Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival | Mark Beaumont and Sarah Outen MBE Among Speakers at Annual Edinburgh Event

Scottish cyclist Beaumont to talk about cycling the world in an astonishing 78 days…

Photo: Cyclist Mark Beaumont

Photo: Cyclist Mark Beaumont

The 15th Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival is set to bring round-the-world cyclist Mark Beaumont and MBE adventurer Sarah Outen to the Scottish capital early next month.

The festival will be running over 3-4 February and will also see professional climbers Pete Whittaker and Kelly Cordes appearing as guest speakers as well as Outen and Beaumont.

Mark Beaumont is probably the most famous long-distance cyclist in the world right now.

In 2008 he broke the world record for a circumnavigational bike tour of the World, travelling an 18,000 mile route that began in Paris and passed through 20 countries across Europe, the Middle East, India, Asia, Australasia and North America before he finished the tour 195 days later.

“Amazingly, he completed it ahead of schedule, finishing in 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes”

In the summer of 2017 he followed up the expedition with another trip around the planet, with the aim of reclaiming his world record after it was taken by Vin Cox in 2010 and built upon from there.

Almost 10 years after his initial trip, he made a similar circumnavigation in just 80 days for the ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ challenge.

The idea was of course inspired by Jules Verne’s story ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ and if it went to plan Mark would have beaten the current world record by over 40 days. Amazingly, he completed it ahead of schedule, finishing in 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes. Mark is an Edinburgh local and will be talking about his trip around the world.

Sarah Outen MBE meanwhile spent more than a year rowing solo across the oceans of the world, and cycled the land in between. Her trip took a full four and a half years and the aim was to get herself around the planet using only human power.

Outen finished the journey in 2015 having travelled a massive 20,000 miles around the Northern Hemisphere and will be talking about her journey at the festival.

Of course as well as the special guests there will be the usual range of short, slightly longer, and ever-inspirational adventure films showing at the event, and tickets are on sale now from the official website.

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Road Cycling | Sir Bradley Wiggins’ Wife Brands Chris Froome a “Slithering Reptile”

The Wiggins-Froome drama returns…

Chris-Froome-yellow-jersey-podium-Champs-Elysees-Tour-de-France-2016-stage-21-pic-Sirotti.jpg

Sir Bradley Wiggins’ wife Catherine has found herself in the news today for branding Chris Froome a “slithering reptile” after it emerged that he failed a drug test at the Vuelta a Espana last September.

Froome won the 2017 Vuelta, but was found to have twice the permitted amount of asthma drug salbutamol in his system after stage 18 of the race.

Taking to social media, Cath Wiggins posted a picture of Froome riding with the caption: “I am going to be sick. Nothing in the news. If I was given to conspiracy theory I’d allege they’d thrown my boy under the bus on purpose to cover for this slithering reptile.”

The post is most likely prompted by Chris Froome’s less than sympathetic take on Sir Bradley’s involvement in the doping conversation in the last couple of years.

It was revealed in 2016 that Sir Bradley Wiggins’ had received legal injections for Kenacort – a corticosteroid – before three of the biggest races of his career, including his famous victory at the 2012 Tour de France. He was also at the heart of a UK Anti-Doping investigation after a mysterious medical package was delivered to him at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphiné.

Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins are the latest athletes to be caught up in the Fancy Bears doping allegations - Photo montage: iStock

Wiggins and Team Sky insist the injections were legal but the story has not been good for Sir Bradley’s name in the sport, and Chris Froome spoke out at the time to say he did not approve of his teammate’s actions, did not believe in a “win at all costs” mentality, and that “the TUE system is open to abuse and […] the UCI and Wada need to urgently address [it]”.

He also added that: “At the same time there are athletes who not only abide by the rules that are in place but also those of fair play.”

The comment from Cath Wiggins was quickly deleted from her Facebook page, but what with this being the internet and all, it was survived by a flurry of screenshots which were shared far and wide across social media.

 

An apology from Catherine followed, which read: “Sorry everyone for my emotional comments and insults. Too much stress has got the better of me. Heat of the moment thing and certainly not my intent to fan any flames.”

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Catherine is no stranger to a spat with the Froome family. In 2012 there was a famous Twitter argument between Cath Wiggins and Michelle Cound, the wife of Chris Froome, after Chris was forced by Team Sky to slow down in the Tour de France so that Sir Bradley could catch up and keep the yellow jersey.

Michelle tweeted “teamwork is also about giving the people around you, that support you, a chance to shine in their own right.”

What is Bradley Wiggins Competing In At The Olympics? | Track Cycling in Rio 2016

Photo: Wikipedia.org – Josh Hallett

Cath replied by praising Bradley’s Team Sky teammates Richie Porte and Mick Rogers for their “genuine, selfless efforts and true professionalism” while omitting Chris Froome, and further tweets followed between the two.

One year later and the flames were reignited after Chris Froome claimed his first Tour de France win and Michelle spoke out, saying that Sir Bradley and his wife should have “been a bit more classy and sent a message of congratulations.”

Michelle has yet to respond to Catherine’s comments, though we can’t imagine she will be particularly pleased to hear her husband and the father of her child described as a “slithering reptile”.

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Road Cycling | Chris Froome Insists “I Know Exactly What the Rules Are” After Failed Drug Test

The record-breaking cyclist failed a test after stage 18 of the Vuelta a Espana

Chris-Froome-Team-Sky-2017-pic-Sirotti.jpg

Chris Froome is in a battle to save his reputation and career after it has been released that he failed a drug test at the Vuelta a Espana.

Froome, who is Britain’s most successful ever road cyclist, and who is asmatic, was found to have an excessive level of asthma drug salbutamol in his system at Vuelta, and could face being stripped of his win.

Riders are allowed 1,000 nanograms per millilitre of salbutamol, but Froome was revealed to have twice that amount. There is the possibility that he took the recommended amount but then consumed food or drink products that increased the amount of salbutamol in his system.

Team Sky released a detailed statment on the announcement, with Sir Dave Brailsford insisting they have the “utmost confidence” that he stayed within the rules and Froome saying that he was following the Team Sky doctor’s advice after his astma worsened.

A statement from Team Sky said: “The UCI informed Chris that a urine test conducted on 7 September 2017, following Stage 18 of the Vuelta, revealed a concentration of Salbutamol which exceeds a threshold that requires him to provide information to confirm that he inhaled no more than the permissible dose.

“Analysis indicated the presence of Salbutamol at a concentration of 2,000 nanograms per millilitre (ng/ml), compared with the WADA threshold of 1,000ng/ml. None of the 20 other urine tests taken by Chris required any further explanation.

“The notification of the test finding does not mean that any rule has been broken. The finding triggers requests from the UCI which are aimed at establishing what caused the elevated concentration of Salbutamol and to ensure that no more than the permissible doses of Salbutamol were inhaled.”

“There is considerable evidence to show that there are significant and unpredictable variations in the way Salbutamol is metabolised and excreted. As a result, the use of permissible dosages of Salbutamol can sometimes result in elevated urinary concentrations, which require explanation. A wide range of factors can affect the concentrations, including the interaction of Salbutamol with food or other medications, dehydration and the timing of Salbutamol usage before the test.”

Chris Froome said: “It is well known that I have asthma and I know exactly what the rules are. I use an inhaler to manage my symptoms (always within the permissible limits) and I know for sure that I will be tested every day I wear the race leader’s jersey.

“My asthma got worse at the Vuelta so I followed the team doctor’s advice to increase my Salbutamol dosage. As always, I took the greatest care to ensure that I did not use more than the permissible dose.

Chris-Froome-yellow-jersey-podium-Champs-Elysees-Tour-de-France-2016-stage-21-pic-Sirotti.jpg

“I take my leadership position in my sport very seriously. The UCI is absolutely right to examine test results and, together with the team, I will provide whatever information it requires.”

Sir Dave Brailsford said: “There are complex medical and physiological issues which affect the metabolism and excretion of Salbutamol. We’re committed to establishing the facts and understanding exactly what happened on this occasion.

“I have the utmost confidence that Chris followed the medical guidance in managing his asthma symptoms, staying within the permissible dose for Salbutamol. Of course, we will do whatever we can to help address these questions.”

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The Sagan Saga | UCI Admit Cavendish Crash That Got Peter Sagan Disqualified From Tour de France Was “Unintentional”

“Having considered video footage that was not available at the time…”

UCI Admit Peter Sagan Should NOT Have Been DQ’s From Tour de France Over Mark Cavendish Crash

The UCI and Peter Sagan have put an end to their legal dispute over the Slovakian road cyclist’s disqualification from the 2017 Tour de France, with the governing body conceding that Sagan’s crash with Mark Cavendish was in fact “an unfortunate and unintentional race incident”.

They also add that “the UCI commissaires made their decision based on their best judgment in the circumstances,” but nevertheless, ultimately they got it wrong.

Sagan was disqualified after the sprint finish of stage four, in which he appeared to deliberately elbow Cavendish, causing him to crash and sustain injuries severe enough to force him to withdraw from the race.

Cavendish was lining up for the final sprint on the wheel of eventual stage-winner Arnaud Demare when Sagan drifted right, apparently being forced to do so by skidding from Andre Greipel.

UCI Admit Peter Sagan Should NOT Have Been DQ’s From Tour de France Over Mark Cavendish Crash

Sagan then appeared to stick out his elbow, causing Cavendish to crash into the barriers and break his shoulder as Sagan rode on to finish in second place on the stage.

Sagan’s team Bora-Hansgrohe made a statement after the five-time green jersey winner was DQ’d, claiming Peter “stayed on his line in the sprint and could not see Cavendish on the right side.”

Sagan said in a statement at the time: ‘“In the sprint I didn’t know that Mark Cavendish was behind me. He was coming from the right side, and I was trying to go on Kristoff’s wheel. Mark was coming really fast from the back and I just didn’t have time to react and to go left.”

Sagan was denied the opportunity of equalling Erik Zabel’s record of six successive green jerseys in a row because of the call, which the UCI – having viewed new video evidence which was not available at the time – now admit was wrong.

A joint press release from Bora-Hansgrohe and the UCI read: “Having considered the materials submitted in the CAS proceedings, including video footage that was not available at the time when the race jury had disqualified Peter Sagan, the parties agreed that the crash was an unfortunate and unintentional race incident and that the UCI commissaires made their decision based on their best judgment in the circumstances.”

The call comes in advance of the scheduled hearing of the dispute at the Court of Arbitration for sport, which will no longer take place.

UCI Admit Peter Sagan Should NOT Have Been DQ’s From Tour de France Over Mark Cavendish Crash

The new president of the UCI, David Lappartient, has also said that on the back of this, the 2018 World Tour races will use extra video resources.

“These proceedings have shown how important and arduous the work of the UCI Commissaires is,” Lappartient said. “As of next season the UCI intends to engage a ‘Support Commissaire’ to assist the Commissaires Panel with special video expertise on the main events of the UCI World Tour.”

Sagan meanwhile said: “The past is already forgotten. It’s all about improving our sport in the future. I welcome the fact that what happened to me in Vittel has showed that the UCI Commissaires’ work is a difficult one and that the UCI has recognised the need to facilitate their work in a more effective way.

“I am happy that my case will lead to positive developments, because it is important for our sport to make fair and comprehensible decisions, even if emotions are sometimes heated.”

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New World Record | Evandro Portela Goes 124 Miles Per Hour on a Bicycle

The Brazilian cyclist is the first to ever hit over 200 km/h on a public road on a bicycle…

world-record-cyclist

Photo: YouTube Screenshot

Brazilian cyclist Evandro Portela has just set a new world record for the highest speed achieved on a bicycle on a public road – reaching a full 202km last Sunday.

Cycling on the closed BR277 road between Curitiba and São José dos Pinhais in Brazil, Portela managed to beat his own record of 184km an hour, which was set earlier this year, and went a full 18km/h faster than his previous effort.

Portelo is no stranger to viral internet fame. Footage of the Brazilian drafting a truck at 124 km/h went all over the web, racking up almost four million views, in 2014:

This time he was going a lot faster than that, though it didn’t come very easily even with a pacing car.

Portela was being paced by a Subaru WRX 4X4 350 HP Turbo but had to struggle up to 50km/h in a headwind before he could enter the vacuum created by the fairing on the rear of the Subaru – which in this case took the form of a sort of half-gazebo type thing popping out the back of the car. Unfortunately for Portela there were no hors d’oeuvres or refreshments.

world-record-cyclist-2

Photo: YouTube Screenshot

Once he entered the vacuum at 50 km/h both Portela and the car accelerated forward together until reaching the final speed.

It took Portela 6’32 “733 and 11 km to hit his peak time. Speaking afterwards he told Red Bull Brazil: “It’s a great emotion, a dream come true and a great challenge.

“It was not easy. I faced a wind against 20 km / h, which made my progression very difficult. When I was at 190 km/h I could not see anything, the rear wheel was already in the air, but I managed to control the bike, persist and beat the mark! It was very difficult, but rewarding.”

world-record-cyclist-3

Photo: YouTube Screenshot

Of, course, Evandro was using specialised equipment tailor-made for speed, to reduce friction and to support all the unique requirements of such a challenge. The front wheel was aluminium, and so heavier but stabler than a carbon wheel. The rear wheel spokes were flat to avoid resistance and the tires used are capable of passing over shards of glass or stones that do not stick with no bother. The clothing gear was developed to cut through the wind.

Watch the world record cycle below:

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