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'Mr Loophole' says cyclists shouldn't ride two abreast because they "don't keep up with traffic"; Jonathan Shubert's sub-3hr 100 miles Strava; Roglic in red after Vuelta stage 13 win; £11.8m for 'UK first' cycling + walking network + more on the live blog

It's Tuesday and Dan Alexander is in the saddle for another day on the live blog...
03 November 2020, 21:22
Cyclists shouldn't ride two abreast because they "don't keep up with traffic", says Mr Loophole

After saying that Highway Code rules allowing cyclists to ride two abreast are currently "being abused" last week, the lawyer Nick Freeman, who calls himself 'Mr Loophole', has now added to that by claiming cyclists shouldn't ride two abreast because they "don`t keep up with traffic". 

Replying to Jeremy Vine on Twitter, who pointed out that two cyclists abreast were similar in width to a car, Freeman added: "And they prevent other cars from keeping up with traffic. Ergo single file as per Highway Code is the safe & sensible way for traffic to run smoothly. And keep cyclists safe". 

It's fair to say not everyone agreed with Freeman, with some pointing out that according to Rule 163 of the Highway Code, motorists are supposed to "give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car". 

The 'two abreast' subject has surfaced numerous times recently due to a Department for Transport (DfT) consultation on proposed changes to the Highway Code, which has just closed. In it, the wording on riding two abreast would change from “You should … never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends”, to “You should … ride in single file when drivers wish to overtake and it is safe to let them do so. When riding in larger groups on narrow lanes, it is sometimes safer to ride two abreast.”

Dame Sarah Storey, British Cycling and others have recently urged people to respond to the consultation, asking for it be made clearer that cyclists are allowed to ride two abreast – and to emphasise that they often should for safety reasons.

03 November 2020, 16:25
Roglic wins Stage 13
GC stage 13

Primoz Roglic banished the demons of his Tour de France time trial defeat to win his fourth stage of La Vuelta, reclaiming the race lead in the process. Roglic won the stage by one second ahead of CCC's Will Barta. Hugh Carthy was the next best out of the GC favourites, finishing 25 seconds behind the Slovenian. Richard Carapaz dropped 49 seconds but still took seventh on the day. 

03 November 2020, 15:41
TT insight from EF Pro Cycling's Jonathan Vaughters
03 November 2020, 15:33
All the favourites are on the road...
Richard Carapaz

Richard Carapaz is the last rider off the start ramp..all the GC favourites are on the course, let's see how things stand in 45 minutes time.

03 November 2020, 15:15
Sean Yates joins Alberto Contador's Kometa team as a coach

The former Team Sky directeur sportif has joined forces with Alberto Contador's Kometa team to take a leading coaching role. The team's step up to the professional ranks in 2021 will be overseen by Yates and Ivan Basso, who is sporting manager.

03 November 2020, 14:25
£11.8 million boost for Manchester cycling and walking network
bee network 1

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) have approved £11.8 million to improve five cycling schemes in Manchester, Salford and Stockport. The 'Bee Network' will offer the "UK's first" joined-up cycling and walking network with construction set to begin before the end of the year. Cycling and walking commissioner Chris Boardman said: "During the lockdown, while a huge number of people took to their bikes and enjoyed the quieter roads, GM’s councils were working hard behind the scenes to get their cycling and walking proposals ready for delivery.

"These five schemes signify further progress on our commitment to providing safe spaces for the people of Greater Manchester, enabling them to rethink how they make their journeys.

"Many significant schemes will be completed during 2021 and these latest additions will add even more mileage to our Bee Network, enabling an ever-increasing number of Greater Manchester residents to leave the car at home if they choose."

03 November 2020, 14:21
Vuelta pain faces

Another tough day for poor Harry Tanfield... Having said that the Brit is provisionaly third-fastest in today's stage 13 ITT.  A strong rider against the clock, Tanfield seemed to enjoy the early flat roads more than the punishing 30% ramps to the finish.

03 November 2020, 13:57
Alan Colville breaks world record for most vertical elevation cycled in 48 hours

Back in September we covered some of the most impressive and maddest cycling world records. Now Alan Colville has added his name to the roll of honour by besting the previous record of 29,623m of vertical ascent in 48 hours. Remarkably Alan beat the previous mark by more than 500 vertical metres to set a new Guinness World Record of 30,321.18 m (99,478 ft 9.3 in). To put that in perspective, it is the equivalent of completing three and a half Everests or climbing Alpe d'Huez 27 times.

03 November 2020, 12:36
Team NTT Pro Cycling set to fold
NTT 2020 BMC bikes

NTT team manager Bjarne Riis has admitted it is unlikely the team will attract a new sponsor for 2021 when the current deal expires. Speaking to Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet, Riis said: "As it looks right now, there is not a team with me at the helm next year. That's the situation. We do not have a sponsor on hand right now and it is getting late so it does not look too good.

"I do not know now [if I sound pessimistic]. I just sound realistic, right? The situation is as it is and there is nothing I can do about it."

It had been hoped that Ben O'Connor's impressive performance at the Giro d'Italia, winning the team their first Grand Tour stage win since 2018, would help attract investment. however, this has not been the case and Riis now appears resigned to the team not attracting a sponsor.

03 November 2020, 12:16
Jonathan Shubert reaction
Shubert Strava

Jonathan Shubert having his Strava activity flagged is one of the more bizarre things we've seen this week. Anything to protect those KOMs I guess... We spoke to the new RRA 100-mile record holder this morning and he was pretty amused by the whole situation: “I think maybe it’s someone just being a bit of a troll! Because of the speeds it might seem a bit unbelievable so I can understand why someone might do that."

03 November 2020, 11:17
Bradley Wiggins backs Chris Froome to return to the top
chris froome 2

Speaking on The Bradley Wiggins show, he said: "We've seen Chris Froome be really active, hurting himself and helping the team.

"I still think he has one big day left in him where he is going to shine. he is getting back to the rider he was with every pedal rev, and he has shown that.

"Every turn he has at the front he is going longer and longer into the race and he is enjoying putting people in the hurt bag again and regaining his confidence."

Froome has experienced a new role at this Vuelta, with his sole ambition to work for team leader and current race leader Richard Carapaz. The four-time Tour de France winner has steadily improved since losing 11 minutes on the opening stage and as the race enters the third week, Froome will be hoping to play a key part in supporting Carapaz's bid to win a second Grand Tour after claiming the Giro d'Italia in 2019. the Vuelta is the 35-year-old's final race for Team Ineos before moving to Israel Start Up Nation next season.

03 November 2020, 10:18
Zero positive COVID-19 tests at La Vuelta
La Vuelta logo.png


The second rest day of the final Grand Tour of the year thankfully passed without any positive tests for COVID-19. All 151 riders will take to the start ramp for today's stage 13 ITT. The race's organisation Unipublic has recieved credit from riders and staff during the first two weeks of the race for their strict protocol and thorough approach to protecting rider safety. The praise comes in contrast to the Giro d'Italia where EF Pro Cycling asked for the race to be stopped over concerns the protective bubbles had been compromised.

03 November 2020, 08:44
Jonathan Shubert's Strava data
Jonathan Shubert

Riding 100 miles in under three hours is a superhuman sporting achievement. Riding 100 miles in under three hours only to see your activity flagged on Strava is at best cruel. Jonathan Shubert's new RRA 100-mile straight out record took him from Milton Keynes to Norwich in 2:57:58 at an incredible 54.5km/h average speed.

The Strava activity which can be viewed here, says Shubert reached a top speed of 77km/h and climbed 653m of ascent during his sub-three-hour effort. Unsurprisingly the ride earned Shubert 28 KOMs. One sector from Milton Keynes to Cambridge shows the new record holder covered the opening 29.68km of the effort in a 31:05 at an average speed of 57.6km/h. Unfortunately for Shubert, the effort was too impressive for some to believe it was possible and in true Strava style the activity has been flagged.

03 November 2020, 09:36
New LTNs in Leeds

Labour councillor Jonathan Pryor shared these pictures of new LTN infrastructure in the Hyde Park area of Leeds. The green boxes prevent cars from rat running while also allowing cyclists, pedestrians and other forms of active transport priority.

"Our new boxes through Hyde Park are starting to be put in! All part of making the area safer and greener! Everything still accessible by car but by preventing rat running we can lower air pollution and encourage cycling and walking," Pryor explained.

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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