Pain in private places is rarely discussed, but trying to ignore saddle sores can have serious consequences.

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Symptoms of saddle soreness range from bruises to blisters to boils, and all demand treatment. They’re caused through skin abrasions and irritation to skin follicles, and exacerbated by the hot, sweaty conditions inside your cycling shorts, where bacteria can thrive.

One danger is that in an effort to alleviate the pain, a rider adopts a different riding position, leaning to the left or right to lift pain off the sore.

“If you continue to ride, compensating for something like a saddle sore and placing excess pressure on another part of the body that it isn’t used to it could result in a muscular imbalance and injury,” warns Matt Rabin, team chiropractor for the Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team.

He advises riders to:

1) Get out of dirty cycling shorts the moment you finish your ride and change into something else. Wash your kit as soon as possible.

2) Clean, dry and apply antiseptic cream to a saddle sore as soon as you notice it.

3) Take a break and stop riding for a couple of days to give the sore a chance to settle. The Pain Free Cyclist by Matt Rabin and Robert Hicks, £16.99, bloomsbury.com