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"Maybe he forgot to get off his bike": Tom Pidcock challenged over 13:25 5km run claim; UCI bans forearms-out aero position; Chris Froome unconvinced by disc brakes; DIY bike lane video; Chris Gritty; Cummings back at Ineos + more on the live blog

It's the start of a new week and Dan Alexander will be getting you through Monday on the live blog...
08 February 2021, 18:22
"Maybe he forgot to get off his bike": the running and cycling communities continue to question Pidcock's blistering 5k run

Poor Tom Pidcock may live to regret uploading his rather suspect run to Strava unless he can provide some more concrete evidence of a world class 13:25 5km time very soon. 

The news has now hit the running community, and followers of the popular 'I Was, Or Am A Runner' group on Facebook are having their say. One commented: "Nonsense. This is totally contentious. Nobody runs 13.25 for 5k on a morning training run in winter. It is glib and disingenuous indeed to qualify this with the comment 'Apparently this is very fast'. There is no 'apparently' about it. A world class athlete would know the relative paces of other endurance sports."

Another said: "Not bad as he runs about twice a week...complete b*llocks", while another suggested: "Maybe he just forgot to actually get off his bike!"

Pidcock's claims were also compared to a similar situation involving pro footballer Ross Barkley, who also posted what was thought to be an extraordinarily fast 5km last April; and he only claimed to have ran a time of 16:11! We'll be waiting for Mr Pidcock to follow up with another Farah-thrashing performance soon to convince the public of his superior running talents... 

08 February 2021, 17:57
More UCI rule updates: use of forearms as support banned, and fines for littering introduced
2021 Speeco ABB rider 2

After banning riders from sitting on the top tube last week, the UCI are back on the warpath today with some further updates to their amendments for the 2021 season. 

Firstly, using the forearms to create a TT position, with hands out-front as if grabbing onto aerobars, has been banned. The UCI's document on the rule changes now says: "Sitting on the bicycle’s top tube is prohibited. Furthermore, using the forearms as a point of support on the handlebar is prohibited except in time trials."

Riders will now have to dispose of litter in specific zones, with fines dishes out for those who drop gel wrappers, bottles etc on other parts of the course. It's summarised as this: "Riders may not jettison food, bonk-bags, feeding bottles, clothes, etc. outside of the litter zones provided by the organiser. The rider must safely and exclusively deposit their waste on the sides of the road in this the litter zones provided by the organiser.

"Riders may not jettison anything on the roadway itself. Riders may also dispose of bottles and clothing to team cars or organisation vehicles or with the team staff in charge of riders’ feeding.

"In the event of a heat wave, exceptional measures may be put in place by the president of the commissaires' panel in consultation with the organiser."

The rules on race barriers, particularly at the finish line, have been made stricter, with plastic barriers banned: "The use of lightweight barriers (e.g. plastic) to cordon off the event route is prohibited, including after the finish line. The barriers must be weighted down so that they do not move in strong winds or when subject to pressure by spectators or other forces", says the new amendment. 

We'll have more analysis on the rule changes from our tech team soon. 

08 February 2021, 16:46
Mike Woods has his say on Pidcock's 5k time

Israel Start-Up Nation's Mike Woods has an impressive running pedigree having set Canadian junior records at the mile and 3,000m distances as well as winning gold at the 2005 Pan American Junior Athletics Championship. Woods isn't convinced the time was accurate but added that Pidcock could probably still beat him in a race...

08 February 2021, 16:35
Remco Evenepoel given the all clear to get back on the bike following delayed return from injury
Evenepoel Lombardia crash, LaPresse, RCS Sport.JPG

Remco Evenepoel has been cleared to return to training after a further examination on the injury sustained at Il Lombardia last August. Evenepoel had previously recommenced training but was forced to sit out a further few weeks on the advice of doctors. Deceuninck-Quick-Step team doctor Phil Jansen said the 21-year-old will be monitored before planning a return to racing. 

Jansen said: "The recovery process from a crash of the magnitude that Remco had will always have some ups and downs. In the beginning it was all very positive and healing very quickly but then we had a slowing of the process. While this was nothing too severe, we had to pause and we are now happy that Remco can continue training and build towards the start of his season. We will have to proceed with caution and it will still be a long road to him being on the start line of a race, but it is now going in the right direction."

Evenepoel is expected to race the Giro d'Italia in May if his recovery and training continues to go as planned.

08 February 2021, 15:18
"Let’s be honest...Disc brakes are great but, what he’s saying is 100% correct": Chris Froome sparks disc brake vs rim brake debate after saying he's had problems adjusting to discs

A few reader thoughts on the Chris Froome story from this morning...

On Facebook Kevin Low said: "All my bikes have disc brakes. Rim brakes are in the past". While Dave Kelly helpfully suggested: "He could always put his foot in the rear wheel like many did as a child.. It’s the way forward.."

08 February 2021, 15:16
Welcome to the National Cycle Network
08 February 2021, 14:47
Jury's out over Tom Pidcock's near British record 5km time

Tom Pidcock raised eyebrows when he posted on Instagram last night claiming to have run a 5km in 13:25. For context, that's just five seconds slower than Marc Scott's British record, 50 seconds behind Joshua Cheptegei's world record and 30 seconds off Mo Farah's best effort. Pidcock's Strava activity, recorded by a Garmin Forerunner 935, says he set a 5k PB of 13:26, however many have pointed out the GPS looks unreliable and that for parts of the effort he was supposedly running at 1:41/km pace which is faster than 400m world record pace. Pidcock has said he'll try again soon to validate his time.

On Instagram he wrote: "This morning I went out to try break the 15 min 5k, I did a 13.25. Apparently this is very quick. Think I’m going to try again in a few days to validate this. Maybe running is the sport for me."

Tom Pidcock 5k
08 February 2021, 14:17
Steve Cummings back at Ineos as a sports director
Steve Cummings (Image credit: Ross Cooke/INEOS Grenadiers)

Steve Cummings has taken the next step in his cycling career by rejoining Ineos Grenadiers, now in a sports director and coaching role. Cummings enjoyed an incredibly successful road career with highlights including winning two stages of the Tour de France, both road and time trial national championships and the Tour of Britain. Since retirement at the end of the 2019 season Cummings has been studying a sports business management degree. 

The 39-year-old will work with Rod Ellingworth and the team's director of performance Dan Hunt as the team transitions to a more open style of racing seen at the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España in 2020. On the team's ambition, Cummings said: "This team has been so incredibly successful in what they’ve done, and that isn’t being changed, it’s just being tweaked and an extra dimension added, which hopefully will bring more success. Riders will see that everyone will get an opportunity, but to earn that opportunity you need discipline and commitment.

"The year is all about learning and making the most of the opportunities I have. I’m here to support the other Sport Directors and riders as best I can. It takes time to become a good Sport Director and coach. I’m working hard in the background and I’ve done a lot of theory work and now I need to connect that with the practical side."

08 February 2021, 14:14
MP's new bike day
08 February 2021, 13:14
Chris Gritty joins the fight against frozen bike lanes
Chris Gritty (via TfL)

Transport for London's latest member of its gritting fleet has been named after the Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty. Chris Gritty will be making its maiden voyage this week to try and clear London's cycle lanes of snow and ice during the freezing temperatures brought from the north by Storm Darcy. Last month, Sir Chris Hoy also had the dubious honour of having a gritter named after him. Sir Gritts Hoy has been working overtime to keep Scotland's South West Trunk Roads clear.

Chris Gritty (via TfL)


08 February 2021, 10:54
"I don't think the technology is quite where it needs to be": Chris Froome unconvinced by disc brakes

Chris Froome says he's not completely convinced by disc brakes and suggested he'd prefer his Israel Start-Up Nation Factor Ostro VAM to use rim brakes. Froome was giving a run through of his new bike on his YouTube channel and admitted he's not "100 per cent sold" on disc brakes. The four-time Tour de France winner's steed for the upcoming year featured as our Bike at Bedtime a couple of weeks back where we did a deep dive into his 2021 set up, including the SwissStop disc brake pads and rotors that seem to be causing concern. It's Froome's first full season racing on disc brakes and he expressed doubt about whether the technology is reliable enough.

"I've been using them for the last couple of months," Froome explained. "Performance wise they're great. They always stop when I need to stop in the dry or the wet. They work, they do what they're meant to do. The downsides to disc brakes are the constant rubbing, potential for mechanicals, overheating, the discs becoming a bit warped when you're on a descent for longer than five to ten minutes of constant braking.

"Personally, I don't think the technology is quite where it needs to be yet for road cycling. I think the distance between the disc and rotors is still too narrow. Which means you're going to get rubbing or one piston firing more than the other. You're going to get these little issues. I don't think the pistons retract the way they're meant to all the time.

"Quite often it will work on the stand when the mechanic sorts it out but then once you get onto the road it's a different story. I accept that it's the direction the industry wants to go, we as bike riders are going to have to adapt and learn to use them because if you're not on disc brakes already it's only a matter of time before you're made obsolete and forced onto them."

08 February 2021, 10:11
Étoile de Bessèges weekend racing round up

It was two from two for Filippo Ganna over the weekend. Wearing the rainbow bands as individual time trial world champion, Ganna smashed his way to TT victory having won from the breakaway on Saturday. Tim Wellens extended his lead on Michal Kwiatkowski during the final stage race against the clock to win the race overall by just under a minute. Elsewhere there were impressive performances from Ethan Hayter, who was third in the TT, and Jake Stewart who secured fourth place on GC with a ride that even took him by surprise...

08 February 2021, 08:43
Cyclists worldwide take notes on DIY bike lane video

This video of activists in Mexico painting their own bike lane has been doing the rounds on social media again, and plenty of cyclists from the UK have been taking notes. It actually shows environmental activists creating a 5km guerrilla bike lane in Mexico City in 2011. At the time the group said the action was to highlight the lack of adequate cycling infrastructure. However, with its reemergence on Twitter the video has been catching the eye of cyclists across the world...

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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