Riders and staff from four teams – Cofidis, FDJ, UAE Team Emirates and Gazprom – remain confined in a hotel in the United Arab Emirates following two suspected cases of coronavirus.
The suspected cases related to two Italian staff members of UAE Team Emirates, who are housed on the same floor of the Yas Island Crowne Plaza as the other three teams.
FDJ’s Arnaud Demare said: “The others from the other floors were allowed home Sunday but everybody was eating and mixing together in the same place on Friday and Saturday.
“We're all stuck in our rooms, there was cycling on the TV this weekend and we've been working out and watching Netflix.”
He and his team-mates will also be able to do a bit of pedalling too, with a picture on social media showing a consignment of Elite turbo trainers being delivered to the team.
Meanwhile, this video from Cofidis rider Nathan Haas and team mate Attilio Viviani shows how they are managing to keep fit using a variety of props.
Keep fit during your quarantine https://t.co/Mtn3PTVcYX
— Nathan Haas (@NathanPeterHaas) March 1, 2020
— Will Norman (@willnorman) March 2, 2020
From this morning, all roads operated by TfL within the central London Congestion Charging Zone now have a 20mph limit. On their web page entitled 'Safe Speeds' TfL say: "Speed is a factor in at least 37% of collisions where a person is killed or is seriously injured on London's streets. This is why we're lowering speed limits across London."
Some of the roads already had a 20mph limit enforced, but as of this morning 19 of the 37 roads will have a new lower limit. TfL also plan to expand 20mph limits out to a further 140 kilometres of their road network in inner and outer London, focussing on roads that pose a higher risk of a collision occurring according to data.
Very happy to see this. Getting on with business as usual. Accepting risk is part of living. Accepting and embracing risk is a really big part of cycling and professional cycling. So, let’s get on with it and race some bikes! #exploretheworld #chickenlittleneedsprozac https://t.co/XsFneVcl6i
— Jonathan Vaughters (@Vaughters) March 2, 2020
Not everyone agrees with the EF Pro Cycling manager, with some of the opinion that everything surrounding bike races (plane travel, large congregations of people) aren't the best things for containing what could turn into a pandemic... what do you think?
But is the health of the cyclists really worth that risk? I can understand risk around crashing are part of road cycling's very nature but not sure global pandemics/infections are...
— Jacob (@marrakoosh) March 2, 2020
So will you be there exposing yourself to COVID-19? What about rider's families - some have very young children. And it is hard to think of a more effective way of spreading disease than assembling a bunch of people in a hot-spot & then dispersing them round the world by plane.
— tashatam (@tashatam14) March 2, 2020
The company that organise the three prestigious races have told all participating teams via email that they will go ahead as planned despite growing concerns about coronavirus threatening the cycling calendar, reports Sporza.
It was thought Italian sporting events would be in a particularly precarious position, because of an outbreak in the north of the country and two Italians reportedly testing positive at the UAE Tour last week; however organisers have gave their assurances that the races would go ahead. The 2020 edition of the Strade Bianche takes place on Saturday 7th March, Tirreno–Adriatico is between Wednesday 11th - Tuesday 17th March and Milan–San Remo is on Saturday 21st March.
— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) March 2, 2020
The UAE Tour 'not finishing as he expected' is perhaps an understatement, but the four-time Tour de France champ says that on the plus side, his own personal battle back from the horror crash that ruled him out of action last summer appears to be going well. Odds on a podium at Le Tour 2020?
If you followed the saga of Bradley Wiggins' former motorhome on Friday's live blog, you'll have been patiently waiting for a response we said we'd get from Frost Commercials on the pricing for the luxury converted Mercedes van as used by the Tour de France winner. The dealership put the motorhome up for sale at £49,999, despite it selling for £47,000 at auction in 2017.
Frost Commercials told road.cc: "This is correct as well publicised online. This special vehicle sold for £47,000 + fees at an unspecialised trade van auction in 2017, regarded a steal on the day for the winning bidder.
"Today it is being marketed in a retail setting, with warranties, finance/part exchange options and full retail sales preparation at its appropriate market price. We regard this exquisite offering, with its provenance and heritage as an appreciating asset of Great British sporting history, which we are simply delighted to have the fortune to offer for sale"
So there you have it... got loadsa money and fancy making it yours? The listing is here.
That old nugget that cyclists are less worthy road users because they don't pay 'road tax' (no one does, it was abolished by Winston Churchill in 1937) is somewhat even more ironic in the capital as we get closer to 2021... the date from when absolutely none of the £500m a year in Vehicle Excise Duty collected from London's drivers will actually go towards upkeep of the roads.
Next time someone goes on about "road tax" in London I will remind them that from next year all of the VED goes to central government and people using public transport are paying for the roads and all of the damage that they cause.https://t.co/MEYvBd52BP pic.twitter.com/yO6sNgyKUQ
— Pkr - A day in the life as a father. (@lxtwin) March 1, 2020
Page 32 of Transport for London's Business Plan published in 2017 says: "We have to, for the first time, address the critical issues of London’s road network, including congestion, road danger, maintenance and air quality, without any Government operating grant. Furthermore, from 2021, the £500m raised every year from Londoners paying Vehicle Excise Duty will be collected by central Government and only invested in roads outside the Capital.
"This means the net operating costs of London’s roads, currently almost £200m each year, and the cost of renewing these roads, between £100m to £150m each year, are effectively being cross subsidised from fare-paying public transport users. This is neither sustainable nor equitable. As a result, in the short to medium term we will have to significantly reduce our programme of proactive capital renewals on the road network, although we will ensure safety of the network is maintained."
George Osborne announced reforms to VED back in his 2015 budget by earmarking the funds for road network improvements; but he was criticised by Cycling UK's Roger Geffen and others for essentially raising money to build on the road network, when "councils are struggling to maintain the ones we’ve got." TfL maintain that they want there to be a link between VED and road funding in London, and would use some of the cash to modernise the road network to "support more walking and cycling journeys across the Capital."
Will the next budget and/or new transport strategies amend this schedule so London drivers are paying at least something towards the roads they drive on? Until then, at least the 'road tax' argument is particularly untrue in London...
Blessings upon Britain, we're home ♥️ pic.twitter.com/4FgiziekDJ
— YourRoyalThighness_ (@RoyalThighness_) March 2, 2020
Vous connaissez sûrement la situation? Ou pas?! La course UAE à été arrêtée jeudi suite à un éventuel cas de coronavirus. Le 4ème étage de notre hôtel ou nous sommes actuellement, toujours bloqué.
Un 2eme test a été effectué, nous serons sûrement « libre » d’une minute à l’autre.
— Arnaud Demare (@ArnaudDemare) March 2, 2020
Alex Dowsett is finally home from the cancelled UAE Tour, presumably COVID-19-free, and Arnaud Demare is not happy that he's still in quarantine. Nathan Haas has even made a video showing us how he's staying fit in quarantine...
Meanwhile, in breaking coronavirus news completely unrelated to cycling, apparently we're all to stay away from 90's pop sensation Peter Andre...
Hi @GianniMoscon if you ever throw a bike again to a friend... I will put you between your frame and it will take me exactly 6sec. to do it ! Kind regards 🙋♂️
— zico waeytens (@ZicoWaeytens) March 1, 2020
That's because Waeytens retired from cycling to take up... boxing of all things, and appears to be laying down the law for the Italian in this tweet. While his English ain't perfect what we can gather is that the Belgian says if Moscon throws a bike at one of his pals again, he will wrap him around a bike frame and do it all in six seconds flat. Now that's fighting talk...
— Rodadortop (@Rodadortop) March 1, 2020
The Russian entrepreneur, who was in charge of the Tinkoff cycling team in its many forms, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday and paid £20 million to avoid US extradition. The 52-year-old billionaire is accused of making a false tax return and under-reporting tax from his income in 2013, and has had a strict curfew imposed until his next court appearance; Tinkov will need to wear an electronic tag and has to stay at his Holland Park home from 7pm to 7am every day, and has had to surrender his passport.
His umbrella company TCS Group Holding PLC told the Daily Express: "Mr Tinkov is confident that it will be resolved as swiftly as possible.
"It is a private matter that does not affect any of the operating companies in Tinkoff Group."
Nothing shown up for the 25-year-old on Twitter either, which we presume is something to do with landing himself in hot water again after being disqualified from Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne for throwing bike at another rider. Team Ineos (then Tean Sky) said after Moscon hit Fortuneo-Samsic rider Elie Gesbert at the 2018 Tour de France that he would be sacked for any more misconduct; however they are yet to release a statement about this latest incident.
The 36-year-old - who last rode for Team Ukyo and now presents on the Spanish version of the GCN cycling YouTube channel - has confirmed that he will be appearing on an upcoming episode of First Dates in his native country. Will he be riding off into the sunset with the love of his life? We're on the edge of our seats...
So who will get there first? In time, with zero emissions, no noise, free health benefits and having a good time! pic.twitter.com/KBFFNh10MI
— Henk Swarttouw (@copenhenken) March 1, 2020
A cynical soul in the comments noted: "That can't be real, there are no cars blocking the bike lane"... well that's because this footage was taken in the Netherlands, where doing so is frowned upon considerably more so than here if reports are to be believed. Is your bike commute quicker than driving?
Too busy watching some bike race in Belgium that you can't pronounce the name of? Well I hope it was worth it, and here are all the glorious written words you missed from road.cc...
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.