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Spoormakers' half apology for “She knows exactly what she's wearing - or not wearing” as journalist calls him a "Brontosaurus"; Government look to 'double cycling + walking' (with no plan for how) + more on the live blog

All the news from the site and beyond
30 January 2020, 17:49
Journalist at centre of Vuelta a San Juan sexism controversy calls Sven Spoormakers a "Brontosaurus"

The comment was originally made by Spoormakers himself in an apology to Belén Mendiguren, where he said she was welcome to meet him and discover he's "not the brontosaurus you think I am."

It appears the apology wasn't exactly accepted, with Mendiguren saying to a critic: "And this brontosaurus says that it is not what I wear if not what I show. Go to sleep, ma'am.

"I repeat, I wear what I want and feel great. Go write something about a more relevant and interesting topic."

If you're only just catching up on the live blog today... former cyclist-turned journalist Sven Spoormakers appeared to claim that Argentinian journalist Belén Mendiguren was dressed inappropriately during an interview at the Vuelta a San Juan (see main pic) and said she "knows exactly what she's wearing". He's since deleted the offending tweets. 

30 January 2020, 16:32
Spoormakers' 'apology ' in full

Well. in 280 characters anyway. Clearly quite a few people didn't thin k the comments were just "a funny remark"...

Scroll down the blog to read through the rest of the drama, minus Spoormakers' deleted tweets. 

30 January 2020, 15:53
Belgian journalist deletes sexist tweets about reporter Belén Mendiguren

We're amazed that it took him this long, but after hours of condemnation from the cycling world, Sven Spoormakers has finally deleted the ridiculous tweets that saw him accused of sexually objectifying a young female reporter at the Vuelta a San Juan.

Belén Mendiguren, the reporter, has also spoken out to condemn Spoormakers, rightly saying that what she wears does not enable him to make jokes or disrespect her.

30 January 2020, 16:40
Video: Today's Transport Questions

Three questions were asked today directly about cycling. Here's what the Government had to say... 


30 January 2020, 15:41
Kiryienka retires due to heart condition

Known for his steely poker face and rock-solid position, the Ineos super-domestique will be a big loss for the Grand Tours.

30 January 2020, 14:54
Trek-Segafredo's Moschetti wins the first race of Challenge Mallorca

Only really posting this because I want to be in Mallorca on this rainy Thursday lunchtime.

30 January 2020, 14:21
When you really love a wand orca

Apparently, that what these are. More of this, please!

30 January 2020, 14:13
Spanish police shut down doping ring

Looks like we could have a new batch of top-level athletes about to be caught up in a doping investigation.

Hopefully, it won't just be sporting bodies that are informed of athletes that are implicated as some are famous for brushing doping issues under the rug.

30 January 2020, 10:58
"What’s she meant to do, wear a potato sack so you don’t get excited?", replies journalist Sophie Smith over Spoormakers' comments


30 January 2020, 12:20
Celebrating National Croissant Day*
Croissant (eaten)

Celebration complete here at Towers (apart from those crumbs) of our favourite pastry comestible - an ideal cycling fuel mix of fat, carbs and jam (maybe leave off the latter is you’re stuffing it in your jersey pocket). 

For some of us every day is croissant day, unless of course it’s pain au chocolat day… or should that be chocolatine?

*in France

30 January 2020, 11:03
"Some compared the street furniture to the Berlin Wall"
Walthamstow Village Mini Holland (source Enjoy Waltham Forest)

This morning we've been reading the news that our neck of the woods, Bath, might be transformed into a mini-Holland through new transport changes that restrict vehicle access through residential areas.

You can imagine the reaction that this is going to get from the usual anti-cycling/environment/common-sense brigade. But the comments (so far) under the SomersetLive article seem to be relatively positive.

SomersetLive Comments Section Bath Mini-Holland

The reaction to the changes in a London borough, which have inspired the potential changes in Bath drew some properly ridiculous reactions with one person likening the modal filters (movable bollards) to the Berlin Wall.

Speaking to Somerset Live, Labour councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader of Waltham Forest Council said that “there’s no rat-running. The people driving through are just the people who live there. There’s no speeding”.

30 January 2020, 11:22
Bath CC riding in kit

A big shout out to the racers from Bath Cycling Club who were out racing on Zwift last night for their first team race. The Bath kit isn't available in Zwift so the eight-man team was resplendent in colours, with Will Duffy taking second place overall, and three other Bath riders finishing in the top 20. Ride on!

30 January 2020, 11:31
If you want to rep the UK's finest road cycling website on Zwift, here's how you do it...
30 January 2020, 09:54
The cycling world condemns Spoormakers' comments

Some unsavoury comments filtering through, but luckily anyone with any kind of sense is defending the Argentinian reporter.  

30 January 2020, 08:36
Belgian journalist accused of objectifying female reporter

What is it about the Vuelta a San Juan and instances like this?

Belgian sports journalist and former professional cyclist, Sven Spoormakers has been accused of sexually objectifying a young female reporter working on the Argentinian race.

When challenged by Aussie sports journalist Sophie Smith on his remarks, Spoormakers continues to blame the reporter in the picture, claiming that “she knows exactly what she's wearing - or not wearing“.

This comes a year after Iljo Keisse was thrown off the same race for sexually harrassing a waitress. Keisse's father then claimed that the waitress was “suggestive with her ass“.

Not only all that, but we've already had crashes caused by a rogue spectator and a rogue dog on stages 1 and 2 respectively. The curse of San Juan doesn't seem to be relenting... 

30 January 2020, 10:19
Government to double cycling and walking - but there's no plan for how

Currently, spending on active travel is quite a way off the £15+ per person that Labour MP Feryal Clark suggests is needed to meet such targets.

Political correspondent for the Guardian Peter Walker is at Transport Questions. While the Government, who have a “cycling Prime Minister“, say they're going to double cycling and walking in the time of this government, Walker says that there doesn't seem to be a plan. 

We'll be keeping our eye on this one. 

30 January 2020, 08:54
Meanwhile in Australia, Sam Bennett wins the inaugural Race Torquay

Do you know how we can tell that this is the Aussie Torquay, not the British version?

We can see the sky...

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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