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Active travel campaigner leaves Twitter after abuse & threats; Cav content; TDF behind the scenes; But cyclists; New pro kit: Movistar go dark; Virtual Everesting; Pog to ride Flanders; Dashboard gunsight; Hairpin porn; Bye Bailey + more on the live blog

It's Wednesday and Dan Alexander will be providing the updates for your middle of the week live blog...
15 December 2021, 17:14
Get your wallet out
15 December 2021, 16:32
Have you tried?
15 December 2021, 15:55
EF Education - Nippo announce major transfer coup with deal for breakthrough climbing sensation Mark Padun

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."

15 December 2021, 09:40
"I don't want to be on it anymore because I don't want to be anywhere near these men": Pro-active travel councillor leaves Twitter over abuse

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."

15 December 2021, 15:05
The air horn has still got some juice left after yesterday...
15 December 2021, 14:19
Tadej Pogačar adds Tour of Flanders debut to 2022 programme — will ride four of five Monuments
Tadej Pogacar in yellow - picture credit A.S.O., Charly Lopez

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?

15 December 2021, 12:33
Episode 2 of The Wolfpack Insider: Tour de France

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...

15 December 2021, 12:16
Anyone remember what happened to Shaun Bailey?

It's funny how things work out 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...

15 December 2021, 12:04
It's those bloody cyclists jumping red lights again...
15 December 2021, 11:33
New pro kit: Movistar go dark

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...

15 December 2021, 10:35
Complete an Everesting without leaving home...RGT Cycling announces 2022 Everesting Challenge with World Bicycle Relief
RGT x WBR x Everesting Challenge 2022

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."

Fancy it?

15 December 2021, 10:24
Hairpin porn

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...

Stelvio hairpins

Alpe d'Huez...

Alpe d'Huez

 But what about some lesser-known hidden gems for hairpin lovers...

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...

15 December 2021, 08:50
"Now I can better target cyclists": Motorist shares photo of dashboard gunsight

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 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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