1 Wireless SRAM
The American manufacturer’s innovative new groupset was tested publicly by pro riders throughout 2014, and while front gear changes will seemingly use an updated method of the Double Tap system, the company is being coy in terms of releasing full details.
2 Britain’s first gran fondo
Cambridgeshire will follow in the footsteps of New York, Copenhagen and Perth by hosting the first-ever authentic gran fondo in Britain. The two-day Tour of Cambridgeshire (June 6-7) comprises a 28km time trial on day one, followed by a 132km competitive mass participation ride, both on closed roads.
3 The continued growth of women’s cycling
Events such as the Friends Life Women’s Tour in Britain and La Course (both won by Marianne Vos) in 2014 were heralded as a big step for women’s cycling. With a new addition to the calendar at the Tour of California — not to mention more professionally run teams — women’s cycling should grow once again in 2015.
4 Derby Velodrome
Britain’s sixth indoor velodrome will open in Derby this year, and should at last provide the East Midlands with a suitable replacement for Leicester’s now-defunct Saffron Lane track. The opening date for the £25m development has yet to be confirmed, although CW has been told it will be in “early 2015”.
5 First week of the Tour de France
Cobbles, crosswinds and climbs: the opening stages of this year’s Tour de France should be fascinating. Plenty of stages are within reach of channel crossing terminals to and from the UK. Our tip? Head out for some cobbled fun on stage four, Seraing to Cambrai on July 7.
6 Watching the GB women’s team pursuit squad
With 14 consecutive wins dating back to February 2011 to their name, it won’t be much of a surprise if Great Britain’s women’s team pursuit squad claim their fifth title in as many years at February’s Track World Championships in Paris (February 18-22). We should look on with admiration.
7 Cycling on TV
After a Christmas viewing diet of repeats and films, we’re ready to spend several hours in front of the television watching live racing again.
8 Velothon Wales
Wales’s newest and biggest festival of cycling comprises an elite one-day men’s road race as well as a closed-road sportive. The latter attracted 12,000 entries in six weeks.
9 Disc brakes explosion
Manufacturers once had one bike in their range with a disc brake set-up, but now brands have whole stables of them. Their popularity among amateurs is increasing, even if use of them in pro racing still appears some way off.
10 Hour record frenzy
The rebirth of the hour record will see multiple attempts early in 2015 as male riders go for it before Wiggins puts the record on the shelf. The women’s record will also see attempts made, and there’s news of amateur riders giving it a go too.