After the recent ‘Piss-Gate’ affair over in Oman, where Edvald Boasson Hagen came a cropper after an innopportune bladder moment, the importance of the nature break in racing was brought into the spotlight. You would have thought that with Sky’s ‘marginal gains’ approach and painstaking attention to detail, Edvald would have been equipped with some sort of man-nappy to avoid such incidents. For Sky it looks as though the divide between success and failure is not the much vaunted ‘thin blue line’, but in fact a wobbly yellow one pissed into the sand of the Oman desert.

In both Qatar and Oman, Edvald apparently also had trouble with wind, but I think that’s a whole other discussion.

An obvious question to ask is why EBH needed to stop at all – has he not mastered the on-bike-pee-technique? I know the guy is young and has only been a pro for a couple of years, but don’t they have lessons in these sort of things? I’d be surprised to hear that teams don’t have a seminar series at their pre-season camps: Essential skills of the professional cyclist; Day One, Lesson One: How to dress and ride like a Pro; Day Two: Twitter and how to Tweet; Day Three: Toilet training, etc, etc.

Fortunately my status as an amateur means that if I’m ever caught short, I can just cut short my race. I’d rather feel the sweet relief of having a desperately needed pee, than tasting the sweetness of victory (though I’ve heard it has something of a metallic taste that lingers unpleasantly at the back of the mouth). However I have noticed my modesty diminishing somewhat in relation to club run pee stops. Now the merest amount of shrubbery or immature sapling is enough to shelter behind in order for me to go about my business.

I do sometimes wonder though whether this whole issue is proving a barrier for women entering the sport; not so much that they have to endure riding with blokes constantly darting behind a tree to relieve themselves, but more that their nature breaks aren’t quite so convenient? Surely it’s a consideration for British Cycling in its drive to attract wider female participation? It’s a thorny issue for all cyclists, but especially if you’re not looking where you’re squatting.