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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 road.cc 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 road.cc 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.  

Latest Comments

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