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Surrey Road Cops slide into DMs to educate angry driver; "Road hogging cyclists" video; Disc or rim brakes for Froome?; Team director guilty of sexual harassment; 3.3 million bikes sold in UK; Cycle lane scrapping protest + more on the live blog

We're halfway through the week and through the group, so while Dan Alexander takes a well-earned break, Jack Sexty and Liam Cahill will be live blogging you through Wednesday...
23 June 2021, 15:53
Bradley Wiggins: Team GB will bring A-game on track at 'unpredictable' Tokyo Olympic Games

Bradley Wiggins has said that the lack of international track racing in the build-up to the Olympic games means that the competition is "unpredictable" but the five-time gold medalist believes that 

Part of the unpredictability, Wiggins believes, is that, unlike for road riders, the access to competition and also training facilities through the bulk of 2020 was heavily restricted. There is also the fact that nations eased restrictions on training facilities, such as velodromes, at different rates.

Interestingly, Wiggins points to the equipment side of track racing. It has been the case for a number of Olympic cycles that Team GB aims to hold its most innovative bikes, skinsuits and helmets back for the games so we'll be keeping a close eye out for shiny new kit.

Speaking to Eurosport Wiggins said "Britain always brings their A-game to the velodrome, that’s what the whole program is about, it’s a medal factory. You can be sure nothing will have phased them. The best athletes are the ones who aren’t phased. It’s ones who can adapt quickly. This is a big delay but you will find the best athletes are the ones who can deal with these setbacks.”

Wiggins also joked about being haunted by the beeps that sound to count riders down to the start of their event. This will be the first games where Wiggins has been on the other side of the fence but given the tension of those pre-race moments, we'd imagine that he'll still get a shiver running down his spine.

23 June 2021, 14:54
SunGod now does the Airas in a frameless design
SunGod Frameless Airas

Claiming to offer a completely unrestricted peripheral and vertical field of view, the frameless Airas centre around a new 8KO cylindrical lens that is said to provide the sunnies with the rigidity needed to keep them securely on your face.

The sunglasses are customisable as standard and cost upwards of £130 depending on the lens you select, so if they're anything like the Vulcan Full Frame sunnies that we reviewed, they'll be a good buy. A set is on the way to the office for testing, so if you can hang on for a bit, we'll have a full review soon.

sungod.com

23 June 2021, 14:39
Specialized and Quick-Step partner up until 2027
Specialized Alaphilippe
You've got to be good to get this paint job (Etienne Schoemann​)

Specialized and Deceuninck Quick-Step have a good thing going. The Belgian World Tour team regularly finishes the season with the most wins and they've already won 32 races this year.

Funnily enough, Specialized seems rather happy with this exposure and so a deal has been done that covers the next 6 years. As part of the deal, Specialized will supply its bikes to the team along with saddles, tyres and the Roval wheels which started life as Specialized's subsidiary brand but now (officially at least) stands on its own two feet.

Mike Sinyard, Founder and CEO of Specialized Bicycles, said: “For over a decade, Deceuninck Quick-Step has been instrumental in the development of cutting-edge technology for our bikes and equipment, which has resulted in some of the most monumental victories for Specialized. We are honoured to continue the close partnership with Patrick and this special team, to drive the future of our sport.”

23 June 2021, 14:16
"We've DM'd you": Surrey's Roads Policing Unit offers to educate driver who is angry at cyclists for taking the lane

On the subect of 'road hogging', the often cycle-friendly Surrey Road Cops Twitter account has been taking to Twitter once more to educate people who tend to get angry about cyclists on the roads. 

The tweet above, which accuses cyclists of being in the middle of the road as "a dickhead", led to numerous replies suggesting the middle of the road may actually be referring to the middle of the lane. 

We're not sure what Surrey's Road Policing Unit had to say in the DMs, but we do know it has form when it comes to educating social media about cycling and cyclists. In 2017, a video was produced showing drivers how to overtake cyclists safely, and once the Twitter account's admin told someone they were "too childish to drive" after objecting to a post about close pass enforcement. 

23 June 2021, 14:04
Protest planned against removal of Edinburgh cycle lane
Cycle lanes - 9.jpg

Edinburgh Council's proposal to remove "a very recently and expensively installed segregated cycle lane" according to the road.cc reader who contacted us about the issue has resulted in a protest, planned for 6pm this evening. 

Member of the CityCyclingEdinburgh forum have been urging others to object to the removal of the lane on Lanark Road, a surprise decision made by SNP and Labour councillors just months after the lanes were installed under the Spaces for People scheme. The person who organised the protest says that the council meeting about the lane is on the 25th June, so the ride two days before "will be a good message to send to them."

Ewen Maclean told The Scotsman: "The point of this protest is to point out the people who didn’t have a voice in this decision – our children. 

"These cycle lanes, and this goes for others across the city, are so important in the long term for the children in this city.

"They help reduce traffic volume by offering children and adults other ways to travel, but they also provide a safer way for kids to travel by bike. Not only is this a more green way of getting about, but it’s also encouraging physical exercise for children in a country where this needs to be a focus."

23 June 2021, 13:39
Berlin policewoman shown clearing bins from the cycle lane

Why don't cyclists use the cycle lane? Before this officer intervened on this one in Berlin, it would have been because of a huge wheelie bin blocking it. Luckily for Berliners, it looks like the police are making it a thing to remove unwanted furniture from the lanes so cyclists can safely get on their way. 

While praising police for doing something about it, one local commented: "I also had to do this every week in front of my office. Unfortunately, nothing will change if you don't point it out. I also think it is a dangerous, especially at night because the bins are not illuminated."

23 June 2021, 13:39
Cargo bike rideout in the capital

Starting at London Bridge, London Cycling Campaign representatives joined cargo bike delivery firms such as Zedify and Pedivan on a zero-emission rideout. 

23 June 2021, 13:22
"Road-hogging" cyclists: video resurrected by Daily Mail with questionable captions added

We now understand this video has done the rounds before, but has been resurrected by the tabloid with the captions added - some of them rather questionable. 

One says: "The cyclists should be riding single file on the left side of the lane"; however, the Highway Code states that cyclists should "never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends."

To 'balance' the first incident, a second is shown where a driver angrily honks his horn at a cyclist, before forcing him into the curb, stopping and calling him a "f**king idiot". The video caption claims the driver was found guilty of using threatening behaviour and received a fine of "almost $2,000" (around £1,430). 

23 June 2021, 12:49
André Greipel weighs in on average Tour de France weight stats

ProCyclingStats has crunched the numbers to tell us the average age, weight and height of this year's Tour de France. André Greipel seems to be pretty happy with his new 69kg frame according to the average... reckon we'll see the German duking it out with the climbers this year?

With the Tour being defined by the youthful exuberance of Pogacar and Bernal in recent years, it's easy to forget the average rider is pushing 30. Replying to a question about historical Tour rider stats, ammattipyöräily said: "Peloton averages have been very similar throughout 21st century - ~29 y, 180 cm, 69 kg. In 1990s, riders were heavier. There is, of course, already a little uncertainty here, as the available sources are less reliable..."

23 June 2021, 12:18
Pensioner reunited with much-loved vintage bike after it was found abandoned outside builder's merchants
dawes bike close-up.PNG

78-year-old William Shine was furious after his bike - a 40-year-old black Dawes city bike that used to belong to Olympic rower Charles Wiggin - was stolen from outside his home in Henley... however there has now been a happy ending for Mr Shine and his vintage bike after it was discovered abandoned in front of Jewson's building merchants, reports the Henley Standard

"I was so glad it was not left in pieces. I’ve now bought two locks, one for the front wheel and one for the back, to make sure this doesn’t happen again", he said. 

Mr Shine was told he could have Wiggin's bike after doing some work in his garden a number of years ago. Nowadays only three gears out of ten work, but nevertheless he said he was "absolutely delighted to be reunited with my old friend."

23 June 2021, 10:53
Froome can use disc or rim brakes at the Tour, says Israel Start-Up Nation founder

Chris Froome will be given the option of using disc brakes for the Tour de France after earlier this year criticising some of the functionality of disc brakes.

The Israel Start-Up Nation rider has been spotted training on a rim brake bike as well as testing out a set of Lightweight disc brake wheel, a break from the Black Inc wheels that Factor provides.

Speaking to Cyclingnews, Israel Start-Up Nation co-owner and founder, Sylvan Adams revealed that “Factor produces a rim-brake bike so this is about Chris’s preference for rim or discs.” 

“He’s right about some of the things that he’s said. The issues with rim brakes, they do heat up and there is some rubbing on the disc brakes on some of the long descents but if you look, everyone is on them. Chris himself, if he wanted a rim brake bike at the Tour, he’d be riding that."

That said, Adams was keen to point out that Froome is yet to ask for a rim brake bike during a race. "He hasn’t requested that and he’s happy to ride the disc."

"You’d have to ask Chris about this whole subject, which as you know he did start. He really did create the ripple about the disc brakes but I think that the comments that he made were honest and accurate, and they would be shared by a number of the riders in the peloton. At the same time, disc brakes work great in the rain, they have a lot more braking power and give you a lot more confidence in the descents.”

So, what will we see Froome starting the race on? We'll find out on Saturday.

23 June 2021, 10:49
How do you stack up?

 

23 June 2021, 10:01
The whole story? Video of 'road hogging cyclist' shared by Daily Mail sparks social media debate

A video posted to the Daily Mail's Facebook page, titled 'road hogging cyclist' has attracted the usual range of well-informed comments from the paper's readers.

The video shows one cyclist attempting to block the car driver from overtaking. The car driver hangs back a reasonable distance for some of the footage, but then gets dangerously close to the rear wheel of the cyclist before overtaking recklessly.

There is a debate on Twitter surrounding the reason for the cyclist riding in this manner. We would imagine that the video's caption which says that the driver "managed to overtake the cyclists at a junction...", could be alluding to a prior incident between the driver of the car and the person on the bicycle. 

However, this context is not shown and the video is instead filled with captions that prominent cycle safety campaigners have taken issue with. One caption says: "It's not going to end well if they [the cyclists] keep this up", while another incorrectly states: "The cyclists should be riding single file on the left side of the lane."

Some people on social media have suggested that the rider would have been better off just getting away from the car and its driver to get out of the situation. 

One said: "They were riding like dicks though and didn’t do cyclists or themselves any favours even though we didn’t see what was probably a dick move by the driver to make them react like this."

Another, referencing a recent petition calling for public awareness campaign to address driver aggression towards cyclists, commented: "These kinds of posts absolutely contribute to anger towards people on bikes."

Do you know more about the footage or the people in it? Get in touch at info [at] road.cc

23 June 2021, 09:56
Bora have a new kit for the Tour

Liam checking in. I've got a cup of tea, a biscuit and some big talking points coming up, but let's start off with some shiny new kit.

With just days to go until the start of the race, Peter Sagan's Bora Hansgrohe team has revealed a new kit just for the three-week race.

Thoughts? I'm thinking it's a winner, though maybe not as easy to spot on TV as the old design.

23 June 2021, 08:41
Former team manager Marc Bracke found guilty of harassment - but team defends him and insist allegations are false in fiery statement

Following allegations of misconduct brought by former team riders Marion Sicot and others last year, including an accusation that riders were asked to take selfies in their underwear, the UCI has banned former Doltcini - Van Eyck team manager Marc Bracke for three years, saying in a statement: "The Disciplinary Commission confirmed the Ethics Commission’s analysis that Mr Bracke’s conduct constituted sexual harassment according to article 6.4 of the UCI Code of Ethics and article 2.3 of Appendix 1.

"The Disciplinary Commission has therefore ordered the suspension of Mr Bracke from any role in cycling with immediate effect for a period of three years. As an additional measure and a condition of being granted a new licence after the period of suspension, Mr Bracke must take part in a harassment awareness programme delivered by a recognised professional institution.

"This decision sets an important precedent when it comes to the fight against sexual harassment. It is essential for the well-being of athletes that they can have confidence in the institutions and feel free to report any form of abuse."

The case has been defined by the team's insistence that Bracke is innocent, and in an explosive Facebook post published two hours ago, the team says that the allegations are false, and that the only reason Sicot made the accusations was to obtain a reduced suspension for doping. 

"Marc Bracke has never been heard in this case and not one of his universal human rights, including the right to defend himself, have in no way been respected", the statement says. 

"In the complete dossier there is not one act and not one word from Marc Bracke that suggest he had any sexual intention towards Marion Sicot."

"We stay convinced that Marion Sicot's accusations against Marc Bracke have no other intention than to obtain a reduced suspension for her use of doping, in which she has succeeded. Not only Marc Bracke but the complete team, its riders, sponsors and staff and women's cycling itself are her victims."

Sicot took to Instagram to comment on the UCI's findings, saying: "The disciplinary commission finally gave its verdict after almost two years and found Marc Bracke guilty of sexual harassment against me. He was suspended for three years by the UCI.

"There remains the criminal complaint still in progress but it is progressing and it feels good."

23 June 2021, 08:33
Bike boom in numbers: 3.3 million bikes were sold in the UK in 2020
Richmond Park Cyclists 03

As we're all now well familiar with, cycling boomed at the start of the pandemic - and the numbers are now in from market analysts Mintel to reveal just by how much, in monetary value anyway.

That number is estimated to be 3.3 million units, a 22% rise compared to 2019. The value of the UK bike market also went over £1 billion for the first time, rising from £825 million in 2019 to £1.2 billion in 2020, with a further billion added throughout the year taking it up to a whopping £2.31 billion. It's estimated that bike sales alone surpassed £1 billion last year, and it probably would have been quite a bit more if there had have been any left... 

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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