While most cycling fans’ eyes were on the Tour de France this weekend, over in the Far East there was a taster of next year’s Olympic road race in Tokyo as 96 riders took part in the test event.
At 180.22 kilometres, the course from Musashino-no-mori Park to Fuji International Speedway os shorter than the 243 kilometres where the battle for Olympic gold will be fought next year.
The race was won by Italy’s Diego Ulisse, with his compatriot Davide Formolo second and Frances Nans Peters third – with Great Britain’s Matt Holmes finishing just off the podium, the Madison-Genesis rider finishing fourth.
Organisers designed a course they hope will suit the puncheurs – though we’ll have to wait till next year to see the likes of current Olympic champion Greg van Avermaet and Peter Sagan tackle it.
UCI president David Lappartient said: “The challenging and spectacular road race courses at Tokyo 2020 will provide a true test for the best cyclists in the world.
“Taking in iconic tourist attractions such as the Fuji Five Lakes region, the routes will also guarantee an exciting spectacle for fans lining the roadside and spectators worldwide watching the breathtaking images on television.”
Wout van Aert will leave the hospital in Pau tomorrow where he has been treated following his crash during Friday's individual time trial at the Tour de France.
The Belgian's Jumbo-Visma team said: "In co-operation with the team and the management of Van Aert, Eurocross will transfer the two times stage winner (including the TTT) to a hospital that co-operates with Team Jumbo-Visma.
"Last Friday, Van Aert underwent a successful operation during which his wound was cleaned and stitched. The drains were removed on Sunday, which means the wound has stabilised and everything is going as expected. The priority is to prevent infections. The precise impact of the crash on the muscles will have to be determined later."
In the video below, van Aert talks about his recovery.
The UCI want us to be much cheerier than Alaphilippe was in the mountains yesterday, with the gist of the campaign's message being that cycling is positive in every way, for sport, leisure or simply for getting from A to B. UCI President David Lappartient says: “Around the world there are 2 billion people that cycle. With the campaign we have launched today we are looking to encourage every cyclist to ride more and to grow cycling’s popularity on the five continents, in line with the UCI’s Agenda 2022, one of the objectives of which is to increase the appeal of our sport. We know that cycling helps improve people’s quality of life, is environmentally friendly, and has a beneficial effect on their health. It is also an activity that brings joy to people and makes them smile, which is what the Ride and Smile campaign aims to highlight.”
Largely irrelevant with the madness of the Tour and @alafpolak1 in full swing, but dead chuffed to be staying 2 more years with @deceuninck_qst. What a team to be a part of and grateful to have support of everyone at the team, thought they'd be sick of me after a couple of years https://t.co/XPTrwhvb2q
— James Knox (@JamesKnoxx) July 22, 2019
I wanted to know what it’s like to be a deliveryman for food apps (GrubHub, Uber Eats, etc.). So I borrowed an electric bike and spent 27 hours schlepping burritos and broccoli bowls around NYC. Here’s a thread about it: https://t.co/W0qBWDsoWl
— Andy Newman (@andylocal) July 21, 2019
From the traffic-dodging, to the long hours to the terrible pay, this undercover report about life as an Uber Eats e-bike courier in the New York Times is a fascinating and frustrating read. Takeaway stat: "Nearly a third of delivery cyclists missed work because of on-the-job injuries last year, one survey found, and at least four delivery riders or bike messengers have been killed in crashes with cars this year. Riders on electric bikes face fines and confiscation, though that may change."
— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) July 22, 2019
We're sure Froomey will be encouraging his teammates, particularly the one who has taken over his role as team leader, in private. Probably...
The second rest day is here, and Specialized have used the break in proceedings to reveal that some of the Spesh-sponsored Deceuninck–Quick-Step and Bora-Hansgrohe riders have actually been using a brand new tubeless race tyre called the Turbo RapidAir for this Tour. They unveiled the tyres in Nimes at the Deceuninck – Quick-Step press conference today, while also celebrating Julian Alaphilippe’s remarkable run in yellow.
They claim it seals super fast and has best-in-class rolling resistance, and boldy predict that the age of the tubular tyre is finished: "The tubular predates the rear derailleur. It’s outlived steel and alloy—it’s reigned supreme in the era of carbon and aerodynamics. No more. 100 years at the top is long enough. Turbo RapidAir combines the best of what we knew clinchers could deliver, like low rolling resistance and ease-of-use, while exceeding the ride quality and handling demands of the best riders in the world. The future belongs to Turbo RapidAir."
...try telling that to Continental, who on the same day have launched a limited edition Competition tubular tyre to celebrate 100 years of the yellow jersey. Unlike their Pro Ltd tyre this one will be available to the public in limited numbers, with 3,460 available worldwide at an RPP of 106 euros.
Wout van Aert may have been forced to abandon the Tour de France after crashing during Friday's individual time trial - but on Saturday, he was with his Jumbo-Visma team-mates in spirit as they climbed the Tourmalet, and even provided an invaluable service by relaying what was happening on the road to the team's management, who had no TV coverage in the team car.
A true "team player" as Jumbo-Visma coach Grischa Niermann put it. "Gelost" means "dropped," but you probably worked that out.
— grischa niermann (@grischaniermann) July 20, 2019
Phil Liggett has made a touching tribute to his friend and fellow commentator Paul Sherwen, the pro cyclist turned TV pundit with whom he covered 33 editions of the Tour de France and who died last December at the age of 62.
Aired on ITV last week, if you missed it there you can now watch it on YouTube.
Teacher Richard Thoday set off on his challenge to better the mark of 5 days, 1 hour and 45 minutes set by a teenager in 1887 over the weekend, and has just started day three. Thoday's live tracker shows he is currently between Lancaster and Preston, and has hit all the planned checkpoints on the route so far. On his Justgiving page, where he is raising money for Children in Need, Thoday says: "I love riding the penny farthing as it makes people smile and talk. It brings people together. I want to help BBC Children in Need as it helps to bring a smile to faces of children who are having a hard time in life and need a helping hand. Hopefully my ride can help them."
Check out the fundraising page here, and of course we'll be keeping an eye to see if one of cycling's longest-standing records will fall in the next couple of days...
On another note, I rode a few hundred meters with @GeraintThomas86 sad to see some absolute wankers booing from the side of the road. If your not here to support then stay at home
— George Bennett? (@georgenbennett) July 20, 2019
Bennett got more banter than he bargained for while trying to show support for G following the alleged booing on th Tourmelet!
Ah I think they were booing you mate
— Geraint Thomas (@GeraintThomas86) July 20, 2019
Jakob Fuglsang @jakob_fuglsang is now 8th in the #TDF2019 GC.
Hints: In his last name, the first g is silent (VERY important). The second g amalgamates with the n into one sound, ŋ (like in the English verb "to sing", just with an a instead of the i).
Listen and repeat! pic.twitter.com/38lXd72Sxj
— Cycling Pronounced (@Cycl_Pronounced) July 21, 2019
Well it turns out we've done a better job of pronouncing 'Fuglsang' than some TV commentators (who we won't name here) for an upcoming tech video on roa.cc's YouTube channel. See also how to pronounce Katarzyna "Kasia" Niewiadoma and Toms Skujiņš if you really want to nail some of the most mis-pronounced names in cycling...
Some of our top stories from the weekend, including plenty of crazy goings-on at the Tour over the mountain stages...
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.