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CW Live: Mark Cavendish to start season at Oman; Giro wildcards unveiled; UCI updates Covid rules; Amsterdam builds underwater garage for 7,000 bikes; Cavendish family 'terrorised' by robbery; and LTNs do not push traffic onto boundary roads

All the news you need in the world of cycling this Thursday. It's cold!

Good morning from a freezing cold Bristol. It's Thursday, and I'm Adam Becket, here to guide you through all the news in the world of cycling you need to know today.

If you want to get in touch, you can do so via my Twitter (opens in new tab), or alternatively, email me - adam.becket@futurenet.com.

The latest print issue of Cycling Weekly is out today, and features top tips on how to adopt a pro mindset, as well as an exclusive interview with Ethan Hayter. There's also a sideways look at the 2023 kit lineup, as we delve into the wardrobes of elite cyclists. Do subscribe (opens in new tab).

Key developments

09:15 - Mark Cavendish to kick off Astana career at Tour of Oman

09:44 - LTNs do not significantly push traffic onto boundary roads, study finds

09:58 - Cavendish family "terrorised" by robbers at home

10:54 - Tour de la Provence not going ahead in 2023

14:24 - Giro wildcards announced

16:47 - UCI relaxes Covid rules

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Mark Cavendish to start season at Tour of Oman

Mark Cavendish

(Image credit: Getty Images)

This week has finally seen the unveiling of Mark Cavendish as an Astana-Qazaqstan rider. Now that the announcement has happened, we now know where the British champion is going to start his season.

He will head to the Tour of Oman in mid-February, a race where he has won two stages before, across four appearances. He will then head to the UAE Tour, where he has one previous stage win, in three appearances.

“It’s an honour to have a rider like Mark join our team,” Astana-Qazaqstan sport director Stefano Zanini told VeloNews (opens in new tab). “The team will create a leadout train to support Mark. It’s a new challenge for this team but we are committed to doing it.”

“Mark is motivated, and he will raise the level of everyone, from the riders and the staff. We can bring the riders to support him. Everyone believes Mark will be winning a lot of races.”

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods do not push significant traffic onto boundary roads, study finds

LTN

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) reduce the amount of traffic inside their borders while not pushing traffic on to roads around their edges, a new study has found.

The research, published by climate change charity Possible on Thursday (opens in new tab), which was based on traffic count data before and after the installation of 46 LTNs in London, found a reduction in motor traffic within the zones of 32.7% when measured as the median, and a 46.9% drop when calculated as the mean.

66% of the 413 roads inside the LTNs with before-and-after traffic counts reported less than 1,000 motor vehicles a day. 

LTNs are zones created by local councils to prevent smaller residential streets being used as cut-throughs by motor vehicles, and are enforced by physical blocks like bollards or planters, or by traffic cameras.

Those opposed to LTNs, many of which were created over the pandemic, have said that the zones push more traffic onto roads around them, so-called boundary roads.

The Possible study says: "LTNs are on average only marginally associated with change in traffic volume on boundary roads. 82 (47%) saw a fall in motor traffic, and 92 (53%) saw an increase."

When measured as a median, the overall average for boundary roads rose by 2.1%, but fell by 1.6% when calculated as a mean. 

When the totals were adjusted using Transport for London data for wider traffic changes, to account for factors like the pandemic and differing seasons, boundary roads had an overall mean increase of 0.7% in motor traffic, or 82 vehicles a day on average, hardly the decisive change LTN critics have argued exists.

Prof Rachel Aldred, the director of the University of Westminster’s Active Travel Academy and co-author of the study, said: “The research indicates there has been overall ‘traffic evaporation’ as a result of these schemes, as the mean average reduction in motor traffic on internal roads is around 10 times higher than the mean average increase on boundary roads, adjusting for background trends.

“This suggests that not only do LTNs have substantial benefits inside their boundaries, but they can also contribute to wider traffic reduction goals.”

Cavendish family 'terrorised' by robbery at Essex home

Mark Cavendish

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish, his wife Peta and his family were "terrorised in their own home" by balaclava-clad robbers wielding knives, the trial into the robbery of the cyclist's home was told on Wednesday.

In his closing argument, prosecutor Edward Renvoize said the "professionalism of the job is beyond question".

"[The case is] quite simply about a family being terrorised in their own home," he added.

The ongoing trial at Chelmsford Crown Court has seen the prosecution argue that the men made off with Richard Mille watches, valued at £400,000 and £300,000, as well as phones and a Louis Vuitton suitcase.

Romario Henry, 31, of Bell Green, Lewisham, south-east London, and Oludewa Okorosobo, 28, of Flaxman Road, Camberwell, south London, deny two counts of robbery.

Ali Sesay, 28, of Holding Street, Rainham, Kent, has already admitted two counts of robbery.

Judge David Turner KC sent the jury home for the day and said he would be summing up the trial evidence on Thursday before sending jurors out to deliberate their verdicts.

Amsterdam opens new underwater parking garage for 7,000 bikes

Amsterdam

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A new underwater bicycle parking garage is set to be opened in Amsterdam next week, with space for 7,000 bikes.

It's the end of a four year project costing £53 million, which required the draining of a lake next to Amsterdam Centraal to build. Bikes can be left free for 24 hours and then at a cost of €1.35 per 24 hours after that. There is another 4,000 bike park on the other side of the IJ from the station. 

Users will be able to see if spaces are available before they descend on moving walkways down to the garage.

“Central station is one of the busiest places in Amsterdam,” said Amsterdam municipality’s bike project manager, Pieter Visser, according to The Guardian (opens in new tab). “A lot of bikers use this precious public space to bike and park. The municipality chose to facilitate underground bike parking (in this case, underwater) to return the public space to pedestrians, tourists and people with disabilities.”

Tour de la Provence not going ahead in 2023

Nairo Quintana Julian Alaphilippe

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Traditional French early-season race the Tour de la Provence has not been included in the UCI's calendar, after it did not meet demands from the French Cycling Federation (FFC). 

The race, which was scheduled to be held between 9-12 February, now looks like it is on the brink of collapse. In December, Marion Rousse, the Tour de France Femmes director, and the co-director of Provence since 2019, resigned from her role.

In a press release, the FFC said: “The conditions precedent to the inclusion of the Tour de la Provence in the 2023 UCI road calendar, established on December 21, 2022, have only been partially fulfilled by the organiser. Therefore, the FFC's Federal Appeals Board issued a negative opinion and informed the authorities of the League (LNC) and the Federation. Consequently, the Tour de la Provence cannot be registered on the UCI 2023 road calendar."

On Wednesday evening, the organisers of the Tour de la Provence confirmed that the race would not go ahead in 2023.

Former French pro Christophe Moreau arrested on suspicion of domestic violence

Christophe Moreau

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former French pro cyclist Christophe Moreau has been arrested by police in Switzerland on suspicion of domestic violence and death threats against his wife and two daughters, according to Swiss newspaper Blick (opens in new tab).

The 51-year-old retired in 2010 after a career which saw him win 21 races, including the Criterium du Dauphiné Libére twice. He also finished fourth at the 2000 Tour de France.

Moreau lives in Porrentruy in Switzerland, of which he obtained nationality in 2015

Lunsar Cycling Team seek spares for Sierra Leone

Lunsar Cycling Team are appealing for spare cycling parts to be sent to Sierra Leone to help their project.

The African squad are seeking 10-speed shifters, shoes, frames, full bikes, cassettes and chains for a container of kit and equipment leaving Chicago for Sierra Leone next week.

Anyone with any equipment should contact the team on Twitter (opens in new tab).

See more

What's going on with WorldTour component sponsors?

Shimano

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Our very own Simon Smythe has taken a deep dive into what's going on with WorldTour component sponsors, with Campagnolo down to just one team, and SRAM and Shimano both increasing their reach.

It's an interesting read, even if it is hard to quantify how much these brands actually pay to have their tech on the world's fastest bikes.

One intriguing bit for me is that UAE Team Emirates will use Shimano unofficially in 2023.

Giro d'Italia wildcards announced

The peloton rides through the Dolomites on stage 20 of the Giro d'Italia 2022

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Israel - Premier Tech and three Italian teams have all received wildcard entries to this May's Giro d'Italia, the organiser announced today.

Giro organiser RCS has invited Eolo-Kometa, Green Project-Bardiani and Corratec alongside Israel - Premier Tech.

Lotto Dstny and TotalEnergies would have been entitled to a place at the Giro based on their points haul for the last year, but appear to have turned down their invites opening the way for the other teams to take their spot.

The rest of the startlist is made up of the 18 WorldTour teams.

In addition RCS announced the seven wildcard teams for some of its other spring races, Milan-San Remo, Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico.

All three races will feature the following six teams:

Eolo-Kometa

Green Project-Bardiani

Israel - Premier Tech

Q36.5 Pro Cycling

TotalEnergies

Tudor Pro Cycling

Plus, Lotto Dstny will ride Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo and Corratec will ride Tirreno Adriatico.

Astana bumps Kazak track rider from WorldTour team

Artyom Zakharov

(Image credit: Astan Qazakstan)

Kazak track rider Artyom Zakharov has stepped down from the Astana Qazakstan WorldTour team to focus on preparation for the 2024 Olympics.

His move follows the appointment of star sprinter Mark Cavendish and Cees Bol to the WorldTour squad.

Zakharov will still race on the road but with the team's development squad.

He said: "This year is very important for me, as I have to participate in the qualifying competitions to gain the necessary points to participate in the Olympic Games in Paris. 

"As a preparation for track competitions, a road base is also needed, and our development team offers a simpler, but at the same time high-quality and convenient calendar, which suits me more than the WorldTour calendar, with which track competitions and, in particular, World Cups will overlap too often.

Happy Birthday Mathieu van der Poel!

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 UCI lifts Covid vaccination requirements 

Cycling’s governing body the UCI has today published revised guidelines for the control of Covid at races.

Citing the “favourable evolution of the international health situation” it has taken the decision to relax the requirements on teams and riders to have vaccination certificates or negative Covid tests ahead of races.

However, it still recommended that face masks be used in unventilated areas and access to the buses at starts and finishes be restricted to essential personnel.

But many measures will not become compulsory unless the Covid situation in a race location passes set limits on transmission and case numbers, both on a sliding scale (see below). If a country falls into yellow or red more and more stringent measures will be applied.

UCI Covid protocol levels

(Image credit: UCI)

I'm going to sign off CW Live for today, join us tomorrow for more from the world of cycling on the internet.

Thanks,

Vern

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