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Alex Dowsett's Hour Record attempt off due to positive coronavirus test; This guy should never drive again in his life": Andrey Amador reacts to shocking close pass; 88-year-old rides LEJOG twice; Pub Landlord backs LTNs + more on the live blog

It's Wednesday and Dan Alexander is here to take you through the middle of the week on the live blog...
18 November 2020, 21:36
Alex Dowsett forced to postpone Hour Record attempt after testing positive for COVID-19
Dowsett Hour (YouTube)

Unfortunately Dowsett's second crack at the Hour Record is over before it began, as the Israel Start-Up Nation rider is now battling coronavirus. He took to social media to say: "Really disappointed to have to postpone the hour record attempt.

"Shortly after we announced the attempt I had some symptoms of Cov & a test result came back positive. My focus now is recovery, isolation & my health. Thanks to everyone for their support, we’ll be back stronger."

Even so, Dowsett still hosted a virtual Hour Record training session on Zwift this evening, but took on the role of coach rather than riding it himself. 

If and when Dowsett does set a new date for his attempt, the mark to beat is 55.089km set by Victor Campanaerts in April last year

18 November 2020, 16:37
"This guy should never drive again in his life": Andrey Amador reacts to shocking viral close pass video

On Monday we posted our 500th Near Miss of the Day, but we haven't seen one quite as bad as this for a while. This shocking footage from Costa Rica shows a driver pass these cyclists at frightening speed, just centimetres from their left side. The video has gone viral and INEOS Grenadiers' rider Andrey Amador was quick to criticise the driver's recknessless.  

He tweeted: "You just have to go buy bike to feel so helpless with these type of "people". I don't know if you see the license plate but this guy should never drive in his life!"

18 November 2020, 16:15
New fizik Saddle Bag
fizik saddle bag

fizik's new Saddle Bag is minimalist in design and will fit snugly under your saddle, however the brand claim it "has space for a spare inner tube, co2 cartridge and inflator, tire levers and multitool - with room for cash and an emergency gel." The bag, which is waterproof is made from PU-coated polyester fabric and a waterproof zipper to block bad weather and is priced at £21.99.

18 November 2020, 15:56
Update: hope for Upper Shoreham pop-up after council vote to reconsider decision to remove it

As we first reported yesterday, campaigners were concerned the decision by the council’s cabinet member for highways to remove the lanes was made before construction had even finished. The decision was reviewed by the council’s Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, and they voted 6:2 for Cllr Roger Elkins to reconsider. 

18 November 2020, 15:38
Vincenzo Nibali putting in the work

Vincenzo Nibali may be taking sport specific training a little too literally in this clip of his off season gym work. Leg pressing fine, but in cleats? If it gets The Shark back to his fearsome best then who are we to judge.

18 November 2020, 14:40
London hospital trust to pay £250,000 to install LTN for public health benefits
Southfields LTN in LB Ealing (picture Simon MacMichael)

The Guardian reports that the Guy's and St Thomas' Charitable Trust will give £250,000 to Southwark council to install planters and removable bollards in three areas of the London borough. Citing the health and social benefits of LTNs the planned changes to the wards of Camberwell Green, St Giles and Faraday will also include widened pavements, additional seating and roadside markings to encourage walking and cycling.

The proposed LTN measures will aid the charity's 10-year programme to improve air quality and reduce childhood obesity. Importantly the three wards which will receive infrastructure are some of the most socially deprived in the UK. Some have argued that LTNs favour more affluent areas and force traffic, and as a result air pollution, into less well off areas.

18 November 2020, 14:11
New Ribble hybrid and gravel e-bikes

Ribble have added two new step-through bikes to their growing e-bike range. The Hybrid AL e Step Through and CGR Hybrid Al-e have been designed to provide "more choice to everyone, whether thinking of getting into cycling or life-long cyclists." We reviewed the Ribble Hybrid AL e on our sister website ebiketips last summer, but now Ribble have added to the original Hybrid AL e with a step-through version. Both Ribble's new e-bikes share the same frame with the main difference being the dropped bars on the CGR Hybrid Al-e. You can read the full story over on ebiketips.

18 November 2020, 13:40
West Sussex County Council vote in favour of keeping Shoreham pop-up cycle lane

Yesterday we reported that a pop-up cycle lane in Shoreham risked being removed, despite the cycleway being used in a government promotional video of cycling investment. The lane faced closure after council cabinet member Roger Elkins decided to remove it, even before construction had been completed.

However, this lunchtime the West Sussex County Council's environment & communities scrutiny meeting voted in favour of asking Elkins to reconsider the decision.

18 November 2020, 13:28
Martyn Gall named by friends as cyclist killed in Worcestershire crash
Martyn Gall tribute

A cyclist killed in a collision on the A441 in Worcestershire has been named as Martyn Gall by friends. The incident occurred on Saturday morning just before 8am and left a second cyclist in hospital with "life-threatening injuries". The Birmingham Mail report that a woman in her 20s was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. Gall was a member of Royal Sutton Cycling Club in Sutton Coldfield and was riding the Sette Dedici route at the time of the collision.

Royal Sutton Cycling Club secretary, Jon Ellis said: "On behalf of Royal Sutton Cycling Club and the cycling community, I’d like to express our great sadness at the tragic death of our clubmate and friend Martyn Gall on November 14.

"Cycling was a huge part of Martyn’s life and his death is a devastating loss for all who knew him. Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to his family at this unimaginably difficult time.”

18 November 2020, 11:51
88-year-old becomes oldest person to cycle length of UK after second Land's End to John O'Groats attempt

In September Laurence Brophy completed Land's End to John O'Groats for a second time, a year after his first effort, having been told another 87-year-old had completed the route. Brophy wanted the record outright so had another shot this year completing the challenge in 22 days, three days faster than his first attempt. The 88-year-old raised money for Llamau, a Welsh charity that support the homeless, and slept rough to raise awareness. Brophy's JustGiving page has so far raised £6,134.

He said: "Last year, aged 87, I completed a solo cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats, sleeping rough on the way to raise awareness and funds for the amazing work Llamau does. They work mainly with Young People up to the age of 25 and Women, who have experienced great difficulties in their lives, providing a safe place to stay and support to overcome their challenges.

"I completed the challenge wondering if I was the oldest, at 87, to do this? However another 87 year old also completed the route that year, on a Brompton Bike no less. 

"This year, starting the 16th August 2020, I not only hope to be the oldest person at 88, to complete the route, again at times sleeping rough along the way, having had more than a little trouble getting my bike home by train last year, I intend to take the easier option of also CYCLING BACK!"

18 November 2020, 11:13
Flandrien Challenge
Oude Kwaremont.JPG

As if you needed another excuse to make a post-COVID 19 trip to Flanders to take on the beastly cobbled bergs... have you got what it takes to become a true Flandrien? This is the question Cycling Flanders are asking with their new Strava challenge. The Flandrien Challenge involves 59 segments up the most famous climbs and cobbles, all to be completed within 72 hours. Those successful will see their name engraved in stone, immortalised on the Wall of Fame at the Ronde van Vlaanderen museum in Oudenaarde. 

The challenge can be completed at any time and Cycling in Flanders have created three suggested routes for you to take in all 59 segments. Take it on if you think you're hard enough.

18 November 2020, 10:36
Brooks announce new Scape collection of bikepacking bags
Brooks Scape collection (Copyright © 2020 Selle Royal Spa)

Brooks new Scape range of bikepacking bags has been designed to "provide versatile and strong travel bags for bicycling adventurers." Each of the ten models will provide versatility while also being able to withstand the worst conditions the elements can throw at you. Brooks says: "The IPX4 certified construction means you can be confident your belongings will remain dry even in heavy rain." The collection ranges from compact handlebar pouches and saddle bags through to frame bags and panniers.

Why not read our review of one of Brooks' previous touring panniers, the Land's End Rear Pannier, here.

18 November 2020, 10:12
Daughter of man killed by a van driver has joined forces with Cleveland Police to record an emotional

As part of Road Safety Week, Cleveland Police recorded an emotional video capturing the human cost of fatalities on our roads. Laura Waistell recorded this tribute to her father Michael who was killed by a van driver while cycling to work in July. William Lee Stallard was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison. Stallard did not stop after colliding with the 58-year-old.

Cleveland Police Force hopes Laura's video can highlight the human cost of fatalities. Inspector Jamie Bell, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: "Since the end of lockdown we have seen an unusually high number of fatal collisions, particularly involving those on two wheels.

"None of us want people to suffer these tragedies, so we’re encouraging people to be more aware of vulnerable road users, and in particular those on two wheels. We also want to tackle perceptions; everyone has the same right to use the road safely and everyone needs to be accountable for their actions and so we’re launching a road code for everyone to remember; which is: readiness and observation avoids danger (ROAD).

"Laura Waistell has kindly joined our campaign to help us highlight the devastating impact that road related deaths can have on families. The ripple effect on them is immeasurable. I’d like to thank Laura for joining our campaign and helping us get our message across to all road users."

18 November 2020, 09:33
Pub Landlord backs LTNs

The impact on local businesses has been a common objection to LTNs but it seems one Pub landlord is pretty happy with less traffic in Chiswick's residential areas. Replying on Twitter to a post suggesting to ease congestion in Chiswick access should be given to cars on streets nearby, Al Murray simply replied: "no thanks."

18 November 2020, 09:05
Shane Sutton raised concern about reputation of Chris Froome's coach in 2012
chris froome 2

Shane Sutton raised a concern to Dave Brailsford about the reputation of Chris Froome's coach during a meeting in 2012, a medical tribunal has heard. Matt Lawton of The Times reports that yesterday the Dr Richard Freeman medical tribunal heard that during an interview with Brailsford and Team Sky head of medical Dr Steve Peters in 2012, Sutton was asked if he had ever been involved in doping or buying or supplying banned drugs. Sutton replied "no" but did share a concern about Froome when asked to share any wider concerns he may have about doping in the team.

Mary O'Rourke QC read that Sutton had referred to "Chris Froome going to Italy on a motorbike" and his relationship with "Bobby" (Julich), a former team-mate of Lance Armstrong who Froome was seeking time trialling advice from. It was not suggested that Froome had doped for any of his seven Grand Tour victories including four Tour de France titles, just that Sutton had been uncomfortable with Froome's relationship with Julich.

Team Sky staff were asked to sign a declaration to confirm they'd never been involved in cheating in the sport. This led to the departure of Julich, Sean Yates and Steven De Jongh.

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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