news

Ricky Gervais goes cycling, says stop "acting like t*wats" (no, not you); Zwift peaks at 35,000 users... but are pros spoiling the fun?; Motorbiking Zwifter goes viral; 'Coolest car in cycling' stolen; Kitchen CX with Frank Schleck +more on the live blog

Welcome to Monday's live blog. Jack Sexty is your blogger-in-chief today, with Simon MacMichael taking over later this evening. ...
06 April 2020, 14:46
STOLEN TEAM CAR ALERT: Crit specialist Alec Briggs appeals for return of Team Tekkerz Mini Cooper

Callum Skinner calls it 'the coolest car in cycling', and unfortunately it's now in the hands of thieves who saw fit to steal crit champ Alec Briggs' custom team car. Hopefully the thieves lack the brain cells to get the car resprayed and it becomes too hot to handle... 

06 April 2020, 15:42
"Wouldn't it be nice if people would stop acting like tw*ts?" Ricky Gervais' observations from his socially distanced bike ride in London

The comic decided to go for a bike ride at the weekend - and during this YouTube vlog, opened to the tune of "Wouldn't It Be Nice" by The Beach Boys, Gervais exclaimed: "Wouldn't it be nice if people would stop acting like tw*ts?"

Gervais was referring not to his fellow cyclists, but to families allegedly "blocking the whole pavement", which he argued isn't exactly conducive to social distancing:

"I thought the bike would be safer than running because you're on the road, no one's nearer except for cars... no", he explains. 

"Because there were so many people, like families going out - which is fair enough - but they block the whole pavement, and they dawdle. So people are walking in the street, in the road, to overtake them. So I have to keep stopping. 

"And all I can do is tut. And even that you know. People go "who does he think he is?". Oh god."

He goes on to suggest that for the police to deter people who were reportedly out catching rays during the warm weekend, they should approach overweight sunbathers, record them on mobile phones and threaten to put the footage online. We're not completely sure if that will become official government policy any time soon...

06 April 2020, 15:36
The challenge, which involves donating a fiver or more to the Strava JustGiving page(link is external) and uploading one 10 minute activity per day for 12 days, has already raised over £80K
06 April 2020, 14:37
Peter Sagan balancing on an exercise ball wearing a centurion mask says "stay at home"

No idea what we've just saw... but who cares it's Peter Sagan and he wants us to stay at home, so we'll do just that. 

06 April 2020, 13:49
Pros on Zwift verdict: it's only a game
zwift comment 1.PNG
zwift comment 2.PNG

You'll read further down this blog that some Zwifters were feeling a little miffed that they had fallen down leaderboards due to the influx of professionals (reportedly well over 100) getting their training fix on the platform while they're in lockdown due to coronavirus. The general consensus is... lighten up! 

We can strongly relate to this observation by Ant James...

zwift comment 3.PNG

 

06 April 2020, 13:36
Check out this 3D-printed cleat alignment tool

I made a thing! DIY Bicycle Cleat Fitting Alignment tool for SPD Pedals - 3D Printed! from r/bicycling

Could this be the thing to prevent the headache of making sure your cleats are spot on each time? An SPD-SL version wouldn't go amiss either!

06 April 2020, 14:27
The roads may be much quieter than usual at the moment, but there's still every chance of experiencing a close pass while out on the bike, as road.cc reader John found out recently...
06 April 2020, 14:23
Cav has revealed he was diagnosed with depression as he struggled to overcome the Epstein-Barr virus - full story below
06 April 2020, 13:16
Quarantined cycling bingo

 

While we're here getting all memey, why not have a go at our very own social distancing game? You'll find me having a post-race piss-up with Jeremy Corbyn...

roadcc social distancing game 2020

 

06 April 2020, 12:20
The Times accused of using a telephoto lens to make it appear like cyclists are riding in a bunch on Box Hill

The accusations were made by former pro cyclist-turned filmmaker Francis Cade, with The Mirror also accused of using the same technique to make cyclists appear like they are riding in a group in this article. Neither newspaper has confirmed or denied using a telephoto lens on their articles yet, although we'll be contacting them for comment and publishing a full article later this afternoon. 

06 April 2020, 12:09
"Stop sunbathing in parks or we'll ban exercising outside"

Some are accusing the government of picking on the wrong targets by threatening to ban outdoor exercising as a way to stop those who were out catching rays in the park at the weekend... will tougher measures simply penalise those following the rules, while the rulebreakers will carry on the same?

06 April 2020, 12:04
Chris Froome spots Luke Rowe's RAOK

The four-time Tour de France champ saw that Rowe had bought a bike for a Cardiff doctor who had theirs stolen; although a nice yellow Pinarello wouldn't be a bad idea for the commute surely?

06 April 2020, 10:43
Another pro gets flagged on Zwift for a superhuman effort

We're going to need a separate Zwift live blog at this rate... as after the same thing happened to Thomas De Gendt last week, another pro has had their ride flagged for producing numbers that the system flagged as unrealistic. 

CCC's Ashleigh Moolman says Zwift was unconvinced by her V02 max interval numbers, and once again the virtual training platform has said they will be looking into it and "a fix will be coming very soon"...

06 April 2020, 08:58
What to do if you're getting rinsed by pros on Zwift

So as a solution to our earlier question, it looks like this gentleman has nailed it by overtaking the competition at warp speed using a motorbike. In all seriousness, please don't really do this... 

06 April 2020, 10:22
Frank Schleck's household CX course
06 April 2020, 08:25
Almost 35,000 people were using Zwift simultaneously over the weekend

The already popular virtual training app has hit new heights since the coronavirus pandemic has forced many cyclists indoors; and according to Zwift Insider, a peak of almost 35,000 users were riding simultaneously at 8am yesterday morning. Considering that is double what the peak was in January - and Zwift Insider also claims the number has grown by over 6,500 in a week - its popularity is still very much on the rise. 

Zwift road.cc group workout

However, it's not all virtual hugs and kissed in Watopia, as a number of users on the Zwift Riders Facebook page have expressed their frustration at pro riders stealing their thunder and making it impossible for mortals to compete in the game's 'A-Grade' rides. 

One says: "With the number of pros jumping on Zwift I think we need a new grade above the current A grade. I used to be competitive now I have no chance to even hold on to the top tier despite being 4w/kg."

Another has even started a series on Instagram documenting getting dropped by pro avatars on Zwift, and another has counted that 131 known pro cyclists are now signed up to the game. Does it need a level above the current four for the elite, or are Zwifters being too precious? Tis only a game after all...

06 April 2020, 09:02
Zwift vs Bkool: who did the Virtual Ronde better?

Both training platforms staged virtual versions of the Tour of Flanders yesterday. If you watched the action, which did you prefer? Does it pass for reasonably entertaining entertainment?? There are definitely worse things on TV on a Sunday morning, we reckon... 

06 April 2020, 08:14
Greg Van Avermaet emerges victorious from virtual 'Tour of Flanders'
greg van avermaet virtual TOF - screenshot

The Belgian and 12 other pros including Thomas De Gendt and Jasper Stuyven 'faced off' for the last hour of a virtual Tour of Flanders course using Bkool's training app from the discomfort of their homes, with Van Avermaet clinching the victory. Oliver Naesen beat Irishman Nicholas Roche for second, while De Gendt was fourth. 

The race was set to be held yesterday​, but instead took place over the final 30km of the course in Bkool's virtual world because of the coronavirus pandemic. There was also a Zwift version that Mathieu Van der Poel took part in, because he has contractual obligations with Zwift. 
CCC rider Avermaet was thrilled with his victory in the 'Lockdown' version of the race, but hopes it will be the last nonetheless... 

After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He was Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine for two years before joining road.cc in 2017, and reports on all things tech as well as editing the road.cc live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake. 

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