kop van de wedstrijd

belgian national cyclocross championship

like many a cycling fan, i confess i was ignorant of cyclocross for many a long year. when i say 'ignorant', i don't mean i'd never heard of its existence, but i had no recollection of ever having viewed a cyclocross event, and i can't honestly say i had much of a clue as to what it was all about. and though i doubt it paints me in a better light, the light bulb came on during sven nys' domination of the sport, purely because he rode a colnago, a fact that i'm sure makes me seem even more superficial than i like to think i really am.

however, having notionally 'discovered' cyclocross, knowledge about which was aided and abetted by richard sachs across the pond, my awareness led me to seek out live coverage of european races, its existence in the uk being more obscure than avant-garde jazz. these frequently filled little more than the size of a postage stamp in the middle of the web browser, usually obscured by on-screen adverts that could not be dismissed before viewing them for 30 secods or a minute.

those adverts, just like the ones that appear midway through a youtube video, had me thoroughly confused. considering just how difficult it was to find the cyclocross coverage in the first place, why on earth would i then decide to click on one which took me away from that i had struggled to find?

british national cyclocross championship

however, advertisements not withstanding, an added frisson was the flemish commentary, none of which i understood, but was conveniently augmented by on-screen updates informing me as to just who were the riders becoming more and more disguised with gloopy mud. so adept were those competitors at leaping aboard their bicycles following jumping of hurdles, or running up a hill, that i imagined it to be the sort of physical action possessed by us all. it took but a mere few expeditions to bridgend woods to discover that this was very far from the truth.

during this period, america became even more in thrall to 'cross than had yours truly, a fact that coincided with my two visits to portland's fair city, where i was presented with a book of photos from their most recent 'cross season entitled 'dirty pictures'. i still have that copy today. rapha's association with american national 'cross champion, jeremy powers, led to several online conversations with the gent, including a facetime interview while he sat in the campervan prior to a race in belgium. he was also kind enough to teach me (from a distance), just how to dismount and re-mount in the manner of a true professional, a skill i no longer possess due to lack of use.

the latest issue of cyclist magazine could reasonably have been re-titled 'gravel' magazine without anyone actually noticing, and it would be a true velocipedinal hermit who was totally unaware of the rise and rise of gravel. it's a situation that continues to remain a mystery to me when we already had cyclocross bicycles that would appear to achieve much the same end result.

belgian national cyclocross championship

however, cyclocross may have been given a higher profile of its own following the choice of mathieu van der poel, wout van aert and tom pidcock to join the road-racing peloton with notable success. this alone may have brought greater numbers to investigate the winter 'cross season, particularly over the past few months when the latter two opted to begin their 'cross seasons simultaneously. van aert's successes (nine wins from ten starts, including this past weekend's belgian national championships) along with impressive achievements by pidcock can only have improved its status, even if, due to injury, the hoped for competition between van der poel and van aert failed to materialise.

but perhaps the singular difference over the past few weeks has been the wall-to-wall coverage offered by eurosport/gcn, most of which lost nothing by being free of both adverts and commentary (on eurosport player at least). and it's not simply been coverage of the elite mens' races; womens cyclocross and junior events have also benefited from the same eurosport/gcn largesse, surely impressive enough to encourage those who sponsor both riders and events? and were live coverage of the uci world cup and super prestige series insufficient to gain the broadcaster a whole slew of brownie points, they even offered similarly excellent coverage of the weekend's british cyclocross championships, the elite race being won by thomas mein, closely followed by rising star, cameron mason.

belgian national cyclocross championship

i still fail to comprehend why reigning champion, tom pidcock, chose to attend an ineos road training camp in mallorca, rather than defend his title ahead of the world championship race in fayetteville, arkansas. but then, i'm not altogether sure why wout has decided to give the world's a miss. you will by now have realised that there's a lot about professional cycle racing i don't understand.

eurosport/gcn is what might be regarded as an easy target. despite the logistics of offering live coverage over a wide range of differing sports, we all moan when broadcasts are delayed or cancelled due to the overrun of the preceding event, or when live coverage is continually interrupted by ad breaks occurring just as an important attack or incident has taken place. like i said, it's an easy target.

so, with the cyclocross season almost ended for another year, i think it only fair that we offer a concerted chapeau! to the folks at eurosport/gcn for adding to our velocipedinal enjoyment and knowledge. that £6.99 every month has been well worth the spending.

eurosport player

monday 10 january 2022

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

endura freezing-point overshoes ii

endura freezing point overshoes ii

i recall robert millar (pippa york) stating that, once past 30 years old, it was necessary to train twice as hard simply to remain at the same level as before. that may have been an oversimplification, or even a slight exaggeration, but there's no denying that, as the years roll by, it becomes harder and harder to retain the same level of stamina and speed as we all took for granted when mere youngsters. phil cavell pays credence to this state of affairs in his excellent book 'the midlife cyclist', providing advice as to how the more earnest amongst us might stave off some of the effects of getting older. but ultimately, the game's a bogey.

endura freezing point overshoes ii

having never raced with a number on my back, nor having any real desire so to do, i can't honestly say that i've not undertaken any serious training regime, ever. there have been occasions on which i've placed myself under duress for the purposes of reviewing a book dedicated to the training process, but never for any longer than absolutely necessary. i figure that's probably why i find zwift such an easy target; why would i subject myself to indoor stress and strain for no real purpose?

endura freezing point overshoes ii

however, the consoling factor in the face of diminishing velocity, is a predilection for going out riding in pretty much any weather you care to mention. granted, if the crosswinds are in excess of 80kph, i'll reluctantly stay at home, for it's really, really hard to remain upright in winds of that strength. however, such conditions not withstanding, i'll ride in gales, rain, hail, snow, sunshine; pretty much anything the hebrides can throw in the direction of an intrepid cyclist. however, this is scarcely a case of unbridled derring-do; it has far more to do with possessing a wide range of weatherproof clothing, ownership of which would be utterly pointless were i to resort to a smart turbo trainer and visions of watopia.

endura freezing point overshoes ii

that said, it's still possible to underestimate certain factors of the prevailing climate on any given day. the past few weeks have varied dramatically between temperatures of eleven degrees and yesterday's three degrees. the danger here is either resembling a mobile sauna, or clambering into the fridge after the bike ride to thaw out. according to common velocipedinal lore, if you're comfortably warm within the first five kilometres, then you're overdressed. by and large, i've found that to be true, but islay is an island of two halves, split almost down the middle by sea lochs both north and south. to the east of loch indaal, it can be as much as three degrees warmer than to the west, a situation that will only reveal itself on reaching the latter side of the water.

endura freezing point overshoes ii

since the parcours on the west side of the loch subsequently skirts the shores of the north atlantic, that's the section for which it is pertinent to dress, even if it does lead to some initial overheating on leaving the croft. however, it's often the extremities that feel it most; face, hands and feet, with the latter being the least likely to recover sooner rather than later.

let's face it, once clipped in, your feet have little opportunity for independent movement that might result in heat generation. you can blow on your hands, move them about, or even stop and clap into the wind for a while. the face too, can be turned away from the direction of impinging hailstones, snow, or even just plain icy wind. and i'm sure many will agree that riding with numb feet, is not high on anyone's 'to do' list.

which is why it's important to plan ahead, donning thick winter socks and covering everything in waterproof and preferably insulated overshoes. like endura's second generation of freezing point overshoes for instance.

endura freezing point overshoes ii

i owned two pairs of the original freezing-point overshoes, both of which offered sterling service until they simply wore out due to continued use. the latest model replaces the outer fabric of the first version with neoprene, a surface off which any water simply rolls to the ground. following two weeks of continued use, with both three-point road shoes and two-point offroad footwear, i have yet to suffer from wet feet. in fact the complete dryness of the fleece lining attests to the effectiveness of the outer surface. and it's that grey fleece lining that makes these stand out from ordinary overshoes.

despite the met office weather forecast displaying temperatures of three degrees, and windchill that makes it feel four degrees colder, my feet have stayed cosy and dry.

endura freezing point overshoes ii

though any pair of overshoes wil eventually suffer from wear on the soles, endura's solution is to feature an aramid fabric, stitched with aramid thread, offering the required amount of flexibility, while remaining sturdy in the face of adversity. the rear zips have now been offset to prevent the zip digging in at the heel and calf muscle, and there's some gloopy silicon around the top to prevent unwanted water ingress. be warned, however, that a pair of these will dispense with any spurious excuses you might concoct, as to why you can't go out in all weathers.

endura freezing point overshoes are available only in black and in sizes ranging from small to xl, with a retail price of £49.99. | endura freezing point overshoe ii

sunday 09 january 2022

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

audience participation

sustrans cleanup

the current covid pandemic, in a beneficial spin-off, has encouraged or even mandated a growing proportion of britain's population to take to the saddle, often as an alternative to the motor car or public transport. in a great many cases, local council response, particularly in cities and urban areas, has been to install so-called pop-up cycle lanes to ease passage for those now commuting by bicycle. unfortunately, despite petitions and protests, a number of these temporary facilities have been subsequently removed, either through perceived lack of use, or at the behest of complaint from the motoring public, aghast that they have been compelled to share their roads with mere cyclists.

the corollary to this has been isolated cases where such rudimentary facilties have been made more permanent or even extended. having said that, there are still examples to be seen of cycling facilities that effectively go nowhere, or are bizarrely intersected by road junctions or parking that renders them close to pointless. optimism that the time of the bicycle had arrived at last may have been somewhat premature, continuing the cry that more would cycle were appropriate facilties to be provided

there's every possibility that we'll just never be satisfied.

but while any increase or improvement to cycling facilties is generally to be welcomed, cycledom is scarcely without an existing network joining various parts of scotland, currently cared for by sustrans. however, unlike the nation's road network, maintenance of the national cycle network is not solely the responsibility of the government, nor of regional councils and their roads departments. maintenance.

sustrans scotland are the custodians of the national cycle network in scotland, and we are supported in maintaining and improving the network by a wide mixture of public and private bodies. less than 51 miles of the national cycle network in scotland is owned and maintained by sustrans. The rest is owned by a variety of partners including local authorities, national organisations and private landowners. partners including transport scotland, local authorities, regional transport partnerships, green action trust, naturescot, the forestry commission, scottish canals as well as private landowners all play a role in improving and promoting the network.

sustrans cleanup

the 'real' stuff, such as creating and curating the surfaces on which we can ride our bicycles, is best left to sustrans and their partners and contractors, people who have the knowledge and expertise to keep the bridleways, former rail routes, bridges, surfaces and the like, in presentable, safe and useable condition. that does not mean, however, that there's nothing for the rest of us to do. according to sustrans, it really is the little things that matter. in may last year, sustrans partnered with keep scotland beautiful to curate a 'summer clean pledge', asking volunteers to pledge just 20 minutes of their time to clear a mile of the national cycle network of litter.

network engagement co-ordinator, laura white, said, "Our target was to clean up 500 miles during the three-week campaign. In the end, nearly 100 people pledged their time and they cleaned 600 miles of Network routes across Scotland."

so, assuming you figure it's time to put something back into the network you've probably moaned didn't exist at some time or another, what sort of things need done? well, you could take a couple of minutes just to clean up a portion of the network. you can even ask sustrans for a re-useable bag for the purpose, by e-mailing or, perhaps, you could clean up some signposting along the route, removing any graffiti, grime or overgrowing vegetation. for those bird or animal watchers, you can record instances of either that you see along the way, via their online form.

or, on matters closer to our puncture repair outfits, you can report potholes, fallen trees or fly-tipping to realistically, we can scarcely continue to moan incessantly about how little our velocipedinal needs are catered for, yet leave everything to someone else, simply because we feel entitled. i can't help but feel that the country's roads would be in a (marginally) better state, if similar ideals were held by the motoring public.

you know it makes sense.

top photo: laura white-sustrans | inset photo: john linton - sustrans

saturday 08 january 2022

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

missing in action

uci rainbow stripes

imagine that you are a rolling stones fan, or perhaps an aficionado of the band, genesis, or even a follower of level 42. (you could, of course, simply insert the name of any band at this particular point). having purchased a ticket for a performance by any of the above, imagine how tee'd off you might be if mick jagger decided that he would excuse himself from the tour, in favour of continuing with the yoga lessons he'd taken up during lockdown. or perhaps if phil collins left centre stage noticeably empty after signing up for a series of online sessions on his new peloton bike.

wouldn't you be rather miffed?

or, having waited out all those weeks of covid restrictions, desperate to welcome live music once again by attending a level 42 concert in glasgow's ovo hydro venue, only to discover that bassist/singer, mark king, opted to play with messrs copeland and belew in gizmodrome.

miffed once again.

the competitive side of cycling is a conplicated business, one that has endured increased complication over the last two years due to the covid pandemic. i posted on twitter only a few days past, just how many sleeps there were between posting and sitting glued to eurosport/gcn to watch the 2022 paris-roubaix. i did the same last year, then they moved paris-roubaix to october. the same situation occurred in 2020, only the october plan came to nought. with so many races of differing uci importance taking place across a finite period of twelve months, populated by riders who seem no longer content to stick to a single discipline, riding for teams who have sponsors with marketing strategies frequently at odds with the location of each event, it's a wonder a cunning plan ever comes together.

for instance, jumbo visma's two main sponsors probably have limited market interest in the uk, possibly meaning the main beneficiary of wout van aert's tour of britain victory last year was cervelo bicycles. scheduling of international events can only be a logistical nightmare, particularly if the organisers hope to attract the sport's top riders in order to better satisfy their sponsors. would aj bell be quite so free and easy with their purse-strings, if the invited teams opted to send their 'd' teams, devoid of anyone you've ever heard of?

followers of european cyclocross, both the uci world cup and super prestige series, will no doubt have been glued to their tv or computer screens, hoping either that van aert might have become fed up washing his skinsuit and stayed at home, or with fingers crossed that he'd continue his unbroken winning streak and become even more of a 'cross hero than he already was. i recall watching 'cross when sven nys was in the habit of disappearing into the distance as wout has done over the past few weeks. and were it not for the sterling performances by britain's tom pidcock, wout would have had no-one to talk to across the festive period.

cycling, however, differs in one important aspect from the oft compared, formula one motor racing. each formula one world championship event has to be contested by the teams sanctioned to do so, and since it's also a drivers' championship, by the same drivers each time. the uci's cyclocross world cup series mandates no such requirement. the reason that wout van aert and tom pidcock often start at the back of the grid is because they both started their 'cross season midway through the world cup series. similarly that of the super prestige.

eli iserbyt took victory of the world cup series following sunday's 'cross race in hulst by dint of having a larger gap over second place than there are available points on offer. wout van aert and tom pidcock don't even appear in the top ten, despite van aert having beaten iserbyt in every world cup race up to that point. that surely means that avid followers of either the world cup or super prestige, can only view van aert, pidcock or even van der poel as interlopers, scarcely worthy of their posters on bedroom walls?

however, when it comes to the annual world championships of any particular cycling discipline, it would not be too outlandish to expect the world's best to compete against each other. so doing would ensure that whomsoever wears the rainbow stripes is a champion worthy of adulation. however, the vagaries and vicissitudes of the competitive velocipedinal world offer a great deal of wiggle room, particularly for those at the top of their game.

the current world cyclocross champion is mathieu van der poel, who, due to injury, will not compete in this year's championsip race at fayeteville, arkansas, usa. given that particular state of affairs, following his eight wins from nine starts, would automatically favour wout van aert to win the 2022 world cyclocross championship. except van aert, at the age of 26, has been world 'cross champion three times already, and has his eyes on road racing's spring classics. consequently, he's decided to give fayeteville a body swerve, in case jet lag upsets his forthcoming northern european road campaign.

british fans will likely applaud his decision, for based on recent results, that puts tom pidcock in pole position for the win. but should he fulfil that ambition, van aert's absence will undoubtedly detract just a smidgeon from those rainbow bands. after all, the only time pidcock has been able to distance van aert was when the latter's chain stuck after quarter of a lap at hulst. that he subsequently made his way from 40th up to 4th would lend credence to the likelihood of wva trouncing pidcock in arkansas, had he opted to compete.

of course, maybe we like it that way. maybe we prefer our champions to make their own decisions based on a notional career path, rather than adhere to the expectations we've been conditioned to hold. formula one victory depends almost entirely on money and technological excellence; would lewis hamilton really be quite so far along the road to sainthood were he to have been contracted to one of the teams occupying a more lowly station on the starting grid?

maybe cycling doesn't need one definable champion, even if he does still beat his opponents after crashing and having to change footwear in the pits. take each race as it comes and enjoy the spectacle.

friday 07 january 2022

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

return on investment

porsche 911 turbo

i have never knowingly denied being something of a cheapskate, though obviously i'd prefer that questions regarding my thriftyness were kept to a minimum. but then again, my alleged cheapness may, in fact, simply be a mistaken case of procrastination. i believe i may have previously mentioned a pressing need to replace the twelve-speed cassette on my bora wto wheels prior to replacing the chain. if memory serves, i may have done so as long ago as november. like i said; procrastination.

at one time, i was efficient (or stupid) enough to change my chain every three months, thus preserving the integrity of my drive-train. 2021, however, has seen a growing 'lackadaisical-ness' about some mechanical aspects of my velocipedinal life. for instance, the ritchey has had to survive on one chain since early june, at which point, due to the replacement skipping on a couple of worn sprockets, i'd to cobble together a hybrid cassette. this was formed from half a record branded item and the other half consisting of the still functioning chorus sprockets. despite an unregulated jump between two adjacent sprockets, my frankenstein's cassette has functioned seemlessly in the interim.

however, as admitted a couple of months ago, the chain is now long overdue for replacement, a situation that was supposed to accompany the reversion to a pair of ritchey alloy wheels. this was to outwit the hebridean winter gales, allowing unfettered pedalling no matter the forecast du jour. as part of this seasonal fettling, new rene herse tyres have also been ordered, along with the appropriate size of inner tubes, replete with shorter valve stems more visually compatible with considerably shallower alloy rims.

according to the latest statistics, annual running costs for the most expensive car to own in the uk - land rover's range rover - amount to £4,900, not including additional average insurance costs of £1,223. it is only marginally more expensive than porchse's 911 which will rob you of £4,300 and fuel costs of at least 58 pence per mile. a new tyre for the latter can set you back as much as £853. by comparison, the cost of £90 for a 700x28c rene herse chinook pass tyre, rather pales into insignificance.

i dread to think what it would cost to replace the gearbox of a range rover or porsche 911.

and that is, believe it or not, a valid comparison. granted, there's little chance of any of us out accelerating a porsche, or replicating the luxurious interior of a range rover, but those are, to put not too fine a point on it, mere fripperies. those of us who have opted for a bicycle instead of a motor car, can rest assured that our annual outgoings for maintenance will be considerably less than even the price for a single porsche compatible tyre.

on average, a campagnolo twelve-speed chain is priced at around £50, though the tool to fit it was another £150. the twelve-speed chorus cassette cost me £160, and a pair of chinook pass tyres would run to £180. on past experience, the only one of those needing replaced on an annual basis would be the chain. and were i to revisit my four chains a year regime, that would amount to £200, somewhat less than the near £5,000 for a range rover.

i'd be the first to agree that i am comparing apples with garden shovels, but following a brief period of internal moaning after checking my paypal balance, at least some of the foregoing has lessened the blow, along with the knowledge that i rarely, if ever, have trouble findng a parking space. even the £17,000 sarto with mellenstein wheels featured in an otherwise innocuous youtube video, will have maintenance costs considerably below those of any motor car

so the next time some idiot in a car passes too close, cuts you up at a junction, or overtakes on a blind corner, try very, very hard to feel sorry for them.

thursday 06 january 2022

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

do as you would be done by

bike racks

i cannot deny that i live in the rural idyll. yes, the current temperatures may be darned close to zero degrees, the wind in excess of 60kph and the sky regularly depositing substantial amounts of hailstones, but it's a great place to live. and that's despite two ferry crews having contracted covid and the islay route currently being served by the oldest (37 years) ferry operated by calmac, leading to a substantial backlog trying to leave for the mainland. and did i mention that the last two sailings on tuesday were cancelled due to weather conditions that were identical to those prevailing in the morning when the ferry did sail?

but those are features, not bugs. when travelling to and from the mainland, i always travel by ferry, rather than the half hour flight to glasgow, because, for me, the former underlines the fact that i live on an island on purpose. way too many people escape the rat race to the scottish islands and then moan endlessly about poor broadband, dubious mobile phone signals, terrible roads, highly infrequent public transport, high food and petrol costs and the endlessly moving target that is the island's ferry service.

the simple answer would be not to move in the first place.

but if i might revisit my opening sentence, i still believe that i live in the rural idyll. even at times like the annual whisky festival, when the population experiences a dramatic increase, what we'd categorise as busy roads, are not a patch on those of urban and city locations on the mainland. so when i internally moan when i have to wait more than twenty seconds to cross bowmore main street, or have to stand in a passing place for a couple of minutes while six cars pass in a row, it's well worth reminding myself that so doing is hardly what might be termed a hardship.

serious crime is pretty much non-existent, and traffic accidents highly uncommon. there's even sufficient manouevring room to allow meeting foreign drivers in hired cars on the wrong side of the road without resulting in a collision.

however, close calls are not totally excluded, and i can see, to a certain extent, why others in this rural idyll are unusually reticent to adopt the bicycle as their means of transport or leisure activity. since being blessed with a gorgeous daughter, number one son, previously a regular member of the sunday morning peloton, has scarcely turned a pedal in anger. the only two occasions on which either of his bicycles have seen the great outdoors, were during the 2020 festive holiday and, more recently, the 2021 festive holiday.

on the latter occasion, as we wended our merry way towards coffee and double-egg rolls at debbie's, my son riding on the right, we were passed by a car on which, had there been another coat of paint, he'd have been knocked off his bicycle. when there are several police forces across the country actively enforcing the maintenance of at least 1.5 metres between car and cyclist, it's disappointing that there are still members of the motoring public who seem entirely oblivious of such safety matters. and i'm also well aware that incidents such as the above happen considerably more often on the mainland than this isolated incident near crosshouses, south of bridgend.

but, that said, given the perennial need for self-preservation by almost all the nation's cyclists, it comes as something of a disappointment that there are still those with a cleated foot in each camp, who do not practice that which we are in the habit of preaching. on my return from the ubiquitous double-egg roll at lunchtime on tuesday, as i approached a notorious blind-corner, the vehicle following overtook on the approach to said corner. that, in itself, is scarcely a notable event; it happens all the time. however, as the car passed, the sight of two bicycles on a rear-rack was something of a disappointment.

surely it does not seem too outlandish to hope that we'd look after our own? overtaking ahead of a blind-corner has little to do with driving per se, far more to do with common sense. if i can't see what's round a corner, nobody behind me is likely to be any better informed. when that driver is also a cyclist, you'd rather hope for a more intelligent and sympathetic appraisal of such a situation. i have said on more than a single occasion, that the world features more than just a few of idiots; some of them ride bikes, some of them drive cars, some of them walk. it seems that such idiocy has the ability to cross disciplines.

wednesday 05 january 2022

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

state of the (van) aert

jumbo visma service course

whether you have any particular interest in formula one motor racing or not, it's likely your awareness of the so-called 'sport' extends far enough to know that it's an incredibly expensive activity, from the cost of the cars and their engines, to the somewhat exhorbitant amounts paid to (some of) the drivers. for instance, recently deposed formula one champion, lewis hamilton is reckoned to earn in excess of £48 million from his mercedes contract alone. for a quick comparison, two-times tour de france winner, tadej pogacar earns around £5 million from his uae cycling contract.

jumbo visma service course

of course, it hardly stops there. many formula one drivers (and top level world tour cyclists) can top up their salaries with individual sponsorships. and then there's the cost of placing your logo on a formula one car. the latter depends on where that logo is placed, based, i'd imagine, on how many hours it can be seen in front of a television audience. prices for a logo on the rear wing or sidepod start at around £19 million, depending on with which team you're in discussion.

jumbo visma service course

there is always the possibility, or even likelihood, that this invokes lord levehume's apocryphal statement "fifty percent of my advertising spend is ineffective. if only i knew which fifty percent." but chances are, nowadays, there are so many metrics tracking services that can be hired or invoked, that everyone knows just how effective is their advertising, wherever they have decided to direct their marketing spend.

by comparison to formula one, world tour cycling is seen as a relatively cheap means of making the public aware of your product(s) or services. jim radcliffe, owner of ineos, has spent at least two seasons sponsoring a cycling team under the name of ineos grenadiers, ostensibly the name of his own vehicle offered as a replacement for the late lamented, original land rover defender. that particular vehicle, bearing an uncanny resemblance to the land rover it's designed to replace, has yet to go on sale, but mr radcliffe has, so far, effectively spent around £80 million advertising it on world tour jerseys. britain's tom pidcock took an excellent victory in sunday's cyclocross race in baal over the very sort of terrain the grenadier has been designed to operate, while displaying as much on the front of his british champion's jersey.

jumbo visma service course

bear in mind that two years' of paying team ineos' budget is not that much more than lewis hamilton earns in one year. either mr radcliffe is satisfied with his investment, or simply has enough money to indulge his interest in cycling, without actually weighing up the costs.

naturally enough, as with formula one, annual budgets in cycling vary quite considerably. one of the sport's oldest teams, movistar, has an annual budget of around £17 million, deceuninck quickstep have another £4 million to play with, while primoz roglic at jumbo visma benefits from their annual expenditure of just over £22 million. lead sponsor, 'jumbo' is a 'dedicated and proven outcome-focused lottery enabler, providing lotteries with the tools needed to succeed and grow their returns.', while visma, on the other hand, is a private company based in norway, 'providing business software and IT related development and consultancy' and with an annual turnover of just over £1 billion.

jumbo visma service course

you would not be alone in wondering how advertising on wout van aert's cycle jersey actually benefits either of those companies, but it obviously does in some way or another.

but there's also the bicycles that the team rides. for a couple of years, jumbo visma rode bianchi bicycles, before switching to cervelo last year. as has been pointed out by more than a few individuals, van aert has recently been demolishing the aspirations of many a cyclocross rider aboard a cervelo cross bike that doesn't actually exist as yet, though they have promised a commercial appearance later this year. and here we were thinking that the uci demanded no bike could be raced that's not (currently) commercially available.

jumbo visma service course

it's as well to take with a pinch of salt, statements like that published by pinarello during their sponsorship of team sky. in this, they implied that team sky had chosen pinarello bicycles for their superior build, technology and aptitude for the job, features which are probably perfectly true. however, the real reason they (and pretty much every other world tour team) ride the bikes they do, is because pinarello paid a sizeable sum of money to have them do so. same goes for clothing providers. not only do they have to supply a vast wealth of goods, but have to pay for the privilege.

so what does all this money actually mean?

well, at least one facet of the equation can be gauged from the recently released film of the jumbo visma service course, obviously based closely on thewashingmachinepost bikeshed. aside from admiring the size and antiseptic cleanliness of the facility, the unique wheel light in one of the meeting rooms and the artfulness of what i presume is cleverly edited drone footage, just look at the number of black and yellow (once again, closely resembling that of thewashingmachinepost) cervelos racked in row after row.

everybody should have a bike shed like this.

jumbo visma service course

jumbo visma service course

tuesday 04 january 2022

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