A comprehensive victory for those who think Strade Bianche should be the sixth Monument. The teams have been out reccying the route ahead of tomorrow's race and giving us an excuse to share some more blog-friendly clips from the white roads of Tuscany...
— Movistar Team (@Movistar_Team) March 5, 2021
Turn the sound on for this one...Beautiful.
— Team DSM (@TeamDSM) March 5, 2021
Different year, different date, different conditions, different jersey 🇩🇰 but same beautiful roads, same beautiful race!
Full gas ahead of @strade_bianche tomorrow 💥🤘🏻
— Kasper Asgreen (@k_asgreen) March 5, 2021
— Jo Rigby (@Jo_Earlsfield) March 5, 2021
Yesterday's blog story about Mary Wakefield's Spectator column bemoaning the 'war on cars' and LTNs got plenty of attention and the reaction has continued to rumble on today...Not least from Jo Rigby, a Labour councillor, who shared the view of Royal Mail workers who rely on cycling infrastructure to do their job safely...
Fabio Jakobsen is feeling positive about his return to the sport, seven months on from the horror crash at the Tour of Poland that put his career in jeopardy. Jakobsen said he is hoping that in another four or five months the implants and screws used to treat his facial injuries will have healed completely.
"On Monday the stitches will be removed and I hope to get back to training! In this way I would like to thank everybody that helped me get this far in my recovery process. There is light at the end of the tunnel and I’m going for it!" he wrote on Facebook.
They’re gonna confess to EPO aren’t they? https://t.co/fCfoZeUfqT
— Phil Gaimon (@philgaimon) March 5, 2021
Plenty of speculation today about the big interview coming this weekend with Oprah, Harry and Meghan...The cycling community is wondering if we could be in for a repeat of that other Oprah interview from 2013 that nobody talks about...For the sake of Monday's live blog just tell us you hate disc brakes, Harry...
"Yes or no, did you ever use... "
— Nick Penzenstadler (@npenzenstadler) March 5, 2021
Harry is going to tell the world his deepest secret, what he thinks about disc brakes
— Ross (@Bad_Weevil) March 5, 2021
After the past four years, it makes a nice change to be able to report on some positive political news from across the pond...Joe Biden's secretary for transportation Pete Buttigieg was speaking at the National Bike Summit this week and had plenty of nice things to say about his plans for the future of cycling in the States. Notably, emphasising that he wants to "build a culture of cycling".
"I come from an auto-making part of the country, and we're proud of it," said Buttigieg. "But we can definitely be more of a bicycling country. If you just get to a certain tipping point, and it's not much — about 2% in terms of the rate of people who commute to work by bike — you tend to see step changes in terms of safety probably because motorists are more conscious and aware of people on bicycles as a matter of routine. So it's building up that culture of cycling."
"What I can say is that whether it's hard resources or whether it's moral support, you're going to see a lot of energy coming from my office and my team to help move things along. We're going to be a better safer, cleaner, and greener country the more people have safe options to get around on two wheels."
Buttigieg also recalled how a 2014 trip to Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Oslo tilted his perspective towards the possibility of a greener future for the US, with cycling at its heart. "We came back from that really inspired," Buttigieg explained. "How great infrastructure and bike culture and conscious and intentional choices in countries that used to be as car-dependent as we are in many ways can keep people moving through winters."
The full talk is at the top of this story...
Detectives have released a picture of a man they want to speak to over a bike theft from a McDonald's branch in Northampton. The Northampton Chronicle and Echo reports the bike had its lock cut and was taken while it was parked outside the Weston Favell fast food outlet. Police believe the man may have information which could help track down the offender.
A spokesperson for Northampton Police said: "We would like this man to come forward or, anyone who recognises him or has information about the theft, please call 101 using incident number 21000109046."
The Bristol Cycling Campaign has called on the city's council to install 1,000 bike hangars by May 2024 to help make cycling more accessible for people who can't store their bike at home. The steel pods usually have space for up to six bikes and provide secure, on-street parking. Currently, Bristol has only 15 hangars according to a recent report, but local survey data showed that demand for residential bike parking is likely to be in the tens of thousands. The report also proposed ways to simplify installation and cut costs by at least £1,500 per hangar.
The 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games road race will be hosted by St Nicholas' Park in Warwick where the race will start and finish. The race is scheduled to take place on Sunday August 7 and will decide who will succeed Australian sprinter Steele Von Hoff, who won the event at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games three years ago. Geraint Thomas, Stuart O'Grady and Matthew Haymen are all former winners of Commonwealth road race gold.
Autosport reports that Fernando Alonso is "completely fit" for the upcoming F1 season having recovered from injuries sustained when he was hit by a driver while cycling in Switzerland. The Spaniard needed surgery on an upper jaw fracture but has now returned to training, leaving Alpine F1's CEO Laurent Rossi confident he will be fit for the start of the season.
"Fernando is doing very well," Rossi said. "He had a bad accident. A bike accident is rarely something that goes easy, but he was lucky, and he ended up only suffering from his jaw. So besides the necessary surgery and care on his jaw, the rest is totally fine. Fernando is completely fit. He is totally operational."
The two-time F1 world champion's former team boss Flavio Briatore has urged Alonso to give up cycling, saying "if you don't stop, I'll lock you in the garage."
It's one of our favourite races on the calendar tomorrow as the pros take on the white roads of Tuscany at Strade Bianche. World champion Julian Alaphilippe made the case for it being the sixth Monument and joining the pantheon of the sport's most prestigious one-day races. "It's a really beautiful race, always spectacular. It's maybe not a Monument but it deserves to be," Alaphilippe told reporters ahead of Saturday.
As for the other favourites for the win, Alaphilippe said he was looking forward to renewing his rivalry with Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel. The last time the three competed against each other was at the Tour of Flanders last autumn when the Frenchman crashed after colliding with a race motorbike.
"They are two of the big favourites, that's clear," Alaphilippe continued. "You can see the shape of Van der Poel from the last couple of races. And with Van Aert, he won last year and he's really strong. Even if this is his first race, he can still win. From my side, I'm just happy to take the start on Saturday with a big motivation. We have to be smart. It's a really hard race and the legs will talk. I'm happy to have good sensations, but I can't wait to win."
Don’t you just love cyclists. Not using the cycle lane & riding 2 abreast. At least it wasn’t on the pavement. Wnkrs ...🤬 pic.twitter.com/5A5teGSxnt
— Helen (@HelenRadcliffe8) March 4, 2021
Helen went out of her way to take and share this video of two cyclists riding two abreast along the seafront. Noting to see here, right? Not for Helen, who tweeted: "Don't you just love cyclists not using the cycle lane & riding two abreast. At least it wasn't on the pavement. Wnkrs..."
If only riding two abreast wasn't both perfectly legal and safe, as per yesterday's instruction from Roads Policing Scotland. And, as some replies pointed out, not using the cycle lane hasn't caused any congestion here. We can't see the cycle lane Helen talks of but maybe someone with local knowledge will enlighten us.
Someone called UKtizens replied to the video suggesting cyclists should pay 'road tax', a bicycle registration fee and MOTs...
That's a lot of stupid. A. Lot.
— MMinSC (@MMinSC2) March 4, 2021
1.4/10. This is a work of art really.
You’re criticising them for not using something that isn’t there.....then being positive about them doing something right.
And they aren’t holding anyone up!
It’s almost as if you’re just being hateful for hate’s sake
— Rate My Rant 🚴♀️ (@rant_rate) March 4, 2021
A strong score from Rate My Rant, an account set up for 'rating the rant of bike bashers'...
Picture the scene. You're in the final stretch of a big weekend ride and haven't eaten since you scranned that last snack well over an hour ago. That all too familiar feeling of pedalling squares descends and all you can think about is food: Jelly Babies, Haribo, an entire packet of Jaffa Cakes...Anything, 'just give me sugar' your body screams...You grind over the crest of the next hill, and what meets your eye? A Dunkin' Donuts bike-thru...Is it a mirage? No, it's real. You're saved. You can gorge your bodyweight in carbs and roll home as a champion...
That's the good news, Dunkin' Donuts now has a bike-thru for cyclists to pick up on the go. The bad news is you'll need to ride to the other side of the world to use it because this game-changing service is only available at Dunkin' Donuts Philippines' Quezon City branch...
Hopefully it's a sign of things to come and the next time you bonk and crave all the donuts in the world, you won't have to slink out of a petrol station holding a box of 12 Krispy Kremes...Give the people what they want...
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 a keen cyclist ever since and spends his weekends exploring the south of England on two wheels.