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Tour de la Provence finish line crash caused by spectator; Chris Froome works with Red Bull to recover from injury; Police return stolen bike; Shimano earnings up 20%; Fernando Alonso update; Nobody cycles when it's cold outside + more on the live blog

It's Friday and the weekend is almost in sight, Dan Alexander is here for the final live blog of the week...
12 February 2021, 16:24
"Sucks to miss out on a real chance at my first pro win like that": Matteo Jorgenson asks UCI to focus on more important rider safety issues
12 February 2021, 16:02
Tour de la Provence finish line crash caused by spectator

We briefly mentioned in the last blog update that Movistar's Matteo Jorgenson had crashed during the sprint to the line on the second stage at Tour de la Provence. It seems the crash was caused by a spectator leaning over the race barriers. Movistar have said: "Confirmation that Matteo Jorgenson is okay after his crash on the final straight of Tour de la Provence stage two in Manosque. Word from the ground is that the American appears to have touched a spectator who was hanging over the barrier."

From the overhead angle, it looks as though the American rider was sprinting tight to the left barrier where a spectator wearing an orange jacket was leaning over. Jorgenson disappears out of shot at the moment of contact but his fall was captured on the finish line camera...

12 February 2021, 15:35
Davide Ballerini makes it two from two at Tour de la Provence

It was a mixed bag for Deceuninck-Quick-Step this afternoon in Provence. Julian Alaphilippe crashed just before the one kilometre to go banner after Astana's pre-race favourite Aleksandr Vlasov went down in front of him. However, Davide Ballerini saved the day again, winning his second stage in as many days by outsprinting Trek-Segafredo's Giulio Ciccone on the uphill drag in Manosque. Matteo Jorgenson, who featured on Wednesday's blog, also crashed in the sprint to the line.

12 February 2021, 14:58
Police return bike to grateful owner

Sheffield South West NPT were able to reunite one grateful owner with their e-bike after it was found dumped in bushes at Mount Pleasant Park in Sheffield this morning. The bike matched the description of one of three bikes that were stolen from a shed on Edgehill Road earlier this week. One of the other bikes was found abandoned before this Bergamont e-bike was recovered this morning. Top work PCSO's Simon Griffiths and Julia Mclaughlin for getting it back to its owner...

12 February 2021, 13:28
Chris Froome works with Red Bull to rehab from injury
Chris Froome Israel Start-Up Nation (screenshot Chris Froome YouTube)

Chris Froome has credited off-season work with Red Bull for helping him put rehab from his injury behind him and focus solely on training to return to the top of the sport. Froome has been training at Red Bull's Athlete Performance Centre in Santa Monica to address some of the imbalances that came from his 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné crash. Now, 20 months later, Froome finally believes he's overcome the rehab stage of his recovery. 

"I can finally say that I’m confident the rehab process is behind me now. It’s always going to be a weakness I’m going to have to work on until the end of my career. But in terms of the figures I’m seeing on the bike, I’ve got to the same if not even better left-right balance than I was prior to the crash. That’s extremely encouraging," Froome explained.

The four-time Tour de France champion has been doing four two-hour sessions with the Red Bull team, mainly building his core and lower back strength. Away from the Centre, Froome has enjoyed the Californian weather which has helped him get the winter training miles under his belt.

"It’s been a way for me to get some really good quality training done over here. I feel as if I’m in the best place possible coming into the season. I’ve still got a lot of work ahead of me in terms of focusing on race fitness but as a starting point this has put me in really good stead."

When asked about goals for 2021 Froome mentioned he'd love another shot at the Olympics, having won a bronze medal at both of the two previous games.

12 February 2021, 12:18
Rohan Dennis in F1?


12 February 2021, 11:24
What's your favourite climb?

Go on then, give your local killer climb a shoutout...Maybe it's that horrible one that's saved for only when your legs are feeling great or an old favourite from every club run. Let us know your favourite climb...

12 February 2021, 10:51
Fernando Alonso's team give update after F1 driver has corrective surgery on fractured jaw sustained in cycling crash
Fernando Alonso (via fernandoalo_oficial on Instagram).PNG

Yesterday we reported that Fernando Alonso, the two-time F1 champion, had sustained multiple fractures after being hit by a driver while cycling in Switzerland. The Spaniard plans to return to the sport this year with his Alpine team. In a statement, Alpine updated us on his condition. It said: "Following his cycling accident yesterday Fernando Alonso was kept under observation in hospital in Switzerland. Medics discovered a fracture in his upper jaw and conducted a successful corrective operation. The attending medical team are satisfied with his progress. 

"Fernando will remain under observation in hospital for a further 48 hours. Looking forward, after a few days of complete rest, he will be able to progressively resume training. We expect him to be fully operational to undertake preparation for the season."

12 February 2021, 10:28
Shimano earnings up 20% in 2020
Shimano logo large

SGB reports that Shimano's net income increased 22.5 per cent in 2020 as sales grew 4.1 per cent. The cycling component manufacturer, that also makes fishing tackle and rowing equipment, said they benefited from "interest in bicycles and fishing that can avoid closed, crowded and close-contact environment boosted demand."

Net sales were up 4.1 per cent to ¥378,040 million (£2.6 million), while operating net income increased 22.5 per cent to ¥63,472 million (£438,000). The company's bicycle component branch saw net sales increase by 2.7 per cent, with operating income up 18.4 per cent. 

In a statement, Shimano said: "Demand for bicycles had declined sharply in early spring due to the spread of COVID-19 but then cycling gained attention as an easy form of recreation and exercise and a mode of transportation with a lower risk of infection leading to an increase in demand for bicycles on a global scale."

12 February 2021, 09:57
How Finland does winter cycling properly

Nice spot by HoarseMann in the comments to share this video about cycling in Finland vs Canada. It shows that how many people cycle isn't significantly affected by how cold it is. Instead, what's more important is having a network of safe bike paths and making sure those bike paths are properly maintained during winter. It's well worth a watch if you've got 15 minutes spare.

12 February 2021, 09:45
TfL to appeal High Court ruling that Streetspace was unlawful

As expected, Transport for London will appeal the High Court's ruling that its Bishopsgate Streetspace restrictions were unlawful. At the time we shared that TfL intended to appeal the outcome. It's also worth noting that no cycle lanes or infrastructure have been torn up yet, with TfL instead having to “substantially” revise their plans while they appeal. Even if the appeal is lost, more time may granted before quashing orders are issued.

12 February 2021, 08:44
Nobody will bother cycling when it's cold outside

Doesn't look like too many cyclists in Hackney took the Met Office's advice to consider not riding. Pictures from other parts of London, including the Olympic Park and Southwark, tell a similar story. That people are still using their bikes to get around, even when it's cold outside. What's more Bob even says that this LTN has been in place since 1974 and nobody complains about it...

Hackney LCC replied to Bob's post: "Cycling is an incredibly resilient transport option. Give people the right conditions and it thrives."

These pictures come as yesterday Medway Council in Kent said they would be salting roads as a priority. They said to also salt cycle lanes and footways would be impractical. 

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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