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Vuelta: Sam Bennett relegated for appearing to barge rival in sprint; Top cop says cause of road fatalities "really very clear"; G admits he couldn't watch the Giro; Dutch plan to reduce default speed limit to 30km/h + more on the live blog

It's Thursday and Dan Alexander is in the hot seat for all your live blog needs...
29 October 2020, 17:15
"What a bullsh*t": Quick-Step team manager on Sam Bennett decision

Here's the incident that saw Sam Bennett relegated...

Deceuninck-Quickstep team manager Patrick Lefevere didn't hold back on his analysis of the incident, saying that his rider was simply "defending his line". 

Others argued that Bennett's actions were inexcusable; especially after the horrific injuries suffered by his teammate Fabio Jakobsen at the Tour of Poland in August. At the time, Lefevere said the team were considering legal action after a manoeuvre from Dylan Groenewegen sent Jakobsen crashing into the barriers during a fast downhill sprint. 

Does pro cycling have an anger problem? 

29 October 2020, 16:52
Sam Bennett relegated from first, Ackermann wins the stage

Drama after the bell at La Vuelta as Sam Bennett is relegated from first for irregular sprinting.

The wait for Quickstep's 100th Grand Tour win continues.

29 October 2020, 14:46
Detective Chief Superintendent on road fatalities

Andy Cox, a Deputy Chief Superintendent, tweeted the pie chart above to address the issue of responsibility in road traffic fatalities.

The post received plenty of attention, with some motorists (and cyclists) suggesting that the chart was oversimplified.

Others praised Mr Cox for taking a firm stance on road safety and rejecting victim blaming.

29 October 2020, 16:17
Ton up for Quickstep as Sam Bennett wins again

Sam Bennett won satge nine of La Vuelta, overcoming Pascal Ackermann in the final 50 metres. 

Lotto Soudal's Gerben Thijssen was third.

29 October 2020, 15:22
Geraint Thomas struggled to watch Giro d'Italia


Geraint Thomas during Stage 3 of 2020 Giro d'Italia (picture credit LaPresse, RCS Sport)

The Team Ineos rider admitted he found it difficult to watch the Giro d'Italia after abandoning following a crash on stage 3.

"Mentally I definitely need the break to just switch off," said Thomas.

"I crashed out of the Giro which was my big goal of the year, so it also feels like I don't deserve an off-season because I never really got into the racing."

Despite the disappointment, Thomas was quick to praise teammate Tao Geoghegen Hart for winning the race in his absence.

"Tao is a great rider, full of potential, he was there to help me try to win initially," Thomas told BBC Radio Wales.

"Obviously I had to go home after three days so he had the opportunity so to finish it off and deal with the pressure which was great for him and the team."

29 October 2020, 12:55
EF Pro Cycling agree contract extensions with all existing riders
EF Pro Cycling Rapha + Palace (picture credit S J Hockett @dragcoefficient) (7).jpg

EF Pro Cycling have taken the step of offering contracts to all their existing riders whose current deal expires at the end of 2020.

The team were one of several WorldTour outfits who took the measure of asking riders and staff to take pay cuts earlier this year.

One rider who will continue with the team is Lachlan Morton, who has diversified the team's race programme with participations in gravel and ultra-endurance events alongside the conventional road calendar. 

Morton explained the decision to remain with the team in 2021: "There’s a long list of reasons I wanted to stay on this team. The big three are people, opportunities and partners. Having the opportunity to race World Tour events while chasing new and exciting adventures in one team is a dream for me, a dream I’ve only been able to realise with EF."

29 October 2020, 12:28
Whoop raises $100 million in funding
Whoop screenshot

The company behind heart rate monitoring wrist strap have raised a further $100 million in Series E funding.

Whoop explained the announcement "follows a period of tremendous growth for the WHOOP membership and overall business, and it will unlock new opportunities for the company."

"WHOOP will primarily invest these new funds in product and software development, global expansion, and membership services."

Marketed as a recovery tool, Whoop's straps measure data such as heart rate and sleep quality to inform recovery.

Whoop are the official wearable of EF Pro Cycling and are valued at $1.2 billion. 

29 October 2020, 11:58
La Vuelta stage nine


La Vuelta S9

Stage nine of La Vuelta gets underway in the next few minutes and the profile suggests it should be one for the sprinters.

Sam Bennett starts as favourite but there are a couple of uncategorised climbs near the end of the day where we could see some late attacks. 

29 October 2020, 11:18
Calls for UK to follow Netherlands' lead on speed limits
29 October 2020, 10:47
Netherlands plan to reduce default speed limit
Better facilities, like these in the Netherlands, woiuld encourage people to cycle more (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 licenced by MarkA:Flickr)

The Netherlands' House of Representatives this week approved the plan to cut the default speed limit from 50km/h (31mph) to 30km/h (18mph) in built-up areas.

"This is a very strong signal sent in The Netherlands that road safety must be prioritised over speed in built-up areas, even more in areas with a dense concentration of pedestrians and cyclists," said Morten Kabell, co-CEO of the European Cyclists' Federation.

According to the ECF's research, a pedestrian or cyclist being hit by a car at 50 km/h will lead to a fatality in 20% of cases, this falls to just 3% at 30 km/h; a near seven-fold reduction.

In the UK, the default speed limit in built-up areas is 30mph (48kp/h).

29 October 2020, 10:30
More of your views on towpath cycling


Towpath cyclists (CC BY-NC 2.0 Tom Blackwell:Flickr)

After the news yesterday that a controversial ban on cycling on a towpath in Henley was overturned, we asked if our readers thought towpaths can work as a safe and practical environment for both cyclists and pedestrians?

Here are some of your views...  

29 October 2020, 09:59
Vuelta photography
29 October 2020, 08:52
London's roads saw an increase in traffic between 2009 and 2019 of more than three billion miles

The data was highlighted by Hackney councillor Jon Burke and showed a massive spike in the number of miles driven on London's roads between 2009 and 2019.

In 2009 there were still just under 19 billion miles driven in London, but that number had rocketed to nearly 23 billion by 2019.

Councillor Burke is an outspoken supporter of LTNs (Low Traffic Neighbourhoods) and has campaigned for increased cycling infrastructure despite claims from some that it increases congestion.

29 October 2020, 09:41
Perfect timing
29 October 2020, 09:16
Aftermath of La Vuelta stage 8

Nobody can accuse Dan Martin of not trying hard enough. The Irishman finished third on yesterday's summit finish at La Vuelta behind race leader Richard Carapaz and stage winner Primoz Roglic.

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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