Three-time world champion Peter Sagan has been taking on the snow today, posting a video to Instagram from a training ride near Monaco.
“Hey there,” the Bora-Hansgrohe rider said.
“I never saw this in my life in Monaco. It’s a beautiful day. We did today five hours, and we cannot get home because of a lot of snow.
“Just the last two kilometres to Monaco (ha, ha). It’s OK.”
Clearly he handles a bike about 100 times better than even the best of us here at road.cc, but may we just point him towards our perennial piece giving tips on how to ride on ice and snow ... ?
We've seen a lot of kickback on cycle lanes in the past few years, and on low traffic areas (LTNs) in the past few months ... but this video from London shows very clearly the difference they make to helping people get around by bike.
Let's ride this low traffic route from Tottenham Court Road to the London Fields LTN in 2 minutes 20 seconds.
— filter more streets (@iambrianjones) December 29, 2020
Egan Bernal has said “some days I pedal without pain,” referring to the back injury – subsequently diagnosed as scoliosis – that forced him to abandon his defence of the Tour de France in September, reports Spanish sports daily Marca.
The Ineos Grenadiers rider plans to ride the race next year, but said: “I will have to train very hard. The truth is that we are preparing for the Tour de France, it is the most important race in the world.
Aiming to start his season with the Colombian national championships in February, he said: “Llittle by little the inflammation is going down, I am pedalling for a few days without pain, but I think recovery will take a little time.”
It will be impossible for the world’s top male road cyclists to attempt a Tour de France-Olympic Games double due to quarantine conditions in Tokyo, the doctor to Belgium’s national Olympic committee has warned.
The two-week quarantine that will be required for riders after entry to Japan also means that leading female riders face a stark choice between going for gold in Tokyo, or racing the Giro Rosa beforehand.
Dr Johan Bellemans, quoted in Sporza, said: “Two weeks ago we received the latest version of the rules from the organisation in Tokyo. It states that they will stick to the 14 days quarantine after their arrival in Japan.
“Logistically, this quarantine period is not easy for athletes in terms of training accommodation and training modalities. But there will also be overlap with other competitions. Just think of the Tour de France, Wimbledon and the NBA.
“If it depends on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the quarantine period would be much shorter. It is mainly the Japanese authorities who are sticking to the two weeks’ quarantine.”
Asked why Japan was standing its ground on imposing the quarantine period, he said: “The Japanese authorities have recommendations for their citizens and for foreigners entering their country. In addition, the Covid figures in Japan have been on the rise in recent weeks. I do not suspect they will relax those regulations.”
With more than seven months to go, however, Dr Bellemans is hopeful that the situation may change.
“We are now in winter, I expect that the situation will be under control in a few months,” he said.
“Moreover, the vaccines are coming. Although the Japanese do not believe that vaccines will stop the transmission of the coronavirus.
“I expect and hope that that quarantine period and other Covid measures will gradually be tempered.”
He added: “The IOC is putting pressure on the Japanese authorities to quickly reduce the quarantine period from 14 to 5 days. That would create a lot more opportunities for cyclists, for example.”
It's the season of goodwill to all men, women and children ... except those who want to live on peaceful streets without having to worry about rat-running drivers and the associated air pollution, it seems, with a Twitter user flagging up another depressingly common instance of vandalism of bollards designed to shut off residential streets other than for access, this one in the London Borough of Hackney.
— Will Bradley (@W_Bradley) December 30, 2020
Liverpool FC star Virgil van Dijk is back pedalling a Wattbike as part of his rehabilitation from the anterior cruciate ligament injury he sustained when he was tackled by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford at the Merseyside derby back in October.
The Dutch centre-back, who underwent surgery for his injury at the end of October, is expected to be out of action for between six and 12 months, but yesterday posted this picture of him on the stationary bike, used by top-flight athletes across a range of sports as part of their conditioning, at the club's AXA Training Centre in Kirkby.
— Virgil van Dijk (@VirgilvDijk) December 29, 2020
Thames Valley Police are appealing for information after a cyclist was sworn at by a driver who then deliberately knocked her from her bike.
The incident happened between 11.30 and 11.45pm on Sunday, as the cyclist, aged in her 50s, was riding along Southam Road in Banbury, Oxfordshire.
Police say a motorist in an older model, dark coloured car began shouting abuse at her then followed her, knocking her from her bike as she turned towards Great Bourton.
The driver then fled the scene, leaving the cyclist with a cut to here ankle which needed to have stitches inserted at hospital.
Investigating officer, PC Matthew Leney from Banbury police station, commented: “I am appealing for witnesses to this incident, which was frightening and distressing for the victim.
“An offender used foul and abusive language towards her while she was cycling, and continued to follow her, culminating in the vehicle being deliberately driven behind her causing her to fall.
“It is pure good fortune that the victim did not sustain more serious injuries as a result of this. I am thankful that she is now discharged from hospital, but this does not take away from how distressing it was for her.
“I would like to appeal to anyone who was in the vicinity of Southam Road, Bourton Road, and Great Bourton at the time this incident took place. If you saw this incident take place or have information relating to it, please call 101 and make a report.
“I’d also encourage any motorists who were on these roads during these hours to please review their dash-cam footage, in case anything significant was captured on there that can assist with this investigation.
“You can make a report by calling 101 and quoting reference number 43200441657 or you can also report online.
“Alternatively, if you wish to remain anonymous please call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Dean and Russ Downing have explained how they managed to turn lockdown to their advantage by moving their coaching business to a virtual model with the help of online platforms such as Zwift.
The ex-pro cyclist brothers from Rotherham, launched Downing Cycling as their racing days came to an end.
Dean, the older of the two, told The Yorkshire Post: “We’d both been doing little different bits within the industry, both had our own little companies, but it was Russ’s idea to put our ideas together and have a brand.
“That happened in summer 2017. We didn’t really do much that first year until I was looking to have my own coaching brand.”
He had initially moved into team management as sports director of the Holdsworth Bikes team, but said: “The No 1 thing I’ve learned from a lot of great people down the years is just how hard work that job really is.
“Jon Herety was a massive help for both of us, but I saw how hard he had to work to keep British teams on the road and then experienced it first hand with Holdsworth – it’s a massive juggling act.
“You never felt like you were in control, because the person with the money is. If you want to do something radical it needs approval from above. If something goes wrong, it’s your fault.”
That experience helped him decide that coaching was where his future lay, but as races were cancelled in March this year as lockdown began, he became anxious about the future.
“Don’t get me wrong, I was panicking in February when races were getting cancelled. Would I lose clients due to races being cancelled?” he told the newspaper.
“Do I stick my head in the sand and worry about it, or do I put my name out there to get more clients? That extra time of not being away at races, probably eight weeks, I used wisely and took on more riders.
“They started coming on board in April because people need to be training and needed help.
“It’s a full-time job, coaching every day, taking phone calls, setting bespoke training programmes. This year has been tough, but generally the client base has grown, whether they’re young or old, male or female, pro or amateur. That’s the enjoyment for me, the mix.”
Online platforms such as Zwift – the pair were ambassadors for the brand at last year’s UCI Road World Championships – have helped the business maintain its momentum, as Russ explained.
“I was one of the first guys to have a go with Zwift and I even remember getting a bit of ribbing about it”, the 2005 British road race champion recalls.
“A guy asked me to give it a bit of a nudge, this is back in 2014.
“And then lockdown came. Nobody was meeting up, your chain gang meets were no more than six people.
“So I came up with the idea to get together online. We were doing Saturday mornings as a coaching initiative under the Downing coaching arm, and from that Doncaster Chain Gang was formed. That’s been a big part of my involvement. We have people from all over the world coming online on Tuesday and Thursday nights, everyone knows it’s Russ, and we broadcast it on YouTube.”
“It’s been a crazy 2020 but this has provided a lot of good for a lot of people,” he added.
Giro d'Italia champion Tao Geoghegan Hart popped up as one of the questions on a celebrity edition of University Challenge over the festive period, with host Jeremy Paxman asking alumni of Durham University: “On October 26 2020 in Milan, Tao Geoghegan Hart from Hackney became just the second British man to win what major cycling event?”
— rich_mitch (@rich_mitch) December 29, 2020
The Ineos Grenadiers rider had a question himself when he first heard about his mention on the show ...
Amazed how many people watch University Challenge haha. Is this a tier 2,3,4,7,9 and 11 thing? In the end, all I really want to know is how was their pronunciation tech?
— Tao Geoghegan Hart (@taogeoghegan) December 28, 2020
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.