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Jeremy Vine films close pass but told he’s ‘in middle of the road’; Greipel misses Spring Classics with dislocated shoulder; Make Evans Great Again is BACK; Amazing (and stomach-turning) drone descent; No doping control at French race +more on live blog

Today's live blog is brought to you by Jack Sexty, with Simon MacMichael taking over the reins after hometime...
11 February 2020, 20:09
Andre Greipel out for 3 months with disclocated shoulder

Andre Greipel will miss the upcoming Spring Classics campaign with his Israel Start-Up Nation team confirming he will be out for three months after dislocating a shoulder in a training crash.

The 37-year-old German, 22 times a Grand Tour stage winner, with half of those at the Tour de France, had been hoping to get back to winning ways with his new team after a disappointing 2019 at Arkea-Samsic where his sole victory came in January last year in Gabon at a stage of La Tropicale Amissa Bongo.

11 February 2020, 16:48
Jeremy Vine accused of being 'in the middle of the road' in latest action cam clip

The broadcaster regularly posts incidents of poor, reckless and downright idiotic driving he captures on camera during his commutes around London; and the latest is a pointlessly aggressive overtake from the driver of a CBRE van, who honks his horn as he overtakes. Our news editor and London resident Simon MacMichael has identfied the road as George Street in Marylebone. 

A number of the replies accuse Mr Vine of being in the middle of the road; however the parked cars on the left would suggest he is taking up a (perfectly legal) more central road position to avoid a potential dooring from an occupant of one of the parked cars. 

Can Mr Vine possibly be in the wrong? Let us know in the comments as always... 

11 February 2020, 15:49
Polisport launch a 53g drinks bottle
polisport bottle

Need to hydrate, but also save weight? Polisport's new R550 bottle holds over 500m of liquid but weighs in at a paltry 53g, so could be the vessel for you. 

It has a one-handed ergonomic design which makes it easier to grab and is made using BPA free polypropylene, which also provides a super-soft squeeze experience acccording to Polisport. There are six different colour combos, and you can find out more on the Polisport website

11 February 2020, 15:42
Is the new Ribble Weldtite team bike the best outside the World Tour?
11 February 2020, 15:46
Retro pothole resentment

It's that time of year where Britain's potholes start to show themselves even more thanks to a few months of battering from crap weather and storms (and cars of course)... so it's time to wheel out this vintage local news pic of an injured young lass pointing angrily at her nemesis. 

11 February 2020, 15:11
Andrey Amador finally released from Movistar contract after long-running dispute

The 33-year-old Costa Rican expressed his desire to leave Movistar months ago, having joined way back in 2009. It's understood he wished to sign for Team Ineos but was unable to due to the contract dispute, and he was even spotted in Team Ineos kit in December.

As we understand it riders are only permitted to switch teams mid-season between 1-15 August by the UCI, so it could be a long wait before we see Amador in Ineos colours; so if it's no pro cycling until August, what should Andrey get up to in the meantime? Some gravel riding, commentary, get a paper round? Suggestions on a postcard, or in the comments... 

11 February 2020, 14:47
Pensioner fined £800 and given community order for pushing cyclist over on busy road
Reading Crown Court - wikimedia commons.JPG

Bracknell News reports that 69-year-old Hugh McDaid pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm after confronting a cyclist who he said undertook his HGV in August 2018. 

McDaid jumped out and 'spread his arms', which knocked the cyclist over and left him with a black eye and fractured sternum. The defence said McDaid was of previously good character and although his actions were reckless, he didn't mean to harm the cyclist.

The judge said McDaid was genuinely remorseful and the incident had taken its personal toll on him, but he committed "a completely reckless act." McDaid was sentenced to a 12-month community order and will have to attend 15 rehabilitation activity days, plus he will also have to pay £800 compensation to the cyclist and £420 in costs. 

11 February 2020, 13:40
Make Evans Great Again returns after a month-long hiatus
make evans great again insta story

With no posts since January 11th, we were wondering what had happened to the Instagram account Make Evans Great Again, and indeed the person running it who claimed they were one of numerous disgruntled employees at the Sports Direct-owned bike retailer. The account was renamed and posts and stories after December 30th changed their tune dramatically, with the account admin(s) bemoaning Evans' buying department, who they claimed had stocked stores with less desirable brands. They also posted to promote 'Make Evans Great Again' merchandise, a baseball cap with an ironic nod to Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign slogan. 

After Evans' PR firm told us Evans Cycles were considering taking legal action against the people/person who hijacked the account, we assumed things had not gone so well for our anonymous friend(s), and the account had either been suspended or restored to be used for its original purposes; however, a new Instagram Story appeared last night (screenshotted above) to remind us Make Evans Great Again are still very much here.

*Update: Make Evans Great Again have told that Evans' head office have tried to take the account down, but can't because the email and password has been changed. We understand there have been sackings, and account admins are worried there will be more. 

11 February 2020, 12:08
Netherlands 'second-worst in Europe' for cyclist's deaths

A study by the European Transport Safety Council charting cycling fatalities over the last decade has found that the Netherlands is second only to Ireland in terms of the number of cyclist's deaths and the rate of increase; although considering the rates of cycling is so much higher than anywhere else in Europe, the figure of 228 deaths in 2018 is relatively lower than the 170 who died in Ireland, considering the latter's total number of cyclists is far lower.  

That said, the Netherlands' number of fatal cycling incidents has grown by 2% in the last decade (Ireland's grew by a quite shocking 8%), and 83% of the collisions that occurred involved drivers of a motor vehicle. The Council's report suggest that even more action should be taken to design extra infrastructure that gives priority to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport and to implement a 30 km/h speed limit in cyclist and pedestrian hotspots, reports IAmExpat

The report also recommends improvements to motor vehicle design, including crash-friendly bumpers on cars, blind spot mirrors on lorries and cyclist detection systems. The report also defends the Netherlands, saying it is in fact one of the safest places to ride a bike with a vast cycling infrastructure network. 

11 February 2020, 12:04
Got your eyes on an e-bike? Here's a 20% off code for The London e-Bike festival
london ebike festival main

Want to check out some of the latest and greatest e-bikes all in one place? The London e-Bike Festival on the 2-3 May is the show for you, and with our discount code adult tickets are just £8. The link to book tickets is here, and before adding yours just pop RDCC into the promo code box to get yours at 20% - kids under 10 also go free. 

This post features paid promotion on behalf of The London e-Bike Festival

11 February 2020, 11:49
Watch as drone cameraman tries to film cyclist's descent from a car seat

The mind-bending task is made all the more difficult as the cameraman is trying to deal with the G force of the car, which is markedly different to what he's seeing through the drone camera as he films the cyclist descending at speeds of 70km/h. Disorientating or what? 

11 February 2020, 10:32
UCI update and clarify rules on transgender athlete participation
uci logo - via twitter

A full story will follow, but in short:

- Athletes have to make a request to the medical manager appointed by the UCI to compete in their new gender category at least six weeks before the date of their first competition.

- Their file is passed on to a commission of three external experts. The commission’s members then assess the athlete’s eligibility to compete in the new gender category and will inform the UCI’s medical officer of their conclusions.

- The athlete will have to prove their serum testosterone level has been below 5 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to the eligibility date.

- The athlete has to undergo serum testosterone tests conducted using a benchmark method.

UCI President David Lappartient said: “The adoption of new directives in the UCI Regulations will provide the cycling community as a whole with a clearly defined regulatory framework that applies to everyone.  

“Thanks to this consensus, achieved by a working group representing our sport’s various stakeholders, our Federation has given itself the wherewithal to take into consideration – and in reflection of developments in our society – the desire of transgender athletes to compete, while guaranteeing a level playing field for all competitors. This is an important step in the inclusion of transgender athletes in elite sport.”

11 February 2020, 11:23
Strava hits the 50 million mark, with 3 billion activities logged
Strava logo 2016.png

There are now 50 million athletes on cycling's favourite social fitness platform Strava, and it's still growing at a rate of 1 million new users every 30 days. Reaching their first billion uploads in 2017 after launching in 2009, they've amassed another 2 billion in just over two years which gives you an idea of the platform's rapid growth. 

If you haven't been converted yet you most likely never will be, but here are our top six reasons to use Strava just in case... 

11 February 2020, 11:11
MAAP making new film that will follow Aussie band cycling between UK gigs

The film, called 'Røøted 2: A Star is Tørn', will follow Sydney band New Lovers from London to Manchester via Bristol, with the band playing a gig on each city and riding between each one: "As we journey into the unknown pleasures of this raw uncensored film, we will witness first hand the headaches (and legs-aches) of a touring band giving it all they have on the stage, in the saddle and trying to find that special something", say cycling apparel brand MAAP.  

If you have half an hour, at lunchtime, Røøted part 1 (above) is well worth a watch, that follows best friends Luke and Rama as they meet up in Berlin to ride to Copenhagen.

11 February 2020, 11:03
Russ Downing refuses to retire quietly as he goes out mtb'ing in the blizzards


Fancy a ride @ashley___brown ❄️⛄️....

A post shared by Russ Downing (@russdowning) on

Laughing in the face of Ciara, Dennis or whoever is controlling the weather at the moment, the former Team Sky man is seen huffing and puffing in atrocious conditions, somewhere we can only assume is up t'north. Put your feet up or get on the trainer Russ, it's not worth it!

11 February 2020, 10:46
John Degencobbles

Previously known as the Secteur d’Hornaing, the aptly-named German has now had this section of pavé named after him. 

11 February 2020, 09:27
"Maybe focus on some real issues, UCI?" EF Pro Cycling's Magnus Cort and manager Jonathan Vaughters hit out at UCI for lack of doping control at French road race

Vaughters, who himself used EPO during his pro career but is now a passionate anti-doping campaigner, has accused UCI boss David Lappartient of ignoring the real issues, as his rider Magnus Cort claimed there were no doping controls whatsoever at the five-day Étoile de Bessèges road race in France. 

In a further post, Vaughters said: "A more positive spin on my last tweet: We should all be pretty happy and proud that it’s an athlete calling out the lack of anti-doping effort. Athletes want fairness. They all believe they are the best, and will win if everything is fair." 

Cort won a stage at Étoile de Bessèges, but says that the result was sullied by the lack of policing on doping: "I don’t understand how it is even allowed to have a race on this level with seven World Tour teams on the start line without doping control? In my opinion that is simply not okay." 

Well, at least they're focussing on the big stuff like sock height... 

11 February 2020, 09:16
Boris Johnson pledges £5 billion for cycling routes and bus services

The Prime Minister has announced that as part of the £5 billion investment in England over the next five years, ​ 250 miles of new cycle lanes and numerous 'mini Holland' projects will be built to make cycling safer, all for regions outside of London. 

After it was revealed last week that the government were missing their targets on spending for cycling and walking, many have said the investment is too little, too late. The BBC quotes shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald as saying: "After years of underinvestment and cuts, this unambitious announcement is nowhere near enough to make the difference that transport users, our economy or our environment need.

"Such paltry investment in cycling won't be enough to stop the UK lagging behind similar European nations for cycling participation."

11 February 2020, 09:08
Hand cyclist's train fails to bring the ramp to his carriage... so he pulls the emergency lever

Was it the right thing to do? Absolutely in our book... The 'Heavy Metal Handcyclist' says that the situation arose because the train he was on came into the wrong platform, so the platform staff weren't expecting him to be where he was actually was and weren't at fault. He added: "After this, I briefly chatted with station staff, then went on my way. Does this have potential to cause massive delays and disruption? Yeah, that's rather the bloody point, actually. I'm not wasting time coming back."

After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake. 

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