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"Blame cyclists for stoking the flames of the road culture war": Telegraph columnist writes; Tour de France concerns as Covid positives rock Tour de Suisse (Pidcock and race leader Vlasov OUT)... but stage six goes ahead + more on the live blog

Happy Friday! The weekend is just around the corner, Dan Alexander will be bringing it home with your final live blog of the week
17 June 2022, 15:50
Where'd everybody go?
17 June 2022, 15:17
Racing round-up: Tadej Pogačar wins...but ain't happy with his tyres + Quick Step fight back

Elsewhere in the world of racing today, Tadej Pogačar won the third stage of his home race — Tour of Slovenia — reversing the 1-2 from the opening stage, with teammate Rafał Majka second. It wasn't all plain sailing though...

In Belgium, Yves Lampaert hit back for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, winning the TT. Mads Pedersen was second and maintains a handy ten-second lead over the Belgian ahead of the weekend's final two stages. Tim Wellens is third at 24 seconds...

17 June 2022, 15:07
Breakaway win for Nico Denz on stage six of Tour de Suisse

After this morning's drama, the teams agreed to race stage six of Tour de Suisse, and after 177.5km in the sweltering heat it all came down to a photo finish. Nico Denz got the nod ahead of Clément Champoussin, while José Herrada and Quinn Simmons were third and fourth respectively.

In the GC group, no change as Jakub Fuglsang, who took the race lead from Covid positive Aleksandr Vlasov this morning, still leads by one second from Geraint Thomas. Sergio Higuita is third, while one of EF Education-EasyPost's two remaining riders Neilson Powless is fourth.

17 June 2022, 14:19
Rubbish idea
17 June 2022, 12:54
"Blame cyclists for stoking the flames of the road culture war": Telegraph columnist writes

What a week, eh...

On Monday, we reported how Channel 4, Scotland Tonight and a couple of written publications had reignited the cycling licences 'debate'. On Tuesday, we shared some of your reaction to said article, including several opinions expressed that it seems cycling is an easy target for certain media outlets experiencing a slow news day.

Just as we thought we were melting away into the weekend in a 30-degree slumber, the Daily Telegraph chucked a bucket of ice cold water over us...

Brace yourselves for Rowan Pelling's Friday offering: 'Blame cyclists for stoking the flames of the road culture war' because apparently "the self-appointed sheriffs of Britain's highways and cycle lanes, with their Twitter feeds full of GoPro footage, are simply infuriating"...

Seemingly inspired by the media meltdown following Near Miss of the Day 784, a clip she said her own "expert judgement" to was "lucky devil — that's three times the space bus drivers give you in Cambridge".

Followed by the surprisingly common admission (considering the content of this, and similar pieces): "I spend half my life on two wheels, so I'm mustard-keen on motorists giving bikes safe passage" and yet..."I loathe the self-important, bluging-calved, Lycra-clad, road-hogging behaviour of Serious Cyclists on their 10-grand-racers — mowing down pedestrians and yelling obscenities at Nissan Micras".

Elsewhere on the cycling hit list: Richmond Park, speeding, Strava PBs and those who film their rides.

GoPro-wielding cyclists must, Pelling claims, be the "type of person who enjoyed lockdown because they could dob in their neighbour for going out twice in one day".

What follows is an exhaustive list of anti-cyclist bingo classics: riding the wrong way up one-way streets, making stressed-out mums perform emergency stops, pavement riding, red-light jumping..."but still I don't pull out my iPhone to get a second-year physics student sent down"...

It's not the first time we've seen columns like this popping up in the national press...not even the first time this month, in fact...

> Highway Code changes criticised in bizarre "I'm a cyclist, but..." Spectator article

Back when the Highway Code was (even more of) a hot topic, the Daily Mail published an "error-strewn" Richard Littlejohn column attacking cyclists...

Even Britain's Got Talent got in on the act...

> Britain’s Got Terrible Cycling Takes: Amanda Holden says cyclists with cameras are "asking for trouble"

It's exhausting...

17 June 2022, 10:33
Timmy Mallett making us all a little jealous
17 June 2022, 09:52
From 153 to 95...

Tour de Suisse stage six WILL GO AHEAD...just with significantly less riders than to ProCyclingStats for the list...

Tour de Suisse abandons (ProCyclingStats)

 Here's what race organiser Oliver Senn had to say this morning: "The situation is not ideal, it is very sad that the Covid is spreading in the race and in the teams. But all the teams still in the race have agreed to restart, there is no other decision on today's stage."

17 June 2022, 09:42
"Everyone has the willies": FDJ sports director says peloton nervous of Covid with Tour de France two weeks away

Speaking to French outlet Ouest France, Groupama FDJ sports director Philipe Mauduit gave an insight into the mood in the bunch at Tour de Suisse, saying "everyone has the willies".

"For the moment, we cross our fingers because it falls hard next to us but we are not affected. This Friday morning, we feel it even more than yesterday and it was already impressive. It feels like coming back in February-March. Since yesterday, we have seen the return of masks everywhere," he said.

"We are not considering that [pulling riders from the race]. Because honestly, if they go back, they're on a plane, but who says they won't catch it on the plane? It can happen at any time, you have to accept it, but be more careful…"

And the sports director wants tougher Covid measures at the Tour: "We were amazed at not having any bubbles, the end of the masks, the return to life before... But is it really serious when we see what's going on? We must go back, reapply a strict bubble. It would be irresponsible not to. It's nobody's fault, that's how it is. A bubble is not magic, but it at least limits contamination. "

17 June 2022, 09:12
Tom Pidcock tests positive for Covid

Apologies if you couldn't care less about racing...but this is never ending...

Ineos Grenadiers' multi-disciplinarian is the next to leave Tour de Suisse having tested positive for Covid. Yesterday, team leader Adam Yates left due to the same reason, casting doubts on the team's Tour de France plans. A statement by the race organisation is expected later this morning. Surely this can't continue? Can it?

17 June 2022, 09:06
Race leader Aleksandr Vlasov OUT amid calls to cancel race

Race leader Aleksandr Vlasov, and teammate Anton Palzer, are both out of Tour de Suisse due to Covid positives, while Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl announced Louis Vervaeke is out too...

When will it end? Not yet... 

No word if Brambilla has Covid, but I make that 10 of the 22 teams (Movistar withdrew Alex Aranburu due to heatstroke) at the race who have lost riders (or their whole team) since yesterday. Any point in continuing the race?  

17 June 2022, 08:45
Canyon has made just 250 units of this ‘Fast Fruit’ Aeroad

Yep. Just 250 bikes have been painted up in this orange, purple and mint colour scheme and it is available in one build only. That’s going to make it a rather rare sight and the chances of two turning up for the same club ride are slim.

The Aeroad CF SLX 8 Disc LTD gets a SRAM Force eTap groupset, DT Swiss carbon wheels and Continental GP5000 TL tyres. This little lot will set you back £6,149 and weighs a claimed 7.94kg.

If you want one, you’re going to have to be very quick. To be honest, they’re probably already sold out…

17 June 2022, 08:45
Bahrain Victorious statement

Bahrain Victorious will not start stage 6 at the Tour de Suisse due to a positive Covid-19 test this morning. The medical team conducted rapid antigenic tests on all riders and staff this morning after an isolated case of Covid symptoms for one of the riders. Since then, the two riders who abandoned the race ahead of stage 5 after gastrointestinal issues also returned positive Covid-19 tests this morning. Following the advice of our management, medical team and the race organisers, the team will withdraw from the race.

A statement by the Tour de Suisse Management will be published before the start of today’s stage 6.

17 June 2022, 08:42
Bahrain Victorious and Israel - Premier Tech riders also out of Tour de Suisse after Covid positives

The positive tests keep on coming...

17 June 2022, 07:49
Tour de France concerns as Covid positives rock Tour de Suisse

Two weeks today the Tour de France will get underway with a short time trial in Copenhagen. However, as the GC hopefuls, team players racing for selection, and fast men find their form over in Switzerland, that c word seems to be spreading through the peloton.

Yesterday, Adam Yates and the entire Jumbo-Visma squad left the race following positive tests. This morning, four riders from EF Education-EasyPost and two each from UAE Team Emirates and Alpecin-Fenix have joined the list...

Team boss Vaughters broke the news on Twitter...

 UAE Team Emirates have lost Marc Hirschi and Mikkel Bjerg, while two non-positive teammates, Joel Suter and Vegard Stake Laengen, have abandoned as a precaution.

"Unfortunately, like many other teams we have also had a surge in Covid-19 cases," the team's medical director said. "Our affected riders have been fully assessed, and are currently mildly symptomatic. 

"The riders sharing a room with the positive cases are deemed high-risk contacts, so in the interest of rider, team and community health, we decided it is best that they also be withdrawn. It’s a pity but the reality is that the virus is still with us as a society and we are monitoring our athletes regularly to be as careful as we can."

Alpecin-Fenix then, within the last 20 minutes, announced their team would leave the race too and that a "statement by the race organisation will follow later this morning".

The triple-header of abandons left some fans worried about the potential impact on the Tour de France...

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote 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 making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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