Archive for July 27th, 2021

What’s going on with Jolanda Neff’s down tube?

07/27/2021 12:04

What’s going on with Jolanda Neff’s down tube?

Those who just watched the women’s cross country mountain bike event may have noticed something weird on the down tube of Jolanda Neff’s Trek Supercaliber.

With the women anticipating muddy conditions, the eventual gold medal winner seemingly took a page from the book of fellow Swiss rider Nino Schurter who had used a similar trick at the most recent mudfest of a World Cup round at Les Gets.  

Simply, it’s just duct tape (gaffer tape) stuck along the frame in a way that makes a wavy and floppy shape.  

With no bike changes allowed, mud can quickly become a nemesis to a mountain bike racer. It can clog tyres, stop drivetrains from shifting, and it can add significant weight to the bike. And it’s that last element that the duct tape aims to prevent. 

Firstly, the wavy shape of the duct tape gives a steep angle for the mud to cling to. Secondly, if the mud does manage to cling on, then the next jump, drop, or bump will likely cause that wavy tape to fling the mud away. 

The duct tape seems to be a simple and low-effort hack to an age-old problem. However, following Nino Schurter’s use of the trick a few weeks back there was plenty of conjecture over whether it’s the best approach. The wavy shape is effectively increasing the surface area of the down tube and so in theory it’s possible (although highly unlikely) for more mud to collect. 

Nino Schurter at Les Gets a few weeks back.

Other experienced racers will note that cooking spray has long been a successful hack to keep mud from sticking on the tubes. However cooking spray also makes the tubes slippery to grab in the event of an urgent off-bike moment. 

The Swiss Cycling Federation may be the only ones who know just how effective this hack is. Either way, it’s fair to say it didn’t have any impact on the day’s result.

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Anna van der Breggen pulled off her bike by officials during Olympic TT prep

07/27/2021 12:04

Anna van der Breggen pulled off her bike by officials during Olympic TT prep

Officials on the Fuji International Speedway pulled Anna van der Breggen from her bike a day before the Olympic time trial is set to take place, Wielerflits reports. Van der Breggen was pre-riding the course with her teammate Annemiek van Vleuten in preparation for their second race in Toyko.

Apparently, the officials were not aware the Dutch riders are participants in the time trial event. Both Van der Breggen and Van Vleuten have held World Champion time trial titles and are both favourites for the win on Wednesday.

Fortunately, Van der Breggen was not injured in the incident and the officials have apologized to the reigning ITT world champion for the misunderstanding.

The Dutch cycling team has experienced a few bizarre incidents at the Olympic Games so far, including Mathieu van der Poel crashing in the cross country mountain bike race on Monday and Niek Kimmann colliding with a stray official during BMX training. Not to mention whatever happened in the women’s road race on Sunday, although that one had less to do with luck.

This story is ongoing.

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Jolanda Neff wins Olympic MTB gold in all-Swiss podium

07/27/2021 12:04

Jolanda Neff wins Olympic MTB gold in all-Swiss podium

Jolanda Neff (Switzerland) has ridden to a commanding victory in the women’s cross country mountain bike race at the Tokyo Olympics.

The 28-year-old took control on the first of five full laps, ultimately opening a gap that no-one was able to close. Long-time rival and reigning world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (France) had led with Neff for part of the opening lap, but the Frenchwoman took a tumble late in lap 1 and then faded out of medal contention after battling her way back to second place.

Instead it was Neff’s compatriots Sina Frei (silver) and Linda Indergand (bronze) that rode to the minor medals, completing a podium sweep for the Swiss team – a first in an Olympic MTB race.

How it happened

Inclement weather prompted several changes to the course for Tuesday’s race, notably a shortening of the race from six full laps to five, and the re-installation of the “training ramp” off the Sakura Drop – the spot where Mathieu van der Poel’s gold medal tilt ended a day before.

Pre-race favourite Loane Lecomte (France) – winner of all four World Cup XC races this season – was first to hit the front as the field began to split on the start loop. By the end of that start loop, Lecomte and Laura Stigger (Austria) had opened a small gap, but they wouldn’t lead for long.

The first of five full laps saw long-time rivals Ferrand-Prevot and Neff join forces at the front as all riders battled to navigate the technical and at-times slippery course. On an uphill rock garden in the back half of the opening lap, Ferrand-Prevot and Neff took different lines but when those lines converged, Ferrand-Prevot was thrown off balance and tumbled down the embankment. With that, Neff was leading on her own and on her way to opening a sizeable lead.

By the end of the first lap Neff was leading by 19 seconds ahead of Evie Richards (Great Britain). Behind her, a further four seconds adrift, rode Lacomte and the Swiss duo of Frei and Indergand. Ferrand-Prevot was down in sixth place, another eight seconds behind.

As a composed Neff continued to build her lead through lap 2, Ferrand-Prevot, the reigning world champion, worked her way back through the field to regain second place. By the end of lap 2 Neff was leading by 46 seconds ahead of Ferrand-Prevot, with Frei and Indergand still together in third and fourth, 10 seconds further back.

Ferrand-Prevot appeared laboured through lap 3 and was soon caught and then passed by Frei and Indergand. Ahead, Neff continued to build on her lead. By the end of lap 3, the 2017 world champion led by 1:09 ahead of Frei, with Indergand in third at 1:15. Ferrand-Prevot had slipped to seventh place, 1:56 behind Neff. 

At the start of the final lap Neff was in complete control and had a lead of 1:26 over Indergand and Frei. That lead would contract slightly by the finish, with Neff taking gold 1:11 ahead of Frei and 1:19 ahead of Indergand. In fourth place, after starting on the final row of the grid, was 19-year-old rising star Kata Blanka Vas (Hungary), finishing ahead of Anne Terpstra (Netherlands), Lecomte, and Richards. Ferrand-Prevot ultimately finished 10th, 4:32 behind Neff.

Sina Frei (left), Jolanda Neff (centre), and Linda Indergand (right) after sweeping the podium.

Neff’s win comes roughly six weeks after breaking her hand in the Leogang World Cup, a race in which she still managed to finish fourth. In late 2019 Neff crashed heavily while training in North Carolina, suffering a ruptured spleen, collapsed lung, and broken rib. There were initial concerns that she might never race again, but after a months-long recovery returned to racing at the highest level.


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The LoreOne is the world’s first custom 3D-printed carbon cycling shoe

07/27/2021 12:04

The LoreOne is the world’s first custom 3D-printed carbon cycling shoe

First teased earlier this year and now open for pre-order, Lore Cycle is a start-up from Silicon Valley looking to shake up the cycling shoe market with a novel design produced with new-age tech. The space-age, sandal-like kicks combine a 3D-printed carbon exterior skeleton with a soft foam liner for a custom road shoe like no other.

And because they’re space-age, you’d better believe they’ve got a price that’s out of this world.

Scan, print, deliver 

The LoreOne, the first product from Lore Cycle, arrives with a staggering number of bold claims, patent-pending concepts and (over)qualified staff with resumes that include major consumer brands. 

At the company helm sits Stephan Drake. He’s the founder of DPS Skis, a company credited for producing innovative carbon fibre-based skis, with his new venture appearing to borrow some design elements from the ski boot world.

Also within the stacked staff roster – mostly from outside the bike industry – sits Colby Pearce, a former Olympic track cyclist and now bike fitting specialist

The LoreOne offers an aesthetic that clearly hasn’t come from the cycling world.

Lore’s consumer-direct business model is unexpectedly unique for a custom shoe company. Notably, they plan to produce the custom shoes without any in-the-flesh interaction with the owners of the feet, instead relying on the wonders of modern technology. 

The first stage in the custom ordering process is to use a proprietary iPhone app developed by the Lore team. Named Morphic, this app essentially takes a 3D scan of your foot for the custom shoe to then be made from. According to Lore, this app has the scalability to “create performance body-mapped products to multiple sporting good categories.” 

Once you’ve requested Siri to scan your feet, the design whooshes off to the Californian-based team to produce your one-off shoes. Here, Lore 3D-print a custom sized and shaped carbon fibre structure dubbed the CarbonAirFrame (CAF) which forms the rigid skeleton of the shoe.

The idea of a carbon outer shell with a separate soft inner liner isn’t new to cycling. Mavic used a similar approach with its rather limited Comete Ultimate II shoes, and other companies have played with a similar – albeit more integrated – concept. However, Lore’s custom approach certainly takes the idea to another level. 

Lore hasn’t detailed what specific 3D printing technology it’s using, but the claimed recyclable continuous carbon fibre method points toward a pre-impregnated (aka pre-preg) carbon fibre tow which is then bonded with a thermoplastic. However, there are different approaches to continuous carbon fibre 3D printing; Anisoprint is just one specialist company in the space, with a technique that may offer a clue into how the carbon fibre aspect of Lore’s shoes are made.

Beep boop.

3D printing the carbon structures also provides Lore with the opportunity to customise the finer points of the shoes, such as the cleat placement and cleat compatibility. You can choose between a regular three-hole setup or a Speedplay-specific four-hole layout. And according to Lore, your first and fifth metatarsal bone positions (the ‘knuckles’ of your feet) will come marked for easy cleat set up. 

The open web-like structure is matched to a ventilated foam liner. Together, it’s claimed that the LoreOne is the most ventilated cycling shoe on the market. That is, of course, a great benefit for a few months of the year, but could be a real negative at other times. To mitigate against the weather, Lore will provide a range of fitted shoe covers including aero knit, aero textile and foul weather versions. 

Lore offers a selection of shoe covers in case you don’t like the sandal look.

The company hasn’t provided any specific details or imagery of the shoe’s retention system, but there appear to be ski boot-like buckles that close the carbon fibre structure onto the foot. What appears to be an adjustable strap wraps from behind the heel and over the top of the shoe. 

Weights will of course vary depending on the required size and shape, but Lore claims a size US10 will be approximately 270 grams per shoe. That figure means the LoreOne are far from the lightest road cycling shoe on the market, but it’s clear the company has its sights set on other performance metrics.

Big claims for a big price 

The new shoes come with some rather big claims, just as you may expect of a start-up cycling brand from Silicon Valley.

If I’m honest, I reckon some of their statements directly undermine the legitimacy Lore is trying to build, but then, they’re also undeniably amusing.

“The LORE project is three massive steps forward from any other shoe on the market. Prepare to have your head explode while your feet feel true power transfer for the first time ever,” quotes Colby Pearce in the release.

“The technology used in the design and manufacturing is light years ahead of everything else. The way the athlete works with the shoe is groundbreaking, and the foothold is unparalleled. The LoreOne shoe will change the way you interact with your bike, forever.”

That head-exploding power transfer is seemingly related to how the shoe holds the foot, which is somewhat upside-down from the norm. Most cycling shoes provide support from the sole, whereas Lore does it from the rigid topside of the shoe and with a “perfect” heel cup. Lore claims that this patented concept allows “the foot to athletically spread under load” with “less stress on the nervous system.” 

The company also claims that this vertically-aligned retention of the foot is of direct benefit to power transfer with less energy waste at the 6 and 12 o’clock dead strokes. That of course will greatly depend on your pedalling action, but such a claim isn’t too far away from what Specialized says about its new sprinter-focussed Ares shoe

Lore’s pre-order has opened with the extremely specific sum of 277 pairs available for 2021. Those early takers will, in exchange for US$1,900, get themselves a limited edition “Founder’s Kit” that reads like a Christmas-time cosmetics bundle giveaway.

Included in the kit are the freshest of fresh custom shoes printed just for you, three different sets of overshoes, a limited edition pennant to commemorate the purchase, a shoe travel bag and an equally limited edition cycling cap.

The 278th customer will miss out on the goodies and be added to the regular build queue which is scheduled to start printing in 2022. The pricing for the regular non-limited LoreOnes is unchanged at US$1,900.

The asking price makes S-Works, Rapha and Lake look like last year’s bargain bin dregs, and is notably still well over double the likes of a Rocket7 custom cycling shoe.

It’s also about what you’d expect of a custom 3D-printed carbon fibre cycling shoe that calls for a proprietary scanning app.

To flip a quote from Lore into a question, what other shoes “blur the line between body, spirit, and bicycle?” Certainly none that I can afford. 

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Preview: What you need to know about the Olympic time trials

07/27/2021 12:04

Preview: What you need to know about the Olympic time trials

With the road races now complete at the Tokyo Olympics, it’s time to turn our attention to the individual time trials. The women’s and men’s fields will both battle it out for gold this Wednesday, with the women’s event starting at 11:30am Tokyo time, followed by the men at 2pm.

Here’s what you should know about the women’s and men’s time trials at the Tokyo Olympics.

The course

The women and men will contest their time trials over the same 22.1 km circuit that starts and finishes on the Fuji International Speedway (where the road races finished). The women will complete one lap of the course and the men will complete two (for a total of 44.2 km). It’s a pretty tough circuit with plenty of lumps and bumps.

The course tends downhill for the first 4 km, then the next 5 km is mostly uphill, at an average of just under 5%. Then it’s mostly downhill for another 5 km before heading back to the speedway where the riders will climb for another 2 km at around 4.5%. From there it’s rolling to the finish.

The course isn’t terribly technical throughout, but there are a few tight twists and turns to navigate.

Women’s contenders

Here are the riders you can expect to be vying for the medals on Wednesday morning.

Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands): Van der Breggen is in her last season as a pro and she comes to Tokyo in sparkling form. She won the uphill TT at the recent Giro Donne (en route to a fourth overall victory), she won the Dutch TT title in June, oh, and she’s the reigning TT world champion.

The lumpy course will suit her to a tee. All going to plan, a medal is a near certainty.

Van der Breggen at the recent Giro Donne.

Chloe Dygert (USA): Dygert was on her way to a second world title last September when she crashed out in horrible fashion. Her only other TT since recovering from her injuries was at the USA Nationals last month, which she won. She’d probably prefer the course to be a little less hilly, but even still: if she can stay upright, she should take home a medal.

Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands): Van Vleuten will be keen to make up for the disappointment of her silver medal in Sunday’s road race, and like the riders above, she has a great shot at a medal. The course suits her and she’s already a two-time TT world champ so she knows what it takes to win the biggest TTs.

Grace Brown (Australia): Despite not fancying herself as a climber, Brown was third in the uphill time trial at the Giro Donne which bodes well for Tokyo. She’ll probably struggle to beat the likes of Van der Breggen and Dygert, but a medal is a real possibility.

Other riders to keep an eye on include last year’s Worlds silver medallist Marlen Reusser (Switzerland) and Juliette Labous (France).

Dygert on her way to winning the 2019 ITT world title.

Men’s contenders

Here are the medal contenders in the men’s event.

Wout van Aert (Belgium): Van Aert comes into the TT with world-beating form having won three stages at the recent Tour de France (including the stage 20 ITT), and having taken silver in the road race on Saturday. Assuming he’s recovered fine from the road race, Van Aert should medal.

Van Aert on his way to winning the recent stage 20 ITT at the Tour de France.

Filippo Ganna (Italy): The reigning world champ is one of the riders to beat, but he arguably comes in with more question marks than we might have expected. The course is perhaps a little hillier than is ideal for him, plus he was a surprising fourth at the Italian TT Nationals in June – well below expectations. Expect Ganna to be right up there on Wednesday though, quite possibly on the top step.

Rohan Dennis (Australia): The South Australian skipped Saturday’s road race to focus on the time trial so he’ll be keen to make sure that sacrifice was worth it. A two-time world champ, Dennis won’t be worried by the hilly course, and if he can bring it all together on the day, a medal is his for the taking.

Remco Evenepoel (Belgium): Evenepoel was second at Worlds a couple years back, and second behind Van Aert in the Belgium ITT title in June. He looked a little ways off his best in the road race last weekend, but if everything falls into place, he could be among the medals too.

Evenepoel at the 2019 Worlds TT.

Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands): Dumoulin won the 2017 title on a hilly course in Bergen, Norway so this lumpy circuit shouldn’t be too much of a concern for him. The bigger question will be where his form’s at.

Dumoulin spent some time away from the sport recently and while he returned with a win at the Dutch TT Nationals, the Olympics is a different beast entirely. Saturday’s road race didn’t give us much of a sense of how he’s going at the moment, so this could go either way. If he’s at his best, he’ll be right up there. If not, he’ll likely miss out on a medal.

Others to keep an eye on include Stefan Küng (Switzerland), Remi Cavagna (France), and Primož Roglič (Slovenia).

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Perfecting the Taper For Better Performance

07/27/2021 12:03

Have you ever wondered what a professional cyclist does to compete at the highest level against the best in the world? Or have you wondered what things you should be considering when you prepare for your big events?

Canada’s Michael Woods left the Tour early to prepare for Tokyo


With the Olympic games coming around the corner, many professional cyclists are in the final stages of their preparation. In fact, the Canadian Michael Woods recently withdrew from the Tour de France to focus on his preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

This month’s toolbox article will be focused on the science and the art of the Taper, featuring a meta-analysis of the scientific literature performed by Laurent Bosquet and colleagues. Hopefully, this article will help you understand the theory behind a taper period, as well as give you some practical advice in helping you taper for your key events. Let’s get started!

What is a Taper?

In technical terms, a taper is a reduction in training load of athletes in the final days of their preparation before important competition (Bosquet, et al.). By reducing an athlete’s training load, the idea is to allow that athlete to arrive on the day of competition feeling fresh & ready to perform. Tapering is called an art and science because there are many factors to consider while tapering, which we will investigate in detail later.

Perfecting the taper results in peaked performance during competition. The biggest challenge facing athletes and their coaches is to minimize the accumulated fatigue from training while simultaneously preserving or enhancing the physical fitness built up from that training.

What factors need to be considered for a taper?

Keep in mind that the key idea behind a taper is to decrease the total training load of training. This can be accomplished through modifying your volume, intensity, & frequency.

Decrease in Training Volume

Training volume is considered the product of both duration and intensity. For athletes that are using Power Meters, you can use measures like TSS/week or XSS/week as an objective measure of your weekly training volume. According to the meta-analysis, the general recommendation for a taper includes a reduction of 41-60% compared to pre-taper training. For example, if an athlete is completing 1000 TSS (XSS) per week, they should aim to complete 400-600 TSS (XSS) per week during their taper.


Decrease in Training Intensity

One misconception about a taper is that athletes should avoid high intensity. However, the truth is quite the opposite. Although the idea of the taper is to reduce training volume & increase freshness, this does not mean that you should skimp on the high-intensity work! Based on the analysis in the scientific literature, it seems that maintaining intensity is a key parameter in maintaining beneficial training-induced adaptations.

Decrease in Training Frequency

Training frequency could be described as the number of times that you are training each week. The consensus in the literature is that modifying total training volume is preferred over modifying the training frequency. In other words, it appears that athletes should aim to continue riding the same total number of sessions per week during their taper. However, the length of each individual session should be reduced.

Duration of the Taper

Remember when I mentioned that tapering is an art and a science? The duration of the taper could be considered an art since there is significant variability between athletes. The science would suggest a dose-response between the duration of a taper and the benefits of the taper period. In layman’s terms, this means that a longer taper is generally preferred, with the ideal tapering period being between 8-14 days. However, the authors of the meta-analysis did also point out that no two athletes will respond the same. For some athletes, a shorter, 1 week taper will be sufficient to recover without losing fitness. Other athletes might find that they need 3-4 weeks of tapering to feel fresh.

Type of Taper

There are two main types of tapers – progressive taper & step taper. A progressive taper means that training load is gradually reduced over the course of the taper period. On the other hand, a step taper is a straight downward jump in training volume. A progressive taper is more common in the research literature.

Wout van Aert didn’t have much time between Paris and Tokyo


The purpose of this week’s toolbox article was to discuss the concept and importance of a tapering period, as well as provide some practical tips to help you perfect your taper for your next big race/event. A 2-week taper with a 40-60% reduction in training load without altering the intensity or frequency of training appears to be the most effective strategy to minimize accumulated training fatigue while minimizing loss of training-induced adaptations. However, keep in mind that there are some individual variability in tapering, so you might want to experiment a little to find the taper strategy that works best for you.

Stay safe and ride fast!


Bosquet L, Montpetit J, Arvisais D, Mujika I. Effects of tapering on performance: a meta-analysis. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Aug;39(8):1358-65. doi: 10.1249/mss.0b013e31806010e0. PMID: 17762369.

The post Perfecting the Taper For Better Performance appeared first on PezCycling News.

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SK Hynix posts highest profit in 3 years from strong memory demand

07/27/2021 12:03
High demand for memory chips across the board propelled SK Hynix to record sales and operating income in the second quarter.

Categories:Latest topics for ZDNet in Hardware

Van der Breggen pulled from bike by Tokyo Olympics official during time trial training

07/27/2021 12:03
Dutchwoman unharmed during incident and fine to race on Wednesday

Categories:LIFE AS A HUMAN

Olympics: Course changes take their toll on Evie Richards despite blistering start

07/27/2021 12:03
British rider crashes in practice and regrets tyre choice as line changes make for ‘a really strange race’

Categories:LIFE AS A HUMAN

Rapha launches new Women’s 100 2021 collection

07/27/2021 12:03
The ninth edition of Women’s 100 celebrates the trailblazers of women’s cycling and features members of the Steezy Collective

Categories:LIFE AS A HUMAN

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