“This is the right team for me. When I had the opportunity to join EF, I was quite happy and didn’t have to think about it too long.”
— EF Pro Cycling (@EFprocycling) December 15, 2021
It's safe to say Ukranian pro Mark Padun shocked the world at the Critérium du Dauphiné, winning consecutive stages in the mountains against some of the best riders in the world. An extraordinary achievement made more impressive by the fact that before the race Padun's biggest win was a stage of the Tour of the Alps back in 2018.
Retrospective analysis ranked Padun's watts per kilo climbing performance up there with the best rides of the season. And while the rest of 2021 didn't work out for the Bahrain Victorious rider, where he would be riding in 2022 was one of the big off-season transfer questions.
Ineos were unsurprisingly mentioned, and at one point were assumed to be the destination by many. But refreshingly it's EF Education — who have secured his signature.
Jonathan Vaughters talked up his new big-name signing: "I fully expect him to win his first stage of a Grand Tour in the next couple of years. I have no doubt that he’ll do that. I know he can find the right breakaway in a mountain stage and climb away from everyone else and win stages. I know he can do that in Grand Tours.
"Whether he can expand on that to win mountain jerseys or contend in general classification, that part we have to find out. But for this year, let’s focus on a couple of stage wins. I’m 100% confident he can do it."
1. Hi everyone. The wonderful woman who is Jo Rigby is leaving Twitter for a bit. She sent me a note which she asked me to share with you. I’ve spoken to her on the phone and she’s doing okay-ish. But it’s still with a heavy heart that I post this, because no-one should feel pic.twitter.com/hpSoeji3dp
— Carla Francome (@carlafrancome) December 14, 2021
Cllr Jo Rigby is a live blog regular with her thoughts, pics and videos of active travel infra (or more often the lack of it) from Wandsworth, south London. As recently as last Tuesday she headlined the live blog after sharing a clip of six drivers cutting across a painted bike lane in just 25 seconds. The video sparked a discussion about whether paint is infrastructure and if the lanes really are better than nothing.
However, this morning, a friend has shared a statement saying the councillor is leaving Twitter due to abuse and threats.
The full statement is above but includes, "I was reading posts from a group of men in Enfield who [...] had gathered to discuss how I needed a smack to shut me up along with indulging themselves in a fantasy where I get crushed to death by a tipper truck.
"There are some wonderful people on here [...] but it's essentially riddled with hate and anger. And I don't want to be on it anymore because I don't want to be anywhere near these men."
Rigby said she's also had a threatening email sent to her place of work, including calling on her employer to take action against her. Something "which didn't get the response he wanted. I got a lovely supportive note from my new boss."
What does Tadej Pogačar do when he's already won two Tour de France titles and two Monuments before the age of 24? Try and win just about everything else...
The Slovenian has added the Tour of Flanders to his 2022 calendar, and will ride three other Monuments — Milan San Remo, Liège–Bastogne–Liège and Il Lombardia — on top of defending the Tour de France and returning to the Vuelta a España.
"The start will be similar to this year, I will open the season with the UAE Tour, which is very important for the team," Pogačar told Slovenian media. "I will almost certainly compete in four Monuments - all but Paris-Roubaix - two Grand Tours, and probably also the World Championships, where the route will not be so flat and it will be difficult to control. The season will be quite strenuous, and the Tour of Slovenia is also planned."
Can Pogačar win Flanders? His win at Liège showed he packs a sprint at the end of a demanding day...and it's hard to see him getting dropped on the climbs...anyone feel strongly either way?
Need some lunchtime viewing? Deceuninck-Quick-Step have delivered the goods with the second episode of their behind the scenes series from the Tour de France. It's got all the Cav content you could possibly need as the Manx Missile's stage-winning run continued into the second week.
Times have certainly improved for Cav since this was taken...
Time has been good to all of us… but that ain’t saying much.
Little pic from 2005? pic.twitter.com/EPNhDJhBwN
— Ed Clancy (@Ed_Clancy) December 15, 2021
People seem to seriously be asking how Shaun Bailey’s London mayoral campaign team could have done something this stupid.
I must point out that Shaun Bailey’s London mayoral campaign team also took him campaigning in Brentwood, where they don’t have a vote as it’s not in London. pic.twitter.com/doC2mgCXWX
— Tom Peck (@tompeck) December 15, 2021
It's funny how things work out sometimes...at the back end of last year Tory London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey was spouting about restoring the roads of the capital to motorists.
His campaign included verbal attacks on LTNs, including a bizarre video comparing the schemes to the Tour de France. Aye, because we all remember the time Tadej Pogačar dropped Richard Carapaz with a sneaky attack around a planter.
Bailey lost the campaign, but was back in the papers yesterday after he was pictured at one of the Tories' definitely not a party last December...he has since quit as chair of City Hall's police and crime committee...
🆕👕💙 Os presentamos la equipación 2022 de Movistar Team, creada por @lapassionecc.
😊🌟 @AvVleuten, @alejanvalverde, @emmanorsgaard1, @EnricMasNicolau, @SamartinmartinA and @MatteoJorg sporting their new kit for 2022! Looking forward to next year.#RodamosJuntos | @Telefonica pic.twitter.com/90LexwO2Yg
— Movistar Team (@Movistar_Team) December 15, 2021
Trek-Segafredo went white, Movistar have joined the dark side with their first La Passione kit. Alejandro Valverde and Annemiek van Vleuten get a splash of extra colour with their world champ's stripes on the sleeve, but otherwise it looks like an homage to Manchester City's dreadful no logo third kit...okay, fair enough, it's better than Puma's effort...
Man City's new third kit 👕
Thoughts? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/HCmZv4EEFz
— GOAL (@goal) August 18, 2021
Free to use virtual cycling platform RGT has announced its 2022 Everesting Challenge — a 31-day window to climb the cumulative altitude of Mount Everest (8,448m). Okay, okay, I hear you...that's technically not an Everesting if it's not all climbed in one ride, but hey, it's in January with all the excess Christmas weight, be my guest if you want to do it all in one ride. The rest of us will just be happy to rack it up by February 1...
The challenge is in partnership with Hells 500, the creators of Everesting.CC, as well as World Bicycle Relief, the non-profit organisation dedicated to mobilising people through the power of bicycles. It's a fundraising challenge, so you can start the year getting fit for a good cause.
RGT Cycling’s Head of Brand and Marketing James Vickers said: "Now that we’re firmly back into indoor riding season in the Northern Hemisphere we hope riders see this challenge as a fun way to maintain motivation through the winter months, whilst also raising funds to support the incredible work that World Bicycle Relief does around the globe."
1/ Just for fun, I am going to list some of my favourite cycling climbs for hairpin lovers: first has to be the old cobble Tremola road up the south side of Gotthard Pass (Switzerland) #cycling #hairpins (3rd photo angle taken from inside the galleria tunnel of main road). pic.twitter.com/Rd9oJ5rjOx
— cyclingchallenge (@cyclingalps) December 14, 2021
All the switchbacks you could ever wish to see...and not a Box Hill in sight...of course you've got to have the big dogs...the Stelvio...
But what about some lesser-known hidden gems for hairpin lovers...
2/ The amazing 46 hairpins up to Col de Tende (French side, Italian name is Colle di tenda). Also, great unpaved military ridge roads above --- first photo taken from an old fort. pic.twitter.com/53FTujXIA4
— cyclingchallenge (@cyclingalps) December 14, 2021
11/ @friebos called it the holy grail of cycling. Colle del Sommeiller has roughly 50 hairpins. Unpaved higher up. Fabulous. The summit is 2993 metres, so I hiked 7 metres higher with my bike to reach 3000m (4th photo). 1st photo shows how beautiful this climb is. pic.twitter.com/qifc6naszD
— cyclingchallenge (@cyclingalps) December 14, 2021
I'll give all the kudos in the world to any of you lot who have ridden any of those...the bucket list is now a couple of climbs longer...
Now i can better target cyclists pic.twitter.com/jXIFWETnbX
— antto - kevyt laktoositon (@anttoretu) December 11, 2021
This thread makes pretty grim reading for your Wednesday morning...
Some amateur reg plate detective work means we reckon this is from Finland, where one motorist bragged about their new gunsight set-up on their dashboard meaning they can "better target cyclists".
The replies sadly got worse, with a couple saying that's what the Mercedes star on the bonnet is designed for...while the sight driver justified their actions by arguing, "We have good routes for cycling and still some idiots cycle on the road."
Two accounts, both with cartoon avatars, one claiming to be German, the other from Ukraine took it further...maybe it's our mistake for paying attention to anonymous trolls, but anyway...
One commented: "It should be the goal of every driver to hit at least one cyclist while driving."
The other said: "You just run them over that's what you do."
Closer to home, last week the owner of a van in Greater Manchester, pictured with spiked wing mirrors, denied the modification was designed to harm cyclists. Jonathan Tomney said it was to deter vandals from stealing parts of his car..."I just hope that if one of the little b******s tries to take my wing mirror again they’ll sever their hand."
Dan joined road.cc 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 road.cc, 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.