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Well this week has been quite a busy one here at PBK towers and in the world of cycling in general!  We’ve had some great new product in, with some more to come so watch this space.  Plus, this week the UCI Approval sticker scheme has come in to the limelight.  We’ve had a look at it in a blog post, but it is safe to say the implications for the sport of cycling at every level could be massive.  So without further ado, let’s kick on…

The Week’s news in brief:

A couple of interesting stories this week which have got the cycling community talking…

UCI Approval Scheme; A worrying development for the cycling world?

In our recent blog on the subject, we looked at the implications of the UCI’s new approval scheme. In essence, this is a compliance scheme to approve frames (and soon components and clothing) that meet UCI standards to then be used in UCI sanctioned races. The scheme is designed to be a streamlining of the existing system so that equipment will not be rejected at the very last moment, therefore saving manufacturers development costs.

Additional details on the scheme can be found in the blog, however, it would be good to summarise the scheme. From the 1st January 2011 (and any frame/fork that has been in development since 1.11.2010), all new frames and forks used in UCI sanctioned road, track and cyclocross events must be approved by this new protocol.  The cost of doing this is $14,405 per frame. While this won’t be particularly troubling for the big manufacturers, for small and medium sized manufacturers this may make the cost of new model development prohibitive. When the scheme rolls out to include componentry and clothing is required the outlook for such teams could become even more bleak, as small teams will not be able to absorb the increased costs associated with the changes.  As always there is a certain degree of ambiguity, the wording implies it may be applicable to all UCI licence holders, which would affect events run by British Cycling as they comply to UCI rules.

Meetings are due to take place between the UCI and manufacturers so this will certainly be a story to keep an eye on. We’ll let you know next week if there’s any further developments.

Di Luca will ride for free at Katusha. Perhaps. Definitely not.

On Tuesday, convicted doper Danilo Di Luca confirmed that he intended to ride for the Katusha team for free despite UCI rules clearly stating that he must be paid a minimum wage. Di Luca was keen to reiterate that he would not take a penny and in fact, making a comeback in the first place would cost him 170,000 Euro (the amount the UCI fined him for testing positive during the 2009 Giro d’Italia).

Amidst these developments, Di Luca has attempted to make it clear that he is a changed man and is now working closely with young people to make sure they don’t make the same mistakes he did.

Nevertheless, later on Tuesday Katusha issued a statement saying it would pay Di Luca a salary if the UCI insisted. A UCI spokesperson quickly declared it is not possible to be part of a professional team without a salary.

Shortly after this, the UCI reiterated that Di Luca will not be permitted to ride for Katusha without being paid the minimum salary of €33,000.

Di Luca’s positive test result for CERA during the 2009 Giro led to a two year suspension for the rider. While initially maintaining his innocence, he eventually confessed in front of 500 students in Italy last month.

Going off on a slight tangent, there’s one particular Spaniard from Pinto who hasn’t received much attention in the news lately. Perhaps Di Luca’s actions will spur Contador into a confession? Or was he wrongly accused in the first place? A decision on that case is likely to be made in the near future with many wanting a decision to be made before the start of the new World Tour season next week.

Bonny Scotland hopes to host the start of the 2017 Tour de France.

It has recently emerged that Scotland is planning to make a bid to host the start of the 2017 TdF. It is likely that either Glasgow or Edinburgh would be the scene of a city-centre prologue, before a road stage that would likely link the two cities. Considering the historical ties between Scotland and France, it is believed that Scotland would be the ideal host for the start of the TdF.

The logistics of taking the race from Scotland to France have not yet been determined but the use of chartered trains is certainly a possibility.

An important by-product of hosting the Tour de France start for Scotland would be the impact on the economy. While hosting the event will require an investment of £5 million, it is believed that it could yield as much as £100 million to the local economy.

Video of the Week:

How quickly do you reckon you can build your bike from scratch? We’d hazard a guess it’s not as fast as the video below. Some technical wizardry has clearly played a part in this build but it’s certainly an interesting clip.

262 parts in 38.93 seconds… here we go!

Tweet of the Week:

A reply to one of our tweets made us laugh this week.

Our original tweet was ‘So how are everyone’s New Year resolutions going?’

IHateHills was quick to respond with a summary of his new year’s progress:

‘@ProBikeKit badly. Still drinking too much red :o)’

Rest assured, IHateHills, I don’t think you’re the only one!

Pictures of the Week:

Our picture of the week this week comes courtesy of Nick – PBK’s Technical manager.  He’s the guy you’re more than likely to speak to if you ring up with a technical query.  This week Nick took delivery of his new downhilling outfit and it is quite something…

Workin' it!

Pick of this week’s new products:

This week has been a wheelie great week for new product so lets have a look…

The Campagnolo Bora One Wheelset arrived this week.  The Bora one brings the same performance which have made it such a firm favourite in the peloton to a phenomenal price point.  50mm carbon fibre rims give lightweight aero efficiency and fantastic handling, so good that many pro’s use them in the mountain stages.

So fast it’s frightening, this Reynolds Element/Sixty-six carbon wheel combo will help you gain those precious extra seconds.  A full carbon rear disc and a 66mm carbon front rim will ensure you’re at your aero best when trying to hit that TT personal best or increase the gap in the triathlon.

Finally we have the X-Bionic Fennec short sleeve jersey.  The X-Bionic range is quite something, take a look at our Product Focus Blog for more information.

What are we up to this weekend?

Chris has been off work since Wednesday as he’s on holiday, Skiing in the Alps. We’re not quite sure where in the Alps he’s gone so we’ll just say the snowy region.

Grant will be resting up after spending last week seeing the sights  in London and also has intentions to see the new Green Hornet movie at the cinema.

John will be playing rugby and having a few nights out, while also showing his new female house mate around the sights and sounds of Kendal.

Meanwhile, Ant will be getting out on the bike and is even planning some climbing!

As usual, if you’ve got any thoughts on the week’s news or any other interesting stories to share please let us know below. Likewise, let us know of any plans you have for the weekend.

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