Patrick Lefevere's been saying things again. Sorry if you're bored — this time it's about Cav...
The Deceuninck-Quick-Step team boss told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws that Cavendish is looking to cash in on his success, quotes that imply the 36-year-old may be closer to an exit than signing a new deal. Earlier this week whispers circled that Cav and Lefevere were struggling to agree terms for the Manxman to extend his stay, largely due to disagreements about financial terms and Tour de France participation.
That's despite the widely reported news that the team had offered Cav a one-year contract extension. Lefevere's latest comments show the pair still don't see eye-to-eye: "I respect Mark Cavendish. We saved his skin. We gave him all the tools. He took the challenge and he did it. And now it begins. Now he thinks it is time to cash in again.
"And then the next discussion begins, how much he should earn next year? That's a very difficult one, even for me. I can hardly give someone who wins four stages in the Tour and the green jersey, four stages in the Tour of Turkey and a stage in the Tour of Belgium the same wage as this year. Mark Cavendish has sky-high expectations in that regard and I'm very realistic. That's a difficult marriage.
"He's now starting to talk to me about his image. He says: 'with my image I am worth so much'. I say: 'your image in London is different from your image in West Flanders, with all due respect'. None of my West-Flemish sponsors are going to make amends to pay Mark Cavendish a higher wage for his image."
Another key sticking point appears to be Tour de France selection, something Lefevere cannot guarantee Cav, considering Fabio Jakobsen's meteoric reappearance at La Vuelta a España. Jakobsen won three stages and is seen as a safer bet by Lefevere...
"That's another thing. Mark always said the same thing: 'Next year it's up to Fabio, he's the fastest in the world, he's young, he has to go to the Tour'. Until he has now won four stages himself and has equalled Merckx's record.
"Now I feel that he wants to go to the Tour again next year. But I will not go to the Tour with two sprinters next year. Next year Fabio Jakobsen will be our man for the Tour. I understand him: imagine if he can win one more in the Tour, then Cavendish will go down in history. But should I take the risk of sacrificing someone who might be faster than Mark? For a record which is essentially of no use to us as a team. And then, if he breaks the record, he might ask me for a bonus too."
British Cycling has released details about this year's HSBC UK National Road Championships, which will be held in Lincoln from 14-17 October. The championships, in a slightly unusual autumn slot in the calendar, will decide who wears the national champions' jerseys and, for the first time, all time trial, circuit race and road race events will be held during the same week.
The road races are the main event, and both the men's an women's events will be held on Sunday 17 October and centre around the famous cobbled Michaelgate climb. The men will take in 13 laps (166km), the women eight (101km).
The time trial events are the first races of the week and will be contested on Thursday 14 October on a circuit with 500ft (152m) climbing per lap. This means the elite men will rack up 450m (1,500ft) of ascent during the 44.7km challenge. The women's race is 29.4km.
"Lincoln’s roads have played host to some momentous bike races over the past five decades," British Cycling CEO Brian Facer said. "Bringing the three championships together into a single week is great news for fans of our sport and highlights our commitment to evolving our major events."
— Team Bahrain Victorious (@BHRVictorious) September 15, 2021
It's just a shame that glorious Italian national champion's kit won't be seen again...also...is that Italian champ's Merida going to get scrapped, after just two months, for a European champ's paint job? If so, you know where to send the old one...
And the weird thing is, where I live they’ve just installed two brilliant bike lanes for cyclists, but a lot of them don’t use it and still weave through the vehicle lanes, that have been narrowed to accommodate the cycle lanes.
— Eddie Marsan (@eddiemarsan) September 12, 2021
Nigel Havers and Christopher Biggins have company in the 'actors ranting about cyclists' club. The Happy-Go-Lucky and Hancock actor Eddie Marsan couldn't help but have a pop at cyclists jumping red lights...which, in turn, became a rant about bike lanes, cyclists filtering too close and the Highway Code. So close to the bingo full house...
The 2way bike lanes in my area are brand spanking new. I’m not talking about overtaking bikes. I mean when I’m stuck in traffic, on a narrowed lane & the traffic starts to move & a bike suddenly appears on my inside I can’t give them the safe distance I’d like to, it’s dangerous
— Eddie Marsan (@eddiemarsan) September 12, 2021
Marsan's in good company in the club...
Since going quiet about the Kensington High Street cycle lane, Havers' This Morning segment has been pissing off popular restaurant critic Jay Rayner. While just the other week, Biggins was explaining why he voted for Brexit to Nigel Farage on GB News...
Anyway, rambling over, back to what you're here for. The inevitable replies which followed...
I agree with you, thanks for the correction, I thought it was more, I always leave more but my point is, if lanes have been narrowed to accommodate a two lane cycle lane, surely there’s not enough room for a cyclist to safely pass on the inside.
— Eddie Marsan (@eddiemarsan) September 12, 2021
— EricEatsPickles (@EricEatsPickles) September 15, 2021
Aah Eddie love your stuff, but this is just inviting a pile on to all cyclists. One cyclist being a nob does not make all cyclists. If you're a nob on a bike you're likely to be a nob in a car etc. Please don't categorise people based on an activity x
— Stewart N (@Stewz19701) September 12, 2021
Sam Bennett races Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen/Koolskamp with Deceuninck-Quickstep Friday.
Thats a big pay cut avoided for now pic.twitter.com/GFYKjdlqnL
— José Been (@TourDeJose) September 15, 2021
Someone get Patrick Lefevere somewhere to sit down...Sam Bennett has been named in the Deceuninck-Quick-Step squad for Friday's Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen just days after his boss accused him of "playing with his balls in public" and threatened a pay cut. Racing, and thus avoiding three months of inactivity, should see those threats fizzle out to nothing...
😈 #ParisRoubaixFemmes 🚴, 1ère édition
🗓 Saturday, 2nd October / Samedi 2 octobre
1⃣7⃣ cobbled sections / secteurs pavés.
📏 116,4 km
— Paris-Roubaix (@Paris_Roubaix) September 14, 2021
The first ever women's Paris-Roubaix is coming on Saturday 2 October. Race organiser ASO has released the full route details and confirmed the route will include 17 sectors of cobbles, covering the final 85km of the men's route and finishing in the iconic Roubaix velodrome.
The day will be 116.4km long and starts with three circuits around Denain, before joining the same route as the men after 31km. It means the women will race the five-star sectors Mons-en-Pévèle and Carrefour de l'Arbre.
ASO also released the men's route, but it is pretty much unchanged from the brutal parcours fans will be used to seeing the peloton race.
EMERGENCY SERVICES BINGO 😁
COAST GUARD: 🤔
7 DAY CYCLING DISTANCE WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT 🚴🏻♂️🥇
GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS: “GREATEST DISTANCE CYCLED IN ONE WEEK - UNPACED” 🏆🌍
— Josh Quigley (@JoshQuigley2026) September 15, 2021
You fear the worst when a Josh Quigley video with an ambulance pops up on your timeline...sorry, Josh. You've got form on that front...
Thankfully it's nothing more than a bit of friendly roadside support as the endurance legend smashed day two of the record attempt. He's now up to 786 miles in two days...36 per cent of the record total. Just another 340-mile day yesterday...and possibly another today...and the day after...
Keep your fingers crossed that's the last paramedic he meets this week.
You can probably tell I'm a sucker for these behind the scenes at pro races vids that have become increasingly popular as team's beef up their YouTube output. Yesterday, we had Alex Dowsett's take on the opening few stages. Today, it's Ineos Grenadiers' entire race packaged neatly into one 14 minute video...a lunchtime treat.
Attitudes like this amaze me. A big event with thousands of easy potential customers that would admittedly need a little effort to accommodate them. Should be like shooting fish in a barrel.
UK train operator - No thanks we don't want the business https://t.co/V4F5xdItZp
— Real Gaz on a proper bike #fbpe (@gazza_d) September 14, 2021
No shopping allowed on trains on Christmas Eve. No bikes allowed on trains on the day of London to Brighton. No bags allowed on trains over Glastonbury Festival weekend. Guess which one of these is real...
This stupid country in one short story
— leicestercyclist (@leicestercylist) September 14, 2021
There ends all common sense. Arrange a bike event and discourage the use of public transport. Genius
— Roland Rat (@RolandRatIV) September 14, 2021
The lovely guy in orange ran up to me to ask why I took a photo.
I said because how badly it’s parked.
He claimed it’s parked completely safely and that I am a prick. 🥴 pic.twitter.com/oqxrbGKrOB
— Thomas O. Cornwallis (@UrbanistTOC) September 14, 2021
Rory Meakin went for: "A rotary cutter to trim overhanging debris like this or a tow truck driving round looking for such things?"
Sonsu added: "Stiff fines the only solution. But as the police doesn’t do anything there won’t be any improvement any time soon." To which the aptly named 'You Park Like a C*nt' account replied: "Fines need to reflect the wrongdoer’s financial circumstances. Otherwise it’s just a punishment for the poor."
Partly my fault (positioning and overtaking), partly fault of driver turning across the lanes, partly fault of the immense size of the black SUV, but mainly lack of infrastructure on Eccy Rd @CycleSheffield @sccactivetravel @CyclewalkSCR 1/2 pic.twitter.com/goIAY71vjY
— Saif (@nomapod) September 13, 2021
Saif was knocked down while riding past stationary traffic sat next to the empty bus lane. The video sparked a debate about who was at fault, with some saying the Range Rover driver's positioning made the situation worse, while others lay the blame solely with the Peugeot driver.
Either way, it's a scenario cyclists who ride regularly in urban areas have probably experienced at some point or other. What would have helped, as Saif points out, is some proper infrastructure on the Ecclesall Road.
I lived just off there back in 1990 at Uni. I miss it so but riding my GT MTB around then was bad enough on Eccy Rd and yet still no decent infrastructure 31 years later in high student popn density and main commuting arterial rd. Shame on @SheffCouncil
— Lol Grant #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate (@lolgrant7) September 13, 2021
Looks like a buslane, driver crossing 2 lanes of traffic didn't check both lanes were clear & caused a crash (nearly hit other cyclist too?)
Better infra would help but unless you're gonna block side roads, drivers still need to look where they're going.
Hope you heal quick!
— cyclinggrump (@cyclinggrump) September 14, 2021
It is an awful rd. And heavily used by all rd users. Space is there for it to be better.
— Saif (@nomapod) September 14, 2021
Of course, getting infra's just one part of the puzzle...especially if it's done like the Cork cycle lane we featured on the blog recently. A local rider took their first spin down the new cycle lane...only to narrowly avoid being hit by two drivers. I think the emphasis here is on building proper infra...(and changing drivers' attitudes to cyclists).
Dan joined road.cc as live blog editor last year. He has previously written about various sports including football and boxing for the Daily Express and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been enjoying life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends exploring the south of England.