…last summer I had a great week riding in southern France with Tarik Djedour as part of a test run for his new Étape Reine Cycling training camps. Part of the week was taking on the Cinglés du Mont Ventoux challenge, and you can read my account of that hot day in the saddle here. Tarik is now ready to take bookings for the coming year, running a programme of camps that will appeal to both sportivists and racers alike, giving you a chance to take on Ventoux and ride the route of the The Tour du Mont Aigoual (the race featured in Tim Krabbé’s ‘The Rider’). Check out his new website, or visit his stand at the TCR Show which runs from this Friday 11th until Sunday 13th February…

…it appears all the speculation was right – the Olympic 2012 road race route will pass through Surrey and wind its way up the iconic Col de Box Hill. Not much of a challenge for these finely honed Olympic athletes, admittedly. Even Cav should get up it without too much problem. Aside from the novelty and convenience for local cyclists to have the race passing their doorstep, it might also mean some of the roads used will get a much needed makeover. The challenge of ascending Box Hill is currently more about the road surface than it is the gradient. Let’s hope they do something about the quality of the cakes too. You can see the full route here

…the UCI has announced a new series of races for amateur riders. The UCI World Cycling Tour will consist of fifteen events that will offer the chance to qualify for the UWCT final. So in future if you see someone lapping Richmond Park in a World Champion’s jersey think, before you start tutting, that they may actually have earned those stripes…

…the excellent blog The Inner Ring has moved home, had a bit of a tidy up, and is now at a new address – www.inrng.com. The blog has gone from strength to strength over the past year, quickly establishing itself as the best source for pro cycling news, insight and analysis out there – mainstream press included. So update your bookmarks!…

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