Grace Brown takes stage 3 of the Women’s Tour Down Under

Mitchelton-Scott‘s Grace Brown won stage 3 of the 2019 Santos Women’s Tour Down Under in Stirling, in the Adelaide Hills, on Saturday, getting the better of Trek-Segafredo’s Ruth Winder and Rachel Neylan (UniSA-Australia) on the uphill drag to the finish.

The race had been briefly neutralised with 10km to go after the riders were directed the wrong way, but Mitchelton-Scott were soon at the head of affairs once the race recommenced, delivering Brown to the stage win, while her teammate Amanda Spratt finished fifth to retain the overall race lead.


More to come

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Fast Talk, ep. 65: Debunking supplements — what works, and what doesn’t?

The VeloNews Fast Talk podcast is your source for the best training advice and most compelling insight on what it takes to become a better cyclist. Listen in as VeloNews managing editor Chris Case and our resident physiologist and coach, Trevor Connor, discuss a range of topics, including sport science, training, physiology, technology, nutrition, and more.

Those who take their training and racing seriously are always looking for something to give them an edge — that marginal gain. The obvious and easiest fixes are often equipment upgrades — lighter bikes, more aerodynamic wheels.

Then come nutritional supplements. So much has been promised to us in pill form, it’s created a multi-billion-dollar industry. There’s a pill to make everything better. Those promises carry into enhanced endurance performance. And many athletes have resorted to the morning supplement cocktail believing it will make them better cyclists. But there’s a dark side. Those cocktails can actually hurt performance, certainly affect health, and lead to even darker, ethically-challenged places.

Today, we’re going to talk about supplements and our concerns with them, and then cover a few foods that actually do work.

We’ll discuss:

  • We thought about bashing all the supplements that don’t work but then realized we only have an hour. So instead, Trevor will read a description of every supplement that does work. That list combined with a discussion of its sources will cover the first three minutes.
  • We’ll talk about supplements in general and why they can be a big concern.
  • And with those concerns in context, we’ll start addressing things that have been proven to help, starting with pickle juice.
  • Next on our list is beetroot juice which can not only help performance but has been shown to have health benefits as well.
  • Believe it or not, we’re going to talk about chocolate — or more specifically the active ingredient, cocoa flavonoids, which also, surprisingly, have both performance and health benefits.
  • That, of course, leads to something that frequently comes up in the sports nutrition literature — chocolate milk. It’s as effective as most recovery mixes. So, the key question is how effective are the mixes?
  • Finally, we’ll revisit the ketogenic diet and specifically supplementing with ketone esters.

Our primary guest today is Ryan Kohler, the manager of the University of Colorado Sports Medicine and Performance Center who holds a masters degree in sports nutrition and exercise science. Ryan has helped Trevor and I with many previous articles and behind-the-scenes work with some of our experiments, shall we call them. We’re excited to finally get him in front of the mic, even if he is a little shy.

In addition, we’ll talk with world-renowned coach Joe Friel, author of the definitive book on training, The Cyclists Training Bible. We asked Joe his opinion about supplementation based on decades of coaching. We’ll also hear from endurance mountain biker Rebecca Rusch and Apex Coaching owner Neal Henderson, the personal coach of world time trial champion Rohan Dennis. They’ll each give us their thoughts on supplements and a few things they’ve found that work.

As always, if you have a minute please take the time to rate us on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, or wherever you get your podcasts. And keep those emails coming! We have a dedicated Fast Talk email address.

Now, gather your pickle juice, your beet juice, pounds of chocolate, maybe even some ketone esters if you have them, and eat up as we talk. Let’s make you fast!

Fast Talk is available on all your favorite podcast services, including iTunesStitcherGoogle Play, and Soundcloud. If you enjoy the podcast, please take a moment to rate and comment on iTunes after listening.


  • Nelson, N.L. and J.R. Churilla, A narrative review of exercise-associated muscle cramps: Factors that contribute to neuromuscular fatigue and management implications. Muscle Nerve, 2016. 54(2): p. 177-85.
  • Dominguez, R., et al., Effects of Beetroot Juice Supplementation on Cardiorespiratory Endurance in Athletes. A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 2017. 9(1).
  • Perez-Berezo, T., et al., Effects of a cocoa diet on an intestinal inflammation model in rats. Exp Biol Med (Maywood), 2012. 237(10): p. 1181-8.
  • Goya, L., et al., Effect of Cocoa and Its Flavonoids on Biomarkers of Inflammation: Studies of Cell Culture, Animals and Humans. Nutrients, 2016. 8(4): p. 22.
  • Patel, R.K., J. Brouner, and O. Spendiff, Dark chocolate supplementation reduces the oxygen cost of moderate intensity cycling. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 2015. 12: p. 47.
  • Volek, J.S., T. Noakes, and S.D. Phinney, Rethinking fat as a fuel for endurance exercise. Eur J Sport Sci, 2015. 15(1): p. 13-20.
  • Cox, P.J. and K. Clarke, Acute nutritional ketosis: implications for exercise performance and metabolism. Extrem Physiol Med, 2014. 3: p. 17.
  • Hawley, J.A. and J.J. Leckey, Carbohydrate Dependence During Prolonged, Intense Endurance Exercise. Sports Med, 2015. 45 Suppl 1: p. S5-12.
  • Pinckaers, P.J., et al., Ketone Bodies and Exercise Performance: The Next Magic Bullet or Merely Hype? Sports Med, 2017. 47(3): p. 383-391.
  • Petrie, M., et al., Beet Root Juice: An Ergogenic Aid for Exercise and the Aging Brain. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 2017. 72(9): p. 1284-1289.
  • Australian Institute of Sport. ABCD Classification System. 2016 [cited 2017; Available from:
  • Pierini, D. and N.S. Bryan, Nitric oxide availability as a marker of oxidative stress. Methods Mol Biol, 2015. 1208: p. 63-71.

Read the full article at Fast Talk, ep. 65: Debunking supplements — what works, and what doesn’t? on

Sosa will debut with Team Sky at Tour Colombia

Team Sky‘s new recruit Ivan Sosa will make his debut with the British team at the Tour Colombia 2.1 in February, saying in an interview published on the team’s website that he is excited to start his first season with Team Sky and begin learning from “the best”.

The talented 21-year-old climber was the subject of a transfer tug of war last summer after he was initially set to join Trek-Segafredo. He eventually signed with Dave Brailsford’s team on a three-year deal and met his new teammates during a recent training camp in Mallorca. Sosa is now back home training in Colombia, where he’ll join Chris Froome, Tao Geoghegan Hart and defending champion Egan Bernal in the six-day stage race that starts February 12 in Medellin.

“I think it’s a team where I can learn a lot,” Sosa said. “There is a high level here – I believe that these are the best riders in the world. So what better than learning from riders as good as them? It’s cool for a young rider like me to learn from these guys, who are already big winners, so it’s a great thing.”


Sosa’s breakout season last year included an overall win at the Vuelta a Burgos in Spain ahead of Astana’s Miguel Angel Lopez, as well as the overall victory at the Sibiu Cycling Tour in Romania. He also won the Adriatica Ionica Race and a stage at the Tour de l’Avenir.

“My aim in this first season with Team Sky is to do things well, to train well, and if I want to ride a Grand Tour, then that is a bigger motivation,” said Sosa, whose compatriot Bernal is already aiming at the Giro d’Italia. “I know I have the condition to ride in the key races, so for me that’s a big motivation, to train harder every day to achieve the dreams I’ve had for so long.”

Sosa is one of three Colombians on the 2019 Team Sky roster along with Bernal and Sebastian Henao. [Sergio Henao moved in the offseason to UAE Team Emirates]. Sosa said having two fellow Colombians on the team helps ease the transition from the Italian Androni Giacattoli Pro Continental team to the British WorldTour squad.

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Tour Down Under Podcast: Porte power and underdog Impey

The Cyclingnews podcast has returned for the 2019 season, brought to you in association with Sportful, Pinarello and Floyd’s of Leadville.

We’ve had a winter break but now we’re back and at the Tour Down Under. And we’re kicking off the season with an exclusive interview with Trek-Segafredo’s Richie Porte. We’ll also hear from the race’s defending champion Daryl Impey of Mitchelton-Scott.

Porte moved from BMC Racing to Trek-Segafredo over the winter. He has high aspirations when it comes to stage racing and hopes to have one final crack at the Tour de France.


We talk to Porte about the hunt for success at the Tour, mental as well as physical battles and how he has settled with his new Trek-Segafredo teammates ahead of the Tour Down Under.

Impey, who denied Porte victory at the 2018 Tour Down Under, returns to lead Mitchelton-Scott in the absence of sprinter Caleb Ewan. He talks tactics about a race that will again be decided by seconds. 

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Cant and Van Aert target Belgian cyclo-cross titles

Sanne Cant and Wout Van Aert are the favourites for Sunday’s Belgian national cyclo-cross championships, with Cant chasing her 10th consecutive women’s title and Van Aert looking for a fourth title and a morale-boosting victory.

Most European countries host their national championships this weekend, with Mathieu van der Poel and Marianne Vos the favourites to win in the Netherlands before they take on Cant and Van Aert at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Bogense, Denmark in three weeks time.

This year’s Belgian championships will be held in the Kruibeke, south of Antwerp, home to the Brico Cross and some legendary racing in the past, with the elite women’s race on Saturday afternoon and the men on Sunday.

Belgian Cycling Federation rules do not allow the riders to recon the course until the day of the race, but a number of former professionals have been studying the technical details and informing the riders and the news-hungry Belgian media. Conditions have been dry but muddy this week, with Bart Wellens predicting races will be decided by technique and focus.


“It’s very technical, so you have to stay focused, you can never relax,” Wellens told Sporza. “I think that there will be big differences, not between the top riders, but behind them.”

Cant shrugged off the pressure and expectation on her shoulders to win again. She has not raced in the Belgian national champion’s jersey this winter after winning the world title and the rainbow jersey last year in Luxembourg.

“I have learned how to deal with it. The stress of being young and inexperienced is no longer there,but of course I can always be beaten. In Ostend I had a hard time with Laura Verdonschot two seasons ago. But if I’m at my usual level, it shouldn’t happen,” she said.

Doubt is a bad counselor for Van Aert

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Women’s Tour Down Under stage 2: Spratt climbs into overall lead

With a decisive stage win in stage 2, defending Tour Down Under champion Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) is on track to win the overall again. She won on Friday in Angaston, Australia, 39 seconds ahead of teammate Lucy Kennedy. Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (Rally-UHC) was third.

“What can I say, my teammates were so, so amazing and whenever they ride so hard for you like that, you want to finish it off,” said Spratt. “We had a plan and when you can ride it to perfection as a team, it just feels amazing.”

Mitchelton-Scott drove the pace ahead of the 116.7km stage’s uphill finish on Mengler Hill.

They caught the race’s two breakaway riders, Rebecca Wiasak (UniSA Australia) and Deborah Paine (New Zealand), with about seven kilometers to go, setting Spratt up perfectly.

“We had Grace [Brown] do a fantastic job in the three or four kilometers before the climb and then Lucy [Kennedy] hit it,” Spratt added. “I had instructions to attack and bring no one with me so that’s what I did.”

Kennedy said she was happy to work for her fellow Australian because she could tell Spratt had better legs for the finish.

With two stages remaining, Mitchelon-Scott is in control with Spratt first overall and Kennedy second, 43 seconds behind. Doebel-Hickok is third, 51 seconds back.

Saturday’s stage will be a 104.5km race from Nairne to Stirling with a rolling profile. It will likely be the only opportunity for a shakeup in the GC standings as final stage in Adelaide is entirely flat and short.

Read the full article at Women’s Tour Down Under stage 2: Spratt climbs into overall lead on

Urán: ‘The Tour Colombia is going to be better than the Tour de France’

FLORENCE, Italy (VN) — Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First) expects continued growth of cycling at home with the second edition of the Tour Colombia on the horizon February 12-17.

The Colombian of American team EF Education First says the six-day stage race will “be better than the Tour de France,” where he placed second in 2017.

“We are going to have the best fans; this is going to be better than the Tour de France,” Urán said in a press release by the organizer.

“The people of Colombia and especially in Medellín are very fond of cycling, they follow the Colombian cyclists a lot and see them compete close up.”

The race starts in Medellín on February 12 with a 12-kilometer time trial. It features a couple of summit finishes, including the final stage to Alto de las Palmas at 2,500 meters.

Team Sky’s 21-year-old star Egan Bernal won the race in 2018 when it called Oro y Paz.

The UCI 2.1-ranked event attracted top stars in 2018, its inaugural year, and again has a strong line-up in 2019.

The start list includes Urán and his new teammate Tejay van Garderen, Sky’s Chris Froome with Colombian teammate Bernal, Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Miguel Angel López (Astana), and Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-Quick Step).

“I am preparing every day, training and enjoying myself,” Urán added.

“I am very happy that this race is here in Medellín. For me, it is an honor to compete here at home and on the roads where I train every day.”

As the race enters its second year, Urán says it is a key part of a reemerging Colombian cycling scene.

“We are doing well: We already have the national championship so that the cyclists who normally race in Europe compete,” Urán said. “We now have this 2.1 race, which is very beautiful, very important — people enjoy it a lot and it has done many good things for the country.

“Having a WorldTour race would also be possible, but many Colombian [Continental] teams would not be able to participate if that was the case. It’s something that we have to keep evaluating. I think that we’re fine because we’re going to have the best teams in the world with this race.”

Urán helped to lead the current revolution in Colombia. In 2014, he became the first Colombian to wear the Giro d’Italia’s pink jersey thanks to his time trial stage win in Barolo. That year, Nairo Quintana became the first Colombian to win the race overall.

Two seasons later, Quintana became the second Vuelta a España winner from Colombia, after Luis Herrera’s 1987 feat. No Colombian has won the Tour yet, though Urán stood on the podium in 2017.

With the current generation of riders — from Quintana and Urán to Ivan Sosa and Bernal — anything seems possible. The country, known for its climbers, even has a top sprinter. Last year, Fernando Gaviria became only the second Colombian to wear the Tour’s yellow jersey after Victor Hugo Peña in 2003.

“Every year, some of us have been on the podium of the grand tours, hopefully, this year will be the same, the [Tour] route is good, everyone knows it, but the most important thing is to be healthy and to be able to have a good race there,” Urán added.

“The next step? To have a Colombian team with a great sponsor and that can be in the Tour de France and in European races with Colombian cyclists.”

Read the full article at Urán: ‘The Tour Colombia is going to be better than the Tour de France’ on

Week in Tech: Oversize pulleys for 1x, colorful Wolf Tooth axles

SLF Motion introduces Hyper 1x oversize/midsize pulley system

Single-chainring drivetrains appear to be the future, at least for gravel and mountain bike applications (road bikes? The jury’s out …). SLF Motion has responded to the trend with its 1X-specific Hyper 1x Oversize/Midsize pulley system. The combination of the midsize and oversize pulley help reduce overall drivetrain friction, and SLF Motion says the 7075 aluminum CNC machined wheels will outlast stock parts. The carbon cage is made in the USA, and the bearings are ceramic-coated. Notably, SLF Motion says its system offers the same ground clearance as stock 12/12t systems, as well as SRAM Eagle’s stock 12/14t system. The Hyper 1x is designed specifically for mountain bike and gravel applications.

Swap out and customize your axle with caps from Wolf Tooth

Photo: Wolf Tooth

Anodized thru-axle caps add a bit of pop to your bike, so you can add a bit of personality to an oft-neglected component.  Since it’s likely you’ll scrape these bits up on the trail, it’s easy to change the caps out if you damage them. Wolf Tooth makes the axle itself as well as replaceable caps in eight anodized colors. Swapping the caps is as simple as turning an 8mm Allen key. And if you live in cold climates where indoor riding is inevitable, Wolf Tooth also offers trainer caps so you can preserve your colored caps. Axles cost $40, the caps cost $10, and the trainer caps cost $20.

Effetto Mariposa gets in the tire insert game

Photo: Effetto Mariposa

While Cushcore remains the most recognizable name in tire inserts, Vittoria’s Air Liner joined the game last year. Now Effetto Mariposa is in on the action with its TyreInvader. The insert aims to reduce or eliminate pinch flats, just like other tire inserts. But the TyreInvader is flat, which means it takes up far less volume in the tire and, according to the company, only comes into play when it’s needed. In other words, it shouldn’t affect your ride at all unless it’s performing its primary function: creating a buffer between your rim and whatever obstacle you hit. The TyreInvader also won’t absorb sealant, and it’s lighter than any other option at only 50 grams. That weight saving is largely due to the flat profile, as well as the space invader cutouts throughout the liner. The TyreInvader starts at $50 for two pieces.

Passoni donates two Buffalo Bikes to WBR for every custom bike sold

Photo: Passoni

If you were in need of a good excuse to buy a luxury, handmade Italian bike, you’re in luck. Passoni will donate two Buffalo Bikes to World Bicycle Relief for every Passoni bike sold during January. WBR provides specially designed bicycles to students, healthcare workers, and entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa to help them overcome the distance barriers that often prevent access to education, healthcare, and other resources. Passoni has been making luxury handmade frames for over 30 years.

Read the full article at Week in Tech: Oversize pulleys for 1x, colorful Wolf Tooth axles on

Training crash leaves Eenkhoorn with suspected collarbone fracture

Pascal Eenkhoorn’s preparations for the start of the new season and his Classics campaign have received a blow after the Jumbo-Visma rider suffered a crash that left him with a suspected collarbone fracture.

Eenkhoorn was training in Spain with his team when the accident occurred. The Dutchman was practising an uphill sprint when his chain snapped, sending him over his handlebars and into a verge on the side of the road.

While waiting for help, Eenkhoorn took a picture of his strewn bike still lying in the grass and a picture of his left shoulder, which showed what appeared to be his collarbone sticking upwards, and posted it to his Twitter feed.


“Unfortunately crashed hard today while doing a sprint uphill,” he wrote. “My chain broke and I ended up flipping over and fell a few meters down. Some serious damage but still unknown how long I’ll be out of running. Want to thank @cyclesierra & @JumboVismaRoad for the care taking.”

The 21-year-old Eenkhoorn was due to start his second season with Jumbo-Visma team and target Omloop Het Nieuwsblad at the start of March. With close to two months before the race, a broken collarbone would not necessarily rule him out of making his season debut. However, it would seriously hinder his preparations.

Eenkhoorn joined the Jumbo-Visma team last season and rode a reduced Classics campaign, making his debuts at the Tour of Flanders and the Paris-Roubaix. He is set to return to the two Monuments on top of a full cobbles programme.

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Beelines cycle network must change name over trademark conflict

Chris Boardman agrees to rename Manchester-based bike and pedestrian system the Bee Network

The worker bee is Manchester’s civic symbol, the proud emblem of a city of industry.

But the name Beelines cannot be used for Greater Manchester’s nascent £500m walking and cycling network after a copyright tussle with a company based in London.

Related: Manchester makes a Beeline for new Dutch-style cycling network

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