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'Tesla lanes' could see cyclists sharing bus lanes with electric cars; Cyclist knocked off by driver following dispute; Incredible collection of 2,300 cycling jerseys; Riding 16,000 miles during a pandemic; Donald Trump on Strava? + more on the live blog

It's Thursday and Dan Alexander is in the hot seat for all your live blog needs...
14 January 2021, 16:44
'When you go over the bonnet whilst dressed in Lycra at least you won’t have to inhale any nasty fumes': Your thoughts on 'Tesla lanes'
14 January 2021, 16:28
EF Education-Nippo extend deal with Cannondale to 2023
cannondale ef pro cycling bikes2

The boys in pink will be riding Cannondale bikes until at least 2023 after the bike manufacturer extended its deal with EF Education-Nippo. The team has used Cannondale bikes since 2015 and had a spell under their banner between 2015 and 2017. 

"At the core, the relationship with Cannondale is about evolution and revolution. We want to make progress on the roads, off the roads, and ultimately keep pushing the boundaries of our sport outward," said EF Educatiion-Nippo CEO Jonathan Vaughters.

"We want to work with Cannondale to highlight the beauty of the elite level but also make the sport more accessible everywhere. We want more people riding bikes with smiles on their faces."

14 January 2021, 16:26
Teamwork makes the dream work

14 January 2021, 15:52
Remco Evenepoel's return delayed by pelvis injury
Evenepoel Lombardia crash, LaPresse, RCS Sport.JPG

Remco Evenepoel's return to racing has been delayed by an ongoing "small problem" with the pelvis injury he sustained in his season-ending crash at Il Lombardia last August. The Belgian, who doesn't turn 21 for another two weeks, admitted during a virtual press conference at Deceuninck-Quick-Step's training camp in Calpe that his recovery is taking longer than expected. 

"There were some small difficulties, all part of the rehab process. To be honest, we don't know yet when I'll be able to restart because we slowed the comeback down a bit to give my body time to get ready to be 100 per cent, " Evenepoel explained.

"I'm not a doctor so I don't know the specific words but it's just a bit of pain in the area where the fractures were so sitting down on a saddle for a few hours is still hard. It needs to be fixed before being 100% on a bike."

Evenepoel has taken the pro cycling world by storm earning the label of one of the sport's most exciting young talents. Despite the setback, the 20-year-old still expects to race his first Grand Tour at the Giro d'Italia in May.

14 January 2021, 15:42
Tough day at the office...
14 January 2021, 15:09
'Tesla lanes' could see cyclists sharing bus lanes with electric cars

Cambridge Cycling Campaign highlighted this new initiative from Cambridgeshire County Council which means drivers of electric cars are now allowed to drive in the bus lane on Elizabeth Way. The council has used an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) which means the scheme can run for up to 18 months while it is monitored and assessed. However, many cyclists have pointed out the potential dangers of allowing cars in a space usually reserved for buses, motorcyclists and cyclists.

The Cambridge Cycling Campaign wrote on its website: "Electric cars are still cars. They take up a lot of space on the road, may endanger people who are cycling (especially as they travel near silently) and will surely congest a facility that is meant to help public transport function more smoothly. This is a dreadful precedent to set, which will lead to the destruction of public transport priority and will further deteriorate already poor conditions for cycling."

Cambrdige County Council has invited the public to provide comments and objections on the scheme by emailing: policyandregulation [at] cambridgeshire.gov.uk 

14 January 2021, 14:10
Sam Bennett hoping Mark Cavendish can help teach him 'how to deal with pressure'
New Oakley Sunglasses Sam Bennett ASO GOMEZSPORT (SWPix.com).JPG

Sam Bennett could have been forgiven for raising an eyebrow when Deceuninck-Quick-Step confirmed that Mark Cavendish was returning to the team for 2021. Cav enjoyed three typically succesful years with the Belgian outfit, winning three Tour stages as well as five in one Grand Tour at the 2013 Giro. However, Bennett doesn't feel threatened by his return and is instead hoping to tap into the 35-year-old's mentality and experience.

"He’s a guy that’s dealt with expectation. He’s a guy, if he came away with two stages in one Grand Tour people would say it’s a bad Grand Tour for him so he set the bar really high for himself," Bennett said in a virtual press conference from the team's training camp in Spain.

"So just learn from his experience, his mindframe and how he approaches the big races. I don’t know if I can top 2020, which was such an incredible season, but I would like to get some more stages at Le Tour, especially as this year’s parcours is more sprinter-friendly. I would also like to get a one-day WorldTour win, it’s something that’s missing from my palmares and I hope to tick it off this year."

Cav's mechanic posted this on Instagram earlier, so have a sneak peak at this beauty...

14 January 2021, 13:54
'Ongoing rise' in active travel in West Yorkshire as trips on cycle route up 90%
oxon travel cycle lane picture 2 - via twitter.PNG

The Telegraph & Argus reports that West Yorkshire experienced a cycling boom in 2020 with the number of people using the Canal Road cycleway, between Bradford and Shipley, up by over 90% compared to November 2019. Last year, 15.5km of segregated cycle lanes were built in West Yorkshire using the emergency active travel funding. And, at a meeting of West Yorkshire Combined Authority's Transport Committee on Friday, members were shown a report which suggests the new schemes are offering good value for money.

It reported: "Although detailed monitoring and evaluation of active travel schemes in a monetised form is an emerging science, initial figures from across the UK are helpful in providing evidence that such investment provides value for money. 

"The Department for Transport’s own Active Mode Appraisal Toolkit includes several worked examples to demonstrate how these various benefits, including reduced congestion, reduced emissions, public health  benefits and road traffic collision reduction, accrue.

"For example a scheme on Clifton Road in Bristol resulted in £1.80 of benefit for every £1 spent. These figures are heavily dependent upon the number of cyclists which use the scheme, and the increase in ridership demonstrated over the last year shows that there is appetite for a significant increase in the number of cyclists if schemes which enable safe, utility cycling for all users are implemented."

14 January 2021, 13:37
Rome wasn't built in a day...and neither it seems was Cycle Superhighway 8

Cycle Superhighway 8 (CS8) is finally getting some segregation...ten years after it first opened. Better late than never I guess. The route runs from Chelsea Bridge to Wandsworth Town Centre and will soon (hopefully) have new sections of cycle lane with barriers or wands. The key new sections can be seen in the tweet above but include a 1.5km stretch on Battersea Park Road which will have 250m of current car parking removed to make way for a mandatory widened cycle lane with wands. A 20mph speed limit is also to be introduced.

In 2018, a lorry driver was handed a nine-month suspended sentence after admitting to causing the death of a pregnant schoolteacher cycling to work when he failed to indicate at the junction of Grovesnor Road and Chelsea Bridge.

14 January 2021, 12:30
Sir Chris Hoy thought knighthood was a wind-up
Sir Chris Hoy podium London 2012 (copyright britishcycling.org.uk)

There's an amusing story in the Daily Record today as Sir Chris Hoy recalls being phoned about receiving a knighthood. After the letter got sent to his old address in Edinburgh, Hoy took a call. "They said, ‘This is so and so from Buckingham Palace’ and I thought, ‘It’s one of my mates, this a wind-up.' I said, ‘Oh yeah’ and they said, ‘I wondered if you got your letter?’ I said, ‘No, I didn’t get a letter’ and he said, ‘Oh well, we are writing to offer you a knighthood’.

"I was about to go ‘Yeah right, sling your hook pal.’ Then my wife Sarra who was sitting next to me said, ‘It’s real.’ I then went, ‘Oh, I would love to, sorry I didn’t reply.’ So I almost told him to take a running jump.”

Hoy was knighted in 2009 after winning three gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. At London 2012, he won two more golds to become Britain's most successful Olympian with six golds.

14 January 2021, 12:00
Cyclist driven at and knocked off bike by motorist following dispute
Market Place Bungay (Street View)

Suffolk Police are appealing for information after a cyclist was assaulted by a motorist who drove at the victim, knocking him off his bike. The cyclist, a man in his 20s, was riding along Trinity Street in Bungay between 7pm and 7.30pm last Thursday when he was cut- up by a driver in a black, soft-top convertible. When the victim caught up with the motorist in Market Place and challenged him on his driving the suspect drove his car into the cyclist, knocking him off his bike.

The driver of the car, possibly a three-door Mercedes, is described as a white man of heavy build in his 40s or 50s. The suspect drove off leaving the cyclist with elbow, knee and hand injuries.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Coordination Team, quoting the reference: 1724/21.

14 January 2021, 11:03
The man called Merckx with a collection of 2,300 cycling jerseys

With a name like Ton Merckx, the 55-year-old from Eindhoven was always going to be a cycling fan... The son of a former pro racer (not Eddy) who was also a cycling fanatic in the 50s and 60s, Merckx has taken his love of the sport to another level by collecting more than 2,300 cycling jerseys. The jerseys are stored at his house with 1,100 hanging in wardrobes and the rest in boxes...Among the famous jerseys he has a Molteni and Peugeot-Michelin-BP and top of Merckx's wish list is a Giro d'Italia maglia rosa.

Ton explained to PEZ Cycling News how he collects the jerseys: "In the past I wrote around 150 letters every winter to cyclists for jerseys, receiving around 70 answers of which 40 would be positive, It was hard to find addresses but phonebooks and national cycling unions were a good help.

"At the moment you can’t get any addresses because of privacy laws, but Facebook and the internet give me the opportunity to do some research and achieve similar results as in the past. When I visit races I never ask cyclists if they can help me on a jersey, you wouldn’t go to a building site and ask a builder to have his shirt! I wait until the end of the season."

14 January 2021, 09:59
Trump to join Strava?
14 January 2021, 08:49
Cyclist rides 16,000 miles visiting 43 countries during Covid-19 pandemic

 Nil Cabutí, a cyclist from Catalonia, shared his incredible story with Spanish newspaper El País... The engineer was originally planning to cycle from Barcelona to Singapore, however a few days into the adventure the pandemic ended that ambition while he was in Italy. Instead, he went on a spontaneous European tour, travelling 25,711km in 306 days through 43 countries.

When Italy closed its borders, Cabutí headed north through Switzerland and Germany to the Scandinavian countries. "I spent 95% of the trip alone," he told El País. 

"I soon realised that it would be impossible to get to Singapore. In Slovenia, things were as bad as in Italy, and in Croatia they wouldn’t let me cross the border at any of the 10 border control points I turned up at. It was March and they were stopping all the cars at the police checkpoints, but they didn’t stop me.

"I didn’t get to see a lot of things. Amsterdam was like a ghost town, and I did the Camino de Santiago [pilgrimage route in Spain] without being able to enjoy the anthropological aspect of it."

Despite much of Europe having travel restrictions during the trip, one of the only times he was stopped by police was in Paris. When asked by officers to return home, he replied: "I’m already going home."

The hardest part of the trip was finding places to stay and Cabutí adapted his routine to spend the first hour of each day looking for a hotel for the following night. "I had booked hotels through Booking.com, but when I arrived, they were closed. I had already paid, but they told me they couldn’t let me stay. People were afraid of Covid-19.

"One day, a man had to give me some cans of tuna fish and toast at a gas station because Italian supermarkets close on Sundays, I couldn’t buy anything!"

Dan joined road.cc as live blog editor last year. He has previously written 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 a keen cyclist ever since and spends his weekends exploring the south of England on two wheels. 

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