CW LIVE: Lance Armstrong poses with Jan Ullrich in LA; Mark Cavendish to Human Powered Health?; Have your say about bikes on trains; Australia names riders of the year; How to brace for the Covid surge; Kafka-inspired bike design

All the latest cycling news, as it happens

Mark Cavendish waves and smirks

(Image credit: Getty)

Hello and welcome to today's live blog, brought to you from a (still) very snowy North London. Join me, Tom Davidson, as I round up all the day's news in the world of cycling. 

Key Developments: 

9:08 - Human Powered Health join the race for Mark Cavendish

9:47 - Survey launched to help improve cycle-rail travel

11:08 - Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich pose under the Los Angeles sun

11:23 - How to ride through the winter Covid surge

11:39 - Girmay wins African Rider of the Year award for third year running

12:29 - Fire brigade issues warning after e-bike battery fire

14:28 - Primož Roglič eyes Tour de France return

14:59 - Festka unveil Kafka-inspired bike

15:38 - Tadej Pogačar sings Juan Ayuso's praises

16:00 - Jai Hindley and Grace Brown voted as Australian Riders of the Year


Human Powered Health lead charge for Mark Cavendish

The latest in the Mark Cavendish transfer saga is that American team Human Powered Health have now entered the race for the British national champion. 

According to a report in Wielerflits, the ProTeam is preparing a contract proposal for the Manxman. This is likely to be motivated by the prospect of a wild card slot at next July's Tour de France

Cavendish had long been rumoured with a move to B&B Hôtels-KTM, but the team has since collapsed due to a lack of sponsorship.

Speaking on the Never Strays Far podcast, Pete Kennaugh, a friend and former team-mate of Cavendish, said the sprinter has "definitely signed a contract" for 2023.

Of course, until we know exactly who that team is, the speculation will only continue. Here's our take on all the latest Cavendish rumours

Have your say about bikes on trains

UK-based cycling and walking charity Sustrans is seeking public feedback on cycle-rail travel in order to inform new guidance. 

The charity is part of the Cycle Rail Working Group, which is seeking to improve facilities for those travelling with a bike. 

According to Sustrans's 2021 Index, 64% of people would like better cycling infrastructure on public transport, such as secure cycle parking at train stations.

To offer your opinion, head over to the charity's survey. It takes around 10 minutes to complete and closes on 9 January 2023.  

See more

Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich ride arm in arm

Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich used to form one of the sport's fiercest rivalries. Now, they're posing for photos together under the Los Angeles sun. 

The duo went out for a leisurely ride yesterday, with Ullrich posting a selection of cheery pictures on Instagram under the caption 'sunny riding with a friend in LA'. 

Armstrong and Ullrich kept each others' company through to the evening, when they went to a Los Angeles Lakers basketball game together. If you're interested, the Lakers narrowly lost to the Boston Celtics. 118-122 in overtime. 

Cycling through the Covid surge

Image shows a person cycling during the winter

(Image credit: Future)

The winter Covid surge, it appears, is here. Wherever you go, people are sniffling, sneezing and complaining of aches and pains. 

Today we've had news of a positive case at Cycling Weekly HQ, warning us all to be extra careful when we're out and about. 

Here's a guide we recently shared to help you cater your riding to Covid symptoms. It goes without saying, though, that if you're feeling particularly ill, the best training you can do is rest up. 

Biniam Girmay named African Rider of The Year

Biniam Girmay

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Biniam Girmay was always a slam dunk for African Rider of The Year. The Eritrean has had a history-making season, becoming the first Black African to win a Classic in Ghent-Wevelgem as well as a Grand Tour stage

Yesterday, the organisers of La Tropicale Amissa Bongo race confirmed the accolade had gone to Girmay, for the third year running. 

In fact, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert took a 1-2 in the rankings, with Louis Meintjes claiming second place. The South African won a stage at the Vuelta a España in August, his first WorldTour victory, and came 7th at the Tour de France. 

See below for the top 10. 

See more

Beware faulty e-bike battery fires

Fire engine ebike fires

(Image credit: Getty)

Firefighters have issued a warning about storing e-bikes after a fire broke out at an Isle of Man guesthouse yesterday evening. 

Emergency services rescued two men from the blaze, which is thought to have been caused by a faulty e-bike battery

A spokesperson from the fire service said: "Electric bicycles are becoming more common and pose a fire risk that a normal bicycle does not so this should be considered when storing the bike."

Neither of the two men were injured. 

There have been a string of incidents of self-combusting modified e-bikes in recent months, with fires in Greater Manchester and London.  

Primož Roglič targets Tour de France return

Primoz Roglic

(Image credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Three-time Vuelta a España champion Primož Roglič has said he hopes to be back at his best for the 2023 Tour de France. 

“It is clear that my ‘job’ in the Tour is not done yet," the Slovenian told Wielerflits. "The future will show what is still possible. I definitely want to return to the Tour de France. My first assignment will be to make it to Paris again. After the last two disappointing editions, I have to go back to basics and try to achieve that first goal again.

“But of course I want to compete in the top of the standings."

The 33-year-old withdrew after stage 14 this July, having dislocated his shoulder on the cobbles on day five. He also abandoned the 2021 edition of the race, that time with bruising and road rash. 

E-cargo bike company hauls €10 million investment, eyes European expansion

Dutch e-cargo bike-sharing company Cargoroo has announced that it has raised €10 million from investors, allowing it to expand across Europe. 

In a statement shared today, CEO Erik de Winter said: With this investment, our team can take the next major step towards the realisation of our mission: making cities more liveable, healthier and safer."

Based in the Netherlands, Cargoroo has a fleet of over 700 e-cargo bikes that can be hired through an app. Next year, the company hopes to be present throughout Germany, as well as the French city of Lyon.  

Here's a video of their e-cargo bikes in action. 

Bike designer makes Kafka-inspired bike

A Kafka themed road bike by Festka

(Image credit: Ondrej Szollosz, Festka)

Bespoke Czech bike brand Festka has released images of a tailor-made road bike, inspired by the works of Prague-born novelist Franz Kafka. 

The frame was masterfully decorated by illustrator Michal Bačák, who read every one of Kafka's short stories and incorporated the tales into his design. 

"I don’t think I could say I came to understand fully [Kafka’s work], but I believe I got closer to him through reinterpreting, in my own way, several truly Kafka-esque scenes from his work," Bačák said. 

The bike is fitted with a wireless SRAM Red eTap groupset and ENVE SES wheels. 

It is, quite simply, a thing of pointillistic beauty. For more images and information, check out Gear Junkie's in-depth article

Tadej Pogačar sings his understudy's praises

Tadej Pogačar

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar has said that Juan Ayuso, his 20-year-old team-mate, is "one of the best machines you will see in cycling". 

Speaking to journalists at the UAE Team Emirates training camp in Benidorm, Spain, the Slovenian added: "He is super strong, super talented, and we saw in the Vuelta he finished third and he will do great things in cycling."

This September, Ayuso became the first teenager to stand on a Grand Tour podium since Henri Cornet won the Tour de France in 1904. 

Asked if he envisages any team leadership disputes, Pogačar said: "If I am s**t at the Tour, then he can go.

"For me it’s no problem. We understand each other and you can only be good for so many years; you cannot be at the top all of the time." 

Check out our full interview with this year's Tour de France runner-up.

Australia names riders of the year

Jai Hindley throws a peace sign while holding his Giro d'Italia trophy

(Image credit: Getty)

Jai Hindley and Grace Brown have been voted Australia's male and female riders of the year. 

In May, the Bora-Hansgrohe rider claimed the pink jersey at the Giro d'Italia, joining Cadel Evans as the only Australians in history to win a Grand Tour. 

Victoria-born Brown has also enjoyed perhaps her most successful season to date. The 30-year-old placed second at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Women's Tour, before going on to win gold in the individual time trial at the Commonwealth Games

In September, Brown narrowly missed out on the rainbow bands in the time trial at the Road World Championships, finishing just 12 seconds behind Ellen van Dijk on home soil. 

On the track, the Australian men's sprint team were awarded for their gold medal-winning ride at the Track World Championships. We caught up with Matthew Richardson last week, shortly after he clinched the sprint league title at the UCI Track Champions League. 

That's it for today's news round-up. We've also got stories on our website about the shrinking calendar of the National Road Series, Tom Pidcock's world cyclo-cross title defence and Sam Bennett's goals for next July

We'll be back tomorrow with another live blog. Stay safe and warm!

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