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"Are we this backwards?": Disbelief at town ditching 20mph speed limit...because most motorists ignore it; Police van blocks cycle lane for 36 hours...opposite traffic warden centre; Vine's LTN dilemma; Should've gone to Specsavers + more on the live blog

It's Friday and Dan Alexander is here for the final live blog of the week...
21 May 2021, 18:24
Chris Boardman becomes Greater Manchester's first Transport Commissioner

Having served as Greater Manchester's Walking and Cycling Commissioner to the mayor since 2017, Boardman has now been promoted to take care of all transport in the area. 

Full story to come at the weekend. If you missed Drink At Your Desk Live with Orla Chennaoui over on our YouTube channel be sure to catch up here... happy Friday! 

21 May 2021, 15:39
Scenes in Verona


21 May 2021, 15:32
Italian national champion Giacomo Nizzolo wins stage 13 of the Giro d'Italia

Having finished second on 11 stages at the Giro, Giacomo Nizzolo finally got a win at his home Grand Tour. Edoardo Affini almost gatecrashed the sprinters' party, rolling off the front in the final 500m to snatch second. However, it was Nizzolo's day. The Qhubeka Assos sprinter kicked from a long way out, rounding Fernando Gaviria and Affini to spark jubilant scenes amongst the Italian fans in Verona. Peter Sagan, leading the points classification, finished strong to take third.

Monte Zoncolan tomorrow...not the usual hellish ascent the riders are used to but a tough way up the climb nonetheless. Will Egan Bernal still be wearing the maglia rosa come Monday?

21 May 2021, 14:41
Old but gold: Rob Hatch breaks a table at the Tour...
21 May 2021, 14:08
Work on new CYCLOPS junction and Bee Network cycle lanes continues in Manchester
Chorlton cycle plans (via Manchester City Council)

Work on the new CYCLOPS junction linking the Stretford Road and Chorlton Road in Manchester will begin on Monday 24 May. The road will be closed for up to 10 days during the work and the planning photo above shows what a nearby stretch of the Bee Network cycle route will look like when complete.

Unveiled in 2018 by Chris Boardman, the Bee Network is a plan to create the UK's largest joined-up network for walkers and cyclists and will be made up of more than 1,800 miles of routes with 400 miles of Dutch-style segregated bike lanes.

The project has so far seen £18 per head per year spent on infrastructure in Greater Manchester, more than any other city-region in the UK. It is hoped that over the next 10 years a total of £1.5billion will be put into the project creating 1,800 miles of routes and 2,400 new crossings.

21 May 2021, 13:49
Segafredo extends partnership with Trek to continue as co-title partner for two more years

Trek and Segafredo have committed to another two years as co-title sponsors of the team Lizzie Deignan, Vincenzo Nibali and former world champion Mads Pedersen ride for. Since 2016 the bicycle manufacturer and Italian coffee company have worked together as co-title sponsors, picking up the founding sponsorship of the women's team in 2019.

During this time the team has won many of the biggest races on the calendar including Il Lombardia, Strade Bianche, women's Liège–Bastogne–Liège and La Course. Trek's president, John Burke, said he is looking forward to a continuation of their successful partnership. "It's been a great partnership between two great brands," he said.

"We're really happy to see that it will continue. Professional cycling is an incredible sport that requires long-term vision and that's exactly why having committed partners from outside the sport like Segafredo is so important for its growth. Between the success of the men's team, and the launch, and incredible success of our amazing women's team, we've accomplished a lot and I’m very excited to see what is still to come."

21 May 2021, 13:13
Tackling mental health through cycling

With Mental Health Awareness week having just passed it seems like a good time to share this video from cyclist and mental health advocate Nick Frendo. Nick opens up about his experiences and has set up a website to further spread the message of opening up through the sport we all love.

Check it out, it's well worth five minutes of your time...

21 May 2021, 12:43
Drink at Your Desk Live! With special guest Orla Chennaoui and Sidi shoe giveaway!
Drink At Your Desk Live! With special guest Orla Chennaoui

We're in the home straight now, the weekend is just around the corner...join us for the latest Drink at Your Desk Live! tonight at 6.30pm with Eurosport's Orla Chennaoui. Fresh off presenting stage 13 of the Giro d'Italia, Orla will be talking to us about all things cycling and we've also got a competition to win a pair of Sidi Sixty shoes worth £350...

Get a beer in the fridge and join us on our YouTube channel or over on Facebook at 6.30pm!

21 May 2021, 11:39
Vuelta a Andalucia start delayed by rider protest over safety concerns and long transfers

Easy to forget with the Giro dominating our TV screens that there is another race going on this week. The start of today's stage at the Vuelta a Andalucia was delayed by the riders in protest at the lack of attention they feel their safety requests have been given. The CPA riders' association explained on behalf of the riders that their concerns about route choice, gravel descents and potholes on yesterday's stage compromised their safety.

A CPA statement read: 

This symbolic protest is intended to attract the attention of the organisers and the UCI to this important issue. The safety of the athletes must be the priority in the organisation of all races, both large and small and they will no longer tolerate serious shortcomings such as those which were encountered yesterday.

The riders protest against the choice of routes, gravel descents and large potholes, which in yesterday's stage put their safety and well-being in serious danger.

This difficult situation is to be added to the long and tiring transfers to which the athletes have been subjected during this race. They understand the organiser's difficulties due to the post-pandemic period but they ask for more attention and respect to be given to this situation, as this is also a requirement by the regulations.

21 May 2021, 10:49
Reader spots police van parked blocking cycle lane for more than 24 hours
Cycle lane police van (credit: Matt Rawlinson)

One of our readers, Matt, got in touch with these pictures of a police van parked blocking a cycle lane opposite the Metropolitan Police Traffic Wardens Centre...brilliant. Matt first noticed the van parked on King's Cross Road as he walked past on Tuesday at around was still there when he returned 24 hours later on Wednesday evening...

The final photo, above this story, was taken on Thursday morning, 39 hours after he first spotted it. Apart from the obvious point that a cycle lane is no place to park your van, Matt's photos show the 'Red Route' sign that the driver had perfectly parked right next to...'No stopping Monday-Saturday 7am-7pm'...

Just as well there were no traffic wardens nearby...

Cycle lane police van (credit: Matt Rawlinson)
Cycle lane police van (credit: Matt Rawlinson)


21 May 2021, 09:54
Lincoln to host HSBC UK National Road Championships in October
Lincoln GP _ credit British Cycling.jpg

The HSBC UK National Road Championships will take place in Lincoln. Scheduled for a rearranged slot in the calendar from 14-17 October 2021 the event will begin with time trials on the Thursday before circuit races on the Friday and road races on Sunday. All the national champions will be crowned during the same week for the first time in the event's history and the free slot on Saturday will give punters the opportunity to ride a sportive and the Newells Michaelgate Hill Dash.

No word yet on the route, but event organiser Dan Ellmore did hint that the famous cobbled Michaelgate climb will be used. The event has been put together by British Cycling with the help of the organisers of the Rapha Lincoln Grand Prix which was postponed this year due to covid restrictions. Lincoln last hosted the National Championships in 2015 when Lizzie Deignan and Pete Kennaugh won the jerseys.

"Winning my third national road title in Lincoln in 2015 was a really special moment and I’ll never forget the noise and the atmosphere of that day," Deignan said. "It’s a race that all riders want to win and after the past year I’m sure that will be truer than ever this October.

"The growth in the number and quality of female British riders since the last time the race was in Lincoln in 2015 has been absolutely incredible to see and I know that competition for the national champions’ jerseys will be fiercer than ever this time around."

21 May 2021, 09:47
Flat as a pancake...Giro d'Italia stage 13

Not much to worry about today...tomorrow the Giro heads back up the famous Monte Zoncolan and due to covid restrictions the number of spectators able to go up in the cable car has been limited to 1,000. The €10 tickets sold out in 12 minutes...

Fortunately for the brave fans wanting to ride up, you do not need a ticket to walk or cycle...just a willingness to suffer.

21 May 2021, 09:10
Jeremy Vine's LTN dilemma...can he commute here?

Can he? Can't he? A new pedestrianised zone, LTN sounds better, has popped up on our favourite pedalling presenter's commute home. Vine took to Twitter to try and work out if he could still ride down Quebec Street...after all, the sign says pedestrianised zone, but only shows motor vehicles as being banned...

Surrey Police's Roads Policing Unit were quick to say cyclists are still allowed..."Yes. The restrictions apply to motor vehicles only. Unless stipulated otherwise, which the sign did not, so happy cycling."

21 May 2021, 08:56
Should've gone to Specsavers
21 May 2021, 07:47
"Are we this backwards?": Disbelief at town ditching 20mph speed limit...because most motorists ignore it

The reaction has been flooding in to yesterday's news that a town in Fife is up for binning a 20mph speed limit because drivers ignore it. Disbelief and frustration would probably sum up the mood...

The limit was originally 30mph and reduced to 20mph in 2016 when a new housing development was built...OnYerBike thinks the council has made a problem for itself in the way the plans have been communicated:

"I really think the council officers have shot themselves in the foot by saying they are changing it BECAUSE no one obeys it. If they'd simply said they'd reviewed the speed limits and decided 30mph would be more appropriate for that stretch of road, I don't think anyone would have batted an eyelid," they commented. 

Plenty of commenters, including visionset, put the logic to the test in other scenarios..."apparently psychopaths are not influenced by the illegality of murder. Therefore I propose that we legalise murder for all diagnosed psychopaths."

Jenova20 wrote: "So why not put a speed camera on said road to enforce the speed limit? Will these councillors be raising the speed limit to 40 soon because cars are now travelling over 30?This whole thing is nonsensical."

AidanR said: "My gut feel is that many motorists drive at what they consider to be an 'acceptable' margin above the speed limit. Raising the limit from 20mph to 30mph will therefore increase the average speed along that road. I'd be interested to know if that's how it works out."

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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