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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, June 30, 2016

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life. Omar Khayyam

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Johan Vansummeren calls it a career

This came from his team, Ag2r-La Mondiale

I'll have to paraphrase the release, as it was in French.

Van Summeren, 35 years old, has been sidelined after tests showed he had heart problems. He started racing the 2016 season, but had to wear a monitor. When he was racing in Quwait early in the year, heart problems forced him to quit. He has been sitting out the season since that February day and has now decided to retire.

"I am sad to stop my career, but my health is more important than my sports ambitions....My condition requires repeated health examinations and that I stop my sports career.

"I spent 13 wonderful seasons in the professional peloton. It took a lot of effort to reach this level. I was privileged to win Paris-Roubaix (2011), a race that made me dream. That will remain my greatest memory."

Johan Vansummeren

Johan Van Summeren hoisting his 2011 Paris-Roubaix trophy stone

We wish Johan good health and success in the future.

Tour de Yorkshire boosted economy by £60 million

We all know bicycle racing is good for everyone. This report from the Yorkshire press office is yet more proof.

The Tour de Yorkshire 2016 boosted the economy by nearly £60 million independent research shows today. The race weekend from April 29 to May 1, saw more than two million spectators line the route and spend 20% more than last year – smashing targets.

Accommodation spend was UP 27.8% year on year, and non-accommodation items such as food and drink, souvenirs and transport was UP by 12.4%. The race was televised in 178 countries and watched by some 11.4 million global TV viewers across Eurosport and ITV4 which is double the amount in 2015.

There was over 130 hours of TV coverage broadcast globally: 165% MORE than in 2015 due to new broadcasters and longer broadcast coverage, according to an independent survey by Repucom.

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This is tremendous news for Yorkshire and the statistics speak for themselves - the public support for the Tour de Yorkshire is overwhelming.

“Even in the face of some not so welcoming weather, these statistics show that the Tour de Yorkshire is rapidly going from strength to strength. The great people of the county continued to support the race in their droves with over two million people lining the route, spending 20% more than last year while TV viewing figures nearly doubled.

“This confirms that the people of Yorkshire have really taken the Tour de Yorkshire to their hearts and already we can’t wait for next year!”

The economic impact study carried out by Leeds Beckett University, showed that the majority of spectators were from Yorkshire (79%) while 21% from elsewhere in the UK and abroad. A small number of 2017 start and finish locations have already been confirmed with Fox Valley (Sheffield), Halifax, Harrogate and Selby announced as hosts.

The Tour de Yorkshire has attracted critical acclaim from organisers and cyclists who have been staggered by the overwhelming public support for the race.

This year Tour de France boss Christian Prudhomme said Yorkshire was “fast becoming the heartland of cycling” while Tour de Yorkshire winner Thomas Voeckler compared it to racing in a stage of Tour de France.

At the end of this year’s race, Thomas from Team Direct Energie said: “When you see all the crowds on the road I am sure that in 20 to 30 years there will still be a Tour de Yorkshire.

Thomas Voeckler

Thomas Voeckler winning the 2016 Yorkshire Tour final stage

New device helps police catch cars that drive illegally close to bike riders

I missed this when Cycling Weekly posted this interesting development:

Police in Tennessee are using a range-finding ultrasound unit to measure the distance between their bicycle and passing cars. Police on bikes are using sophisticated technology to gather evidence of drivers who pass too close.

A range-finding ultrasound unit measures the space between the bicycle and overtaking vehicle. If it detects that the gap is too small, a computer on the handlebar sounds a buzzer and displays the measurement in inches.

At the same time a Go-Pro video camera on the handlebar automatically records the near-miss.

Drivers are then pulled over, shown the video and told to mend their ways. They are warned that if they don’t, they’ll face a day in court and a fine.

It’s an initiative of officers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the law states cars must not get closer than 36 inches (91cm).

You can read the entire Cycling Weekly article here

The Washington Post also did a story on the device

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