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UCI boss backs Riis return; Ottilie Quince puts ultimate burn on Lance Armstrong’s $30k Mallorca cycling trip; Halfords staff help stricken cyclist; First Bus boss says delays due to cyclists … using buses; Council bike path ‘thornaggedon’ + more

All today's news from the site and beyond... ...
24 January 2020, 19:37
Join a world champ and cancer survivor to cycle in Mallorca ... for a bag of sand, not $30,000

There’s been a bit of trolling of Lance Armstrong the past couple of days after the news that the disgraced cyclist, banned from the sport for life and stripped of seven Tour de France titles for doping, was charging $30,000 a pop for the chance to join him and former US Postal team-mate (and confessed doper) George Hincapie) for a week’s cycling in Mallorca.

Top spot on the podium though goes to Ottilie Quince – who received a kidney from her mother after being diagnosed with a cancerous tumour, is an 11-time World Transplant Games champion, and runs a cycling coaching business in, of all places, Mallorca.

You can read her fascinating backstory here, and even if we had $30,000 going spare, we’d rather take her up on the offer of a cycling trip to the island in exchange for a bag of sand. We’re off to Weston-Super-Mare with our spades tomorrow.

24 January 2020, 18:39
Everyday (cycling) sexism

Mitchelton-Scott's Grace Brown rode the Women's Tour Down Under last week - she won a stage at last year's race - and earlier this month was second in the time trial and third in the road race at the Australian national championships.

All of which seems to have gone over the head of this one guy she encountered while out on a ride ...

24 January 2020, 18:38
Fire engine stuck behind Cambridge anti-terror barrier
24 January 2020, 17:53
Halfords staff praised for tending to woman who fell off her bike near retail park

The Ravenside branch of Halfords went above and beyond for unfortunate Claire Errey, who came off her bike on Wednesday afternoon close to the store on her way to the shops. Ms Errey hit her head on concrete which caused a concussion, and also suffered a small fracture above her eyebrow and bruised knees. ​

She tried to continue her shopping trip, but was spotted by Halfords staff who saw blood running down her face and phoned for an ambulance. She told the Hastings and St Leonards Observer: “They took me through to the back and phoned an ambulance for me.

“They even took my bike and offered to do a maintenance check on it for free and gave me a free helmet. I wasn’t wearing a helmet when I came off my bike, and the biggest thing I have learnt from this is that all cyclists should wear a helmet.

“I would like to say a very big thank you to the staff at Halfords, particularly the manager Sophie.”

24 January 2020, 17:06
Southampton University recruiting drivers and cyclists for cycling safety research

The researchers are looking for participants to help with a study aimed at reducing the number of incidents on the road. Working with cycling UK, the University’s Transport Research Group are working to develop new training programs to help road users understand risky behaviours and improve awareness of other road users. There will also be focus groups including people who travel by bike and car where they can discuss their views on 'a series of questions and scenarios'.

The researchers say cyclists are disproportionately represented in UK accident statistics with over 18,000 injured in road accidents in 2016. The study will contribute to the development of training programs for drivers and cyclists that will include theory and practical elements on the road or a simulator. 

Dr Katie Plant, Lecturer in Human Factors in Engineering at the University of Southampton, said: “For most of us, training in road safety is limited to taking our cycling proficiency test at school and passing our driving test. This makes it very easy for our knowledge of traffic laws and the Highway Code to diminish over time.

“A high proportion of road accidents involve cyclists and drivers, two groups who are traditionally in conflict with each other. It is really important therefore that we get both groups involved to find out where the gaps in awareness lie.”

If you're interested in taking part, you can contact focus group co-ordinator and senior researcher Matthew Webster at M.Webster [at] soton.ac.uk.

24 January 2020, 16:38
Cyclist catches driver using mobile at the wheel... and still attracts anti-cycling comments on local news article

Jamie Wasley told SurreyLive that motorists are a 'growing menace' on the roads, and said his latest catch who was watching a Facebook video on his phone was unapologetic when Mr Wasley asked him what he was doing: "He replied 'whatever'. He genuinely thought that he wasn't doing anything wrong. People get in their cars and they're cocooned, but your driving licence is a privilege, not a right."

Though a good proportion of commenters on the SurryLive article denounce the driver's actions, in a stunning display of whataboutery some saw it fit to complain about cyclists (wait for it)... 'holding up the roads' and refusing to pay 'road tax'. Sherway1 goes one step further, claiming that it's cyclists causing all the accidents: "Cyclists are a damn pain in the backside. Weaving all over the road, undertaking, using pedestrian crossings to turn, riding two or three abreast etc etc. Most of the accidents are caused by the way cyclist ride and behave."

We'll look forward to reading Sherway1's peer-reviewed research on the matter in due course...

24 January 2020, 16:12
Lappartient: Bjarne Riis "has the right to return" as NTT Cycling manager

While also talking up a possible gravel world champs, Lappartient has also weighed in on the return of convicted doper Bjarne Riis to pro cycling as team manager of NTT Pro Cycling. He said he understands opposition to the appointment, but that Riis has a right to return: "I am sure he has learned some lessons from the past, so that he will be stronger in the future."

"If you include the Tour de France winners between 1996 and 2010, only two riders weren't caught doping. It was a difficult time for our sport, but I think we are now at the forefront of the fight against doping. We've invested a lot of money in the CADF anti-doping agency, about ten million Swiss francs a year. This is necessary because credibility can be lost in five minutes and it takes twenty years to get it back." 

Lappartient also reiterated the need to invest more in anti-doping, as the number of cases has actually increased worldwide: "75 percent of the doping cases come from South America. That is a concern for the UCI. I have spoken with federations and national anti-doping agencies and put them under pressure to combat doping. We went to one country, did twelve tests and they were all positive. That's horrible."

24 January 2020, 15:52
Is a gravel world championships coming soon?

That's according to UCI President David Lappartient, who said in a press conference in Adelaide that the rising popularity of gravel and endurance competitions can't be ignored: “We have already had gravel sections in competitions such as the Tour de France, but also look at Strade Bianche. In ten years, this classic has become one of the most important competitions on the calendar. It shows that gravel gives cycling a new dimension", said Lappartient. "We have already had a global UCI meeting to determine our strategy."

It's also understood that Lappartient has had meetings with l'Eroica organiser Giancarlo Brocci to seek inspiration for the new format; although Brocci is believed to be in favour of races deviating from exact routes, banning bike computers and limiting gear range to shake up pro cycling and bring it closer to the public, all things which might be too extreme for the fairly rigid UCI. 

24 January 2020, 15:40
Cyclists respond to $30k to ride with Lance 'offer'

Alex Howes makes the point that instead of paying $30,000 to ride with Lance Armstrong and George Hincapie, you can instead join up with him and his Project Super Training group for $20, with all proceeds going to the Eco-Cycle environmental charity. Similarly Phil Gaimon has retweeted the news to mention that you can also choose to ride with him and friends for free to raise funds for the No Kid Hungry charity in May. 

24 January 2020, 15:32
The Dolly Parton Challenge, cycling edition

The latest viral social media meme challenges participants to post pictures of themselves that would be appropriate for Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram and Tinder. Here's Ellen Noble's effort... 

24 January 2020, 12:47
Bristol bus boss blames delays on cyclists leaving bikes at home

The head of Bristol’s biggest bus operator, First West of England, has blamed cyclists as well as traffic for causing delays that have seen the operator flooded with complaints – or at least, that’s what a headline in the Bristol Post would have you believe.

As road.cc user Brooksby pointed out in a forum post, the headline, First Bus blames delays on cyclists and traffic as complaints pile up, might lead one to wonder, “Is it cyclists using bus lanes? Being inconsiderate?”

Actually, no.  What First West of England managing director James Freeman actually said was: “We have seen extremely icy weather move in on Monday and Tuesday, followed by thick fog on Wednesday, which unfortunately slowed traffic more than usual all through Bristol during rush hour.

“In addition, we saw a surge people, many of whom we believe were cyclists using buses to avoid those potentially dangerous conditions.

“As a result, buses were getting full quicker, with consequential delays for passengers boarding at stops closer in to the city centre.”

As Brooksby pointed out: “So First are actually blaming people for actually using the service they're providing, and the Post is – as usual – putting together any clickbaity headline they can.

“Grrr.”

We’re glad that’s been cleared up.

24 January 2020, 11:26
Thorn(s) on my ride: Essex County Council leave cycle path covered in thorns after cutting hedge

300 metres of cycle path in Wickford, Essex has been left covered in thousands of thorns, after Essex County Council trimmed back a hedge and failed to clear the debris, reports the Basildon Standard

Hector Macpherson says the path is particularly vital on the busy Runwell Road, and the council are neglecting cyclists safety by leaving the puncture-inducing thorns on the path. Luckily Mr Macpherson himself did know better and didn't trust the thorn-riddled path at first, instead opting to walk around it or take to the road which he claims is dangerous for cyclists: “It’s not good enough. There’s bushes all along the road and the cycle path. They’ve just been left there.

“It was impassable for me. I know other cyclists use it frequently too. I see at least three people cycling there in the mornings. I cycle along there everyday, to and from work in South Woodham Ferrers. The only other option was to walk around it into Runwell Road, or cycle along the road."

“I don’t know whether cycling on the cycle path or the road is more dangerous at the moment.”

Other cyclists expressed their anger on social media, with one saying nothing will be done until there is an accident. ​An Essex Highways spokesperson said: “Our Rangers Service were due to cut back some verge and hedge growth.

“If they have left any fragments of brambles on the path, we apologise and will to go back and clear any remaining trimmings.”

Thanks to Mr MacPherson for the images. 

24 January 2020, 11:00
Dropbox lends support to Dublin Cycling Campaign

It appears file sharing and sharing space on the road are two peas in a pod, as tech company Dropbox have formally backed the work of the Dublin Cycling Campaign by becoming a business member, reports the Irish Times

Their Director of Solutions Paulo Rodriguez said: “We understand the importance of making cities and towns bicycle friendly, and are delighted to partner with Dublin Cycling Campaign.”

“They are advocating to make cycling a safe aspect of everyday life. We have been very impressed with their unceasing work to effect change at national, local and community levels.”

Dropbox employ more than 160 people in Ireland, and the Dublin Cycle Campaign has more than 700 members. 

 

24 January 2020, 10:45
Another cyclist is caught riding on the motorway

This time it was near junction 19 of the M60, with police 'strongly advising' the male against cycling there again. GMP tweeted: "Male stopped by GMP Traffic on the M60 near to Junction 19 after reports of a pedal cyclist on the network.

"Checks carried out shown to have a provisional licence only, but unable to check to see if he had passed his cycling proficiency test."

Whether the licences the man holds is relevant we don't know, but he's reported to be safe and well... 

24 January 2020, 08:51
"How true champions behave": Peter Sagan gets in touch with boy's father and sends a signed book and jersey

We're feeling all warm and fuzzy this Friday morning after Peter Sagan decided to make a young fan's year by sending him a signed jersey and a signed copy of his book, 'My World'. 

Originally Dr Jonathan Leung posted a photo of his young son on a Frog kids' bike - to which Sagan privately messaged to ask if the boy was his son. Leung said yes, and that one day the two-year-old will win the Ronde... and Sagan asked for an address and phone number to "further encourage this future champion." 

A week later and the nipper was a proud owner of a Sagan edition world champ's jersey and a book with a personal message. Chapeau Mr Sagan, that is indeed how true champions behave! 

24 January 2020, 08:37
Nice work if you can get it: Froome pays a visit to OGC Nice

The four-time Tour de France champ checked in at the football club, also backed by Ineos, and commented on the difference in training and lifestyle between football and cycling: 

"In cycling, we don't really have bases like they do in football. We don't all train together, we don't all live together like footballers do so as a professional cyclist it's been really interesting to be here today and to see what OGC Nice are doing."

Nice may be hoping some of Froome's winning mentality rubs off on them, as they currently sit in 11th place in Ligue 1... 

24 January 2020, 08:25
Tributes paid to Three Peaks founder John Rawnsley at his funeral

Rawnsley's funeral took place St Mary's & St Monica's Church in Cottingley, with close friend Philip Helliwell reading out the eulogy: "John was recognised by British Cycling when he was inducted into their first Hall of Fame along with such names as Chris Boardman, Barry Hoban and Tom Simpson.

"British Cycling later recognised his achievements by presenting him with a further prestigious award: the Gold Badge of Honour.

"He was immensely proud of these awards, and he had other accolades. In 1992, he was voted Sportsman of the Year by the Sports Council for Yorkshire and Humberside.

"In 1993, he received a memorial award from the Yorkshire Cycling Federation, and in February 2013 he received their lifetime achievement award." 

Rawnsley passed away on Christmas day on his 82 birthday. He remained deeply involved with the Three Peaks race, despite his battle with cancer leading up to his death.

 

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 road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc 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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