News, Views and Insights

by Jon Hornbeck



Team Sky will line up with a ‘young and exciting’ squad as the 2018 season gets under way at the Tour Down Under. Neo-pros Kristoffer Halvorsen and Chris Lawless make their first appearances as Team Sky riders alongside Egan Bernal, who will target the general classification across the six-day WorldTour event (January 16-21). Halvorsen will have strong leadout support from Brits Jon Dibben and Owain Doull, with the seven-man squad completed by Salvatore Puccio and Lukasz Wisniowski.

The racing takes place on the roads around Adelaide, with the action kicking off with the now traditional pre-race People’s Choice Classic criterium (January 14). On the lineup, Team Sky Sport Director Brett Lancaster explained: “It’s a really young and exciting team and we’re keen to see how these guys develop.

“We’ll be gunning to try and take a stage win. We’ve got Kristoffer as our lead sprinter. His form is a bit unknown coming straight from Norway and stepping off the plane into temperatures of close to 40 degrees.

“Puccio is our road captain and the most experienced rider in the team. He’s been pro since 2012 but he’s only 28 years old, which tells you how young the team is.

“Egan has already raced in a lot of big races. He’s no longer a neo-pro but he’s very young still. It’s going to be a really good chance to see where he is at, especially against the Australian riders who are in a home race and adapted already. We’ll see what happens come Willunga Hill and we’ll look to put him in a good position.

“It’s Willunga again where the race should be decided. Stage four has a good climb too but it’s similar to what we’ve seen in recent years. That Willunga day will be interesting for sure.”

On the challenge ahead Kristoffer Halvorsen added: “I’ve never been in Australia before so I think it will be really nice. The weather is really good and the stages are not too long, so it suits me well as a first ever World Tour race. Hopefully it will be really good.”

Fellow neo-pro Chris Lawless is understandably itching to get the race under way: “I’m really looking forward to starting the season at the Tour Down Under. Going over there with a young team should be pretty fun. It should be good seeing how we all bounce off each other and I’m sure we’ll all be really enthusiastic to get up there and get stuck in.”


Wolf Tooth Press Release: While we love the convenience and strength provided by modern chains’ master links, we have learned the hard way that they’re not always easy to install or remove on the road or trail. So we set out to create a set of compact master link pliers – and tucked in a few extras while we were at it.

The latest product in our new Pack Tools series, the 38g Master Link Combo Pliers pick up where most compact multi-tools leave off, completing your repair arsenal with a pair of master link pliers, storage for two spare link pairs, a valve core remover/installer, pliers to hold valve locknuts, and a tire lever. And because they’re awesome, we use a pair of permanent rare earth magnets to keep everything tidy.

Wolf Tooth’s Master Link Combo Pliers are CNC machined from 7075-T6 aluminum and assembled at our new facility in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Compatible with 9-, 10-, 11-, and 12-speed chains
Holds two pair of most brands’ replacement links (sold separately)
Compatible with most tubeless valve and presta tube locknuts
Compatible with most standard (5mm) Presta valve core flats
38g tool weight
CNC machined from 7075-T6 aluminum
Type II anodized in red or black
Choice of five pivot bolt colors on black pliers
Designed and manufactured in Minneapolis, MN USA



The organizers of the Tour de France proceeded with the selection of teams for the 76th edition of Paris-Nice (4-11 March), the 70th edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné (June 3-10) and the 105 thedition Tour de France (7-29 July). The 18 World Tour teams will be featured at each race with the four wild card Professional Continental teams selected for each event.

18 World Tour Teams:  

  • AG2R La Mondiale (Fra), Astana Pro Team (Kaz), Bahrain – Merida (Brn), BMC Racing Team (USA), Bora – Hansgrohe (All), EOD (Fra), Lotto Soudal (Bel), Mitchelton- Scott (Aus), Team Movistar (Spain), Quick-Step Floors (Bel), Team Dimension Data (Afs), Team EF Education First – Drapac P / B Cannondale (USA), Team Katusha – Alpecin (Sui), Team Lotto NL – Jumbo (PB), Team Sky (GBR), Team Sunweb (All), Trek – Segafredo (USA), UAE Team Emirates (UAE)

Tour de France Wild Cards:

  • Cofidis Solutions Credits (Fra), Direct Energie (Fra), Team Fortuneo – Samsic (Fra), Wanty – Gobert Group (Bel)

Paris-Nice Wild Cards:

  • Cofidis Solutions Credits (Fra), Delko Marseille Provence KTM (Fra), Direct Energie (Fra), Team Fortuneo – Samsic (Fra)

Criterium Dauphine Wild Cards:

  • Cofidis Solutions Credits (Fra), Team Fortuneo – Samsic (Fra), Vital Concept Cycling Club (Fra), Wanty – Gobert Group (Bel)


Enter Zap: Ah yes, another year to look back, another year to look forward. While the 2017 season marked a solid year for new bike technology, the overall theme of the bike industry was not that positive. Of course it didn’t help that the race season has to end with the news of Chris Froome’s enhanced use of an asthma drug at the Vuelta a Espana. Doping?! Kicked-out? Deja vu?

Read Zap’s 2017 picks here.

Enter Troy: Another year is closing and as I look back it is hard to narrow down my list but here is what stood out the most.

Take a read at Troy’s picks of 2017 here.

And here’s my two cents on the ’17 year: With my first year now settled and behind me at Road Bike Action it’s been a great time while learning the ropes of the business and especially getting to ride all the new products out there. From my past racing years I was always riding what the team had as far as sponsorship, so to be able to now ride and test everything which is available on the market it’s been quite the treat.

For the full break down of my picks you can read them here.



We joined the Specialized A1 Road Ride which is in its seventh year and new for this year was that it was dedicated to the late Moto GP star Nicky Hayden. We caught up with the riders on hand during the ride as they shared their thoughts on the event and Nicky before heading out to Anaheim Supercross.

Hear from RBA chief editor Zap, Moto GP star Cal Crutchlow, former jet-ski champion Victor Sheldon, former motocross champion Jeff Ward, former AMA road racer Eric Bostrom, former professional cyclist Janel Holcomb and more!



The start of the Supercross season has officially kicked off with the opening round taking place this past Saturday night at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. The last couple months all of the racers have been busy getting in shape with a good amount of work being performed on the bicycle. In this photo head coach Aldon Baker shows off his guys who are ready for the big night.

From left to right: Marvin Musquin took home the victory in the 450 SX main, Zach Osborne won’t begin his season until the race goes east coast where he will defend his #1 250 east title, Jason Anderson finished second in the 450 SX main and Broc Tickle finished eighth in the 450 SX main. Not a bad night for all riders starting off their season.

Round 2 will continue in Houston, TX this coming Saturday.



State Bicycles brings their third episode where they get down and dirty in the desert. Just outside of Las Vegas, they meet up with former Tour De France Yellow Jersey winner Floyd Landis and David Zabriskie to talk about pro cycling both past & present and learn about their new venture Floyd’s of Leadville. This is one of the most fun and candid interviews they’ve done so far. Hope you enjoy!



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Well, that’s all for this weeks Mid-Week Report. Be sure to check back every Wednesday to see the latest news, views and products that have come our way. If you have any questions, comments or requests, let us know: [email protected]

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