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Fancy buying Bradley Wiggins' Tour de France winning Pinarello Dogma? It'll cost you...; Gang steals £27,500 of bikes in raid; Cyclist knocked unconscious by loose timber; Fernando Alonso refuses to give up cycling; Milan-San Remo + more on the live blog

It's Friday and Dan Alexander will be taking you through to the weekend on the live blog...
19 March 2021, 16:55
Happy Friday!
19 March 2021, 16:01
Fancy buying Bradley Wiggins' Tour de France winning Pinarello Dogma? It'll cost you...

Got £7,500 hanging about? What better impulse buy than Sir Brad's yellow Pinarello Dogma that he rode into Paris back in 2012...Or maybe Lance Armstrong's Eddy Merckx bike is more your thing...Lighten up, it's Friday... trainSharp are selling the pair with the Armstrong one marginally less wallet destroying at £5,000...

You'd have a hell of a story about why you came out of lockdown riding Wiggo's old bike...Maybe just exaggerate where it came from because "Brad personally gifting it to me after I beat him in a 10-mile" sounds much more impressive than "I bought it on Facebook"...

It's equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and understandably looks in pretty good nick...

19 March 2021, 16:49
Mathieu van der Poel hints at attack on the Cipressa ahead of Milan-San Remo

Mathieu van der Poel hinted at another long-range attack in his Milan-San Remo press conference. The Dutchman said it would be nice to get over the penultimate climb with a small group but did admit that it would probably be too far from the finish to hold off the peloton. 

"It would be extremely nice to get over Cipressa with a small group, and then go to the Poggio, but I don’t know if you attack there you would get many guys to go with you," he said. "Also, the part between the Cipressa and the Poggio is really fast, and you’re at a disadvantage against a whole bunch there. It’s really difficult to anticipate at that race."

19 March 2021, 16:41
Active travel in action
19 March 2021, 14:56
Transport minister wants "newfound love" for active travel to continue
Sustrans Active Travel Champion Halimo Jama picture credit Chandra Prasad Sustrans.jpg

Transport minister Chris Heaton-Harris emphasised that the public's growing enthusiasm for active travel must be nurtured as the UK emerges from lockdown. Heaton-Harris said the pandemic had given many people a "newfound love" for cycling and walking and that it was the government's responsibility to make sure this stays.

Speaking at the Living Streets charity, the minister used the £2bn funding for walking and cycling announced last year as proof of the government's commitment. He also stressed that despite vocal opposition, the majority of residents back low traffic neighbourhood schemes and improved cycle infrastructure. 

"We need to take people with us on this journey, but we know the majority support the improvements to their local communities," he said. "This year has been one like no other, changing the way we travel whether it be for work or leisure. We do need to make sure we keep people’s newfound love for walking and cycling."

19 March 2021, 14:40
Alaphilippe finishes fifth...in the 2.30 at Cheltenham

Not ideal preparation for Milan-San Remo, hopefully for his sake we see a better performance tomorrow...

19 March 2021, 14:25
Ineos Grenadiers' not so secret plan
19 March 2021, 13:35
Thieves steal £27,500 of bikes in targeted raid on local bike shop

Uttoxeter Cycles is the latest local bike shop to be targeted by thieves. The shop was broken in to at around 3am on Sunday and had eight mountain bikes taken. Security footage showed the gang singling out high-spec models after breaking in and disabling the shop's alarms.

John Kucharik, who owns the shop, told the Stoke Sentinel he believes the gang had targeted his business. "They took nothing else, and disturbed nothing else. They literally just came, took what they wanted and left," he explained. "They were moving items out of the way to get to what they wanted.

"Based on the footage it looks like they took their time over it, methodically disarmed the alarm system and everything else. They knew what they were doing. You just get the impression they’re not afraid of the police turning up or anyone disturbing them. They did pick a very stormy, windy night, so the local residents weren’t really disturbed."

Due to the current bike shortage, John isn't sure they'll be able to restock the lost bikes until next year. "These bikes were hand built, so there’s days and days of work involved in preparing and assembling them," he continued. "In normal circumstances we could pick up the phone, order some bikes and have them delivered but at the minute we’re looking at perhaps next year before we see any new stock."

The shop's insurance will pay for the cost of the bikes but any profit that could have been made has been lost. Staffordshire Police has appealed for information and urged any witnesses to come forward.

19 March 2021, 12:46
The long one

It's Milan-San Remo tomorrow which means spring must be in the air. The longest race of the season at just shy of 300km and GCN will be broadcasting it in its entirety from 8am...

Great news for the most hardcore fans but if we're being honest, if there's one race not to watch from start to finish...it's San Remo. But hey, maybe you want to experience the same fatigue as the riders, testing your endurance over seven hours in front of the telly...

Luke Rowe's giving away his race jersey to whoever can predict the time of the winner and even Philippe Gilbert has had a go. Does the Belgian legend have a sneaky plan up his sleeve? It's the only one of the five Monument's Phil Gil hasn't won so victory tomorrow would write his name in the history books alongside Eddy Merckx, Roger De Vlaeminck and Rik Van Looy as the only riders to have won all five...We think Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert and Julian Alaphilippe might have something to say about that...

19 March 2021, 10:58
Cyclist knocked unconscious by loose timber from passing vehicle

This Australian cyclist came around while lying on the roadside shortly after a pickup truck had passed. At the time 'rock bobster' as he's known on Reddit, had no idea what had happened but was quickly met by the driver who "was genuinely remorseful". The cyclist holds no grudges and said it was just a "freak accident" as the driver had checked the straps on the timber 15 minutes earlier before they'd come undone on the mountain road.

"You can see that the driver made a concerted effort to give me enough room as he overtook me," the cyclist explained. "Unfortunately while travelling up the mountain road the ratchet strap securing the timber failed causing it to swing off the side of his vehicle. Fortunately he looked into his rear view mirror as he overtook and saw me fall to the ground. He initially thought that I had simply lost control and crashed as I went off the edge of the road. As he exited his vehicle he noticed that the length of timber was protruding over the edge of the road and he had hit me."

After the impact, which he shared today on a BikeCammers thread, rock bobster says the driver took him home and persuaded him to seek medical attention. Despite several comments raising concerns that the driver should have been investigated further, the cyclist seemed pretty content with "a bottle of Bourbon, some chocolates and a new helmet"...

19 March 2021, 10:07
Inspirational Billy Monger Comic Relief documentary relives his gruelling four-day 140-mile triathlon

Anyone catch Billy Monger's Big Red Nose Day Challenge last night? Definitely one to catch up on this weekend. The 21-year-old racing driver lost both his legs in a 120mph crash in 2017 but took on the 140-mile triathlon challenge to raise money for Comic Relief, including cycling 65 miles from Birmingham to Blenheim Palace and finishing with 18 laps of Brands Hatch. Chapeau...

19 March 2021, 09:38
"For that week I just thought: ‘I’ve had enough.'": Laura Kenny details almost walking away from track cycling last year
Laura Kenny (GB) and Kisato Nakamura (Japan) crash at Track Cycling World Cup, , Jan 2019 (credit Alex Whitehead, SWpix.com)

Laura Kenny crashed out of the World Cup in Canada way back in January 2020, around the same time the city of Wuhan was locked down and the first case of Covid in Europe was reported in France. It seems a lifetime ago now, but at the time Kenny was gearing up for the Tokyo Olympics that summer and any significant injury would be a disaster for her quest for a fifth Olympic gold.

At the World Cup she broke her shoulder, and then four weeks later at the World Championships in Berlin, another fall left her with a broken arm. The 28-year-old admitted to The Guardian it was the first time in her career when she considered quitting the sport.

"It was a struggle getting back into a bunch," she explained. "I’ve never broken a bone before, so to break my shoulder then get back on my bike and throw myself back at it at the World Championships and then break my arm, made me think: ‘Why I am putting myself through this? What’s the end game? I’ll just get hurt.’ I thought I could can this now and that would be it.

"We have a week off after the worlds and for that week I just thought: ‘I’ve had enough.’ I was in so much pain and it didn’t help that my arm was broken and we didn’t even know."

The four-time gold medallist says the pandemic and subsequent postponement of the Tokyo Olympics left her "gutted and heartbroken" but meant she could "get back in the right headspace" to return to the sport.

19 March 2021, 08:47
Fernando Alonso refuses to give up cycling despite heavy crash last month that left the Spaniard in hospital for 48 hours needing surgery

 Fernando Alonso says he has no intention of hanging up his cleats after a crash last month left him hospitalised needing surgery on a fractured jaw and broken teeth. Alonso was urged to give up cycling by his former team boss, Flavio Briatore, who joked he would have to "lock him in the garage".

Alonso told CNN that he still "loves cycling". "I will probably have to use the mountain bike a little bit more now, on different trails and avoid the normal roads. Maybe, the car could be more scared now than before. But in a way, it will not change much. My preparation will be based on a bicycle always."

The Alpine F1 driver was riding his bike in Switzerland at the beginning of February when he was struck by a motorist entering a supermarket car park. Alonso remained in hospital for 48 hours after the crash and needed two titanium plates in his upper jaw. The two-time F1 world champion's cycling history goes beyond just keeping in shape for F1 races. In 2013, he tried to buy the licence of former Basque team Euskatel-Euskadi and a year later he presented Nairo Quintana with his Maglia Rosa after stage 18 of the Giro d'Italia.

Fernando Alonso presents Nairo Quintana with maglia rosa at S18 of 2014 Giro (pic credit Gian Mattia d'Alberto, LaPresse)

 

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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26 comments

Avatar
eburtthebike | 3 years ago
2 likes

"Transport minister Chris Heaton-Harris emphasised that the public's growing enthusiasm for active travel must be nurtured as the UK emerges from lockdown."

OK, he may have been voted least recognised, least effective, least useful minister for three straight years*, but we should applaud his sentiments.  Mind you, it would be a lot easier and the applause would be rather louder if they did something rather than just talking about it.  I'm sure sacking all the Kensington and Chelsea councillors who voted against the cycle would get a round of applause and raise the profile of their ambitions, rather than just more words.

*In a recent poll, 99% of respondents recognised neither his face nor his name, with most people guessing that he was a traffic warden.

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the little onion replied to eburtthebike | 3 years ago
3 likes

Rhetoric is free. 

 

I'll judge him on his actions, thank you very much. starting with the review of driving offences promised 7 years ago, never delivered. 

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Awavey replied to the little onion | 3 years ago
2 likes

but thats not his department...literally, hes just the junior minister for railways, cycling and walking. it was the then Justice secretary who announced the review of driving offences, so you should be waiting for the Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP to do something soon...though he'd probably argue the result of that review is what was presented to parliament last week, though everyone concentrated on the protecting statues bits and not the new causing serious injury by careless driving law or increase in max sentences for death by dangerous driving changes bits

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eburtthebike replied to the little onion | 3 years ago
1 like

the little onion wrote:

I'll judge him on his actions, thank you very much. starting with the review of driving offences promised 7 years ago, never delivered. 

Was it only seven years?  Seems so much longer.  Perhaps we should start calling it the Godot review.

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Captain Badger | 3 years ago
2 likes

Bollocks the driver checked the strap

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Hirsute replied to Captain Badger | 3 years ago
2 likes

That's what I thought.

I put 2 kayaks on the roof with another line to the towing eyelet and I am always checking.

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hawkinspeter replied to Captain Badger | 3 years ago
12 likes

I don't see why he'd be lying about it when he's already admitted responsibility and he did the right thing by checking on the cyclist. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt without any other evidence and it doesn't actually change much as he's still responsible for his unsafe vehicle whether or not he'd checked it just previously.

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Captain Badger replied to hawkinspeter | 3 years ago
0 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

I don't see why he'd be lying about it when he's already admitted responsibility and he did the right thing by checking on the cyclist. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt without any other evidence and it doesn't actually change much as he's still responsible for his unsafe vehicle whether or not he'd checked it just previously.

Now you know me, I'm not usually cynical

I don't doubt the driver's remorse, he did come back and check the rider out and made sure that he got home etc. I'm not saying that the guys is an utter w*nker.

I just don't believe he checked it. Apparently, they came utterly loose in 15 mins - hhhhm. I think he cocked up and is (understandably IMO) worried that he's going to get done - it doesn't make sense for him to tell the truth if my assertion is correct.

You would be correct that we don't know enough to be beyond reasonable doubt, however on balance of probabilities... bollocks he checked them.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Captain Badger | 3 years ago
1 like

I believe he tied them down, I just believe he didn't do a good job of ensuring the ratchett handle side was locked down afterwards and or checked properly. They always have a fast release option and also any large bump can change tension and come loose as they work under tension. I am surprised it was only one length of wood so wonder if he had tied them together too far down as well.

Luckily he wasn't a "i've passed him so the cyclist no longer exists" type driver. 

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Captain Badger replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 3 years ago
0 likes

AlsoSomniloquism wrote:

I believe he tied them down, I just believe he didn't do a good job of ensuring the ratchett handle side was locked down afterwards and or checked properly. They always have a fast release option and also any large bump can change tension and come loose as they work under tension. I am surprised it was only one length of wood so wonder if he had tied them together too far down as well.

Luckily he wasn't a "i've passed him so the cyclist no longer exists" type driver. 

I think that too.

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hawkinspeter replied to Captain Badger | 3 years ago
0 likes

My point is that whether or not he checked them, he's still culpable which means that there's nothing to be gained by lying. If he'd behaved differently then I'd be more inclined to doubt him.

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Captain Badger replied to hawkinspeter | 3 years ago
0 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

My point is that whether or not he checked them, he's still culpable which means that there's nothing to be gained by lying. If he'd behaved differently then I'd be more inclined to doubt him.

Absolutely re culpability. I'm not sure that people make that cold logical decision though - rather an ingrained-going-back-to-schooldays-reflex of  "shit I'm in trouble, if I tell the whole truth I'll definitely  be done, therefore I'll say I did everything right and hope everthing's okay"

Whichever way, the rider believes him and is therefore not taking it further. The only person who truly knows his actions around the straps is the driver.

There'sh jusht one thing bothering me though, if the straps had been checked recently and were secure, how did they come undone in 15mins (ish)

either someone undid them (I don't believe that), or they weren't secure. So, my conclusion is that they weren't checked. 

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hawkinspeter replied to Captain Badger | 3 years ago
1 like

There's plenty of cheaply made tie-down ratchets that fall apart if you look at them funny, so I think it's plausible. Of course, he'd still be responsible for choosing poor quality tie-downs.

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Captain Badger replied to hawkinspeter | 3 years ago
2 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

There's plenty of cheaply made tie-down ratchets that fall apart if you look at them funny, so I think it's plausible. Of course, he'd still be responsible for choosing poor quality tie-downs.

 There is that indeed. So how do we define "check the straps"

Defined as checking that 

  • They exist
  • they are of sufficient rating for intended task
  • They have no signs of excessive wear or indications of imminent failure
  • They are correctly operated
  • They are applied in a suitable location
  • they are sufficiently tensioned
  • The load is secure and doesn't shift so as to ensure it doesn't become loose over time (esp 15mins)
  • All of the above

Answers on a post card.....

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IanMK replied to hawkinspeter | 3 years ago
1 like

hawkinspeter wrote:

There's plenty of cheaply made tie-down ratchets that fall apart if you look at them funny, so I think it's plausible. Of course, he'd still be responsible for choosing poor quality tie-downs.

In this country if he's a "professional" there are no excuses: Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) says that: ‘Work equipment must be fit for purpose, maintained and inspected to spot damage before it affects the safety of the equipment, and used only by people who have received appropriate training and information.’

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Jenova20 replied to hawkinspeter | 3 years ago
2 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

I don't see why he'd be lying about it when he's already admitted responsibility and he did the right thing by checking on the cyclist. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt without any other evidence and it doesn't actually change much as he's still responsible for his unsafe vehicle whether or not he'd checked it just previously.

 

Probably because it makes him sound like a responsible driver, rather than a complete idiot, driving with a spear attached to his vehicle.

Disclaimer: It's obviously impossible for us to know if he's telling the truth or not.

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IanMK replied to Captain Badger | 3 years ago
1 like

A close pass at speed, crossing a double white line having failed to secure his load. Do they have different rules in Australia? I'm not sure I'd be so forgiving.

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Jenova20 replied to IanMK | 3 years ago
1 like

IanMK wrote:

A close pass at speed, crossing a double white line having failed to secure his load. Do they have different rules in Australia? I'm not sure I'd be so forgiving.

Australia appears to be worse than the UK for their war on the roads, cars vs cyclists, mentality

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Captain Badger replied to IanMK | 3 years ago
2 likes

IanMK wrote:

A close pass at speed, crossing a double white line having failed to secure his load. Do they have different rules in Australia? I'm not sure I'd be so forgiving.

Badgers are very forgiving creatures, always willing to see people in their best light

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Philh68 replied to IanMK | 3 years ago
1 like

Not a close pass, the driver clearly was giving 1.5m and there are provisions in the law that allow crossing over solid lines when overtaking cyclists.

The wrong here is an improperly secured load, which carries a $464 fine and 3 demerit points. In this instance it may also warrant a careless driving charge because it resulted in a collision. A driver who is involved in a collision where injury occurs are obliged to self report to police within 24 hours; failure to do so is an offence. While it's tempting for drivers to try to sort it out without the police being involved, it can be much worse for them if they don't report it.

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Dingaling replied to Captain Badger | 3 years ago
0 likes

You are hours ahead of me but I had the same thought when I read it. 

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OldRidgeback | 3 years ago
4 likes

Good on Alonso - road cycling will definitely help with the physical endurance he needs to be an F1 driver

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the little onion replied to OldRidgeback | 3 years ago
0 likes

I think it's quite standard training. I think Jenson Button is really into cycling, to the extent that he has his own clothing range: https://legerla.cc/

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Awavey replied to the little onion | 3 years ago
1 like

It's good cardio exercise, lots of motor racing drivers ride bikes be it road or MTB, I remember Coulthard did a tv piece with Jenson where being based in Monaco they went on a training coffee run to Italy & back with a bunch of pro riders for company. Bottas does alot of riding too thesedays and is on Zwift as well, so it would be more surprising if Alonso stopped riding.

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KeithBird replied to Awavey | 3 years ago
0 likes

Awavey wrote:

It's good cardio exercise, lots of motor racing drivers ride bikes be it road or MTB, I remember Coulthard did a tv piece with Jenson where being based in Monaco they went on a training coffee run to Italy & back with a bunch of pro riders for company. Bottas does alot of riding too thesedays and is on Zwift as well, so it would be more surprising if Alonso stopped riding.

The Franchitti borthers and Paul Di Resta were all known to hook up with him for rides around mountains. Quite a bunch.

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lonpfrb replied to KeithBird | 3 years ago
0 likes

National and International level motorcycle racers are also committed cyclists, though more Isle of Man than Monaco. I hear that Cal Cruchlow (MotoGP) trains with Mark Cavendish. Guy Martin (TT,NW200 etc) has completed the coast to coast USA several times. The rest of BSB and WSBK are mostly MTB or Roadies. The late great Nicky Hayden (MotoGP) was sadly killed in Italy out on his bicycle training. Yes, shortly after the Giro, presumably in the mass media!
Rest in peace Nicky #69.

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