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Pinarello unveil bike fit for a (World TT) champ; Bahrain-McLaren bike and kit; Tyre dust biggest ocean plastic polluter, says Cycling UK; Freeman ‘too upset’ to attend tribunal; Shanghai Marathon runner caught cycling + more on the live blog

All today's news from the site and beyond and we start a new week... ...
09 December 2019, 21:15
Here's a bike Rohan Dennis won't be riding next year ...

The Australian's former Bahrain-Merida team ... renamed Bahrain-McLaren for next season ... has unveiled its Merida Scultura Disc bike in its new colourway. Video here on Merida's Facebook page of Sonny Colbrelli's bike being put together.

09 December 2019, 21:07
09 December 2019, 20:32
... and here's one he will be after his switch to Team Ineos

Dennis said today that one of the main reasons he moved to Team Ineos was because of its innovation in time trialling in particular ... given his history with Bahrain-Merida, he clearly wasn't going to a team that didn't share his view on making sure everything was perfectly set up for him to perform at his best.

Rohan Dennis Team Ineos Bolide 03

Though announced today, the signing was clearly finalised at least a few days ago ... you don't bash out a Kask helmet, Castelli skinsuit and Pinarello bike in world champion's colours overnight.

Given the number of people who must have been involved in that process, it's no surprise either that the news leaked out before it was made official.

And given the co-ordinates printed on the top tube decal, Dennis has no excuse for not knowing where Harrogate is in the future.

Rohan Dennis Team Ineos Bolide 02
09 December 2019, 15:31
Sustrans announce Department for Transport funding to improve most heavily-used section of the Bristol and Path Railway path
Devon Road Bridge on Bristol and Bath Railway Path (licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 by Derek Harper)

Sustrans have acquired funding to improve the busiest part of the popular off-road path to prevent conflicts from arising at the busiest times of day. 

A 1.7 mile stretch between Trinity Street (the beginning of the path) and Clay Bottom has been identified as the section marked for improvement, and described as a "victim of its own success" due to the number of people using it during peak times, which can be up to 1,800 an hour. James Cleeton of Sustrans says although they've been encouraging path users to 'share, respect and enjoy' with their One Path initiative, he admits physical changes would help to solve some of the issues: "We’ve spoken to over 250 people, either out on the Path, in community meetings, online or in specific user groups, to learn from them about what they need. This has included conversations with school communities, disability groups, older people groups, local community organisations, and walking and cycling campaign groups.

"We’ve heard that the excessive speed and close-passing of a handful of the people cycling on the path really does put others off using it. Some parents have even chosen to drive their children to school, instead of using the Path for that reason."

Cleeton says a number of suggestions have been put forward, including widening stretches of the path to enable segregation between cyclists and walkers and encouraging cyclists to find alternative routes of the busier sections; however the majority weren't calling for segregation, and as the Path represents "a much-valued traffic-free space", banning cyclists from some sections has been ruled out. 

Cleeton added: "In the next couple of days, we’re holding more workshops with the community to talk to them about the ideas that have been coming out. We’re going to work with them to refine those design ideas so that we can start to develop some firmer designs. Should we ask people to adopt certain thinking while using the path, for example, everybody keep to the left? Maybe we ask people to ring their bells if they want to overtake.

"We will also invite scrutiny of designs from various people who have technical or ‘lived experience’ wisdom to offer. This will help us to further develop the designs for a path that will become ever more inclusive while remaining loved and cherished by the local community."

09 December 2019, 16:14
Mark Cavendish on "savage" 90km time trial at Bahrain 70.3

Cavendish competed as part of an all-star relay team at the Bahrain 70.3 triathlon over the weekend, that included Australian swimmer Chloe McCardel and Mo Farah on the run leg. Cavendish said he "couldn't even contemplate" swimming before and running a half marathon after, and said doubling the 70.3 distance for a full Ironman is "crazy". 

He completed the fast and flat 90km bike ride in an impressive 1:54:46; which was a couple of minutes slower than the overall winner of the triathlon in the pro men's category, Kristian Blummenfelt. The Norwegian beat the all-star team in every discipline, swimming 1.9km in 22:26 as opposed to McCardel's 25:50 and running the half marathon in 1:07:00, ten seconds faster than Farah. 

09 December 2019, 15:12
Bahrain McLaren unveil Le Col kit and matching Merida bikes for 2020 season

Rohan Dennis will be, er... gutted that he's chosen to jump ship to Team Ineos, as Bahrain-McLaren have unveiled this rather un-subtle kit made by Le Col for 2020. The team, which was known as Bahrain-Merida until recently, have also been restocked with Merida bikes in the new team colours too... 

Team Principal Rod Ellingworth said: “We were struck from the outset by Le Col’s relentless desire to continuously innovate. The culture fit with McLaren was natural and immediate; we scoured the cycling landscape with the aim of finding a brand that could deliver the best performing kit in the WorldTour. We were blown away by Le Col’s attitude to collaborating with us to create the very best performance products and taking a ‘rider first’ approach to improving athlete performance.”

Le Col also claim their kit was the fastest during initial aero testing by McLaren, which was a strong reason behind the partnership. 

09 December 2019, 16:04
Cycling UK Scotland join calls to improve train cycle storage

The bizarre vertical bicycle hooks on LNER and Great Western Railway trains have come in for much criticism since they were introduced, and Cycling UK Scotland say there have been "no answers" yet from Hitachi, who designed the trains. 

09 December 2019, 14:59
It should not be possible to go this fast on sand

Catch up on the weekend's cyclocross action as Tom Pidcock and the Trinity Racing team ride the infamous 'de kuil' Zonhoven course.

09 December 2019, 12:55
Cycling UK research finds the biggest source of microplastics in the oceans comes from car tyre dust
cycling uk research

Cycling UK are calling for more journeys to be made by bike and on foot, after new research commissioned by the charity found that tyre dust is the largest source of ocean microplastic in the world. The stats also show that 57% of car journeys made in Britain are five miles or less, and there needs to be better alternatives to electric cars which will not solve the microplastic problem. 

“Since the UK had it’s Blue Planet moment, we’ve all accepted the need to change our plastic habits which are visible whether that’s plastic bags or excess wrapping in supermarkets", said Cycling UK's head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore. 

“However, the UK has failed to address or even acknowledge one other major source of plastic: our car dependence. It’s shocking that car tyre dust is the largest source of microplastics in our oceans –more needs to be done to give people a safe and attractive alternative to driving.

“With 57% of car trips made in Great Britain easily feasible by bike or on foot, it’s clear the next Government must do more to limit the amounts of pollution produced by our car dependent society. 

"Unfortunately replacing fossil fuelled vehicles with electric cars is not going to stop the source of the microplastics in our oceans. We need better public transport options, and safer cycling and walking facilities. For cycling and walking that means rapidly increasing investment to at least 10% of the transport budget in the next five years.”

You can find a link to the full paper here

09 December 2019, 13:36
Dr Richard Freeman fails to show at tribunal today, saying he was 'upset' by media coverage

Freeman took issue with articles that brought up his need for a skiing holiday - that his lawyer Mary O'Rourke says was prescribed by a doctor - and also the coverage towards O'Rourke herself. 

The panel questioned O'Rourke's conduct in her questioning of Shane Sutton, and today she's asked them to clarify their position as to whether she was considered to have bullied Sutton under cross-examination, according to BBC sports journalist Alistair Magowan 

09 December 2019, 13:50
Ultimate close call?

Apparently everyone walked away alive from this horror crash, most surprisingly the cyclist who looks like he can't believe his luck.

09 December 2019, 12:42
Deceuninck-Quick-Step head to the 'Win Tunnel'
Specialized Wind Tunnel 3

The Specialized-sponsored team headed to the cycling-specific wind tunnel in California for several testing sessions, refining position and equipment choices. Quick-Step coach Koen Pelgrim said: “We’ve had some very useful days in Morgan Hill. We’ve mainly focussed on optimisation of the time trial position of our riders, and for that, the wind tunnel is a great tool. The combination of having a team of dedicated bike fitters, a test that checks the physiological effects of changes in position and subsequently a very fine measurement of the aerodynamic drag is a dream for me as a coach. That combination of these three tools makes is the perfect setup to optimise the performance of our riders.”

09 December 2019, 13:29
Zwift unveils new Crit City course
Zwift Crit City - 2

Zwift has today unveiled Crit City, its eighth map, which is an event-only course that offers racing that's designed to be fun to ride and to watch. Full story here

09 December 2019, 12:20
Latest Extinction Rebellion protests

This time activists have glued themselves to concrete blocks on Cranbourne Street outside Leicester Square tube station. There are also protests going on in Manchester. 

09 December 2019, 12:13
New Look colours
look huz new colours

Look have unveiled new colour choices for their whole 2020 range, including metallic blue, black/red combination, and glossy matte black. Head over to Look's website to see your options. 

09 December 2019, 11:55
Rohan Dennis to Ineos: technology and equipment key reason behind move

The Australian appears to admit that the attention to detail when it comes to equipment and technology was a key reason for his move to Ineos, saying that he'll now be "working with the best possible products on the market and available to us. That's something that I'm really passionate about, especially when it comes to time trialling."

Although never 100% confirmed, it was widely believed that Dennis' bizarre abandon of the 2019 Tour de France was because he was unhappy with the equipment made available to him at Bahrain-Merida, particularly the Merida Warp Time trial bike. he'll now be time trialling aboard the Pinarello Bolide, which has racked up countless victories for Team Sky/Ineos riders over the years. 

Read the full story here

09 December 2019, 11:18
Well, that didn't take long

Rohan Dennis has been officially announced as a Team Ineos rider.

As his contract with Bahrain-Merida was terminated in September, he'll be joining the team immediately. He's probably rather keen to get on one of the team Pinarello Bolide TT bikes...

09 December 2019, 11:00
Gareth Thomas begins his Sport Relief fundraising ride

The former Welsh Rugby star is cycling a four-seater recumbent bike 500 miles from Cardiff to Aberdeen.

His 'mission' is to collect the Sport Personality of the Year trophy from Geraint Thomas in Cardiff and deliver it for the awards ceremony in Aberdeen in seven days.

Along the way, he'll be joined by famous faces and beneficiaries of Sport Relief funding who will help with the pedalling. 

Local junior cycling club, Maindy Flyers have already been out lending their support.

We'll be following Gareth's progress over the next few days.

09 December 2019, 10:46
Wouldn't get away with that attire back here

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A post shared by Jack Carlin (@jackcarlin97) on

The GB track sprinters have been training hard down under.

Looks like they're working on their tans too. We're not jealous. Much.

09 December 2019, 10:25
Fire-up the rumour mill

There's been more talk of Rohan Dennis joining Team Ineos.

It's not the first time that a deal has been rumoured but ever since Dennis disappeared from the Tour after an apparent falling-out with his then team Bahrain Merida, Dennis has been struggling to find a team willing to match his Bahrain wage.

Surely we'll have a definitive answer soon.

09 December 2019, 10:16
Who's got £7,680 then?

Yep, no typo here. These wheels from Spengle really are the best part of eight grand.

The tri-spoked carbon wheels are...oh I really can't be bothered. They're EIGHT GRAND.

Spengle 2

Cool paint though. You can read more here.

Stu has already reviewed a set of the much cheaper 650b gravel wheels.

09 December 2019, 09:13
Shanghai marathon runner receives permanent ban... after being caught cycling part of the course

If you thought jiffy bags were scandalous, the scale of cheating in Asian marathons even at amateur level is said to be reaching epidemic level... and this one might just be the most brazen of the lot. 

According to Japan Running News, Organisers of the Shanghai marathon that took place on the 17th November have now announced that an entrant has been banned for life for using a bicycle on part of the course. The female runner also ran with a male bib number, and organisers punished other competitors with bans who were said to have been complicit in the fraud, or 'did not stop the problem from occurring':  "The orderly conduct of the race was significantly disturbed", they said. 

China is in the midst of a running and cycling boom at the moment, but incidents of cheating are said to be rife; another female runner was caught riding a bicycle in March's Xuzhou International Marathon in a virtually identical incident, and at the Shenzhen half marathon last year, over 250 runners were caught cheating.  

Perhaps the most well renowned case of running fraud in the UK came back in 2011, when Rob Sloan was caught hopping on a bus to skip past a few of his rivals and claim third place in the Keilder Marathon. 

09 December 2019, 09:08
Chris Froome, the die-hard Nice football club fan

In an appearance that was in no way heavily orchestrated by the Nice and Team Ineos owners, you could be forgiven for thinking Froome was a die-hard season ticket holder in a Nice shirt and scarf. Wonder what he thinks about all this VAR lark?  

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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