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Your Tuesday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

February 14, 2017

NEWS SUPPORTED BY

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: With more UCI safety provisions on the way, teams’ group says progress is being made; Tour of Oman begins Tuesday with wide open field; Landa ready to begin 2017 campaign; Meersman deals with life after cycling; Cyclocross junior world champ pondering dual CX/road career; Tour de Galiyat brings rival nations together; Rapha’s London Nocturne race expanding; Where cycling is hazardous to your health; Wiggins leaves ‘The Jump’ with leg fracture; Video: Tony Spray – Poetry in Paint; Video: Training camp with Wanty-Groupe Gobert; Video: Valverde shows off ace bike handling skills.

With more UCI safety provisions on the way, teams’ group says progress is being made

by Shane Stokes

Commenting days after the UCI announced new measures to improve safety within the race convoy, AIGCP managing director Javier Barrio has welcomed what was announced and said that more is to come. The new safety rules were announced last Monday, and came as the weeks tick down to the first anniversary of the passing of Antoine Demoitiè. The Belgian rider was killed in a freak accident during last year’s Gent-Wevelgem race, crashing and then being hit by a race motorbike.

While that was deemed an accident and one which was not the fault of the moto pilot, there have been a spate of collisions between motorbikes or cars and riders in recent years, putting pressure on the UCI and others to come up with new safety provisions.

Last week’s new rules included a ban on the use of mobile phones by drivers plus a prohibition on TV screens in the front of team cars. Limitations were also placed on overtaking of the peloton at various points during races, including the final ten kilometres. In addition, recommendations were made that motorbikes be smaller and more manoeuvrable.

Barrio, who heads up the team representative group AIGCP, said that while the new rules and recommendations didn’t tick all the boxes which had been called for by various stakeholder groups, that the advancements should be acknowledged. He also said that what was announced was a first step, and that more is to come.

“We, the teams and other stakeholders were part of this and supported this,” Barrio told CyclingTips. “It is part of a whole, there are other things in the works. I don’t want to talk too much about that because I think it is up to the UCI to announce it on its own terms. Two things I can say about it – it is consensus based, so that is good. And it is part of a whole, there are other things coming up. It shouldn’t be judged on that, we should wait for the rest to come along.”

Click through to read more at CyclingTips.

Today’s feature image is from inside the pits at the Middelkerke race of the Superprestige series with Lars van der Haar (Telenet Fidea Lions) coming in for a bike change.

  • Valiant Abello

    Valverde is god
    Right?

  • marc

    There’s plenty of social media floating around this morning on Harley (DurianRider) Johnstone’s verbal on a driver over in Adelaide after a far-too-close passing manoevre – what’s everyone’s opinion? I understand his anger, we’ve all felt it as cyclists, but unfortunately I think the takeaway message for the driver is that cyclists are agressive @ssholes. I maybe wrong.

    • Michele

      I saw the video yesterday. Boy, that cyclist was going bananas!

      In all seriousness, I’m sure we’ve all been in that position [having a close shave through no fault of our own]. The adrenaline starts to flow and so on.

      But seriously, what is the point of going off like a pork chop?

      That driver – if anything – is going to think the cyclist is an irrational knob. I’m pretty sure as he puts his car into first he will be thinking ‘what an over reaction’, and not ‘maybe I got a little too close when I went past’.

      Looking like a tool is not going to help you reason with your audience.

      I don’t think you’re wrong @disqus_UDLaKrYFGX:disqus.

      • marc

        it does give Harley an audience though ;-) He doesn’t mind that.

        • JCJordan

          Having met him once and seen his Blogging style I suspect that this blow out was deliberate in its intent to gain attention.

          • jules

            never met him, but I recall seeing him explode online when competing for one of those inconsequential Strava “ride as much as you can” challenges with a south american dude. the SA rider manually entered a ride after his Garmin battery died (totally understandable when you’re riding 16 hours a day for weeks on end!) to ‘win’ the challenge. Durian went bananas (see what I did there?) accusing him of cheating.

            a. who cares?
            b. what would be the point of cheating on a challenge with no prize?

            he appears to have a faulty filter for what to get upset about and what to let slide

            • DaveRides

              The single life is not treating him well.

          • DaveRides

            He does need something new for clickbait after the Banana Split fiasco last year.

    • Andy B

      The media will enjoy running with things like that as they appeal to the masses that love fueling the fire on reasons to hate cyclists..
      probably something that shouldnt of been posted online.

      • jules

        it’s interesting isn’t it? the rider who posted it wanted to bring attention to the unsafe driving. he does criticise Durian’s reaction, but he appears to have misjudged how most people are happy to normalise dangerous driving towards cyclists but be outraged at angry verbal confrontations. the media know that of course and play off it for clicks.

        • Luke Bartlett

          how easy is it though, to get so angry over stuff like this. drivers don’t realise that sometimes a car being an extra ruler length closer can really scare the shit out of you.

          • jules

            that video is all over my socials today. there’s another account of it that claims the rider wasn’t video-ing, but switched his Go Pro on after the driver was observed being an aggressive tool, and that the footage doesn’t show that.

            I agree a lot of drivers aren’t aware though. I had a truck brush past my ear, then he pulled over 100m ahead. I was livid and accosted him. Turns out he was obviously a 457 or at least recent immigrant from ME and was terrified of a random angry bloke in superhero costume. That didn’t make me happy but I don’t think he meant anything personal.

            • Luke Bartlett

              today i was abused on the road and passed closely by two people in a small volvo, “get of the road expletive etc.”.

              i think to myself, how is it, that i can be passed safely by a plethora of buses and trucks and trailers on this road, yet this small car has decided that today’s the day to be a superhero? unluckily for me they then turned off the road so I wasn’t able to enter into polite discussion on the matter at the next set of lights.

            • Luke Bartlett

              off*****

          • bike-aholic

            The one manoeuvre which scares the shit out of me is when oncoming traffic decides to overtake another oncoming car. Two vehicles coming at you at speed tends to wake you up in the morning. I usually gesture wildly then empty the contents of my water bottle on their windscreen as they go past. Some even have the gall to flip me the bird on their way past so obviously they have seen me and just don’t care.

            • Sean

              I’ve thrown a full biddon at 4 or 5 cars that have done this to me over the last 30 years. This weekend while driving on Sunday in our euro soccer mum 4WD we come up to a bunch on a quiet road, waited because cyclists were also coming the other way and it wasn’t safe to pass. A little fatso in a cheap black jeep blasted up behind us and started flashing his lights at us, I passed when it was safe. The fucker continued to tailgate me for the next 20km. The manoeuvre this piece of shit was expecting me to do scares the absolute shit out of me as a cyclist.

              Damn Ok, I just watched that video, damn what a nutter. That’s a case of two retards meeting.

          • Allez Rouleur

            Yep, and when you get very scared a few times on one particularly bad long ride, your nerves just get frayed. Unless you’re an avid cyclist on open roads, you really can’t understand it all that well…close friends will get going on the “I once saw a cyclist do _____” even though they know you ride and have been hit by motorists operating illegally. Nobody really gets it but other cyclists.

            Having written that, and at the sake of contradicting myself, I find the “well, they don’t ride so they don’t realize” defense of aggressive motorists. You don’t need to partake to realize that wearing around long underwear on a 15 pound bike and getting buzzed by an 18 wheeler is NOT going to be fun for that cyclist. I think the motorists can infer that is going to make the cyclist feel very threatened.

    • Nathan Hosking

      Eeeek… Without knowing what happened, the rider just looks like a bit of a tool. The incident was forgotten, all anyone is going to remember is how much the rider was going off. Maybe a good ad for not going vegan after all…

      • marc

        #hangry

    • jules

      people get that it was 1 individual who lost his shit. the usual commenters making threats towards all cyclists are just being opportunistic trolls. it’s a non-issue. some people are a$$holes, they may drive or they may ride.

      • Rob

        I might start adding a new string of comments about angry vegans and how they are the new scourge of the earth. Maybe everyone wI’ll forget about hating cyclists and hate on him instead…
        #payvegetablerego #meatermatters

        • Andy B

          haha!! #meatermatters

        • Sean

          I’m not sure he is representative of a vegans, maybe a few pasty online agitators, but that’s about it.

    • Luke Bartlett

      it was a bit of an over reaction but at the same time I sometimes find myself getting (not quite as) apeshit angry with drivers.

      disappointing that the video does so much to harm our relationship with cars. the driver appeared to be behaving calmly but durianrider wasn’t have a (protein) bar of it.

      • Sean

        (protein)?

    • Allez Rouleur

      I’m not sure I buy the anti-cyclist thing for a confronted motorist. I’m sure there is a psychological theory/explanation for this, but is a motorist really going to hate all cyclists/peds/drivers after one incident? It seems as crazy as hating all ______s because one ________ did ______.

      Having said that, I’ve been riding on open roads in the U.S. in three different cities on a daily basis since 2002. I think there are always going to be angry motorists who hate anyone getting in their way. I also think some motorists are going to hate cyclists because they’re not in a car, or skinnier, or in Lycra, or taking up their road.

      I kinda think you have a 50/50 shot when you confront a motorist. No matter what you say, whether polite or cuss filled, I think some motorists will think, “Wow, holy cow. I did nearly kill that cyclist because I’m impatient.” And you have others, even if you say, “I’m a father, a local businessman, a taxpayer, you nearly killed me. Please be more careful,” and they’ll still throw their open Coke at you and drive off.

      Very tricky situation. And unless you are Gandhi, if you ride on open roads, at some point you probably are going to lose your temper. When you nearly get killed just for using alternate transportation, that gets pretty frustrating. I dream of tearing around a golf course on a fat bike and trying to run over the gophers and then mocking them when they get angry. “What, you don’t like nearly getting killed while pursuing your hobby?!”

      I did not watch/see that particular video. That dude makes me scratch my head, I don’t have the time or energy to try and figure out his angle.

  • Tim

    Valverde reminding the world that Peter Sagan is not the only rider with decent skills, but doing it without showboating. Class.

    • Avuncular

      Really? He gets a little bit of air at speed off a bump in the road and that’s a decent skill? Sagan would have crossed it up before landing. One handed.

      • Mark Zalewski

        That reaction time tho

      • Rob

        Sagans tailwhip to wink at the camera with his lovely locks flowing in the wind…

      • Sean

        Valverde’s air is heaps more dope than sagans.

  • Anto, NZ

    So the first story is about how finally the UCI is improving the conditions for riders. The last story shows Valverde having to bunny hop a 5m deficit on the racing line of a fast descent. What would have happened had he not seen it, at this speed? Great bike handling yes, but woeful race safety.

    • Ben Greeve

      We already have track cycling for controlled conditions. There’s no need to bubble wrap cyclists.

      • DaveRides

        +1

        The whole point of road cycling is that it is as much a contest against the course as it is against the other riders. Or as Murray Walker (legendary F1 commentator and rumoured mentor of Mike Tomalaris) used to put it – “to finish first, first you must finish.”

    • Avuncular

      Valverde was racing on home soil on roads very familiar to him. He’s won the race 5 times and would undoubtedly know every twist, turn and bump. I daresay a fan or Movistar employee was stationed there to catch the moment. If not, his DS would tell him by radio it was coming up.

      • DaveRides

        And even if it was a race on roads not familiar to him, he’s experienced enough to pick up details like that on a recon ride. Race awareness is one of Valverde’s top strengths, and certainly the main reason he’s managed to stay at the top despite certain other methods becoming less effective over time.

        • Robert Merkel

          Pretty sure the riders and teams don’t recon every descent, just key ones in big races.

          If there had been a unmarked pothole like that on the Mount Beauty side of Tawonga Gap during the Hun Tour, there is every chance one of the riders unfamiliar with the region (for instance, one of the foreign Pro Conti riders) would have gone straight into it.

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