Team CCC likely to be the first of a few?

There has been confirmation from a fair few sources the the CCC mens pro team is definitely without a sponsor from the end of the season.

It’s riders are currently on 50% of their full salaries and a number of team staff have been laid off.

There are conflicting reports on the fate of the womens team as it appears their deal has been negotiated separately.

The likes of Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin will have plenty of suitors if no new sponsor is found and the teams contracts all end. But there will be some riders deeper down their roster who might find its the end of their career.

Giant Bicycles are reported to be staying on and they have been title sponsor of a team before so maybe there is still hope.

I fear that if the teams ownership were going to have to look into the corporate market for a brand to take on the lead sponsor position now, they would likely be unsuccessful.

One other point of note surrounds a team no-one would have thought might have sponsorship issues, that being Team Ineos.

The piece about their owner asking the UK government for support for one arm of the business has been latched on by Cyclingnews who, in my view, don’t always report with objectivity about that particular team. So I am going to bear that in mind when judging the story.

What is clear and key, is that cycling needs a resolution to the pandemic as much as any individual business or sport.

I had a power meter and it made me a worse human.

I have been very careful in how I word that title, as the distinction has to be made that it didn’t make me a worst cyclist.

Aside from the period I was coached and riding really well, having a power meter was far more stress, trouble and hassle than it was worth.

A little knowledge can be dangerous, but I went through pages of research before making sure that I was using it in a relevant way.

I had issues with the transferal of the kit between winter and summer bikes and for some reason I spent more time before time trials changing my power meter than eating and training properly.

You are getting the picture?

I was that classic time crunched 40 something cyclist with little kids a busy job and trying to get back the times I did in my late teens when most of the time I was virtually riding as a pro (with very part time studying).

Something had to give and it was usually my sanity.

When the kit failed (and that was quite often due to forgetting to charge it, not having done a calibration ride correctly etc etc) I would metldown and the whole cycling world I existed in came crashing down around me.

For my family this was an awful thing to have to see and live with. And for that I am truly sorry.

I have ridden events where I know full well I would have performed better had I not been looking at my Garmin hoping some figures for watts would appear on screen.

There were times it all worked though. My first trip to the French Alps saw me ride to the wattage a preemptive FTP test had declared.

But to balance that last summer I arrived at the top of Alp D’Huez sans power meter having ridden on feel and almost 10 minutes faster.

This is not a critique of power meters, their users or the myriad of data they provide. But in my personal experience, I have slept better and had much better quality of life since getting rid of mine.

I am time trialling much faster and closer to this teenage times, and when I am out on my bike I am looking up and seeing things around me. They are quite pretty you know. I put this improvement in performance down to being happier when I am on my bike and enjoying what I am doing a lot more.

I still study the Elevate google extension daily to see if the metrics fit with how I feel in body and mind but if they go down, so be it. I’m never turning pro so why not enjoy cycling for what it is rather than try and be what I am not?

I can thoroughly recommend it.

If it happens this will be a Ronde to remember for the ages…

When my phone pinged with an update from Flanders Classics this afternoon I was expecting more bad news.

But contrary to that belief it was the publishing of a new set of dates with both Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders pencilled in for mid-October.

Now there is a hell of a lot of water to pass under a hell of a lot of bridges before we get to these dates but its something to focus on and look forward to in the coming weeks.

I hope with every part of me that we will see these classics on these dates.

10th October – Amstel Gold Race

18th October – Tour of Flanders

Just imagine that for a moment. A autumnal journey through the bergs and the cobbles with that cold wind coming in off the North Sea and post harvest time mud splattered farm tracks.

I am chilling a Leffe in readiness.

Revised 1 day calendar offers some hope

After the announcement last week that there could be a late August Tour de France, Cyclingnews is reporting a revised single day classics calendar that is with the teams.

This is due to start on August 1st with Strade Bianche.

Of course this is subject to all manner of peaks of infection and travel restrictions being lifted but on a day where the sun is shining outside but my mood is pretty grey, this is a positive.

So let’s hope and pray we get to see some racing.

Provisional continuing 2020 men’s UCI calendar according to RTBF

August 1: Strade Bianche

August 8: Milan-San Remo

Second week of August: Critérium du Dauphiné (four days)

August 22-23: National championships events

August 29-September 20: Tour de France

September 20-27: UCI Road World Championships

September 30: Flèche Wallonne

October 4: Liège-Bastogne-Liège

October 3-25: Giro d’Italia

October 10: Amstel Gold Race

October 11: Gent-Wevelgem

October 18: Tour of Flanders

October 25: Paris-Roubaix

October 31: Il Lombardia

From November 1: Vuelta a España

Make this season happen

This is a time of great significance in all our lives, and when I started a blog about cycling in the fens back in 2015 I never could have imagined that we would find ourselves here.

With the announcement of the delay of the Tour de France until later in the summer I have a bit more morale that we might see some action in 2020.

There is still a lot of lockdown and plenty of evenings spent staring wistfully out of a window to get through, but I think we can make it.

My turbo has never seen such action and the couple of times a week I am venturing out have not been longer than an hour. There is plenty of debate as to whether its appropriate to be outdoors and I do wonder if todays UK government announcement might see more stringent controls to get us over the peak.

But, we have some dates in the diary again and something to focus on to get us through the coming days, weeks and months.

So let’s all do our bit and stay safe, stay away from others as much as possible and get through this together.