This week's episode opens with the sordid tale of Iljo Keisse's disrespectful act toward a woman in Argentina, his subsequent apology, and then his team's utter failure to properly address the issue.
Then, James posits an interesting question: Is it possible to use equipment to close the gap between riders of different abilities? What's the best way to do it?
The Tour Down Under has wrapped up, Richie Porte won on Willunga again but didn't win the race. Caley and Neal kick off this week's episode with a discussion of Porte's efforts, and then we have a dispatch from Matt de Neef in which he chats with riders who are on new teams.
In this week's Nerd Alert, a debate rages over the fuzzy line between gravel bikes and mountain bikes. At what point is a gravel bike just a hardtail with drop bars? New gravel bikes with 29-inch wheels and 2.0" tires — mountain bike sizes — have us wondering what on earth is going on.
Bike racing is back! Neal, James, and Caley begin with the news that the UCI will ban the painkiller Tramadol, often used in "finish bottles," from competition beginning in March. Then they take a look at Elia Viviani's first WorldTour sprint of the year and chat with Jonathan Vaughters about his team's new kit (and his Flagstaff duel with Neal).
James has issues with some of the vehicle tech being launched at the Consumer Electronics Show, and thinks it may actually make riding more dangerous.
Finally, Neal calls Phil Liggett to talk about his longtime co-commentator, Paul Sherwen, who recently passed away.
Disc brakes can be very loud. It's a reality that road cyclists are beginning to come to grips with, but there are things riders can do to minimize the noise. For some insight, James and Caley call up Christian Huele, a former pro cyclocross racer who now works for SwissStop.
But first, there's quite a lot to be excited about as the 2019 racing season kicks off. Neal has a list of the big moments and trends to keep an eye out for this year.
It's time for the second annual CyclingTips Podcast CyclingTippy Awards!
James Huang and Caley Fretz are joined by Dave Rome (all the way from Sydney) for a rundown of the best, worst, fastest, slowest, and most annoying tech of 2018. Plus, we make our tech predictions for 2019.