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Quickly deleted road tax poll doesn't go to plan (+ cycle lane petition); Bernal: I had 95% chance of becoming paraplegic; Wiggoception; Bet your brake pads aren't as worn as Dan Martin's; G's lovely day in 'Tenby' + more on the live blog

Pinch, punch first day of the month...the shortest one of the year, Pancake Day and the start of the Classics...what's not to love? Dan Alexander is kicking off the live blog with your usual Tuesday offering...
01 February 2022, 17:06

My most sincere apologies for what you are about to hear...

Astana, Vincenzo and Vino decided the best way to hype up their new season was dropping...a rap track. Thoughts...

Vinokourov has to be the next Bond villain. End of discussion. From Kazakhstan with Love, Cat 2 Licence to Kill, Team Skyfall, The World Championships Is Not Enough etc etc...

Joe Dombrowski definitely spent his 90s/00s childhood learning all the words to Eminem verses...

As far as bars go..."Our job is to win, Astana is my team, we're riding to win and it will be done" right down there fighting relegation...rhymning team with Kazakhstan seems dubious too...

If only it was a Miguel Ángel López Movistar diss track...

01 February 2022, 15:18
Matteo Trentin: Every time you step out your door going for training in the morning you never know which side you're going to come back on
Matteo Trentin UAE (screenshot)

Former European champion Matteo Trentin believes the roads are getting more dangerous for cyclists. In an interview with Cycling Weekly off the back of Egan Bernal and Imogen Cotter's crashes last week, Trentin said cyclists are forced to "take more and more care on the roads" due to the dangers.

"It's more of a jungle than a proper training environment. That's what we have to deal with every single day, everybody knows it," Trentin suggested.

"Every time you step out your door going for training in the morning you never know which side you're going to come back on. Whether it's upright, or laid down in some kind of ambulance. We have to take more and more care on the roads.

"There's more traffic, people are getting more nervous. I cannot even count how many times a car passed me and then straight away turned right. Or a car has passed me and then stopped on a speed bump ten metres after. It happened already today. People get stressed for nothing. Then you put someone who's cycling in danger."

01 February 2022, 13:56
London Cycling Campaign's Urban Hill Climb returns for 2022
Urban Hill Climb 2017 - 06.jpeg

After a two year hiatus the Urban Hill Climb, organised by the London Cycling Campaign is back. The charity and membership organisation working to make cycling in London safe, accessible and enjoyable for everyone runs the popular hill climb up Swain's Lane, a short but steep climb in Highgate averaging 8 per cent, with a 20 per cent maximum.

We'll bring you all the details closer to the time...

01 February 2022, 13:44
Road-hogging two abreasters...according to the Daily Mail

A reminder of how one Mail columnist, living in Florida, interpreted last week's Highway Code changes...

> Highway Code changes: Daily Mail publishes "error-strewn" Richard Littlejohn column attacking cyclists 

01 February 2022, 13:22
Cyclocross concussion probe after Belgian rider "didn't even know that the race was over. I thought I still had five more laps"

Contrary to the tweet above Belgian rider Vincent Baestaens finished 31st at Sunday's 'cross worlds after crashing on the opening lap. But worryingly, the 32-year-old did so without realising he was racing.

"I didn't even know the race was over," he told Wielerflits. "I thought it was about five more laps. They had to get me off the bike. But apparently I rode the World Championships on autopilot, without realising much of it. I don't remember anything about my fall either.

"Unfortunately, the doctor Kris Van Der Mieren only saw the images of my fall later and said that he should never have allowed me to continue."

Baestaens was taken to hospital post-race and was diagnosed with a serious concussion.

"It turns out I did not make the right decision to continue racing," he concluded.

01 February 2022, 13:06
Caleb, you won! First race, first win for Lotto Soudal sprinter in 2022

This could be a very familiar sight in 2022 — Caleb Ewan's Lotto Soudal sprint train setting the Australian sprinter up for victory.

It turns out the plane necessary for the TV pictures to be broadcast (don't ask me how it works) wasn't allowed to take off, so all we got were finish line shots. When the kids cleared off and the peloton rounded the final bend Ewan, led by Jasper De Buyst was well in control, winning easily on the first day of term.

Brit Dan McLay just missed out on the top 10. To think by the end of the year, if all goes exactly to plan, Ewan may well have won Milan-San Remo, Giro stages, Tour stages, and a rainbow jersey at a home world championships...

Something tells me a January win in Saudi Arabia wasn't too high on his wishlist in the grand scheme of things, but hey, no win's a bad win...

01 February 2022, 11:58
If a UCI 2.1 race happens in the desert but nobody's there to see it, did it really happen?

There's an actual bike race happening today (remember them)...stage one of the Saudi Tour is underway...

Although you wouldn't know it from the TV pictures, which have been...well, non-existent so far...

All's good though. They've wheeled out a peloton of the local kids for a finish line crit. Who's your money on? 

Saudi Tour (screenshot GCN/Eurosport)

Which reminds us, L'Équipe has won the best headline of 2022 prize already...

01 February 2022, 11:38
'Learn the new Highway Code and you could save lives': Is the message from Autoexpress's longest-serving columnist
Highway Code.PNG

After all the hysteria of last week's Highway Code columns in the Mail, Telegraph and Spectator, Autoexpresses' longest-serving reporter Mike Rutherford has penned an opinion piece titled 'Learn the new Highway Code and you could save lives'...

In the piece, Rutherford urges motorists to buy a physical copy of the 2022 Highway Code and afterwards invest £25 in a one-hour session with a driving instructor to "appraise your driving"..."you’ll learn an awful lot about your good and bad habits."

For the overwhelming majority of us, the most dangerous thing we’ll do today is drive a car, walk on or cross a road, or ride a bike on a public highway. 

A driver can invest a paltry £50 right now to significantly reduce his or her chances of being involved in a prang at this most risky time of year. Read what follows and you might just save a life – possibly your own. 

All his other top tips can read here...

01 February 2022, 11:24
Comment of the day: Wiggoception
NMOTD comment

Yesterday's Near Miss of the Day happened on Wiggins Lane in Lancashire where another reader had a memorable encounter of their own...

No dangerous driving, just a Wiggins on Wiggins...

01 February 2022, 11:12
Don't all sign at once...
Cycle lane petition

We received this in our inbox this morning... nice of them to think of us...

There's a 38 Degrees petition asking for it to be mandatory for cyclists to use cycle lanes...and it has a whopping 11 signatures on it...

The whole point of the new Highway Code is to make it safer for cyclist's (sic). Surely its safer if they have there own cycling path to use then ride on the road. That's why it should be mandatory to use one if it's been provided.

Why is this important?

The amount of tax payers' money that has been spent to create safe cycling lanes. It should be mandatory to use them instead of cycling on the road

01 February 2022, 11:09
Bet your brake pads aren't as worn as Dan Martin's

Anyone managed to take a pair of disc pads further than this? (Not that we'd recommend it)...

01 February 2022, 09:38
"Having had a 95 per cent chance of becoming a paraplegic and nearly losing my life doing what I love to do most": Egan Bernal statement on crash injuries

A post shared by Egan Bernal (@eganbernal)

 Egan Bernal has thanked the specialists at Clínica Universidad de La Sabana hospital in Bogotá, revealing he had a 95 per cent chance of becoming a paraplegic after crashing while training in Colombia.

He wrote on Instagram: "Having had a 95 per cent chance of becoming a paraplegic and nearly losing my life doing what I love to do most. Today I want to thank God, and all the specialists at Clínica Universidad de La Sabana for doing the impossible, my family, my partner, friends and all of you for your wishes.

"I'm still in the ICU waiting for more surgeries but trusting in God everything will be fine. With the unconditional support of Ineos Grenadiers and Xabier Artetxe [Bernal's coach]."

01 February 2022, 09:33
Tired of carrying spares in your back pocket? The sequel...
Silca Mattone seat bag

Silca has launched a bigger version of its Mattone seat bag with a BOA Closure system which is claimed to be 15 times stronger than velcro options. The brand says that this ensures the new Mattone Grande (priced at £55) "remains ‘high and tight’ under your saddle until you need to access it… no swinging, swaying or rattling… ever!"

Silca Mattone seat bag

According to Silca, the bag can carry up to three road tubes along with two CO2 cartridges, two tyre levers and a multi-tool. An internal pocket can also be used for storing a credit card or cash. 

The pack has a water resistant exterior and is closed with a water resistant YKK zipper.

01 February 2022, 09:30
G's lovely day in 'Tenby'...

Okay, G. We've finally worked it out the joke...

You're not actually training in Wales. Very good. At least it snared a few more of his followers, eager to get out and meet their hero on local roads. 'Strange, they must have repainted the road lines yellow'...

01 February 2022, 09:27
Tired of carrying spares in your back pocket?
Syncros iS storage

Syncros has revealed its new iS storage line-up which is designed to provide a safe, sleek and integrated way of carrying ride essentials. 

"Our integrated Storage concept considers ride essentials as, well, essential," Syncros says. "Meaning you should have them on every ride, long or short, whether you need them or not."

The iS Coupe Cage is the version for road riders. The 10 function multi-tool is housed behind the bottle and Syncros says it features a special finish for higher resistance to corrosion. 

A CO2 inflator or a high-pressure mini-pump can also be added. "The valve is protected to avoid accidental engagement and our design allows you to easily control the rate and flow of CO2."

01 February 2022, 08:36
Quickly deleted road tax poll doesn't go to plan

Road tax, eh. I imagine we'll still be talking about it on the live blog in 2050...

By that point technology will probably be so advanced we'll upload the blog directly to your minds (it'll save you having to read my ramblings) and yet someone out there will almost certainly still be spouting about cyclists paying road tax...

Today's instance is more amusing than the usual angry keyboard warrior replying to an outrageous police tweet telling them to look out for cyclists. It involves a poll, because if there's one thing Britain loves, it's a yes/no vote...

Susan reckoned she'd put it to the people — 'As cyclists are given more of a priority on the roads. I'm asking, should they pay a road tax or at least some sort insurance? (This would be for public roads only, not country parks or similar).'

Now, you've probably already seen the result of said poll above, but for some reason we don't think it quite went the way Susan was expecting. I say that because it has now been deleted and her account set to private...

The result? 7 per cent in favour of a road tax for cyclists or some sort of insurance, 92 per cent against it, and 1 per cent for only a road tax or unsure.

Maybe there'll be a second vote...

Time for some reaction...Tim gets us underway with an old favourite...

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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