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All the cycling news from this site and beyond…

Welcome to Thursday's live blog, with Alex Bowden, Jack Sexty and the rest of the team. 

Live blog: 

09/05/2019, 16:20

Giro Stage 1 ITT… on Zwift

This was streamed live earlier on Facebook for pros doing a recon of the Bologna time trial course that will be ridden for real on Saturday when this year's Giro kicks off in Bologna (stating the bleedin' obvious there).

09/05/2019, 16:38

Syringe

UCI Gran Fondo world champion suspended for EPO

Raul Portillo won the time trial and road race in the 40-45 age category last year.

Full story here.

09/05/2019, 16:48

Team Ineos Chris Froome Pinarello Dogma F12 (picture credit SWPix.com (17).jpg

Chris Froome is putting all his eggs in the Tour de France basket this year

Chris Froome is one win away from equalling the record of five Tour de France victories.

He says that after racing and winning the Giro d’Italia last year, the Tour is his overwhelming focus this year.

"I loved riding the Giro – it was such a different challenge," he told the BBC. "It's the hardest Grand Tour for me personally to win, given my riding style and my characteristics."

He continued: "The Vuelta is probably the most enjoyable Grand Tour of the three for me. That time of year in Spain is super-hot, and I love those conditions – so gruelling, so savage. From a pure, suffering point of view, the Vuelta really pushes you to your limits.

"But for now, the Tour is the big aim – I'm putting all my eggs in that basket, not spreading myself thin all across the calendar."

Froome says that as a result of this focus, he’s feeling a lot fresher this year.

“A year ago I was going into the Giro as my fourth Grand Tour in a row, and I'd won the last three.

“I felt as if I was burning the candle at both ends. I'm not doing the Giro this year, I didn't do the Vuelta at the end of last year.

"So I had a really good winter, really stayed on it, and I came into the season a lot more rested, a lot more focused than I did last year.”

09/05/2019, 15:27

Who cares if cyclists are a nuisance? The Guardian's Peter Walker drills into the stats

Perhaps the Mumsnetter mentioned below should watch this intelligent analysis on the behaviours of road users, and which vehicles actually pose the most danger. Includes cameos from Dame Sarah Storey and West Midlands traffic officer PC Mark Hodson. 

09/05/2019, 15:09

Hummingbird, the world's lightest folding bike, gets Paul Smith makeover

On the subject of folding bikes, check out this Paul Smith limited edition Hummingbird. Pronounced as the world's lightest folding bike at just 6.9kg, it's now available with a snazzy hand-painted stripe pattern courtesy of the British designer apparel brand. Only 50 are available to buy at a price of £3,995 each, head over to the Hummingbird website for more deets.   

09/05/2019, 15:02

Bromptons now available in Halfords stores

brompton b75 alt1

From today three models of Brompton will be available in 49 of their stores across the country, with a further five models being available to click and collect from 125 Halfords stores. The three models being stocked as part of Halfords core Brompton range include the recently launched B75 - Brompton’s self styled most affordable model selling at £745 as well as the M3L (£1,010) and the M6L (£1,080). More info here

09/05/2019, 14:52

Lyndon School, Solihull (via StreetView)

School’s response to increase in bike thefts – no bikes

Well  it's one way to combat theft.

Full story here.

09/05/2019, 14:18

CityConnect (via Twitter).jpg

Have a million people cycled on CityConnect route in Leeds?

The questions about the number of people using the CityConnect cycle route aren’t the usual sorts of questions about whether a cycle route is actually being used as much as official figures claim.

A letter in the Yorkshire Post points out: “It turns out that there are seven automatic cycle counters along the route, each of which records a ‘trip’ when a cyclist rides past.

“But since one trip is logged every time a bike crosses any of the counters, surely the total number of trips could include one cyclist being counted up to seven times for what is just a single journey?

“And that’s one journey in one direction; if the same cyclist made a return leg, they’d be counted up to another seven additional times.”

09/05/2019, 13:52

Mumsnet contributor unhappy at "having to be careful not to knock cyclists over"

road rage.jpg

The disgruntled Jemima232, who terrifyingly appears to have a driving licence, titled the thread 'Cyclists and the Highway Code', and typed : "Huh. Just Huh. And Wow, too. So now we have to be careful not to knock cyclists over, when driving past them. Of course, they don't have to be careful not to knock anyone over when they go through red traffic lights, do they? As if they need more legislation in their favour. It absolutely enrages me."

A good proportion of the replies make us think there's hope for the world yet though, with one of the first saying: "You're so far beyond unreasonable, you are being a total dick. You weigh your slight annoyance at someone riding through a red light as more important than than right of a human being not to get mashed by a car. Shut up and grow a brain."

The thread is currently 172 messages long and growing, with Jemima232 eventually backtracking a few pages in by suggesting they just meant they wished cyclists would respect the rules of the road, and wasn't at all suggesting they would behave recklessly in a much larger motorised vehicle. Indeed, at 14:42 on the 8th May Jemima232 informs us that they used to live in London and 98% of cyclists "drive through red lights". We're unsure where Jemima232 got this statistic from, but we do know that officially there was a five year high of 1,792 road deaths in 2016, with over 99% involving a motorised vehicle. Out of 400 pedestrian deaths each year, on average 2.5 involve a bicycle.  

*We couldn't find a suitable image of an angry driver who is also a mum (and not sure how you'd depict this)... so we've used the corker above instead. 

09/05/2019, 13:50

Doctors in Cardiff will be able to prescribe free nextbike hires to patients who need to do more exercise

Cycle Parking in Cardiff Bay (picture via Visit Cardiff).jpg

 

The pilot scheme will allow GPs at two practices in the Cardiff area to prescribe patients with a six month free nextbike membership if the doctor feels they need to get more exercise and/or lose weight, reports the BBC. Public health consultant Dr Tom Porter said it was "one of the easiest ways to reduce your risk of ill health while building your cardiovascular fitness".

GP Dr Karen Pardy said: "Whilst we are aware of the many benefits of exercise for our patients, people are sometimes reluctant to engage.

"nextbike on prescription allows people to have a go at cycling around Cardiff and realise how this can help to support their overall wellbeing."

09/05/2019, 13:08

Drag2Zero's 'The Projects That Made Us' series begins, with part 1 telling the story of the first Giant Trinity

D2Z_GiantTT_Mar2019_MSWIM-07480

Aerodynamics expert Simon Smart was first approached by the T-Mobile team in 2007, soon after he founded Drag2Zero, to design a new TT bike. The result was the Giant Trinity: “The Trinity was a really intense project that came very soon after we founded Drag2Zero. We had very little time or budget, and we were learning on the job how to test bikes in a wind tunnel, but it was an exciting period and it produced a genuinely game-changing bike. It was very enjoyable to look back at the project.”

D2Z_GiantTT_Mar2019_MSWIM-07548

 

As you can see above there wasn't proper brake integration on the original Trinity (mostly due to budget constraints) and it features the nosecone that the UCI promptly banned shortly after. You can read the full feature here.  

09/05/2019, 12:39

Chris Boardman says "political will" needed to make regional projects such as cycling infra work

In a TV interview with BBC Newsnight, Boardman says that politicians genuinely wanting change is far more important than hard cash when it comes to regional projects such as his work on Manchester's cycling and walking network.   

09/05/2019, 12:01

PN-049 Burdett Rd jct Agnes Street

TfL consults on segregated Cycleway from Hackney to the Isle of Dogs

Route would link with CS2, CS3 and Quietway 2.

Full story here.

09/05/2019, 10:27

That's one grumpy Italian

Maybe Viviani was going for the serious look, or maybe he's a little miffed about the rather busy design that Dececunick Quick-Step have come up with.
For reference, Groupama FDJ seem to nail their national champion's kit every year.

09/05/2019, 10:31

Marcel Kittel has left Katusha Alpecin by mutual consent

Kittel

"At this moment, I am not able to train and race at the highest level. For this reason, I have decided to take a break and take time for myself, think about my goals and make a plan for my future", says Kittel. Full story here

09/05/2019, 09:17

London cyclists at traffic lights (copyright Britishcycling.org_.uk).jpg

British Cycling has published its ‘state of cycling’ report

It’s predictably grim.

Full story here.

09/05/2019, 09:02

Can of beer thrown at Paralympic champion during training

Morris's condition, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, is a nervous system malfunction that causes extreme pain and related sensory abnormalities. She has previously had both legs amputated because of the condition.

When she suffers an injury, her body reacts in a damaging way, which means that an accident impacts her more seriously.

After a crash in 2011, Morris was concerned that her body might reject her damaged shoulder. In an interview with the BBC she spoke about her fear that her arm might need to be amputated.

Surrey Police asked whether the incident had been reported to them.

Morris said it hadn’t and explained why.

In July 2012, Morris was hit from behind by a car while competing in a time trial near Guildford.

She was left with whiplash, shoulder injuries and a damaged handcycle. She recovered in time to compete in the Paralympics in September, taking bronze in the H1-3 road race.

Morris took a gold medal at the 2008 Summer Paralympics as a handcyclist, and eight years later at Rio she won gold in the women's single sculls as a rower.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.