news

Shocking vid as bike thief threatens bystander with angle-grinder; Fuglsang starts 2020 with bang; RNIB says e-scooters ARE dangerous; TdF stage winner Mercado linked to burglaries; Kid 'doesn't want to ride any more' after hi-vis talk + more on the live

Your midweek live blog will mostly be compiled by Jack Sexty, with some contributions from Simon MacMichael later this evening
19 February 2020, 20:43
Fuglsang starts 2020 with a win after denying Ferrari link

Among potential Grand Tour contenders, Astana's Jakob Fuglsang was the standout rider in the first few months of 2019 - and he's kicked off his 2020 season and defence of his Tour of Andalucia title today, winning the opening stage.

The Dane, who has recently vehemently denied training last year with banned Italian doping doctor Michele Ferrari, followed up his win in the early season Spanish race last year with podiums at Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and all three Ardennes Classics - including victory at Liege-Bastogne-Liege - by the end of April.

One swallow doesn't make a summer, and one stage doesn't make a six-stage race, let alone a spring campaign ... but following those allegations, he's bound to be one of the more closely watched riders right now, and not just by fans and the media.

 

19 February 2020, 20:36
Shocking footage of bike thief lunging at bystander with angle grinder

This footage emerged today on social media of the shocking moment a bike thief who had just cut the lock on a Brompton in London Fields in Hackney lunged with an angle grinder at a bystander who had tried to intervene.

It comes on a day when a senior police officer said that thieves “have become brazen, greedy and lazy” due to the slim chance of being caught as forces divert resources away from bike theft towards violent crime.

19 February 2020, 15:34
Royal National Institute of the Blind contact road.cc with statement on e-scooters, saying they are "dangerous for blind and partially sighted people"

Our article yesterday - regarding a new report from the International Transport Forum that says concerns surrounding the safety of e-scooters are overemphasised - has prompted the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) to get in touch to warn of the dangers of e-scooters around blind and partially sighted people. 

The RNIB's Policy and Campaigns Officer Zoe Courtney said in a statement: “E-scooters are dangerous for blind and partially sighted people as they are hard to hear and capable of reaching high speeds. The rise of silent vehicles such as e-scooters, but that also include electric and hybrid cars, is making it harder for people with sight loss to make independent journeys on foot as they are no longer able rely on sound to detect these vehicles.

“Despite it currently being illegal to do so, RNIB are aware of a rapid increase in recent months of e-scooters being driven on pavements and public walkways. Footways are vital for blind and partially sighted people to access transport hubs, essential services such as healthcare and education, and get to work. When footways become inaccessible, blind and partially sighted people lose their independence. Instead they must rely on expensive and polluting private hire vehicles to get around.

“If there is to be a change in the law relating to powered transporters, such as e-scooters, these safety concerns must first be fully addressed. We can only support the legalisation of powered transporters on public roads if the safety of blind and partially sighted people can be guaranteed.” 

How do you think the safety concerns (if you think there are any) should be addressed? Do e-scooters need their own trademark noise so we know when they're coming through? Answers on a postcard, or in the comments below ideally... 

19 February 2020, 16:11
Have e-bikes 'divided Britain'?

A Telegraph article published today has claimed that electric bikes are fast becoming polarising to the point of dividing the country, with one half in the 'cheating' camp and the other in the 'bloody good way of getting around and very useful and good for the planet' camp, it seems. 

With e-bike sales on the rise​ and set to outsell all other electric vehicles by the mid-2020's, are e-bikes really dividing Britain? We asked road.cc and eBikeTips founder Dave Atkinson for his opinion: 

"No", he said. 

19 February 2020, 16:07
NorthRoad cycles on the perils of a sweaty headset

Apparently the damage done here is almost exclusively due to corrosion from sweat... if you're a fan o the turbo/smart trainer, make sure it's covered! 

19 February 2020, 15:29
Bloody cyclists, jumping red lights...
19 February 2020, 15:13
Leicester gets £1 million funding boost to promote cycling and walking

The city will take advantage of the £1.065 million cash injection from the Department for Transport’s Access Fund to extend a four-year programme of partnership work between Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council. 

The programme has already led to notable increases in cycling and walking, claim Leicester City Council, with over 1,000 employees' bikes getting free services and 40 business getting travel grants to provide secure cycle parking, showers and electric bike fleets for staff.

More than 30,000 schoolchildren have also taken part in activities to encourage cycling to school in partnership with Sustrans. Deputy city mayor Councillor Adam Clarke commented: "We’ve already done a lot of work to promote walking, cycling and other sustainable transport across the city, and it’s very encouraging to see that this work is paying off, particularly in the impact it’s having on children walking to school. These successes have been instrumental in our securing a further £1 million to build on this work.

“We’re facing a climate emergency which requires urgent action at every level – individually, by local and national governments, and internationally. Everyone can play their part and we will be using this money to make it easier for us all to take action and make a positive impact on our local environment.”   

19 February 2020, 14:51
Indian politician and actress Navaneet Kaur 'cycles to raise awareness'

The popular Telugu film actress was elected as an independent Member of Parliament in the city of Amravati in 2019, and evidently attracts a crowd no matter how fast she flies by. The video originally appeared on Mrs Kaur's Instagram page in January, captioned 'cycling in the morning to raise awareness today' in the Marathi language. 

19 February 2020, 13:54
Driver arrested in Australia after five cyclists mown down in hit-and-run

A 28-year-old man has been injured following an alleged hit-and-run in which five cyclists were mown down in the suburb of Mount Louisa in Townsville, Queensland.  

Police and ambulances were called at around 5:40am on Tuesday morning, with two of the cyclists hit initially described as being in a "serious condition", reports ABC News Australia. An abandoned car was then found dumped at a scrapyard nearby, with police establishing that the car wasn't stolen or linked to any recent crimes. 

One female cyclist is reported to have suffered leg and pelvic injuries while another has serious leg injuries. Two men are been treated for back injuries, and another woman was allowed to leave hospital after been treated for minor injuries. ​

Police have charged the driver from Mount Louisa with four counts of dangerous driving and causing grievous bodily harm, and one count each of dangerous driving adversely affected by an intoxicating substance, and failing to remain at the scene and render assistance. 

The President of Townsville Cycling Club told ABC: "To see what happened to these five people this morning was just deplorable. 

"They're very well known in the cycling community, have been involved for a long time in some of the larger charity rides around the place. Just very, very nice people — nobody deserves to get hit by a car."

Police Minister Mark Ryan also commented: "My thoughts are with the victims of this senseless, heartless, cowardly attack.

"I have no doubt that this incident will hit Townsville's cycling community hard."

19 February 2020, 13:51
Don't try this at home (or anywhere for that matter): mtb'er takes leap of faith across canal

We sincerely hope this stunt was achieved in one take, and wherever it is some adequate crossings are installed to prevent any less skilled riders trying it again... 

19 February 2020, 12:31
Two-time Tour de France stage winner Juan Miguel Mercado linked to a spate of burglaries in Granada

Granada Today report that the 41-year-old, who won stage 18 at the 2004 Tour de France and stage 10 in 2006, is been investigated by police for his alleged involvement in a criminal gang that have carried out at least 16 violent burglaries in and around the Spanish province of Granada. 

Mercado has been named as part of Operation Zaletasuna, which is been conducted by the Spanish Civil Guard to dismantle criminal gangs terrorising the Granada Metropolitan Area. It's reported that at least 16 robberies took place between December 2019 and this month with more than 120,000 euros stolen, plus vehicles, sports equipment, musical instruments and electronics, and three people have already been arrested. Force was said to have been used in many of the robberies, with numerous traders and homeowners assaulted. 

The investigation remains open, however some of the victims reported that those who allegedly committed the robberies were back on the streets within 24 hours of been arrested, and wanted them to be detained. Other Spanish media have reported that Mercado chose "the wrong path" after retiring from professional cycling, according to Sporza

19 February 2020, 08:37
Sofiane Sehili destroys field at inaugural Atlas Mountain Race (on just over 2hrs sleep)

The remarkable Frenchman completed the 1,145km route in three days, 21 hours and 50 minutes, conquering over 20,000 metres of elevation on the brutal off-road course. At the time of writing, only three other riders are within 100km of the finish line according to the live tracker.  

Our very own ultra expert Jo Burt has been informed that Sehili managed the feat on just 2 hours and 15 minutes of sleep (now confirmed by the Atlas Mountain Race official Instagram page). In the last hour, Sehili have also posted on his own Instagram page to confirm his victory. 

In the last hour, two-time Transcontinental Race winner James Hayden has finished 2nd in a time of 4 days and 9 minutes - you can dotwatch the rest of the race and get live commentary on dotwatcher.cc

19 February 2020, 08:57
"My son doesn't want to ride his bike any more": Superintendent apologises after man claims his son was stopped by police for not wearing high-vis

While it's not a legal requirement to wear high-visibility clothing, Andy Evans claimed his son was spoken to by officers and handed hi-vis clothing to continue his journey despite already running lights and wearing "a bright red jacket".

Mr Evans also claims the police put an unsolicited photo on their Twitter feed to promote the operation, and now Superintendent Andy Cox of the Met Police has apologised and said he will task his team with looking into the incident. 

Recently the Met Police denied a scheme carried out by its Cycle Safety Team in which hi-vis vests were issued to cyclists was "victim blaming", with Superintendent Cox saying there is "some evidence" hi-vis can reduce risk; Mark Hodson of West Midands Police, one of the officers behind their renowned close pass operation, was among those to criticise the move. 

19 February 2020, 08:44
Peter Sagan caught up in bizarre cryptocurrency scam

The three-time world champion posted a statement in both English and Slovakian on his Twitter feed last night denying that he had any involvement with an article claiming that he was involved in a cryptocurrency trading scheme called 'Bitcoin Revolution' - full story here.

19 February 2020, 08:53
Dooring Warning: "And if you’re a motorist wondering why that cyclist in front of you is taking up all of the road, this is quite often the reason why"

This scary clip shows why so many of us refuse to ride anywhere near car doors, and why infrastructure that puts cyclists near parked cars aren't the greatest idea; we're hoping the cyclist in the clip makes a full recovery. 

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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