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Royal Parks Police accused of targeting cyclists; "Can he play centre-back?" Angry Arsenal fans to club's Geoghegan Hart tweet; LTNs "biggest transport controversy of the century?"; Froome's one-off Dogma F12 (+ bonus saddle tips) + more on the live blog

Welcome to Monday's live blog. Jack Sexty and Dan Alexander will be blogging you through the day, with Simon MacMichael taking over later this evening. ...
26 October 2020, 16:56
Chris Froome's one-off Dogma F12, plus a mini lesson in biomechanics

While it's a shame that the seven-time Grand Tour winner isn't back to his best yet (through no fault of his own of course), on the Vuelta's first rest day he got to ride this rather fetching one-off Pinarello that will be auctioned for good causes later this year. One fan was more intrigued with the angle of the saddle than the paint job, though... 

froome saddle comments 1.PNG
froome saddle comments 3. PNG.PNG
froome saddle comments 2.PNG

It turns out Froome favours the negative saddle angle to open up the hip, as he jumped into the comments to confirm that the above explanation was spot on. Time to slam your saddle? 

26 October 2020, 15:49
61-year-old in court for Royal Park offence

A 61-year-old was due in court today for the considerable crime of using an unauthorised mode of transport, potentially a bike, in a Royal Park.

The Royal Parks Police were criticised this morning for targetting cyclists committing the seemingly trivial offence of riding their bikes through pedestrianised areas of Regent's Park.

 The decision to patrol was made "following complaints", although Royal Parks Police don't say how many.

One person replied to the Court News UK Tweet claiming they had seen multiple cases of cyclists hitting pedestrians while riding their bikes in the Royal Parks.

26 October 2020, 14:53
Red Bull Timelaps results
Red Bull Timelaps

The 2020 Red Bull Timelaps was won by Innovation. 

The quartet covered 673.91 miles during the 25-hour event in the closest ever edition of the race.

Only one rider from each team could record miles at any time and the Timelaps was decided by a little over one kilometre with Race3R Steps in second covering 673.23 miles.

Avid BSCCers were the winners of the women's competition and finished just seven miles off Innovation's total in fourth place overall.

26 October 2020, 14:16
First Scottish Grand Tour winner?
tao geoghegan hart held aloft giro 2020 - via RCS Sport.PNG

Yesterday Tao Geoghegan Hart became the fifth Brit to win a Grand Tour, the first Arsenal fan to win the Giro d'Italia and surprisingly also won Scotland their first Grand Tour too.

The Edinburgh Evening News have claimed Geoghegan Hart as one of their own after discovering the Team Ineos rider's father is of Scottish descent and his gran still lives in Edinburgh.

The story caused much commotion on social media with readers suggesting the Scottish paper had a tenuous claim to Geoghegan Hart.

On Instagram, Geoghegan Hart describes himself as from Hackney.

Edinburgh Evening News Tao comments

Earlier today Arsenal were ridiculed on Twitter by their supporters for congratulating the 25-year-old on his success after the Gunners lost 1-0 to Leicester just hours after Geoghegan Hart secured Giro victory in the final stage individual time trial. 

26 October 2020, 12:15
"Can he play centre-back?": fans react to Arsenal congratulating Tao Geoghegan Hart

Unfortunately for Arsenal supporters, one of their fellow fans is having far more success in bike racing than their team is having on the pitch at the moment... and although we're sure they are all as happy as we are with Tao's victory, there might be another job for him in Arsenal's starting 11 if the more irate section of the club's fan base is to be believed... 

26 October 2020, 12:49
Dr Richard Freeman: hearing further delayed as former Team Sky doctor can't remember laptop password
Dr Richard Freeman (picture credit Team Sky)

Former Team GB and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman was back in front of the General Medical Council tribunal this morning.

According to Matt Lawton of The Times, Freeman claimed he is unable to access a fourth laptop because he can't remember the password for the device.

Earlier in October Freeman admitted to having destroyed a laptop over fears hackers could access athlete's medical information and that a previous laptop had been stolen while on holiday in Greece.

Freeman is facing 22 charges, including ordering the banned substance Testogel in 2011 but denies “knowing or believing it was to be used by an athlete to improve performance.”

26 October 2020, 12:32
Royal Parks Police face backlash for targeting cyclists in Regent's Park

The Royal Parks Police have been accused of boasting about a matter that is fairly trivial in the grand scheme of things, after an officer was sent to Regent's Park to try to catch cyclists and scooter riders breaking the rules by riding in pedestrianised areas.

The decision to patrol was made "following complaints", although Royal Parks Police don't say how many. That said, some people in the replies say they have witnessed dangerous riding in the park. Cypress B commented: "I have seen several accidents in Primrose Hill -- kids racing down the hill on those Santander bikes. One knocked a young child's stroller over. There are plenty of bike lanes on the street, no need to cycle in the parks where it is against the rules."

mike g replied: "So a few kids act like total idiots somewhere else and you think that’s a reason to ban something everywhere? Amazing logic there."

26 October 2020, 12:01
Tao's humble beginnings
Tao Geoghegan Hart with the Giro d'Italia trophy (picture LaPresse, RCS Sport)

Praise has flooded in for Britain's latest Grand Tour winner. The Chairman of Condor Cycles, Grant Young, gave Tao Geoghegan Hart his first job, as a mechanic at their bike shop.

"I met Tao through his mother. She came to the store asking about a Saturday job as he was enjoying cycling. I immediately said yes. Tao was a very small, quiet boy with a great respect for others. With so much enthusiasm, we all warmed to him very quickly," Young said.

"He got more involved in cycle racing through CC Hackney and their hardworking coaches and volunteers. We provided Tao with bicycles, wheels, and kit.

"We are all so proud of you, Tao. I can’t explain what it means to us to see you on the podium."

26 October 2020, 11:10
Evidence of the "biggest transport controversy this century"

Reaction to LTNs on Twitter suggests it may be the biggest transport controversy this century after all.

26 October 2020, 10:15
Low traffic neighbourhoods are the "biggest transport controversy this century" claims Labour cycling activist
Railton LTN (picture credit Sarah Berry)

The debate over LTNs has attracted increasing publicity in recent months with many motorists expressing opposition to the traffic reduction measures that have become popular in many parts of the capital.

In September, Hackney councillor Jon Burke revealed he had received death threats from angry motorists over his support for the traffic calming measure.

And now former Labour parliamentary candidate and transport activist Christian Wolmar has made the bold claim that the issue of LTNs is the biggest transport controversy of the century.

"It has become the biggest transport controversy of the century. Not rail nationalisation, not the £27bn roads programme, not even the £100bn on HS2, but the humble ‘low traffic neighbourhood’," he explained. 

"This has implications far beyond transport. Having less traffic going past your door makes life better in lots of ways."

By blocking off roads to cars, while still allowing bikes access, it is believed that LTNs will help create a safer environment for residents by preventing traffic from using residential streets as a short cut to avoid busier roads.

However, their introduction has not been without controversy with one LTN in Ealing being vandalised with graffiti and oil poured on the road.

Similar schemes in other boroughs including Hackney, Islington, Lambeth, Southwark and Wandsworth have also attracted vocal opposition.

26 October 2020, 09:56
Fifth British Grand Tour winner

117 years of Grand Tours and all the British winners have come in the past decade.

26 October 2020, 09:36
Hackey councillor promises more Hackey-born Giro d'Italia winners

Geoghegan Hart grew up in Hackney, where Councillor Jon Burke is on a mission to transform the borough with low traffic neighbourhoods and better cycling infrastructure. 

26 October 2020, 08:46
Tao Geoghegan Hart's Giro victory: all the best quotes, stats and reaction

There are a lot of firsts that come with this Giro victory: Geoghegan Hart was the first to win a Grand Tour after going in on the same time as his rival on the final day, and he is also the first Arsenal fan to win the Giro, so we're told (one has already won the Tour de France, a certain Geraint Thomas). 

After his victory for the ages, Geoghan Hart said: "Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine that this would be possible when we started almost a month ago in Sicily. 

"I think all my career I've dreamt of trying to be top five or top 10 maybe in a race of this stature, so this is something completely and utterly different to that and it's going to take a long time to sink in. 

On what's in store for the future and if this is just the start, he said: "I don't know, and I don't really care. I'm just going to enjoy this.

"It's incredible, it's really really incredible. I'm going to stay the same person, I'm going to stay as professional as I believe I always have been, and dedicated. 

"Wake up every day looking forward to riding my bike, loving my bike and being grateful for the honour, and the amazing position, the privilege that I'm in to be in this position on this team at these beautiful races."

He's also started responding to the many congratulations on social media, beginning with his former coach and mentor Axel Merckx. 

Writing in a blog for The Guardian, Merckx said: "Tao’s got a mature head on young shoulders. He’s older and wiser than most men – even me sometimes. We are really close and talk almost every day. Something bad might happen in your life, right in the middle of a big race, and he’ll be the one to say: “How are you doing? Are you OK?”

"He’s an old soul in a young body. When my daughter got diagnosed with a tumour, Tao was so kind to her. He made a video with a bunch of Sky’s riders, encouraging her and sending her messages. That’s not something that the average 22-year-old does normally. He’s got a good soul and a good heart. So, for me, he’d won a pink jersey already.

"He’s confident and he’ll grab any opportunity that he can, so I think he has the potential to win more Grand Tours. Once you have won one, there’s no reason why you can’t do it again. At the same time, they have Egan Bernal and Richard Carapaz – big, big names – but Tao can be with them, too. And if something goes wrong, then you have options.

He deserves this success. It’s always easy to say: “Oh, but Thomas, Yates, Kruiswijk weren’t there,” but in every Grand Tour riders crash and get sick and that was no different in this year’s Giro. It’s a little unfair on him: he was the strongest over the three weeks, he took the risks, it was the same race for everyone. He ended up with the maglia rosa in Milan and that’s all you have to remember."

26 October 2020, 08:28
Richard Carapaz takes lead at Vuelta... after Primoz Roglic becomes latest Grand Tour leader to suffer from rain jacket woes

After a disappointing Tour de France (by their very high standards anyway) it looks like Ineos' season is still going to be a rip-roaring success, with Tao Geoghegan Hart taking that stunning Giro victory and now Richard Carapaz in red at the Vuelta. 

Stage 6 was won by Ion Izagirre, who was part of a breakaway attack in front of the general classification group... but behind them, Primoz Roglic lost considerable time and ended the day in fourth place overall, 30 secs behind the new race leader Carapaz. 

With the Vuelta and Giro both taking place in cooler climes this year, the teams' cold and wet weather gear has really been tested to the max... and after Jai Hindley and Wilco Kelderman both struggled to zip up jackets before a freezing descent at the Giro last week, it looks like Roglic suffered similar issues which was the catalyst to it all going wrong. 

Also struggling with a zipper, Roglic )visibly shaking) said after the stage: "Today it didn’t go as we had hoped.

“On the descent of the penultimate climb I had problems with my clothes, so we were a bit too far back when the peloton broke. We had to pull out all the stops, eventually we managed to do that; but on the final climb I didn't have much left in my legs to counter the attacks. We have given everything."

Maybe the pros need to master the art of putting a jacket on mid-race into their training routine? 

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.  

Add new comment


alexb | 3 years ago

My local roads were mostly empty this past week or so, so perhaps cyclists aren't causing all the congestion after all?

Every half-term it's the same, the roads just empty. Not everyone is on holiday, so where is all that extra traffic coming from? The school traffic is a major part of the rush hour every day and it has a knock-on impact on traffic for the rest of the morning and evening.

Also, part of my route skirts the edge of the congestion zone and the extra traffic using it recently is absolutely insane. It really is time to reinstroduce the western extension. Yet another disasterous Boris U-turn.

NZ Vegan Rider | 3 years ago

Froome's bike paint looks terrible imho - a messy mass of different coloured paint. No flow or theme.


EK Spinner | 3 years ago

Tao becomes a Scot , seems as valid as Froome is a Brit
As I understand it, he had been pencilled in to be part of team Scotland at the last commonwealth games, and may be will be for the next games.
He is probably more Scottish than Rod Stewart  1 and about as Scottish as David Millar.

Organon replied to EK Spinner | 3 years ago
1 like

Frankly, the accent maketh the man. As for Froome I would love to see the bar chart of how much time he has ever spent in the UK.

Bentrider replied to EK Spinner | 3 years ago

"Being born in a stable does not make one a horse!"

A well known Irishman (The Duke of Wellington)

brooksby | 3 years ago


One person replied to the Court News UK Tweet claiming they had seen multiple cases of cyclists hitting pedestrians while riding their bikes in the Royal Parks. seen one cyclist get within two metres of a pedestran, this one time...


OldRidgeback | 3 years ago

I don't think LTNs are that constroversial. I just don't think they're the right solution.

The biggest cause of serious crashes resulting in death and injury in London is excessive speed. LTNs do not tackle that issue. 

I live on a street with an LTN and am utterly unimpressed with it. All it has done is make the single junction drivers in the area are still able to use more congested and more dangerous than it was before.

Yesterday I witnessed a road rage incident with a local prat refusing to reverse his sports car as a learner driver came in the other direction. Eventually, the learner was able to reverse into a small space and let the prat past. he accelerated at huge speed and roared round the corner, nearly taking out a cyclist coming the other way. The cyclist was very shocked.

More speed bumps on the road would tackle the speeding issue and safety effectively in the way that the LTN has singularly failed to do.

Tackle speeding with speed bumps, average speed cameras and other traffic calming measures and the roads become safer. 

I don't believe LTNs reduce pollution, as traffic just backs up on the main roads instead.


markieteeee replied to OldRidgeback | 3 years ago

OldRidgeback wrote:

I don't think LTNs are that constroversial. I just don't think they're the right solution.

You don't think they're the right solution, but you seem to imply LTNs are designed to be the entire solution to a very narrowly defined problem. The issue that you suggest is most pressing (crashes causing death and injury) is definitely tackled by LTNs but of course it doesn't address all of them in all contexts. I know that you don't think that the driver of that car in your examplre was only acting like a prat due to there being an LTN, or that he would have been deterred by speed bumps; so it didn't really back up your point.

More people die early from respiratory illnesses, affected by pollution, than in crashes; also, more people are a burden on the NHS due to low physical activity levels. We have a climate emergency and rising poor health due to sedentary lifestyles. Any measures that make it more attractive to walk or cycle in residential neighbourhoods should be welcomed. Of course there can also be additional measures to reduce depency on motor vehicles on the main roads but spreading pollution round quiet streets shouldn't be one of them.  

HarrogateSpa replied to markieteeee | 3 years ago

What he said.

It's not about KSIs. If there's too much traffic or it's moving too fast, most people won't cycle at all.d

LTNs make driving less convenient, but they make streets much nicer for the people who live there, they reduce the amount of traffic, and they enable people to ride bikes there.

OldRidgeback replied to markieteeee | 3 years ago

But the LTNs don't tackle exhaust pollution. They just shift it to the main roads, which are more congested and even more polluted as a result.

The driver of the sports car was a prat. The LTN did not cause him to drive dangerously, however it did not stop him from doing so. You've misunderstood my comment. Speed bumps would stop him from doing so and also would've stopped him from risking the life of the cyclist he scared out of her wits.

The LTN does little to encourage cycling and active travel as it does so little to improve safety for cyclists. It goes nowhere and provides no new cycling route.

Ensuring vehicles drive at the 20mph limit in quiet streets would however encourage active travel, by providing safer routes. The LTNs don't do this.

hawkinspeter replied to OldRidgeback | 3 years ago

OldRidgeback wrote:

But the LTNs don't tackle exhaust pollution. They just shift it to the main roads, which are more congested and even more polluted as a result.

That's assuming a constant level of traffic whereas traffic changes according to how well it suits people. Building more roads often makes driving seem more attractive and often increases congestion and similarly reducing the available roads can often reduce traffic.

Kapelmuur replied to OldRidgeback | 3 years ago

The road adjacent to where I live has speed bumps, they have no effect on speeding.

Enforcement by camera or human is the answer.

OldRidgeback replied to Kapelmuur | 3 years ago
1 like

Properly specified speed bumps, and enough of them, will indeed stop speeding. If the ones in the road next to yours don't do the job, it's because your local council didn't specify them properly.

Proper speed bumps will ensure that vehicles drive over them at the required speed (5,10, 15, 20mph or whatever). Driving over them faster will cause damage to the vehicle. That this isn't happening shows your council didn't do the job properly.

Awavey replied to OldRidgeback | 3 years ago

whilst I agree its possible for councils to stuff up sizing of speed bumps so that they make them next to useless for their purpose.

even with ones of the correct size they dont on the whole slow vehicles down much, because whilst driving over them faster ultimately does cause damage I dont really think some drivers care that much about that issue.

those that do slow for the bumps, inevitably then drive much faster between them instead.

Ill often whilst riding at 15mph on a 20mph road with speed bumps soon find Im being tailgated (usually by an Audi) who will force a pass, who then often jams the brakes on at the last second to get over the speed bump, and then speeds off & repeats

the little onion replied to OldRidgeback | 3 years ago

OldRidgeback wrote:


I don't believe LTNs reduce pollution, as traffic just backs up on the main roads instead.



Actually, the long term evidence is that they do work. They facilitate modal shift and ultimately reduce main road traffic.

TheBillder replied to the little onion | 3 years ago

Exactly this. In other words, they make driving less of an obvious option, so you start to think about whether you could walk or cycle, and at the same time it makes those options better. Think of LTNs as active travel rat-runs.

ktache replied to the little onion | 3 years ago

We need to give them a bit of time, we have had 70 odd years of the motor vehicle being the answer to whatever question is being asked.

LTNs do not stick with this particular answer.

David9694 replied to ktache | 3 years ago

What strikes me is what a miserable and unsatisfying thing driving has become in that time - a real source of anger and division. 

ktache replied to David9694 | 3 years ago

Dark for the journey home this evening, was a bit down when unlocking the bike, dark now, dark when going home for months.

I had forgotten how much fun it could be hooning it about through the woods in the dark.

eburtthebike | 3 years ago

Are LTNs the "biggest transport controversy of the century?"

I don't know, but if it raises the profile of the problems caused by profligate, unrestricted motor vehicle use, then it's no bad thing.  Making the caroholics think about and justify their appalling decisions isn't going to suddenly persuade all of them that cycling is the answer, but it will convince some to change.  Then some more will learn by their example, and the molehill gets to be a hummock, then a hillock, and then, who knows?

I trust all the keyboard warriors on this site and others will be using their knowledge and debating skills to respond to the lies and myths put about by the car lobby, refuting them with wit and facts.  Come on guys (and others obviously) you can do it!

Doesn't CUK already have a handy reference list of common car arguments and their flaws?

StuInNorway replied to eburtthebike | 3 years ago

Never mind them cycling, walking is a start too. I used to live 100 from nearest shop in a straight line. 200m to walk. I regularly saw neighbours going out to their car, drive around, into the carpark behind the shop, walk into the shop behind me, when they drove out their drive as I passed them. Then then drove home with a litre of milk and packet of fags.
Currently I have a 400m walk to local store, 600m drive, and most people walk for smaller items, but I still see some drive it. I still get there as quickly. It's also not the elderly driving, it's the 30-50 yr olds.

markieteeee replied to eburtthebike | 3 years ago

Some of the routes motorists have been taking through inappropriate streets weren't common before google maps/ sat nav etc became dominant, unless you were a cabbie with the knowledge.  Everyone has felt entitled to shave some distance and/or time off their journey because they have an app that shows them how to. Even some large HGV drivers seem to prefer to keep moving down side streets than stop at the occasional red light on a main road. Now some of these routes are being prevented, for the good of the residents, they are whining like babies.

On the online consultation for my neighbourhood, which has successfully reduced rat-runners and people winding round the streets hoping for a parking space where they won't get a ticket, there are seriously people arguing to reverse the filtered permeability claiming our streets are 'an important route' between two main roads.  They aren't, they're just the ones you've been anti-socially taking for the past ten years. Cheerio

jollygoodvelo replied to markieteeee | 3 years ago

The Google Maps-induced rat-running is a large part of the problem I think.  Even away from LTN considerations, out on a bike ride a few weeks ago I was sat at a junction on a country lane near the Bristol ring road for over ten minutes simply unable to get out because of the weight of traffic.  Turned out that there was a problem on the M4 and hundreds of cars were being diverted off at one junction, down a lot of little roads not intended to carry long-distance traffic, around and back to the motorway. 

Now, clearly that's just because the software had worked out it was a faster route, but in the interest of communities and general safety, there's a good argument that Google Maps should understand that you're heading from e.g. Reading to Wales and *not* tell you to get off the motorway.

It's bad enough when you're driving cross-country and it routes you down little farm tracks because it thinks they're a minute faster: in an area you know well you probably know that's not right and can ignore it, but in rural areas sometimes you can't tell that a turning isn't the actual main road.

Awavey replied to eburtthebike | 3 years ago

well I was going to cite Betteridge's law of headlines, so the answer is no. But Ive never seen the point debating the car lobby, their minds are made up and closed to debate, so no amount of witty fact refuting gets through to them.

mr_pickles2 replied to Awavey | 3 years ago

Why would they want to? They've still unfortunately got everything stacked in thier favour with the status quo so they have no need to be open to change (yet). 

Luca Patrono replied to eburtthebike | 3 years ago

Unfortunately for those of us who are keyboard warriors, most of the idiocy takes place on Twitter - and Twitter is specifically designed to work against debate, discussion and refutation in favour of likes, top-level comments, blue ticked garbage suckers, whataboutery and number of voices rather than quality of contribution.

I would dearly love to wipe that garbage website from the face of the earth.

squidgy | 3 years ago

Bring back the guys handing out newspapers at the top of the mountains.

Kadinkski replied to squidgy | 3 years ago
1 like

I saw that during the live coverage. What was that all about?

Kendalred replied to Kadinkski | 3 years ago

Something to read on the long descents. yes

jollygoodvelo replied to Kendalred | 3 years ago
1 like

And if you over-shoot a hairpin on the way down the Stelvio you can use it as a parachute  4


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