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Ultimate close pass deterrent? Coronavirus Olympic risk; London car-free day returns; NYPD tickets cyclists (again); Niklas Eg and marshal collide at UAE Tour; Miltag launch Carter USM kit + more on the live blog

Welcome to Tuesday's live blog, with Jack Sexty at the controls and Simon MacMichael taking over later this evening. ...
25 February 2020, 19:44
London car-free day back this year
25 February 2020, 19:27
Coronavirus threatens cancellation of Tokyo Olympics

The Tokyo Olympic Games, due to start on Friday 24 July, may have to be cancelled if the coronavirus outbreak is not contained by the end of May, International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound has warned.

The Canadian, former president of the World Anti-Doping Organisation (WADA) and the longest-serving member of the IOC, having been elected to the body in 1978, told the Associated Press: “It's a big, big, big decision and you just can't take it until you have reliable facts on which to base it.

He said that the IOC is in close discussions with the World Health Organization (WHO) and that while current advice “doesn't call for cancellation or postponement of the Olympics,” the scale of the event meant that putting the event back by a couple of months was not an option.

“You just don't postpone something on the size and scale of the Olympics,” he explained. “There's so many moving parts, so many countries and different seasons, and competitive seasons, and television seasons. You can't just say, we'll do it in October.”

While Shaun Bailey, the Conservative candidate in the London mayoral elections, has said the city could step in – something Tokyo’s governor dismissed as an electoral stunt – shifting the entire event elsewhere is not an option, nor is spreading the sports around different cities worldwide.

Pound pointed out that there are also huge problems in co-ordinating global TV coverage outside the current two-week window.

Ultimately, he said, it would depend on how successful efforts to contain the virus are within the window beyond which a decision would have to be made.

Referring to the pandemic estimated to have claimed 40-50 million lives between 1918 and 1920, he added: “If it gets to be something like the Spanish Flu, at that level of lethality, then everybody’s got to take their medicine.”

25 February 2020, 17:05
The NYPD are ticketing cyclists again

Traffic policing in New York has long been criticised for its heavy-handed approach towards cyclists, while failing to tackle the city's high cyclist and pedestrian death rates... and this latest controversy isn't helping matters. 

Julianne Cuba claims officers were ticketing a cyclist for not using a bike lane, and then when they saw her filming, gave her a ticket for not having a bell. It's once again at odds with New York's 'Vision Zero' target, which aims to end cyclist and pedestrian deaths in the city. The NYPD say they are deploying a 100-strong unit focusing on traffic enforcement at hot spots where cyclists and pedestrians have been killed; however locals won't be encouraged all officers are fully committed going off this latest performance. 

25 February 2020, 16:56
Alex Dowsett shows that being a pro ain't so tough after all

"When it’s easy it’s very easy and when it’s hard it’s biblical", explains the 2019 national TT champ - and this data from his TrainingPeaks account shows that most us reading this probably would have been able to keep up with the peloton for the first hour of the UAE Tour today. Dowsett average heart rate was just 87bpm and his power was just 92 watts, averaging a speed of 34.3km/h. 

25 February 2020, 16:12
The ultimate close pass deterrent?

Unfortunately we don't have an original credit for this (we're working on it) but thanks to CycleGaz for bringing it to our attention. You may recall a feature on Quartz that did the rounds last year encouraging cyclists to use 'pool noodles' to deter close passes - hopefully what with a pandemic looming over the world, this modified version might provide even more protection. Those of us in the UK might also want to swap it round to avoid noodling pedestrians... 

25 February 2020, 16:10
The Bike Project named RideLondon Charity of the Year partner

 

The charity, launched in 2013, provide refurbished second-hand bikes to refugees and asylum seekers, and have now been rewarded for their good work by being appointed the official Charity of the Year for the 2020 edition of RideLondon. To date The Bike Project has provided over 6,000 bikes to refugees living in London and Birmingham; but with a waiting list of over 800 people in need of a bike, they say riding in support of the charity at RideLondon will help to get everyone a bike who needs one.   

You can find out more about The Bike Project here and register your interest to support them at RideLondon here

25 February 2020, 15:48
Court of Arbitration for Sport holds rare open hearing in André Cardoso doping case

Cardoso has challenged his four-year ban for a positive doping test on Monday, and his lawyers have made the decision to air the legal arguments in an appeal in open court for media and observers to attend.

The appeal is against a ban imposed by the UCI on Cardoso for a positive EPO test two weeks before the 2017 Tour de France. in which the Portuguese rider was due to race for Trek-Segafredo. 

The 35-year-old said via video link: “I never took anything in my career”,  although an expert witness for the UCI says an initial positive test for EPO was “crystal clear". 

Cardoso's lawyer blamed excessive alcohol consumption as a cause of the positive test, with Cardoso saying he began drinking wine aged around seven as a daily tradition with his family. A verdict is expected within several weeks.

25 February 2020, 13:19
Miltag launch Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine collection

If you like cycling and bizarrely-named Madchester* bands, this new Miltag collection could be for you. Consisting of a jersey (£80), bib shorts (£100), cap (£20) and snood (£20) the kit pays homage to the indie punk heroes, who reached the height of their fame some time around 1989 with their landlord-hating hit Sheriff Fatman. 

You can shop the kit here

*Edit: Not actually Madchester as pointed out by EddyBerckx in the comments, they're from London and didn't really fit into any genre really. Singer Jim 'Jim Bob' Morrison also formed another band called Abdoujaparov in 1998 named after Uzbeki cyclist Djamolidine Abdoujaparov. Sorry for being rubbish folks!

25 February 2020, 12:38
Eg cracks, finishing 2 mins 15 secs down on stage winner

After stacking it on Shrove Tuesday by battering into a marshal, our new favourite pun-friendly pro Niklas Eg didn't manage to flip things around, and ended up getting fried by Adam Yates of Mitchelton-Scott. He'll be hoping to whisk round tomorrow's stage without getting flattened again... 

25 February 2020, 13:07
Confirmed: HSBC end British Cycling sponsorship

We've just received a statement confirming the news, with HSBC's UK Chief Executive commenting: “We are extremely proud of what our partnership has delivered over the last three years and excited about what it can achieve this year. When we set off on this journey together we wanted to get two million people cycling regularly and we’re on track to smash through that this year.

“2020 will be an exciting year for the sport, with Britain willing on our athletes to medals in Tokyo. It’s been a privilege to be involved in building the grassroots of a sport with such a fantastic future.”

Full story to follow. 

25 February 2020, 13:10
Chris Hoy shares his thoughts on Britain's Track World Championship medal hopes

Writing for the BBC, Sir Chris Hoy says these championships are "the most important and exciting World Championships in the four-year Olympic cycle", with Tokyo looming. He's tipped the men's endurance squad to pick up two to three medals, described the women's endurance team as the one to beat and believes Jason Kenny could have an outside chance of medaling in the sprint events. He also says Katy Marchant is a safe bet to medal in individual events now the ship has sailed for Tokyo qualification in the women's team sprint. 

 

l be two or three medals from the men's endurance squad - but we'll have to wait and see whether they get a gold. 

25 February 2020, 12:22
Ned Boulting definitely loves our egg puns
25 February 2020, 11:38
Trek-Segafredo rider Niklas Eg smashes into a marshal at UAE Tour

The 25-year-old Dane was out of the saddle and appeared to have a lapse of concentration as he ploughed into an unfortunate marshal at stage 3 of the UAE Tour today. When he hit the deck 25-year-old Eg scrambled to get back up, and being a climbing specialist he'll be hoping to recover and poach a decent placing on today's summit finish. As it's Shrove Tuesday, we hope neither Mr Eg or the poor marshal are too battered... but I guess that's what happens when you play chicken with the Eg. Ok, that's un ouef now... 

25 February 2020, 11:33
HSBC reported to have pulled British Cycling sponsorship (more to follow)

Callum Skinner says it will pose "a major challenge" if true, with the BBC's Dan Roan claiming that HSBC will exercise a break clause in the contract just three years into an eight year deal. 

We've contacted British Cycling to confirm the news, and a full story will follow. 

25 February 2020, 10:47
Coronovirus cases reported in Tenerife

A hotel in the cyclist's mecca of Tenerife - a favourite location for Team Ineos training camps - is in lockdown after an Italian doctor tested positive for the virus, according to the latest reports. 1,000 people are in quarantine at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel, with some flights to Tenerife already been cancelled or diverted. 

Travellers to the Canary Islands have already been facing flight delays and cancellations due to a Saharan dust storm - do you know anyone affected, or are you currently in Tenerife? Let us know at info [at] road.cc if you have any information. 

25 February 2020, 09:18
“I was riding an e-bike and think that saved me": Bristol cyclist escapes three armed men on a motorbike

A Bristol cyclist has thanked his e-bike for helping him to get away from an armed and organised motorbike gang, who appeared to be targeting expensive bikes along the Avon Gorge cycle trail. 

The man told the Bristol Post that he was riding his e-mountain bike along the River Avon Path at lunchtime on Saturday, when he noticed he was been followed by a man riding a pushbike and talking on his phone. He got spooked when he realised he was been followed and detoured, but as he rode up the steep trail he heard a motorbike racing towards him with three white males sat on top of it, all wearing dark clothing. 

He said: “I quickly turned around and rode downhill just before they got off their bike. They tried to grab me and had some tools in their hands but I didn’t wait long enough to find out.

“When I rode downhill towards the river path, the guy who followed me was waiting at the bottom." 

He said that if he wasn't on an e-bike, he doubt he'd have been able to accelerate away from the motorbike quick enough to escape: “I was riding an e-bike and think that saved me. I would have no chance to outrun the motorbike on the river path on a push bike." 

The man reported the incident to the police, and the story has now been shared across social media to warn other cyclists in the area. 

25 February 2020, 09:11
Pilot scheme in Warrington that teaches young people bike maintenance and lets them keep the bike at the end hailed a success

.Warrington Worldwide reports that the scheme was possible thanks to a £3,500 grant from Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane, and teaches young people bicycle maintenance skills over a six week course. Participants are then given their rebuilt bike to keep at the end plus a  certificate of attendance.

The next wave of the project will involve more school students plus some adult learners. LiveWire's community sports development officer Paul Flannery said: “The first bike project was a massive success. The engagement from all participants was brilliant and has given them some key life skills. The technicians and volunteers are all overwhelmed by the success of the pilot scheme, in which there has been a lot of interest in. We are confident that it can grow further throughout 2020.”

25 February 2020, 09:01
Germany's new pedestrian and cycle-friendly policies result in 12% more bike trips

The pedestrian-friendly policies to reduce car parking spaces and increase health benefits amongst other targets has also led to an increase in cycling, with a 12% increase in bike trips and fewer fatalities. 

It's all based on Germany's “Avoid, Shift, Improve” approach to planning, which means to shorten trips by designing cities with everything in easy reach and shifting the modes of transports by encouraging cycling and walking, which leads to the improvement.  

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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