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Bike-themed election promises, Team Sky uncertainty and security debates in London - here's 11 bike-related things we've learned this week.....

1. The offer of free bikes isn’t quite enough to win a parliamentary seat

What more could the constituents of Maidenhead want? Unfortunately parliamentary candidate Lord Buckethead's (pictured above) offer of a free bike for everyone to combat obesity, congestion and theft, plus permission to hunt fox hunters amongst other cunning policies, wasn't enough to unseat Theresa May in Maidenhead. The Lord received 249 votes to May's 37,717.  
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2. Chris Froome's future looks to be with Team Sky - for now

Chris Froome on Alpe d'Huez (picture copyright Anne Martin)

Chris Froome on Alpe d'Huez (picture copyright Anne Martin)

French sports daily l'Equipe ran an article claiming that the three-time TDF champ wanted to leave Team Sky and had approached BMC about a possible contract - however both Froome and BMC said th story was "complete rubbish" and "a flat-out lie". Is there no smoke without fire? We'll be following with interest this summer. 
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3. Wetsleeve probably isn't going to change the world any time soon

Wetsleeve on VR gamer.png

Wetsleeve on VR gamer.png

You weren't blown away by the concept of wetsleeve, claimed to be “the world’s most innovative hands-free hydration solution”. The sleeve wraps around your wrist and 350ml of liquid fits inside, with a silicon mouthpiece for the bottle-averse user to slurp from on the go. 
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4. Shimano's new Ultegra groupset is lighter still, and looking good.

Shimano Ultegra R8000  mechanical and rim brake- 1.jpg

Shimano Ultegra R8000 mechanical and rim brake- 1.jpg

With trickle-down from Dura-Ace components and an 84g reduction in weight from the previous 6800 version, we're keen to see how Shimano's new Ultegra R8000 groupset performs on the road. 
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5. London's extra anti-terror measures on the roads have proved divisive amongst cyclists

Security barriers on Blackfriars Bridge (picture credit Evo Lucas on Twitter).jpeg

Security barriers on Blackfriars Bridge (picture credit Evo Lucas on Twitter).jpeg

Since last Saturday's attacks in London which claimed eight lives, security barriers have been installed on London’s Blackfriars Bridge to prevent terrorists from using the North-South Cycle Superhighway to drive onto the footway.  While cyclists appreciate the extra protection they afford when riding across the bridge, there are concerns that the position of ones at each end may cause bottlenecks during rush hour on what has become a hugely popular cycle route since it opened last year.
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6. Attempting to educate motorists on safe passing distances can highlight other problems

Lower Bristol Road, Bath (via StreetView).jpg

Lower Bristol Road, Bath (via StreetView).jpg

An attempt by Police to crackdown on close-passing drivers in Bath had to be aborted due to insufficient traffic speed. Police had hoped to educate drivers who passed too close to cyclists on Friday, but heavy traffic on Lower Bristol Road meant that those on bikes were actually the ones who were passing motorists.
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7. Some things are best kept away from the cameras...

 

On the final day of the Giro d'Italia, Belgian time trial champion Victor Campenaerts was seen unzipping his suit to reveal a request for a date with former triathlete Carlien Cavens. Initially he was in luck as Carlien agreed to the date, but the idea unravelled when Campenaerts revealed the two "would just stay good friends" after the date had taken place, plus he was fined 100 Swiss Francs by the UCI for 'unprofessional' behaviour to add insult to injury. 
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8. There's a new climb on every cyclist's bucket list

Pozza San Gisele on Strave.JPG

Pozza San Gisele on Strave.JPG

Located in Lombardy, the Pozza San Gisele is around 40 kilometres due north of Brescia, is 10.2 kilometres in length and has an average gradient of 18.1 per cent - claimed to be the new 'hardest climb in the world'. 
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9. Penalties for causing death or injury to cyclists appears far too lenient

Statue of Justice, Old Bailey (licensed CC BY 2.0 on Flickr by Ronnie Macdonald).jpg

Statue of Justice, Old Bailey (licensed CC BY 2.0 on Flickr by Ronnie Macdonald).jpg

 

A Leicester taxi driver was fined just £300 plus costs for the offence of 'car-dooring', in relation to the death on 27 July last year of schoolteacher Sam Boulton, who was killed when a passenger in the cab opened its door into his path, causing him to fall into the path of a van. This is just one example of numerous cyclist-cases that have ended with seemingly lenient sentences for the offender.  
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10. It's never too late... 

Carmarthen Velodrome.JPG

Carmarthen Velodrome.JPG

After just the 117 years, Carmarthen outdoor velodrome, one of the world's oldest, is a getting a full revamp. The 405-metre track opened on Easter Monday in 1900, and has remained in continuous use ever since. The resurfacing effort has already began, with contractors aiming to complete work in September. 
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11. Hooray for coffee! 

coffee  - 1.jpg

coffee - 1.jpg

Just in case you still had reservations about the health implications of coffee, rejoice... because yet another study has been published that suggests coffee is the wat to go, concluding that caffeine boosts cycling performance and could knock minutes off your next time trial.
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After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since.  He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.