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"Delicious irony": Elinor Barker auctions Wiggle High5 kit for Aboriginal Justice Agency; Watopia's mysterious monolith; No fans at Tour of Flanders in 2021; Have Qhubeka ASSOS signed two Harry Tanfields?; 'Swimming Pool Bike Lane' + more on the live blog

It's Wednesday and Dan Alexander will take you through the middle of the week on the live blog...
02 December 2020, 16:49
Kensington Business Forum did NOT support Kensington High Street bike lane closure
Kensington High Street Cycle lane

Kensington Business Forum has today released a statement saying they did not support the closure of the Kensington High Street segregated bike lane. Kensington and Chelsea Council's statement claimed that they had been written to by both the Business Forum and the Kensington and Chelsea Chamber of Commerce asking for it to be scrapped.

The Kensington Business Forum statement read: "We recently passed on the business views, both of those in favour and against cycle lanes, as a representative body for Kensington W8 Business. The views shared with Kensington & Chelsea are of local businesses and not that of our Executive Committee.

"Regrettably this has been represented, in certain public forums, as our opposition to cycle lanes. This is not the case, but the views of local businesses (both for and against) who provided feedback to the Kensington Business Forum for this current scheme."

The statement comes on the same day that Imperial College Union, five local schools and the council's own Youth Council criticised the decision to remove the infrastructure. A MailOnline employee, who is based in the paper's Kensington High Street office, said the lane "made our journey safer."

02 December 2020, 16:16
Qhubeka ASSOS sign two Harry Tanfields in one day

Qhubeka ASSOS were so happy with their signing of Harry Tanfield, they've bought another one. Well not quite, instead there was one very confused Esports social media executive wondering why he was getting congratulated on his big move back to the WorldTour.

The team confirmed the signing this afternoon and managed to tag the right Harry Tanfield. On the move, the 26-year-old said: "I really look forward to the opportunity to be involved with an ambitious and passionate team that is Team Qhubeka ASSOS. The team's ethos and work with the Qhubeka Charity is something to admire and I can’t wait to be involved in the future.

"Alongside this, the loyalty of the team’s partners and sponsors and the positive team environment make Qhubeka ASSOS the optimal place for me to progress. I’m looking forward to embarking on this new challenge and contributing to the team next year."

02 December 2020, 15:57
Spot the difference as Euston Road cycle lane removed
02 December 2020, 13:57
'Delicious irony': Elinor Barker auctions Wiggle High5 kit for North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency

Elinor Barker's decision to auction a Wiggle High5 kit to support the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency has been described by one Twitter user as 'delicious irony'. The kit of the team Rochelle Gilmore used to own and manage is up for auction on eBay and currently stands at £161. Gilmore was this weekend accused of stereotyping after sharing a photo of her car, that had been broken in to, and describing the offender as '#Indigenous'. She has since deleted the tweet.

The Australian former cyclist was widely criticised for the post, including by Team GB Olympic gold medallist Callum Skinner.

02 December 2020, 15:26
Campagnolo corkscrew
Campagnolo corkscrew

Nothing says 'party time' like whipping out a £190 Campagnolo corkscrew to open a bottle this Christmas. Described as 'the ultimate cyclist’s luxury stocking filler' this titanium corkscrew promises 'optimal extraction every time'. I look forward to hearing people saying the Shimano one's better.

02 December 2020, 14:50
New Sidi Zero Gore 2 and MTB Frost Gore shoes
2020 Sidi MTB Frost Gore 2

Sidi say they've redesigned the Gore line shoes 'taking into account everything that is strictly essential during the cold season: warmth, protection, breathability, and waterproof comfort.' Both versions have an upper made of Microtech Microfiber mesh and an interior lined in Gore-Tex to keep your feet dry through the cold winter months. The Zero Gore 2 is the road version, while the MTB Frost Gore 2 is the dedicated off-road option.

02 December 2020, 12:37
Newcastle businessman turns office into bike cafe to stay busy during the pandemic
Route 72 Cafe (Twitter)

Bruce Tate overcame the adversity of lockdown forcing his business to close by turning his office into a cycling cafe. Route 72 Cafe overlooks the Hadrian's Way Cycle Way and opened in July to attract the hordes of riders looking to enjoy a bacon sarnie and a coffee.

The site for the cafe is where Bruce ran his music booking business Need Music, but after learning he wasn't entitled to the government's financial support because he drew his income as company dividends, he set out to transform the office garden. The BBC explain he built a covered seating area and added a serving hatch. Route 72 Cafe has been a welcome addition to one of the UK's most popular cycling routes and on a particularly popular day it fed a group of 100 riders cycling from Newcastle to Wylam.

"I will come out of this pandemic stronger than I went in," Bruce said. "Hopefully I will have two successful businesses, instead of one."

02 December 2020, 11:51
Harry Tanfield earns swift return to the WorldTour

Harry Tanfield has secured a WorldTour contract for 2021 after signing with Qhubeka ASSOS. The 26-year-old was planning to ride for UCI Continental outfit Ribble Weldtite, after struggling to find a WorldTour team with space on their roster. However, he will now continue racing at WorldTour level and is one of Qhubeka ASSOS's first signings under their new name, with the financial support of the clothing brand as title sponsors.

In a statment published by Ribble Weldtite, Tanfield expressed his gratitude for the team's support during his short stay. He said: "I can't thank the team at Ribble Weldtite enough, they provided assurances and security to enable me to race in 2021, and have been 100% supportive in working with me and my new team to enable this transition as efficiently as possible. I wish the team all the best for 2021."

02 December 2020, 11:01
But where are all the cyclists?
02 December 2020, 10:44
Glasgow cyclists say council shouldn't need to be embarrassed into clearing cycle lane of leaves and water

A group of cyclists in Glasgow saw their local bike lane made safe for use after making signs to protest at its poor condition. The group say the South West City Way is regularly flooded and made dangerous by falling leaves. One sign welcomed users to Glasgow City Council's Swimming Pool Bike Lane. Glasgow Times reports that in previous years GoBike have campaigned for the upkeep of the key active travel route.

Iona Shepherd of GoBike said: "The problem with leaves clogging up the South West City Way and the ice that covers it in the winter is not a new one. We really need a regular schedule of leaf clearing, in the same vein as the council’s gritting schedule, to help keep the path safe for cyclists.

"The South West City Way and other bike lanes similar to this in the city are really the motorways for cyclists, and it would be unthinkable for the council to ignore these important routes for drivers so why are cyclists ignored? There shouldn’t have to be signs put up to embarrass the council into taking action."

02 December 2020, 09:45
Another mysterious monolith is found... in Watopia

Adding to the mystery of the strange metal monolith that was found in Utah before vanishing a few days later, another metal structure has now appeared, this time in Watopia. Some say it's aliens, others claim it's the work of an anonymous artist. Now the conspiracy theorists can turn their attention to the desert landscape of Fuego Flats...

Zwifters have been speculating about its origin too. Oğuzhan Yavuz asked: "Is this a mirror of shame for anyone who isn't in cat A?" While another claimed to know Wile E. Coyote was to blame...

02 December 2020, 09:18
The World Cup of Cycling Infrastructure

It's not all rubbish cycle lanes and dangerous roundabouts on the blog. The World Cup of UK Cycling Infrastructure gets underway today and gives you the chance to defend your local bike lane. Celebrating some of the better routes the UK has to offer the voting started this morning. Pundits and fans alike have suggested Group 17 is the group of death, pitting The Cuckoo Trail and the impressive Valley Gardens against the big city favourite, CS3. 

Loyal followers of cycling infrastructure in Gloucestershire were left disappointed but not surprised at their omission from the tournament...

02 December 2020, 08:52
Fans banned from Flanders Classics again in 2021
Mathieu van der Poel wins 2020 Tour of Flanders

It's inevitable that the impact of coronavirus on cycling will continue through next season, regardless of vaccines and one of the first casualties is the announcement that there'll not be fans at the Flanders Classics next year. The postponed 2020 race took place in October without the throngs of cheering Belgians on the Kwaremont or the Muur and made for an eerie scene as the riders suffered their way up the steep bergs. 

For those hoping to see the familiar Flandrien sights and sounds return in 2021 then you'll be disappointed. Wielerflits reports that there will be no crowds of spectators at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Gent-Wevelgem, Dwars Door Vlaanderen, the Scheldeprijs, Brabantse Pijl and the Tour of Flanders.

Flanders Classics CEO, Tom Van Den Spiegel said: "There is no audience. This is how we will work throughout the classic spring. Of course I would rather see Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel drive up the Oude Kwaremont side by side through a sea of ​​people. Unfortunately that will not be the case in 2021 either."

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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