news

“F*ck you” – Aussie (and ex-GB) coach responds to online critics; Underwear selfies row – team accuses rider of exploiting #MeToo; Is your stolen bike here?; Pinot v crosswind; Wahoo launch Stealth version of Elemnt Bolt + more on live blog

Today's live blog with Alex Bowden (daytime) and Simon MacMichael (evening)...
10 March 2020, 20:43
“F*ck you” – ex GB coach now working with Aussies, hits back at critics

Cycling Australia’s performance director Simon Jones – former head coach at British Cycling and head of innovation at Team Sky – has been called “unprofessional” after responding on Twitter to criticism of the Cyclones’ recent performance in the UCI track cycling world championships with the words, “F*ck you.”

The tweet, since deleted, was in answer to users of the social network complaining that Australia came away from the event – the last major track meet before the Tokyo Olympics – with one silver and two bronze medals.

For context, Great Britain, who also had a disappointing championships, won four medals … but one of those was gold, thanks to Elinor Barker.

“To all those key board experts out there — F*ck you,” said Jones in the tweet that has subsequently been deleted.

“We got a great team of riders, coaches, support and sponsors. Bring on Tokyo Team."

Ex-pro cyclist turned pundit Robbie McEwen said that post “is unprofessional if that's your role.”

“I think you can have better chosen words. But I can understand his frustration, he's under lots of pressure,” he added.

10 March 2020, 17:13
Sam Bennett update

Also from today's finish, this isn't directly related to the Irishman getting forced into the barriers, but we thought we'd highlight it anyway.

10 March 2020, 17:02
New section of Cycleway 4 opened in London today
10 March 2020, 16:28
Irish national champion Sam Bennett ended up in the barriers during today's sprint finish at Paris-Nice

He looked to be in some pain as he crossed the line.

10 March 2020, 16:22
Ivan Cortina wins stage three of Paris-Nice

They call him "Ford".*

* No-one calls him that.

 

10 March 2020, 16:13
Tom Devriendt update

He's been caught. Just the 180km out on his own ahead of the peloton.

10 March 2020, 15:14
Hats off to Tom Devriendt

This morning, in Paris-Nice, Belgian rider Tom Devriendt set off on a solo break that could potentially be 210km long.

Less than delightful weather for it too.

10 March 2020, 15:07
The current hour record holder is also a gent
10 March 2020, 14:54
Parked vehicles in City of London (StreetView)
City of London to crack down on idling vehicles

The City Corporation – the governing body of the Square Mile – has approved new powers that could see drivers fined £80 for parking and leaving their engines running.

The maximum fine for idling had previously been limited to £20 if paid on time.

The new Traffic Management Order will be enforced by the 35 civil enforcement officers who already patrolling the City’s streets monitoring traffic and parking contraventions.

They will first issue warning notices to drivers and this will be held on record, associated with the vehicle’s registration.

Subsequent idling of the same vehicle would result in a Penalty Charge Notice (£80 fine, or £40 if paid within 14 days) without further warning.

Jeremy Simons, Chair of the City Corporation’s Environmental Services Committee, said: “These new powers will take us a step closer to eliminating a completely unnecessary source of air pollution.

“Air quality in the City is improving, and by working with drivers, we will continue our progress.

“Cleaning up toxic air is an absolute priority.

“Londoners are determined to see a major improvement, and we will continue to take effective steps to make this a reality.”

The move is part of a wider clampdown on idling vehicles across London.

10 March 2020, 12:50
Seller's remorse - do you ever think about your old bike?

We saw this thread on Reddit where someone's asking whether people ever think about the bikes they've sold?

How about you? Do you ever miss your ex?

 
10 March 2020, 12:39
Mads Pedersen is a world champion at cycling, not journalism

That said, his efforts still give us more than we get from the average pre-stage interview.

10 March 2020, 12:26
Police publish online gallery of stolen bikes - we suspect many of them weren't stolen locally

Are any of these bikes yours?

Going through the gallery, there's some pretty fancy bikes and many of them look almost new.

It's worth emphasising that bike theft is one of the original 'county lines' type crimes - bikes stolen in one location will tend to end up elsewhere - so this isn't just for those in the Avon and Somerset area.

10 March 2020, 11:38
PedalMe are trialling even bigger trailers
10 March 2020, 11:33
The atmosphere's building at Paris-Nice...
10 March 2020, 11:12
Wahoo's Eelemnt Bolt now available in Stealth colourway
wahoo elemnt bolt stealth black on black colourway.PNG

If the grey-ish tint of the Elemnt Bolt never quite matched with your steed, then you'll be pleased to know you can now get one in a stealthy black-on-black colourway. The RRP has also dropped to £184.99 - in any colourway - and a new firmware update means all Elemnt computers can now communicate with select Giant and Specialized e-bike models. ​You can buy one here and read our review here

10 March 2020, 10:33
Thierry Vildary in Stade 2 (via Twitter video)
Journalist says Belgian team were reluctant to let him speak to DS accused of inappropriate conduct

Marion Sicot’s allegations (see below) were reported by Thierry Vildary in Stade 2 on French TV.

In its statement, Doltcini-Van Eyck accused Vildary of failing to provide balance.

“We have proposed, in writing, to the journalist Thierry Vildary to meet with him in Paris, but without result. This has made the report in Stade2 not the story of Marion Sicot but the story by Marion Sicot, with no possibility to react or to see the evidence she claims to have.

“The attempt in the report to interview Marc Bracke took place 10 minutes before the start of the cycling race “Le Samyn”, when the riders had left already to the start and the sports director had to take his place in the line of cars of sports directors.

“The aggressive approach and the timing for the interview fit perfectly with the style of the hard investigative journalism, not at all an indication that Thierry Vildary was trying to make an objective report of facts.

“We can believe however that his intentions for making this program were positive, that he did this to improve the position of women in cycling, but believing Marion Sicot was a big mistake.”

In the comments, Vildary replied: “To answer one of your many lies concerning me and my work in your press release and to be very clear on my report: you never offered me an interview with Marc Bracke but only a meeting with Jan Morre who is not questioned and does not know the subject.

“I am at the disposal of the UCI to explain how the report and the communications I had with your team were produced. I will provide the evidence necessary to shed light on the behind the scenes of this report.

“I would like to point out that we have broadcast extracts from the response that Marc Bracke sent us by email when we sent him our questions.”

10 March 2020, 10:05
Marion Sicot (via Twitter video)
Belgian team accuses rider of exploiting #MeToo – but admits sports director asked her to send selfies in her underwear

The French Cycling Federation has asked the UCI to launch an investigation after two female riders on the Doltcini-Van Eyck team made allegations of inappropriate conduct against sports director Marc Bracke.

The riders claim that they were asked to send pictures of themselves in their underwear so that he could check that they weren't "too fat".

One of them, Marion Sicot, claimed: “He said I was too fat. I had to send pictures of myself in underwear every week. Front and back. He said he’d delete them afterwards but I can’t be sure".

In an astonishing statement, Doltcini-Van Eyck have decided to attack Sicot’s credibility, arguing that she is motivated by a desire to blame them for her positive test for EPO.

This is despite admitting that Bracke did indeed request the photos, as alleged.

The full statement is below.

Lowlights include:

  • “To justify for her “mistake” she launches the next lie : her sports director is the one to blame”
  • “There are many girls riding for our team, girls that not have been caught for doping. You can contact any of them. They will all confirm that in our team there’s a very high, not to say perfect, discipline on the field of respecting privacy or sexual abuse. And they will not be lying.”
  • “[Underwear selfies] is a practice that was normal in earlier times”
  • “If she would have said one single time she felt uncomfortable about this it would never have happened again”
  • “Sicot was not really a team-player. In races she frequently abandoned the team strategy and let her team members down”
  • They weren’t going to give Sicot a contract for 2019, but she kept “begging and crying” and promised to start the season at “the right weight”  
  • Sicot is making use of the “#MeToo-mood” to concoct “a story full of emotion”
  • Sicot ‘invented’ being depressed

TL;DR – We have extremely high standards when it comes to privacy – but yes, our DS did ask for photos of riders in their underwear…

10 March 2020, 09:28
Thibaut Pinot v crosswinds

Everyone loves a cross-wind... except Thibaut...

In this video we see the French rider, in blue and white FDJ kit, visibly struggling to hold the wheel of a team-mate who's attempting to position him in crosswinds during Paris-Nice.

10 March 2020, 09:27
Video: Mitchelton-Scott struggling to contain competitive instincts after withdrawing from racing

Mitchelton-Scott have withdrawn from all men's and women's racing until March 22 because of coronavirus.

As well as racing fans on Zwift in its ‘BikeExchange - Where the World Rides Series’ they’ve apparently been trying to keep the mechanics sharp too.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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