Looks like the majority of you disagreed with the commissaires, and reckon Vos should have kept her win at yesterday’s Postnord Vårgårda WestSweden (let’s face it, she’s already got three of them – can’t be too greedy after all):
Comment of the day goes to mdavidford who, when pondering how many crashes have been caused by the use of the puppy paw or super-tuck positions, concluded: “Probably about as many as overlength socks”.
The UCI may need a damp cloth for that burn…
It’s safe to say that the party spirit was alive and well at the Commonwealth Games road races yesterday around Warwick, with huge crowds enjoying the sunshine, atmosphere and spectacular racing:
— Jon Klaff (@jon_klaff) August 7, 2022
70 km on French cycle paths and local roads yesterday. Every single driver overtaking us did so like this.
How do we get British and Irish drivers to respect humans the same way? pic.twitter.com/m4BXu055KL
— Michael (@baoigheallain) August 8, 2022
This photo – taken by a Londoner on holiday in France – got me thinking: Are conditions on the continent really better for cyclists, as the poster suggests, when it comes to road safety?
Or do we adopt a rose-tinted view of our experiences on the bike while abroad, compared to the daily, stressful slog of the commute?
The Twitter jury, it seems, is still out:
Is it possible that the reason of the difference isn't a country, but rather location: city vs countryside?
If I move 20km away from the city, I experience the same: people taking their time to move to a different lane, while everyone is "in a hurry" near the city center.
— KarolisLab (@KarolisLab) August 8, 2022
I think it’s to do with density of population and number of vehicles on the road. Uk roads are really my Busy and congested, causing drivers to be more impatient and take stupid risks to get past at the first opportunity
— Surrey Cyclist (@CyclistSurrey) August 8, 2022
Poor sight lines should be even more reason for giving space to vulnerable road users.
— Michael (@baoigheallain) August 8, 2022
I've only ridden a motorcycle in France, but the difference in driver awareness took me by surprise.
Lovely country to bimble around on 2 wheels.
— Gazza Biker (@gazzabiker) August 8, 2022
No, it will never happen, uk drivers are selfish. They not prepared to share the road with cyclists or any other road user. Ridden on many countries and never had the issues I have experienced in England. Attitude of ‘me first’ and not only on the roads.
— Andre Edwards (@Andre_Edwards2) August 8, 2022
J’ai failli dire la même chose remplaçant French par Italian, et British/Irish par French.
Est-ce que ça ne serait pas juste un biais ? On est en Août, en vacances, pas pressés, plus prompts à partager la route en campagne différemment qu’en ville en stress ? https://t.co/0BmTGh8AOp
— Sehn 🚲🚶🏻🏃🏻🎶 (@Lyon5AVelo) August 8, 2022
Fresh from taking the overall win at the Tour of Poland last week, Ethan Hayter has penned a new contract with the Ineos Grenadiers, tying him to the British outfit until the end of the 2024 season.
23-year-old Hayter – whose younger brother Leo has just joined up with Ineos as a stagiaire before turning pro with the team in 2023 – has enjoyed another stellar season following his breakthrough 2021.
Along with his GC win in Poland (the second stage race victory of his career so far after last year’s Tour of Norway), in 2022 Hayter has so far secured a second British time trial championship in a row, taken two stage wins and the points jersey at the Tour de Romandie, another stage win in Norway, and a stage and the points classification at the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali – not to mention going toe-to-toe with Wout van Aert at the Critérium du Dauphiné, before hanging on in the Alps for a very credible 15th overall.
“I am really proud to extend my contract with the team and keep racing as a Grenadier,” Hayter said in a statement released by the team today.
“The goal is clear – to kick on and win more WorldTour races, have a go at the World Champs and get some Grand Tours under my belt. I believe I am in the best environment to continue winning over the coming seasons.”
The succinctly titled Twitter page, ‘Stupid shit people say on Facebook about cycling’, occasionally throws up a few gems.
And this is certainly one of them, originally posted on Zuckerberg.com by a motorist who used to be angry about cyclists but is now mostly angry about Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, largely due to the fact his wife can now ride her bike to work because of the LTNs… Got all that? Good.
"I'm here to hate on LTNs not cyclists. I've had beef with cyclists in the past but I in no way blame them for the LTN nonsense. My wife is now a cyclist due to the LTNs. She's a nurse whose car journeys to & from the hospital have become so ridiculous she had to start riding."
— Stupid shit people say on Facebook about cycling (@AntiCyclingFB) August 7, 2022
The penny is right on the edge of the table, just ready to drop…
— David (@SpotMonkey) August 7, 2022
So, thanks to the LTNs, his wife will become slimmer, healthier and save a shedload of money. And he's angry about that?
— Christopher Day (@IndieChris71) August 7, 2022
Can't quite get their hatred's angle. Is it because they think the LTNs are responsible for their wife's car-journey ridiculousness, because they wish their wife hadn't become a cyclist, because they can no longer be beefed about cyclists now that their wife is one...?
— wingpig (@wingpig) August 7, 2022
They work then. He’s almost got it.
— Tommy (@Wombletom) August 7, 2022
LTNs doing what they should.
So his wife will be healthier, happier, and better off. Surely that's a win. Until she leaves the miserable bastard for a cyclist🤣 https://t.co/agCzq4DgYV
— Real Gaz on a proper bike #fbpe (@gazza_d) August 7, 2022
It may be lovely and sunny where I am right now, but Alpe d’Huez conqueror Tom Pidcock is currently racking up the post-Tour miles in decidedly less favourable conditions:
Ah, c’mon inside Tom and get yourself a brew.
Pidcock’s teammate Dylan van Baarle had the right idea, however, and spent the day with the feet up on the sofa.
Those mad cyclo-crossers, eh?
There is definitely something horror film/sci-fi-esque about these creepy bollards in the Leicestershire village of Stoney Stanton:
Because no one ever believes me when I tell them that one of our neighbouring villages has made their bollards look like Midwich cuckoo style children, I have recorded the ghastly proof on video. (It is worse at night.) pic.twitter.com/RN8AzCGhck
— Andrew Copson (@andrewcopson) August 7, 2022
Not sure how much they’ll improve road safety, beyond giving motorists recurring nightmares…
Anything that will make drivers pay attention is fine by me
— Cyclegranny 🚴♀️ (@anneramsey740) August 7, 2022
Who knows? Whenever I go through I’m too mesmerised by the creepy bollards to notice anything else.
— Andrew Copson (@andrewcopson) August 7, 2022
i remember ( whilst covering he 2004 tdf), in one area, where at each collision location ,there were life size silhouettes of the fatalities, including many small children.
this made one think and slow down . pic.twitter.com/wk5bka3K57
— cycleoptic💙💚 (@cycleoptic) August 8, 2022
Problem for me is that it draws the eyes and make sit more likely you miss a kid running out from the other side
— doug (@jefferson_guine) August 8, 2022
But you're starting with the flawed assumption that drivers pay attention and slow down when children are present.
— Bike Tyson (@SoylentFoks) August 8, 2022
At the end of a frenetic, tactically intriguing 100-mile battle around Warwick, Scotland’s latest two-wheeled Braveheart, Finn Crockett, had enough in the tank to see off England’s Fred ‘Longshanks’ Wright to secure a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games road race, prompting this not-at-all-over-the-top reaction video:
News just in that this is how @finn_croc chose his sprint tactics today…
— Rab Wardell (@RabWardell) August 7, 2022
Crockett’s third step on the podium below New Zealand’s winner Aaron Gates and South Africa’s Daryl Impey – who, as far as I’m aware, didn’t have much of a role in the First War of Scottish Independence – capped off a super Sunday for the Scottish team, after Neah Evans took silver in the 4G-athon that was the women’s race, won by Australia’s Georgia Baker.
In the men’s event, Northern Ireland’s fast-finishing Matthew Teggart (who kindly agreed to an interview for road.cc’s Rás Tailteann feature in June) also took an impressive fourth place, just missing out on the bronze medal by half a wheel after it all came down to a small group sprint for the win, following a last-ditch but ultimately unsuccessful attack by the little-known Welsh rider Geraint Thomas.
I suspect we’ll hear more about that Thomas fella in the future…
Everyone, huddle around the wireless at half twelve today:
Yikes! I’m on Jeremy Vine’s radio 2 show today at 12:30. I’m scared! I hope I can be switched on and eloquent.
— CyclingMikey Rat (not a PO) 🇳🇱🇪🇺🇿🇼🇺🇦 (@MikeyCycling) August 8, 2022
All we need is Ashley Neal, and that’s the perfect live blog radio line-up.
Not sure what they could possibly be talking about, mind you…
Yesterday, Marianne Vos continued her red-hot streak from the Tour de France – where she won two stages and the green jersey after a five-day stint in yellow – by outsprinting Audrey Cordon-Ragot to take the fourth Postnord Vårgårda WestSweden title of her illustrious career.
Until she didn’t.
It looked like Marianne Vos had won #VargardaWWT for the 4th time, but the Dutch rider was disqualified for using the illegal ‘puppy paws’ position.
Was it a harsh decision? pic.twitter.com/gCeiW1pJci
— GCN Racing (@GcnRacing) August 7, 2022
Almost three-quarters of an hour after Vos crossed the line as the victor, the UCI officials at the race disqualified the Dutch superstar – for briefly adopting the banned ‘puppy paws’ position (bringing her forearms close together in a faux-TT-style aero tuck) with 13 kilometres to go to the finish.
The rule was introduced last year, along with the banning of the ‘super tuck’ descending position on the top tube, in an attempt to improve safety both in the peloton and in your local Thursday night club race. The requirement for safe finishing straights, however, seems to be more lax in its implementation…
With Vos eventually disqualified, just as the top three (which also included emerging British talent Pfeiffer Georgi) were preparing themselves for the podium, the win went to Trek-Segafredo’s Cordon-Ragot, who was left with “mixed feelings” following her belated victory.
“It’s a strange situation,” she said, after hearing the news.
“After the finish line I was happy for my second place, and I am still proud of it. I had no regrets because I was beat by the strongest rider in the peloton at the moment.
“I was definitely not embarrassed to be second. But then I was told I was the winner and my name will be on the palmares.
“Chapeau to Marianne, because she was the first who recognized that a rule is rule and accepted the sanction.”
Vos, as ever, was magnanimous in defeat and disqualification.
“When I was in that ‘puppy paw position’, I quickly realised it was not allowed. I immediately switched to the correct position. Apparently, it was enough for the UCI to disqualify me,” the Jumbo-Visma rider said.
“We'll have to accept their decision. It is a pity, but it is a rule, and it is strictly enforced. You usually don’t ride in that position. I feel bad about it because I did not benefit from it, but rules are rules.”
What do you think?
Was the commissaires’ decision to disqualify Vos for her three-second infringement a touch on the harsh side, or is it simply a case of – as our dear leader so eloquently put it – ‘them’s the breaks’?
Also, if the officials believed that Vos had broken the rules, surely she should have been removed from the race as soon as possible, thereby reducing her considerable influence on its outcome?
If, like me, you were as busy over the weekend as the non-stop, Cat 3-style racing at the Commonwealth Games (more on that later), then there’s plenty to catch of road.cc news to catch up on this sunny Monday morning.
First, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps renewed his pledge to introduce a ‘causing death by dangerous cycling’ law that would see bike riders found guilty of the offence face the same punishment as drivers convicted of causing death by dangerous driving, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Currently, cyclists involved in crashes in which a pedestrian is killed or injured can face prosecution under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 for causing bodily harm through ‘wanton or furious driving’, described by Shapps as a “legal relic of the horse-drawn era”.
According to the Daily Mail, the new legislation would be included in the Transport Bill, which will begin its passage through Parliament later this year.
A coroner’s inquest has heard how 19-year-old cyclist Reece Thompson was killed by a freak crash when he collided with a lamppost, causing fatal head injuries, while a Cambridge cyclist was robbed at knifepoint in the latest in an increasingly long line of moped-based bikejackings.
The growing concerns around violent bikejackings have prompted pro cyclist and former Scottish champion Jennifer George to avoid riding on her own, after she experienced two attacks in recent months.
The police – in both the UK and Canada – also drew our attention over the weekend, as one officer in Toronto, who had been dishing out fines to cyclists, later crashed his SUV into one in a bike lane – and then claimed he had not seen the rider because the sun was in his eyes. Classic.
Then, a cyclist who captured the moment a Range Rover driver hit him with their car has blasted Northants Police for “victim-blaming twaddle”, sharing a letter from the police confirming they were not taking action because the victim placed himself “in front of the car” by dismounting his bike.
The force's Chief Constable has now replied to the cyclist on social media to say the incident will be “reviewed and reassessed”.
Finally, a Peloton owner went viral after taking to social media for advice when his sister-in-law left his training machine in an “unacceptably gross” mess after a particularly sweaty session.
Apparently, much like her sweat, any attempt to reason with the offender goes in one ear and out the other…
Well, this is awkward:
You know it’s going to be a fun taxi journey when the driver starts the conversation with “you know what the problem with cyclists is..” 🤦🏼♂️😂
— Sir Chris Hoy (@chrishoy) August 7, 2022
Let’s just hope that particular taxi driver is better at spotting cyclists on the road than he is at spotting then sitting in his backseat…
Aye. But did you ask him if he'd been busy or what time he was on till.
— john venters (@johnventers1) August 7, 2022
Sir Hoy’s uncomfortable journey with the unwitting taxi driver reminded me of a live blog post from March, when cycling writer Chris Sidwells and road.cc’s very own Simon MacMichael recounted their own favourite bike-related taxi stories:
My fave London taxi story? Cutting it fine for Eurostar, grab cab from Paddington.
Driver: "Effin' cyclists, think they're in Tour de France. Anyway, where you off to guv?"
"Paris. Presentation of route of next year's Tour de France. Don't worry, don't think Euston Road's on it." https://t.co/a6rLsbb2aP
— Simon MacMichael 💛🇫🇷🚲 (@simonmacmichael) March 20, 2022
Mine is. Irish female taxi driver. “What do you do?”. Me, “I write about cycling” Her, “I hate fuckin’ cyclists.” Then, “do you know Sean and Stephen?” Me, “Yes I do” Her, “Ah, they’re lovely fellas.”
— Chris Sidwells (@ChrisSidwells) March 20, 2022
As the six-time Olympic champion posted the anecdote on social media for all the world to see, the usual suspects – some of whom, presumably, saw the post because they follow Chris Hoy, the famous cyclist, on Twitter – used the opportunity to continue the driver’s conversation for him, with predictable results:
….not using the cycle lane right next to where they’re actually riding? Or stopping at red traffic signals?
— Mark Imabloke® (@imabloke2703) August 8, 2022
Cyclist in Hull today, riding no hands, texting, rode straight through red lights at four way junction didn't lift his head at all. That's what's wrong with cyclists.
— Neil Cook (@needsironing) August 7, 2022
My main issue with cyclists is whe they cycle in tandem on narrow roads, to the point that they're almost in the middle. How can anyone give them a wide berth? And cyclists wonder why drivers disrespect cyclists. Also a red light means stop!
— Garold Warren (@warren_to_the_g) August 8, 2022
…is I had to drag my partner out of the way of one hurtling towards us on the pavement. Seconds later, another shot past us from behind. That’s a problem with cyclists. Another is being told it doesn’t matter because cars kill 5 ppl per day.
— Christopher Seddon (@Prehistory) August 8, 2022
But at least the taxi driver has a brand new story for his poor punters today:
Tomorrows conversation will be “ you’ll never guess who I had in the back of my cab yesterday.. that Bradley bloke “
— The man with no name (@manwith__noname) August 7, 2022
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.