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Immigration checks on delivery cyclists condemned by shadow minister who accuses police of "racial profiling"; Town to dump 20mph speed limit...because most motorists ignore it; Dowsett abandons; Anti-cyclist bingo; Pro pay rise + more on the live blog

It's Thursday and Dan Alexander is here for your live blog fix...
20 May 2021, 16:53
Help for Heroes launches recumbent cycle jersey
Help for Heroes Recumbent Cycling Jersey

Developed with the help of David Rose, a former RAF engineer, this recumbent cycle jersey from Help for Heroes is designed specifically for the needs of recumbent riders. With a fit suited to the cycling position, it has a higher cut at the back while being lower at the front and features two front pockets.

David suffered several injuries during his time in the RAF which mean he is partially paralysed in his right arm and hand due to nerve damage. "We have addressed everything that is wrong with a standard cycling jersey for
recumbent cycling," David explained. "This means I now have a place for my phone, snacks, keys, and all manner of items, whilst remaining comfortable with far-improved moisture control. For me, it’s a game changer."

The jersey is priced at £40 and has been helping David train for the upcoming Heroes Ride 200 where riders have been asked to ride 200 miles between 1-30 June to raise funds to support veterans and their families.

20 May 2021, 15:35
Italian pride as Andrea Vendrame wins stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia and Vincenzo Nibali steals some seconds

Andrea Vendrame won the Italians their second stage of the Giro d'Italia, outsprinting Chris Hamilton from the breakaway in Bagno di Romagna. Riding for a French team, Vendrame got a maiden win at his home Grand Tour after attacking on the final climb and taking a select group including George Bennett and Gianluca Brambilla to the final. 

After Bennett and Brambilla messed about, the other two snuck up the road and contested the stage. Vendrame, who was seventh on the sprint stage won by Peter Sagan on Monday, easily outkicked his Aussie breakaway companion. Brambilla took third, althought the commissaires might take a dim view of his sprint which appeared to impede Bennett.

Ten minutes behind, on the descent, Vincenzo Nibali shot away from the peloton. Hot-headed Gianni Moscon tried to follow but ended up on the deck after sliding out on a tight bend. Nibali pushed seconds for his efforts may not seem like a fair result...

Tomorrow promises to be possibly the easiest stage of the entire three weeks. Not so much as a speed bump on the parcours for the peloton to worry about on their 198km cruise to Verona. 

20 May 2021, 14:15
Immigration checks on delivery cyclists condemned by shadow minister who accuses police of "racial profiling"

Shadow minister Rosena Allin-Khan accused police of "racial profiling" after pictures emerged of officers carrying out immigration checks on delivery cyclists in London. The shadow minister for mental health said the checks could amount to "indirect discrimination" due to the disproportionate impact on ethnic minority groups.

Dr Allin-Khan Spoke out about the checks which saw officials targeting cyclists in Tooting, stopping 48 bikes and seizing two. At this stage it is not yet clear how many of the 48 were cyclists and how many were moped or motorcycle drivers, however the Independent reports that three were reported for criminal offences and two arrested for immigration offences.

The MP tweeted: "This looks like racial profiling and I am concerned that under the Equalities Act 2010, this may amount to indirect discrimination due to its disproportionate impact on ethnic minority groups. If it's not unlawful, then it's definitely immoral and I cannot defend it.

"I've requested a meeting with the police to explain their actions and would encourage them to focus their time on fighting crime - not targeting people at work."

Despite the photo appearing to show a cycle courier being stopped, a spokesperson for the MET claimed its checks were being carried out due to reports of dangerous driving from moped riders. It was also claimed the immigration enforcement was a separate operation. 

The Met spokesperson said: “Following community concerns about dangerous and anti-social driving of mopeds, officers carried out a road safety policing operation in Tooting on Tuesday, 18 May.

“This was not a Covid compliance operation but one of engagement and high visibility.

“Officers from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command stopped a number of motorcycles to check driving licences, insurance documents and to ensure the roadworthiness of the vehicles.

“Where appropriate, advice regarding road safety was given.

“The objective of the operation was in response to community concerns about the dangerous and anti-social driving of mopeds.

“Immigration enforcement officers were also at the location carrying out their own intelligence lead operation, separate from the focus of RTPC officers.”

20 May 2021, 14:56
Karma Police...
20 May 2021, 14:39
MAAP donating 10,000 trees to make up for Flow Pro Jersey typo

After MAAP's latest release of Women's Flow Pro Jerseys was mistakenly printed with 'Women's Flow Pro Jereseys', the clothing brand came up with a nice way to make amends. Now, I'm sure plenty of customers would not have noticed or cared too much about the typo but MAAP wanted to hold its hands up...

So rather than keeping quiet or silently cancelling orders and chucking the 'jereseys' in the bin, they decided to be up front, have a laugh at the misfortune and donate money for 10,000 trees to be planted instead. It is a symbolic gesture to prove the brand's commitment to sustainability...rather than landfilling the mistake, something good has come out of it.

20 May 2021, 13:23
Alex Dowsett abandons Giro d'Italia due to stomach problems

Alex Dowsett is out of the Giro due to ongoing stomach problems. His teammate, Alessandro De Marchi, is also out. The climber who wore the maglia rosa during the opening week of the race suffered a nasty fall earlier today and was taken away in an ambulance. Italian broadcaster Rai reports De Marchi never lost consciousness but has chest trauma and a probable broken collarbone.

20 May 2021, 12:51
It's time for everyone's favourite...anti-cyclist bingo

Coming to you this week from the comments under this post on West Yorkshire Police's Facebook's anti-cyclist bingo...

Thanks to Anthony Wood we very nearly almost cracked it in one...his comment read: "what about the rules about riding on the pavement, riding without lights, riding more than two abreast, if they are enforcing one rule, then do the others as well."

Unlucky, Anthony, just a couple short of the full house. Let's see if anyone can help him out...

Alexandra Sutcliffe should win an anti-cyclist bingo prize for this humdinger: "I don’t need education on how to pass them but they sometimes need education on how to use their bikes on roads too. After all drivers pay a lot of money to drive but pushbikes pay absolutely nothing." 

One final comment from Jennie Goddard: "Can you not educate cyclists who insist on going in groups and taking up entire road when they should be in single file and the ones that swerve in and out from the kerb."

For our dose of common sense, we're going over to Sally McGregor: "Here's a thing... Let's just imagine each road user is a mate or a family member going about their business. They aren't a target to have a pop at."

20 May 2021, 12:30
"I'd rather be silent than say what I think": Trouble at Deceuninck Quick-Step as a disillusioned João Almeida keeps quiet on stage 11 disappointment

Another quick bit of reaction from yesterday's Giro stage. All is not well with João Almeida at Deceuninck-Quick-Step. The Portuguese who came into the race as a joint leader with Remco Evenepoel was visibly annoyed at having to wait for his faltering teammate yesterday. After the stage he told A Bola "I'd rather be silent than say what I think". 

"I felt good and with good feelings, I had the chance to beat myself with the best, but I had to follow orders from the support car to wait for Remco. Do I feel disappointed? I'd rather be silent than say what I think. Every day I am learning and today I learned a lot, in a fantastic stage where I could go far. Cycling is a collective sport and the sporting directors are the ones who are in charge." Ouch.

20 May 2021, 11:03
"Cycling is not worth the risk": Dan Martin not prepared to take any risks on gravel stage

This is the other side of gravel stages at Grand Tours...they are great for us watching but less so for some of the riders involved. Dan Martin lost six minutes to Egan Bernal and told GCN after the stage he did not think making the front group was worth the risk. "I told my wife this morning that I won't crash, so for me personally cycling is not worth the risk," the Irishman explained. 

"I had guys crashing all around me on the first section [of gravel] so I just did my own pace, I nearly came back but my licence is road cycling so it's not my thing. Fair play to the guys who are at the front, but I just didn't want to take the risk today and that's it.

"The cycling fan in me thinks this is a beautiful stage but it was on an unpredictable road surface and I don't have much experience on that particular terrain. No excuses just didn't feel like taking the risks. Personally, I was a bit too relaxed. Everyone was battling for positions; I got a few pushes and lost my head for a while."

Martin dropped ten places to 18th on GC ahead of stage 12 this afternoon. After a big battle to make the break, 14 riders are now up the road with a three minute advantage. Among them are George Bennett, Gianluca Brambilla, Diego Ulissi and king of the mountains Geoffrey Bouchard.

20 May 2021, 10:45
UCI welcomes growth of women's WorldTeams' salaries and budgets and attributes success to introduction of minimum salary

The UCI has welcomed the latest figures showing that the average salary of riders at UCI Women's WorldTeams and the average budget of teams at the level both increased between 2020 and 2021. Attributing the increase to the introduction of a minimum salary for women's WorldTeam riders in 2020, the UCI explained how an EY Lausanne study shows the average salary is up 25 per cent from 2020 to 2021.

The same study also showed the average budget of UCI Women's WorldTeams had increased by 22 per cent during the same time frame. Last year's minimum salary for riders at the top level of women's cycling was €15,000, rising to €20,000 this year. In 2022, it will rise to€27,500 before matching the minimum salary for riders of men's UCI ProTeams (one below WorldTour level) at €32,100 in 2023.

"There is still work to be done to strengthen the sector and continue to develop it, but the creation of the UCI Women's WorldTeams, four years after the creation of the UCI Women's WorldTour, is a central element for the growth of women's cycling," UCI President David Lappartient said. "The rise in UCI Women’s WorldTeams salaries and budgets shows that the reform of professional women’s road cycling  is having a positive impact on women riders and their teams."

20 May 2021, 09:44
Town to dump 20mph speed limit...because most motorists ignore it
Markinch 20mph.PNG (via Google Street View)

A 20mph speed limit in the Fife town of Markinch is to be scrapped because drivers do not obey it. Council officers say by changing the limit to 30mph it will "align the mandatory limit to drivers' perception." The Courier reports 85 per cent of drivers ignore the 20mph signs on the B9130 in Markinch, with most travelling around 30mph.

Labour councillor Altany Craik was disappointed by the move and said it may encourage drivers to decide what speed they want to drive on other roads. "Basically, we’re saying we should make it 30 because drivers can’t stick to 20," he explained. "We need to be careful of the impact this will have. Drivers are determined to speed on this road. Drivers themselves have decided it should be 30.

"I’m not sure that’s the best way of determining what the speed limit should be. The impact of having this kind of justification for a change means all over Fife we’ll be encouraging people to say we don’t like that 20, 30 or 40 and start making a case for it. We need to be careful we’re not making a rod for our own back."

The 20mph limit has been in place since 2016, when a new housing development was built. However, transportation officer Dhusjan Sivaratnam believes that despite measures being taken to encourage compliance, drivers are just not interested.

"The persistent lack of compliance with the speed limit and the results of the speed surveys clearly indicate that drivers perceive 30mph to be the appropriate limit on this stretch of road," he said.

"The replacement of the 20mph zone with a 30mph limit would align the mandatory limit with drivers’ perception. The road is quite wide and that might be a factor in why people are speeding. We could even put more speed cushions there and they’ll still speed."

20 May 2021, 10:23
US cycling champion killed by driver drifting into bike lane

US national champion, Gwen Inglis, was struck and killed by a driver while training in Denver on Sunday. Inglis, the reigning road race champion in the 45-49 age group, was hit by the driver who drifted into the bike lane where she was riding alongside her husband. Local news reports say the driver of the Nissan Sedan, Ryan Scott Montoya, admitted to drinking and using marijuana the night before. He has since been charged with DUI vehicular homicide.

The Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado released this statement mourning Gwen: 

Colorado cycling lost one of their best yesterday. There are few words that can express the feeling of loss for any of our cycling community, and Gwen was a particularly special person. She was a multiple National and State Champion on the bike and very well known across the cycling community in Colorado. Even more impressive was her character off the bike. Knowing Gwen, you would immediately be aware of her strongest qualities. She consistently brought joy into all her relationships, and she openly accepted everyone.

20 May 2021, 08:35
Giro stage 11 round-up: All the best photos from a stunning day out in Tuscany

As with Strade Bianche the white roads of Tuscany always make for some incredible TV pictures and photographs. Here are some of the best we have seen knocking about this morning...

We asked you yesterday for your opinion on gravel stages at Grand Tours...and it turned out to be as unanimous a poll as we have ever done on the blog...87 per cent of you are all in for gravel...

That's more one-sided than our polls for noisy freehubs, AG2R Citroën's kit and Nigel Farage...hear that, race organisers? We want more.

Live blog poll results


20 May 2021, 08:24
"The most considerate bike path I've ever seen"

Just look at those hairpins... 

20 May 2021, 07:54
Triple Superbike world champion fractures vertebrae in cycling crash with another rider

A post shared by Tb21 (@baylisstic21)

Three-time Superbike World Championship winner Troy Bayliss fractured a vertebrae and suffered spinal damage in a cycling crash with another rider near his Gold Coast home. Reports suggest Bayliss collided with another cyclist who moved out from between two parked cars. The triple world champion has no recollection of the incident and was taken to hospital in a stable condition and has since returned home.

"I’m okay and I’m home," Bayliss said. "The crash means I won’t be riding a motorcycle until I regain full movement in my arms and hands. I really just wanted to let everyone know what’s happened, that I’m OK and that I’ll be back in leathers as soon as I can.

"It’s been an intense weekend for me and my family, but luckily I’m okay and I will recover. My doctors have been really positive, but there’s no firm indication of how long it will be until I can regain enough control to get back on a bike – maybe a few months, maybe longer; it just depends on how the recovery goes once the bones heal up."

Bayliss is considered a legend in the moto racing world having won three Superbike World Championships between 2001 and 2008 for Ducati as well as crossing over to Moto GP to win a race in 2006. The Australian's 52 Superbike wins put him third in the all-time win rankings.

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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