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

Welcome to the October 30th, Mid-Week Report! 

Welcome to the October 30th, Mid-Week Report!


The Tour of California, a race started in 2006, will disappear from the cycling calendar in 2020, its organizers announced, adding they hoped this was a “hiatus,” not the end of the road.

“This has been a very difficult decision to make, but the business fundamentals of the Amgen Tour of California have changed since we launched the race 14 years ago,” said Kristin Klein, president of the Tour of California in a statement released by parent company AEG late Tuesday.

The stage race, which became a World Tour event in 2017, was won last May by Slovenian Tadej Pogacar.

The race has crowned some renowned winners including, in 2018, Colombian Egan Bernal, who went on to win the Tour de France this year.

“We are very proud of the work we have done to increase the relevance of professional cycling, particularly in the United States, it has become more challenging each year to mount the race,” Klein said.

Both Klein and USA Cycling President Bob Stapleton said they hoped to revive the race in 2021.

“We are actively assessing every aspect of our event to determine if there is a business model that will allow us to successfully relaunch the race in 2021,” said Klein.

The statement quoted Stapleton as saying: “We stand ready to help rally additional support and resources in the hopes of resuming this event in 2021.”


From the engineering minds at Wolf Tooth Components comes the newest Waheela. First launched as a steel frame, the Waheela is now available in carbon and has clearance for 700X52 (29×2.1). This Minnesota brand knows a thing or two about gravel roads, and the Waheela C looks to be a versatile machine for $2400 (frameset).



If what the best racers in the world use has any impact on what you desire in life, then a Fizik saddle should be on your wish list given that they are the saddles used by both the Sky and Movistar teams.

Fizik was born 22 years ago under the Selle Royale roof when the more mainstream saddle maker decided to give it a go at building a performance-driven, handmade saddle. A visit to the massive parent factory in Veneto, Italy, will find one small section of the warehouse-sized space dedicated to the workforce who assemble the saddles one at a time. 

The Aliante was the first model that came off the Fizik assembly line and it weighed 174 grams. Since then, the Aliante has been joined by two other models—Antares and Arione—and each has its own dedicated shape that falls under one of three of Fizik’s Spine Concept categories—Bull, Chameleon, Snake—which corresponds to the rider’s level of flexibility. 

In addition to the shape, the latest development is their take on the growing trend of saddles focused on perineal pressure relief. Fizik has two of these Versus models available: the Open and the Evo. The Open features a rigid nylon shell with a cutout hole in the center of the saddle, while the Evo is built around a compliant nylon shell with a channel that runs through the length of the saddle.


Fizik puts the Aliante in the Bull category, which means it has a low, waved shape intended for riders with the least flexibility. Starting with the shell, Evo’s nylon base is engineered for compliance, and Fizik integrated a carbon fiber layer to maintain stiffness. Unlike the R3 model that uses round chromoly rails, the R1 version uses oversized 7mm x 9mm carbon rails that are bonded to the 280mm-long shell by hand.

The Aliante adds a deep foam for the padding and a hand-wrapped microfiber cover. The 139mm-wide saddle hit the RBA scales at 187 grams, Fizik offers a slightly wider 148mm version that offers even greater compliance. 

The Evo channel is what sets this Aliante apart—14mm wide at the nose and 7mm deep—the channel stretches the length of the saddle. In unison with the flared padding, the channel creates a relief pocket no matter what position the rider is in. 


Owing to Fizik’s sizing options, the Aliante fit our sit bones ideally. Fizik has more options to choose from than ever, and the use of Fizik dealer’s sizing charts and demo saddles is almost required to ensure the proper fit. 

The Evo design proved ideal for test riders with a penchant for long days in the saddle. Its flexible shell and deep foam noticeably reduced the bumpy ride of imperfect roads. About the time sensitive parts typically go numb during a ride, our test riders were still pedaling comfortably. 

For the performance-oriented rider, the Aliante Open model may be preferred for its stiffer base, but for those interested in spending more time on two wheels, the Evo maintains a higher level of comfort in the saddle. During our local crit practice, sliding up the saddle for more leverage while in drops, the Evo’s channel effectively kept perineal pressure to a minimum.     


In addition to a regular version that has no relief system, there are actually eight versions of the Aliante, with the most price-conscious starting at $149 and going up to the $400 Aliante 00 Versus, which, at a claimed weight of only 20 grams lighter, seems a tad rich.

For more than a couple of pretty pennies, the Aliante Evo could keep you riding longer. Fizik enables its dealers to aid in the saddle search with its plethora of demo saddles and sizing charts. 

We liked the Aliante’s all-day comfort and didn’t notice it holding us back in high-performance situations. When being comfortable is what keeps us on the bike, the Aliante R1 Evo kept us riding longer. That’s a good thing.


• Handmade in Italy

• Fizik’s latest comfort technology

• Same saddles the pros use


Price: $199

Weight: 187 grams



Any tips for roadies riding gravel for the first time?

I think the biggest tip to any roadie getting into gravel is just to have fun and try and push your limits as much as possible. Yes, it’s possible to get way out into the middle of nowhere on the road, but it’s something else getting out way into the wilderness where paved roads can’t take you. Focus on just having a good time and enjoying the challenges of getting loose!

Where would you like to be in the sport in five years?

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always wanted to race professionally. That’s always meant UCI World Cup level for me, and that is still one of my biggest goals. But now, with the emergence and growing popularity of races like Grinduro and other cool, unique events, it’s almost possible to do that professionally. I love those events, but I’m totally addicted to racing at the moment, so I’m not really sure. I guess we’ll just have to see what happens down the road!



Take in the breathtaking views of Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Del Mar! Everything starts and finishes on the beach at the spectacular venue of the Oceanside Pier with food, beer, music, expo shopping and fun. If you’re looking to take your family on an active family vacation or are looking for unique bike tour, considering joining us in Oceanside for this fun ride that’s appropriate for all skill levels from individuals to competitive groups to families, this ride is inclusive to all.

Website: www.bikethecoastsd.com


For the first time in Southern California, fans and avid cyclists will get the opportunity to hang out with, ride alongside or get a signed jersey from the most popular cyclist on the planet, Peter Sagan. The Southern California Sagan Fondo, the Gran Roadie-Oh version, will actually be a three-day collection of different ways to get to know Peter Sagan on the heels of his recording-breaking seventh Green Jersey victory at the Tour de France. The festivities will run November 8 to November 10, 2019.

EVENT FEATURES – Courses: 150K, 100K, 50K
  • 7:00 am roll-out from North City with CHP leading
  • Controlled Roads for the leaders throughout
  • Chip Timed Routes
  • Timed King & Queen of the Sprint sectors
  • On-course mechanic support
  • SAG Vehicles
  • Hundreds of enthusiastic Volunteers
  • Unparalleled Finish Celebration at North City with the streets shut down to traffic
  • Post Event Feast at Urge Gastropub
  • Live Music
  • Challenged Athletes Beer and Wine Garden
  • Unique 750ml Beer Bottle trophies for finishers
  • Event Tee-shirts for participants
  • Opportunity to buy signature event kits from Sportful, plus other merchandise items
  • Course safety provided by SD Police, CHP, Sheriffs, Traffic Control and Course Marshals!

Register here: www.roadieoh.com


The Rift is a gravel race through the dark lava fields in the highlands of Iceland – taking place on the tectonic split between North America and Eurasia. An ever-growing battlefield that grows an inch every year.

The battlefield sculpted by volcanic eruptions is vast, rugged and unpredictable – making the Rift a challenge of endurance, mental fortitude and most likely the bare elements. And in the end – a gravel battle between the continents!

The course starts out of a small town along the southern coast called Hvolsvöllur. This incredible shoreline stretches from the greater Reykjavík area in the west to the magnificent Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in the east. It is lined with countless natural wonders such as cascading waterfalls, black sand beaches, glaciers and volcanos – circumnavigating one of the most active volcanos on the island, Hekla.


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


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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