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Cycling UK tackles Highway Code misinformation; Lizzie Deignan announces pregnancy — will miss 2022 season; How to beat Filippo Ganna in a TT? Ride 9km in 10 minutes; Bucket list ride; I bet that UAE look good on the dancefloor + more on the live blog

Your middle of the week blog is brought to you by *insert sponsor brand here*…just kidding, it's the far less lucrative Dan Alexander behind the blog today.....
23 February 2022, 16:59
AlterLock Anti-Theft Alarm - Can it stop your bike from being stolen?

23 February 2022, 16:36
UK cycling market soared to new heights during the Covid-19 pandemic, Bicycle Association impact report shows
Monmouthshire cyclist - (credit - Mabel Amber)

The Bicycle Association (BA) has released its 2021 cycling impact report, driven by market data service numbers gathered from retailers across the country.

The numbers show double-digit growth across all categories, although the total number of bicycles sold was down on 2019. The full report is available to purchase from the BA, with the association's executive director Steve Garidis saying: "Our data proves that if you remove half the cars, vans and lorries from our roads, there is a very significant nascent demand for cycling.

"It also proves that without significant policy intervention to correct the car-centric, heavy traffic status quo, cycling growth will be held back in the UK."

23 February 2022, 16:28
Jeremy Vine makes a friend (not)...
23 February 2022, 15:31
Mark Cavendish: I went from being the best in the world to one of the worst overnight
Cavendish - UAE Tour Stage 2 (via GCN) 2

Mark Cavendish has done an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca off the back of his nomination for the Laureus World Sports Awards' Comeback of the Year title, talking about his comeback to the top table of the sport.

"This nomination is an incredible recognition. Records are not my goal; every victory is simply the result of hard work," Cav said.

"I went from being the best in the world to one of the worst overnight. I was misdiagnosed and mismanaged by people I trusted in an old team and it pretty much wiped out everything physically that I had worked for, and along with that came mental health issues.

"As an athlete, I can cry about my hard times, but that's what a comeback does, when you've had hard times. I'm fortunate to have been able to come back like this. A lot of people are in a position where they are still struggling. All I can say is don't give up."

The winners of the Laureus World Sport Awards will be announced in April. Cavendish is up against fellow pro rider Annemiek van Vleuten, Tom Daley, Simone Biles, Sky Brown and Marc Marquez.

23 February 2022, 15:11
Public debate around proposed Irish cycle lane turns "toxic", councillor reports abusive phone calls and "vitriolic attacks"
oxon travel cycle lane picture 2 - via twitter.PNG

Galway councillors have reported "vitriolic attacks" and "toxic" debate around a controversial new cycleway in Salthill, which was rejected by the council recently. The proposed route, which was voted against by councillors, featured sections of one-way vehicle traffic and would have provided a major segregated route for cyclists.

It was rejected after a lengthy debate, with a report showing 63 per cent of locals opposed the plans. Now, Cllr Colette Connolly, who is the city's mayor, said she was on the receiving end of "vitriolic attacks" from those who opposed it, while those supporting measures were "denigrated as crazy cyclists" who did not work or pay taxes.

"I got abusive phone calls, mostly [from] women . . . launching into vitriolic attacks," the councillor said.

The Irish Times reports the politician was "completely disappointed by the recent council vote which has "set this project back by a year or many years".

Meanwhile, colleague and fellow independent councillor Mike Cubbard said he received voice messages from an individual saying he had "failed as a parent" for not supporting the proposal.

23 February 2022, 14:38
How he did it...

Now if Velon could just dig out Steffan Bissegger's numbers from yesterday... 

23 February 2022, 14:22
Tadej Pogačar wins summit finish...but what's Filippo Ganna doing?

 It's hardly going to win 'shock of the year' but Tadej Pogačar won this lunchtime's summit finish at the UAE Tour, outsprinting Adam Yates, Aleksandr Vlasov and *checks notes* Filippo Ganna atop Jebel Jais.

Relative underdogs Ruben Guerreiro and Damien Howsen also earned top five finishes, but it was Ganna's 11th place on the 19km summit finish that had us all wondering where his ceiling lies?

Admittedly, Jebel Jais is a fairly shallow climb on a smooth surface, averaging less than 6 per cent, where drafting is very helpful and we often see a large group contest the finish. But 80kg+ powerhouses? 

Ganna missed out on taking the race lead by just two seconds as Pog pulled on the red jersey by virtue of his stage win bonus seconds. Tomorrow and Friday should give Cav and the other sprinters their final chance for stage wins, before the week-long stage race concludes with a tougher summit finish atop Jebel Hafeet on Saturday.

23 February 2022, 10:35
Cycling UK tackles Highway Code misinformation

Since and prior to the Highway Code changes coming into effect a few weeks ago, much has been made about the revised code in the media and on social media, with misinformation or misunderstanding a common theme.

> Press misrepresents Highway Code changes – just days before they come into force

Days before the changes, two major newspapers, the Evening Standard and Express, ran stories incorrectly suggesting motorists face being fined under a new law regarding the 'Dutch Reach' technique for opening a car door so not to hit passing cyclists...

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail published an "error-strewn" Richard Littlejohn column attacking cyclists and the changes.

We've also heard from various figures, both pro and against the revised Highway Code, that changes have not been properly communicated to the public. An AA poll found one in three of its members are still unaware of the new rules.

> Government slammed for not informing public of Highway Code changes aimed at protecting cyclists and pedestrians just days before they come into effect

UK charity Cycling UK aims to offer "clear, accurate and memorable messaging" of the new changes to make more road users aware of, firstly, what they are, and secondly, how and why they will "make our roads significantly safer for people walking and cycling".

In the video, Cycling UK address four key changes, including the Hierarchy of Road Users, passing cyclists, junction priority and the Dutch Reach. The charity has also been spreading the message with social media posts, like the one at the top of this update...

23 February 2022, 12:32
More new kit...
CHPT3 Studio Collection

David Millar’s apparel brand CHPT3 has launched a women’s specific Studio Collection for indoor training, which keeps the functionality of technical cycling apparel but also takes inspiration from other fitness areas such as running, yoga and pilates.

The new line features three main pieces including waist Shorts (£89) in two lengths, Crop Top (£59) with an extra wide under-bust panel and SL Training Top (£49) with a dropped tail and armholes in two colourways.

CHPT3 Studio Collection

"Keeping it very clean and sporty with minimal branding, the tops from this collection could easily be worn to and from the gym as athleisure wear," CHPT3 highlights.

"Many women that use fixed bikes both at home and at the gym have never worn a padded short and may have experienced some discomfort," CHPT3 found in its research. The new CHPT3 shorts have an indoor specific cycling pad for added comfort while exercising.

"Then there are women who wear the same bib shorts they wear for outdoor cycling but will roll the bibs down as their core body temperature rises, so we wanted to create specific cycling apparel for indoor training," CHPT3 adds.

CHPT3 has removed bib straps in favour of a high waisted band and has added features including a small pocket for a gym card or locker key. Millar’s wife Nicole says, "the material is so soft and thin I can go straight from a bike session to either yoga or gym session and not feel ridiculous even with a padded short."

23 February 2022, 12:03
Here are Ale’s Spring-Summer collection highlights including the tartan ‘Scottish jersey’
2022 Ale Spring-Summer collection Green

Ale has unveiled its new 2022 Spring-Summer line up with the focus being on aerodynamics, sustainability and new colours.

2022 Ale Spring-Summer collection velocity

Part of Ale’s R-EV1 top-end line, the Velocity Jersey uses high-tech graphene materials. "The closed circuit of graphene (graphite nanoparticles), in direct contact with the cyclist’s skin, equalises the body temperature, facilitating heat dissipation," Ale claims. Bacteriostatic properties are also said to improve hygiene and prevent unpleasant odours. 

To help reduce injuries in the event of a crash, the Pro Race Strong shorts feature strategically placed panels made of Dyneema which is a lightweight abrasion-resistant fabric.

2022 Ale Spring-Summer collection Dyneema

Moving over to the PR-R collection, the Green Speed jersey uses 90% GRS (Global Recycle Standard) approved fabrics and includes a fourth eco-pocket on the side to store empty packs of energy bars and gels as well as any other small waste.

To match it, the Green Speed shorts are said to provide some muscle compression thanks to their multidirectional stretch. The new GREEN 4H pad features a green fabric for the upper layer, and offers a 100 kg/m3 density for support. 

The Stones Cargo bibshorts in the Gravel range use the durable Sapphire fabric and feature side pockets to carry essentials.

Ale’s Scottish jersey is said to combine the comfort of a T-shirt with the technicality of a standard bike jersey, and comes in a tartan finish - what do you think of this look? 

2022 Ale Spring-Summer collection Scottish
23 February 2022, 11:50
Lizzie Deignan announces pregnancy — will miss 2022 season

A post shared by Lizzie D (@l_deignan)

Inaugural Paris-Roubaix champion Lizzie Deignan is expecting her second child with husband and former Team Sky pro Phil, and will miss the 2022 season. Deignan, who is already a mother to daughter Orla, has extended her contract with Trek-Segafredo through 2023 and 2024.

In an extensive interview released by her team, Deignan outlined her plans to return to the sport next year...

"Obviously having a baby is a big decision, but it wasn’t a difficult one for us. We’ve always wanted to have a big family and I think the time is right to have another child," Deignan said.

> Bump and Ride part 2: how to carry on cycling safely through the second trimester of pregnancy

"Orla is ready for a sibling, I feel like I am established and able in my career to make the next step to have another child, and everything behind the scenes fell into place. All the logical stuff like having a settled team and where we live was all really good. It was an emotional, but logical decision to make our family bigger.

"I feel like I still have plenty to give from an athletic standpoint. For me, it was always obvious that if we were able to have another baby then I would still return to cycling. 

"I never expected to continue my career through not just one, but two pregnancies, but actually there’s been so many examples now of successful women returning to the sport, and especially older women returning to the sport. I don’t think the same stereotype of athletes retiring at 30 in their prime is necessarily true anymore.

"Having been through the journey of having a baby and returning to the sport, I’ve realised that it is possible, and physically it’s actually easier than I expected. It’s obviously demanding and challenging on your body but it’s certainly not limiting, so that was a huge surprise after having Orla, and something that helps my decision in coming back after another baby.

"It’s the stuff around it; the family life balance that sometimes is difficult to manage, but I also think that we’re at the point now, three years after having Orla, that we know what we’re doing and we feel like we can manage more, and we actually enjoy that.

"It's been quite an emotional experience, actually. Talking with Trek and telling them about my pregnancy, they gave me their complete support. 

"I first told Ina, my sports director, and her immediate response was ‘That’s f***ing awesome, congratulations!’ That took me back, really. It meant so much to me personally to have that support. I’m a professional athlete in a professional cycling team, but the support feels very personal and I’m incredibly grateful."

23 February 2022, 10:23
I bet that UAE look good on the dancefloor...
23 February 2022, 10:13
Bucket list rides: What's top of your list?

Any big summer plans? They don't have to be as continent-crossing as Tim's, but what's your number one ride in 2022? Admittedly, there might be something going on at certain parts of that route that requires a slight change of plan...

Now, I'm sure after the past couple of years you need no further encouragement for a two-wheeled getaway, but if you do?

> Six reasons to go on a cycling holiday

In hindsight, we could probably list six thousand reasons, but hey, that would be a tough read...

Land's End to John O'Groats is the classic UK must-do endurance challenge, but is London to Barcelona a better option? Andrew Dalton made the case to us for chasing the sun, saying: "a similar distance, but with better roads, better weather, better food and a more fun destination."

You're telling me a night out in John O'Groats isn't fun?

> Cycling from London to Barcelona: a more enjoyable LEJOG alternative?

Get in the comments with your cycling holiday/big ride/bikepacking plans for 2022...

23 February 2022, 08:53
How to beat Filippo Ganna in a TT? Just ride 9km in 10 minutes...Steffan Bissegger uploads mind-boggling UAE Tour win to Strava
Stefan Bissegger UAE TT (GCN+)

If you're expecting some top tips on how to beat Filippo Ganna in a TT then you're in the wrong place. Sadly, if you aren't already in the top 0.00001 per cent of time trialists, and likely signed up to a top WorldTour team, then no amount of aero tinkering ahead of the club ten is going to help...

Luckily for Steffan Bissegger he is in the top echelon of male riders against the clock, and rides for a top WorldTour team, and yesterday managed to pip Pippo to the TT win at UAE Tour. Thankfully, Steffan was a champ and uploaded his ride to Strava for us to perv over...even if he did leave out some of the juicy details...

Stefan Bissegger UAE TT (GCN+)

It's not the Swiss rider's first big win...last March he won the Paris-Nice TT, with team boss Jonathan Vaughters afterwards saying Bissegger has the lowest CdA of any rider the team knows. That's his drag coefficient...meaning? Well, he's quite aero...

Stefan Bissegger UAE TT (GCN+)

Unfortunately, the EF Pro Cycling rider omitted his power and heart rate data from the upload, although watching on, Vaughters joked on Twitter that his had just dropped below 150 for the first time in a while... 

What we do know is that Bissegger averaged 60kph (37mph) during the first half of the ride (with the help of some favourable wind conditions) before holding on to average 51kph (31mph) on the way home.

There was even a three-minute spell near the start where the 23-year-old averaged 62.9kph (39mph)...that's just silly.

Overall he averaged a little under 55kph (34mph) for the entire course, helped by a top speed, on the flat, of 66kph (41mph), according to Strava.

Stefan Bissegger UAE TT (GCN+)

All while spinning a cadence of 102 in the 28°C heat of the UAE, crushing the 8.93km course in 9:48...

Steffan Bissegger Strava UAE TT
Stefan Bissegger Strava UAE TT

Unfortunately nobody was quick enough (or maybe Bissegger was too smart to leave it in) to snap a look at his power data when he uploaded the activity.

> Remco Evenepoel stuns Strava with huge time trial victory at Volta ao Algarve... before swiftly hiding his power numbers

Strava sleuths spotted Remco Evenepoel quickly hid his power data from his crushing Volta ao Algarve win at the weekend...but not before a screenshot of the 392-watt average for 38 minutes was paraded on social media.

Any guesses about Bissegger's number? I'd say closest to the pin wins a prize, but as we don't know where the pin is, that could be problematic...

For context, Ganna's dominant stage one victory at last year's Giro on a similar 8.6km course was widely believed to be 500w+. Although the Italian is a considerably bigger rider, and with Bissegger's aerodynamic excellence, maybe the number isn't as outrageous as you might expect?

Don't get me wrong, it's still going to mind-boggling for you or I...

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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