Track Cycling

Banged Up Abroad – NZ Olympic medallist locked up in Thailand for coaching without visa; Sheffield bike shop ram-raided twice in 48 hours; Darwin Award video; Gong for man who gave Wiggins, Cav & co first taste of racing abroad + more on the Live Blog –

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Banged Up Abroad: NZ Olympic medallist locked up in Thailand for illegal coaching

A double Olympic medal-winning cyclist from New Zealand has spoken of how he spent four nights in an immigration detention centre in Thailand following allegations he was working illegally as a coach at an indoor cycling studio.

The NZ Herald reports that Marc Ryan, who won bronze medals in the team pursuit at the Beijing 2008 and London 2014 Olympics, was arrested in Bangkok on 9 December.

The 37-year-old was accused by immigration officials of breaching his visa by working at the Bangkok Get Fit cycling studio, with their raid coming after a tip-off that foreigners were working there illegally as coaches.

Ryan moved to Thailand on a working visa two years ago after completing a coaching course at the UCI World Cycling Centre. However, he had to apply for a fresh visa earlier this year after switching jobs, and at the time of his arrest was on a non-immigrant B visa, under which he was not allowed to work, while waiting for his working visa.

He was taken to an immigration detention centre where he shared a cell with six other detainees, sleeping on the floor.

He told the NZ Herald: “It was like a jail and the first two nights were bad. I was lucky to get out. Some people had been in there a long time.”

He was fined 5,000 baht (£127) and spent another night in the cells – this one holding between 70 and 80 people, sharing just two toilets – before being deported.

He is unsure whether he will return to Thailand, despite having a girlfriend there, saying: “Money basically talks there.”

Domenico Pozzovivo (picture credit RCS Sport, LaPresse)

Domenico Pozzovivo signs for NTT Pro Cycling

Domenico Pozzovivo has signed for NTT Pro Cycling on a two-year contract. The Italian joins the South African team from fellow UCI WorldTour outfit Bahrain-Merida.

A stage winner at the Giro d’Italia and twice a top-five overall finisher at that race, the 37-year-old has been out of action since August when he sustained a broken arm, leg and ribs when he was hit by a driver while out on a training ride.

Sheffield bike shop ram-raided twice in 48 hours

A Sheffield bike shop that next year celebrates its 130th anniversary was ram-raided twice inside 48 hours in the days before Christmas.

In the first incident, at around 4.14am on Sunday 22 December, a silver Ford Focus car was reveresed into the front of Langsett Cycles on Infirmary Road, reports The Star.

The newspaper reports that a number of high-end mountain bikes were taken, as well as a cancer charity collection box.

The shop, founded in 1890, was targeted again on the evening of Monday 23 December, with police called to the premises at 11.05pm. On that occasion, it is believed that the ram-raiders fled the scene empty-handed.

Shop owner Andrew Elston said: “It is just so disappointing. It is no secret that retail is having a tough time at the moment and this feels like a hammer blow.

“We have survived two world wars and the Super Tram being put right outside our shop, but things are as difficult now as ever.

 “The shop is 130 years old in 2020. We were planning on celebrating with lots of special events.

“Having a sale of damaged stock in January was not in those plans.”

Anyone who has information is requested to contact police on 101.

More info on just how Geraint Thomas, Luke Rowe and Owain Doull ended up riding with a bunch of youngsters in Wales

Here’s the background to how Team Ineos stars Geraint Thomas, Luke Rowe and Owain Doull ended up going for a post-Christmas ride with some youngsters from Cardiff – lovely stuff.

Yet more evidence that cycle lanes don’t harm businesses – they benefit them

British Empire Medal for John Barclay, who gave many of today’s stars their first taste of racing on the Continent

A volunteer who has helped some of the Britain’s top cyclists get their first tace of racing on the Continent has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours List through being awarded the British Empire Medal.

John Barclay has been organising trips to France and the Low Countries for up-and-coming cyclists for almost five decades, giving up his own time and money to do so.

Among those who have benefitted from such trips, according to British Cycling, are Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, David Millar, Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard and Adam Blythe.

Thomas, winner of the 2018 Tour de France, said: “John played a key role in my early racing career. As a junior he would take a group of us over to Belgium most weekends.

“It opened my eyes to what racing was truly about. Not just with the intensity of the races but the tactics and whole atmosphere of them. In those days you couldn’t compare the racing abroad to that back in the UK.

“He did it all off his own back, with rarely any thanks. It was purely for the love of the sport and helping us out.

“Those races as a junior really brought me on as a bike rider and set me up for later in my career. He deserves every bit of the recognition he gets.”

Great reply from Thomas De Gendt

It’s worth clicking through on the Pro Cycling Stats tweet too, some surprising findings there.

Team Ineos stars join Welsh club run over Christmas

Lovely gesture by Geraint Thomas, Luke Rowe and Owain Doull. Everyone starts somewhere, and it’s great to see they haven’t forgotten their roots.

What a 2019 Mathieu van der Poel has had

Jeff Goldblum rides in a wind tunnel for his TV show

Jurassic Park and Independence Day star Jeff Golblum hasn’t ridden a bike since he was a kid – but he has taken to two wheels for the latest episode of his Disney+ show, The World According to Jeff Goldblum.

The episode, called Bikes, sees the actor try out a BMX track in San Jose, California, before heading to Specialized’s Morgan Hill headquarters where, in a wind tunnel, he learns all about the importance of aerodynamics with the help of lab director Chris Yu, as shown in this trailer.

“I feel sleek as a panther,” says Goldblum as he switches to Lycra after earlier trying out the wind tunnel in normal clothes, jacket dragging behind him.

Finally, the 67-year-old heads to Detroit, where he takes part in the weekly Slow Roll ride, which attracts as many as 5,000 cyclists. Goldblum visits local bike maker Detroit Bikes to pick up the bike he uses for the ride – and, apparently bitten by the cycling bug, gets to keep it afterwards.

Take a look at Mathieu van der Poel’s custom Fortnite-themed shoes

Some stories you may have missed at the weekend