'Voice of Cycling' Phil Liggett has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of South Australia (UniSA) to recognise “his distinguished contribution to the world of cycling and sports journalism and his special contribution to South Australia, through his support of the Santos Tour Down Under,” a race he has been involved in since it began in 1999.
UniSA vice chancellor Professor David Lloyd said: “As sponsors of Team UniSA in the Tour for the past 20 years, we have come to know the legend that is Phil Liggett.
“Warm, witty and indefatigable, Phil has an encyclopaedic knowledge of cycling and his preparation across his brief is a lesson for every aspiring sports’ journalist.
“His commitment to the Tour Down Under and to promoting this event from its earliest days as a bold experiment, right through to its position today, as a world class opening event to the international professional cycling season, has been phenomenal.
“Phil is the voice of cycling, but he is also one of the finest examples of excellence and professionalism in journalism and we are extremely proud to welcome him to UniSA’s international community of friends and alumni.”
Liggett, who has reported on 47 editions of the Tour de France and is a member of the British Cycling Hall of Fame, said: “I have admired the University from the start with the way, as a seat of learning, it embraced the sport and formed a Tour Down Under team to allow young riders to advance their ambitions to become professional riders.”
He described the race as “A tough education for many emerging Australian cyclists who have gone on to take their place among the most famous riders in the World,” adding, “UniSA will always be a special and memorable place for me and my recognition has left me speechless which, I guess, is not good for a commentator.”
Ahead of Tom Pidcock making his Elite Cyclo-cross World Championships debut on Sunday - the 20-year-old from Leeds has already won the rainbow jersey at Junior and Under-23 level - an 18-minute film released today on YouTube charts his career to date.
Including contributions from his parents, with whom the Trinity Racing rider still lives - his bedroom is pretty much wallpapered with past race numbers and other mementoes - charts not only the high points such as last year's victory at Paris-Roubaix Espoirs as well as the lows, notably the crash at the Tour de l'Avenir that cost him the chance to target the under-23 titles at a home World Road Championships in Yorkshire last September.
It's well worth a watch.
Described as a 'Carnival Circus Bike', this dreamy tall bike is fashioned from a solid double headboard reinforced with square metal tubing, with the rear triangle and front forks originally belonging to a Diamondback BMX. Its owner says it has v-brakes with new Clarks brake levers added, and both head tubes are 'rigid' thanks to an 8mm flat drilled steel reinforcement added to the 'top tube'. The turning circle is described as 'large', but the owner says it's only really noticeable when you're forced to make a U-turn... sounds like you're not going to fall asleep at the wheel at least.
If you want to make it your own the eBay listing is here, with the price set at £100 with no lower offers accepted and collection in person from Southampton. We might think about splashing out ourselves, but will sleep on it before making a decision...
We were in deepest darkest Northamptonshire today checking out some new bikes and tech at the Core Bike show. We got up close and personal with Niner's full suspension gravel bike...
And were also pretty taken by the blue mudguards on this all-roader from Rondo. Check out our Instagram for more shiny new stuff from the show.
A statement from the UCI says that the presence of coronavirus left them with no choice but to provisionally cancel the Tour of Hainan, which was scheduled to take place from 23 February - 1st March. The UCI has approved a request of the Chinese National Federation to postpone it to a later date in 2020 subject to availabilities on the calendar, and they also say they're in 'regular contact with the Chinese authorities' about the health situation in the country and its impact on the organisation of future events.
In a case that couldn't be more Dutch if it tried, a thief has been caught with 30 mobile phones concealed inside his cycling shorts.
The 34-year-old pickpocketed the phones at a Sum 41 concert at AFAS Live in Amsterdam last Tuesday, and was intercepted by police before he left the venue with a little more than just the obvious inside his bike shorts. Dutch News report that bizarrely pickpockets seem to be specifically targeting Sum 41 concerts, with 50 handsets reported stolen at the band's show in Antwerp recently.
The man caught at the Amsterdam gig is due to appear at a fast-tracked court hearing next week.
— Greg on a couch (@gregonabicycle) January 26, 2020
The intellectually challenged fan caused the crash about 3.5km from the finish line by touching the handlebars of one of the riders according to a statement from the organisers in Argentina.
Because the crash in stage 1 of 🇦🇷@vueltasanjuanok was caused by a spectator that touched the handlebar of one of the riders, the Commissaires Panel has made the decision to give the same time to all riders that were in the bunch at the moment of the crash #VueltaSJ #VueltaSJ2020 pic.twitter.com/5Z7lgH3QJs
— World Cycling Stats (@wcsbike) January 27, 2020
The Commissaires Panel decided to give the same time to all riders that were in the bunch when the crash happened on stage 1 yesterday. Although the spectator is very silly indeed, we hope he makes a full recovery...
— Movistar Team (@Movistar_Team) January 27, 2020
This 4-wheel e-bike looks like a mini-car and it lets you cycle anywhere in any weather. PodRide is an electrically assisted cycle with a suspension system that's designed to empower you. You can adjust the level of motor assist to travel further and even conquer the hills. pic.twitter.com/fauwAwqrC8
— Tech That Matters (@realtechmatters) January 20, 2020
Look no further than PodRide, an e-bike with four wheels that is fully covered to protect you from the elements. eBikeTips will be digging deeper and publishing a full story later this afternoon on this curious contraption...
Today marks the five year anniversary of the day my life changed forever. A thread...
— Kady Middleton (@KadyMiddleton) January 26, 2020
There is quite a remarkable story of recovery contained within this Twitter thread posted by BBC journalist Kady Middleton... and it culminated in her ex-boyfriend (the pair are still good friends) Louis finding his passion for bike riding after suffering horrific injuries five years ago at the hands of a drink driver.
We came up with some of the best stories when people asked ‘what happened to us’ as we both hobbled along on crutches with body braces on. We tried to make it in the Circus was my fave, got into a fight with a shark was Louis’... pic.twitter.com/XnZOd48HXF
— Kady Middleton (@KadyMiddleton) January 26, 2020
Kady and Louis were out walking after dinner at around 8pm, when they were hit by a pick-up truck on a country lane - the driver had been drinking, and was found hiding in his house with the smashed truck on his driveway shortly after. The pair suffered horrendous injuries and and both had to learn to walk again, while the driver was jailed for two years and 8 months; he only served 11 months.
Exactly 5 years ago to this minute I was lying in a hedge with a broken back leg ribs etc having been mowed down by a drink driver. 5 years on and I have cycled more than the equivalent of a lap of the Earth (40,075 km) and discovered my absolute passion in life - racing bikes! Thank you to everyone for your love and support, particularly during those crazy first few months. Here’s to the next lap! 🌎 🏁 Two top tips: 1. Don’t fucking drink and drive (he had 2.5 pints) 2. Find something you love, and do it as much as you can with whoever you can... while you can! #thankyou #family #friends #nhs #mountainbike #crosscountry #race #mtb #xco #mountainmaniaraceteam
Five years on and Louis has now found a passion for bike racing, competing for the Mountain Mania Cycles team and having ridden the equivalent of a lap of the earth. Kady finished her post by saying: "I hope by reading this you will pass on the message to your peers, drinking and driving isn’t worth it. If we hadn’t been so lucky, his life could’ve also been ruined. If there’s one thing I hope to do, it’s to raise awareness that drinking and driving is not ok. At any level."
Louis reminded his Instagram followers "don’t f**king drink and drive", and to find something that you love. Chapeau to both!
Excited to be chairing this discussion next month: Are Cars the New Tobacco? Get yourself a free ticket! https://t.co/McwKqaoSnd
— Laura Laker (@laura_laker) January 27, 2020
'Are Cars the new Tobacco?' will take place on Wednesday 26th February at the University of Westminster, and the expert panel will feature road.cc contributors Laura Laker and Dr Ian Walker. The event description says:
"Climate breakdown, air and noise pollution, habitat destruction, road injuries, and negative physical and mental health impacts of inactivity can all be linked to car-dominated transport systems.
..."Electric cars sales remain tiny and SUVs sales grow, despite their inefficiency and increased risk to cyclists and pedestrians. Why do cars (and the industry that produces and promotes them) still have such a hold over us? And how should we (academics, policy-makers, the public) challenge this?"
The event will start at 6pm and finish at 8 with a drinks reception after, register your attendance for free here.
— José Been (@TourDeJose) January 27, 2020
Cycling commentator José Been has calculated that there are 20 pairs of brothers riding for pro men's teams this year; with the Norwegian development team Uno-X containing no less than three pairs of brothers! The Norwegians appear to have quite a thing for competitive sporting siblings, with Jakub, Henrik and Filip Ingebrigsten all being world class middle distance runners.
A pilot distracted by an earlier near miss when a cyclist allegedly pulled out in front of his motorbike failed to secure a towbar that then fell onto an airport runway, with other planes narrowly avoiding hitting it.
The BBC reports that the pilot said he had "a fright and a close shave" with the cyclist as he made his way to the airport, and admitted to being distracted during pre-flight checks. He realised he didn't remember removing and stowing the towbar about 30 minutes into the flight and alerted the airport, saying"I cannot believe that I missed it."
The blue towbar fell onto the runway departing from London Southend Airport on 7 August, and would have been difficult to see against the ground surface; although luckily no other planes that landed in the area hit the towbar, the Civil Aviation Authority have now recommended that ground equipment has increased visibility.
— Beefeater Bend🎶🍻 (@tdfbeefeaters) January 26, 2020
— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) January 25, 2020
Chris Froome and the famous Tour de France Beefeaters are the latest from the cycling world to participate in this social media meme fad.
— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) January 25, 2020
The Australian took some time to emulate/imitate his new teammate at the Tour Down Under over the weekend... wonder if he's had a go at the famous run up the Ventoux yet?
A new survey of 1,500 people by Cycle Republic has gathered some hard evidence about cyclists' sex lives and lifestyles to finds out if they are 'superhuman' compared to the rest of society.
Before we get to the sex bits, some selected other findings were that 60% of cyclists practice mindfulness compared to non-cyclists, which can help to lower blood pressure, improve sleep and remove stress. They also found cyclists were more sociable, with 15% socialising daily compared to 8% of non-cyclists. 17% of cyclists drink more than four cups of coffee a day, while 47% get their five portions of fruit and veg compared to 35% of non-cyclists.
70% of cyclist said their motivation to cycle was to keep themselves fit and healthy, and 61% of cyclists exercise for over an hour a day compared to 45% for non-cyclists. Environmental impact was also a factor, with 53% of women and 50% of men saying this was motivation to cycle.
Moving to the bedroom, Cycle Republic found that 15% of cyclists have sex daily and 44% get steamy on a weekly basis compared to 11% and 41% respectively amongst non-cyclists. Apparently (this wouldn't include me), cyclists also think of themselves as more sexually attractive than average, with 46% of cyclists rating themselves more sexually attractive than average compared to just 35% of non-cyclists.
Strangely, Cycle Republic also asked participants if they would date someone who wore cycling shorts for fashion (google them if you're not familiar) and found 27% would compared to 17% of non-cyclists.
Do you reckon cyclists are more prone to some extra evening exercise compared to the general population? Maybe ask your friends or relatives over dinner to gather some evidence of your own...
Sou contra todo tipo de violência, mas... pic.twitter.com/ogy9gobDLi
— País do Ciclismo (@DoCiclismo) January 23, 2020
We're pretty sure this crazy clip is from Mexico as it says 'Mexico City' on the side of the bus, and it begins with a very scary yet sadly familiar scene of a bus close passing a cyclist to the point where they are forced off the road. What happens next is described as 'rough justice' by some in the comments... (violence is never the answer, kids)
If you haven't been reading road.cc over the weekend (tut tut), here's what you've missed...
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.