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Mr Loophole doubles down on two abreast rant (+ Jeremy Vine gets involved); More Surrey cops zingers; Valtteri Bottas: I’m getting more podiums in cycling than F1; Van der Poel eyes green jersey; LTN news; But cyclists + more on the live blog

Happy Friday! That's another week in the books...Dan Alexander is here for your final live blog of the week...
03 December 2021, 16:51
One final Surrey Police vs Mr Loophole clash

After the last couple of days it seems fitting we sign off for the weekend with one final Loophole vs Surrey Police exchange. Better late than never, Freeman finally got back to the traffic cops about his claim the riders were in the wrong. 

"Riding was neither without due care & attention or dangerous," he began. If only it ended there...

"But in my opinion was without reasonable consideration for other road users - argument strengthened by cyclists' lack of compliance of HW Code guidelines. PS riding spelt with one D. That's why they call me Mr Loophole."

Perhaps someone can cc Mr Loophole in the earlier replies explaining why the group ride was in compliance with the Highway Code guidelines. But maybe he'd rather point out spelling mistakes...always the sign of having won the argument...

03 December 2021, 15:38
Patrick Lefevere replies...but not how you might expect

If this was a rap battle Patrick Lefevere would be feeling very smug right now. Who says he isn't anyway? Less than an hour after we speculatively said we'd wait for the Quick-Step boss's reply to Deceuninck's CEO claiming he wasn't interested in a women's team, here we are...

As per José Been and Cyclingtips, Lefevere will be involved with the NXTG Racing Team through his recruitment agency Experza. The pair will continue as NXTG by Experza in 2022...

"First of all, I want to say that despite common opinion I have nothing against women’s cycling," Lefevere said. "With Experza and NXTG I start a journey in women’s cycling. Women’s cycling is growing very fast. However, at the moment I feel there are not enough riders of a certain level for all the current WorldTour teams. That’s why I want to do it the other way around and start from the juniors and young riders, giving them an environment to develop.

"I  have the experience with guiding young riders to the top. My idea is to start focusing on the young girls and help them work towards a goal. We have to make the pool of quality riders in the women’s peloton bigger. That is how you grow the sport. That’s how you make the sport more sustainable.

"Through Experza, a company I co-founded with Sylvie Anraed and I hold a few stocks in, we found a solution for the sponsorship for 2022. This gives me a season to look around. We are testing the water in women’s cycling, so to say. We are talking with our current partners to see what they can or are willing to invest. Our ambition as Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl is to go in as soon as possible and grow women’s cycling organically from its foundations. We understand the importance of women’s cycling."

03 December 2021, 15:02
'See their side' follow-up idea...
03 December 2021, 13:45
"As a modern company we want to participate in women's cycling. We discussed that, but Patrick is Patrick": Deceuninck CEO says Quick-Step women's team reluctance contributed to split
Mathieu van der Poel Alpecin-Fenix Deceuninck announcement video (Alpecin-Fenix/Instagram)

We were all a bit stunned by Patrick Lefevere's diplomacy earlier in the week. No snide comments about Deceuninck jumping ship to sponsor Mathieu van der Poel's Alpecin-Fenix. "I have absolutely no problem with it," Lefevere said. What the team boss did seemingly have a problem with was committing to supporting a women's cycling team.

Deceuninck's CEO Francis Van Eeckhout told Het Nieuwsblad his company is particularly keen to support the women's game, something Lefevere is not..."It is a combination of factors. We are charmed by the plan of the Roodhooft brothers. And as a modern company we want to participate in women's cycling," he said.

"Women's cycling is increasing in importance and we cannot ignore that. We discussed that, but Patrick is Patrick."

The bait is in the water, now we wait, will Lefevere bite?

03 December 2021, 13:16
Brits born in early April the wildest drivers on UK roads, according to new research
Driver behind cyclist (picture credit Simon MacMichael).PNG

A new study by Jardine Motors and astrology expert Bex Milford of Cosmic Cure looked into how different star signs drive...and apparently those born in early April are the wildest drivers on UK roads. However, Taurus drivers (born late April to early May) are the calmest. What difference a couple of weeks makes...

One in ten Aries drivers described their driving as "reckless", four times higher than the average (2.5 per cent). They are also right in the 'speed demon zone', with 17 per cent describing their driving as fast. 11 per cent of Scorpio drivers admitted the same. I wonder if this research factored in the respective star signs' tendency to give straight answers?

The Cancer star sign was most likely to be upset by really fast drivers, with 67 per cent saying they were annoyed by speeding drivers. 70 per cent of Pisces said not using indicators really wound them up...

I'm not sure what the takeaway message is from this...make of it what you will...

03 December 2021, 11:19
Surrey cops back for another day of educating dodgy drivers

Jeremy Vine has tagged the Surrey traffic cops back in for another day of schooling...including this reply to someone who (ironically) got wound up by the suggestion of anger management classes...

 One more for the road? Go on...

03 December 2021, 11:31
Take a first look at the new Ineos Grenadiers Bioracer kit...

We'll have more on this in our tech round-up later on today...initial thoughts? 

03 December 2021, 10:38
Valtteri Bottas: I’m getting more podiums in cycling than F1

He's not finished, he's only 32...(top marks for anyone who gets that reference)... 

F1 driver Valtteri Bottas could be considering a career change...not really, but he joked to reporters he seems to be having more success on the bike than in his Mercedes. "It feels like I’m getting more podiums in cycling races than in F1 nowadays," Bottas said.

The Finn is well worth a follow on Strava to see his podium-topping ride at the BEKING ProAm and the rest of his Monaco training...

03 December 2021, 10:32
But cyclists
03 December 2021, 10:08
Mathieu van der Poel vs Wout van Aert vs Cav vs Peter Sagan? Has the Tour de France green jersey ever been so competitive?
Mathieu van der Poel on the Mur-de-Bretagne (Picture by Alex

Alpecin-Fenix team manager Christoph Roodhooft has spoken to Het Laatste Nieuws about his star rider Mathieu van der Poel's key aims for 2022. With an Academy Award looking unlikely after THAT Deceuninck windows ad, Roodhooft said a Tour de France green jersey tilt could be on the cards.

"When I hear Van Aert say that he is going for the green jersey, I think, 'We'll see about that'. If everything goes somewhat normal, that’s a very realistic target for us. I think of Jasper Philipsen or of Mathieu van der Poel," Roodhooft said. 

Christoph's brother and fellow Alpecin-Fenix manager Philip backed up his sibling's words..."Mathieu is the perfect rider to win the green jersey. The green jersey, and stage wins."

Beyond the Tour the goal remains the same for the prodigious Dutchman – win as often and as dominantly as possible. The brothers said a mountain bike world championship is also high on their rider's wish list.

03 December 2021, 09:29
LTN news: Hackney Council to make Homerton LTN permanent
03 December 2021, 08:35
Mr Loophole doubles down on two abreast rant (+ Jeremy Vine gets involved)

It's a shame Mr Loophole doesn't use some of his lawyering skills to actually engage with the hoards of people pointing out fairly reasonable counterpoints to his cycle safety ramblings. Instead, the 'celebrity' lawyer (makes your skin crawl, doesn't it) doubled down on his earlier rant by posting another two. Same video, similar sentiment...

Freeman also tagged talkRadio's finest Mike Graham and a Chilean kinesiologist called Cristo...we think he wanted Cristo Foufas, not Cristobal Diaz. Anyway, even if he had tagged the right Cristo, the talkRadio presenter may not have wanted anything to do with the Surrey traffic cops spitting facts, not after last time...

It's at this point one of our other big-name cycling champions got involved. Taking over from Surrey Police's admin, who was probably putting their feet up with a couple of Hobnobs, Jeremy Vine entered the fray...

There was also, of course, more comments than we could count saying words to the effect of, 'there is nowhere safe to overtake in the video anyway' and 'why would it be acceptable to drive at 60mph on that road?'... 

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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