Mid-Week Report: The Latest News, Products and Events

Welcome to the August 28th, Mid-Week Report! 

 Welcome to the August 28th, Mid-Week Report! 


Vuelta Espana 2019 – Martijn Tusveld (NED – Team Sunweb)

The Vuelta has started and with it come crashes. Sunwebs’s Martijn Tusveld took a tumble during stage 4 but made it to the finish in El Puig. Tusveld got up this morning and finished stage 5 in 44th place reminding us of one of our favorite Jens Voigt quotes that cycling “is a hard sport, but a beautiful sport.”




Start hard

It’s tempting to roll slowly off the start line of a 140-mile gravel event that’s going to take 8+ hours, but it pays to go out hard – at least for a little while. With the pros leading the way, the start at SBT was fast, and I worked to stay in the front groups through the first feed station. You want to use the speed of those groups to put some good miles behind you and stay with people you can work with later. If you start too conservatively, you’re likely to be the strongest rider in the groups you’re with, meaning the other riders aren’t much help.

But keep your ego in check

As the front groups start to split up, it’s important to avoid burning too many matches trying to ride above your level. It’s going to be a long day, and digging too deep too early will come back to haunt you several hours later. As an old bike racer, my instinct is still to do whatever is necessary to stay on the wheel, but a number of times I had to consciously decide to let the wheel go. It’s a balancing act; going out hard enough to get into good groups, but then knowing when to back off to conserve strength for later.



Press release: LOOK & Corima USA are delighted to announce that LOOK have become the Official Pedal Partner of all Dirty Kanza gravel events in a three-year deal lasting from 2020-2022.

The new partnership will see LOOK offer product support for Dirty Kanza camp attendees, technical expertise on-site for all Dirty Kanza events, and give competitors and supporters the opportunity to try and buy their own LOOK pedals at the Dirty Kanza Expo, including the innovative X-TRACK. It will establish the French brand as a fixture at one of the most popular off-road events in the world.

The Dirty Kanza, produced by Life Time, is a premier endurance gravel event in the USA, held in Emporia, Kansas, with appeal to riders worldwide. It includes the original Dirty Kanza 200, as well as the Dirty Kanza Extra Large, a 350km ultra-endurance race, Dirty Kanza 100, Dirty Kanza 50 and the Dirty Kanza 25, alongside the High School Race and the Lunar Kanza.

The 2020 event will be held on Saturday, May 30.






Press release: BONT Cycling, known for their race-proven anatomic fit, has expanded its entry-level Riot line with basic black and white. The Riot Road ($169) is now available in white with black trim; the Riot MTB ($189) in black with white trim.

“As much as bright, bold colors attract the eye, ultimately cyclists still want the option of basic black or white, and that’s true of almost any item,” said CEO Steven Nemeth. “The shop buyer’s standard question is always, ‘but do you have it in black; do you have it in white?’ Our number one selling shoe is the white Vaypor S road shoe at $379. It only made sense to offer our entry-level road shoe in white as well.’

Extensive perforations of the top panel along with integrated air vents on the front bumper provide ample ventilation. Like BONT’s pro series, the Riot’s tub style chassis is strengthened with a carbon band across high stress areas and the anatomical heel cup provides stability during the pull through and up stroke. Both the Riot Road and Riot MTB feature a BOA closure to dial in the fit and Velcro strap across the center.

The Road Riot weighs 295 grams*, retails for $169 and is also available in mega crimson with khaki; midnight with mega crimson; pearl white with black; and totally lime and charcoal. The $189 Riot MTB weighs 385 grams* and, in addition to the slick new black with white trim model, comes in black/blue; white/red; black/grey; and black/green.



Earlier this year Donnelly Cycling rolled out their latest gravel tread –– the EMP –– named after Emporia, Kansas,

the mother of all gravel events, the DK200. The first size to hit the market was the tubeless ready 700 x 38.

Anticipated wider sizes have arrived. The EMP is now available in two news sizes: 700 x 46 and 650b x 47.

The EMP provides necessary traction when things get loose yet rolls with incredible efficiency when the terrain levels out. Beefy side knobs borrowed from the equally combative BOS cyclocross tire (named for wintry Boston ‘cross conditions) offer impeccable cornering control and the integrated protection belt helps ward off punctures. The center tread design borrows slightly from Donnelly’s MSO which, to date, was considered the most aggressive in their steadfast gravel stable.

The EMP 700 x 38 and 700 x 45 tubeless ready retails for $72 and is available in a 60 tpi foldable bead for $47.). The 650 x 47 tubeless retails for $68.50.



Call it coincidence maybe, but how is it you might wonder that an industry that fancies itself as a collective of independent-minded brands with a high level of proprietary design and marketing skills would find themselves simultaneously using the 2019 model year to launch all-new aero road bikes?   

So coincidental, in fact, that you could be excused for imagining that an industry-wide memo must’ve made the rounds alerting the manufacturers that this would be the summer when the aero road market would be revitalized with all-new bike designs. 


As we all know, wind forces have always been a cyclist’s own worst enemy in terms of going faster. Aero road bikes, best thought of as a hybrid between a road and TT bike, have existed in one fashion or another for decades. However, it’s only been in the last decade or so that they’ve been an actual category of road bike. 

If the summer of 2018 is remembered for anything in the sport, it will be the season that all the major brands unleashed their aero weapons of war in the battle for group-ride and pro-peloton supremacy. 

Sensing the aero battle to come, we put forth a mighty effort to collect some of the most talked-about aero road bikes that consumers would be talking about—the Cannondale SystemSix, Factor One, Specialized Venge and Trek Madone. 

If there was one immediate take-away of the breed at large, it’s that the new age of aero road bikes is more complicated to manage. Although (thankfully) nowhere near as overwrought and excessive as your run-of-the-mill tri bike, neither are they as simple to ride and operate as those dowdy, good old-fashioned road bikes that most of us have grown accustomed to. 

In fact, one example of how serious Cannondale and Specialized took their efforts in creating their own versions of the fastest bike is that they each created their own “white papers” (18 and 28 pages, respectively) to document the science behind their designs.

  • Deeper wheels sure look sexy, but they also catch the wind and can adversely affect steering.
  • Deeper rims require long-valve (80mm) inner tubes, which cost twice as much as regular tubes.
  • So much “system integration” means reduced component and upgrade options.
  • Aero frame designs usually require more carbon, which results in added weight and a stiffer ride.
  • A sign of the times—dedicated handlebar/stem combos and steering stops are now a thing.
  • A sign of the times—every bike tested is disc brake-specific.
  • Each of the models tested costs over $11,000. Only Cannondale, Specialized and Trek offer less expensive, complete versions but Factor does offer a frameset.



Press release: Tifosi Optics ups its accessorizing game with the release of aviator-style sunglass Shwae. Classic, cool, and all-American, Shwae offers sunglass lovers high fashion at an attractive price.

Shwae, the newest member in the Swank family, has a feature unique to aviators; a nose pad that won’t tangle hair! Brilliant! The sun throwing you some heat? No worries. Tifosi’s Glide technology helps Shwae slide on easily without pulling hair and ensures the glasses stay in place so you can focus on your performance. The polycarbonate, teardrop shape lens is shatterproof and provides 100% UV protection. The frames are gorgeous but also durable. Made from stainless steel they are lightweight and comfortable.

Tifosi stays true to its affordable pricing. Shwae starts at $35 for non-polarized or $59.95 MSRP for polarized. Represent your style by choosing from: classic Midnight Gold with Brown lens, striking Graphite with Smoke Bright Blue lens, chic Gold with Smoke Blue lens, and formidable Graphite with Smoke Polarized lens. All sunglasses are backed by a lifetime warranty against manufacturer’s defects.



Originally a small SoCal brand, Ritte has become a niche marque known for their vibrant paint jobs and competitive pricing. Starting with stainless steel and carbon road frames, Ritte is now adding a steel gravel steed. Designed by frame building legend Tom Kellogg, it’s part of Ritte’s new series of steel bikes featuring size-specific tubing. The frame can clear 700x45mm tires with three bottle mounts and an Enve fork. Price: $3500


Press release: LEM Helmets, manufacturer of innovative, stylish, and performance-driven cycling helmets for road, mountain, commute, and kids, introduces its new lightweight Motiv Air cycling helmet. Precision-built for road, XC, and gravel cycling, the 220 gram (size M) helmet features LEM’s proprietary exoCarbon technology and low-density EPS foam to deliver improved low-energy and oblique impact management and an unmatched strength-to-weight ratio.

“The technology and construction of the Motiv Air is precise and sophisticated to offer enhanced head protection in a lightweight, compact design,” said Keith Cozzens, Global Brand Marketing Director at LEM. “By integrating a thin, rigid, full-carbon exterior shell, we’re able to improve the overall benefits of the high-performance helmet for cyclists, and, in turn, help create a riding experience that’s memorable.”

The Motiv Air’s innovative construction moves the interior structure to the exterior of the helmet. Using its strong, thin, and light exoCarbon technology, LEM’s created a full-carbon exterior shell with advanced high and low-energy impact management due to its dynamic design of a hard outer shell and internal low-density EPS foam. This bolsters the strength-to-weight ratio and allows LEM to maximize vents for cooling – without compromising integrity.

Additionally, the Motiv Air features: a micro-adjust fit system, aero design, comfort padding, rear reflective decal, 23 vents, and light durable straps. The helmet will be available in Fall 2019, and will come in six colorways with MSRP $225.



“I’m delighted to be continuing our long-standing history with the UCI Road World
Championships,” adds Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder. “Ours is a history that dates back
to the Richmond in 2015 – a course that still produces some of the most exciting racing on
Zwift. Like we have done with Richmond and Innsbruck-Tirol, we hope to bring more people
closer to the action by being able to experience the Yorkshire course from the comfort of their
own home. For those closer to the action, I hope to see many at our Zwift Draft House.”



Be in the Best Shape of your life to tackle Levi’s GranFondo — an Experience of a Lifetime.

‍Developed by Julie Young, owner of Dai Endurance, these plans are science-based to maximize training time for those with demanding lives. As elite international athletes and coaches, the staff at Dai know training right is more than just riding a lot. It’s about creating a balanced comprehensive approach that includes off-the-bike stability and mobility in addition to efficient and effective, structured on-the-bike workouts. We focus on increasing aerobic capacity, metabolic efficiency, muscular strength, and proper mechanics. It’s not about more miles, but about doing the miles better

‍Objectives of Basecamp Training Plan

  • Develop a sturdy base of endurance
  • Improve recovery and durability
  • Improve muscular endurance
  • Increase mitochondrial and capillary density
  • Develop cycling specific strength
  • Develop cycling specific neuromuscular power
  • Improve pedaling mechanics and efficiency

Training Plan Description and Overview

These 6-week training plans are designed for the intermediate rider with finite training time. We hope to help you experience the benefits of an efficient, well-structured training plan, as you work towards your goals of completing Levi’s GranFondo. Every day has a specific objective, and we will focus on training hard and resting hard. The formula is: training stress + rest = improved fitness and performance.

Website: www.levisgranfondo.com


The city of Solvang, California will be the presenting sponsor for the third annual CTS Figueroa Mountain Gran Fondo cycling event. The event, to be held November 8-9, 2019, is produced by coaching company CTS and is anticipated to bring more than 800 cyclists and families to Solvang for festivities on Friday night and the gran fondo and finish line-party on Saturday.

As a result of the presenting sponsorship, the CTS Figueroa Mountain Gran Fondo will move its packet pickup and start/finish to downtown Solvang from Santa Ynez. Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley have a long history with national and international-level cycling events, including stages of the Amgen Tour of California. The area is also known worldwide as an ideal location for pre-season training camps for professional cycling teams.

“CTS has been hosting cycling camps in and around Solvang for 20 years, and my personal history with the area goes back further to 7-Eleven Pro Cycling Team training camps in the 1980s,” said CTS Founder and CEO, Chris Carmichael. “We established a year-round training facility in the Santa Ynez Valley nearly 10 years ago and I am honored to have the support of the city of Solvang and the community in this wonderful valley.”

Solvang Mayor Ryan Toussaint added, “The Santa Ynez Valley is a premier cycling destination and we welcome the CTS Figueroa Mountain Gran Fondo to Solvang.”

Kirk Nordgren, Event Director and General Manager of the nearby CTS training facility, said, “We’re proud to partner with the City of Solvang and local companies to create an event that’s great for cyclists and beneficial for the whole community.”

The economic benefit of bringing the CTS Figueroa Mountain Gran Fondo to Solvang was a priority for Solvang City Council member Chris Djernaes. He said, “Cycling is good for business. The event helps establish Solvang as a destination for cycling tourism, and our city will continue to reap the economic benefits throughout the year as cyclists return to visit our beautiful valley.”

About the CTS Figueroa Mountain Gran Fondo

On Friday afternoon and evening, riders will arrive in Solvang for packet pickup and the public is encouraged to participate in a cycling festival with activities for kids and families. Amateur cyclists participating in the event will all start together on Saturday morning and choose from four marked routes (100, 64, 44, and 31 miles) through the Santa Ynez Valley. The longer three routes feature an ascent of Figueroa Mountain, and all routes feature Ballard Canyon Road made famous to cyclists by the Amgen Tour of California. With the exception of the Start/Finish area, the course will be open to car traffic throughout the event. Riders will be supported on course with feed stations and mobile mechanics, and will return to Solvang for a finish line party with live music and locally sourced food and beer.

Website: www.trainright.com/granfondo


Hincapie Sportswear received confirmation on Monday that cyclist Lance Armstrong will ride in Gran Fondo Hincapie-Greenville. Armstrong, a former teammate of George Hincapie’s, partner at NEXT VENTŪRES, founder of WEDŪ, and host of “THEMOVE” and “The Forward” podcasts, will join George Hincapie for the ride.He also plans to air “THEMOVE” podcast while there.

“I’m excited to come to the ride,” says Armstrong. “We aired ‘THEMOVE’ at Gran Fondo Hincapie-Fort Worth, and it was a lot of fun to interact with the crowd there.”

George and Lance

“We’re thrilled to have Lance with us for another fondo,” says George Hincapie. “His presence in Fort Worth really helped to take the event up a notch. And everyone had a blast watching the podcast.”

The original Gran Fondo Hincapie, located in Greenville, SC, and now in its seventh year, has topped charts and received stellar reviews, acclaimed for the cycling celebrities in attendance, as well as the careful attention to safety, on-site viewing screens, course and segment timing, live tracking and streaming, live bands at the rest stops, and free family festival.

Also attending is three-time world champion Michael Rogers! He joins the list of cycling greats in attendance, including George Hincapie, Christian Vande Velde, Bobby Julich, , Justin Williams, Santiago Botero, and Victor Hugo Pena.

Website: www.hincapie.com/granfondo


The Mammoth Gran Fondo takes riders along the east side of Yosemite and the High Sierra with incredible views of the Sierra Nevada, Mono Lake, and White Mountains. 75% of the Gran Fondo route is closed to through traffic matching the incredible scentery with the appropriate calmness. Other highlights include: free event photos, all three distances timed, Signature Event socks, 6 Feed Zones with Full SAG/Tech Support, After-Party with Food/Beer/Live Music in the Village at Mammoth!

Website: www.mammothgranfondo.com


2020, here we come! Mark you calendars for the 15th annual Garmin Dirty Kanza on May 30, 2020. Thank you for making this year’s race one of the best ever.

The random selection process for the 2020 race will open on January 6 through January 19. Selections will then be made on or before January 27.


Is there an awesome event happening closer to you? Send a link to [email protected]


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