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“At least this one stopped at a red light, but only to use her phone”: Driver’s anti-cycling ‘gotcha’ moment backfires; Motorists blast Camden’s road safety plans; Astana want Cav; “It’s a cycle lane, not a car park”; Sagan on WVA + more on the live blog

It’s Thursday and Ryan Mallon is back with the latest wintery cycling news and views on the live blog
15 December 2022, 09:24
“At least this one stopped at a red light, but only to use her phone”: Taxi driver’s anti-cycling ‘gotcha’ moment backfires… as cyclists point out he used phone to take photo

As avid readers of the live blog will know, it can sometimes be tough being a dedicated anti-cycling bingo player.

When you’ve gone days since you last saw an empty cycle lane or a child riding their bike on the pavement, and your thumbs start to cramp from tapping out ‘road tax’ and ‘lycra’ on your phone… things can start to get a bit desperate.

Such a cruel fate, unfortunately, has befallen our motoring friend Kevo2205 – to give him his full name – who, anxious to complete his anti-cycling bingo card for the week, decided to snap a photo of someone on a bike at a set of traffic lights (the natural hunting ground for bingo players).

However, the cyclist, much to Kevin’s chagrin I imagine, stopped at the lights, forcing the motorist to dig deep into his tattered old ‘car is king’ tote bag for inspiration:

Unfortunately for Kev (who appears from his timeline to be a taxi driver), some Twitter users were quick to note the irony of his post, which criticised a cyclist for using their phone while stopped at a set of traffic lights… a moment illustrated by a photo captured, presumably, on a phone by a driver stopped at a set of traffic lights:

“So the cyclist is acting entirely legally, meanwhile you’re doing the same thing with your phone in the car (that angle, it’s the driver with the phone) which, incidentally, IS illegal”, wrote Anthony, while another Twitter user simply described Kevo’s tweet as “hilarious”.

I have to say, some of the attempts to defend Kevin’s backfired ‘gotcha’ moment are as equally entertaining:

Full house! 

15 December 2022, 17:01
Trying to get to the weekend like…

Have a good evening, everyone!

15 December 2022, 16:26
Jumbo-Visma Tour de France Jonas Vingegaard Wout van Aert Sepp Kuss Tiesj Benoot Christophe Laporte (A.S.O. / Pauline Ballet)
Got a spare 15 grand? You could buy Wout van Aert’s bike for Christmas…

Running out of ideas for what you can get that special someone for Christmas?

Well, ponder no more, as Jumbo-Visma are auctioning off their bikes and kit from this year’s Tours de France, giving cycling fans the opportunity to snag the perfect last-minute Christmas present… if you’ve got a spare ten grand knocking about, that is.

Organised by the Dutch team’s partner Catawiki, the auction will not only help Jumbo-Visma offload a fleet of outdated bikes – the team is switching from Shimano to Sram for 2023 – but will help raise fund to develop potential cycling talent in the Netherlands.

“At Team Jumbo-Visma we’re engaged in many initiatives supporting cycling talents to flourish,” team director Richard Plugge said. “Think of our Academy, the talents of our Development Team, and of course the initiative CyclingClassNL, in which we participate as a cycling team. That is how we truly contribute to the future of Dutch cycling and this auction enables us to take the next step.”

Marianne Vos 2022 Tour de France Femmes bike (Jumbo-Visma)

Some of the items you can bid for include Jonas Vingegaard’s Tour de France-winning Cervélo R5 (the highest bid for which currently stands at €8,000) and S5 (€7,500), two bikes belonging to double Tour Femmes stage winner Marianne Vos (currently at €6,000 and €5,500), Dutch champion Riejanne Markus’ rather snazzy red, white, and blue R5 (€6,000), Primož Roglič’s S5 and R5 (at around five grand each).

And if you fancy bidding for Wout van Aert’s green-forked S5, at the moment that’ll set you back over €13,000 (but don’t worry, you can get his standard team issue model for the low, low price of ten grand).

2023 Tour de France Stage 8 Wout van Aert win copyright ASO - 1

A range of bikes belonging to other Jumbo-Visma riders such as the now-retired Tom Dumoulin, as well as kit and race numbers, are also available. The auction closes on Monday, just in time for your new ex-pro bike to go under the tree.

Though I’m not sure if Peter Sagan will be bidding for any of Van Aert’s bikes…

15 December 2022, 15:59
Daryl Impey wins 2018 Tour Down Under.png
Less than a month to go to the start of the road season…

Wheels in motion...

Set your reminders for 13 January, as the Tour Down Under will be making its long-awaited return to kick off the road racing season (alright, Het Nieuwsblad purists, don’t at me).

The South Australia-based stage race will take place for the first time in three years – smaller, national events filled that long Covid-induced gap – and the start list already looks pretty tasty:

15 December 2022, 15:27
Peter Sagan: “Wout van Aert disappointed me as a person”

It seems that there is still no love lost between Peter Sagan and Wout van Aert after the two fell out over a spot of sprint argy-bargy during this year’s Tour de France.

Way back in July, on stage three of the Tour to Sønderborg in Denmark, won by Dylan Groenewegen, the then-yellow jersey clad Van Aert became the first rider since five-time Giro d’Italia winner Alfredo Binda in 1930 to finish second on each of the opening three stages of cycling’s biggest race (the Jumbo-Visma rider, of course, would then go on to finally taste victory in thrilling fashion on the following stage to Calais).

2022 Tour de France Stage 3 © Zac Williams/

Zac Williams/

But in Sønderborg, the imperious Belgian came under fire from a finger-wagging Sagan (a rider well-accustomed to a bit of pushing and shoving in a sprint), who told reporters at the finish that he was “happy I’m still in one piece” after an alleged deviation from Van Aert boxed him in by the barriers.

While Aussie sprinter Caleb Ewan blamed both riders for the chaotic finish, it appears that Sagan is not in a mood to forgive and forget the rider who has arguably replaced the Slovakian as the peloton’s most prolific all-rounder.

> Sagan blames Van Aert for bunch sprint near miss – and Ewan blames both of them

In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, the three-time world champion said of Van Aert: “He’s a great champion. But he insulted me at the Tour, and he hasn’t apologised yet.

“In this, he disappointed me as a person. I’m waiting for him to come to me, I won’t go to him. And I think he himself understands why.”

After a turbulent season punctuated by yet another bout of Covid-19 (the third time the TotalEnergies rider had contracted the virus in 18 months) and near misses (he only won once, at the Tour de Suisse in June), 32-year-old Sagan believes he can regain the magic of his mid-20s and challenge Van Aert and the rest in next year’s spring classics.

Peter Sagan at the 2022 E3 Saxo Bank Classic (Zac Williams/

Zac Williams/

Asked by the Italian sports paper if he can still win the biggest races, Sagan replied: “I don’t like this question. I’m doing my best, like always, to be ready to fight at the highest level. If I didn’t believe in it, I wouldn’t do it.

“I don’t like to look for excuses. I’m always present when needed. With Covid-19, I’d had a lot of experience: three times, a bad case and also a case with few symptoms. But in any case, we’ve more or less all had it.”

15 December 2022, 14:56
Anti-cycling bingo comment of the day

A cracking one for the anti-cycling bingo card here, courtesy of a Facebook user, in response to this morning’s story about the red light-stopping, phone-carrying bike rider and the irony-deficient taxi driver:

Facebook comment, cyclist at red light live blog story
15 December 2022, 14:18
Australia's Brodie Chapman at the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong [Alex Broadway/]
“Riding in Australia is overwhelmingly fear inducing,” says pro

An Australian professional cyclist has posted online about her experiences riding her bike on home roads and the dangers posed by dangerous, “abusive”, and “volatile” motorists.

Brodie Chapman, who is set to join Trek-Segafredo after three years at FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope, has enjoyed a successful 2022, winning the GP de Chambéry and picking up top tens at the Tour of Flanders, Tour de Suisse, and Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge.

However, on Twitter this week the 31-year-old spoke of the dangers faced by cyclists, whether pros, commuters, or leisure cyclists, on Australia’s roads, where she says the problem is much worse than in her adoptive home of Spain.

“Riding in Australia is overwhelming fear inducing,” she tweeted. “Many people driving cars are abusive, volatile and lack a basic understanding of the road rules or respect for other humans. I also drive a car and I manage navigate other road users just fine. Take me back to Spain.

“Every time I leave the house my family says, ‘be careful the roads are dangerous’, and unless they are talking about potholes or lava it’s actually ‘people driving dangerously’.

“I take every care to just be normal, be visible, ride in a straight line and carry on my way.”

She continued: “And before it’s “not all Australians”, no it’s about five percent of irrationally angry people who have a meltdown if they have to slow down for two to five seconds to pass me and then slow down more anyway to yell out the window their version of ‘the rules’. That five percent are literally life threatening.

“And although I am just ‘doing my job’ the same basic decency must apply to those commuting, riding for the fun of it, or training. Most of us pay rego [the Australian equivalent of vehicle excise duty] and passed our driver’s test. If it is dangerous for you to pass and you do it anyway, you need to do your driver’s test again.”

15 December 2022, 13:23
Didn’t happen to knock up a British champion’s version, did you?
15 December 2022, 12:57
Operation Snap: Gloucestershire Constabulary to finally accept camera footage from cyclists

If our Near Miss of the Day series has proved anything, it’s that the outcome of reporting incidents of close passes and dangerous driving can be something of a postcode lottery.

Where are you are in the country, and which police force’s jurisdiction an offence happens under,  can often greatly impact whether you’ll hear of a warning letter or even tougher action against the driver, or if you’ll simply be ignored.

> Is submitting close pass footage to the police a postcode lottery?

But for cyclists in Gloucestershire, the odds now seem to have finally, and ever so slightly, tilted in their favour, as Gloucestershire Constabulary last night announced that it had introduced the online reporting service Operation Snap, allowing locals to upload video footage of dangerous driving, close passes, and motorists using mobile phones behind the wheel.

According to a statement from Gloucestershire police, the implementation of Operation Snap – the purpose of which, the force says, “is to improve road safety and to prosecute those that place others at risk” – will allow the police “to effectively deal with the footage recorded by members of the public in a safe and secure way, whilst making the investigation process simple and straightforward.”

The statement continues: “We have a determined and robust approach to policing the roads and we’ll take every opportunity to make them safer for everyone.”

15 December 2022, 12:22
Dan Cyclist

I’ll get my coat…

15 December 2022, 11:50
“Congestion, congestion, and for what? A few fair-weather cyclists”: Camden Council cops classic contradictory cobblers concerning contemporary cycling and walking improvements

All credit must go to editor Jack Sexty for that imaginatively alliterative headline – someone certainly had their morning coffee…

Last night, Camden Council’s cabinet approved a series of safety improvements for cyclists and pedestrians in High Holborn, Drake Street, and Procter Street.

The scheme, work on which is expected to commence in March 2023 and forms part of the Healthy Streets initiative, will reduce Drake Street and Procter Street to one traffic lane and one bus lane to allow space for a segregated cycle path, while a ‘cycle gate’ – used to separate the movements of cyclists and motor traffic at busy junctions – will be added to Procter Street at the junction with High Holborn, along with another signal-operated cycle lane on High Holborn.

Other measures include the introduction of contraflow cycling and two-way cycling on Catton Street and in Red Lion Square respectively, and the enlargement of bike boxes in several areas.

High Holborn Healthy Streets scheme (Camden Council)

“It has been clear for too long that the Holborn area needs safety improvements. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of people who have died on the roads here while cycling,” said Adam Harrison, the cabinet member for a sustainable Camden, said after the vote.

“Working together with TfL, London's walking and cycling commissioner, and the mayor of London, these agreed changes will help ensure that the safety of cyclists is prioritised in the Holborn area, whilst improving the area for residents, businesses and visitors.”

However, despite London walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman’s claim that the changes will help “build a greener, more sustainable and safer London for all”, not everyone – surprise, surprise – was impressed.

In fact, the response to the council’s announcement on Twitter seems to have covered the entire gamut of the anti-cycling infrastructure argument, from complaints about potential congestion and ‘gridlock’ to ‘tax-paying motorists’, ‘fair-weather cyclists’, pollution, pedestrian safety, and even the odd reference to Karl Marx:

My head hurts…

15 December 2022, 11:17
High cycling fashion

If you’re in any way confused or baffled by my references to ‘Vino4Ever’ in this morning’s story about Cav and the Never-Ending Cycle of Rumours, feast your eyes on this beauty:

Move over, La Vie Claire – Vino wearing a jersey plastered with an image of Vino, with ‘Vino’ written all over it in a range of different fonts and colours, truly marked the pinnacle of cycling style and sophistication…

15 December 2022, 10:51
“It’s a cycle lane, not a car park”: Why don’t cyclists use the cycle lane? Part 2,973
15 December 2022, 09:55
Mark Cavendish wins stage 21 of the 2012 Tour de France (A.S.O./Bruno Bade)
Cav and Vino4Ever? Astana interested in signing Mark Cavendish

Alright, hands up – who had Astana in the ‘where will Cav end up next?’ sweepstake?

While at this point it seems that every team under the sun, from Ineos to Human Powered Health to the local Sunday bun run, has been linked with a move for the now-unattached sprinter, Mark Cavendish’s next destination, following his departure from Quick-Step and the long, drawn-out implosion of the B&B Hôtels team, remains one of pro cycling’s biggest unsolved mysteries.

> “This time it’s over”: Mark Cavendish’s B&B Hôtels team to close its doors after search for sponsors falls through

On Tuesday, you may recall, we reported that a source close to the ill-fated B&B set-up told the Placeholder Podcast that the former world champion may even be on the brink of retirement – a reason perhaps vainly proffered by the French team’s management to explain the collapse of their much-vaunted sponsorship deals.

However, Cavendish’s fellow Manxman Pete Kennaugh has also informed listeners of the Never Strays Far podcast that the two-time Tour de France green jersey winner “has definitely signed a contract” for 2023.


MArk Cavendish after equalling Eddy Merckx's record - picture credit A.S.O./Pauline Ballet

A.S.O./Pauline Ballet

Of course, you imagine that most cycling teams would jump at the chance to snap up Cavendish as he aims to make history at the Tour next summer with a record-breaking 35th stage win.

But at this stage of the winter, budget concerns and squad size caps – a factor that appears to have ruled the Ineos Grenadiers, deemed to be the most fitting destination for the British champion, out of the running – have limited the number of teams capable of accommodating the veteran sprinter, while also giving him the chance to go for that elusive record.

For instance, Pro Conti team Human Powered Health are reportedly interested in Cavendish’s signature, but are extremely unlikely to secure a wild card spot at the Tour, even with the race’s greatest sprinter on board.


Vino at the 2012 Tour

So which team has the space, available funds, and guaranteed place at the Tour? Well, up steps Alexander Vinokourov and Astana.

The Kazakh team – who now have a significant hole in their squad following this week’s sacking of Miguel Ángel López due to the Colombian’s alleged links to a suspected doping ring – are reportedly interested in Cavendish, though any negotiations have yet to begin.

Vinokourov has told Cyclingnews this week that when he heard that B&B Hôtels were on the brink of collapsing, “I thought about Mark right away.”

“I gave him a phone call saying if he was free then we could talk. It’s true, he’s what, 35 or 36? [he’s actually 37] but what really matters is if he’s motivated. I won the Olympic Games when I was nearing 40,” the controversial Astana boss said.

“We’d have to reach a full agreement. For the moment, nothing is decided,” he added.

Cavendish would surely add some much-need firepower to the stuttering boys in blue, who only managed five victories this year, something which is certainly not lost on Vino.

“Astana have never had a really big sprinter,” he said. “We’ve always focussed on the stage races, not so much at that.”

Alexandre Vinokourov wins London 2012 road race (picture copyright

Vino secures a, ahem, ‘popular’ win on the Mall in 2012 [Credit:]

Vinokourov, who won the 2012 Olympic road race in London, a race which Cavendish had entered as the overwhelming favourite, joked that “maybe it was me who stopped him from getting his title of ‘Sir’.

“But now there’s the chance of breaking the record in the number of Tour wins… It’s up to his people to take a step forward. I hope so.”

I for one am looking forward to the Cav4Ever t-shirts when he breaks that Tour record next summer…

Ryan joined as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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