…January really doesn’t seem to be a good month to start the year with (it’s mid-winter, cold, dark and there’s not much pro racing to follow) and if to reinforce the point, cyclists seem to be baring the brunt of it. A couple of weeks ago the whole of London seemed to be caught out by an unexpected overnight frost which saw many aborted club runs, though obviously not before many had slipped and crashed on the icy ungritted roads. Many have had to put up with dozy drivers, still seemingly in the midst of their winter hibernation. I’ve come a cropper on one of the many new and gaping potholes that have sprung up all over the place. And the first race of the year the Tour Down Under has also seen its fair share of crashes, with Mark Cavendish (above) being one of the race’s losers so far. But on a sader note, this week has seen the deaths of two young riders: Carla Swart had recently signed with HTC, and Lewis Balyckyi was a member of the British Cycling Talent Team. Both were killed whilst out training on the roads. So be careful out there everyone…

…as mentioned earlier this week, the London Women’s Cycle Racing League has announced its 2011 race calendar. It’s a great initiative that supports women’s racing around London and the south east. They’ll be organising a series of informal rides for any women who are interested in racing and would like to give it a try. Contact the league for more info…

…it almost pains me to include this, but Rapha are holding another of their infamous sample sales next week (28-30th January) in London’s Spitalfields. I’ve picked up some great bargains in the past, so I’m hoping you all do the recent thing and wait for me to visit before going ahead and snapping up all the decent gear. More info here

…in case you missed it, the Real Peloton podcasts are back again after an intermittent winter of broadcasting. Matt Rendell and Ned Boulting are still communicating via unreliable technology (Matt is currently in Columbia, the country he made his second home after writing about its national cycling heroes in his book Kings of the Mountains) which makes for some frustrating listening as telephone lines are dropped and wires become crossed. Hopefully normal service will resume shortly…

Photograph Sarah Reed, Adelaide Advertiser
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