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"Vansplaining": tweet bashing Van Aert's gear choices mocked; Cycling UK CEO warns of return to "pre-COVID era"; Team bike merry-go-round; Richmond Park congestion anger; Moto rider who collided with Alaphilippe "feels guilty" + more on the live blog

Welcome to Monday's live blog. Jack Sexty is your blogger-in-chief today, with Simon MacMichael taking over later this evening. ...
19 October 2020, 16:45
Van Aert 'Vansplained'* over gearing choices in final sprint at Tour of Flanders

It seems social media doesn't have much time for this analysis, suggesting Van Aert didn't choose his gears correctly in a photo finish with Mathieu van der Poel at the Tour of Flanders. Some are claiming the anonymous tweeter is simply an armchair analyst (we don't know that, they could be a bona fide cycling expert after all). 

While it's true that Van Aert was beaten, we're going to say that it's probably quite unlikely whoever this is knows more about what it takes to contest a sprint, and which gears are best to use, against one of the world's best cyclists than the Belgian... who himself is one of the world's best cyclists. 

If you want to scrutinise Van Aert's tekkers for yourself, his ride upload on Strava can be found here.

Chapeau to Richard Moore for the quality pun. 

19 October 2020, 15:50
Bloody cyclists, always jumping red lights

This week's edition comes to you from an idiot who has done it before, and will most likely do it again... 

19 October 2020, 14:45
Warnings over traffic returning to "Pre-Covid levels": Twitter account owner against LTNs posing as Imperial College epidemiologist rumbled

Back to matters on the home front now after that spontaneous flurry of bike sponsor announcements... and after Cycling UK's new CEO warned against council's prioritising the voices of a minority when it comes to cycle lanes and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (see below), the debate over Low Traffic Neighbourhoods is raging on and getting ugly in places. 

Imperial College have denied that someone claiming to be an epidemiologist at the university works for them, as this person appears to be using their self-appointed expertise to argue against LTNs and cycle lanes in London. The account holder has claimed, amongst other things, that cycling campaigners have "infiltrated political parties and are using targetted harassment to try to silence opponents", and that cycle lanes on main roads "make no sense due to increased risk from air pollution & accidents". Imperial College say they have reported the account holder to Twitter for impersonation. 

19 October 2020, 13:18
New Cycling UK CEO Sarah Mitchell promises to "keep Britain cycling", and criticises opponents of cycle lanes and LTN schemes
Cyclists in Bristol (licensed CC BY-SA 2.0 by Sam Saunders on Flickr)

Starting as the CEO of the charity today, Mitchell has vowed to help maintain the increased levels of cycling seen in Britain during the pandemic, and has urged councils to resist pressure from a "minority of people" who are against low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs), cycle lanes and wider pavements.

She said: “We’re at a crossroads in the UK. We have to ask ourselves whether we want a return to the bad old ways of congested cities, polluted unsafe streets and parents feeling they have no choice but to drive on the school run, or whether we want something better.

"Funding and guidance released by national governments for local councils to improve cycling has seen a series of measures including cycle lanes, widened pavements, “school streets” and low traffic neighbourhoods employed at a local level to great success.

"These have largely been well received by residents, though Cycling UK is concerned councils are under pressure from a minority of people who are resistant to the positive impact these changes could bring.

“Lockdown showed that the people of the UK want to get out on their bikes but only if conditions are made to feel safer. The vast majority of people support councils’ improvements for cycling. We can’t – and I won’t - let a small minority of people pressure our councils and governments into going back to a pre-Covid era that put motorists first.

“It is my, and Cycling UK’s, mission to keep Britain cycling, ensuring people have a choice over how they can travel safely.”

19 October 2020, 14:40
Cervélo to Jumbo-Visma, Bianchi to GreenEdge, Scott to Sunweb: tweets and some reaction

Plenty to discuss and mull over who will be riding what next year... which new team bike do you reckon will be the most handsomest? 

19 October 2020, 13:57
More pro team bike merry-go-round news: GreenEdge Cycling (currently Mitchelton-Scott) will ride Bianchi, while Sunweb will ride Scott in 2021
2020 Jumbo Visma Bianchi Oltre XR4 - 1.jpg

It's all change, as it's now confirmed that Bianchi have found a new home at GreenEdge cycling (celeste is kind of green, so guess it makes more sense). A statement reads: "Cervélo will provide the bikes for Team Jumbo-Visma from next year while Bianchi – which currently supplies Team Jumbo-Visma – moves on to partner Australia’s GreenEDGE cycling."

Meanwhile, Sunweb will switch from Cervélo to Scott. The statement is here

19 October 2020, 13:56
Breaking: Team Jumbo-Visma to ride Cervélo bikes from 2021 onwards after multi-year deal announced
2021 Cervelo Caledonia stemandbar_profile.jpg

Hot off the press and the team's second big announcement of the day is that they will be parting with the Bianchi celeste and riding Cervélo bikes from 2021. Here's the statement, more to follow: 

The Dutch-based team is already famed for athletes such as Primoz Roglic, Wout van Aert and Tom Dumoulin. However we’re proud to announce that Cervélo is also collaborating on the development of a new women's programme for the team that already has among others Marianne Vos signed up for next season.

With the R5 disc, S5, P5 and Caledonia the teams riders have the choice to select the most suitable bike for any race making the world’s fastest riders even faster and propelling them towards the biggest titles in cycling. Our composites and aerodynamics engineers will also be developing new products to help reach
the highest of goals as the partnership unfolds.

Reserve carbon wheels, co-designed by Cervélo, will equip the women's and development teams.

Cervélo’s Managing Director Nick McAdams says, ‘We are very proud to partner with Team Jumbo-Visma. We’ve been involved in World Tour racing for a long time and with that comes access to the best athletes and testing for our bikes. As one of the best teams in the world, TJV are made up of world class riders racing at the sport’s highest levels. That knowledge and feedback will help us develop products to
make all riders faster. We are very much looking forward to our cooperation and to seeing the team riding Cervélo from next season.

I also want to use this opportunity to thank Team Sunweb for inviting Cervélo to be part of their program and delivering some exciting moments and great results these past two seasons.

Richard Plugge, managing director of Team Jumbo-Visma: “This is a great step for our team. Cervélo is a fantastic brand and an industry leader by technology. We are very happy that our cycling teams will be riding on Cervélo from next year. I am confident that we can further innovate to build even faster bikes together. Working together and striving for the best is our daily objective.”

The Dutchman is excited about the collaboration. “We look forward with confidence to work with Cervélo. The brand is part of Pon, just like us they are a Dutch global company. It is great that two Dutch brands that make a global impact have found each other.”

19 October 2020, 13:44
That Wout van Aert/Mathieu van der Poel rivalry... is it really that bitter?

There has been a bit of boxing-style trash talking reported over the past few days, but it seems there's plenty of mutual respect between the prodigal pair really.

19 October 2020, 12:52
Richmond Park reaction round-up
richmond park fb comments.PNG

We've had quite a response to our earlier coverage of the congested scenes in Richmond Park; although Merv Charles claims that the photo was misleading considering the scenes in the rest of the park, saying that the photo was taken near a car park. He added: "The rat runs of Sawyers & Queens road were pretty much traffic free yesterday."

Do you think Royal Parks should re-introduce the motor vehicle ban that was brought in during lockdown? 

19 October 2020, 12:16
Vuelta: two team staff members test positive ahead of Spanish Grand Tour
uci logo - via twitter

The UCI have just issued a statement confirming that while no riders tested positive, two team staff members - one from Bahrain-McLaren and the other from Team Sunweb - did. Full story to follow. 

19 October 2020, 12:00
For "fast effective relief from stress"... try bikes, not a Mercedes

We understand this photo was taken in the 90's, "when you had paper advertising hoardings that were easily amendable" according to Brenda Puech, the person in the photo. Of course, it's just as relevant today. 

19 October 2020, 11:12
Tour of Flanders: race motorbike rider who collided with Julian Alaphilippe "feels guilty"

In an interview with Het Laatste Nieuws, the 64-year-old former policeman who was riding the race motorbike that collided with Alaphilippe has defended his actions. Eddy Lissens said: "The lead of the front group was more than 20 seconds.

At that moment I decided, together with Shimano's bike, to take up my post behind the leaders. We let ourselves hang back, the TV crew went on the left side of the road and we chose the right side. 

"Should we have gone on the other side too? Anyone who says such a thing has never ridden a race. I didn't do anything unusual. Such things happen 100 times in a match. This was just an unfortunate moment."

Nevertheless, he also expressed regret over the incident, apologising at the time and saying that he has already spoken to members of the Quick-Step entourage: 

"I've been doing this for 20 years and something like this has never happened to me", said Lissens.

"I feel sorry for Alaphilippe. His injuries are bad, but he also had the chance to win the race and that really hit me hard. 

"...I feel guilty, even though I can't do anything about it."

X-rays confirmed that Alaphilippe broke the metacarpal 2 and 4 bones on his right hand, and he is due to undergo an operation today. 

19 October 2020, 10:16
"How it started... how it's going" in cycling

If you're not familiar with social media's latest craze, the idea is to provide a visual update on your life, the world or a particular topic. Here are a couple of our favourite cycling-themed posts from the last few days. One positive, one not so much...

19 October 2020, 09:38
Jumbo-Visma launch women's team

Jumbo-Visma general manager Richard Plugge says the team is now "complete", announcing a full team roster including three-time world champion Marianne Vos and British rider Anna Henderson on the day of the launch. They will be managed by Esra Tromp, the former team manager of the Parkhotel Valkenburg women's team, who says the ambition is to "build the best women’s team in the world". 

The existing Parkhotel Valkenburg team will continue as a development squad to feed into the elite Jumbo-Visma team. Here is the full roster: 

Marianne Vos (NED)
Jip van den Bos (NED) 
Riejanne Markus (NED)
Anouska Koster (NED)
Nancy van der Burg (NED)
Romy Kasper (GER)
Aafke Soet (NED)
Teuntje Beekhuis (NED)
Julie van de Velde (BEL)
Pernille Mathiesen (DEN)
Karlijn Swinkels (NED)
Anna Henderson (GBR)

19 October 2020, 08:43
"A noisy polluting shambles": Cycling in Richmond Park now back to unpleasant normality

After a temporary ban on driving through the popular London park made cycling in it quite pleasant for a few months, weekend rides now consist of dodging traffic if this scene is anything to go by. 

The Royal Parks' decision to reopen the park to rat-running drivers in August was slammed as "reckless and drastic" by campaigners at the time, and once again hundreds of people have been voicing their displeasure at these scenes since yesterday evening. Some have suggested that Royal Parks should charged for driving in the park, while others have called for a return to the ban on cars that was in force through the early parts of lockdown. 

Richmond Cycling Campaign have urged people to share their thoughts during the upcoming consultation on the Royal Parks' Movement Strategy, which is pencilled to run between November and December. 

onsultation is November - please be ready to share your thoughts then!

19 October 2020, 08:37
Chris Boardman to appear on Desert Island Discs this Sunday
Chris Boardman in Copenhagen (copyright Britishcycling.org_.uk)

If you weren't aware, Manchester's Walking and Cycling Commissioner will be appearing on the famous Radio 4 show on 25h October. There's already been some speculation on what Boardman's top tunes will be... what do you reckon?

19 October 2020, 08:32
"I was frustrated after crashing": Sep Vanmarcke apologises for kicking a Team Sunweb car at the Tour of Flanders

The apology from the EF Pro Cycling rider was accepted by Sunweb on social media... maybe he's also put out that he didn't get to wear a super cool duck-themed kit like his teammates at the Giro? 

19 October 2020, 08:31
Happy Monday

Just five more sleeps till the weekend folks... 

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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