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Chris Froome says time at Ineos had become like "copy and pasting"; Council pledges net zero carbon goal an hour before announcing bike lane removal; Champs-Élysées to be an 'extraordinary garden'; Machine fixes potholes in 8 mins + more on the live blog

Happy Monday, it's the start of the new week and Dan Alexander is here with your first live blog of the week...
11 January 2021, 16:37
Chris Froome relishing Israel Start-Up Nation challenge, and compares later years at Ineos to "copy and pasting"

In his first interview since he joined Israel Start-Up Nation, Chris Froome says that he expects to end his career with the team.

“It was a pretty big decision to join ISN”, said Froome.

“After the discussions with Sylvain the team owner, we came to the conclusion - especially changing at this point in my career after having being with one team for 11 years - we agreed that joining ISN, this is a commitment I’m not just going to make for a year or two. This is a commitment until the end of my career, and possibly even beyond that.

“Year after year with the same team, it’s almost been copy and paste, copy and pasting, year on year. And changing teams at this time in my career is going to give me so much more mental stimulation and motivation. It’s a whole new change, a new project and a new chapter. It does feel quite rejuvenating for me.”

Froome explains that he’s been out in California preparing for the 2021 season, both on the road and at the Red Bull High Performance Centre to address “imbalances and weaknesses” left over from his horror crash in 2019.

He added: “My goals haven’t changed. I want to get back to that top level, I want to be fighting for victories at the Tour de France and other Grand Tours.

“I’m really looking forward to getting the 2021 season underway now, and hopefully this is going to be the beginning of a long, successful partnership going forward.”

11 January 2021, 17:12
Danny MacAskill gym video one year on
11 January 2021, 15:34
'Hypocrisy': Council pledges net zero carbon goal one hour before confirming works to rip out bike lane
West Sussex County Council tweets

You couldn't make it up (or maybe you could considering last week's events)... Just one hour after West Sussex County Council shared a tweet with links to their plan to become net carbon zero by 2030, they tweeted again. This time confirming that works to remove the Shoreham cycleway will begin this week...

The replies sum up the mood...

Last week, a Freedom of Information request found that the councillor who made the decision to scrap the cycle lane had never officialy seen it...Cycling UK has launched a judicial review on the decision to remove the cycleway and every school in Shoreham has co-signed a letter asking for it to be kept.

11 January 2021, 14:36
New cycling infrastructure in Sheffield

Here's a nice thread about some of the new cyling infrastructure that's been built in Sheffield...

11 January 2021, 14:24
Insync Bikes trebles sales in 2020 thanks to cycling boom
Insync Bikes (via press release)

Manchester bike brand Insync Bikes trebled sales during 2020, selling more than 50,000 bikes – 200% more than in 2019. The increase in sales was driven by a surge in demand for bikes during the pandemice as people sought healthier and safer modes of transport and exercise. Head of business Gopal Krishan said that the women's hybrid and mountain bikes as well as affordable children's bikes saw "unprecedented levels of demand".

He said: "We are delighted with the success we have achieved during 2020, which reflects the soaring popularity of cycling as a pastime for the whole family. We now plan to double the sales in 2021 with a focus on a premium range of bikes and new range e-bikes."

11 January 2021, 14:05
Vincenzo Nibali, Caleb Ewan and Nairo Quintana confirm Tour de France ambitions for 2021
Caleb Ewan wins Tour de France 2020 Stage 11 POOL/Cor Vos © 2020

There was plenty of news about race schedules for 2021 over the weekend. Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan has set out an ambitious programme for the upcoming season that he hopes will see him win a stage at each of the Grand Tours as well as the green jersey at the Tour de France. Speaking to Belgian outlet Het Nieuwsblad, he explained that the 2021 Tour route offers more opportunities for the sprinters than in recent years.

"The Tour offers more options for sprinters this year and that is an opportunity for me. In other years I was not involved in that green battle and I only aimed for stage victories. But that is one of my goals in 2021 (winning a stage at each Grand Tour). Just like the green jersey, by the way," he explained.

Joining Ewan at the Tour will be Vincenzo Nibali and Nairo Quintana who both confirmed they would be targeting the race. Quintana does not expect to race for the first three months of the year but did not rule out racing both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France.

Trek-Segafredo also outlined their leaders' ambitions. Nibali and Bauke Mollema are to ride the Giro-Tour double, while Giulio Ciccone will get a shot at team leadership at the Vuelta a España. Ciccone will also ride the Giro in a support role.

11 January 2021, 13:26
Oh oh Hirschi comes: Social media reaction as UAE Emirates confirm Marc Hirschi signing
11 January 2021, 12:30
Did you get out on the bike over the weekend? How did you interpret the Government guidance?
Cycling dos and don'ts comments

We had plenty of new comments under our updated cycling dos and don'ts in a time of pandemic – how to be a responsible cyclist story over the weekend and, at least where I am, there seemed to be fewer cyclists about than in either of the previous two lockdowns. Granted, this may have had something to do with the unfriendly temperatures but I'm interested to hear what your experiences were over the weekend...Did you notice a change in how many people were out riding? And did you change your plans after hearing government guidance? I can see a few local riders to me on Strava sticking close to home or training on the turbo while others appeared to carry on as usual.

Cycling dos and don'ts comments


11 January 2021, 11:51
Poll time: Should the Tour de France move away from the traditional final stage on the Champs-Élysées?
Should the Tour de France move away from the Champs-Élysées?

Yes, it's time to try something new
No, keep the traditional final stage
11 January 2021, 11:30
Paris Mayor agrees to turn Champs-Élysées into an 'extraordinary garden'
Champs-Élysées development (via PCA Stream video)

The mayor of Paris has committed £225 million to a development of the Champs-Élysées ahead of the 2024 Olympics. Anne Hidalgo hopes the work will turn the mile-long avenue into an "extraordinary garden". The Guardian reports the Champs-Élysées committee has been lobbying for a major redevelopment since 2018 to overcome the pollution and heavy traffic that visitors to the central Parisian avenue experience currently.

In 2019, the committee president Jean-Noël Reinhardt said: "It’s often called the world’s most beautiful avenue, but those of us who work here every day are not at all sure about that. The Champs-Élysées has more and more visitors and big-name businesses battle to be on it, but to French people it’s looking worn out."

The plans also include a makeover for the Place de la Concorde at the south east of the avenue as well as the area surrounding the Eiffel Tower. Cycling fans have wondered what the plans might mean for the traditional final stage of the Tour de France which famously finishes on the Champs-Elysées. From the initial pictures, it looks like there will still be a central road on the avenue wide enough for a bike race. But what do you think? Should the Tour try something new and finish the race away from the Champs-Elysées?

Champs-Élysées development (via PCA Stream video)
11 January 2021, 10:12
Jeremy Vine rides penny farthing on new cycleway

Another penny farthing rider in London made it onto the blog just after Christmas when a DPD driver cut across him in Stoke Newington causing this crash. Unperturbed, Jeremy Vine took to the streets of west London yesterday including the new Chiswick Cycleway 9... In May, Jeremy shared a video on social media claiming to be the first person to cycle up the redesigned Park Lane on a penny farthing.

11 January 2021, 09:37
Wout van Aert dedicates fourth Belgian cyclo-cross title to son Georges

Yesterday Wout van Aert won his first bike race since the birth of his son to claim his fourth national cyclo-cross title. The three-time world champion rode solo for the majority of the race and saw off a spirited Toon Aerts who finished second. After the race, Van Aert joked that he'd barely slept all week and dedicated the win to his son Georges and wife Sarah.

Jumbo-Visma teammate Tom Dumoulin will ride the Tour of Flanders in 2021, presumably in support of Van Aert, for the first time since 2012. Wielerflits reports the Dutchman will sacrifice the Ardennes Classics to ride E3 Saxo Bank Classic and Flanders before regrouping for the Tour de France.

11 January 2021, 09:10
Happy Monday!
11 January 2021, 08:56
JCB launches pothole-repairing machine that can fill holes in eight minutes for half the price

In 2019, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request showed that one cyclist a week is killed or seriously injured by defects, such as potholes, on Britain's roads. Now, JCB has launched a new machine for filling in hazards, that takes less time and is cheaper than current repairs. The PotholePro has been trialled in England for the past few months and JCB claims it is the most efficient way of repairing holes.

In one trial in Stoke-on-Trent, potholes were filled in less than eight minutes — 700% quicker than before. The machine costs £145,000 and the manufacturer says it halves the cost of repairs used by councils.

"We simply cannot allow our road network to continue to be blighted by potholes," JCB chairman Lord Bamford said. "JCB's solution is simple and cost effective and fixes potholes permanently, first time. Once the machine has done its job all the contractor then needs to do is just add tar."

Dan joined as live blog editor last year. He has previously written 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 exploring the south of England.

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