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The 2018 Tour of Oman will culminate with the Green Mountain summit stage finish for the eighth straight year. The ascent has been the defining feature of the event since its second year when Robert Gesink claimed the stage and overall victory. Since then, Green Mountain has been the launchpad for early-season victories from Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali, and most recently Ben Hermans. Before the riders reach the queen stage, they will traverse four flatter routes, beginning on stage 1 from Nizwa - which last hosted the race in 2010, to the Sultan Qaboos University, a route 162.5km in length. The school hosts the next day's start for a 167.5km stage to Al Bustan, which precedes the longest stage - 179.5km to the Wadi Dayqah Dam. The stage, which finishes on a short, sharp ascent kicking up to a 10 per cent grade will be the first chance for the overall favourites to shine.ADVERTISEMENT Stage 5 is short but sweet, with three trips up the climb on Al-Jabal Street an Ardennes Classics-like climb of 3.4km at 8.8 per cent before the finish. Alexander Kristoff won this stage last year. The Green Mountain stage begins in Sama'il, as in 2017, with the main difficulty the final 5.7km climb at a gradient of 10.5 per cent. The final stage is one for the sprinters, at 135.5km from Al-Mouj Muscat to the Matrah Corniche. 2018 Tour of Oman route: Stage 1: Tuesday, February 13th: Nizwa - Sultan Qaboos University, 162.5km Stage 2: Wednesday, February 14th: Sultan Qaboos University - Al Bustan, 167.5km Stage 3: Thursday, February 15th: German University of Technology - Wadi Dayqah Dam, 179.5km Stage 4: Friday, February 16th: Yiti (Al Sifah) - Ministry of Tourism, 117.5km Stage 5: Saturday, February 17th: Sama’il - Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain), 152km Stage 6: Sunday, February 18th: Al Mouj Muscat - Matrah Corniche, 135.5km
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The Levis’s Commuter Trucker Jacket with software called Jacquard by Google offers cool tech features that cyclists can access by simply swiping your sleeve. It's an interesting concept with some real benefits to bike commuters—you can access music, phone, and navigation all without taking your eyes off the road. Levi's has had a popular line of jeans and other apparel for bike commuters, but never before offered something so high tech. To make it, the company partnered with Google and its wearable tech application, Jacquard (Jacquard is a type of fabric that has the design woven into the material). In Google's application, touch and gesture sensors are built right into the sleeve and pair with your phone via Bluetooth to access your music, calls, and GPS. 
The Commuter Trucker has a well-placed pocket on the upper left sleeve that fits an iPhone, keeping it close to your ear so you can hear calls on speakerphone, GPS directions, and your favorite tunes. It's made of four-way stretch denim, so it won't restrict your movements as you ride. You can also, Levi's says, toss it in the washing machine without frying the electronics. 
RELATED: 5 Cool Things You Can Do With Levi's New Commuter Jacket
The whole thing is basically powered by a small clip that attaches to your sleeve and works with the sensors woven into the fabric to track your gestures. With the Jacquard app, you can even customize each gesture. For example, a tap could pause music and a brush of your sleeve could give your ETA. 
The Commuter Trucker goes for $350. For a similar, tech-free version, you can also rock this one ($100 at Amazon).
Photos of the Levi's Commuter Jacket:
The jacket was designed for cyclists with a interior and exterior zipped pockets to stash your gear and reflective detailing on back for added visibility. Image courtesy of Levi's
Get ETA updates with a simple brush of your sleeve. Image courtesy of Levi's
Jacquard is a special type of fabric with high-tech sensors woven in. Image courtesy of Levi's

Ah, to be a new cyclist. Every ride presents an opportunity for a personal record, a new road or trail to explore, and fitness to be gained. As a new rider, you might have specific events you’re working toward completing, like a first gran fondo or triathlon. Alternatively, after riding with more experienced friends, you might have a particular skill you’re hoping to master. Even if you’re purely riding for fun or “just” commuting to and from work each day, there will eventually be milestones you’ll fondly look back on.
We’ve rounded up 25 such moments that new cyclists often look forward to achieving. Some of them might not be goals you even realized you had, but once you’ve hit them, you’ll be able to recognize—and appreciate—how far you’ve come since you first started riding bikes.
Surviving a 40-degree ride without freezing—or sweating your ass off
Knowing how to dress for winter riding is an art. Accumulating all the necessary warmers, vests, jackets, and knickers is the first step. But learning to layer them so that you can ride in frosty conditions without shivering the whole time—or overshooting and drowning yourself in sweat—is the sign of true mastery. Not only does this prove you have enough determination and grit to ride when it’s cold out, but it also shows you’ve endured enough trial-and-error layering experiments to develop your own algorithm for happy riding.
RELATED: How to Layer for Winter Riding and Enjoy the Cold
Your first Strava crown
Maybe it was an accident, or maybe you worked tirelessly toward that King or Queen of the Mountain for months. Either way, seeing your name in the #1 spot on the Strava leaderboards is pretty sweet. While you may not have yet achieved any trophies in real life, that Strava crown proves you’re the fastest at something, somewhere, on your bicycle, and that’s certainly worth celebrating.
Riding clipless pedals—without crashing at the first stoplight
They might seem intimidating at first, and you might fall over a couple times during the learning process. However, once you’ve mastered clipless pedals, you will never go back for non-casual riding. While clipless pedals help you cycle more efficiently, more than anything, they make you feel connected to your bike. Once you’ve embraced clipless life, your bike isn’t just a bike: It’s an extension of you and your strength.
Getting lost
Finally, you’ve grown comfortable enough to explore your area without a pre-planned route. You’ll end up wherever you end up, and snake your way back home somehow. Getting lost (and un-lost) on purpose is a true testament to the spirit of adventure in bike riding, and it can often lead you to some beautiful, remote places you’ll want to revisit in the future.
Your first “real” kit
You’ve ditched the sneakers and now it’s time to really join the big leagues: matching spandex. It’s not a hand-me-down, and it’s not a haphazardly thrown together combo plucked from the back of the Sports Basement sales rack. You bought a jersey (like our lightweight Velocio bike jersey), bib shorts, and maybe even a jacket or warmers, and they all match, flawlessly. This is a big moment because it may be one of your most expensive bike-related purchases since you bought your bike itself, and an indicator that things are getting more serious between the two of you. With your kit on, you suddenly feel ready to ride with the pros, and oh so much faster. Don’t forget to ‘gram it. #NewKitDay FTW.
Riding 50 miles
For many of us, 50 miles marks our first “big” ride, and it is a noteworthy achievement. Telling friends or family you’ve pedaled half a century almost always garners some “wows” and wide eyes from non-cycling friends and family. It’s also a signifier of great things to come: Once you can successfully ride this long, chances are you’ve got the skills and stamina to hit 70 or 80 miles, too. It’s just a matter of continuing to pedal, continuing to eat, and staving off the bonk.
Nobody sets out to bonk on a ride, but eventually it’ll happen. Bonking happens when you don’t hydrate or fuel enough earlier in a ride, and it’s a growing pain for many cyclists at various points in their development. It often means you’ve pushed yourself harder, faster, or longer than you’ve pushed yourself before, and in the process, failed to stuff enough carbs in your mouth to compensate for all the work your muscles are doing. Bonking—and riding through it—is a learning experience, but it also shows true ambition and grit on your part. Heck yeah!
Snapping photos while riding
Whether you’ve spotted some elusive fauna in the distance or you just want to capture a mid-ride selfie, being able to take smartphone photos mid-ride has become a staple of the Instagram era. It not only captures the beautiful scenery you spot, it also helps you act as a cycling evangelist to those who haven’t yet converted to the church of two wheels. (“Don’t you want to get in on this stoke?”) And just as importantly, it means you can now hold your line while riding one-handed or no handed, which is crucial for fishing in your pocket for food or signaling an upcoming turn.
Getting dropped
Many cyclists avoid large, fast group rides and races for a silly reason: The fear of getting dropped. But getting dropped is a badge of honor. Like bonking, getting dropped is just one of the growing pains of transitioning from a casual to a more serious cyclist. Getting dropped means that you put yourself out there and you gave it your all, but whether for lack of skill or fitness, you came up a little short. It’s OK! With time, you’ll learn the tricks—how to draft properly, where the local sprint spots are, and whose wheels to follow—to ensure you stick with the pack till the end in the future.
Your first road rash
If you ride on the road long enough, you will eventually hit the deck. You’ll hit a pothole, cross wheels with another cyclist, take a turn too hot, or one of any number of unpredictable accidents. If you’re lucky, you’ll escape with only one injury: road rash. It definitely sucks (raw flesh is, unsurprisingly, very tender), but as long as you get back up to ride another day, it’s a testament to what a hardass you are.
Teaming up
Nothing brings a sense of belonging in the bike world like joining a local club or race team. A team means teammates to commiserate with on training rides, carpool buddies for distant events, and valuable sources of riding wisdom (and valuable sources of gear to borrow, too). There’s a sense of pride in flying through a paceline, looking around, and being surrounded by friends in identical matching spandex. On top of that, a team can mean access to deals from sponsors, and if you’ve reached this point in your cycling career, your bank account is in desperate need of some discounts on ride stuff.
Welcoming your first saddle sore into the world
Alright, no one looks forward to this awkward, often painful cycling milestone, but it is a milestone, nonetheless. It’s often a sign you’ve been spending lots of time in the saddle…and have earned a well-deserved rest day. (However, if you’re experiencing repeated saddle sore issues, it may be time for a bike fit or a saddle swap.)
Photograph courtesy of Andrew Bernstein
Your first cycling tan lines (which will always appear at the most inopportune time)
In the race world, having a crisp tan line is a sign of distinction and dedication. It’s something to be celebrated and duly documented on social media to competitors and followers. As a more casual cyclist, the first time those lines start to appear—where your socks, bibs, and/or jersey sleeves end—you may not be quite so enthralled. They always seem to show up just before a wedding or major event where you seriously don’t want a tan line. Still, it is a sign that your hobby has gotten more serious. You can mitigate them with a sleeveless jersey, sun sleeves, or copious amounts of sunblock.
Pinning on your first number
You’ve been riding your butt off, your friends have told you that you’re fast, but now it’s time to put it to the test. Pinning on your number for the first time is perhaps just as nerve-wracking as toeing the start line. Too few pins, and you risk distracting flappage or losing your number altogether; too many and, well, hardly anyone uses too many pins their first time. Your first race or big event is a testament to your dedication and passion—no matter how the results go. Your race number is proof of that endeavor.
Being able to pedal no-handed
Pedaling no-handed shows you have mastered your steed. You’re in command of your balance, you can steer with your hips, and keep your eyes focused down the road. You and your bike are one. Some of us, years into our cycling careers, are still working on this skill, but for others it comes more naturally. Maybe it’s a bit of a show-off skill, but darn if it isn’t useful when it’s time to take on or off a vest.
Fixing your own flat
True freedom is never having to call for a lift every time you experience the heartbreak of a tire going soft, or having to pay a bike mechanic for what amounts to an easy fix. Now you can ride anywhere—even beyond cell signal range or Ubering radius. Being able to successfully fix a flat is a true sign of self-reliance, and one of the first steps in mastering basic bike repair.
Learn how to fix a flat in two minutes:
Being able to help others out on the group ride
The evolution from padawan to cycling Jedi doesn’t happen overnight, but at some point, you’ll realize that you’ve transitioned from being the one taking guidance from more experienced riders to the one doling out help and encouragement to cycling newbies. It can feel good to share useful advice, or offer an extra Gu when someone’s on the verge of bonking. You’ve been there—look how far you’ve grown!
Learning to do routine bike maintenance yourself
It started with fixing a flat, but eventually you’ll pick up other bike maintenance skills: How to properly clean your bike, how to tune it, and how to replace components. When you’ve reached this point, you’ve progressed past just being a casual bike rider. You now understand more deeply how your bike functions, which makes you a more complete cyclist. As you ride more, more problems will eventually arise. Being able to deal with them, or prevent them in the first place, is key if you don’t want to spend hours upon hours at your LBS.
Feeling comfortable calling yourself a cyclist
The transition from “commuter” or “bike rider” to “cyclist” isn’t a physical one, it’s a mental one. It’s accepting that you belong to the greater cycling community, that you are an athlete, and that you are an example to others on the road. It may take months to reach that point, or it may take years. When you first start out, you may have no ambitions of calling yourself a cyclist, but when you finally start to identify by that title, you will wear it with pride.
Getting your first bike-themed knick-knack as a gift
And then there’s the first time you get a bike-themed mug, pillow, or hand towel. Congratulations: Your friends and family now see you as a “cyclist,” too. Once they’ve made this recognition, they’re going to think of you whenever they see bike-patterned socks, stationary, or Christmas ornaments—which they can’t help but buy for you. These thoughtful knick-knacks will quickly fill up what room in your home isn’t already filled by bikes and old tubes. Just embrace your new house makeover. Those 10 bike-themed kitchen towels are a reminder of yet another accomplishment.
You try to go for a run and suffer a thousand deaths
Before exercising on two wheels, many cyclists start out as runners or triathletes. At some point, perhaps in the winter or when your bike is in the shop, you may decide to strap on your sneakers and hit the pavement. And when you do, holy cow, you wonder how you ever used to do this on a regular basis. Congratulations, your body has adapted to cycling now. With a few weeks of practice, you could get back to your old running self… but why would you want to?
Kevin Kozicki
RELATED: 7 Reasons Why Cycling is Better Than Running
You’ve taken a vacation day—just to ride your bike
It’s not playing hookie (though maybe you’ve done that, too), but when you’re ready to start taking vacation days just so you can ride your bike, you’ve reached a new level of bike enthusiast. One step further: Taking an entire bike vacation. When your ideal getaway is an escape on two wheels, you know that bike riding isn’t just a form of exercise, or even a passion—it’s a source of immeasurable joy and satisfaction.
Your first bike is a hobby. Your second bike, however, means things are getting serious. Eventually, you may need an entire stable to house your collection. Owning multiple bikes is noteworthy because it’s a significant financial investment, and depending on the size of your place, may require significant spatial resources, too. It means you’re ready to ride no matter the conditions—and no matter what ride mood you’re in.
Your first race win
There is no sensation that can match the feeling of being the first person to cross the finish line in a bike race. It means that on this day, you trained the hardest, raced the smartest, and used your energy most effectively. Racing isn’t just about strength, it also takes endurance, strategy, and the mental fortitude to push past what you think are your limits. Winning a race, no matter the kind or size of race, means you did that.
When you’ve got “rituals”
Maybe it’s that you can’t hop on the bike until you’ve finished your second morning espresso, or maybe it’s that you don’t toe the start line of a race without a coat of sparkly polish on your nails first. Whatever the case, you know your cycling habit has reached new heights when you’ve got one or more rituals you follow before or after important rides. Ritual and superstition are common in many athletic disciplines, and while it may be silly, it helps give you the confidence you need to perform your best. And at this point, you’ve learned what works, so it’s you that does indeed know best.
A broken clavicle
In the eyes of some, you’re not a true cyclist until you’ve broken your collarbone. So in a way, this is the ultimate cycling milestone to achieve. However, it’s also the least fun, and the most expensive. But if you can break a bone and can eventually get back on your bike and ride again, you truly understand the suffering, sacrifice, and reward of being a cyclist.

UCI President David Lappartient has said that Team Sky should suspend Chris Froome while the investigation into his adverse analytical finding for salbutamol is on-going. Lappartient said that pulling Froome from racing was nothing to do with whether he was guilty or not but that it would make the process simpler. "Team Sky should suspend Froome," Lappartient told Le Telegramme. “However, it is not up to me to interfere. Without going into the question of guilt, it would be simpler for everyone. "It's up to [Dave] Brailsford to take his responsibilities. Apart from that, I think that it is what the other riders wish. They're fed up with the general image."ADVERTISEMENT Lappartient is just four months into his four-year term as UCI president after resoundingly beating his predecessor Brian Cookson in a vote held at the UCI Road World Championships in Bergen last September. The Frenchman said that he was informed of the ongoing case just an hour after he won the vote, a day after Froome was notified of the findings on September 20. Lappartient said that the case was bad for the general image of cycling. "Whether the test result is abnormal or not, either naturally or fraudulently, it's awful: in the eyes of the wider public he's already guilty." Froome returned an adverse analytical finding for 2,000mg/ml of the asthma medication salbutamol during last year's Vuelta a España. Salbutamol can be taken without a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) but has an upper limit of 1,000ng/ml. As it is a specified substance rather than a banned substance, it does not carry an automatic suspension and riders can continue to race while the investigation is on-going. Teams can temporarily suspend their riders, however, as happened in the case of Diego Ulissi in 2014.
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BUENOS AIRES (VN) — Despite the expected conflicts, Colombian Nairo Quintana welcomes the new firepower Mikel Landa brings to Team Movistar as he points to win his first Tour de France.
The Spanish WorldTour team signed the country’s top stage race talent Mikel Landa last summer after he helped former Sky teammate Chris Froome win the Tour de France.
Landa, who won a stage and the mountains jersey in the Giro d’Italia and finished fourth overall in the Tour, just one second away from third place.
“I think it’s a good option,” Quintana told Marca of Landa’s arrival and addition to the Tour team.
“Each of us has our objectives,” Quintana said. “The idea is to go win the Tour and I think that being in three [with Alejandro Valverde], we can play a great role. It’s not a problem, but a plus.”
Quintana has led Team Movistar over the last five years in the grand tours. He placed second behind Froome in the 2013 Tour, won the 2014 Giro d’Italia, took runner-up again in the 2015 Tour and won the 2016 Vuelta a España.
Most expect a clash between 27-year-old Quintana and 28-year-old Landa this summer. Both decided to skip the Giro to focus on the Tour in 2018.
“2017 was good, not bad. It is true that our expectations weren’t met, but it was not negative either,” continued Quintana, who placed second in the Giro behind Tom Dumoulin and 12th in the Tour.
“This year is going to be different because we are going to focus on the Tour de France and I will surely arrive in better conditions by not racing the Giro. To win the yellow jersey you need to be very lucky and arrive in the best condition. In previous years, we have made mistakes, but this time we will be in the best shape.
“There are going to be many modifications, from the start, we will reduce the number of days of competition to get to the Tour in the best way. I need to be cool to perform well, something that did not happen in 2017 when I opted for the double. We were wrong, but this year will be different.”
Landa is taking the same approach to the Tour, starting July 7 in Vendée. Landa began the Giro the last two seasons as Team Sky’s leader, but bad luck struck both times.
In 2017, a police motorbike caused him and co-leader Geraint Thomas to crash and lose massive time in the overall classification. Landa fought back for the Piancavallo stage win and blue mountain jersey.
“I want to get to the Tour in the best conditions,” Landa said earlier this month. “With a first peak in a powerful way, for that, there is no other option but to sacrifice the Giro.”
Spaniard Valverde, now 37, will lead Team Movistar in the Giro and then head to the Tour alongside Landa and Quintana. Team boss Eusebio Unzué said that they will have to sort the leadership roles on the road.
Landa on the road last year appeared stronger than Sky leader Froome at times, but kept his allegiance and followed orders. Already in other interviews, he said that he would race for himself in the 2018 Tour.
“I was stopped both in teams Astana and Sky when I had legs to win,” Landa explained. “If you tell me to stop again, I won’t. It’s my turn to pursue my goals.”
Landa, however, added that there would be no friction between him and Quintana.
“If the occasion comes, it would be a pleasure for me,” Quintana said of working for Landa. “We are a strong and united team. With Landa, we will be stronger. He is a teammate and I don’t see him as a rival, as they want to make him out to be in the media.”
Quintana will begin his season at home in Colombia at the Oro y Paz stage race.
The post Quintana welcome’s beefed-up Movistar team with Landa appeared first on

After finally winning his first ever stage of the Tour Down Under, Peter Sagan decided to lend the race’s volunteers a hand by helping to tidy up at the finish of stage 4. The world champion took victory in Uraidla after a frenetic finale, which saw him hold onto the climbers on Norton Summit before launching his own attack. He was brought back but still proved unbeatable in the sprint to the line, putting him into the race lead for the forthcoming stage to Willunga Hill. After tending to his post-race commitments, Sagan decided to pitch in with the tidy-up operation by helping to fold away one of the blow-up banners and moving some cabling before getting into the team car and heading back to the hotel. Sagan also took time to pose for several photographs with fans.ADVERTISEMENT “After today's stage, I finally had a real job to do... I'd like to thank every single person at the @tourdownunder organization. Their hard work makes it one of the best races in the world. Thanks also to the fans and spectators in @southaustralia! This victory goes to you,” Sagan wrote on Twitter alongside the video of him helping out. The Tour Down Under has seen four different winners in each of the four stages so far with just two days remaining. After today's stage, I finally had a real job to do... I'd like to thank every single person at the @tourdownunder organization. Their hard work makes it one of the best races in the world. Thanks also to the fans and spectators in @southaustralia! This victory goes to you! — Peter Sagan (@petosagan) January 19, 2018
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Try as he might, Adam Hansen can’t seem to please everyone. The Lotto Soudal rider is an integral part of the CPA, the pro riders’ union, and has spent considerable time at the Tour Down Under liaising between the riders and the race organisers to ensure that athlete welfare has been considered in the 40-degree heat that has hit the race. However, at the end of stage 4 a rider approached Hansen and berated him for allowing the peloton to race in the high temperatures. After the altercation Hansen could be seen discussing the conditions at the Astana team bus, although he ruled out naming the rider in question when speaking to Cyclingnews. “There were a lot of guys complaining, but there were also a lot of guys not complaining. Just to name some teams, Movistar, UniSA, BMC, even the Mitchelton guys were all saying they didn’t want to cancel the stage. I’m not saying the whole team, but some of the riders I spoke with said ‘no, it’s ok. Sure, it is hard, but it’s ok’,” Hansen told Cyclingnews. “There was one rider that just went mental on the finale and I wore it and it’s fine. I know he lost it a little but after the finish I went straight to his team bus, put my bike down and confronted him. I always like to speak after the stage. He agreed with me then and said ‘it’s ok, I understand, and I’m sorry, it was charged and in the race, in the moment’.”

 Hansen works without salary as part of the CPA and covers his own expenses. He was shocked, to say the least, when a rider called him out at the end of stage, suggesting that he didn’t want to cancel the stage because he wanted to attack. “I understand all that, but I don’t get paid for this," said the 36-year-old. "It takes so much time. I do it for the riders and I don’t do it for me – I do it for the future riders. I don’t need to do this CPA stuff – it’s for the younger generation. All the other things the CPA does is for the future generations of riders – it’s not for the older generation. It’s annoying and we’ve already done quite a lot for the riders with two stages. Not everyone feels the same as what some people were complaining about. I’m not saying it was easier, I’m just saying it is what it is. “Sprinters will complain it’s too hilly, climbers will complain a sprint finale is too technical. Guys were complaining today because of the heat and I admit it was super hot and it’s not nice to do. I don’t think anyone enjoyed it, it’s still a bike race and we’re all human, we all have our own rights and we can always just stop. At the end of the day, every rider can make their own choice to stop. There’s that on one side and I don’t agree with that, ‘you shouldn’t push people over their limits’. Well, how do you stay in this sport? You’re always over your limit.” Hansen has been in constant dialogue with the race organisers this week. Stage 3 was reduced by 26km and today saw the stage start moved forward by an hour in order to avoid the worst of the hot weather. Hansen argued that although the conditions were tough, they were not different to several other races throughout the calendar. “We already had the race start an hour earlier, it was only 128km, which is the same as yesterday. I think yesterday was around 120km or around that, so it’s the same distance as yesterday but an hour earlier. In some sense then it’s better conditions than it was yesterday," he said.ADVERTISEMENT "It puts me in a difficult situation because, yes, the guys that don’t like it are the ones that complain, and the ones that have no problem are neutral about it. So everyone that came to me to complain, then complains to other people and then they think it’s everyone complaining. Then I do a round and ask a few other teams, but they say it’s ok. "Some of the Spanish guys were saying if you do a race in Spain in the summer, it’s the same. Sometimes at the Tour it can also be as hot as this, but it is 200km or 240km. You know, if you want to stop you can stop, but not everyone wants to stop.”
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Here’s your Week in Tech — all the gear news you need, and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t want.
Transition gives Smuggler some carbon love
Transition’s Smuggler has shed its holiday pounds and will be soon available in carbon. The carbon Smuggler frame weighs 6.5 pounds, which is 2.3 pounds lighter than the aluminum version.  The bike features Transition’s Speed Balanced Geometry, which translates to a slacker head tube angle and a rider-forward, central riding position between the front and rear contact points. A carbon Transition Smuggler frame costs $2,999, which is $1,000 more than the aluminum frame. A complete SRAM XO1 build costs $5,999. The Smuggler will be available this spring.Read more >>
Industry Nine bets big on carbon road discI9 made a name for itself with its mountain bike components, but roadies can now join in the fun. The i9.35, i9.45, and i9.65 are all tubeless-ready and have a 21-millimeter wide rim. The model names represent the rim depth, with the 35 serving as a climbing wheel and the 65 as an aero wheel. All three wheels are built with a 24-spoke hub and come with a lifetime warranty. An i9.35 wheelset weighs 1,355 grams; the 45 weighs 1,495 grams; and the 65  registers at 1,555 grams. The 35 and 45 wheels are currently available, and the 65 will follow in February. A 35 wheelset costs $2,300, while the 45 will run $2,350, and the 65 costs $2,400.Read more >>
SRAM Dub standardizes the standards? SRAM’s DUB (Durable Unified Bottom bracket) system includes just one spindle size, 28.99-millimeters, scrapping the 24-millimeter and 30-millimeter sizes altogether. The single spindle size works in conjunction with an array of bottom bracket sizes, which in turn fit all standard frames. The change to one spindle size is intended to extend the life of the bottom bracket, but it also allowed SRAM to make its products lighter. SRAM says the 28.99-millimeter size  maximizes durability while cutting down on weight. The engineers at SRAM started with a 30 millimeter spindle and worked backward from there. DUB bottom brackets, minus the crankset, range from $38 to $50 depending on the model.Read more >>
Showers Pass gets stoked on spring The Spring Classic jacket from Showers Pass features a combination of a waterproof hardshell and softshell stretch fabric.  It’s intended to combat wet spring conditions, and it’s lighter than Showers Pass’s Elite 2.1 jacket — it weighs just 10.6-ounces in size medium. The jacket also packs down to fit easily in a jersey pocket.  3M Scotchlite reflective piping lines the front zipper, and there’s more reflective hits throughout. The front zipper is angled to reduce bunching and chafing at the neck. Two vents under each armpit offer plenty of quick ventilation. The Spring Classic is available in extra-small, small, medium, large, and XL, and costs $289.Read more >>
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Daryl Impey came into the Tour Down Under as Mitchelton-Scott’s dark horse for the GC and, with two stages remaining, the South African remains a genuine contender for the podium, sitting two seconds adrift of race leader Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) in second place. Impey finished second to Sagan on the undulating stage to Uraidla on Friday, with Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) in third. Impey’s chances of keeping his podium place rest on how he climbs to the summit of Willunga Hill on stage 5, but the South African was quick to push any pressure in BMC Racing’s direction, with Richie Porte expected to win on the climb for a fifth straight time. “I’m just going to be watching whoever I can stay with. If Richie goes and I can respond I’ll go with him but it’s just about responding to how your own body is going,” Impey said at the finish.ADVERTISEMENT “The way I feel today, I feel like I can do something but Richie is the man to beat, for sure. He’s got the best climbing legs. He’s one of the world’s best and it’s his race to lose tomorrow. If Sagan wants to win tomorrow he could. Never underestimate him. He’s the world champion for a reason. I don’t think he’s going to give it away and he’s definitely a guy who can respond to someone like Richie.” Thirty-two riders sit within fewer than 14 seconds of Sagan’s lead but bonus seconds will be crucial in determining the GC. The final stage on Sunday offers the sprinters the chance to take time, while Willunga is Porte’s fortress. The stage to Uraidla saw the BMC leader respond to several attacks – and even launch a few moves of his own – but the cagey style of racing ensured that the lead group reformed before the line.
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On its 20th birthday, the Tour Down Under has a stage win by a world champion. The new finish into Uraidla Friday afternoon promised to shake up the race and duly delivered. The stage finish is sure to go down as an all-time highlight due to the exploits of Peter Sagan. The new finish, via the category 1 Norton Summit climb, was a stage that had no outright favourite. Predictions were mixed, with riders and sports directors alike suggesting the result could go the way of a climber or a puncheur, but with no one discounting Sagan. On the climb up Norton Summit, BMC Racing drilled the pace to thin the field but couldn't shake Sagan. The ascent was just seconds slower than when they raced up Norton Summit two years ago. Over the top of the climb, Richie Porte (BMC Racing) and George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) led the attacks and briefly got clear before Sagan made his counter-attack with 3.5 kilometres to race.ADVERTISEMENT Despite being reeled in by the 34-rider group in his wake, Sagan then finished off his early work with a canny sprint finale to take the win ahead of a charging Daryl Impey. With victory came the race leader's ochre jersey. "It was a really tough day. It was really hot and when we came to the bottom of the last climb, it was not about pain or legs," Sagan said after his finishing his podium duties as stage winner, race leader and holder of the points jersey. "It was a really strange feeling. I didn't expect I could climb like that in this period."
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