recap: ten of our top stories this week

It's been another busy week on two wheels - here are some of our highlights.....

1. Sky to end sponsorship of Team Sky next year

Team Sky presentation (via Eurosport)

The news that has rocked the cycling world this week, as Sky announce they are ending their sponsorship of Team Sky from the start of 2020. The company has backed the team – the richest in the sport, with an annual budget of around £30 million – since 2010. Sky chairman James Murdoch, himself a keen cyclist, was key in the sponsorship deal being put together and its subsequent renewals, but he left the business in October after its £30 billion takeover by US firm Comcast.
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2. UK and Irish cyclists ride 1 billion kilometres on Strava in 2018

Strava Year In Sport 2018.JPG

Strava’s latest annual Year in Sport report, published today, shows that members of the social network have collectively racked up more than 10 billion kilometres this year – with cyclists in the UK and Ireland alone riding a total of more than 1 billion kilometres. 
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3. Liam Phillips tells Jess Varnish tribunal that GB cycling success came at "huge cost" to athletes

Liam Phillips at Rio 2016 (copyright Alex Whitehead via British

Liam Phillips, the former BMX world champion, told an employment tribunal hearing a case related to his partner, Jess Varnish, that British Cycling’s success has come at “huge cost” to the riders. The 29-year-old told the tribunal in Manchester yesterday that coaches were “jealous” of the earning power of cyclists after the Beijing 2008 Olympics – the first of three where Team GB dominated the cycling medal table – and that British Cycling blocked riders’ sponsorship opportunities.
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4. Dr No-show - ex-British Cycling medic Richard Freeman pulls out of testifying at Jess Varnish hearing

Dr Richard Freeman (picture credit Team Sky)

Former British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman, who last year failed to appear before a parliamentary committee investigating doping in sport, also decided not to give evidence at the Jess Varnish employment tribunal on the advice of his lawyers. He had been due to testify as a witness on behalf of the former track sprinter, who is seeking to establish that she was an employee of British Cycling and UK Sport when she received funding from them, rather than an independent contractor.
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5. Mark Cavendish says "pressure off" in next year's world championships - and that mistreatment of illness hampered recovery

Tour Tech 2018 Mark Cavendish Cervelo S5 - 1

Mark Cavendish says that the pressure will be off him in next year’s road world championships in Yorkshire and has also spoken of how the mismanagement of his treatment for Epstein-Barr Virus [EBV] set back his recovery from the condition which has blighted his past two seasons.
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6. Tory candidate for London mayor ridiculed over Cycle Superhighway 3 comments

Cycle Superhighway at Embankment (licensed CC BY 2.0 by Matt Brown on Flickr)

The Conservative candidate for the London mayoral elections in 2020 has attracted ridicule on social media after claiming that the Cycle Superhighway running along the Embankment leaves cyclists “pinned up against the river.”
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7. Video: Mike Cotty climbs the mighty Tourmalet in latest Col Collective film

The latest film from the Col Collective isn't the first one in which Mike Cotty has tackled the mighty Col du Tourmalet - but in the latest, he climbs it from Luz St Sauveur to the west whereas in 2015, the approach was from the east, starting in Sainte Marie de Campan.
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8. Near Miss of the Day 229: Shocking left hook by taxi driver

This submission in our Near Miss of the Day series shows a shocking left-hook by a taxi driver in Manchester. It was sent in by reader Bob, who says in the description to the video: "Taxi overtook at speed as I was part way across a junction, then turned left. Saved a couple of seconds, but could have killed me."
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9. Sportful launches Peter Sagan clothing range


Want to look like Peter Sagan? Now you can. Sportful has unveiled a brand new Peter Sagan line of clothing this week featuring a design that “expresses Peters’s unique personality and legendary performances on the bike.” You'll have to supply your own style and fitness though...
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10. Geraint Thomas says he "always had 100 per cent trust" in Chris Froome

Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome during Tour de France Stage 15 (TV still via LeTour on YouTube).JPG

Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas says he “always had 100 per cent trust” in team-mate Chris Froome who was at the centre of an anti-doping investigation after it was revealed last December that he had returned an adverse analytical finding for twice the legal dose of the anti-asthma drug salbutamol during last year’s Vuelta, which he won.
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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 was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. 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. 

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