blessed with endless kilometres of the stuff, much like the mountain bike, the majority of sales will ultimately be to those who have less than pristine road surfaces on which to ride, or who prefer sturdy machinery offering more comfortable hand positions than offered by mountain biking's flat bars. that is certainly one point with which i find favour.

nathan haas - colnago gx-3

mountain biking brought to the fore quite a number of manufacturers previously unknown to the velocipedinal world, many of whom went on to build road bikes when the offroad market showed signs of slackening sales in the face of wall to wall ubiquity. gravel has arguably done the same, but has also encouraged several of road-cycling's major players to sit up and pay attention. there are the obvious participants: specialized, trek, cervelo and others, while those more storied in cycling's rich heritage may have been slower to the table, but arrived nonetheless. pinarello, bianchi and basso have all produced fully-formed gravel bicycles, recently joined by an erstwhile favourite of thewashingmachinepost; colnago.

named the g3-x, colnago admits that the development of the model was greatly influenced by their cyclocross experience. this has been gained at the legs of some of the sport's finest exponents: current belgian national champion, wout van aert, sven nys (now an employee of trek bicycles), niels albert, adri van der poel, lars boom, paul herygers and italian, luca bramati. and in addition to their 'cross achievements, the g3-x has already bestowed victory under the direction of america's lauren de crescenzo, winner of last year's 'unbound gravel 200'.

nathan haas - colnago gx-3

however, the g3-x differs from the likes of colnago's successful prestige cyclocross model. while 'cross bikes are designed to go as fast as possible for an hour, colnago's gravel bike is geared (if you'll pardon the pun) towards the lengthier gravel circuits, and the several hours riding which many of its potential owners are likely to demand. and though it always used to be said that a 'real' cyclocross bike featured no bottle cage mounts due to the short duration of 'cross races, both women's and men's world champions in fayetteville last weekend were carryng bottles on their respective frames.

nathan haas - colnago gx-3

gravel, an originally american pursuit and therefore likely to be undertaken in warmer climes than seen in the uk and mainand europe, requires at least two bottle-cage mounts if not more. colnago's gx-3 can have up to four cages on board, with fittings to allow the carriage of luggage, unlike a few more recent gravel offerings that resemble little more than road-race bicycles with the ability to accept considerably wider rubber.

but it seems that colnago have embraced the world of gravel not simply as an addition to their existing range, but pro-actively, having recently announced direct sponsorship of former australian mountain biker, and rider with the cofidis uci road team, nathan haas.

complementing the announcement from his new italian sponsor, haas said, "cycling to me has always been about evolving - as an athlete, and as an expression of myself. I've dipped my toes in almost all forms of riding and while my road cycling career has been my greatest accomplishment to date, I've never pigeonholed myself as a road cyclist. I couldn't have dreamt of a better founding partner for this new adventure in my career than Colnago. I know there will be no compromise on performance, and I will go into every race with the best equipment I could imagine." that equipment will include a 13-speed campagnolo ekar groupset.

haas has been provided with five differently painted g3-x colnagos on which to undertake his 2022 gravel campaign, which includes the main races forming the season's uci gravel world series and other major international gravel events, the majority of which appear to be across the pond, but also spain, kenya, the uk and iceland.

nathan haas - colnago gx-3

i offer this not as an advert for cambiago's entry into the world of gravel, but the apparent coming of age of a sport that started out simply as a minority pursuit. but it's hard not to think of this as simply jumping on a bandwagon in the face of its future potential, particularly following wholesale endorsement by the sport's governing body. it has often been said that invent anything with wheels, and someone somewhere will want to race it. so while gravel may have principally arisen as a means of traversing the road less travelled, just like mountain biking, it's the racing gene that is likely to foster its immediate development, as evinced already by one or two notable manufacturers.

for colnago, it's a long way from the delectable, lugged steel arabesque and master framesets, or even the iconic carbon c40. their particular heritage has also been recently enhanced by the back-to-back tour de france victories of tadej pogacar. the debate over gravel might perhaps, therefore, revolve around whether this demonstrates a bolstering of the impressive palmares of one of the world's greatest framebuilders, or a potential dilution. the possibility of over-egging the pudding still insists on loitering around the finish line, and for more than just colnago.

colnago gr-x

photos: laura fletcher ©2022

saturday 5 february 2022

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................


outdoor zwift

my regular reader will have garnered the correct impression that i am not a fan of the indoor, online worlds proffered by zwift and its peers. this is despite never having actually tried it even once, which, i readily admit, hardly makes me an experienced critic. i also have very little time for anything by ed sheeran, but at least such disdain is based on actually having heard some of his songs. however, given the alleged size of his bank balance, i seriously doubt my lack of fandom has given him sleepless nights.

nor, i tend to think, will my disparagement of online cycling affect the bottom line of those involved in the business/industry.

but, quite some time ago, i was sent a free, seven day pass to an online range of spin classes, similar to those currently offered by the likes of peloton, but without the necessity of purchasing an expensive exercise bike. unfortunately, at the time, i was not in possession of a turbo trainer, and in a strange sort of way, i'm grateful to paligap for lending a tacx trainer for both review and the opportunity to experience the online spin class. however, i found the very act of riding indoors on the turbo a great deal more purgatorial than fending off a galeforce crosswind in driving rain.

the turbo was returned a great deal earlier than i think the folks at paligap were expecting.

however, i'm well aware that the universe of indoor cycling not only has many adherents, some of whom have been known to join the sunday morning peloton, but plenty who have good cause to thank watopia for saving their fitness during periods of lockdown. the concern is just how many have yet to resurface from their pain caves into good old daylight. granted, there are a few indviduals who have achieved semi-greatness and a professional contract after slogging their way through a great many indoor events.

but my reservations of the genre revolve around the aligning of indoor cycling with that of so doing in the great outdoors, often separated only by the letter 'e'. as framebuilder, richard hallett kindly put it, 'if it's indoors, it's not cycling; it's static training.' yet a recent interview with zwift's event director, charlie issendorf, highlighted the possibility that the two might diverge at the crossroads, the online version no longer pretending to be the other.

when asked what he saw as the future of zwift racing, he stated, "We're not looking to merely replicate outdoor racing but instead, create a new sport with unique tactics and race formats." disappointingly, he effectively undermined the veracity of his statements by claiming that "...Zwift Racing will likely see more gamification to distinguish it from outdoor riding."

gamification? really?

yet i can't help recalling ben lieberson's t-shirt proclamation 'outside is free', when noting that an advert beneath the interview, for a tacx neo 2t smart trainer, highlighted a price of £1,333.86. and the current issue of cyclist magazine features a brief review of a device with the ability to raise or lower your bicycle's front wheel, depending on the gradients experienced on watopia's roads, the cost of which is in excess of £800. and that's before including the cost of a zwift subscription (£12.99 per month) large tv screen or ipad, as well as a stand of some sort on which to place them (the wahoo version costs £200).

there has been frequent mention across the years of the cost of entry for the wannabe cyclist, and i know that there are lower priced trainers and accoutrements than those mentioned above, but there's no denying that they are still over and above the price of the bike. but i am a tad happier to learn that, very soon, they'll be regarded as different universes and i can go back to other successful enterprises about which i've made it my duty to moan.

friday 4 february 2022

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

two wheels good

dura-ace double chainset

spurious early season advice given to amateur road cyclists has included wrapping up well prior to races, in order to fool the competition that the winter training regime has been more than sucessful. in addition to wearing bibtights, gloves and belgian-style winter caps, the intrepid rider ought also to be clad in a thermal-style jacket. the reasoning behind such advice was to fool the opposition into believing that they featured so little body fat, that even in moderate climes, it was all but impossible to maintain body-heat.

it's a subterfuge that i've actually tried, with no success whatsoever, but then it's unlikely anyone thought i was serious in the first place.

and i recall being encouraged always to leave my bicycle in the big ring when parking outside the coffee shop, irrespective in which gear i arrived. the somewhat convoluted thinking behind this advice was to proffer the impression that i possessed animalistic, velocipedinal tendencies. in other words:'don't mess with me'.

though the overdressing ploy seems doomed to failure from the outset, given that my experience of riding with brian smith (for example) demonstrated that his chain never moved out of the big ring, even when riding alongside up a lengthy french hill, it seems just possible that my leaving the chain in the outer ring might confer possible professional status, even as i sup froth and consume a double-egg roll.

however, at this time of year, when i convince myself that i possess hitherto undiscovered cyclocross skills (tom pidcock would scarcely have been quite so confident, had yours truly been on the start line, wrapped up against diminished body fat) i have harboured grave doubts over my ability to profess professional qualities. for when transmission systems feature only a single chainring, everybody's bicycle either sports a professional je ne sais quoi.

road going groupsets, like my campagnolo record, seem to have settled on a standard of compactness, with 52 outer rings and 36 inner, moving on from the previous standard of 50/34. cyclocross, however, scarcely requires such a large jump between rings, due to a complete lack of lengthy gradients, and is a sport that appears to have adopted the single-ring with glee. and though the question continues to be asked, 'should road racing adopt the 1x option?', i haven't noticed a stream of technologists lining up to answer 'yes'.

however, when it comes to cyclocross and its nefarious sibling, gravel, you could be excused for thinking that a single ring is the sole option available. in terms of retail, that may well be the case, but a brief overview of sunday's world championship race would tend to suggest otherwise. britain's world champion tom pidcock and team-mate ben turner's pinarello crossistas were seen sporting a dura-ace double chainset, gage hecht's cannondale also featured two rings, and american national champion, eric brunner, had a 46/39 double chainset on his blue 'cross machine.

toon aerts, and second place, lars van der haar, however, both lost out big time in the coffee shop stakes, the former by having a 44 tooth single ring and the latter a 42 tooth on their treks. but i noticed both wore thermal jackets prior to the start, so there may be hope for them yet.

disappointingly, campagnolo seem not to be involved in cyclocross at all, despite the likelihood that it would not be a hard job to adapt their ekar groupset to the rigours of the manicured undergrowth.

thursday 3 february 2022

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

many hands

bicycle lights

in an issue of the long-lamented cycling fanzine 'well phil', a feature was published on the importance of racing or training with a cotton duck saddle bag attached to the two metal loops at the rear of your leather saddle. according to what i can recollect of the article, claims were made that former fagor and teka rider, malcolm elliot, swore by this method.

and a former member of the sunday peloton once suggested that, given the prevailing conditions across those three weeks in july, world tour bicycles ought best be fitted with mudguards, meaning less likelihood of accidents due to lack of visibility on wetter stages. i have often wondered if paris-roubaix would perhaps be a tad less visually dramatic if fenders were affixed to the race bicycles, keeping dust and spray at bay during both wet and arid conditions.

in other words, why are formula one carbon bicycles not equipped in the manner of the average commuter, inevitable speed differences notwithstanding? after all, the majority of road bicycles are devolved from the missiles designed to suit the cream of the crop, allegedly every bit as suitable for you and i. surely this crossover ought to work in both directions? it is a well-documented fact that, sheep that we are, we're more than likely to desire that which propels our betters to victory. fitting mudguards to their speed machines would, i contend, subliminally influence the great unwashed.

but why stop there? though i can think of few situations where the professional peloton would benefit from a decent set of lights, were such illumination to festoon their machinery, it might just influence the youngsters (and adults) who seem oblivious to the need for lighting in poor visibility or after dark. after all, there is many a forlorn amateur, at this very minute, having a power-meter fitted to their sub £1000 budget racer, one that is hopefully compatible with the gps device strapped to the handlebars. but do they really need one?

were wout van aert to cross the finish line on or off road replete with a set of jumbo-visma branded 'see-sense' front and rear lights, demand would likely outstrip supply. i cannot, however, claim total originality for this thought, for only yesterday, dave (faster, faster) arthur, suggested that cannondales's new synapse, with its integrated lights, was perhaps responsible for forcing us to have this discussion. and, as with many apparently reasonable questions concerning the road-going velocipede, the question includes a subjective level of aesthetics, quite often over-ruling any thoughts of pragmatism.

for instance, the saddle pack 'neath my cambium saddle, though of a design that perfectly mirrors the space it inhabits, does little, in my opinion, for the look of my ritchey logic while at rest. and though it features a small loop at the rear into which a light might be safely placed, the thought of upsetting the feng shui is greater than with which i can live. and this despite the fact that my seated position would undoubtedly obscure it completely from view.

that said, even on a relatively low trafficked island such as this, i'm inclined to prioritise my personal safety in the face of philosophical questions of aesthetics. to do so, at this time of year the ritchey has both front and rear flashing lights in operation. but should they become a legal requirement? well, at the risk of incurring the wrath of the naysayers, yes, they probably should. after all, you'd not be allowed on britain's roads in a car devoid of lights, nor a motorbike come to that. many modern cars have lights that illuminate immediately on starting, and though i know not whether motorbikes feature similar technology, it is rare to come across one without a blazing front light.

so what makes us so special?

i'm inclined to think that mandatory reflectors on pedals, though hardly likely do any harm, should scarcely be the subject of legal enforcement. similarly front and rear reflectors, if you feel like it. however, i would probably campaign vociferously against any legal requirement for spoke-mounted reflectors, particularly in the knowledge that few contemporary wheelsets contain sufficient spokes to which they might be attached.

but given the power, lumens, battery life and minimal size of the lights available to even the least well-heeled cyclist, i can honestly see no reason not to acquiesce to any requirement for the fitting of lights to bicycles, specifically for the daylight hours. (to not use lights after dark is not only illegal, but bordering on insanity). i'm pretty sure dave arthur would be inclined to agree, though i admit i've not asked him.

dave faster, faster arthur

wednesday 2 february 2022

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

a lack of sportsmanship

tom pidcock

my original choice of daily newspaper was the independent, an order for which i had in place at the newsagent in bowmore main street. however, the vicissitudes of island life do not allow for an uninterrupted supply of daily news in paper format (and though i have wired magazine on order, i've not seen a copy since late october), making it necessary to have an alternative in place, should the independent fail to arrive.

however, in one week, i went home with the guardian on five days, at which point it seemed prudent to amend my daily order in favour of the latter, leaving the independent as the defined alternative. of course, the independent has now gone to the great printing press in the sky, and the guardian has unfortunately morphed from a broadsheet to what i believe is technically referred to as the berliner format. still, given the parlous state of the world's newspaper industry, i daresay i'm lucky to still have a newspaper at all.

i can only advise that, when the editor and his layout advisers were organising both the weekday and weekend editions of the newspaper, i can but offer a vote of thanks for the manner in which they have included the sports section. on weekdays, it lives conveniently out of the way at the back, following the financial section and the weather forecast. the weekend edition is even more convenient, with the selfsame section positioned in the middle of the main section and allowing it to be removed and cast aside with scarcely a second glance.

i would like to state that so doing implies no lack of faith in the editors and reporters responsible for curating the sporting life, but i do harbour certain misgivings.

following both a cursory and more detailed examination of that included in monday's guardian, i now consider myself enlightened as to the machinations behind the weekend's football, and statements concerning the seemingly permanent transfer market, where millions of pounds are squandered on folks who simply have the ability to kick a ball. and i am also reliably informed that rafael nadal entered the tennis history books having won his 21st grand slam tournament, a win that was originally being applied to novac djokovic before his abandoning of australia's covid regulations. there are even several hundred words about a cricket match in dubai and the sexuality of a curling champion.

for the majority of guardian readers, that may be considered more than equitable; a fine reprise to the weekend's sporting activities, but for a tiny, yet impressionable minority, it doesn't even come close. you will, i'm sure have gathered the reasoning behind my disparaging disappointment.

on sunday evening (uk time), in fayeteville, arkansas, tom pidcock became the first ever british rider to take an elite uci world cyclocross championship title, won in impressive style around half-a-minute ahead of dutchman, lars van der haar in second place and uci world cup champion, belgium's eli iserbyt in third. it will surprise you not one whit to learn that not only is there not even a brief report of the event, but not even a hint of the results. yet, the guardian found space to publish the results of america's national basketball association, and even the national hockey league across the pond.

i know i shouldn't really be surprised; cyclocross is a long way from being britain's national sport, but surely a world's first by a british rider deserves some sort of a mention. and given that the result was known in britain before 9:30pm, i don't think that too late for inclusion in the following day's newspaper.

come the revolution

p.s. i did check the guardian online to have my faith restored, eventually finding mention of both pidcock's and zoe backstedt's victories, but i had to go looking. of the twenty-seven articles linked on the sports main page, cyclocross wasn't one of them. however, the nfl super-bowl and crypto currency in soccer were.

tuesday 1 february 2022

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................