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Ducklings “a threat to cyclists” - so Natural England destroys eggs; Handlebar owl; W Mids Police close pass calculation; Sutton storms out…; Boardman on BBC Question Time; New Merida Reacto LTD 2020; NTT Pro Cycling kit revealed + more on the live blog

All today's news from the site and beyond.....
12 November 2019, 16:30
An egg-streme measure? Natural England approves destruction of 4,500 duck eggs because ducklings 'pose a threat to cyclists'

It's fair to say many people aren't very happy with the news that Natural England have seemingly decided that ducks pose a threat to them when travelling on two wheels - as they have agreed to the destruction of 4,500 mallard eggs over three years at sites in Bedfordshire and Suffolk, because the ducklings when hatched will pose a "safety concern" according to documents obtained by The Independent.  

The person who applied to Natural England for approval to destroy duck eggs in Bedfordshire said they carry "risk of disease", and the ducks often walk out in front of cyclists and pedestrians. Wildlife campaigner Jason Endfield wrote on his blog: "I am struggling to find the words to express my disbelief and despair that Natural England decision makers thought it appropriate in any way to issue a licence to an applicant that seriously considered ducks to be a threat to cyclists. Surely someone at the agency should have challenged this stupidity at an early stage rather than proceed to issue a licence that legitimized the wanton destruction of wild birds eggs for such spurious reasons. 

..."The staff at Natural England need their heads examining if they think that they can defend this decision. The real or imagined problems caused to humans by ducks could surely be solved much more rationally than resorting to clumsy egg destruction.”

12 November 2019, 19:37
West Midlands Police have a formula for calculating safe passing distance ...
12 November 2019, 19:08
Something a bit different on the handlebars ...
12 November 2019, 16:08
Sutton makes bizarre attempt to answer erectile dysfunction accusations... and leaves the room

As well as the quote above, Sutton has also challenged Freeman - who is sat behind a screen - to "look him in the eye", and once again accused his lawyer of lying. He says he swears 'on his daughter's life' that he didn't order Testogel, and that Team Sky and British Cycling were part of "the cleanest programme in the world."

Following the question above, Sutton says he's now leaving and they're trying to bring him back into the room. On that note we'll leave our live coverage there, look out for a full story on wrapping up this extraordinary and sometimes bizarre day at the tribunal later this afternoon. 

12 November 2019, 15:19
"You called me a doper and you don't even know me", shouts Shane Sutton at Freeman lawyer

Sutton is furious at Freeman's lawyer for accusing him of being a doper when she 'doesn't know him'. He also said he intends to sue O’Rourke for defamation, and he wants the accusations that he is a "liar and a doper" retracted. 

Sutton has currently left the room for "a smoke", according to the BBC's Dan Roan. 

12 November 2019, 15:15
Shane Sutton appears at Richard Freeman tribunal: Freeman's lawyer accuses Sutton of being " a habitual and serial liar"

The chair of the panel stopped QC Mary O’Rourke short when she was in the middle of labelling Sutton as a liar and a doper with a "doping history". Explosive developments before Sutton prepares to speak. 

12 November 2019, 14:37
Harry Tanfield signs for AG2R La Mondiale

With Team Katusha–Alpecin in turmoil, Tanfield will be relieved to have struck a deal to ride with the French World Tour team AG2R La Mondiale. Tanfield has signed for the 2020 season, and AG2R were particularly keen to sign him to improve their standings in Classics and Grand Tour time trial stages.  

12 November 2019, 14:33
Cannondale have done an e-road, and it looks pretty special
Cannondale supersix evo neo main

Weighing just 11.3kg with completely concealed cables on the top-end model, this one might just be the best of the lot. Read all about the brand new Supersix Evo Neo over on eBikeTips

12 November 2019, 13:18
Chris Boardman to appear on BBC's Question Time this week

Boardman has confirmed that he is set to appear on the late-night shouting match formally known as Question Time, which will take place in Brighton on Thursday evening to be broadcast at 10:45pm on BBC1. As Manchester's Cycling and Walking Commissioner, presumably Boardman's appearance will be most relevant to discussions about active travel, and promoting cycling and walking - so we can probably expect him to have to 'debate' with fellow panellists of a certain political persuasion on these matters. 

On an edition of the show filmed in Glasgow on 29th October, the program's host Fiona Bruce incorrectly told an audience member that Leave.EU had not broken the law, when in fact they were fined by the Electoral Commission. Bruce claimed she "misheard" the question. 

12 November 2019, 12:25
To clarify...
Shane Sutton and Ed Clancy (all rights reserved

The legal arguments that delayed Sutton's appearance yesterday were related to whether his health issues could be discussed in public. The tribunal eventually decided that his alleged erectile dysfunction could be discussed because it was already public knowledge, but any other health issues of Sutton's that might be relevant can't be made public. 

12 November 2019, 11:44
Shane Sutton evidence at Freeman tribunal: further arguments about what can and can't be reported

Sean Ingle of The Guardian, attending today's hearing, says the chair has announced that Freeman's health issues can be discussed in open session - as can Sutton's erectile dysfunction - but no other issues related to health. They haven't yet decided how to deal with a possible appearance from Dr Steve Peters, the former head of medicine at British Cycling who Freeman's lawyer wanted to cross-examine. Shortly after these announcements, the tribunal went back into private session. 

12 November 2019, 11:32
Shane Sutton says he expects "the truth" from today's hearing

Sutton has arrived in Manchester to give evidence at the medical tribunal of former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman. Freeman has claimed that the Testogel was requested by Sutton to treat erectile dysfunction, and that he was "bullied" into ordering it  - Sutton has strenuously denied this, so he could be given a hard time by Freeman's lawyer. 

12 November 2019, 09:52
Merida unveils Reacto Ltd 2020

Merida has unveiled its 2020 Reacto Ltd, a special edition of the aero road bike that's now going into its third product year.

"For the 2020 Reacto Ltd we have taken the full carbon CF2 frame and not just specced it with a well thought through componentry package, but more importantly, have given it a unique look and appearance," says Merida.

Merida Reacto Ltd 2020 - 1

"The design is inspired by architecture, modern interior design and the relationship between light and dark. It shows its beauty with clear and straight shapes; a fluid interaction between shapes and geometry. 

Merida Reacto Ltd 2020 - 3

"The keen-eyed observer will notice the arrangement of three rectangles on the head tube, positioned one above the other, fitting seamlessly into the geometric design aesthetic, while also, based on the oldest Chinese classic text I Ching (Book of Changes), symbolising ‘power’."

Read our review of the Merida Reacto Disc Team-E 

Merida Reacto Ltd 2020 - 2

The Reacto Ltd comes fitted with a complete Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain, including Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes, and special edition Reynolds AR 58 DB wheels. 

Merida Reacto Ltd 2020 - 7

The bike also features Merida's lightweight Expert stem, saddle (with an integrated toolbox and mini tool), thru axles (with integrated 4/6mm Allen key) and handlebar. 

Merida Reacto Ltd 2020 - 6

The S-Flex seat post is designed to add comfort and it comes with an integrated rear light.

Merida Reacto Ltd 2020 - 4

The Reacto LTD will be available from December 2019. Price? It's £4,000.

For more info head over to Merida's website. 

12 November 2019, 11:57
No idea...
12 November 2019, 11:20
A sweat patch to plan your hydration needs

We missed this last month, but US energy drink brand Gatotrade have made a sweat patch that they say will determine what type of sweater you are and therefore calculate your hydration needs. Everyone's sweat rate differs and it will also change depending on what climate you're in, so Gatorade say they recommend completing a training session with one of the single-use patches in the climate you plan to be riding in/racing in for the most accurate results. 

We're not sure of prices or availability this side of the pond, but Gatorade say they will be on sale by summer 2020. 

12 November 2019, 11:07
Everyone loves a queue - and Sam Bennett shows us how to take advantage of the fact

Well the British and Irish love queueing more than most, and Bora–Hansgrohe's Sam Bennett used the fact to his advantage to pull this dastardly airport stunt. "The worst type of criminal", according to fellow Irishman Ryan Mullen!

12 November 2019, 09:10
Dimension Data becomes NTT Pro Cycling for 2020

The World Tour team established in 2007, whose roster includes Edvald Boasson Hagen and Mark Cavendish (the latter until he leaves for Bahrain Merida at the end of the year), have unveiled a complete rebrand and new kit ahead of the 2020 season. 

In a statement released this morning to coincide with the launch of the rebrand in Tokyo, NTT said: "The new kit will grace the WorldTour and the sport’s biggest races throughout 2020. It’s a brand that riders – old and new – will wear with immense pride, while at the same time continuing to showcase the impact that bicycles have in changing lives through NTT Pro Cycling’s work with Qhubeka, which has recently distributed its 100,000th bike."

The team also said they have used technology to help assemble their new look squad: "Each of the riders were selected with the help of a technology solution that was co-innovated by NTT and NTT Pro Cycling. The solution leverages advanced data analytics that helps the team to select riders, prepare its race calendar and assign the right riders to the right races. Technology also helps the team monitor the health and wellness of its riders through a mobile application, and business-focused applications such as asset tracking, vehicle tracking and monitoring, help the team to function as a well-organised global business. Together, we’ve created the most technically advanced team in the WorldTour."

There might be another recently rebranded team who might also stake a claim for the most 'technically advanced", but if they say so...

12 November 2019, 09:30
Sustrans support Bristol's ban on diesels in inner city areas

Some have suggested the ban will hurt traders or even that it doesn't go far enough, but Sustrans say they "very much welcome the ban". Bristol will become the first UK city to enforce any type of outright ban on diesel engines in 2021. 

12 November 2019, 08:58
But cyclists...


Arriving at 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 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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