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Jumbo-Visma sprinter crashes into ravine; Simon Cowell vows to wear a helmet after second fall; Must. Not. Wait. For. Bike; Highway Code sensibleness; ECHELONS; Are you a lentil-munching barista?; Team Qhubeka continues; FOI data + more on the live blog

Don't worry, Ryan is back on the live blog tomorrow...for now you'll have to put up with Dan Alexander bringing you Thursday's...
03 February 2022, 16:21
Jumbo-Visma sprinter David Dekker crashes into ravine, thankfully emerges unhurt

Frightening moment here for Dutch sprinter David Dekker whose chances of winning the second stage of Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana ended with him scrambling out a ravine, having overshot a corner on a descent. Dekker was one of the pre-stage favourites for the day eventually won by compatriot Fabio Jakobsen. 

David Dekker crash (Eurosport/GCN)

The 24-year-old celebrated his birthday yesterday, but found himself heading straight down a ravine with 10km to go on today's stage. Thankfully the TV pictures soon showed him back on the road, ready to remount his bike shortly after.

David Dekker crash (Eurosport/GCN)

Jumbo-Visma then confirmed Dekker was back on his bike.

Jakobsen continued his fine return since a bad crash of his own at the Tour of Poland in 2020, winning the second stage of the race easily. The win suggests Jakobsen is well on track to fulfilling his touted pre-season role as Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl's fast man for the Tour de France. It remains to be seen if a certain Manx Missile can do anything to change that...

03 February 2022, 15:23
Must. Not. Wait. For. Person. On. Bike...
03 February 2022, 14:51
Hampshire councillor says budgeting for cycling improvements is not "money well spent"
Portsmouth harbour (CC BY-SA 2.0 Ronald Saunders:Flickr)

The News in Portsmouth reports an outspoken councillor is vocally opposing council plans to invest millions into cycling infrastructure. Conservative member for Purbrook and States South, Cllr Gary Hughes said the council's money would be better spent elsewhere after officials announced a £10 million budget for cycling improvements.

Cllr Hughes said: "I would contend that the money we're getting is not being spent wisely. We're using 10 per cent of our budget on cycling when only one per cent of people actually cycle regularly. Think of what we could do with £10m spent elsewhere on highways for the people of Hampshire. When we have such a small budget I don't believe that £10m is money well spent."

Hughes was opposed by other members, including his own party's councillor Nick Adams-King, who argued "saying we shouldn't do something isn't the right approach".

"I'm not sure about the figure that only one per cent of people cycle either," he said.

03 February 2022, 14:11
Wonder if any Everton players have called on Mr Loophole's services since Frank's appointment?

If you've no idea what we're talking about: Prosecution of football star Frank Lampard filmed by CyclingMikey using mobile phone while driving dropped, CPS confirms 

03 February 2022, 12:48
Amy Pieters "stable but not good" more than month on from training crash
Amy Pieters (licensed CC BY SA 4.0 by Nicola on Wikimedia Commons)

Dutch road race national champion Amy Pieters is "breathing independently" but "currently not conscious", according to SD Worx's manager Danny Stam. Stam told Cycling Weekly there is "not very much difference" from the news we heard before that Pieters remains in a coma following a crash in training on December 23.

"The situation is still stable but not good," Stam updated. "Amy is still in a deep coma and until now there are not so many improvements. Only when she wakes up can there be a prognosis for how she will be in the future. 

"First she needs to wake up. It is a difficult time for everyone. I think for the parents and the boyfriend it’s the hardest time. For the moment, I’d love to tell you more but we don’t know anymore, but that is for everybody a pity. We hope [for] the best, that’s the only thing we can say at this point."

03 February 2022, 12:16
West Yorkshire Police FOI request analysis: Motorists submit more videos, but cyclists are better judge of what constitutes a driving offence

 Some interesting Freedom of Information request data here, showing that perhaps unsurprisingly considering the respective numbers of road users, motorists in West Yorkshire submitted more than twice as many videos than cyclists between August 2020 and December 2021.

But when it comes to videos submitted leading to penalty points or a fine, videos by cyclists were significantly more likely to lead to action. 34 per cent of cyclists submissions resulted in action, compared to just 1.8 per cent of motorists', 29 per cent of pedestrian submissions led to points and/or a fine.

What do you make of this? As expected? Surprised cyclists' videos seem to be acted upon fairly often?

03 February 2022, 12:04
Team Qhubeka moving forward in 2022
2021 Tour de France Team Qhubeka NextHash Burberry - 1

Team Qhubeka NextHash might have folded as a WorldTour squad at the end of last season, but the team is continuing under the Team Qhubeka banner, it has been announced. The team will ride at UCI Continental level, and have managed to keep hold of Nicholas Dlamini, the South African pro who competed at last year's Tour de France.

Doug Ryder stays on as principle, and says the goal remains the same — changing lives through bicycles.

"We will continue to move forwards," he said in a team press release. "Changing people's lives, providing hope, opportunity and mobility. Our team is about performance and racing, but it is equally about upliftment and community."

03 February 2022, 11:14
In contrast to the previous post...are you a lentil-munching barista?

I don't eat lentils and rarely drink I even a cyclist?  

03 February 2022, 11:06
Highway Code changes spark wave of bad publicity about cycling. But it is good for everyone, particularly motorists
Highway Code.PNG

Dr Paul Arnell has written a column for The Scotsman addressing the "wave of criticism" of cycling and the Highway Code changes...

In it he questions why some portions of the media choose to continue to peddle anti-cycling lines, while ignoring "the simple fact that increased cycling benefits everyone."

It might make slightly easier reading than some of the opinion pieces we shared on last week...

Dr Arnell concludes that: "The changes to the Highway Code reflect the simple fact that all road users must compromise. It is not a matter of us and them, drivers against cyclists. It is a simple fact that increased cycling benefits everyone."

03 February 2022, 10:58
ECHELONS (+ don't be like Bob at the pub)
03 February 2022, 10:40
"I'm a bit of a nutter": Simon Cowell vows to wear a helmet after second crash

Simon Cowell has spoken about his second e-bike crash in 18 months, and promised to wear a helmet in future...(no promises were made about arm or knee pads, though)...

The reality TV mogul broke his arm, suffered facial cuts and sustained a suspected concussion after falling off an e-bike near his west London home...18 months ago Cowell broke his back after a crash in Malibu.

Speaking to MailOnline, Cowell said he'd definitely be donning a helmet next time..."I'm a bit of a nutter. I'll definitely wear a helmet next time," he said. "I'm OK. I'm feeling much better thank you. It happened just round the corner."

A workman renovating a house nearby told the online news outlet: "He nearly bumped into me the other day. You often see him racing about on his bike although I must admit I haven't seen him on it for a few days. Now I know why. 

"He dashes round the corner without stopping and he's never wearing a helmet. The roads can get very busy round here so he's taking a bit of a chance. You'd have thought he would have learned his lesson after what happened before."

A source added: "Simon has been warned many times to wear a helmet but he doesn’t always take it on board."

Keep 'racing' around, Simon. That helmet will keep you out of hospital for good...(maybe)...

03 February 2022, 08:52
"Bicycles deliver the freedom that car commercials promise"

In the same way banks only ever seem to do adverts of friendly branch staff waving at children, car advertisers love to fall back on the classic adventure ad. Cue scenes of a sparkly new motor (not a dot of dirt anywhere) traversing an epic mountain landscape to a vista where a couple inevitably starts a campfire while watching the sun set.

In the summer, Toyota went one step further and snapped a £27,000 adventure model next to a £70 bike that could be bought from Walmart, with the caption 'Our Ideal Adventure'.

More positively, on the car ad topic, new legislation in France means car adverts will have to promote cycling and walking, as the Macron Government ups attempts to encourage people to swap four wheels for a pedal-powered two.

We're biased, obviously. But I'm sure this quote we spotted this morning may resonate with a few of you...

It's why so many of us were attracted to taking up cycling in the first place: exploring new places, a sense of freedom etc. Ernest Hemmingway famously said, "It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up hills and coast down them"...

Where's your next adventure going to be? A new route this weekend? A long-awaited summer adventure? Give us some inspiration in the comments...

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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