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Morrisons lorry driver ploughs through cycle lane wand; Giro stage 19 shortened due to weather conditions; Ineos (not the cycling team) blocked by XR protestors; Rider tests positive at Giro... for banned substance, not virus + more on the live blog

It's Friday! Jack Sexty is here to provide your lead live blog coverage today with other members of the team chipping in intermittently.....
23 October 2020, 14:11
Haringey Council respond to photo of lorry driver knocking over cycle lane wand

Haringey Council posted the above reply on Twitter, saying that while the wands are "designed to rebound following this kind of over-run", they will "explore a more appropriate location for the wand". 

23 October 2020, 13:54
RideLondon-Surrey 100: Event Director says Surrey Council's decision to stop hosting is "surprising and disappointing"
ridelondon 20164.JPG

As we reported last weekend, Surrey County Council look likely to refuse to host the 100 mile sportive event that takes place as part of RideLondon beyond 2021. 

Hugh Brasher, the Event Director of RideLondon, has issued the statement below outlining his disappointment at the decision, which is set to be finalised on 27th October: 

The recommendation by Surrey County Council to its Cabinet that it should no longer host the RideLondon 100 mile sportive from 2022 is surprising and disappointing as the public consultation process earlier this year resulted in a ‘small but significant majority’ (as stated by Surrey County Council) in favour of RideLondon taking place in the county.

“At a time when charities and community organisations are facing huge financial difficulties, it is also very unfortunate that if the Cabinet ratifies this recommendation, Surrey sports clubs and community organisations will no longer be eligible to apply for grants from The London Marathon Charitable Trust.

“More than £4.8 million has now been awarded to 93 projects in Surrey since 2013 as a direct benefit of RideLondon taking place in the county – that’s an average of £685,000 per year in funding to Surrey projects for the past seven years.

“Furthermore, millions of pounds have been spent with Surrey businesses and millions of pounds raised for Surrey charities as a direct result of RideLondon.

“Other benefits from the event include more than £50 million value of the promotion of Surrey as a tourist destination, the direct benefits to physical and mental health of cycling and a reduction in pollution levels through more people cycling.

“If this recommendation is ratified on 27 October, then Surrey will cease to host what is recognised as the world’s greatest festival of cycling. Events the size and scale of RideLondon are founded once every generation and uniquely (other than officer time) this event cost the county nothing. The huge tangible and intangible benefits of the event will be lost to Surrey by rejecting what future generations will acknowledge as ‘The London Marathon’ of cycling.

23 October 2020, 13:38
Angry fans reply to Adam Hansen on peloton's collective decision to shorten Giro stage 19
Adam Hansen, Lotto Soudal (Zac

Before setting off on his team's bus, Hansen took to Twitter to clarify that seemingly, the CPA's request yesterday had little to do with the decision, and more to do with riders protesting this morning... which wasn't at the request of the CPA.

Hansen said: "Just to clear things up. This was presented yesterday with today's stage being super long in the rain with our immune system suppressed while in a pandemic. It was not accepted. This morning when all the riders were under the tent no one went to the start line and riders started not to accepted this and a protest started to happen.

"It was nice to see the riders sticking together as a whole. We negotiated with the organiser to shorten the stage so the race could still happen. We are all happy to do so. We will all do our maximum to do a show today"

Not everyone was happy with the decision, and people are divided on social media. Despite angry fans suggesting that they feel let down because the race isn't as advertised, others lept to the defence of the riders. 

David Shaw commented: "Some folks seem to think everyone is better served if there’s a slow procession through the rain for hours and guys getting hurt or sick. Ridiculous. You’re doing the right thing". 

23 October 2020, 11:39
Morrisons delivery driver caught on camera obliviously knocking over wand on London pop-up cycle lane

As promised, back to the home front now... and luckily, no one was using this cycle lane when a Morrison's delivery van ploughed straight through a segregating 'wand' on a pop-up cycle route in the district of Wood Green, Haringey.

A number of people have tried to bring the incident to the attention of the supermarket on social media. Toria Armstrong said: "@Morrisons do you think this is acceptable? Lucky it wasn't a person! Would your driver even notice if they had run over a person?"

Another argued that the wands are not fit for purpose, saying: "Tried to cycle down Station Road earlier and the W3 was crushing the wands. They’re clearly impractical.
@ContactHaringey could you please just install basic raised curb cycle lanes? Safer for all, and a lot less wasteful." has contacted Morrisons for comment. 

23 October 2020, 11:23
Giro: stage 19 will now be just under 125km long
wilco kelderman in pink jersey giro 2020 - via Giro d Italia.PNG

After going from 150km up to 180km and back down again, the Giro's organisers RCS Sport have now confirmed that the stage will start from Abbiategrasso, with all intermediate sprints left in. This means the stage should be just under 125km, and the team buses are still making their way there. 

In other news, Bora-Hansgrohe's bikes are feline-approved...

23 October 2020, 11:15
Adam Blythe pokes fun at his pro cycling career

Blythe has his fingers in plenty of cycling pies nowadays, keeping busy with commentating and repping for various brands... and we have to give it to him for this quality self-deprecating tweet. 

23 October 2020, 10:29
Dame Sarah Storey urges government to clarify "ambiguity" on riding two abreast
Two abreast - cheltenham flyer tori and skardy 2

The record-breaking paralympian and British Cycling Policy Advocate has asked for further clarity, claiming that the wording of proposed new Highway Code rules don't make it clear enough that riding two abreast is allowed. 

She said in a statement: “The intention of the proposal is to make it clear that riding two abreast is not just legal but it’s also safer and more convenient for all road users – and that includes drivers as well. However, our concern is that the proposed wording doesn’t achieve that goal and the existing ambiguity around this issue remains.
“If you think about a situation where you might be riding with your child, as I do on a regular basis, you want to make sure that you have your child on the left of you so that if somebody is passing too quickly or closely you are offering them some protection. In this situation we don’t believe that a parent should ever feel compelled to ‘single out’.
“Similarly, if you’re out on the road in a group, if you’re in single file there’s a much longer line of cyclists for a driver to pass. On the road it might not be possible to do this safely while maintaining a safe distance from the group, particularly if there’s a bend ahead or a traffic island. If you’re riding two abreast, it makes it much easier for the driver to overtake safely and they’ll also have better visibility of what is coming towards them.
“We know that this issue is a longstanding subject of debate between motorists and people on bikes, with unnecessary hostility often directed to those out cycling, usually in the form of dangerous overtaking. Through the consultation we have the opportunity to clear up the confusion once and for all, and it’s absolutely vital that the Government hears the experiences of thousands of people who would benefit from this change.”

Full story now here

23 October 2020, 10:11
Full story on Giro madness... we'll now turn our attention to what's going on around the UK on the live blog, plus Giro and Vuelta updates when we get them
23 October 2020, 09:51
Who will win the bus race?

It's on...

23 October 2020, 09:46
Giro officially say race neutralised due to "weather situation"

We now gather that the riders did arund 5 miles of the original 258km stage before deciding enough was enough... we now await official confirmation about the restart.  

23 October 2020, 09:35
Ineos (the petrochemical firm, not the cycling team) blocked by Extinction Rebellion in Scotland

While the Ineos Grenadiers are being blocked by Team Sunweb and Jumbo-Visma at the Giro and Vuelta respectively, their parent company are being blocked by Britain's foremost environmental activists in Grangemouth. Their aim is to shut down the Ineos plant, with the corporation accused of being "Scotland's biggest climate polluter".

Extinction Rebellion Scotland said on their website this morning: "Small affinity groups of no more than 6 individuals have locked themselves together at the gates and aim to remain there all day. 

"Covid-19 safety precautions are being taken, including face masks, social distancing, use of hand sanitiser, and participating activists are using a track and trace app."

23 October 2020, 09:18
"Health is the priority": CPA thank organisers for shortening stage

Competing representatives of the rider's union stepped in to protest that the original 258km stage was too long in terrible weather conditions, and could have increased the chance of riders getting ill. 

Meanwhile, La Gazzetta Dello Sport are now reporting that the stage will be 180km, not 150km, starting at Lake Como. 

23 October 2020, 09:09
Giro stage shorting squabble: apparently some team buses had already left for the finish

With all teams now needing to hop on buses to get to the new start, over 100km away from where they are now, there is still some confusion and panic going on. In normal times it could be feasible for teams to share buses, but there's the small matter of a global pandemic to contend with... so it looks like any departed buses will now be racing back to pick up their teams. 

23 October 2020, 08:23
Breaking: Giro d'Italian stage 19 shortened from 258km to 150km after agreement reached between teams and organisers

Although the Giro's official social media accounts were previewing the planned 258km route just an hour ago, teams and others on the ground have confirmed that an agreement has been reached to shorten the stage to 150km by lopping off the first 108 kilometres. Looks like the opening couple of hours will be a bus ride... wonder if they will be made to race? 

23 October 2020, 09:01
Vuelta: stage 6 won't finish on the Tourmalet due to French coronavirus restrictions
The Col Collective Tourmalet_7.jpg

Organisers have announced that the stage on 25th October will instead finish at Formigal, rather than taking in the Col d’Aubisque and finishing on the famous Tourmalet. Coronavirus cases are on the rise in France, so local authorities wouldn't allow the race to pass through and risk fans gathering. 

A statement from the organisers said: “Stage 6 of La Vuelta 20 will start from Biescas, as planned – but the route from then on is completely different. 

“It will be a 146.4 kilometre stage, with 3,040 meters of vertical elevation. The peloton will face two categorised climbs, the Alto de Petralba (Cat 3) and the Alto de Cotefablo (Cat 2), before a new passage through Biescas (where there will be an Intermediate Sprint) that will lead to the final climb to the ski station of Aramón Formigal.”

23 October 2020, 08:45
Rider tests positive... for banned substances, not coronavirus
Matteo Spreafico

If you're yearning for things to go back to how they were, in a strange way it might be almost comforting to hear that Matteo Spreafico of Vini Zabù-Brado-Ktm has been suspended from the Giro d'Italia after testing positive for the anabolic substance ostarine. According to La Repubblica, the team say the rider purchased the substance, which has been on WADA's banned list since 2008, without their medical authorisation. Spreafico has officially being suspended pending an investigation, but naturally won't start stage 19 and his Giro is over. 

23 October 2020, 08:30
"Transformed for the better": Before and after video of Low Traffic Neighbourhood

This goes to show what LTNs can do for a street when you close it to rat-running traffic, allowing residents and passers-by to walk and cycle in relative peace. 

23 October 2020, 08:17
"It's really special": Dan Martin has us welling up after his Vuelta stage 2 victory

The Irishman thanks his team for their support through the pandemic, explaining how he was kept extra motivated from the full backing of Israel Start-Up Nation. He then says the victory is for his teammates and his wife, and things get emotional: 

"This is the first time I've won a race since I my kids were born, and it's really special", says Martin. 

Arriving at 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 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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