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Conservative London mayoral candidate pledges to remove LTNs; Do you have to earn rainbow stripes? (+poll); FLi Distribution gives Daily Mail both barrels over advertising offer; Jeremy Vine fixes 'anti-cycling' headline + more on the live blog

It's Friday and Dan Alexander is here for the final live blog of the week...
22 January 2021, 17:08
Conservative London mayoral candidate pledges to remove LTNs

Shaun Bailey, the Conservative candidate, has promised to remove LTNs if he is elected as Mayor of London. Speaking on Cristo Foufas' talkRadio show, Bailey confirmed that he would reverse the schemes. The Tory candidate was asked if he could pledge that if he's elected LTNs will be reversed, Streetspace will be reversed, any idea of a £5.50 charge to come into London will be reversed and the idea of extending the congestion charge will be reversed. Bailey replied: "Yes, yes, yes, yes." He added that he thought LTNs had been forced upon people.

Yesterday, Bailey asked Sadiq Khan to compensate taxi drivers for apparent lost business because of Streetspace. 

22 January 2021, 17:20
Poll results: We asked you if you thought rainbow stripes have to be earned?
Poll results live blog 22/01/21

That's a win for rainbow jerseys should be earned...

22 January 2021, 16:43
Qhubeka Assos releases new kit

It's back to the black and white of the MTN Qhubeka days for Qhubeka Assos in 2021. The teams says the new kit is meant to spread the message of the good that sport can do. Sporting the Qhubeka hand "is the key symbol in illustrating that bicycle beneficiaries are receiving a hand up in their lives and in so doing are able to move forward."

On the neck of the jersey is the African proverd "Ubuntu" which means I am because we are. Team Principal Doug Ryder said this represents the fact that as a team you cannot exist in isolation. 

22 January 2021, 16:36
Ten to beat...


22 January 2021, 15:41
BikeRegister, the National Cycle Database, hits one million bike registrations milestone
BikeRegister one million bike registered

BikeRegister has clocked its one millionth bike registration in the fight against bike thefts. UK police forces use BikeRegister and there are 1,000 searches made on the database every day. Yesterday, we brought you the story of the 16-year-old arrested after police found 22 stolen bikes. BikeRegister data supports the thought that bike thefts are on the rise. They estimate bike thefts were up 69.4% in October 2020 compared with the same month in 2019. Registering with BikeRegister is free and helps identify stolen cycles that are recovered.

22 January 2021, 14:50
Wout van Aert coming to a road near you...(Covid depending and all that)

Jumbo-Visma are one of the peloton's most proactive teams when it comes to announcing their teams for the big races of the year. Today they've confirmed their Tour de France and Giro d'Italia squad. They've also mapped out Wout van Aert's entire season and, provisionaly at least, he's down for the Tour of Britain...It seems the Belgian who can do it all is following the Mathieu van der Poel playbook of using the Tour of Britain as a tune up race for the World Championships, which this year is being held in Flanders...Very interesting indeed.

The Dutch squad's Tour team is exactly as predicted by Wielerlflits earlier this week: Primož Roglič, Steven Kruijswijk, Tom Dumoulin, Sepp Kuss, Robert Gesink, Mike Teunissen, Tony Martin and Wout van Aert. No place for George Bennett who is down for a leadership role at the Giro instead.

22 January 2021, 14:30
Astana Feel the Bern at training camp...
22 January 2021, 14:15
Councils failing to improve public's access to the countryside, according to Cycling UK

Cycling UK submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request that found councils in England have upgraded 442 rights of way — making them available for horse riding or cycling — in the past 10 years. On average, that is five improvements per council or one every two years. Cycling UK hopes "public access and enjoyment of the natural environment" will be included as a priority area for target setting in the Environment Bill which is due to be debated in Parliament on January 26.

More than half of the new rights of way were created by just eight councils: Hertfordshire, Wigan, East Riding, Devon, Shropshire, Hampshire, North Yorkshire and Barnsley. The FOI request found that 41% of councils had made no improvements and that only 17% have created more than one per year.

Cycling UK's off-road campaigns officer said the poor record of upgrading rights of way must be addressed. "Cycling UK wants to see it made easier for councils and landowners to improve the rights of way on their land," Sophie Gordon said.

"Public funds should fund public goods, and that means making it easier to upgrade suitable footpaths for a variety of different users. The forthcoming Environmental Bill gives us this opportunity to make a positive change to our land management."

22 January 2021, 13:31
Do you have to earn rainbow stripes?
2021 UCI Santini 5

With Santini's UCI World Championships collection now exclusive to Decathlon the age-old debate has returned for another outing...Do you have to earn the rainbow stripes? To many buying the jersey is sacrilege and the only people with the right to wear the famous bands are the current world champions. As per Velominati Rule #16: "Respect the jersey: Championship and race leader jerseys must only be worn if you’ve won the championship or led the race."

Personally, I don't have a strong opinion on the matter and people getting out riding bikes seems more important, regardless of if they've 'earned the right' to wear their kit...

Anyway, enough from me. Have a vote in our poll below. Here's some of your thoughts...

Readers' World Champs kit comments


22 January 2021, 13:53
Poll: Do you have to earn rainbow stripes?
Do you have to earn rainbow stripes?

Create your own poll vote
22 January 2021, 12:13
Catch Laura Laker talking about cycling schemes on BBC World at One
pop-up cycle lane pic.PNG

Regular contributor here at Laura Laker was on BBC World at One yesterday talking about cycle lanes with Conservative MP for South Thanet, Craig Mackinlay. The section of the programme starts at around 32 minutes in and Laura makes the case for more cycling and walking schemes saying they provide great return on investment as well as being great for health and local businesses. Have a listen if you've got five minutes spare this lunchtime...Follow the link here...

22 January 2021, 11:59
Specialized Ares

Sam's loving them and so did we...You can read our first ride review of Specialized's latest release here...  

22 January 2021, 10:48
FLi distribution gives Daily Mail both barrels as Jeremy Vine fixes 'anti-cycling' headline

Two Daily Mail related stories in a row this morning... FLi Distribution, who represent bike brands selling to the UK market got an email from the Daily Mail's advertising agency asking if they wanted ads in the paper... Col Williams said he enjoyed replying to the the offer...

Here's part of the response: "We find the divisive, hate filled content of the Daily Mail appalling, it stokes fear in its readers and points the blame in totally the wrong direction. We work with charities that support refugees and other vulnerable groups.

"Advertising in the Daily Mail would send the wrong message and suggest we support the paper's editorial stance. We'd like to make it clear, we do not, and we think the UK would be a better place if the Daily Mail failed to generate any advertising revenue and was forced to close."

That's a bit of a mic drop email...He added that it touched a nerve that they asked to advertise with a brand of kids bike for a families section of the paper, especially considering FLi Distribution recently donated bikes to a refugee charity.

In the past few days the MailOnline has published a couple of stories that some from the cycling world have questioned, including the headline we highlighted in an earlier blog update...

22 January 2021, 09:35
"Dangerous driver in Brighton proves we were wrong to oppose cycle lane": Jeremy Vine fixes MailOnline headline

'Council deputy leader left-hooked by white van man – while riding in emergency cycle lane' was how yesterday's story about Green Party politician Hannah Clare getting hit by a van driver was reported on 'Green deputy leader of Brighton council is knocked off her bike by a van while riding along hated lockdown cycle lane she voted for', was how it appeared on MailOnline...

Jeremy Vine got in on the act and proposed a headline that the MailOnline could use instead...He tweeted: "Dangerous driver in Brighton proves we were wrong to oppose cycle lane' — there, MailOnline, I fixed your headline for you."

Labour councillor Jo Rigby also reported an incident with a driver this week. On Tuesday she said she was driven at by a motorist and had a drink thrown at her in a road rage incident. Rigby replied to Vine's tweet: "She says the van driver didn’t stop to see how she was. He drove into the cycle lane. Mail doesn’t seem to like women. Or bikes."

22 January 2021, 08:39
"There'll be a film about it": Mark Cavendish tips Fabio Jakobsen for fairy-tale comeback

Mark Cavendish has tipped Deceuninck-Quick-Step teammate Fabio Jakobsen to return to the top of the sport following his recovery from a horrific crash at the Tour of Poland in August. Jakobsen hasn't raced since the incident which left him in an induced coma and needing 130 stitches, but got back on the bike for the first time before Christmas. Before the crash Jakobsen had established himself as one of the next generation of young sprinters to watch, winning two stages of the Vuelta a España in 2019.

Posting on Instagram, Cav shared a photo of the pair at their training camp in Spain and asserted that he believes the Dutchman has what it takes to regain his form. The 30-time Tour stage winner wrote: "It’s special that at 35 years old, I can still get inspired every day by seeing someone ride. The cycling world knows what Fabio Jakobsen has unfortunately got to come back from.

"It’s not nice, but I feel honoured to witness how deep somebody can go, how much fight and desire they have in them to return, and how unafraid of being seen to suffer they are. Watch this kid smoke the world again. There’ll be a film about it."

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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