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Another week, another roundup. Plenty of news this week with discussions on the radio ban rumbling on, Cavendish declaring he’s going to attempt all three Grand Tours and everyone’s getting excited about the upcoming Paris-Nice which starts this weekend. Also, don’t forget to check out a great video of the week.

News in Brief:

Pat stands firm on Radio Ban:

Riders at the Challenge Mallorca last month mounted a protest against the UCI's ban on radios which resulted in the race being cancelled and the results declared null and void.

It’s been revealed that the UCI will stand firm on its rule to ban radio communications between teams and their riders during races. Pat McQuaid met with team representatives in Aigle, Switzerland in order to discuss the ban and possibly seek out a compromise.

There’s been numerous protests against the ban in the past month as teams and riders have expressed their discontent at the ruling. One of the biggest causes for concern was over rider safety. While the UCI acknowledged this, they merely promised to work closely with race organisers to ensure that the safety of riders is given the highest priority. Probably not what the teams and riders wanted to hear.

In addition to this, teams also opposed the ban on the grounds that they had no say in the creation of the rule. Pat insists that there are two members elected to sit on the Professional Cycling Council (PCC), whose role it is to directly discuss these matters. However, Jonathan Vaughters (one of these representatives), declared that the rule concerning radios was never even discussed with the PCC.

Consequently, it has been argued that the PCC may indeed have representatives which are supposed to discuss such such matters, but these representatives essentially have no power or authority to make, or even influence, important decisions which affect riders and their teams.

Going off on a slight tangent, the video below suggests that there may be certain riders who will relish the thought of a ban on radio communications…

Is the treble on for Cavendish?

Hopefully Cav can keep on his bike during the Grand Tours.

Mark Cavendish is looking to add to his 64 career stage wins with the announcement of a jam packed 2011 race schedule. The Manx sprinter declared his participation in all three Grand Tours this year as well as the World Championships. With what already looks like a packed race schedule, Cavendish will be looking to defend his green jersey at the Vuelta as well as looking to add a couple more colours to his collection at the TdF and Giro. When asked by Eurosport if he thought he was taking too much on this season and did he think the TdF could damage his chances at the world champs in Denmark he replied: “It’s the Tour de France. And there’s still enough time.” Could the HTC-Highroad’s confidence be his downfall or could we see the British rider go for the treble and win the TdF, Vuelta and the Giro?

Leopard-Trek’s first taste of victory:

smile and wave...

Klemme smiles and waves after his victory.

Just as the cycling media began to criticise the much hyped Belgium outfit Leopard-Trek, team rider Dominic Klemme pulled a win out the bag at the GP Samyn 193km one-day race in Belgium.
The 24-year-old German was one of several Team Saxo Bank riders, including both Schleck brothers, to join the new Leopard-Trek team at the end of last season.
Leopard-Trek’s man hunted down the breakaway Cofidis rider and managed to overtake him on the final climb in a thrilling end to the race.
Speaking after the race Klemme said: “I’m super happy…I had cramps in the final kilometres, but I knew I had to hang in there because everyone was half dead back in the chase”. Is this the start of things to come this season for Leopard-Trek or are we going to see a repeat of Team SKY’s 2010 season?

Paris-Nice 2011:

The 2011 route, ending on the French Riviera having taken in a few vineyards along the way. Can we go please?

This Sunday the 2011 Paris-Nice starts.  Eight days of first rate racing await, we’re more than a bit excited!  It’s the first proper Spring Classic so there will be a lot of riders and teams out to prove themselves.

Having had a slow start, Leopard Trek are sending Frank Schleck and Jens ‘Hardman’ Voigt, they’re just one of many teams who will be looking to improve on a relatively slow start.  It’s worth keeping an eye out for riders like Matt Goss too – he’s had a cracking start to the season and will likely try to get the leaders jersey in the first few days.

The Paris-Nice promises to be an exciting event with some big, big days in the saddle and a 27km TT thrown in for good measure.  Sure to be a test even for TT specialists, the race could be won or lost here.  For a more detailed look at the Paris-Nice, check out our PBK Preview.

Tweet of the Week:

Bradley Wiggins (@bradwiggins) tweet caught our eye this week:
‘Off looking at passion wagons’.
Answers on a postcard as to what kind of vehicle constitutes a ‘passion wagon’ in Wiggins’s eyes!

Pictures of the Week:

Training hard or hardly training? We wouldn't like to say.

Quite a lot of freckles on this chap. Even his jersey's got them.

Perhaps not what X-Bionic's next range will look like.

Video of the Week:

We know this is a MTB video, but it’s so impressive we couldn’t resist the opportunity to share it with you. Enjoy…

Pick of the Week’s New Product:

This week marks the launch of Principia frames at PBK. It coincides nicely with their 20th anniversary and here’s a blog looking at what they’ve done over the years.

When the first Principia frame was unveiled in 1990, it represented a revolution in terms of both weight and stiffness. It is with a great sense of pride that we now celebrate our 20th anniversary. Over these past 20 years, we have firmly established the Principia brand as one of the most innovative frame manufacturers in the industry.

With a range of road, TT, ‘cross and track frames there will be something for you!

Our favourite though is the REX. Given the recent rise in popularity of stiff alu frames this is without doubt one of the best. Principia have been making this type of frame since the 1990’s so know a thing or two.

It features ultra neat welds, a BSA standard BB to suit most setups and a replaceable gear hanger just in case the worst happens! Combined with the FLOW fork which is one of the most advanced on the market. Several hundred hours in the laboratory give the best balance between weight, horizontal stiffness and comfort in relation to vertical shocks from the road.

Check out the Principia range here.

What we’re up to this weekend:

  • Anthony is letting his inner bear have a weekend off. He’s planning climbing, dinner and plenty of coffee.
  • John is going for long walks and reading poetry.
  • Chris is going to a house-warming party and also avoiding soya milk at all costs after discovering research which suggests it increases your femininity.
  • Meanwhile Grant is planning a day out in the Lake District with the other half. Picnics, long walks, that kind of thing.

Moving swiftly on, please feel free to let us know your thoughts on the weeks news as usual and have a great weekend!

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