Will Routley interview: “We are all part of this sport and we need people to believe in it again”

Will Routley, cracking fella, was fortunate enough to entice him over to Taiwan for the KOM Challenge just recently.

Will has been a pro since 2008 and just enjoyed his best year with Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies with a win on Stage 4 and the overall KOM in the 2014 Tour of Califiornia.

I caught up with him for a chat.


Will takes Stage 4 at the ToC

Will takes Stage 4 at the ToC

crankpunk: You’ve been in Asia before, racing, how does Taiwan compare to other areas you’ve been?

Will Routley: I’ve race in Malaysia, Thailand, Korea and also China. Taiwan seems to be more affluent, it’s clean, there’s no glass or junk on the road, I feel at ease and comfortable here. Even in Taipei, I don’t fee the hustle and bustle of other places I’ve been in Asia. The overwhelming chaos is missing!

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another positive test: time for Astana to go

Victor Okishev, a 20-year-oldAstana rider, has tested positive for steroids from a test taken in May.

that is now 4 Kazakhstani Astana riders in the past few months.

Iglinsky, apparently not smiling now..

Iglinsky, apparently not smiling now..

when i rode the UCI Asia Tour there was a feeling amongst the peloton that the Kazakh riders generally were not all they appeared to be. it was a hunch, going off performances we had seen. at the very least the nation seems to have something of a problem, as does its national team, with the abuse of banned substances.

and mullets.

it must have nothing to do with their general manager and national hero (destined to be president too by the looks of things) being an unrepentant doper himself.

no, not at all.

Nibali, what have you got to say now? time to get out, some might argue. but where to? Tinkoff? Vaughters and Garmin? any of the other teams staffed by former dopers?

yet again, the UCWhy reaps what they have sowed, and we get to choke on it…

BRECK EPIC introduces Zero Tolerance for dopers!

proper NEWSFLASH this one…

Mike McCormack, organiser of the BRECK-EPIC MTB stage race in Colorado, one of the premier events in North America, today tweeted that his race will no longer accept as an entrant any rider that is serving or has ever served a USADA or WADA suspension.

this is awesome.


because it’s a brave decision.


because it’s basically a one-finger salute to the authorities and to the dopers and their facilitators (team management/doctors/masseurs/race organisers/commentators/journalists/MotoMan) who have brought our sport to its knees.

Mike’s decision reflects a growing sense of empowerment amongst organisers. they do not want their hard work nor the integrity of their event compromised by cheats.


last night i was chatting to Uli Fluhme, the organiser (alongside his wife Lidia) of the GFNY (Gran Fondo New York, sponsored by Camagnolo) series. his event also has a strong anti-doping policy, being the first in the world to exclude from competition any rider from anywhere who has ever been banned – for anything.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 10.19.43

the Taiwan KOM Challenge that I help organise has a similar policy. Uli and I were talking about how and whether other event organisers might introduce

holier-than-thou? self-righteous?

no. why not? because we are riders too.

first and foremost, we are riders too.

we expect what the competitors in these events expect: a clean, fair and legitimate race against clean, legitimate and fair competition.

that we have the opportunity to enact these ideas is great, but it could not be done if they did not reflect the genuine desire, one held by the vast majority of cyclists, to clean up our sport.

this is our sport.

it is not theirs.

that mangled heap of a thing that Armstrong lorded over for so long, that Pat let stew like manure in his back garden, that corrupted commentators and journalists let stay covered and festering – that is not cycling.

something has begun. a quiet revolution. let’s hope this grows.

crankpunk to take up triathlon… but could i pull off a belly top and speedos?


i woke up this morning with the strangest desire careening around my loins, stranger than that time i almost got arrested for taking single bites out of a a good 7 or 8 dried sea sponges all those years ago in Boots pharmacy on Norwich High Street.

yes, it is – turn away now if you are squeamish – THE DESIRE TO DO A TRIATHLON.

my head is so full of questions.

1. can i get treatment for this? is electrotherapy a real option still these days or would it be easier if i just black up and walk up to an American cop?

2. do Speedo still make speedos, or have they been banned by the Obama government? #obamabansspeedoscosheisaterrorist




3. will i have to unlearn the art of cornering, braking, going uphill and riding in a bunch of more than one?

4. will i really lose all of my friends?

5. where can i buy a brick?


6. will i have to tape 55 assorted gels on my top tube every time i ride? even to the shop? is it REALLY more aero than a friggin’ pocket?


7. is it true that i’ll have to wear the bellytop/speedo/compression sock combo uniform at ALL TIMES even whilst sleeping?

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he was later DQd for not wearing compression socks

8. can i really get my number burned into my skin? #trinumberburntintoskinisCOOL

9. do i really have to wear iridium glasses with the iridium on the inside too?

10. will i really have to lose my sense of humor?

…so many, many questions…

Crank Punk Coaching Systems: Barry Davies Testimonial

I’ve been working with Barry for four months. His aim all along was ‘to get up the Taiwan KOM hill.’ Added to that challenge was the fact that Barry, originally from the UK, lives in Singapore, one of the flattest stretches of land around out here.
Here follows his testimonial of the past 4 months working with me through my Crank Punk Coaching Systems program.


“How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the KOM”
Barry Davies
November 15, 2014

no one’s quite sure how Bary stayed so clean-looking nor indeed how he actually managed a smile during the recent KOM, but crankpunk’s name has been mentioned in reverent whispers…

I was way out of my depth training in hot and flat Singapore for a cold 105km uphill bike race that ends at 3,275m elevation (the Taiwan KOM Challenge 2014). I knew that I would need some expert help and so I contacted Lee Rogers who had coached some of my buddies to success, and better yet, Lee had raced this thing before and practically lived beside the course. Luckily Lee took on the challenge of getting my heavy slow body up a big mountain in only four months time.
Jens Voigt’s motto may be ‘shut up legs’, but Lee’s is ‘listen to your legs’. I used to ride with my eyes glued to my garmin, taking in all the wonderful nerdy data on heart rate and watts.  So when Lee said to not look at my garmin for a while and learn to ride by feel, I was lost, it was like trying to use ‘the force’ at first. I gradually calibrated my level of effort and got good at listening to my body, knowing my limits and sometimes pushing past them. Lee tuned my time-limited weekly training to suit both my ever-changing travel schedule and my motivation to keep me on that fine edge of highly trained but not overcooked.
With Lee’s guidance I worked my butt off, literally. Over the months of consistent riding and a mix of hard and long efforts my watts went up and my weight dropped, a great combination for getting up a mountain faster.
When the Taiwan KOM Challenge race day finally arrived the weather was cold and rainy, the GPS didn’t synch up and I couldn’t rely as much on my garmin data, but I didn’t panic, I just used the force like Lee taught me, listened to my body and cranked out what I knew was the appropriate maximal effort that I could sustain to get to the finish line without blowing up. The many repeats up Singapore’s little hills of faber and vigilante drive were great preparation both physically and mentally. Crossing that finish line was an amazing feeling and an achievement I wasn’t sure I was capable of when I signed up for the race.
Thanks Lee for all your support, encouragement and for helping me learn to tune my engine to get the most out of my very average abilities.
(‘Average’ indeed! Well done Bazza! cp.)

Nicole Cooke Exclusive on CP: “Bring in Lifetime Bans”

World's apart

World’s apart

Nicole Cooke says ‘no more heroes’ but, truth be told, she is one of mine. And to top all that off, she is so damn nice too. I met Nicole through her dad Tony, who responded to an article of mine which was on about how the bad guys get Gran Fraudos but the clean folk get nothing, like Obree and Nicole, and how much that sucks.

He sent me an email next day which said:

“If you’re interested in talking to Nicole perhaps I could set that up, I know her quite well.

Tony (Nicole’s dad)”


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Crank Punk Coaching Systems: Jake Folkerd-Hobbs hill climb victory

i started working with Jake, 42, from England back at the tail-end of August. he’d identified this hill climb event that he was pretty soundly beaten in last year as his main aim for 2014.

he wanted the win this time around however. we had about 2 months to get cracking, and so we did, working on Jake’s power base and stamina whilst beginning to also get him ready for the short, sharp effort that the Maldon Hill Climb Championship required.

but crank on we did, punking a little here and there as we went, til the day was upon us. the night before i remember getting the sweaty palms and the tension i get when i have a race coming up, but it’s always worse when a client is racing!

the next day, some hours after the event and after wearing a hole in my carpet, i received a text from Jake.

“i won.”

bad-a-bing. awesome!

well done Jake, you join the illustrious ranks of crankpunk podium snafflers!

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Jake Folkerd-Hobbs in action


The Maldon Hill Climb Championship event was held in Lodge Road, Hazeleigh on Sunday 2nd November 2014.

John Ebsen & Marg Fedyna win the Taiwan KOM Challenge 2014

phew, what a day. it just poured and poured, it was cold, one giant heavy cloud enshrouded the mountain and the peloton throughout. people were shaking and blue by the end, i ‘lost’ two jackets helping folk get warm at the top and don;t mind if i don’t get them back. every soul on that start line, never mind the finishers and the winners, rocked it like kings and queens, they were magnificent.


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