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LTN vandals film themselves ramming another new planter; Pro cyclist serving lifetime ban doesn't want 'who knows what sh*t' Covid vaccine; Drosi Bikes convert old bikes into e-bikes; Dutch police trial blue flashing bike lights + more on the live blog

It's Friday and the weekend is almost in sight. Dan Alexander is here for the final live blog of the week...
08 January 2021, 17:15
Chris Boardman praises swift action to repair Levenshulme LTN
08 January 2021, 17:29
Chris Froome announces that Israel Start-Up Nation will use Hammerhead computers in 2021

Froome et al are now using Hammerhead Karoo 2 computers, with the American cycling tech firm reaching the World Tour just over two years after their first full GPS unit was launched. HJC have also been announced as Israel Start-Up Nation's new helmet sponsor. 

Read our review of the first Hammerhead here - we'll hopefully be testing the sequel soon. 

08 January 2021, 16:50
Cofidis to launch women's team in 2022

Pro cycling ever-presents Cofidis will launch a women's team for 2022. Team president Thierry Vittu made the announcement earlier today in a move that will make the team the eight men's WorldTour outfit to also have a women's squad. 

"I have the habit of saying that a sports team should be a representation of the Cofidis company. We have the men’s pro team and the paracycling section, and they reflect a good part of what the Cofidis company is, but it’s a group of 5,500 people in which the majority are women. So something is missing. We will have a women’s team as part of the Cofidis group from 2022. It won’t be this year because we need time to put it together and gather the resources, but in 2022 we will certainly have one," Vittu said.

08 January 2021, 15:49
Friday scenes in Levenshulme now that LTN planters have been bolted down
08 January 2021, 14:58
Danish ultracyclist breaks 'vEveresting' record on Alpe d'Zwift
Michael Knudsen vEveresting record

Michael Knudsen has added another impressive achievement to his palmares of ultracycling records. In 2017, he climbed 45,000 metres, equivalent to the combined height of the highest peak on each continent in one week. While in 2019 he rode a 5,000km virtual Race Across America on Zwift from the confines of a Copenhagen shopping centre.

Now, he has broken the 'vEveresting' (that's short for virtual Everesting, not a Friday afternoon typo) world record for the fastest virtual Everest in a time of 7 hours, 17 minutes and 56 seconds on Alpe d'Zwift. Michael told us: "Actually it was very spontaneous. I did a triple ascent of Alpe d'Zwift recon ride last Monday to dial in my pace and then hammered it on Wednesday. I want do a real Everesting outside in the Spring so it was a good indicator of what power I can sustain for seven and a half hours.

"Now I'm focusing on the pro Zwift races in the Premier Division and I'll go to the European Ultra Champs in Italy in May if Coronavirus allows and I'm currently looking into TransCanada which has 12,500 km of unsupported racing!"

08 January 2021, 14:18
20th anniversary Bicycle Film Festival held at Edinburgh Festival of Cycling

The online festival will be held from January 15 to 24 and all content is available for streaming from 7pm on the 15th. The festival is a celebration of bikes and the people who ride them through the media of art, film and music. The film selection includes: a story about a charismatic Ghanian immigrant in Amsterdam who teaches refugee adult women to ride bikes as well as a bird's-eye view of a BLM bicycle protest ride from New York to Washington DC.

08 January 2021, 13:51
Christ on a bike

 Christ is picking up your order. Christ is on a bicycle. We've got too many questions...Most importantly what bike is he riding? Giant Trinity? Santa Cruz? Or is it a cycloCROSS bike? Specialized Cru(cifi)x? Canyon Holy Grail? That's the combined effort of the road.cc team, don't just blame me... 

08 January 2021, 13:38
Bob Jackon Cycles closure: legendary bike builder says investors pulled out at the last minute
Bob Jackson Audax Club 631  56cmwith NEW Shimano 105 11sp Groupset.

Following a U-turn in which the 85-year-old Sheffield frame maker says it has now ceased trading with immediate effect, a representative told road.cc: "The new buyers/management team who were due to sign and take over last Monday pulled out at the very last minute." 

It will come as a disappointment to many who were pleased when in late November, the company said it wouldn't be closing after all thanks to "additional investment"; however, this latest annoucement appears to be final. 

08 January 2021, 11:17
LTN vandals film themselves ramming another new planter

LTN vandals returned to Levenshulme last night, ramming another planter. The planters were only installed on Monday but have already been targeted by a driver, repaired by residents and vandalised again. A social media post this morning showed that the planters have now been bolted down and bollards installed to prevent drivers from mounting the pavement to get past.

On Tuesday, after repairing the previously vandalised planter, Streets for People said: "The community won't stand for vandalism, and it does your cause no good. These filters are public property, supported by the vast majority of residents. Well done to all who got these plant boxes back standing proud in a couple of hours."

08 January 2021, 12:34
An all too familiar feeling here in the UK
08 January 2021, 11:46
Dutch police experiment with blue flashing lights for officers on bikes
Dutch police blue flashing bike lights (via Politie.NL)

Some Dutch police officers who patrol by bicycle will now have blue flashing lights to boost their visibility. Dutch News reports trials are taking place in six parts of the country and will be expanded nationwide if successful. The lights can be turned on if the officers need to stop at an incident or if they are responding to a call at night. Despite looking like the lights on police cars, they will not give officers priority on the road or at traffic lights.

The scheme was police cyclist Nick Schuermans' idea. He said: "Police cyclists are not always easily seen. On the one hand, that is to our advantage if we don’t want to be noticed during surveillance, but on the other, there are situations when you really want to be visible."

08 January 2021, 10:55
Laura Kenny learns to love virtual cycling during lockdown
Laura Kenny and Emily Nelson  Alex Whitehead:SWpix.com_

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Laura Kenny was converted to the world of virtual cycling during lockdown. She told the Independent: "Lockdown changed my static bike mentality. I've always told my mum to go outside when it's nice and sunny rather than use a static bike, but lockdown happened and it changed me as a person. I love Zwift because you have to concentrate the whole time. I used to think it was mind-numbing, even if I put a film on in the background, turbo was so boring for me.

"I do four hours a day online and I really enjoy it now. You’re racing other people and although you can’t just sit on someone else’s wheel like in real life, I don’t mind it at all."

However, she isn't convinced that competitive virtual cycling should be included in the Olympics: "I struggle with the Championships a little bit,” Kenny said.

"You’ve got power and heart rate monitored, but I think there are so many ways people aren’t honest on Zwift. There’s a very different element to actual racing with the drag factor. I get why e-sports works with staying indoors and not travelling in the pandemic. But is gaming a sport? Can you really call it a sport? It isn’t physical, is it? Sports like archery and shooting, they’re about concentration and mental skills but also hand-eye co-ordination. I struggle with the idea of gaming in the Olympics."

08 January 2021, 10:08
When all else fails...
08 January 2021, 09:49
'Low carbon heroes': Welsh pair turn unwanted bicycles into e-bikes to help new riders access cycling for a fraction of the price

Beth Ward and Robin Hughes have been labelled as "low carbon heroes" by the Welsh Government for turning unwanted old bicycles into e-bikes. They hope it will help encourage new cyclists to hit the road without the cost of buying a new bike. 

"We could see people were cycling more. They had the time, the roads were quieter and people were beginning to dust off their old bikes, which they probably hadn't used for years," Robin told the BBC.

"People are beginning to learn that the great thing about e-bikes is that you can cycle further for longer. You can choose to pedal or use the motor. Either way, you are being more active yourself and you will be using the car less."

Robin and Beth aim to convert as many bikes as they can with their social enterprise business Drosi Bikes and can turn an old bike into an e-bike for a fraction of the cost of buying new.

08 January 2021, 09:02
Former pro cyclist serving lifetime ban doesn't want 'who knows what sh*t' Covid vaccine

Riccardo Riccò, banned from cycling by anti-doping authorities, does not trust the Covid vaccine...In a Facebook post that has since been deleted, he said: "I read a lot of people who say that the vaccine must be mandatory. Are we joking! I do what I want with my body. Nobody can make me do something that if it were to have a negative effect on my body, I would be the only one that would lose.

"You can get injected with who knows what shit too, but don’t fuck [over] people like me that have been well informed (by doctors)."

Just last month, Riccò was handed a lifetime ban from the sport by Italian anti-doping authorities. A report in Gazzetta dello Sport linked the three-time Giro d'Italia stage winner to a 2015 Italian anti-doping investigation which saw former Inter Milan and Napoli footballer Giovanni Bia receive a two-year ban. It was the third time Riccò had been sanctioned, with previous transgressions including testing positive for an EPO variant, being thrown out of the 2008 Tour de France and banned for 20 months. 

In 2010, Riccò was rushed to hospital in a critical condition with kidney failure and sepsis following a botched blood transfusion. The incident led to him being sacked by his new team, Vacansoleil, and at the time of the lifetime suspension he was already serving a 12-year ban...

Dan joined road.cc as live blog editor last year. He has previously written 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 a keen cyclist ever since and spends his weekends exploring the south of England on two wheels. 

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