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"I get irrationally angry about cyclists": Jeremy Kyle and GB News' primetime anti-cycling bingo ranting; "Not sure if we were cycling or swimming": Riding in the rain; Quintana denies using tramadol, pulls out of Vuelta + more on the live blog

It's Thursday and Dan Alexander is in the hot seat for all your live blog needs...
18 August 2022, 16:37
Mexican (A38) standoff
18 August 2022, 15:09
Ineos boss Sir Jim Ratcliffe interested in buying... *checks notes*... Manchester United
Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sir Dave Brailsford (copyright Simon Wilkinson,

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the chemical money behind Ineos' sporting empire and the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team, is interested in buying Manchester United, according to The Times.

Ratcliffe's spokesperson said: "If the club is for sale, Jim is definitely a potential buyer. If something like this was possible, we would be interested in talking with a view to long-term ownership."

Earlier this week, Elon Musk suggested he might be interested in bidding for the Premier League strugglers (that felt good, apologies United fans) before playing off the idea as a joke. Ratcliffe, apparently a boyhood United fan, made a £4 billion bid to buy Chelsea FC in April after the club was put up for sale by Roman Abramovich.

18 August 2022, 14:38
Movistar reveal 'Alejandro Valverde kit' for La Vuelta
Movistar Valverde Vuelta kit 2022 (Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team)

Movistar will use a predominantly white kit for the first time, in tribute to retiring team leader Alejandro Valverde, with the 42-year-old's biggest wins part of the design.

"No one deserves it more than him," a team press release explained. "In a one-off move, never seen over the 12 years Telefónica has been the organisation's title sponsor, the Movistar Team will overhaul its jersey for a three-week Grand Tour and dedicate its design for the 77th edition of La Vuelta to Alejandro Valverde, its most important rider for nearly two decades."

Movistar Valverde Vuelta kit 2022 (Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team)


18 August 2022, 14:28
An email from an overseas reader

While the majority of our readers are based here in the UK, Harry got in touch with an angle on Grant Shapps' comments we haven't heard yet — the impact on visitors coming to the UK by bike...

Visit Isle of Wight - CarFreeCampaign -Ferry Bikes.jpg

Regarding registering and insurance of bicycles, I was wondering whether he considered overseas visitors with bicycles. Last week I counted a lot of bicycles on the ferry. Will they require to temporarily import their bicycles and show proof of insurance? Will extra facilities be available for this? As some suggest, he's just playing to the Tory base via the Daily Mail, there is no substance. Just damage. 

18 August 2022, 14:09
Amy Pieters moved to an intensive neuro-rehabilitation facility
Amy Pieters (licensed CC BY SA 4.0 by Nicola on Wikimedia Commons)

Amy Pieters has been moved to an intensive neuro-rehabilitation facility in the Netherlands as she continues her recovery from a winter training camp crash which left her in an induced coma, regaining consciousness four months later.

> Amy Pieters shows signs of "awareness" four months after crash that left her in a coma

"At the Daan Theeuwes Centrum, Amy will continue to work even harder and focus more on her recovery," SD Worx, Pieters' team, said in a statement.

18 August 2022, 13:33
"The bile being spewed out in the media at the moment is genuinely really scary": Reader reaction to Jeremy Kyle and GB News joining the bike-bashing party

 BalladOfStruth is moving "on Sunday to somewhere were I'll be working fully remotely. I'm feeling very happy that I won’t be on the bike in commuter traffic for a while — the bile being spewed out in the media at the moment is genuinely really scary when you know that a non-trivial amount of drivers are using it to justify actually going out and punishing cyclists."

Cycloid added: "Hatred begets hatred — the volume has just been turned up again."

IanMK noticed something very interesting in Kyle's rant..."'How do you get to use the highways with no licence, no insurance, and without paying any tax, and with absolutely no speed limit? The answer is, of course, as easy as riding a bike...'

"Hold on a minute... Because I ride a bike I don't have to pay tax? I must be owed '000s. Just off to hand my notice in. When I return can somebody tell me where I claim my rebate?" Worth looking into...

PRSboy added: "Wait 'til folk find out about all the EV drivers, including those in £120k Porsche Taycans, who pay no 'road tax'. Not only that, but there are an increasing amount of EV-only parking spaces.

"The irony of the quoted statement is that anyone can ride a bike and enjoy the benefits! It's not like some special club. It is the most accessible and equitable form of transport there is.

"I really struggle to understand the vitriol being directed at cyclists in the media. I don't mind a bit of ribbing but this is getting ridiculous and is downright harassment, abetted by the Government.

"Look at the great young lad who cycled to Paris in memory of his daddy. Does Kyle honestly feel angry about him?"

Take a dip into the comments for ChrisB200SX's alternative debate with Kyle. Somehow I'm not sure Talk TV would want that broadcast...

And lastly...

18 August 2022, 12:00
An N+1er's guide to fixing a puncture
18 August 2022, 11:48
How well do you know the Highway Code?

A reader got in touch with a Highway Code and cycling signs quiz if you're looking for a bit of lunch-break procrastination...

Highway Code quiz

We thought we'd give it a shout out, largely because I just got 9/10 so hey, got to show off where you can...

The results breakdown of people who have taken the quiz so far is quite interesting too, with just 39.5 per cent (before you brainy lot get involved) knowing if drivers can cross double white lines to overtake a cyclist.

Head over to KOM club if you want to give it a go...

18 August 2022, 11:21
Trek-Segafredo call in the big boys to bodyguard Juan Pedro López

"You wanna get to him? You gotta go through me..."

Kirsch and Hoole getting chopped off at the chest makes this unintentionally's the original...

Trek-Segafredo Vuelta (Vuelta Insta)


18 August 2022, 11:15
Cycling 'debate' spills over onto GB News breakfast show
18 August 2022, 10:56
Nairo Quintana denies using tramadol and pulls out of Vuelta to make his case to Court of Arbitration for Sport
Nairo Quintana 2022 TDF (Zac Williams/

[Zac Williams/]

A quick update to the Nairo Quintana story that broke amid the Grant Shapps storm yesterday. Having been disqualified from the Tour de France after the UCI said tests from two dates during the Tour suggested he had infringed their ban on taking painkiller tramadol in competition.

> Nairo Quintana sanctioned by UCI for Tour de France tramadol infringement

You can probably guess what's coming...anyway, in a statement released to Colombian media, Quintana expressed "surprise" at the UCI's finding and said he is "totally unaware of the use of this substance, and I deny ever using it during my career".

"With my legal team we will exhaust every means to prepare my defence," he added, saying the case will be brought before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Despite initially saying he would race the Vuelta a España, starting in Utrecht tomorrow, the 33-year-old has now said he won't participate "to assert my reasons before the Court of Arbitration for Sport", but "will return to the race calendar at the end of the season".

18 August 2022, 10:30
Disc brakes are so last year
18 August 2022, 08:45
"I get irrationally angry about cyclists": Jeremy Kyle and GB News' primetime anti-cycling bingo ranting

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse...

I'll save you a click with a brief recap. Jeremy Kyle is Talk TV's chosen replacement for Piers Morgan (conjuring thoughts of would you rather cut your arm or leg off), and stood in for the 'uncensored' host last night as the new station, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News UK, used its primetime show to tackle the big issue of the day — Transport Secretary Grant Shapps' later-contradicted statement about getting tough on bike riders...

> Confusion as Grant Shapps now says he is "not attracted to bureaucracy" of number plates for cyclists

Riding a stationary bicycle in-studio, Kyle — formerly of the self-named Jeremy Kyle 'chat show' once described by a judge as "human bear-baiting" and later pulled from production following the suicide of a guest — set off on a rant akin to many a Facebook comments section...

"How do you get to use the highways with no licence, no insurance, and without paying any tax, and with absolutely no speed limit? The answer is, of course, as easy as riding a bike...

> OPINION: Grant Shapps' stupid cycling comments are ill-judged, dangerous and fuelling more hatred towards cyclists

"This is the only time ever you'll see me doing this. I get irrationally angry about cyclists, I mean it. Don't come near me, I'm a cycle-path."

In the next minute-and-a-half Kyle recites the greatest "what's not to loathe?" hits: cyclists "dressing up like the Tour de France", the "chaingangs...riding side by side, whilst us tax-paying motorists queue behind getting later and later and more irate", "your Jeremy Vines, with more cameras than Kodak, picking fights and running red lights".

Strangely, as if to prove his point, Talk TV then ran a tape showing close passes, motorists hitting cyclists, road rage violence and a driver about to run a red light...

And it wasn't just Talk TV... as we got the double-header of GB News too, who an hour later on Dan Wootton's 9pm Tonight show repeated the 'discussion'.

You probably can't face any more, but, if you can, here's how Shapps' comments were reported in the national press and broadcast media yesterday... 

18 August 2022, 07:48
"Not sure if we were cycling or swimming": Cycling in the (torrential) rain

There's been weird water falling from the sky these past two days, anyone know what that is? Should we be concerned? That big hot ball of yellowness seems to have disappeared too.

Dodging rain showers makes a nice change from dodging the most dehydrating, skin-burning, energy-sapping hours of the day to go for a spin, although Simon might object to the 'niceness' of it all...

Similar story down in Devon where Kingsbridge Cycling Club were left a run short of a triathlon on their Wednesday night spin. As if the climb wasn't hard enough...

Alternatively, you could just copy Sam Bewley. So this is the secret to being a pro rider? Would have thought I'd clocked enough pub miles to get a contract, but evidently not. Must try harder...

> 9 top survival tips for cycling in the rain  (heading to the pub isn't one of them)

Dan joined 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, 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.

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