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Antiques store describe missile attached to van as "anti-cyclist modification"; Police say no group cycling on IM weekend; Disabled cyclist shows TransPennine bike rack flaws; School's cycling ban due to lack of storage + more on the live blog

It's Friday! Jack Sexty is here to provide your lead live blog coverage today with other members of the team chipping in intermittently.....
04 September 2020, 15:53
Antiques store cause offence by describing missile attached to van as "anti-cyclist modification"
 

Paul's anti-cyclist modification to the van proves to be highly effective. If you had a sidewinder missile, where would you like to stick it?

Posted by On The Square Emporium on Thursday, September 3, 2020

It's not clear if the missile is a large replica or a salvaged genuine military item - or if the van was actually driven with it attached to the side - but in any case some are not amused at the Belfast antiques store seemingly making light of cyclist' deaths on the roads. 

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Others have seen the funny side, with On the Square Emporium adding in the comments: "Even the buses get out of our way now!"

04 September 2020, 15:12
American conservative radio host Eric Metaxas admits to punching cyclist who was protesting Trump speech at Republican Convention

The curious sequence of events began when footage emerged of a man punching a cyclist outside the Republican National Convention in Washington D.C., after US president Donald Trump had just given a speech. It has now emerged that the man who threw the punch was the author, evangelical Christian and conservative radio host Metaxas, who was accused of running away to hide behind police after punching the protestor in the back of the head. 

Now in an interview with Religion Unplugged, Metaxas has claimed the cyclist was behaving in a threatening manner, and his actions were to defend himself and his wife Susanne: "I wanted to get away from him, but I didn't even know there were cops or anyone nearby, which is what made it all so frightening", said Metaxas. 

"It was very, very unpleasant."

Meanwhile, a man who identified himself as the demonstrator in question claims he was not being threatening or intimidating, and Metaxas attacked him: "I was on a rented bicycle! He clearly punched me from behind”, he told Religion News Service

Metaxas is no stranger to controversy, causing anger and bewilderment in July when he tweeted that Jesus was white. 

04 September 2020, 15:08
Van Aert wins Tour de France stage 7

It looks like Wiggo is being proved right, as Van Aert thunders to a third Tour de France stage win of his career and his second this year. Adam Yates will stay in yellow going into stage 8. 

04 September 2020, 14:41
Wout van Aert 'probably the best cyclist in the world', says Bradley Wiggins
TdF 2020 presentation Wout van Aert - 1

Speaking on another episode of his podcast, Wiggins thinks the 25-year-old Belgian is the real deal after storming to victory on stage five of the Tour de France, after setting up teammate Primoz Roglic for the win on the previous day. 

Wiggins said: "He (Van Aert) is probably the best cyclist in the world after everything that he has done: three-time world cyclocross champion, San Remo winner, Strade Bianche winner, time-trial winner in the Dauphiné last year. 

“He just possesses everything, and he seems to do it with such ease as well. He makes it look easy. 

“He has ridden 15 races since the end of lockdown, has won five of them and the rest of the time he has done a job for the team. And what a job he did yesterday on that summit finish, pulling for Primoz and then today he wins a bunch sprint."

04 September 2020, 14:32
De Gendt gets reined in

His efforts were in vain, but it's not like he's cared too much in the past. In whipping crosswinds, riders in the GC group are now trying to split the pack and it's every man for himself. 

04 September 2020, 14:25
Brooks saddle executive and former L'Eroica president Andrea Meneghelli dies aged 49

Meneghelli previously served as president of the L'Eroica events and was still heavily involved in the company, and was most recently a consultant for the Selle Royal group, which also owns Brooks. According to Corriere Del Veneto, Meneghelli passed away on Wednesday after falling ill during a training ride in his hometown of Dolo.

The town's mayor Alberto Polo said: "He lived his passion for cycling privately, but always made himself available to the local community. Just a few weeks ago, at the end of July, he made spaces available in his family's villa for a meeting dedicated to children with disabilities and their families. 

"To leave us at 49 is not possible." 

Meneghelli leaves behind a wife and two children, and his funeral is expected to take place shortly at the church of San Rocco di Dolo.

04 September 2020, 14:10
Tour latest: Thomas de Gendt makes a break for it

After yesterday was rather tedious until the last few kilometres, the Belgian has injected a little bit of excitement to proceedings with around 50km to go. In other news, the yellow jersey group has more than a five minute gap on the green jersey group, with the split forming during a climb.  

04 September 2020, 13:15
Police ask would-be Ironman Wales competitors not to cycle in packs ahead of cancelled event weekend
 

IRONMAN WEEKEND | We’re aware some people are planning to travel to Tenby to race the IRONMAN route this weekend, and...

Posted by Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police on Thursday, September 3, 2020

Although the Ironman Wales triathlon in Tenby is cancelled this Sunday, Powys Police are advising those who plan to travel down to do the route independently with no road closures or support in place. 

They have advised that cyclists should not ride in packs, because visitor numbers are high and therefore the roads are "very dangerous". They've also asked anyone planning to take on the sea swim to ensure conditions are appropriate, and runners to consider the need for social distancing. 

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The comments section is mixed, with some saying triathletes should stay away, and others who were booked on to the cancelled event saying they are unable to get refunds on their accommodation, so are making the most of the situation. 

04 September 2020, 13:44
InternationElles near completion of challenge to ride this year's Tour de France distance and elevation in just one week

As we reported last week, the group of female cyclists usually ride the Tour de France route one day ahead of the men to campaign for gender equality in cycling and a women’s version of the event - and this year, riders are doing the distance and elevation of the three week Tour in just one week as a relay team, all without leaving the UK.

The challenge has culminated in an everesting attempt today, with riders taking on the challenge individually up the Bwlch - they will all have to tackle it 26 times to complete the required 8,848 metres of elevation for a successful everesting. 

The riders started at 4am this morning and are expected to finish at 8pm this evening, having gone past the halfway point at lunchtime. More info on the InternationElles can be found here

04 September 2020, 11:22
Disabled cyclist shows once again how hated vertical bike storage racks on Hitachi-built trains are unusable

In the video, a man is attempting to get Harrie Larrington-Spencer's bike onto one of the cycle storage hooks in vain, the latest in a long line of passengers who are unable to use the storage sections as intended (read our experience here). 

The problematic bike storage sections are installed on new high-speed trains built by Hitachi for Great Western Railway, London North Eastern Railway (LNER) and TransPennine Express, and were slammed as "awful" by Cycling UK back in October; although in the comments section underneath Ms Larrington-Spencer's post, it appears there could be some light at the end of the railway tunnel... 

TransPennine's customer assist team say they will pass the feedback on, while LNER say that they are looking to redesign the bike storage sections on their Hitachi-built Azuma trains... does this mean the other operators will be changing theirs too? We'll be making some enquiries. 

04 September 2020, 11:10
Dutch parking problems

In stark contrast to the cycling ban imposed on students of Grey Coat Hospital school in London, it doesn't appear this school in Wageningen believes there are any "health and safety" issues when it comes to rammed bike storage areas. 

04 September 2020, 11:05
Andy Burnham saddles up to head back to the office

Ensuring that he's taking heed of the advice from his Cycling and Walking Commissioner, Burnham has returned to his office after a lengthy WFH period by bike. 

04 September 2020, 09:43
Richard Freeman tribunal: former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor ordered to have medical examination before trial resumes next month
Dr Richard Freeman (picture credit Team Sky)

Freeman is accused of ordering testosterone for British Cycling athletes - which he denies - and is now ordered to undergo an independent medical examination before his hearing resumes next month, after mental health issues caused length delays to the trial previously.   

According to the BBC's Dan Roan, Freeman's QC Mary O'Rourke says Dr Freeman is now in “robust good health, thank goodness”, and has returned to working five days a week at a GP’s surgery. The tribunal has demanded that Freeman be made available to undergo a medial examination in the week commencing 14th September, by "an independent expert appointed by the General Medical Council".   

Freeman's QC has also been asked to produce a redacted copy of the statement from her source, a journalist, who claimed to have seen an alleged affidavit from the Daily Mail, which was signed by former Team Sky and British Cycling coach Shane Sutton (Freeman claims Sutton bullied him into ordering testosterone to to treat erectile dysfunction). According to Roan, O'Rourke said she was struggling to persuade the journalist to give evidence. 

The hearing was convened for one day, and there will be another preliminary hearing on 25th September 2020 due to the request for further case management. The hearing will then reconvene in public session on 6th October 2020. 

04 September 2020, 09:32
Car Free Day 2020 campaign launches, with free Santander Cycle trips and prize giveaways including Brompton e-bikes
car free day 2020 promo - via tfl

London's Car Free Day is on 22nd September this year, and Transport for London have announced that free hires on Santander Cycle hire bikes will be available all day. Londonders are also encouraged to share their journey on social media using the hashtag #MyCarFreeTrip, and a lucky few will be selected to win prizes such as Brompton bikes, packages from GoPro and free one year Santander Cycle memberships. There is also a special 25% off offer on annual Santander Cycle memberships using the code CFD25OFF, which is valid on 22nd and 23rd September. 

James Austin of Sustrans London commented: “It is unacceptable that over two million Londoners live in areas blighted by dangerous and illegal levels of NO2, including thousands of young people who deserve a healthy start in life.

"Air pollution is a real threat to our health and wellbeing and until we end our reliance on motor vehicles and walk and cycle more for local journeys, the terrible consequences of the pollution in our streets will continue.

"Sustrans is encouraging Londoners to take part in Car Free Day 2020 and choose a healthier future.”

04 September 2020, 08:49
School allegedly bans cycling for lower school students on 'health and safety' grounds... because there isn't enough cycle storage

The letter is reported to have been sent to parents from Grey Coat Hospital - a secondary school for girls in Westminster - saying that bicycle storage is only to be used by sixth formers, and that space is "extremely limited". The letter continues: "Younger students are not permitted to cycle to school due for health and safety reasons and we will not allow them to store a bicycle at school." 

They say that staggered arrival times and earlier finishes will "ease pressure on rush hour traffic", which presumably means the school expect children use public transport or get a lift from parents/guardians. 

Some have suggested that the school convert parking spaces, while Sustrans' London branch have offered their assistance to facilitate students cycling to school. 

We've contacted The Grey Coat Hospital for comment. 

04 September 2020, 08:42
Extinction Rebellion protests: Met Police confirm a number of arrests after cyclists blocked Lambeth bridge

Yesterday protests took place across London which saw Mayfair, Trafalgar Square and Lambeth Bridge blocked, and now police have said that "dozens" of arrests were made over the blocking of Lambeth bridge. There were reports over 200 cyclists in support if XR attended, with some complaining that they were being kettled by police. Others argued that the protestors were breaking the rules on large gatherings during the pandemic, and were blocking routes for emergency services. 

More updates if and when we get them. 

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.  

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