Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Active Travel England to “raise standard of cycling and walking"; Fuerza Egan: cycling world rallies around Bernal after training crash; Tour of Britain nominated for sporting event prize; WADA conducts UCI anti-doping audit + more on the live blog

It’s Tuesday (though can we really be sure until Sue Gray confirms it?) and Ryan Mallon is here for the second live blog of the week
25 January 2022, 16:59
A fresh lick of paint and it’ll be as good as new…

 I wonder if that would show up on the UCI’s tablet scanners?

25 January 2022, 17:18
2022 Instructables VO2 device 9
Eating is cheating... when it comes to DIY VO2 max kits
vo2 comment

Read all about the homemade device that will show accurate VO2 readings while you Zwift over here - or if you'd rather just have the sarcasm, skip straight to the comments... 

25 January 2022, 16:49
NewsThump takes on the Highway Code changes

Boris Johnson’s Colin the Caterpillar cake, Taylor Swift’s feud with Damon Albarn, and Watford appointing their 155th manager of 2022 – it’s hard to tell the difference between news and satire these days.

But that didn’t stop spoof site NewsThump taking on the Highway Code revisions. Their article on the new guidelines, originally published in July last year (now Mr Freeman, don’t claim that you didn’t see it coming), is doing the rounds again on social media and is brilliantly headlined: New Highway Code rules ‘could see cyclists lording it over drivers in further brazen attempts not to be run over’.

The article reads: “The new ‘hierarchy of road users’ puts more responsibility for road safety on more dangerous modes of transport, which drivers insist will only further embolden cyclists in their never-ending quest to avoid being squashed by a metal box weighing over a tonne.”

It then quotes what I presume is a fictional motorist called Simon Williams (though judging by some of the articles published this week in the press, it’s hard to tell), who says: “Barely a week goes by without angry cyclists complaining about me not giving them enough room, or cutting them up, or not seeing them when I pulled out at the junction – do we really want more of that whinging?

“I think I speak for all road users when I say we’ve had quite enough already of selfish cyclists insisting we try to do more not to kill them.

“If they want to be safer on the roads, they should buy an Audi like I did.”

Great stuff, though in many ways not too far removed from the typical article… (runs and hides from the editor)

25 January 2022, 16:21
Kids these days, with their hairy legs and gravel bikes…

Not sure this would have went down too well back in the US Postal days, eh JV?

Maybe it’s time for another debate, exploring the complex contours of cycling culture...

Yesterday we had wave or no wave; so naturally today’s big question should be: shave or no shave?

25 January 2022, 15:51
25 January 2022, 15:37
Image of Boardman not wearing a helmet “doesn’t send out the right message” – says Mr Loophole

While Chris Boardman hopes that his new role as interim commissioner of Active Travel England will inspire “a quiet revolution”, some aren’t as convinced.

The anti-revolutionary in chief, Nick Freeman, has spent much of this week criticising the new Highway Code revisions, claiming they will result in “carnage” and warning that “our roads are going to be much more angry and much more dangerous” under the new guidelines.

This morning, the lawyer commonly known as Mr Loophole directed his ire at Boardman – or more explicitly, an image of Boardman riding his bike almost a decade ago.

He said: “I saw a picture of Chris Boardman cycling the other day. He wasn’t wearing a helmet or a hi-vis jacket. It doesn’t send out the right message.”

What do you think? Does Freeman have a point here? What kind of ‘message’ should cyclists convey on the roads?

The response on Twitter was, naturally, divided:

Incidentally, an uncropped version of the photo Freeman is alluding to features a certain under-pressure Prime Minister… 

25 January 2022, 14:55
2022 Rapha EF team kits 3
EF finally unveil new kit… and it’s fine

The most highly anticipated moment of the 2021-22 cycling off-season has finally arrived… and to be honest I’m a bit underwhelmed.

It’s safe to say that the new EF Education-EasyPost and EF Education TIBCO-SVB men’s and women’s team kit – launched nearly a month after most squads had unveiled their 2022 jerseys – has divided opinion.

 What do you think – “yeah!” or “meh”?

In any case, the team held cycling Twitter's attention for most of January with this long-drawn-out reveal. Which I suppose is the whole point, really.

You can read more about the new EF kit, designed by Rapha, here:

> Rapha and EF Education unveil men’s and women’s team kits - is this the best 2022 design?

25 January 2022, 14:29
Active Travel England to “raise the standard of cycling and walking infrastructure”

Trudy Harrison, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, yesterday laid out the government’s vision for Active Travel England, a new body headed by former Olympic Individual Pursuit champion Chris Boardman and tasked with implementing the Gear Change strategy introduced in July 2020.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Harrison said: 

This government is investing a record amount in active travel to help deliver our priorities for a healthy, safe and carbon-neutral transport system. [Active Travel England] will work to ensure that this, and wider transport investment, is well spent, and will help raise the standard of cycling and walking infrastructure.

ATE will manage the national active travel budget, awarding funding for projects which meet the new national standards set out in 2020. It will inspect finished schemes and ask for funds to be returned for any which have not been completed as promised, or which have not started or finished by the stipulated times.

ATE will also begin to inspect, and publish reports on, highway authorities for their performance on active travel and identify particularly dangerous failings in their highways for cyclists and pedestrians.

In these regards, the commissioner and inspectorate will perform a similar role to Ofsted from the 1990s onwards in raising standards and challenging failure.

As well as approving and inspecting schemes, ATE will help local authorities, training staff and spreading good practice in design, implementation and public engagement. It will be a statutory consultee on major planning applications to ensure that the largest new developments properly cater for pedestrians and cyclists.

ATE’s establishment follows the government’s unprecedented commitment of £2 billion for cycling and walking over this parliament and comes in the wake of our ambitious Gear Change strategy to transform active travel.

The agency will become fully operational later in 2022.

I am also pleased to confirm the appointment of Chris Boardman MBE as the first Active Travel Commissioner for England. He will take the helm on an interim basis to spearhead the establishment of ATE.

This underlines this government’s ongoing commitment to boosting cycling and walking and to building back greener from the pandemic.

When his appointment as interim commissioner of ATE was announced on Saturday, Boardman said that the agency’s creation represented an opportunity to create “a legacy we will be proud to leave for our children and for future generations,” and that “it’s time for a quiet revolution.”

Elsewhere on the cycling infrastructure front, the BBC reported that Plymouth City Council has been awarded £80,000 to conduct a feasibility study into socially prescribed walking and cycling. The scheme will provide local community groups with off-road cycling and walking activities, and could eventually lead to an expanded programme including adult cycle training, group rides, and bike maintenance courses.

Oxford City Council also announced today that a new cycle path has been installed at Seacourt Park and Ride, which the council hopes will “encourage more active travel journeys in and out of Oxford”.

25 January 2022, 13:14
David Lappartient (cropped) (Nicola, Wikimedia Commons, CC-by-sa 4.0).JPG
WADA conducts UCI anti-doping audit

An audit conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in November “confirmed the strength and quality of the UCI’s anti-doping programme”, cycling’s governing body said in a statement today.

The audit covered all areas of the UCI’s anti-doping programme, including governance, budgeting and reporting, intelligence and investigations, education, the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) programme, results management and data protection.

WADA’s report described the UCI’s programme as “highly functioning” and praised the collaborative relationship between the governing body and the International Testing Agency (ITA).

The audit was the first conducted since the UCI transferred control of its anti-doping duties from long-term partner the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) to the ITA.

The UCI had worked with CADF since it was launched in 2008 under the umbrella of WADA. Becoming an independent entity in 2013, CADF helped the UCI establish a series of anti-doping policies such as the biological passport and whereabouts programmes.

However, the move to ITA, a group with close ties to the International Olympic Committee, in 2021 formed part of UCI President David Lappartient’s aim to restructure how anti-doping in cycling was organised. Lappartient cited Operation Aderlass – a scandal involving cyclists and nordic skiers – as evidence that cycling would be better served by an anti-doping agency that works across multiple sports. CADF officials claimed, however, that the UCI President was instead looking to exert greater personal influence over the anti-doping side of the sport.

The UCI’s statement said that the positive result of November’s audit “confirms that the transition from the CADF to the ITA has been a success and enhances the protection of clean riders.”

25 January 2022, 12:32
Four days 'til Fayetteville...

Can Tom Pidcock hit a home run on Sunday? (And that's my baseball knowledge exhausted now...) 

25 January 2022, 12:18
Guarnieri gives Talansky the meme treatment

Andrew Talansky may want to delete his social media permanently now. The former Next Big Thing has become the butt of a joke in cycling circles thanks to his outspoken views on the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Friday, the ex-Garmin rider tweeted that, after turning off his smart phone for a few days, the pandemic (or “scamdemic” as he calls it) simply disappeared.

Many of Talansky’s former colleagues in the peloton took the opportunity to poke fun at the American, with Thomas De Gendt tweeting: “He is correct. I stayed off social media and haven’t read any news about Pogacar. If he isn’t real, he cannot hurt me.” Pog himself even weighed in, adding to Talansky’s embarrassment (not that he feels embarrassment of course).

We knew it wouldn’t be too long before the ever-entertaining Jacopo Guarnieri chipped in, and yesterday the Groupama–FDJ leadout man didn’t disappoint, showing off his newfound meme-making skills at Talansky’s expense. A weekend well spent, I reckon.

Never stop, Jacopo.

25 January 2022, 11:35
Tour of Britain - Challacombe in Devon
Tour of Britain nominated for Sporting Event of the Year prize

The 2021 Tour of Britain has been chosen as a finalist at this year’s Event Production Awards. The EPAs are held to recognise excellence in the delivery of outdoor and live events.

It is the third time in four years that the race has been nominated in the Sporting Event of the Year category. The two other nominees for the Bournemouth 7s Festival and the Weston Beach Race.

Last year’s Tour of Britain had an estimated roadside crowd of over a million spectators, while an average daily audience of 423,000 watched ITV4’s live coverage, a 31% increase on the 2019 figures.

Won in dominant fashion by Wout van Aert, the race is perhaps now best remembered for the interaction between Van Aert’s Jumbo-Visma teammate Pascal Eenkhoorn and young fan Xander Graham, who was able to keep up with the breakaway for a short spell, earning a bottle (and a place on the American Jukebox team) in the process.

While the Tour of Britain has never won at the EPAs, the Women’s Tour was named 2018’s Sporting Event of the Year. The 2022 awards ceremony will take place in Hammersmith on 17 February.

25 January 2022, 10:35
2020 Vuelta - Egan Bernal (© ASO, Cxcling Creative Agency)
Cycling world rallies around Egan Bernal after horrific training crash

As news of Egan Bernal’s training accident filtered through to a shocked cycling world yesterday, teammates, rivals and compatriots rushed to express their support for the current Giro d’Italia champion and 2019 Tour de France winner.

The Ineos Grenadiers rider collided with a parked bus while training in Colombia. He underwent successful spinal surgery on Monday and remains in intensive care. His injuries include a fractured femur, fractured patella, dislocated fractures in his spine and a collapsed lung.

Bernal’s Ineos teammate Daniel Martinez, who was also part of the training camp in Colombia, took to Instagram to share a poignant image of the two riders at last year’s Giro. He wrote: “Today more than ever wishing him the best, that he recovers soon and returns to give a show as he knows how to do.”

Bernal’s compatriot Nairo Quintana wrote: “I send my colleague Egan Bernal a hug of strength, I am aware of what this type of situation entails, I also know that it is always possible to get up and continue with more strength. Speedy recovery.”

The Colombian footballer Radamel Falcao, who had spells at Manchester United and Chelsea, also tweeted, “A quick and successful recovery for Egan Bernal. All of Colombia is with you in this painful moment. Let's protect and take care of cyclists on all roads in Colombia.”

Fuerza, Egan.

Ryan joined in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

Add new comment


espressodan | 2 years ago

I know that it's about the clicks, but could just stop giving Nick Freeman the oxygen that he craves. We aren't the audience for his bizarre crusade and frankly in his world there is no such thing as 'bad press'.

hawkinspeter | 2 years ago

This article on NewsThump made me chuckle:


Audi driver repeatedly fails Captcha test after failing to identify images with cyclists

Hirsute replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
MattieKempy | 2 years ago

I love the EF kit on principle, not least because it's about the only kit in the pro peloton which shows any degree of creativity or individuality. The rest are all universally boring.

brooksby | 2 years ago

I desperately want to write something about that uncropped picture of an unhelmeted St Chris next to an unhelmeted Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, but all I've got is something about wondering how we'd ever know if Johnson had suffered a head injury.  And that's probably mean.

chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
1 like

Caption competition!

Is it more risky if neither man wears a lid?

iandusud replied to chrisonabike | 2 years ago

Caption: Well I can see one helmet!

eburtthebike replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
1 like

brooksby wrote:

.............wondering how we'd ever know if Johnson had suffered a head injury. 

His hair would be messed up; oh, wait a minute.......

Rendel Harris replied to brooksby | 2 years ago

The PM proving that it's not just in his extra-marital affairs that he believes in an unprotected Johnson...

chrisonabike | 2 years ago

RE: man on thread banging on about cyclists paying road tax revealed not to have paid his own VED / MOT'd his car.

I've no idea why he was so coy. Shamelessness seems a virtue these days. F'rexample councillors are not infrequently reported as owing council tax and it doesn't seem to bother some of them. Maybe we should follow their lead, or "do as they do, not as they say"?

Global Nomad | 2 years ago

Hoping that Egan will recover well and not loose a whole season. 

capedcrusader | 2 years ago

Tour of Britain - Stage 4 Aberaeron to Great Orme was flippin' epic, a great spectacle, and I hope they race along this route again, or at least end at the Great Orme. 

I took the opoortunity to walk up the Great Orme after watching the stage, and the end of the road forms a perfect amphitheatre for what turned out to be one of the stages of the year.

Fingers crossed the Tour of Britain wins.

Latest Comments