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"Counter-productive war on cyclists": Anger over police enforcing 'no cycling' signs; Good news: VAT on bikes cut...Bad news: in the EU; Alt Tour jersey on Ebay; World champ's Specialized (+2022 route revealed); Cyclo-cross skills + more on the live blog

Happy Friday! The weekend is just around the corner, Dan Alexander will be bringing it home with your final live blog of the week
10 December 2021, 17:16
Will these new brushes improve the post-ride chore?
Peaty's Brush Set Outdoors

Peaty’s has released a new set of brushes with unique features and materials that are aimed at being as user-friendly and environmentally-conscious as possible, without compromising on performance. 

The brand says it found "natural fibres were either too soft, too stiff or not durable enough to last months of cleaning abuse on tough components like cassettes and spokes" and so it has attempted to source synthetic fibre bristles manufactured from post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic. Due to material shortages caused by Covid though, currently only the bristles in the detail brush are made from PCR plastic, but the brand says it’s continuing to work with their suppliers to source PCR bristles for the remaining brushes in the future.

Let’s take a look at the new range…

Peaty's Bog Brush (£12.99) has 360 degree long bristles with flagged ends for “all over cleaning without clattering” and “thick foamy goodness”.

Then there’s the medium density bristled Detailer Brush (£8.99) which has a thin cylindrical shape for hard to reach areas and is for using on suspension linkages, pedals, seat rails, hubs and spokes. A soft cotton tip is designed to prevent scratching, as does the plastic coated wire core. 

The Drivetrain Brush (£8.99) has a lower centre with stiffer bristles to provide a channel for the chain to sit into. A chisel cut handle end should also help with removing gunk from jockey wheels.

Lastly, the Tyre Brush (£8.99) has durable, stiff stepped height bristles that help wrap around the tyre and maximise surface contact. The bristles also run 90 degrees to the handle for ease of cleaning.

10 December 2021, 16:36
VAT's not too shabby...EU cuts VAT on bikes and e-bikes
Brexit Flickr Creative Commons

I miss the days when Brexit dominated the news cycle, before Plan A, Plan B, party planning and the rest of it...Well, talking of the EU, consumers across the continent will benefit from a newly announced VAT cut on a range of goods, including bikes and e-bikes.

Cyclingindustrynews reports that on December 7th the Council of the EU announced a "modernised" VAT directive with some changes designed to stimulate EU agenda priorities. Member states' will now cut VAT on supply, rental and repair of bikes and e-bikes. It also means e-bikes will no longer be named alongside fuel, oil and gas-powered transport, so will no longer need to be subject to a 15 per cent VAT rate.

"We very much welcome the result of the Council negotiations on the revision of EU VAT rates, which will make bicycles and e-bikes even more affordable and accessible for consumers in the EU," Jill Warren, CEO of the European Cyclists' Federation said. 

"The inclusion of both conventional and electric bicycles in the list of goods eligible for reduced VAT rates adds a powerful instrument to member states’ toolbox for promoting cycling. We now call upon all EU countries to make use of this new possibility and apply reduced VAT rates for the benefit of consumers all over Europe."

10 December 2021, 16:08
Alaphilippe's three-peat dream alive as 2022 Worlds course includes punchy climb close to finish

We briefly mentioned the Worlds course had been announced while talking about Julian Alaphilippe's sparkly Spesh...

Well, here's a closer peek at the route, including an intriguing looking kicker placed at 8km to go. 1.1km @ 7.7 per cent with double digit gradients in the middle. Too hard for Caleb Ewan? Will Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert and Julian Alaphilippe go nuclear? Could Michael Matthews be the best hope of a home victory? So many questions we need answers to...

10 December 2021, 15:15
More cycling infrastructure could prevent 15,000 deaths annually, new study finds
Brentford bike lane

A new study, shared by Planetizen, found that improving cycling infrastructure could save thousands of lives each year. The Environmental Health Perspectives study modelled the "comprehensive global public health impacts of the mode shift to cycling", finding that replacing car journeys with bike trips could prevent more than 15,000 deaths per year in the US alone.

The study took into account deaths from road traffic collisions and pollution-related diseases. The study reported: "Even if just 8 percent of those new bike trips replaced journeys in a car — an extraordinarily conservative estimate, considering that in this hypothetical world, every urban area in the world would be outfitted with Amsterdam-levels of bike lanes — researchers say that 18,589 lives could be saved across the globe, 1,227 of which would be in the U.S. alone."

10 December 2021, 14:25
Deceuninck-Quick-Step duo Rémi Cavagna and Mauri Vansevenant injured in training camp crash

 Rémi Cavagna has suffered an L1 vertebrae fracture, while Mauri Vansevenant incurred a broken thumb, during a crash at the Deceuninck-Quick-Step training camp in Spain.

Cavagna remains in hospital for further treatment where the team says he is being looked after by Dr. Ignacio Muñoz at Hospital IMSKE Valencia, with the plan being to operate on Monday. The French rider thankfully avoided any neurological damage.

10 December 2021, 14:06
Friday funny ft. Boris Johnson and Alberto Contador
10 December 2021, 13:36
Fancy buying Lachlan Morton's Alt Tour jersey off eBay? It'll cost you...
Lachlan Morton - Photo Credit Grubers 06

One 'heavily used' jersey for sale on Ebay is nothing uncommon, but this is no ordinary jersey. This is the EF Rapha kit Lachlan Morton wore for the entirety of his Alt Tour challenge. Morton successfully beat the peloton to Paris, and if you want a piece of history to remember the ride this could be the memorabilia for you...

Oh, did I forget to mention you'll need a fat wallet? Bidding's already at US $3,250.00 and there's still four days left...

"I thought about holding onto it but it can do more good changing hands than under my bed. It’s going up on eBay today with all proceeds going to Pedalling Minds here in boulder," Morton wrote on Instagram.

10 December 2021, 12:46
Return of 'Le Roi'

 The route of the 2022 Road World Championships was announced earlier today, so it’s only fitting that we’ve been treated to an off-season rainbow sighting.

The current king of the Worlds Julian Alaphilippe is in Calpe for his Deceuninck–Quick-Step team’s annual winter training camp. Ahead of the trip to Spain, the French superstar posted photos of his partner and former pro Marion Rousse and their six-month-old son, with the caption ‘here we go again’.

It’s the fifth year in a row that the Belgian squad (which will be known as Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl in 2022) have visited the Costa Blanca town, so Alaphilippe will be hoping that the familiar roads and sunshine act as a good omen for the upcoming season.

And with a pesky one kilometre climb included in the Worlds circuit in Wollongong, we may be seeing that rainbow-clad S-Works for a while longer yet.

10 December 2021, 12:33
10 December 2021, 11:10
British Cycling announces dates and venues for 2022 youth and junior national road calendars

Five new races on the junior national road calendar is the headline here, plus the news that the junior national road and time trial championships will take place in North Yorkshire, with the circuit champs in Scarborough. All the details are over on British Cycling's website...

10 December 2021, 10:00
(Not) stuck in the mud cyclo-cross skills
10 December 2021, 08:43
"Counter-productive war on cyclists": Anger over police enforcing 'no cycling' signs

Loads of reaction to round-up from this...mainly people not very happy to see the major crime of riding a bike where you shouldn't being punished.

Some pointed out the irony of being able to drive a bulky diesel van into a park to stop people pedalling a push bike. Others shared pictures of cars and vans parked on pavements and asked why the authorities think this is more pressing.

Ben, who shared the photo from a park in Wandsworth, called the action an "endless, counter-productive war on cyclists who want to keep themselves safe."

And while some pointed out the parks police have different powers to the regular coppers and can only deal with offences in areas under their control, it's fair to say the majority of replies couldn't understand the crackdown.

That's of course assuming this incident was definitely a 'no cycling' enforcement. Rory Meakin asked Wandsworth Police if there were any aggravating factors in the case, but only got a reply saying the parks police isn't part of the Met and is a service employed by the council.

Here's some of the reaction...

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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