Road Cycling

Ultimate car in bike lane pic? (no, that’s not it); CUK urges MPs to support cycling & walking; The Ras is back; Driver who killed pro cyclist gets community order; Steve Cummings’ finest hour; Freeman researched testosterone online+more in the Live blog –

All the cycling news from this site and beyond…

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Not entirely sure what the light shade’s about

As you’d probably inferred from the gradient and his untroubled facial expression, the bike had electric assist.

Got married last year. Best way to get her to the altar! from r/bicycling

Well that was worth it

We see a lot of close passes, but the sheer, mind-blowing pointlessness of most of them still gets us every time.

Proving it’s not just a UK thing…

One of these days I’m going to have to start taking the lane… from r/bikecommuting

Jeremy Vine has passed comment on the car parked in a cycle lane we posted earlier

Typically understated.

Confirming that Twitter remains the home of nonsensical whataboutery, several people have replied to Vine saying, ‘what about cyclists who don’t use cycle lanes?’

Ras logo

The Ras is back (under new organisers)

There was no Rás Tailteann in 2019 for the first time since 1953. The Irish race had been looking for a title sponsor since An Post in 2017.

It’s now been announced that the race will be back in 2020 under a new promotions group comprising volunteer figures who’ve been involved with the race over the last decade.

RTE reports that the 2020 edition is likely to be over fewer days, possibly five, but the new organisers hope to rebuilt its status in the coming years and eventually get back to eight days.

The date of the event will not be confirmed for a number of weeks.

“We are thrilled to see this legendary race continue,” said race director Eimear Dignam.

“It has a special place in the hearts of not only the cycling community in Ireland, but also now in the hearts of those who’ve competed in it from around the world.

“We know the new organisers extremely well, having worked with them on the race for many years, and we’re delighted to have them take up the mantle.”

Shane Sutton (picture source Team Sky 2013).jpg

‘Speaking out on doping cost me my career’ says Shane Sutton’s former team-mate

Last week, during Dr Richard Freeman’s tribunal, his defence team tried to discredit Shane Sutton by claiming that he had doped as a rider.

Mary O’Rourke QC said that an anonymous witness had testified to her that Sutton had injected himself with testosterone which he kept in his fridge in his home in Rowley Regis.

Sutton denied it and asked whether Darryl Webster was the source. He said Webster was just out for revenge because Sutton had insulted him after his wife left him.

O’Rourke said it wasn’t Webster.

The Telegraph’s gone and had a word with Webster anyway. It’s an interesting read; the story of a rider who believes that speaking out on doping cost him his career and who has endured difficult times since. (He twice attempted suicide in 2001 and in 2013 was sentenced to 300 hours community work after cannabis plants were found in his home.)

He’s also found it difficult to see certain unnamed contemporaries remain in cycling.

“I have been a little bitter about that, seeing the people who I knew cheated getting the plaudits that they got and the financial compensation that they got. But I wouldn’t want to be them.  What you’ve done is wrong. That’s more important than remuneration.”

Cycling UK calls on nation’s future MPs to pledge support for cycling and walking

The charity is calling for at least 5% of transport spending to go on cycling and walking in 2020, and to rise to at least 10% within five years.

They’ve got a thing on their website so that you can very easily write to your local candidates to let them know active travel is important to you.

A predictably mixed reaction to our stirring earlier

Jason Lowndes (via Israel Cycling Academy Twitter).jpg

Driver who killed pro cyclist gets community corrections order

The Age reports that Billie Rodda has been sentenced to a three-year community corrections order after she pleaded guilty to causing the death of Australian pro cyclist Jason Lowndes by dangerous driving.

She also pleaded guilty to a summary charge of using a mobile phone while driving.

As well as the community order, she was fined and banned from driving for three years.

We’d already reported that Rodda was going to be spared jail, in large part because the prosecution and defence accepted she had not been using her phone in the moments immediately before the crash – even though she’d sent and received a whole series of texts leading up to it.

It was also agreed that she would have had between 2.2 and four seconds to see him. Reading the reports, this seems to have been considered a small amount of time.

We’d consider two seconds to be quite a long time to spot something on the road while driving. Four seconds is an age.

The defence said she’d been looking at her speedometer.

“You said you had no time to react and indeed you did not brake or steer away before the collision,” said Judge Wendy Wilmoth. “There were no warning signs as to the likely presence of cyclists and there was no dedicated bike lane nor any opportunity for either Mr Lowndes or you to veer left.”

Wilmoth said Rodda’s moral culpability was low as she was not speeding, on drugs or alcohol, or fatigued at the time.

Today’s top Twitter hashtag

The others are Rachel Riley, Donald Trump and Priti Patel but this is wayyyy more controversial… 

There’s parking in cycle lanes and there’s parking in cycle lanes

Team Ineos sign Colombian rider Brandon Rivera

The 23-year-old is the current Pan American time trial champion.

He knows Egan Bernal pretty well. “Egan and I are very good friends. We have known each other since the age of 10 when we started on the mountain bike in Zipaquirá.

“We were both full of dreams, and so to now be riding together again is incredible. I have to thank him very much for riding with me all these years and for always believing in me. In Colombia Egan is an example that dreams do come true and he’s an idol for children and adults.”

The Cycling Nation

Video: When Steve Cummings mugged Pinot and Bardet in the Tour de France

Cummings’ retirement is a good excuse to revisit one of the finer stage victories.

Sralan’s back on his bike and keeping a low profile

Steve Cummings winning stage four of 2016 Tirreno-Adriatico (ANSA, PERI - ZENNARO).jpg

Steve Cummings’ final pro race

Steve Cummings retired yesterday, having been unable to find a team for next season.

This means his pro career drew to a close with a crash on the Wirral during the Tour of Britain.

Speaking to the Wirral Globe, he said: “In one way it was good to finish my career one kilometre from home. But not with a broken back – that’s not ideal.”

Dr Richard Freeman (picture credit Team Sky)

Freeman researched impact of endurance exercise on testosterone levels

Yesterday’s main revelation in the Dr Richard Freeman tribunal was that he researched the impact of endurance exercise on testosterone levels.

Depending what angle you’re approaching this from, this is either (a) massively incriminating, given that the former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor ordered a load of testosterone to be sent to the National Cycling Centre, or (b) an important part of a sports doctor’s job.

Appearing as an expert witness yesterday, Professor David Cowan OBE, the co-founder and director of the Drug Control Centre, said that he “noted with interest the monitoring of levels of testosterone in the blood of cyclists” by Freeman.

The Mail reports that Cowan said the material downloaded by Freeman – as well as his email correspondence – “indicated a lot of knowledge and interest of testosterone concentration in riders.”

He added that: “Certain concern was expressed that particular cyclists had lower levels of testosterone than normal, but there was no indication of any treatment for that other than rest.”

Freeman’s defence team pointed out that three-monthly testosterone tests carried out by cycling’s world governing body would require Freeman to have some knowledge of testosterone.


Welcome to Thursday’s live blog, which will hopefully have some actual news on it shortly and not just this perfunctory introductory sentence.