Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

news

He's behind you! Pro cyclist in disbelief after thinking he'd won... only for chasing rider to snatch victory on the line; Telegraph anti-cycling bingo; 5km stage race even we could finish; Stairway to heaven? Nope, just a cycleway + more on the live blog

One more day 'til we can all ride off into the weekend! Dan Alexander is on live blog duty for you this Friday...
16 February 2024, 17:23
Wout van Aert notches first road win of 2024

He left it late, but Wout van Aert is off the mark for 2024 (on the road, of course).

The Belgian stressed throughout his cyclo-cross campaign that he was aiming to peak for the Classics, hoping to claim a maiden Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix. Ominous he's picking off reduced sprints already, the lumpy route to Tavira helping put fatigue in the legs and shelling some of the faster sprinters at the race.

Anyone interested in some weekend bike race watching, tomorrow is the race's ITT before Sunday looks a cracker — hill-top finish up a 2.5km climb averaging 9.6 per cent? That'll do! Let's see how those legs are, Wout.

Elsewhere today, Marlen Reusser took the second stage of the women's Volta Femenina de la Comunitat Valenciana, building a commanding lead on GC in the process. If you thought the Algarve climb was tasty, the women's peloton will tackle a 3.9km ascent averaging 11.2 per cent tomorrow. Sunday's stage into Valencia could be anything, with a fair bit of climbing before a downhill run into town. Sprint? Breakaway? 

It's good to have bike racing back, isn't it?

16 February 2024, 15:36
He's behind you! Pro cyclist in disbelief after thinking he'd won... only for chasing rider to snatch victory on the line

It was at this moment Tobias Johannessen knew, he bleeped up...

Lenny Martinez pips Tobias Johannessen on the line (Eurosport)

One metre from victory, one bike length, one bike throw, and Lenny Martinez had pulled off an improbable comeback (admittedly, mainly due to the Norwegian's leisurely stroll towards the finish line thinking he had it in the bag).

Here's the painful moment in all its glory...

 The Uno-X climber joins an elite club of professional riders to have committed the finish line cock-up, perhaps most famously à la Erik Zabel at Milan-San Remo in 2004. Then there was Julian Alaphilippe at Liège–Bastogne–Liège in 2020, made even worse (or better depending on your perspective) by the fact the world champ was then relegated to fifth for cutting across Marc Hirschi in the sprint. Like a misfiring striker grateful to see the offside flag after slicing one wide...

LBL 2020 photo finish

For pure style points alone, amateur duo Rémi Arsac and Charly Merle took the top prize at a race in France's Rhône department last summer. C'est magnifique.

Rémi Arsac and Charly Merle lose to Simon Ruet after celebrating too early at the Critérium de Saint-Symphorien-sur-Coise in eastern France (credit – Mont Actus)

And who could forget Vincenzo Nibali's teammate Luka Pibernik, going a whole lap too early at the Giro?

Luka Pibernik celebrates in Messina ... a lap too early.JPG

 

16 February 2024, 17:20
"Where are the cyclists?" Councillor questions "low numbers" on cycle superhighway – but Chris Boardman praises "exemplar" of cycling infrastructure

"The infrastructure has to be there for the journeys people are going to make. In Holland it took decades to create the cycling culture it has now..."

CityConnect (via Twitter).jpg

> "Where are the cyclists?" Councillor questions "low numbers" on cycle superhighway – but Chris Boardman praises "exemplar" of cycling infrastructure

16 February 2024, 14:39
Merida calls Ruta del Sol debacle "beyond farcical and unacceptable", as Maxim Van Gils wins race with TT victory

No holding back from the admin on Merida's Twitter account, the bike brand that supplies Bahrain Victorious' riders...

Just the one reply on that so far...

Ouch. Yep, that's winter signing Anotnio Tiberi of San Marino cat-killing fame... you know, the Italian cyclist who was suspended and ultimately let go by Trek-Segafredo because he shot dead a pet cat cat belonging to San Marino's former head of state... no, really...

> Trek-Segafredo pro fined for shooting and killing cat belonging to San Marino's former head of state

One of the weirder, and more sickening, pro cycling stories of 2023 that one. Anyway, he came third on today's stage, on the same time as Juan Ayuso, ten seconds behind stage winner (and victor of the whole race overall) Maxim Van Gils.

16 February 2024, 14:33
OPINION: Changes to the Highway Code mean very little if they are not known or followed by motorists
16 February 2024, 14:17
Introducing Finland's new president, the EF Education-EasyPost supporter

Finland went to the polls on Sunday, conservative former prime minister Alexander Stubb winning the presidential election (don't ask me why there's a president and prime minister, that's what Google is for).

He took 51.6 per cent of the vote, narrowly defeating Green Party candidate Pekka Haavisto, the National Coalition Party leader's cycling hobby being given a shout-out today by EF Education-EasyPost team boss Jonathan Vaughters...

16 February 2024, 13:41
"Waste of money" cycle lane branded an "annoyance and inconvenience" for adding 570 metres to motorists' journeys, as council approves extension plans
16 February 2024, 12:40
Five-stage Ruta del Sol reduced to... five kilometre time trial, due to protests and police shortages

Finally, a professional race that even we could finish...

It was meant to be five stages, 595km and nearly 13,000m of climbing... instead it's now just 4.95km and 186m of elevation gain. Yep, the uphill TT that is already underway will decide the entire race. The weekend stages have, like the opening two days, been scrapped due to farming protests in Spain, which has had a knock-on effect with police numbers. 

The organisation of the 70th edition of the Ruta del Sol Vuelta Ciclista Andalucía announces that it is forced to suspend the Saturday and Sunday stages due to extra-sports events that are happening in Andalusia.

After endless negotiations, despite having all the permits and meeting the requirements of the regulations, the government authorities have not been able to guarantee the assistance of the necessary law enforcement agencies to organise the event and to keep all participants safe for the next two stages.

The organisation would like to thank the titanic efforts of each of the various municipalities, councils, associations, Junta de Andalucia, teams and riders, UCI, the local cycling association, the Spanish Cycling Federation, commercial companies, members of the organisation and the technical team for their efforts, as well as the Agrupación de Trafico and other state security services and bodies, the Government Delegation and other institutions for their help and cooperation to reverse this totally exceptional situation to which we in Andalusia, Spain and Europe have fallen victim.

16 February 2024, 12:08
Chris Froome to return to racing at Tour of Rwanda
Chris Froome (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

[Zac Williams/SWpix.com]

Chris Froome will make his return to racing in 2024 at the Tour of Rwanda, the scene of one of his 2023 meltdowns over disc brakes...

Chris Froome disc brake wheel change screenshot 1 - via Instagram Reels

> Fed up Froome denounces disc brake wheels on Instagram Reel

The eight-day stage race begins on Sunday, the four-time Tour de France champion saying he is looking forward to returning.

"I love any opportunity to get back to Africa, it feels like home," he said. "Everyone is always so warm and welcoming, it's a great feeling.

"Seeing the Field of Dreams was the highlight [of last year's visit to Rwanada] for me. It was a project we had raised funds for at the Tour de France in 2022 so being able to go there and see it for myself was a wonderful experience."

The Field of Dreams is a cycling centre in Bugesera, "a game-changing project that has already helped countless local children discover the joy of cycling" that was set up by Israel-Premier Tech at last year's race.

16 February 2024, 11:20
Police investigate as Pinarello and Trek Madone stolen in break-in
Stolen bike (GMP)

Greater Manchester Police have appealed for information after a Trek Madone and Pinarello Prince were taken during a burglary at a property near Buile Hill Park in Salford at around 2.35am on Monday.

"On Monday, February 12, 2024 at approximately 2.35am an unknown offender took two bikes from an address close to Buile Hill Park, Salford.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or GMP live chat https://orlo.uk/6slrF or email Sgt Atherton on 13490 [at] gmp.police.uk quoting CRI/06FF/0004137/24."

Stolen bike (GMP)

.

16 February 2024, 11:29
COBBLES

A week to go until Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, there's something to look forward to. What we'd do for those cobbles of Roubaix to look like this in roughly two months time.

16 February 2024, 11:06
Stairway to heaven? Nah, just a cycleway

 And it keeps on going...

Stairway to heaven cycleway (@GiveMeSpace3/Twitter)

At best bloody annoying mid-winter getting up there with all the fallen leaves on a cold, dark morning. At worst a major barrier to many people getting around by bike, particularly those using adapted cycles.

We've been here before, unfortunately...

Cycling staircase, Plymouth (Brian Taylor, Facebook)

> Cyclists blast new cycling "stairway to A&E"... seemingly "commissioned by Danny MacAskill"

Elsewhere, back in 2021 users of a Nottingham canal towpath dubbed a temporary bridge over the water the "Stairway to Hell" due to the steep slopes of the temporary structure, near impossible for many riders to scale.

"Ooh, ooh, and she's buying a stairway to a cycleway
There's a cyclists dismount sign on the wall, but she wants to be sure
'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook, there's a shared-use path that sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, makes me wonder..."

16 February 2024, 08:54
"2014 just rang, asking for their comment piece back": Telegraph columnist completes anti-cycling bingo with "nonsense" piece "whipping up hatred"

Anti-cycling bingo is finished. Rowan Pelling from the Telegraph newspaper has completed it. There is nowhere left to go...

Telegraph column

Yes. On the day after the Office for National Statistics announced that the UK was in recession, the Telegraph's columnists tackled the big issues of our time — "idle Britons are taking hard-working taxpayers for fools", "the EU is in an even worse state than Britain, but Rejoiners couldn't care less", and of course cyclists apparently being "the rudest, most entitled people in the UK today". What a spread...

Telegraph columns 16/2/2024

Anyway, time to focus on the one we're most interested, you can take in the rest on your lunch break...

Anti-cycling bingo refers to the game that can be played while reading online comments about cyclists, or in this case a column published in one of the UK's biggest newspapers. The aim? To cross off all the tired, often heard, boring things that people who don't like cyclists tend to say about cyclists. For example, if it were a points-based game, red-light jumping, riding on pavements and not using cycle lanes would be the low-scoring bankers. 

Why do I say all this? Well, Rowan Pelling might just have completed it...

"Lycra-clad boors give off an almost palpable air of smug self-satisfaction even as they make life miserable for fellow road users," she begins, and what a start that is. No dilly-dallying, no prefacing the topic with context or an anecdote or two. Nope, just straight on in with the bashing.

Thankfully, we get that anecdote or two in the intro, as Pelling ticks off the obligatory 'keen cyclist' qualifier, justifying all future anti-cycling bingoing, in the form of explaining how 30 years ago she used to use a bike to get around in Cambridge.

What follows is a whistle-stop tour through: that video on our live blog yesterday of a cyclist and lorry driver in a countryside stand-off, "mightily virtuous" cyclists, "obnoxious road etiquette", "Lycra-clad road hogs" riding two-abreast "while a queue of motor traffic forms behind them", "shooting red lights", "ignoring one-way systems" and, SAY THE LINE... "nipping onto pavements"...

We're not done there, I'm afraid...

On to the "wholesome mummies on their big cargo bikes" apparently "hurtling down a footpath", the "push-bike Puritans" who "believe they're a form of citizen police", the "GoPro brigade who live for recording motorists' tiniest infractions", "snitching on drivers for minor infractions".

Pelling concludes: "It all reminds me of the curtain twitchers who reported neighbours to the police over lockdown because granny came visiting – a sort of jealous appeal to authority to stop people having fun. It’s the absolute worst of modern Britain, and nowhere is it better embodied than in our miserable, obnoxious, moralising cyclists."

BINGO!!! 

Peter Walker, the Guardian's deputy political editor did a breakdown of the piece on his social media, with the amusing statement...

"Seriously, who still writes or commissions this sort of stuff? The article itself actually manages to cram in even more cliches than the astonishingly banal headline suggests, which is an achievement of sorts," he said.

Stuart Johnson, the Chair of the Colchester Cycling Campaign added: "Great job by the Telegraph. Whipping up hatred for cyclists yet again with more nonsense."

And breathe. Think I might head back to bed for a lie down in a dark room...

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote 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 making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

Add new comment

77 comments

Avatar
antigee | 1 month ago
0 likes

This headline popped up in my news feed today...Telegraph Australia...I don't / won't subscribe but all other sources give 2000 daily trips so thats probably 1000cyclists unless some pop home for lunch...ramp replaces 55 steep steps hard for loaded bikes / cargo bikes / families....so build it and they will come

Avatar
ktache | 1 month ago
0 likes

.

Avatar
dubwise | 1 month ago
3 likes

Hey Dan, bike racing hasn't been away, unless CX is nothing to do with bikes

Avatar
john_smith | 1 month ago
0 likes

Wasn't there a similar episode of a rider being beaten on the line after sitting up too soon involving Saronni and possibly Lemond about 40 years ago?

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to john_smith | 1 month ago
1 like

john_smith wrote:

Wasn't there a similar episode of a rider being beaten on the line after sitting up too soon involving Saronni and possibly Lemond about 40 years ago?

Are you thinking of the Worlds in '82 at Goodwood? Boyer (US) broke away and thought he had it won, but when he sat down and looked back he found Lemond was, contrary to team convention, chasing him (Lemond couldn't stand him); he tried to kick again but couldn't restart his effort and Saronni overtook them both to win, with Lemond taking 2nd and Kelly 3rd.

Avatar
john_smith replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
1 like

That sounds right. Boyer is another rider who went off the rails a bit.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to john_smith | 1 month ago
1 like

john_smith wrote:

That sounds right. Boyer is another rider who went off the rails a bit.

Something of an understatement...

Avatar
ubercurmudgeon | 1 month ago
15 likes

That Telegraph hack might have a point about rudeness - after all having people trying to intimidate you on a daily basis with their two-tonne death machines does tend to make one neglect the social niceties - but for someone who went to public school and Oxbridge, then waltzed into the editorial offices of various newspapers and magazines, to accuse others of being "the most entitled" shows a rather shocking lack of self-awareness. But then certain people will say anything to try to curb anything that has any chance of changing society for the better.

Avatar
kingleo replied to ubercurmudgeon | 1 month ago
1 like

I read the anti-cycling rant in the Telegraph today - more evidence that the average IQ of the world has dropped 10 points over the last 75 years.

Avatar
eburtthebike | 1 month ago
9 likes

Telegraph article.  Nothing to do with distracting attention from the latest recession, it's to distract from the disastrous bye election results.

Well, when I say disastrous, only for the tories, so a win for humans everywhere.

Avatar
Patrick9-32 replied to eburtthebike | 1 month ago
8 likes

"Don't forget, you might be starting to think we are useless but you hate the wokerati clad lycra brigade more!! Don't think about the fact you are the first generation in modern history to be consistently worse off than your parents. Keep voting for people who demostrate nothing but contempt for you."

Avatar
ktache | 1 month ago
5 likes

That Stairway to Heaven looks doable, definitely going down. And I'd have a tackle of it on the up too. Only if deserted. Steps look like those on the horseshoe bridge over the Kennet where it meets the Thames, NCN 4 where it starts, from the 5. 

26 inch 2.1 MTN, rigid, but easier on the hardtail. Lot of technique on the up. Perfect gear, timing on power and weight transfer.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to ktache | 1 month ago
1 like

At 40 degrees and a couple of flights, fair play!

Avatar
Miller replied to ktache | 1 month ago
3 likes

ktache wrote:

That Stairway to Heaven looks doable, definitely going down. And I'd have a tackle of it on the up too. Only if deserted. Steps look like those on the horseshoe bridge over the Kennet where it meets the Thames, NCN 4 where it starts, from the 5. 

26 inch 2.1 MTN, rigid, but easier on the hardtail. Lot of technique on the up. Perfect gear, timing on power and weight transfer.

Well done if you got up that. I have tried and failed, notably lacking lots of technique on the up and perfect timing on power and weight transfer. My gear was ok.

Mind you, the bottom of the horseshoe bridge has been dipping into the Thames of late.

 

Avatar
ChrisB200SX replied to ktache | 1 month ago
1 like

ktache wrote:

That Stairway to Heaven looks doable, definitely going down. And I'd have a tackle of it on the up too. Only if deserted. Steps look like those on the horseshoe bridge over the Kennet where it meets the Thames, NCN 4 where it starts, from the 5. 

26 inch 2.1 MTN, rigid, but easier on the hardtail. Lot of technique on the up. Perfect gear, timing on power and weight transfer.

Done that a couple of times this year with CTC off-road group, quite like it.

Avatar
Mr Hoopdriver replied to ktache | 1 month ago
2 likes

There's some steps like that near here, sometimes I can do them other times it's foot down and push.  The main problem is that they are spaced to exactly my wheelbase so you have to bunny hop and have enough momentum.  If they were a bit nearer or further apart you could ride them quite easily.  You can' have a run up to them either, there's sharpish bends.  Going down them's easy though

Avatar
Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
1 like

Vuelta a Andalucia now completely cancelled, they were hoping to botch together a time trial today and then somehow get a couple of stages run at the weekend but with the police being withdrawn from race duties to deal with the agricultural protests in other parts of the country they simply couldn't do it. Great shame.

Avatar
Hirsute | 1 month ago
11 likes

telegraph is a joke these days

//pbs.twimg.com/media/GGY3zB_W4AArSMQ?format=jpg&name=small)

Get them up chimneys instead !

I'll also mention that I discovered whilst listening to radio4 that offering to take your shoes off when visting a private dwelling is 'woke'.

Avatar
quiff replied to Hirsute | 1 month ago
3 likes

Hirsute wrote:

I discovered whilst listening to radio4 that offering to take your shoes off when visting a private dwelling is 'woke'.

I never offer to, I just do it. I'm always a bit bemused when someone says "oh, don't worry, you can keep them on". Thanks, but... I don't want to. Maybe I'm missing a social cue about the smell...      

Avatar
WBoy | 1 month ago
11 likes

Currently, and for some time now, it's been clear that the Telegraph, rather than the Mail or others, has an anti-cycling policy which is not merely incidental but a centrally-driven directive of some importance (to them). For non-cycling related reasons I have to check the DT website front page daily. The frequency of cycling-related headlines is astonishing -  recently there's been one every two or three days. It's beginning to appear obsessional, almost as if there's a required quota. Somebody with the power to dictate editorial policy must be behind this: I've no idea who.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to WBoy | 1 month ago
4 likes

WBoy wrote:

Currently, and for some time now, it's been clear that the Telegraph, rather than the Mail or others, has an anti-cycling policy which is not merely incidental but a centrally-driven directive of some importance (to them). For non-cycling related reasons I have to check the DT website front page daily. The frequency of cycling-related headlines is astonishing -  recently there's been one every two or three days. It's beginning to appear obsessional, almost as if there's a required quota. Somebody with the power to dictate editorial policy must be behind this: I've no idea who.

Unfortunately, it seems to be fairly common across mainstream media. I'd say that you just need to look at their biggest advertisers - they're usually car brands.

Avatar
john_smith replied to hawkinspeter | 1 month ago
0 likes

But lots of motorists are cyclists and vice versa. You'd have to be suffering from a severe case of Putinesque zero-sum-game idiocy to think you have to criticise the one group to appeal to the other.

Avatar
hawkinspeter replied to john_smith | 1 month ago
0 likes

john_smith wrote:

But lots of motorists are cyclists and vice versa. You'd have to be suffering from a severe case of Putinesque zero-sum-game idiocy to think you have to criticise the one group to appeal to the other.

Absolutely.

A lot of people are self-absorbed idiots and don't take much care for others' safety on the roads. I'm a great believer in harm reduction and we want to get as many of those idiots out of cars and onto bikes (or e-scooters etc) as that way their idiocy will cause less harm. Also, when you make mistakes on a bike, you tend to hurt yourself and thus learn from them whereas drivers don't usually learn when they close-pass as they're usually oblivious to it.

So, we need to highlight idiots in cars and get them to change their behaviour or stop driving. Idiots on bikes are something that we just have to live with as at least they're using the best mode of transport.

Avatar
Miller | 1 month ago
4 likes

COBBLES A week to go until Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, there's something to look forward to. What we'd do for those cobbles of Roubaix to look like this in roughly two months time.

No! Dry plz. As I have an entry for the P-R sportive and I prefer my bones unbroken.

 

Avatar
mark1a replied to Miller | 1 month ago
7 likes

Miller wrote:

COBBLES A week to go until Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, there's something to look forward to. What we'd do for those cobbles of Roubaix to look like this in roughly two months time.

No! Dry plz. As I have an entry for the P-R sportive and I prefer my bones unbroken.

Good luck - I did the 2016 one (168km starting in Busigny), I discovered that it's even harder than it looks, but worth it for the feeling when you turn right and go through the gates to the velodrome. It was dry but windy that year.

 

Avatar
Miller replied to mark1a | 1 month ago
3 likes

I have ridden on the cobbles before; they are utter bastards. That was a while ago and I'm hoping a modern wide tyre will take away some of the harshness.

Good riding to have done the Busigny start. I've opted for the shorter 145km which starts and finishes in Roubaix and, yes, very much looking forward to the velodrome! 

Avatar
levestane | 1 month ago
6 likes

These folk earn money pandering to the preconceptions of others. They are not independently supported to seek out objective truths.

Avatar
mitsky | 1 month ago
20 likes

Complains about cyclists using helmet cameras to report dangerous driving?

Would she complain about people using other camera sources to report criminal behaviour? No...

And where is the report that shows that less than half of video evidenced reports to police are from cyclists, with a bigger proportion (more than half?) from OTHER DRIVERS?

Avatar
Benthic replied to mitsky | 1 month ago
4 likes

Dangerous driving is a criminal offence.

Avatar
dubwise replied to Benthic | 1 month ago
0 likes
Benthic wrote:

Dangerous driving is a criminal offence.

Is it? We had better inform the appropriate authorities.

As we have all seen, when it comes to cyclists the authorities don't give a damn.

Pages

Latest Comments