news

Driver who called cyclist 'gay boy' and spat at him jailed for 8 weeks; Brussels bike thief jailed for ‘ecological crime’; Josh Quigley to get new bike from Shand Cycles; BEAT Cycling Club's 'Burning Brexit' ride + more on the live blog

Following a few minutes of negotiations, it's been decided Jack Sexty will be bringing you live blog coverage this morning. A transition period will follow later today, after which Simon MacMichael will provide a strong and stable presence in the evening...

SUMMARY

31 January 2020, 18:32
Brussels bike thief jailed for three years for "ecological crime"

A court in Brussels has sentenced a bike thief to three years in jail – for committing an “ecological crime.”

The Brussels Times reports that the defendant, 41-year-old Charles S, was caught by police as he stole the bike from Hankar metro station last year.

At trial, the judge classified the offence as an “ecological crime,” pointing out that the bike’s owner would be forced to use a less environmentally-friendly way to get around.

“The time has come to punish the accused severely for offences which have grave consequences for the planet, given that the victim who was deprived of the bicycle had no option but to use means of transport which pollute more, and therefore contribute to climate change – and all that to allow the accused to buy drugs,” said the judge.

The sentence will be added to a total of nine years’ imprisonment previously handed down to the drug addict for a variety of offences – although the judge expressed disappointment that due to the Belgian legal system, he has yet to actually spend any time in jail.

31 January 2020, 18:16
Round-the-world cyclist Josh Quigley to get new bike from hometown firm Shand Cycles

Round-the-world cyclist Josh Quigley is back home in Scotland as he continues his recovery from the injuries sustained shortly before Christmas when a driver in Texas hit him from behind at 70mph – and when he gets back on the road again, he’ll do so on a custom-built bike being made for him by Shand Cycles, based in his home town of Livingston, West Lothian.

The 27-year-old, whose injuries included fractures to 10 ribs, his skull, pelvis and ankle, as well as a punctured lung, reiterated on Twitter his determination to complete his circumnavigation.

31 January 2020, 16:32
There's parking in the bike lane, and then there's this...

The hashtag says it all. So long as city planners only use paint to mark cycle lanes, motorists will continue to flaglarently ignore them.

31 January 2020, 15:32
Driver who spat at cyclist and called him 'gay boy': more details emerge

It's emerged that Faizal Alizada initially didn't turn up to court and pleaded not guilty to the assault charges against Mr Howard. He also had previous convictions for common assault and ABH. District Judge Samuel Goozee summed up: “I’m entirely satisfied that when you did it you were conscious, and that it was intentional on Mr Howard, as demonstrated by homophobic things you said and spat at him through the window.

“I do not believe your apology has genuine remorse, he still had to go through the ordeal of giving evidence.

“You committed this offence subject to a crown court order for offences of similar nature.”

Alizada claimed that prison would worsen his anxiety and panic attacks, but the judge refused to back down on a custodial sentence.  An extra week was also added for forcing Mr Howard to relive the ordeal by pleading not guilty and initially failing to attend the trial that was first scheduled for 10th January at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Alizada had to be lifted to the courtroom exit by two dock officers as his family members pleaded he be set free.He was also ordered to pay £150 to the victim plus costs. 

31 January 2020, 14:51
Driver who called a cyclist 'gay boy' and spat at him is jailed for eight weeks

Court News reports that 23-year-old Faizal Alizada shouted "Oi gay boy!" at a cyclist wearing pink Lycra and spat at him. The cyclist, named only as Mr Howard, was abused on 27th March last year while he waited at traffic lights at Notting Hill Gate.

Police managed to trace Alizada from DNA he left on Mr Howard's clothing when he spat at him. Alizada was jailed for eight weeks.  

31 January 2020, 14:26
City monuments turn Pink to mark 100 days until the start of the Giro d'Italia

This year the Giro will start in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. The Piazza degli Eroi has turned pink to mark 100 days until the start of stage 1 on 9th May, along with Italian landmarks that will feature when the race returns to home soil from stage 4 onwards. This will be the 103rd edition of the famous Grand Tour. 

31 January 2020, 15:08
#Whereswout? Bahrain Merida...

Chris Froome managed to locate his former teammate somewhere in Monaco. Wonder if Wout led him up a climb or two only for Froome to power ahead for the victory? 

31 January 2020, 14:31
2022 Road World Champs will leave 'lasting legacy' in Wollongong and boost cycling, says sports minister

The Illawarra Mercury reports that sports ministers in the Australian city are already investing in cycling more than two years away from the 2022 UCI Road Cycling World Championships. 

Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee announced a $760,000 Legacy Fund for initiatives to promote cycling within the community for residents, groups and businesses, plus a bike education program for 10,000 primary school children: "This will educate students about the benefits of cycling, will get them involved in the hobby or sport, and will teach them about the bike use safety.

"We want average people to engage with cycling so they can can change and live a healthy lifestyle."

Mr Lee said he wanted the funding to inspire changes that would make Wollongong a cycling city that is "renowned across the world."​

31 January 2020, 14:11
The Dutch are getting stoned

Well, strictly speaking, they're just digging massive rocks out of the World Championships cyclocross course which has been set up on a disused airfield in Switzerland.

The riders were doing their practice laps when they kept hitting something in a deep rut. It turned out to be a massive rock, so the riders will be worried about puncturing as the dirt turns to mud.

Here's a look around the (slightly dull) course from the head of pro rider Kerry Werner.

31 January 2020, 14:41
Funding boost for Highlands charity means more staff can cycle to work

A Highland charity will be able to provide facilities for staff who want to cycle to work following a funding boost, reports the Inverness Courier. 

The grant from Cycling Scotland means High Life Highland have been able to install new racks for bike parking at both its Inverness and Dingwall offices.

Nathalie Libera of Cycling Scotland, said: "High Life Highland has been working hard to support more people to cycle, and these new cycle racks at the Inverness and Dingwall offices are just part of their journey to become a Cycling Friendly organisation."

31 January 2020, 13:58
Georgian authorities return bike stolen in Tbilisi to British traveller

Rowan Campbell left for Singapore after a temporary stay in the Georgian capital minus his bike, after it was stolen on January 25th. Georgia Today report that Mr Campbell's bike had two helmets and bags attached, and when police were notified it had been found they set about returning it to its owner. ​

Before it was found he also received gifts and a new bike from locals who took the case to heart, with Mr Campbell expressing gratitude to the Georgian people for their hospitality in numerous Facebook posts. ​

31 January 2020, 13:28
EPO doping ring funded by a clinic in Andalusia smashed by the Spanish Civil Guard

El Pais report that a scandal which saw at least 260 athletes purchasing EPO over the internet has been shut down. 

The three year investigation uncovered that the EPO was shipped by a Serbian gang from a clinic in Andalucia before getting it sent out to athletes. The clinic in Cadiz has been funding the operation for a decade. 

Athletes caught reportedly include a former Spanish Olympian who is now a coach, cross-country and trail riders and numerous master's athletes. Those who consumed the EPO won't be pursued in criminal cases, but the courts have to send their names to the Spanish anti-doping agency, who are likely to publish names and hand out bans if they are sanctioned.  ​

31 January 2020, 13:12
Hull's St Stephens Shopping Centre accused of being heavy-hand with cyclists more than once

The shopping centre that banned a grandad from walking through with his bike to wash the oil off his hands (story below) apparently have previous for being heavy-handed with unwitting cyclists... should everyone just be more careful play by the rules, or should security operate a more laissez-faire approach in some situations?

31 January 2020, 11:50
Well oil be f**ked: Grandad wheeled out of shopping centre due to bike ban, but he just wanted to wash the oil off his hands

Hull Live reports on an unfortunate morning for 66-year-old Graham McDonald, who says his "rights were breached" because he was kicked out of St Stephen's Shopping Centre in Hull for entering with his bicycle. 

Mr McDonald went in to clean the oil off his hands because he had fallen off his bike and had to reattach his chain. Initially he claims he was told by a security guard that he'd be allowed to wheel his bike through the centre to get to the toilets, but was then pursued by two other guards who told him he had to leave. 

"I told them that the other security guard said I could. They said to me he didn't know the rules or that he was learning", said Mr McDonald. 

His day then went from bad to worse as Mr McDonald walked back around the centre to park his bike in the underground car park, then tripped trying to climb a broken escalator leading back up to the centre: "It's disgusting. It's totally unfair. In my opinion it was a breach of my rights", he said. 

A spokeswoman for St Stephen’s shopping centre commented: "We welcome and encourage people to travel to St Stephen’s on their bike.

"We don’t allow shoppers to bring their bikes inside the centre for health and safety reasons, but have more than 40 dedicated cycle bays where our customers can securely leave their bikes free of charge."

31 January 2020, 11:36
Cycling campaigners victorious in Cambridge campus barrier dispute

The Cambridge Independent report that a chicane recently installed on a guided busway bridge at Cambridge Biomedical Campus will be replaced with a bollard, after cyclists and councillors raised safety concerns.   

A petition was launched by local Liberal Democrats after three incidents in which cyclists either hit the chicane or had near misses with cars, attracting 1,400 signatures. Cambridgeshire County Council has now promised to swap the barrier for a bollard until a longer term solution can be found.

Cyclists and some councillors said the barrier didn't meet legal requirements, and complained about a lack of consultation. Queen Edith councillor Colin McGerty commented: "This has been an unfortunate example of the council not utilising the skills available to us in the local community and in groups like Camcycle. We must ensure they engage with people better to avoid this kind of mistake.”

31 January 2020, 11:08
Rare vintage 19th century cycling posters to be auctioned, with some set to fetch up to $15,000

Swann Auction Galleries have posted numerous lots of rare 19th century cycling posters, featuring prints from artists such as Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec, Adrien Barrere and Edward Penfield. Penfield's 'Orient Cycles/Leader of the Leaders' (above) has an estimated sale price between $8,000-$12,000, and Alphonse Mucha's 'Cycles Perfecta' from 1897 could go for as much as $20,000. 

The auctions are set to begin on 8th February - you can check out all the lots here

31 January 2020, 10:37
Cameron Wurf takes a break from triathlon to sign for Team Ineos

The multi-talented Australian, who rowed in the 2004 Olympics before moving on to pro cycling and then long course triathlon, has temporarily signed for Team Ineos. 36-year-old Wurf will fill the void left by Vasil Kiryienka, who was forced to retire due to a cardiac issue, making his debut in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Sunday. He will ride for Ineos throughout most of the cycling season before switching his focus back to triathlon ahead of the Ironman World Championships in October. 

Wurf has been known to train with Ineos riders such as Chris Froome and Gerain Thomas regularly, and is known for his brutal training regime which sees him riding as much as 700km a week, run over 100km a week and swim around 30km a week during his biggest training blocks. On Instagram Wurf said of his new role: "Be careful what you dream for. One day, it might just come true. I'm absolutely over the moon to join Team Ineos."

Ineos coach Tim Kerrison said: “Cameron will be joining the team to continue to pursue his Ironman career. The combination of his physical strength and versatility on the bike, his flexible schedule, and past experience racing at WorldTour level makes this an interesting and unique proposition for the team and for Cameron.

“For the first part of the season he will be always ready and available to race as required, while for the months leading into Kona his focus will shift back to Ironman, with the aim of improving on last year’s fifth place with the full support of the team."

31 January 2020, 10:57
100% launch Mathieu van der Poel limited edition S3 shades

Van der Poel will debut them at the Cyclocross World Championships this weekend, with the neon orange colours paying homage to his Dutch roots. If you fancy a pair, they're £180 and available now at Sigma Sports

31 January 2020, 08:53
Dutch cycling team BEAT Cycling's 'Burning Brexit' ride begins today, to find out if it's "total anarchy the other side of the North Sea" yet

BEAT Cycling Club are mostly renowned for their track and pro continental teams... but to mark Britain leaving the EU, they're braving our isolated island to embark on a 145km 'Burning Brexit' ride through East Yorkshire. Anyone was able to book tickets and the ride is fully guided. Why are they doing this? Let BEAT explain: 

"Brexit. A piece of world history. At midnight on the 31st January 2020, it will finally happen. Nobody knows how it ends. Will everything stay the same? Or is there total chaos and anarchy on the other side of the North Sea? The best way to find out is to investigate yourself.

"On the night that Brexit begins, we leave the safe mainland of the EU with 16 heroes and take the brave boat trip to the other side, and we invite you to join us. The moment the British awaken to their harsh reality, we make our first exploration together in the now-separated Great Britain; however, the question is whether we can return home on the boat afterwards... or will we get stuck?

"Participation is at your own risk. BEAT is not liable for unexpectedly being unable to return to the Netherlands because of the unclear consequences of Brexit with regards to free movement of people and resident's rights."

BEAT recommend attendees and anyone who wants to join them (it's an open invite on the roads) should have already started training for the Grand Prix Boris Johnson intermediate sprint... although they warn us it's highly likely this will be postponed several times. 

For 145 euros those travelling from Rotterdam will have a return ferry ticket, accommodation and get to take part on the picturesque hilly ride on February 1st, before returning to mainland Europe on the 2nd assuming all goes well at the border. Find out more about the route details and the itinerary here

31 January 2020, 09:19
"Here the subject ends": Argentinian journalist draws line under sexism row

In case you missed it yesterday (read the full story on yesterday's live blog here) 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, saying she "knows exactly what she's wearing".

Mendiguren has now made it clear she wants to draw a line under the incident, saying the furore began because of "misplaced comments about my physical appearance/dress."

Spoormakers hasn't posted further comments on Twitter since he attempted an apology yesterday, to which Ms Mendiguren called him a "Brontosaurus."  

31 January 2020, 08:50
4 minutes > 20 minutes

Ride your bike, Londoners! 

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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