Video – Chris Froome updates on recovery; Dutch Headwind Championships; Driver complains about Bristol traffic … his wife tells him to buy a bike; Brighton proposes car ban; Tour de Yorkshire routes + more on the live blog

All today's news from the site and beyond.....
17 January 2020, 21:08
Chris Froome updates on recovery

Team Ineos rider and four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome has given an update on his recovery from the injuries that kept him out of last July's race - and a record-equalling fifth yellow jersey is still very much the aim.

17 January 2020, 17:11
Feeling the gusts at the moment? Spare a thought for competitors in the Dutch Headwind Cycling Championships

There's been a pretty strong westerly wind blowing across most of the UK today... and if you're heading west on the way home and fancy spicing things up with some cycling colleagues, how about devising your own Headwind Cycling Championships?

The Championships take place on 'the windiest day of the year' annually on the Netherlands' Oosterscheldekering storm barrier (we're not sure if they just wait for that day or guess which one will be windiest prior to the date) and competitors must ride the entire 8.5km course against winds of more than 100km/h on standard issue, upright single-speed bikes. 

Around 200 individuals take part each year setting off at intervals in a time trial format; there is also a team event. The inaugural race in 2013 was won by Olympic mountain biker Bart Brentjens in a time of 17 minutes and 51 seconds, which is still the course record. 

17 January 2020, 16:36
Could there be an official UCI 'alternative race calendar'?

A 300km gravel race on the World Tour calendar? Yes. Yes, please.

17 January 2020, 16:52
Schmolke have bought THM Carbones
Schmolke Roadbar Oversize Evo TLO handlebar.jpg

In part two of today's luxurious custom bike brand financial news, purveyors of featherlight £450 handlebars Schmolke have bought THM Carbones, purveyors of similarly weightless carbon brakes and stems. 

THM Carbones was owned by 3T since 2016, and the new takeover began on the 1st January: "This takeover will create a full range supplier for carbon bicycle components made in Germany at highest level of quality", say Schmolke. 

17 January 2020, 16:27
Who won this two up after 200km?

Amstel Gold winner Van der Poel vs Belgian Champion Merlier. We reckon the loser was given hill repeats while the rest went to the cafe...

17 January 2020, 15:38
"You're taking up the whole road"

Crit specialist Alec Briggs was also subjected to "I'm a cyclist too", but unfortunately the driver forgot to mention 'road tax" in his game of anti-cycling bingo. 

17 January 2020, 13:22
Man complaining to papers about traffic in Bristol told to get a bike and stop polluting the air... by his own wife

The story begins with a Bristol Post article that says there is "no end in sight" to the congestion and tailbacks on the A4174 ring road at Bromley Heath. The main interviewee is a Mr Jason Mills, a driver nonetheless, who got in touch with The Bristol Post to say he is forced to leave at 6.30am and wake his son up to avoid the worst of the traffic. Mr Mills even quotes stats that claim five people a week are dying due to Bristol air pollution, blaming insufficient traffic lights and removal of bus lanes for the problems... so, what's the solution? 

bristol traffic argument - jason mills' wife screenshot were contacted by Stefano Marazzi this morning, who is also a member of a Bromley Heath resident's Facebook group. When the article was shared on the group, none other than Mr Mills' wife Rachel made the killer suggestion that her husband could instead cycle to solve his traffic woes. She added: "He also needs to understand that he, a motorist, is contributing to air pollution. And if he is so concerned about his journey time and emissions he shouldn't have accepted a job in Abergavenny!"

Mr Marazzi told "Basically the residents of Bromley Heath and Downend - which is literally a 2 mile/12 minute cycle to UWE, MoD, and the Filton Area - are getting stuck in gridlock for one to two hours every day, causing miles of tailbacks.

"Lots of people are moaning on the Bromley Heath Facebook group about how that in their cars it's taking them 40 minutes to travel a distance of half a mile. Not once does it seem to dawn on them that they are the problem!"

On yer bike Mr Mills, and heed the wise words of our favourite drag queen/active travel advocate RuPaul... 

17 January 2020, 14:46
Another city proposes city centre traffic ban, as Brighton council prepares to discuss next week
Hourbike Brighton cycle hire.jpg

The Argus reports that Brighton and Hove City Council will be debating a proposal that could see private cars banned from Brighton city centre if implemented. 

The proposal was put forward by Green Councillor Amy Heley, who requested that council officers assess the viability of a car ban and what any exemptions would be. It reads: “The climate emergency, the environmental and public health crisis caused by air pollution, and dangerous roads can and must be tackled by drastically reducing private car use in the city centre”.

As the only place in the country with a Green Party parliamentary seat (Brighton Pavilion, that Caroline Lucas won with a landslide in December) it might come as no surprise such proposals have come from Brighton; although they have come after similar announcements from York, Birmingham and Bristol in the past few weeks. 

The proposal will be debated by Brighton's environment, transport and sustainability committee on Tuesday next week. 




17 January 2020, 15:22
WyndyMilla and Spoon Customs to merge
wyndy milla x spoons

As WyndyMilla's co-founders prepare to step down after ten years, they've announced they will merge with Spoons Customs with Spoons' founder Andy Carr as CEO. They say it will bring together "the very best in handmade carbon and steel custom bicycles", offering cyclists a custom design and production process so you can build your dream machine in WyndyMilla carbon or Spoons steel. 

Both brands will keep their names but business operations will be under one roof. WyndaMilla's co-founder Henry Furniss said: “We’re really proud of what we’ve built over the last ten years, through hard work and a commitment to doing things differently. WyndyMilla is a much loved brand run by a highly capable, technically proficient team of passionate cyclists who have together produced some of the most exciting custom carbon bicycles available anywhere in the world.


"As Nasima and I move on to new challenges, we look forward to seeing what the combined brand and technical expertise of Spoon Customs and WyndyMilla can do, as they capitalise on the platform for growth that has been successfully built over the last few years.”

17 January 2020, 13:07
Ultra cyclist Laura Scott said she was turned down for a job because she "didn't get the lad banter"

Scott hasn't mentioned who the potential employer was, but claims they are now "patting themselves on the back for all the work they do for women in sports." 

17 January 2020, 12:58
If you've not seen this yet...

It's doing the rounds again, and is utterly terrifying until you breathe a big sigh of relief at the end of the video. To our knowledge, no one has managed to identify the cyclist yet. 

17 January 2020, 11:50
Tour De Yorkshire Ride sportive: full route announcement
Tour De Yorkshire 2020-RIDE_CARTE_LONG ROUTE_CP

You'll find details of the pro races below, and above is the course for the sportive on 3rd May. It will start and finish in Leeds city centre, with the 132km long route taking in the 'Cote de Cow' and Calf climbs (new for 2020) and old favourites such as Greenhow. The medium route is 81km and the short 50km, and a special edition Rapha jersey made specially for the event has also just been released... 

Rapha Custom_Tour De Yorkshire Jersey_1

5,000 riders are expected to ride the sportive, which takes place a few hours before the pro men and women begin their final stage. 

17 January 2020, 11:11
Tour de Yorkshire route announcement, live from Leeds

So far we know that Stage 1 on the 30th April will start in in Beverley and end in Redcar, and is 176.5km in length. Stage 2 begins in Skipton, heads through the Yorkshire dales taking in Grinton Moor and finishes in Leyburn, and Stage 3 starts in Barnsley and finished in Huddersfield. ​

17 January 2020, 11:25

It could probably do with a saddle, handlebars and a drivetrain, but when those bits are sorted it looks like NorthRoad Cycles are launching their very non-UCI legal Wolf tri bike imminently. 

17 January 2020, 10:58
Ride (virtually) with Geraint Thomas
geraint thomas

On Thursday 23rd January at 7.30pm, the 2018 Tour de France champ will be Zwifting with Eric Min (Zwift CEO) and also hosting a Q+A during the ride. Riders of all ages and abilities are welcome to ride the Watopia course, that is 20.2km long with 147m of virtual elevation. 

17 January 2020, 09:19
Ribble bring in-store shopping online with the launch of Live In-Store

If you don't like shopping in shops but still want all the benefits of shopping in shops, Ribble Cycles may have the solution for you... they've just launched 'Live In-Store', which gives customers using Ribble's website the chance to interact with a member of staff live from a physical Ribble store, all from the comfort of their own homes. 

Ribble say they are the first in the bike industry to offer such a service, with dedicated and trained Live In-Store experts giving you the chance to browse the shelves, see things in more detail and get extra advice via your phone, tablet or computer. It's all being made possible by the Go Instore customer engagement platform, who are handling the technology side of things for the Ribble experts to broadcast themselves to customers. Go Instore's Co-founder Andre Hordagoda said: “As a keen cyclist and having been through the consultative process of buying road bikes over the years, I fully appreciate the need for professional support in getting sizing and configuration just right. From the early conceptual days of Go Instore we always felt we would work well with a leader in this category - so it’s great to be partnering with an award-
winning brand such as Ribble and we are excited to deliver their excellent customer
service to consumers worldwide”

Live In-Store will be offered by the team at Ribble's Preston shop, and will be rolled out in their other locations if successful. Audio is two-way and video is just one-way (they can't see you), good to know for those who have just rolled out of bed and fancy a new bike. The service will also be offered with extended 'opening' hours, including evenings and Sundays, and you can head over to Ribble's website for more info. 

What with big name bike shop chains such as Cycle Surgery and Evans in turmoil, is this the way forward? Let us know your thoughts as always... 

17 January 2020, 08:53
Bike commuting in -32c

For anyone who gets a bit angsty cycling to work when the thermometer drops past zero, you've got nothing on Gabrielle Heine of Calgary. In this video she walks us through her bike that she has equipped to take on the brutal Canadian winter, with studded tyres and some homemade bar mitts that appear to be made out of neoprene boots - this gives her something extra warm to slip her hands in while still allowing access to the gears and brakes. 

Her clothing ensemble consists of merino baselayers, ski socks, snow trousers, a jumper and down jacket, plus a balaclava, snood, hat and ski goggles. We're never moaning about the British 'winter' again... 

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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