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Dutch rail operator pledges more space for bikes; Huge anti-pollution bicycle wheel artwork stolen in Bath but no-one knows when or how; Roglic wins world’s biggest yacht race; Merckx in hospital; CX rider v mud; Nico Roche Xmas pud tip +more on live blog

All today's news from the site and beyond as we start a new week...
14 October 2019, 19:14
Dutch train (via
Dutch state railways pledges to cater for cyclists in next generation trains

The Dutch national rail operator, NS, has pledged to improve bike storage in the next generation of inter-city trains, due to enter service between 2021 and 2023.

While the Netherlands is rightly considered something of a cycling utopia by foreigners, lack of space on trains to take a bike will be familiar to any cyclist in the UK.

As we’ve reported recently on, the situation here is worsening, with limited storage that many find impossible to use on high-speed trains introduced by GWR, LNER and Cross-Country.

Across the North Sea, the Dutch cyclists’ union, Fietsersbond, is urging NS to address the needs of cyclists, with current rules placing a number of restrictions on taking bikes on trains.

While busy rush-hour services mean that many people will have a bicycle at each end of their rail commute – something that abundant cycle parking facilitates – Fietsersbond highlighted that lack of provision on trains also affects people cycling for leisure.

The organisation says that the number of people wanting to take a bike on trains is rising by between 10 and 20 per cent a year.

Fietserbond president Saskia Kluit, quoted on English language website NL Times, said: "On beautiful cycling days in particular, it is doom and gloom and often families or groups of cyclists have to stay behind on the platforms. We advocate for separate, single-story bicycle wagons on railway lines to popular recreational areas."

A spokesperson for FS said the operator was aware that the issue needed to be addressed, saying: "We are therefore going to investigate the possibilities, in consultation with Rover [an organisation that represents rail users] and the Fietsersbond. We will also ask our travellers for ideas."

14 October 2019, 18:22
Huge anti-pollution bicycle wheel artwork stolen in Bath

An anti-pollution artwork made up of 69 bicycle wheels covered in red textiles has been stolen in Bath – but no-one seems to know exactly when or how thieves made off with them.

The installation was put in place on the city’s George Street last month, with the number of wheels matching the 69 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide per cubic metre measured at the location – 60 per cent above the limit of 40 micrograms per cubic metre limit set by the EU Air Quality Directive.

Bath George Street bike pollution demo 1.JPG

They were stolen between 2 and 4 October, the latter being the day one of the team who installed them noticed they were missing.

Batheaston-based artist Alison Harper, who created the installation, told Somerset Live: "It's like a piece of me has gone. I have been a bit immobilised the last week and it’s still not sunk in that someone would do this.

"I feel a sense of loss. They had been a part of my life for 18 months and so much work went into them."

She added: "The artwork is really difficult to remove, as it was all attached by cable ties to one another and to the railings.

"The artwork is really big and bulky, it fills two cars when we move it around the city so it must have been very well planned."

The piece was commissioned from Harper and environmental campaign group Transition Larkhall by Bath & North East Somerset’s Liberal Democrat cabinet member for transport services, Joanna Wright.

"I was very shocked to hear that they had been stolen. Obviously people just don't want to know that air pollution kills people,” she said.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: “There are no further lines of enquiry and the matter has been filed, pending any new information.”

Bath George Street bike pollution demo 5.JPG
14 October 2019, 16:42
Bad weather doesn't affect cycling levels, says Dutch study

A new study from the Netherlands overturns one assumption often made about cycling - namely that poor weather discourages people from getting in the saddle.

We'll be taking a closer look at the research tomorrow, but if you want to take a look at it now, follow the link in the tweet below. 

14 October 2019, 16:34
Iceland sacks driver who was fiddling with mobile phone when he almost hit cyclist

Frozen foods retailer Iceland has sacked a driver who was fiddling with his mobile phone when he almost hit a cyclist - with the incident, back in December 2016, caught on camera.

14 October 2019, 16:27
14 October 2019, 16:27
UCI sanctions Binck Bank Tour organisers for safety breaches

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) today announces that it has imposed a series of measures on the organisers of the Binck Bank Tour due to safety failings noted during the 2019 edition.

The UCI has imposed a series of measures on the organisers of the Binck Bank Tour following complaints by riders about safety during this year’s race, held over nine days in August in Belgium and the Netherlands.

The news comes after world cycling’s governing body met with the professional cyclists’ organisation last week to discuss a number of safety-related incidents in races in recent weeks.

A fine has been imposed on the organisers of the race, which remains on the UCI WorldTour calendar for next year, subject to the following requirements:

The presence in 2020 of a Technical Advisor, appointed by the UCI and at the cost of the organisers.

The implementation of a plan of action devised by the UCI and approved by the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) in preparation for the 2020 Binck Bank Tour.

An evaluation of the standard of quality and safety of the organisation of the event, which will remain part of the UCI WorldTour Calendar in 2020. A decision regarding the status of the event will then be made based on that evaluation.

14 October 2019, 14:18
Mark Cavendish back at Lee Valley velodrome - for Great Ormond Street hospital

He's won a rainbow jersey there, and this weekend, Mark Cavendish has been back on the boards at the Lee Valley velodrome - this time to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

14 October 2019, 12:59
Primož Roglič 'wins' world's biggest sailing race... less than 24 hours after 7th place finish at Il Lombardia

Is there anything this man can't do? The former pro ski jumper turned Vuelta-winning cycling champion is also apparently a sailor now, as he was part of the team that won the Barcolana Regatta yesterday. Starting in Trieste, it's the world's biggest sailing race with more than 2,000 boats and 15,000 sailors taking part in yesterday's edition, which was the 50th running of the event.  

We understand that the winning boat, called 'Way of Life', was sailed by Zan Luka Zelko from Slovenia and Gasper Vincec from Finland, completing the course in 1 hour, 54 minutes and 10 seconds. We're not too sure what Roglič' role was on the boat, but it's not like he'd have added too much weight in any case. He made the trip from Lombardy to Trieste to take part a few hours after his 7th place finish at Il Lombardia, and he also won Giro dell'Emilia and Tre Valli Varesine in Italy last week. 

Looks like Roglič will be bowing out of the 2019 season on a high with the wind in his sails after a season that's saw him ride a wave of great form. Here all week etc etc...  

14 October 2019, 12:44
France wants to triple number of cyclists

According to stats presented by the World Economic Forum, the country has a similar issue to the UK when it comes to utility cycling because most French people see cycling as a sport - just 3% of trips are made by bike in France. The government will spend €350 million on bike paths in the next three years, and will also offer cycling lessons in schools and make all new buildings have bike parks to prevent cycle theft in their efforts to treble the number of cycle trips. 

14 October 2019, 10:44
Watch as CX rider struggles in mud

The start of cyclo-cross season inevitably means videos surfacing of riders struggling in the mud - and the unfortunate cyclist in this clip from the weekend's round of the Coupe de France is Arnaud Jouffroy, who was having a very hard time getting up that hill.

He wasn't the only one either - take a look at the poor kids in the junior race below.

14 October 2019, 10:30
Eddy Merckx rushed to hospital after falling off his bike, with wife reportedly saying he is "not too bad"

Nieuwsblad reports that the five-time Tour de France-winning legend fell off his bike during a group ride with friends, suffering a head injury described as 'serious'. He was rushed to hospital in Dendermonde, Flanders, and as he wears a pacemaker doctors reportedly wanted to examine him further today to ensure no long-term damage has been done. 

Merckx' best friend Paul Van Himst reportedly said the damage is "not too bad", and he spoke to Merckx' wife last night who also said that her husband is "all good."

Merckx was honoured at this year's Tour de France, with the race starting in Brussels to mark the 50th anniversary of his first Tour victory in 1969. 

14 October 2019, 12:40
Why don't cyclists use the cycle lane, continued...
14 October 2019, 08:34
Dave Brailsford "back to serious training" for first time after operation
Dave Brailsford strava October.PNG

Brailsford was in Vienna to cheer on Eliud Kipchoge to his mind-boggling 1:59:40 marathon at the weekend, and also managed to get in his first sizeable ride as he recovers from surgery following a prostate cancer diagnosis earlier in the year. 

14 October 2019, 01:31
Car-dooring sign – helpful or victim-blaming?

Here's a sign snapped in Beeston, Nottingham, by user mike, and it's difficult to now where to start with it.

Beware of opening car doors.PNG

Is it addressed to cyclists, or drivers and their passengers? It could be either, going by the wording.

The council does seem though to have put down broken white lines on the shared-use path to let cyclists know where the door zone is.

What do you think?

14 October 2019, 08:38
What are we going to do?


14 October 2019, 07:57
Nicholas Roche substitutes Christmas puddings for energy bars on long rides

Speaking to the Irish Independent about his nutrition and training, Roche says that's it's not essential to carry specific energy bars because muffins, cakes and even good old Christmas pudding can perform the same job of providing fuel: "At the national championships in 2015 I forgot my energy bars and won the title on some mini muffins and cakes that I bought at a petrol station on the way to the race.

"Even now, my Auntie Carol makes me a Christmas pudding that I'll cut into slices and wrap in tinfoil to bring with me out training. I'll have a slice of that after two or three hours and it keeps me going for the rest of the spin. I'll have it in my pocket on every long spin from December right through to April. My Sunweb team uses banana bread as a recovery food sometimes and I like that for training too."

Roche swears by a mid-ride coffee stop to fuel the second half of his training even though dad Stephen disagreed because he said he would "catch a cold". He also reveals that he eats yoghurt and cereal post-race instead of pasta and vegetables because it's hard on the stomach after consuming so many carbs in the saddle. 

14 October 2019, 00:28
Wiggins: I don’t want my son to be a pro cyclist

Sir Bradley Wiggins has said that he does not want his son Ben – now aged 14 – to become a pro cyclist, despite the teenager recently coming within a whisker of winning the North West Youth and Junior Tour in August.

Mail Online reports that the five-time Olympic gold medallist and 2012 Tour de France winner, who described his son as “very talented,” made the comment as the national tour of his one-man show drew to a close last week in London.

“I'm not going to push him into that now so I can stand there in 10 years' time when he wins Olympic gold and the reflected glory – ‘That's my son’,” Wiggins said.

"I can't do that, it's cruel,'” he added.

Anyone who has followed Wiggins' career will know that he is a complicated character, and that much of that has to do with his father Gary, who enjoyed a lot of success on the six-day circuit, abandoning  the two-year-old Bradley and his mother, which led to them moving from Belgium to London.

Had that not happened, would the 'Kid from Kilburn' have gone on to become a multiple wporld and Olympic champion on the track, and enjoyed so much success on the road?

Wiggins also spoke to The Sunday Times about his home, and his collection of cycling memorabilia.

“I’ve probably got one of the biggest, rarest collections of cycling memorabilia in the world,” he said. “It’s race jerseys, mainly, from the biggest names in the sport.

“At one time, jerseys weren’t like they are today, they were wool with advertising stitched on by hand. To me, they are works of art.

“My most treasured is my Sean Yates yellow jersey. I associate it with being 14 and wanting to do what I got to do for a living.

“Sean and I have become close – he’s an inspiration, and when I won the Tour he was my directeur sportif,” he added.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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