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Cycle lane hit-and-run; Girls just wanna have fundamentally safe cycling infrastructure; Mechanical ends Cav's sprint hopes; ECHELONS; New kit; Jason Kenny retirement interview; Pog's puncture pain; Number-crunching + more on the live blog

It's Thursday and Dan Alexander is in the hot seat for all your live blog needs...
24 February 2022, 17:16
Disbelief at Tour of Flanders Centre's bizarre Deignan v Sagan display

We're not really sure what to say about this other than someone actually signed this off... 

Yes, the Tour of Flanders museum has a display explaining why Lizzie Armitstead (Deignan) will never beat Peter which, percentage of fat, stroke volume of the heart, oxygen intake, height, air resistance and...periods are listed as the limiting factors.

> Lizzie Deignan announces pregnancy — will miss 2022 season

While some pointed out Flanders Classics, the organiser of the biggest cobbled classics, doesn't run the museum, others asked if they'd really want their branding all over such a display...

24 February 2022, 16:21
Michał Kwiatkowski: One peleton. So many nationalities. Nothing but respect. That’s my World
24 February 2022, 15:25
Team Qhubeka launches 'Hand Up' kit
Team Qhubeka Hand Up kit

Team Qhubeka may no longer be part of the WorldTour but they managed to keep racing as a Continental level team in 2022, with Nic Dlamini, part of the team's squad for last year's Tour de France staying on as their big-name rider.

Ghebrehiwet Birhane is also part of the team and today modelled their new kit - the 'Hand Up' kit.

Produced by Ekoi the jersey has a "fresh, vibrant and deeply symbolic look, with warm colour tones, we hope will be a must-have jersey among our loyal fans, and newcomers to the sport of cycling."

It features the iconic hand reaching upwards, which symbolises how the team, partners, Qhubeka beneficiaries and fans are all connected to their purpose of bicycles changing lives. This montage is mirrored on an African horizon with the 'Hand Up' "pointing to a future of great things to come".

"It is always a beautiful time when you get to showcase and announce a new team kit," Doug Ryder said. "Particularly in our world where our kit is not only about showing off our fantastic partners, which are incredibly important and who invest in us, but it’s also about telling a story.

"The sun might have set on our WorldTour team but the sun has risen for our Continental team that will proudly wear this kit. It’s modelled off an African horizon with the hand up a sign of a future of great things to come.

"The yellow and the red are the earth, the fields and the landscape – as you know our stadiums are the open roads of the world - and we ride through them and race on them to success.

Team Qhubeka Hand Up kit

"The blue sky is limitless; we reach for it and we celebrate it with our hands up – hopefully many times this season.

"It’s a beautiful jersey and we look forward to getting it into the hands of our riders to represent our team, our partners and our purpose successfully this year as we rise again into the future; and of course also to get it into as many hands of our partners and fans around the world."

24 February 2022, 14:27
Throwback Thursday to the single greatest piece of investigative journalism the world has ever seen...

You can keep your undercover investigations and whistleblowing, five years ago today undertook one of the most daring, hard-hitting videos journalism has ever seen...

What firmness of supermarket fodder can a disc rotor no longer slice through?

Safe to say our videos have come a long way since then...we'll leave it to you to decide if our journalism has too...

24 February 2022, 12:43
Echelons, breakaways, punctures, mechanicals...UAE Tour stage five had it all...just not a Cav win...

In the end, just as he did on stage two, Jasper Philipsen won the sprint, steaming past Sam Bennett in the final 100 metres. Cav was nowhere to be seen after suffering an untimely mechanical in the final kilometre.

Race leader Tadej Pogačar was also on the wrong end of some bad luck, puncturing with 6km to go just as the peloton was flat out chasing lone escapee Michael Kukre who, for a minute or two, looked likely to land the upset of the year so far.

Thanks to Mikkel Bjerg and Rafal Majka, Pogačar made it back in and didn't lose any time. In fact, he extended his lead on Filippo Ganna thanks to two bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint.

That came while the race was on the limit, battling through the early crosswinds...maybe tomorrow's sprint in Dubai will be a touch less dramatic?

24 February 2022, 12:11
New DT Swiss wheels can take loads up to 180kg
DT Swiss HU 1900 Spline wheels

DT Swiss has released its new HU 1900 Spline wheels which have been designed to ensure lasting durability even under high loads to cater for the new demands of e-bike users. To do so, they come with an impressive approved maximum system weight of up to 180kg. 

"Due to the latest developments in electric motors, it is possible to transport even larger loads while covering longer distances, often also on rougher tracks," DT Swiss notes. 

“If the higher loads and torques of this type of e-bike are not taken into account and the wheels are not reinforced accordingly, cracks may occur on the rim near the spoke holes or there may be possible spoke breakage in the long-term.

 "This damage can be caused by the increased weight loads on the system, but also by the rough riding surfaces and tyre pressure, which have a significant impact on the durability and performance of a wheel."

The new HU 1900 Spline wheels have been developed and tested to cope with these increased physical strains in order to provide long-lasting reliability to these users. 

To achieve this, the wheels feature a "deformation resistant rim" with a thicker cross section and are laced with reinforced 2.24mm spoke heads.

24 February 2022, 11:55
"I creak quite a lot": Sir Jason Kenny talks retirement decision
Jason Kenny.jpg

Much like many an infuriating bike worse for wear after a long winter, Jason Kenny has admitted he now "creaks quite a lot"...

Speaking to the Guardian in the week after announcing his retirement from track cycling, Kenny said it "wasn't an easy decision".

> Sir Jason Kenny retires from track cycling — Britain's most decorated Olympian set for British Cycling coaching role

"I genuinely wanted to carry on to Paris, but I creak quite a lot these days and I always knew I wanted to go into coaching off the back of it, and this opportunity came along. I am a little bit sad to be honest because all I’ve known is riding and competing, but I’m quite excited to get stuck into the job.

"Athletes’ days off are not really off – you’re planning for the next day. It basically consists of not doing anything too arduous and fuelling right … you can’t just go and play football with Albie or whatever. Now I think I’ll have less time off but I’ll be able to enjoy it more."

Kenny will take over as GB's men's podium sprint coach as the team starts its cycle, pardon the pun, to the Paris Games in 2024...

24 February 2022, 11:41
Special edition tyres and accessories from Pas Normal Studios and Pirelli
2022 Pas Normal Studios x Pirelli

Copenhagen-based technical apparel brand Pas Normal Studios has teamed up with Italian tyre specialists Pirelli for a special edition collection of tyres and accessories. 

The release consists of the Pirelli P Zero Race TLR-tyre, available in 26mm and 28mm widths, complete with Pas Normal Studios branding and the classic signature yellow Pirelli logo. "It’s a bit more of an all-rounder than the SL version, with increased puncture protection, but retains the same levels of excellent grip and rolling resistance," Stu said when he reviewed the tyre for us. "It's a race tyre for those who don't race, if you like."

> Pirelli P Zero Race TLR

There’s also a Pas Normal Studios x Pirelli t-shirt, bidon, socks, a cap and musette, all in black and white. 

2022 Pas Normal Studios x Pirelli

Pas Normal Studios is also offering an exclusive opportunity to take part in the Strade Bianche. The competition to win a ticket to the sportive as well as complimentary Pas Normal Studios kit runs until 27 February 7pm - you can enter here.

24 February 2022, 11:35
New collection from La Passione prioritises performance and comfort
2022 La Passione Striver collection

La Passione launches the all-new Striver Collection which is said to improve on the technical features present in the brand’s PSN range, and aims to balance performance with comfort. 

The Striver Jersey (£106) features sleeves which are now made with a new raglan construction, which La Passione says, "guarantees an optimal fit for different physical frames, from the most muscular to the most petite, managing to fit perfectly without being too tight". 

2022 La Passione Striver collection

The Striver Bib Shorts (£148) use a new "strong and highly compressive lycra" along with a special ribbed fabric that’s claimed to be highly breathable and, according to La Passione, improves stability in the abdominal/core area. 

The shorts are also said to be particularly suitable for long hours in the saddle (from four to seven hours), thanks to the multi-density Elastic Interface pad. 

24 February 2022, 11:32
24 February 2022, 10:17
Just bad driving or is there a wider problem with this style of cycle lane? Cycle lane hit-and-run

A reader submitted this to us for our Near Miss of the Day series, but unfortunately, as you can see in the clip, it's definitely not a near miss...

> Near Miss of the Day 720: Impatient driver almost causes collision with oncoming vehicle on steep climb

Commuting home from work using the segregated cycle lane, the rider saw the BMW driver approaching the junction but said he thought they were slowing down to let him pass.

Instead, the driver kept moving forward, colliding with the back of the cyclist's bike and sending him flying out into the road, which was fortunately empty at the time.

The driver did not stop at the scene, leaving the reader injured in the road. 

"Of course I reported it to police," he said. "Hopefully they’ll catch them. I had bruises on my right-hand side hip, and my neck and shoulders hurt. I'm still on codeine after two weeks.

"The bike shifters, rear derailleur, saddle are badly scratched and I had to order new ones to replace them. There's also some more minor damage."

Was this just a case of bad driving? Or is there a more fundamental problem with that style of cycle lane putting riders, and people waiting for buses, in danger?

Back in September, over in Cork, we featured a video from a similar cycle lane where a cyclist narrowly avoided a collision with two motorists while using the new lane for the first time.

Like in today's video, the collision almost occurred at the point where the lane passed through the junction with a side road where motorists would turn out onto the main road...

24 February 2022, 09:25

Easy sprint stage at UAE Tour? Errr nope. The wind had other ideas this morning... 

24 February 2022, 08:49
Girls just wanna have fundamentally safe cycling infrastructure

Fun fact: 80s pop classic 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun' was actually a coded message about the need for safe cycling infrastructure. Cyndi Lauper really was ahead of her time.

Really? No, but this tweet has gone semi-viral amongst the cycling social media community...

 So how does the rest of the song go?

Although, depending on who you ask, the answer of whether it's fundamentally safe cycling infrastructure or protected bike lanes can change. Potato, potato...I guess...

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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