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Cyclist reports pin attack amid people-friendly streets row; Taxi group's legal challenge against Streetspace For London; Council "misleading" over Active Travel Grant; Declercq "healing up nicely" from Dauphiné hailstone injuries + more on the live blog

It's Friday! Jack Sexty is here to provide your lead live blog coverage today with other members of the team chipping in intermittently.....
14 August 2020, 15:54
Police investigating reports of tacks allegedly left out for cyclists in Islington amid ongoing people-friendly streets row
Drawing Pins (picture copyright Tass Whitby).PNG

In the London Borough of Islington, protests are now taking place weekly against the council's people-friendly streets initiative, which has seen a number roads closed to motor traffic to curb rat-running in residential areas; and now the Islington Tribune have reported that police are assessing a report of criminal damage from a cyclist, whose tyres were burst by pins deliberately left on a cycle route in Canonbury. 

The protest's organisers claim they don't condone "extreme" action, and there is no evidence that anyone involved with the protests were responsible for the pin attack. 

Cycle Islington's Eilidh Murray told the Islington Tribune: “This is a senseless attack on people who choose to cycle as part of their daily routine, and particularly dangerous as a burst tyre can have serious consequences and cause accidents for the rider, whether old or young, experienced or novice. It is sad that people behave like this.”

During one of the first protests last month, some noted that it appeared ironic that the march itself was in fact a pretty good advert for people-friendly streets...

14 August 2020, 15:27
15-year-old cyclist ran over by a tram in Belgium survives
belgium coastal tram - via wikimedia commons.PNG

The teenage girl named only as Romy by the Brussels Times was reportedly crossing lines on a pedestrian and cycle crossing along Belgium's Coast Tram route, but was knocked from her bike by a passing tram due to a faulty security system 

Remarkably Romy survived the collision, suffering a broken shoulder, a punctured lung and several bruises and concussions according to her mother. The tram line's operator De Lijn confirmed that the crossing’s warning system was turned off because it was undergoing maintenance, and claim to have put up signs to warn pedestrians and cyclists that it was out of service.

Romy's mother claims a neighbour had notified De Lijn of the dangers two weeks prior to the incident, and there had been several other complaints. She says the family are now taking legal action against the transport company. 

14 August 2020, 15:02
Critérium du Dauphiné: Davide Formolo wins stage 3, Roglic keeps overall lead

No tennis ball-sized hailstones to report today as the Italian UAE Team Emirates rider took an epic solo victory on stage 3. Primoz Roglic beat Thibaut Pinot in a sprint for second place on the day to extend his overall lead to 14 seconds. 

14 August 2020, 14:39
Police continuing to appeal for information after elderly cyclist found in the road with serious injuries dies in hospital
Police tape (CC licensed by freefotouk on Flickr)

On 11th August at around 10am, a 71-year-old cyclist was found unconscious on the A635 Doncaster Road in Barnsley, with South Yorkshire Police saying they believe he had been involved in a traffic collision. 

Police have now confirmed that the cyclist died this morning, with Roads Policing Sergeant Matt Duffy explaining: “We are investigating how the man involved in this collision suffered his injuries. We believe he may have been involved in a road traffic collision.

“We are keen to hear from anyone who can remember passing a cyclist between 8:30am and 10am on Doncaster Road, and the area around Stawbridges Garden Centre on the morning of Tuesday 11 August.

“We are also keen to hear from those who may have dashcam footage of the roads around that time.

“As we try to piece together the man’s journey, we ask that those with any information that can help us are asked to call 101 and quote incident number 319 of 11 of August 2020."

14 August 2020, 13:22
Taxi driver groups combine to prepare legal challenge against Streetspace For London initiative

The United Trade Action Group (UTAG) and the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) are asking for a judicial review of Streetspace for London in its entirety, plus the Bishopsgate Bus Gate scheme that excludes black cabs during peak times.

Along with an attached photo of the request, UTAG said in an email sent to their mailing list subscribers: "Our QC, Barrister and Instructing Solicitor have worked ceaselessly to prepare a compelling legal challenge against the plan and the impact it would have on us, and more importantly our passengers, who depend on our service. attached

"We cannot divulge the legal arguments cited in this JR but can say they are forceful, apposite and well considered.

"When the Respondents; Transport for London & The Mayor have had time to digest our challenge we may be able to give you more information but must be guided by our expert legal team." 

Streetspace for London was announced by Sadiq Khan last month, detailing plans that will "create more space for people to safely walk or cycle as our city emerges from the coronavirus lockdown". This includes temporary cycle lanes and wider pavements many of which have started to appear already.

The plans have been slammed by both UTAG and the LTDA, with the latter's General Secretary Steve McNamara describing increased cycling infrastructure in general as "a class war". Responding to the comments made on Talkradio, London Cycling Campaign's Simon Munk said: "In short, this is the usual soundbite silliness from McNamara. Not really fitting, particularly in a global pandemic which appears to be exacerbated by pollution."

"...Really, this says far more about him & the LTDA than about cycling or anything else."

14 August 2020, 12:56
"London is changing": Cycling YouTuber takes tour of the capital with London Cycling Campaign

Accompanied by LCC's events officer Calum Rogers, Francis Cade is taken on a tour of London's new cycling infrastructure, with plenty of examples of both permanent and pop-up lanes. 

"Our future is not going to be best spent in a van, sitting in traffic for hours at a time. It's well spent people have an enjoyable, fun way to get around that costs nothing, (it) leaves them with more money to spend in the broader part of the economy", says Rogers. 

14 August 2020, 11:28
Oxfordshire County Council accused of "deliberate attempt to mislead" by claiming maintenance work is "part of the comprehensive active travel grant"

Oxon Travel - the Twitter account for Oxfordshire Council's travel centre team - are continuing to receive a number of negative comments surrounding a video showing what appears to be routine maintenance work to clear and upgrade an existing cycle path.

The County Council supervisor in the video claims the work is "part of the active travel", and the caption says the work is "part of the comprehensive active travel grant to get the county moving"; however a number of complainants are suggesting this work was not paid for by cash from the Emergency Active Travel Fund. In fact, cabinet member for transport Yvonne Constance admitted to the Oxford Mail back in July that Oxfordshire only received half of a possible £597,000 EATF grant from the first round of funding, because "it did not make ambitious-enough plans". 

The Oxfordshire County Twitter account replied to one of the complainants, saying they have been "quite open with what the work involves" and linking to a document outlining all Oxfordshire County Council's plans for active travel. While the plans do extend much further than the maintenance work shown in the video - and back in March Oxfordshire County Council did unveil an ambitious blueprint for cycling and walking costed at £300 million over a decade - the original point about the video being misleading over the Emergency Active Travel Fund wasn't addressed. We've contacted Oxfordshire County Council for comment. 

The Oxon Travel account also received a flurry of negative comments on social media last week, when they invited the public to use county's "amazing cycling infrastructure" accompanied by a photo of a narrow, painted bike lane. They've since removed the tweet...

14 August 2020, 13:06
BMX skills aren't just for the youths

Respect for this Old man! from r/aww

Much more than just an "old man" as the rather unfair caption describes him as...

14 August 2020, 10:25
Have Jumbo-Visma sneakily upgraded their wheels?

Rather than just a hub upgrade as speculated by former pro Adam Blythe, rumour has it that the team have taken to using lighter rims from French carbon wheel specialists Corima. We'll be taking a closer look at the bikes and components being used by Jumbo-Visma for a full article soon, which are proving popular with traditionalists for possessing pretty much none of the features that have made their way on to the latest crop of aero bikes - namely disc brakes, wider tyre clearance and fully internal cables to give three examples. 

14 August 2020, 10:20
Monsal Hill Climb cancelled

2020 HMT Hospitals Monsal Hill Climb Cancelled Due to the worldwide pandemic that we are all very much aware of, the organisers of the 2020 HMT Monsal Hill Climb have taken the difficult decision to cancel the running of the event. We have looked at all aspects of the event and in the best interests of rider, official and volunteer safety we simply cannot safely run the event in its current form. The HMT Monsal Hill Climb is renowned for its large crowds of spectators and amazing atmosphere which attracts a record rider fields each year and we don’t want to run the event without that unique electric atmosphere. Running the event behind closed doors, without spectators just wouldn’t be the same Monsal that we all know and love. We have consulted with the CTT, our event partners the Healthcare Management Trust and local residents and although this is very disappointing, we are already planning our return in 2021. Event organiser, Marc Etches commented “The future of the event is absolutely vital and we have to make sure safety is paramount for everyone involved and that cant be guaranteed this year so I do think we have made the correct decision. I’m personally disappointed as this is one of the highlights of the hill climb season and an event lots of riders enjoy, so I know this decision will be hard for some riders to take, but this is a worldwide pandemic and way beyond our control.” Tony Barrett, CEO of the Healthcare Management Trust commented ”We fully back Marc’s team on the decision to cancel this years event. Safety for all involved has to be our 1st priority and we are already looking forward to supporting the event in 2021.” The organising club, Sheffrec CC would like to thank HMT Hospitals, Langsett Cycles, Big Bobble Hats, Skyhook Coaching, Yondermann Cafe, Velotastic, Simon Warren from 100 Climbs, Derbyshire Dales District Council, Chatsworth Estates, Litton & Cressbrook Parish Council, Little Longstone Village Group, Derbyshire Police, Hobbs Cafe and Monsal Head Hotel for their support over the last few years. Without their support previous editions just simply wouldn’t have happened. All entrants will receive a full refund in due course.

A post shared by Monsal Hill Climb (@monsalhillclimb) on

The event usually attracts spectators in droves, therefore the organisers say "they simply cannot safely run the event in its current form."

The event organiser Marc Etches added: “The future of the event is absolutely vital and we have to make sure safety is paramount for everyone involved and that cant be guaranteed this year so I do think we have made the correct decision. I’m personally disappointed as this is one of the highlights of the hill climb season and an event lots of riders enjoy, so I know this decision will be hard for some riders to take, but this is a worldwide pandemic and way beyond our control.”

14 August 2020, 10:07
You can now get brand new DT Swiss wheels on Zwift
dt swiss wheels on zwift

If you Zwift year-round (probably cooler than outside at the moment with the help of a great big fan) then from Saturday 17th August, you can now jazz up your virtual bike with the revamped DT Swiss ARC 1100 Dicut 62 hoops. Zwift are also putting on a “Festival Week” consisting of virtual fondo rides, group workouts, Q+A rides and races with sponsored DT Swiss pro cyclists. You'll get some free in-game aero benefit from the new wheels too - more info on the event here

Meanwhile in the real world, DT Swiss have also just launched the brand new Hadron² Ultimate aero wheels, available in three depths from 50mm to 80mm and designed to reduce drag and improve stability - full details here

14 August 2020, 09:02
Rapha remove Pantani water bottle from sale

In response to a complaint from a customer who said the cycling apparel brand was “extremely irresponsible” for including text on the reverse that highlighted Pantani’s diet, Rapha say they wil no longer sell it and have apologised for any offence caused - full story to follow. 

14 August 2020, 08:38
More stories from yesterday's hailstorm carnage: Trek–Segafredo rider completes last 35km with a broken wrist, Dan Martin out with a sacral fracture

As if the hail, snow and gale force winds wasn't enough, Trek–Segafredo's Juanpe López rode the final 35km with a broken wrist. He confirmed the unfortunate news on his own Twitter account this morning, commenting: "Today I will not be able to go out in @dauphine. With 35 kilometres to go I fell and, despite the pain, I tried to finish to continue in the race. But the tests revealed a broken radius and it's time to go home to recover. Thank you all for your support!"

In other news, Dan Martin was forced to pull out after crashing, suffering a "non-dislocated sacral fracture". Martin is hopeful that he'll recover in time for the Tour de France and remains optimistic.

14 August 2020, 08:16
Tim Declercq is "healing up nicely" after showing off horrendous marks left by hailstones at Critérium du Dauphiné
tim declerq instagram screenshot 2 - 14 august 2020.PNG

This year in professional cycling just isn't getting any easier... as yesterday's second stage of the Dauphiné fell victim to a vicious hailstorm, with a number of riders forced to take cover before battling to stay within the time limit and complete the final climb. Before the madness happened the stage was won by Primoz Roglic, who accelerated on the Col de Porte to take the overall lead from teammate Wout van Aert. 
Taking some of the worst hits from the hailstones was Tim Declercq of Deceuninck–Quick-Step, who shared the extent of his back bruises via his Instagram account yesterday evening. 

tim declerq instagram screenshot - 14 august 2020.PNG

The Belgian has since posted an update (above) to show that the marks are healing up fairly quickly, ans hopefully he'll be back in the saddle for a slightly less hectic stage 3. Team Israel Start-Up Nation did a nice job of capturing it all first hand, describing the day as "total chaos and mayhem"...

14 August 2020, 08:05
Hammersmith Bridge: still closed

As we reported yesterday, the bridge is now closed to all until further notice due to fears over the safety of the Victorian structure. As is evident from the footage above, not everyone is taking the news lying down...

Arriving at in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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