Should cyclists be worried about skin damage? All you need to know about protecting yourself from harmful rays

As high summer approaches, promising long hours of sun-drenched cycling, here’s what you need to know about the dangers posed by the sun and how to reduce the risk

Image shows rider cycling in the sun.
(Image credit: Future)

This article was originally published in Cycling Weekly's print edition as part of the WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT series tackling taboos and raising awareness of cycling-related health issues. 

"I’ve had dozens of surgeries in the last 10 years – and they’ve all come because of the amount of time I’ve spent outdoors.” Kimberley Conte had never thought much about the risk of skin cancer. “No one in my family had a history of it and I don’t burn easily, so I thought I would be immune from it. I didn’t take it seriously at all.” But then, in 2010, she was diagnosed with a very small basal cell carcinoma between her lip and her nose. At first, she had the affected area of skin frozen using a technique called cryotherapy, a proven means of destroying cancerous cells. 

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Chris Marshall-Bell

A freelance sports journalist and podcaster, you'll mostly find Chris's byline attached to news scoops, profile interviews and feature writing across a variety of different publications. He has been writing regularly for Cycling Weekly since 2013.

Previously a ski, hiking and cycling guide in a number of places, but mostly in the Canadian Rockies and Spanish Pyrenees, he almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.

He lives in Valencia, Spain.