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"Ableist, sizeist and ageist" cycling meme controversy; Dylan Groenewegen needed police protection after being sent death threats and a noose; Not Near Miss of the Day: Robot spots cyclist and doesn't pull out; "War against cars" + more on the live blog

It's Tuesday and Dan Alexander is in the saddle for another day on the live blog...
26 January 2021, 14:38
"Ableist, sizeist and ageist": cycling meme causes controversy on social media

This meme, which was first posted by the Facebook group 'Cycling Today: The Joy Division' at the weekend, is continuing to do the rounds on social media today. Including, of all places, in the Glasgow Critical Mass Facebook group which describes itself as: "An open group for everyone who believes that cycling is the best and most fun means of transport!" Unsurprisingly, some members have challenged the post for portraying "ableist" and "elitist" stereotypes.

One group admin justified it by saying: "No I showed the natural progression of man as he ages with his bikes, no fat shaming, ageism, no derogatory comments about the use of e-bikes. Lighten up."

Bo Mansell replied: "e-bikes make cycling more accessible for people who have mobility difficulties. This meme is both ableist and sizeist. Why would anyone attend CM when you represent it like this. I don't find it funny to alienate people from cycling based on their size, ability or indeed, age. It's only 'funny' if you're not on the receiving end of it."

Christopher Atkinson added: "Is it genuinely acceptable within this group to make ableist and ageist cycling jokes? Isn't the point of this group to promote inclusive cycling and road safety, how is this achieved by jokes like this?"


26 January 2021, 16:54
Birthday skills
26 January 2021, 16:25
That's how you do National Champs kits
26 January 2021, 16:07
Arkéa–Samsic deny offering to pay for Giro d'Italia wildcard
Nairo Quintana (centre) with Arkea-Samsic team mates at Tour de France (picture credit Alex Whitehead

Team manger Emmanuel Hubert has denied that Arkéa–Samsic offered to pay for a wildcard spot at the Giro, with Nairo Quintana reportedly keen to return to the Grand Tour he won in 2014. "Paying to take part in the races is not in my DNA. We applied for the Giro, but without talking about money. I am waiting to know if they will take us for all the races we have requested, not just the Giro. The fact that a former Giro winner like Nairo wants to come certainly helps," Hubert told Mon Peloton.

Quintana, now 30, won the Italian Grand Tour seven years ago, but has not ridden the race since 2017. During that edition, the Colombian wore the maglia rosa for three days before being overhauled by Tom Dumoulin in the final stage time trial.

26 January 2021, 14:33
Here's something you don't see everyday...

A pullout promoting cycling in the Daily Mail...2021, you're already full of surprises... 

26 January 2021, 13:11
Dylan Groenewegen needed police protection after being sent death threats and a noose
Tour de France 2019 Bianchi Oltre XR4 Groenewegen.jpeg

Dylan Groenewegen has told Dutch magazine Helden about the ugly fallout from his Tour of Poland crash with Fabio Jakobsen, which neither sprinter has yet returned to racing from. Groenewegen revealed he received multiple death threats and was sent a noose with a note telling him he should hang his unborn child. A police guard was posted at his house in the days after the crash.

"There were such concrete and serious threats that we called the police a few days after the crash,” Groenewegen told Helden magazine. "We received handwritten letters in the mail, which even included a noose that we could hang our child on when it would be born. When you read that message and see that piece of rope, you are shocked. That was the deciding factor for me that it could not continue like this.

"I went to the police and reported it. The police immediately took action after seeing those letters. That does reflect the seriousness of those threats. Of course that affects you. What happened here? How is this possible? What sick world do we live in?"

The Jumbo-Visma sprinter was suspended for nine months for his role in the crash which left Jakobsen in an induced coma in hospital with a fractured skull and serious facial injuries. Just last week Groenewegen's team released his initial race programme for 2021 as they try to ease him back into life in the peloton with some smaller European and WorldTour races. The 27-year-old is not expected to ride a Grand Tour in 2021 with the priority just to get him back on the start line.

26 January 2021, 12:13
Cycling UK appoints Janet Atherton as new chair of trustees, the first time two women have held the top roles in the charity's history

Cycling UK has appointed former Director of Public Health and Senior Public Health Adviser in NHS Test and Trace, Janet Atherton, as chair of trustees. Along with Sarah Mitchell as the charity's chief executive, it is the first time in their 143-year history that women have held the two top posts. It signals the charity's intent to make cycling "accessible to everyone regardless of background, age, ability beliefs or gender".

As part of their goal, Cycling UK has planned a fifth Women's Festival of Cycling to take place in July of this year where women will be invited to join organised rides and digital events. Speaking on her appointment Atherton said: "Cycling UK’s mission is to get millions more people cycling. Cycling should be accessible to everyone regardless of their background, age, ability, beliefs or gender. I want to see Cycling UK continue to build a social movement to get people out on bikes."

Data shows that in England, men make two-and-a-half times as many cycle trips as women and cycle more than three times as many miles.

26 January 2021, 11:38
One of Britain's oldest paperboys still going strong aged 80

One of Britain's oldest paperboys is still cracking on with his daily route having celebrated his 80th birthday over the weekend. George Bailey rides the same two-and-a-half-mile route around Headcorn in Kent each morning on his bike and says it helps keep him fit. Having received his coronavirus vaccination last week Bailey was in good spirits when he spoke to the BBC about his routine.

"It's to try and keep fit," Bailey explained. "Otherwise it would be at home, a little bit of gardening and I'm not one to go jogging at my age. So the bicycle keeps me fit. I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it."

26 January 2021, 10:43
Not Near Miss of the Day: Robot spots cyclist and doesn't pull out

This isn't the start of a new series on just thought it was quite funny. After 529 Near Miss of the Day videos, here's the first Not Near Miss of the Day...All it took was for a robot to be involved. This autonomous delivery robot sees the cyclist coming and doesn't pull out on him...As the reader who sent the footage told us: "There is hope for the future..." 

Talking of Near Miss of the Day, today's offering is a close pass at speed by a Peugeot driver on a narrow country lane in Cornwall...

26 January 2021, 10:29
Štybar in, Aru out...

Three-time Cyclo-cross World Champion, Zdeněk Štybar has announced he'll return to his old stomping ground to race the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships this Sunday. The Czech, who rides for Deceuninck-Quick-Step, crossed over to road cycling in 2011 but will return for another shot at World Championship rainbow bands in Oostende.

On the decision he said: "It was not expected that I would ride the Worlds this year, but things have evolved. As we know this discipline is my passion, so after watching some races on television I felt in my stomach that I really wanted to race. It would not have normally fit in to my schedule, but things have changed and having done a lot of training my condition feels good."

One man who won't be racing is Fabio Aru. The Italian dipped his toe in the Cyclo-cross mud over the winter which led to speculation that he may take to the start line in Belgium. However, the 2015 Vuelta a España winner has agreed to leave the Italian squad's spaces available to younger specialists in the discipline. Aru will stay at Qhubeka-Assos' training camp instead.

26 January 2021, 10:19
Sagan's special day
26 January 2021, 08:55
Politician who campaigned to scrap Kensington High Street cycle lane complains of "war against cars"

Tony Devenish had more than a few people pointing out the irony of his tweet... 'It’s vital to help more people to walk and cycle, but this must not be via a “war against cars”'...Presumably, the Kensington High Street cycle lane was one such act of war against drivers, considering how decisively he and Felicity Buchan campaigned for its removal.

Since the removal, which was opposed by all schools in the area and Imperial College, parked cars have in many places replaced the space where the lane used to be. At least there's no more congestion on the High Street...

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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