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"Cycling has just made me really happy": Jeremy Clarkson's daughter partners with Specialized; Jeremy Vine delivers a 'road tax' schooling; Chris Froome skips the Vuelta; Quads of Destiny; Marginal groins aero package + more on the live blog

Dan Alexander is here for your Thursday dose of live blog action, taking you one step closer to the weekend
05 August 2021, 16:39
Another incredible Dutch infra project

The Dutch are alright at this cycling infrastructure lark...All to avoid a 400m detour through a dark tunnel. Now compare that to the A12 in Suffolk that had us all grimacing the other week.

05 August 2021, 15:55
“…And you need to move over, so I can get past.”

It's just as well this guy got in front, he managed to save himself two seconds of not sitting in traffic time...

05 August 2021, 13:47
American rapper T.I. arrested in Amsterdam for being on his phone while cycling
T.I. rapper (image Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

T.I. shared the news on Instagram that he had been arrested in Amsterdam after being caught texting while cycling. The American rapper explained he had been on his phone when a policeman "ran into me and broke his side mirror".

"He was extremely upset. I was out having a great time. I’m still not upset. They arrested me and didn’t even put me in handcuffs. They just opened the door and invited me to the backseat. I obliged."

The rapper said he had ignored the driver at first, thinking he was just a delivery driver and only realised it was a police vehicle when the officer shouted at him to stop. NME reports that as he slowed down the driver of the van pushed against his handlebars, breaking the vehicle's wing mirror.

05 August 2021, 13:20
Sebastian Vettel just became our favourite F1 driver

From what little F1 coverage I've seen, Sebastian Vettel seems like an all round good guy. This is just extra bonus points...

05 August 2021, 13:06
Rod Ellingworth: Ineos won't spend big to keep Geraint Thomas
Geraint Thomas - via Ineos Grenadiers

Team Ineos are happy to let Geraint Thomas leave unless he takes a wage cut, team director of racing Rod Ellingworth has hinted. The 2018 Tour de France winner struggled for form in 2020 before suffering a series of crashes at big races this campaign. Thomas' Tour de France tilt was left in tatters by a stage three fall.

Reports have suggested Ineos are willing to keep the 35-year-old for a 13th season with the team and have offered Thomas a new deal on a reduced wage. However, the Welshman's career achievements are likely to demand a greater salary, making a departure the most likely outcome...

"It’s still ongoing and the ball is in his court," Ellingworth said. "There are conversations going on and I’ve tried to give him personal support, especially after the difficult time that he’s had but we’re talking to him and it’s ongoing, but if there's a massive offer then there’s no way we’d be able to keep him. We just need to be realistic.

"There’s quite a lot going on around rider recruitment, and not just for next year but also for the coming years after that. There are a few areas for us to work on."

Ineos have already announced the signing of promising Australian Luke Plapp - who won an Olympic bronze as part of his nation's team pursuit squad yesterday. Controversial Italian Gianni Moscon, Sebastian Henao, Owain Doull, Ivan Sosa, Cameron Wurf and Michal Gołas are all expected to leave the team.

05 August 2021, 12:58
Matt Walls reacts to first GB track cycling gold of Tokyo Games
Matt Walls in the omnium at Tokyo 2020 (Copyright Alex Whitehead, SWpix.com).JPG

Matt Walls earned the honour of winning Team GB's first track cycling gold medal of the Tokyo Olympic Games. The 23-year-old from Oldham, who rides for Bora-Hansgrohe on the road, held off a late charge from Elia Viviani in the final points race to win omnium gold, GB's first in the discipline.

"I came into the points race with a bit of a lead and that was nice to have a bit of breathing room. I got a gap and committed to it, it worked out I got the lap (and 20 points) and the legs were sore after that. Coming in here, everything was a bit of an unknown. The last track race I did was the European Championships last year, which is a long way away," Walls said.

"I came into the scratch race feeling good and won it. I thought then, 'I have a chance now as long as I play it smart.' I knew I had the legs and it worked out."

Before transitioning to the track, Walls was a mountain biker and also dabbled in a bit of triathlon..."Someone said about going down to the velodrome, which was close for me because of where I live. I went there, tried it and loved it. I did more and more as I grew up, got into racing and tried all sorts. I did cross, did mountain biking, track and road. I got onto the British Cycling programme when I was 15, and went on to get a pro road contract which put me in good shape for here."

05 August 2021, 10:24
"Cycling has just made me really…happy": Jeremy Clarkson's daughter partners with Specialized

Right at the top of the list of things I didn't expect to stumble across today is this news that Jeremy Clarkson's daughter, Emily Clarkson, is now partnered with Specialized, promoting the brand's e-bikes. The Instagram influencer shared the news with her 194,000 followers via a well-shot ad of Clarkson Jr and her partner going for a spin through London.

"Alex has been trying to get me cycling in London for the best part of a decade, it took until now for me to get it," Clarkson wrote on Instagram. "But I’m here. Probably because riding an electric bike is about 10 million times easier than the bikes I rode before (statistic made up by me) - although you still have to pedal it really does take the sting out of the hills. They’re fun and practical but mostly they’re just so comfortable.

"We got into central London quicker than we’d have done in the car (and didn’t have to pay congestion) and saw so much more of it than we would have done on the tube. It sounds odd but cycling has just made me really… happy, a huge thanks to Specialized for partnering with us on this, we’re loving it." I wonder what her old man thinks of that? Quicker than a car? Practical and comfortable? Making you happy? 

Jeremy Clarkson's career has been the polar opposite of his daughter's pedalling positivity. In a famous 2019 rant, Clarkson said "Bikes can f*@% off" and last year he argued the capital's segregated cycle lanes were causing congestion... 

He even managed to squeeze a pop at passing Trek-Segafredo pro Charlie Quarterman into Clarkson's Farm...

But maybe the tide is turning in the Clarkson household and we'll soon see Jeremy out and about on two wheels? Okay, probably not...But on that bombshell...

05 August 2021, 11:43
Specialized hits the nail on the head with e-bike advert

Getting Jeremy Clarkson's daughter on board was a masterstroke, and this new advert isn't too bad either... 

No Traffic. Easy Parking. Zero Emissions. Effortless Errands. No wonder Emily Clarkson loved it.

05 August 2021, 11:04
Marginal groins aero package

Where to start with this one? 

05 August 2021, 09:22
Quads of Destiny: How many watts can you thrash out?
05 August 2021, 08:45
One month to go...Could Chris Froome be at the Tour of Britain?

I'd say the Tour of Britain is my favourite race of the season. There's something about knowing the geography of the race, having visited some of the areas of the route and seeing the pros suffer on your local climbs that makes it all much more relatable. 

This year's route looks particularly great if you live in the South West, where the week-long stage race will begin with two stages in Cornwall and Devon. One man who may be on the startline is Chris Froome. The four-time Tour de France winner is going to skip the Vuelta a España and do some smaller races instead. Come on, Chris. You know you want to...

05 August 2021, 07:29
Jeremy Vine delivers a 'road tax' schooling
Highway Code.PNG

You've probably heard about the upcoming Highway Code changes by now. In short, the updated edition to be published in the autumn will introduce a hierarchy of road users, meaning those with the potential to cause the most danger to others will be deemed to have greater responsibility to those who are more vulnerable. Radical, I know...

On top of this, motorists are also to be subject to guidance on safe passing distances and speeds when overtaking riders. Cyclists will also get priority at junctions when travelling straight ahead.

This has been as well-received as you might expect by the sort of people who enjoy a spot of anti-cyclist bingo in their free time. 

Susie, for example, shared a photo of some letters in a local newspaper. Topics raised included: red light jumping, ignoring zebra crossings, pavement cycling, ignoring one way signs, riding two abreast, insurance, commuters causing congestion, number plates on bikes, hi-vis clothing and headphones...in other words, the full set.

Our old friend Jeremy Vine spotted Susie's assessment of the situation and had a smart idea...a new tax for all road users. How might that work?

Here's the notorious Surrey Roads Policing Unit's admin for their take on the whole 'road tax' kerfuffle...

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.

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