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Car-free campaigners show how cities would look if cyclists used as much space as motorists; Dangerous Richmond Park van driver tailgates cyclist; Cargo bike success; King of the Netherlands takes a spin; Sam Bennett to Ineos? + more on the live blog

It's Wednesday and Dan Alexander is here to take you through the middle of the week on the live blog...
02 June 2021, 15:50
Sam Bennett linked with Ineos Grenadiers transfer
Specialized S-Works Ares 6 Sam Bennett

Belgian media reports have linked Sam Bennett with a surprise switch to Ineos Grenadiers. The green jersey winner at the 2020 Tour de France is out of contract at the end of this season and Deceuninck-Quick-Step team boss Patrick Lefevere has already stated it is unlikely he can afford to extend Bennett's current deal. Ineos would be a surprising destination considering the team's GC talent and often apathetic attitude to sprinters since Mark Cavendish and Elia Viviani departed in 2012 and 2017 respectively.

According to Het Nieuwsblad, Bora-Hansgrohe had been the favourites to secure Bennett's signature but now an Ineos move is a possibility. The Irishman is believed to be keen to work with the coach Kurt Bogaerts who joined Ineos in February and was co-manager of AnPost-ChainReaction, the team Bennett rode for between 2011 and 2013. Het Nieuwsblad suggests there could be a fierce battle to sign the 30-year-old for next season and claims Bora have already signed Bennett's friend Ryan Mullen in a bid to make their offer more attractive. 

This is one to keep an eye on as the Tour de France nears...

02 June 2021, 15:05
Celebrate World Bicycle Day with Zwift tomorrow

Zwift is celebrating World Bicycle Day tomorrow by partnering with NTT to host a #BicyclesChangeLives community ride to raise awareness of the work of the Qhubeka charity. Ex-pro rider and Mark Cavendish's long-time leadout man Mark Renshaw, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, INDYCAR driver Tony Kanaan and Team Qhubeka Assos riders are all going to be on the one-hour ride which starts at 7pm on Thursday 3 June.

02 June 2021, 14:46
Cycling the Grand Union Canal...featuring road.cc news editor Simon MacMichael

Will's blog about cycling the Grand Union Canal...and why you probably shouldn't (but may want to) is well worth a read if you're longing to be taken back to the blue skies of your bank holiday riding. Along with his mate Dom, Will rode the route from London to Birmingham...road.cc's news editor Simon MacMichael even joined them for the London leg of the journey.

Check it out...

02 June 2021, 14:27
Alexey Lutsenko takes surprise Critérium du Dauphiné TT victory

Alexey Lutsenko was first and teammate Ion Izagirre second as Astana took a surprise one-two on today's tricky individual time trial at the Critérium du Dauphiné. The rolling course proved hard to judge for many riders, including Ineos Grenadiers' star-studded line-up. Lutsenko finished eight seconds quicker than Izagirre who was himself one second faster than Deceuninck-Quick-Step's Tour of Flanders winner Kasper Asgreen.

Richie Porte was the best of the Ineos riders and took sixth on the stage, 15 seconds off top spot. Geraint Thomas was 10th at 23 seconds. Lukas Pöstlberger clung onto the yellow jersey for another day and takes a one-second advantage over Lutsenko into stage five. Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Enric Mas all lost significant time and look to be out of the GC hunt already.

02 June 2021, 13:38
Concerns raised by former Conservative parliamentary candidate about Chelmsford active travel plans
oxon travel cycle lane picture - via twitter.PNG

Residents have been urged to raise concerns about Chelmsford's new active travel plans by Conservative party member and former parliamentary candidate Seena Shah. Plans include implementing school streets and liveable neighbourhoods which would prevent drivers using routes as shortcuts or passing schools at certain times.

Shah said she believes many people will be disproportionately affected. "I just think it needs to be a solution that works for everyone and still provides the choices that everyone needs to be able to live their life," she told the Daily Gazette and Essex County Standard.

"Of course we all want to get on our bikes and walk everywhere. But sometimes we just don’t have the time to do that. You have a number of people in the area who are elderly and it is not always an option for them to walk or cycle. Whatever the solution it has to be something that incorporates and considers everyone, not just those who are actively fit.

"On the whole it is not going to impact me day-to-day but what I do see is that there are a number of people – and the school run does disproportionately affect women – who are really worried about this. It hasn’t happened – it is a proposition and if people voice their concerns that is how you stop it. Put your submission and tell your side of the argument and I really do think that if enough people do that – it is enough to stop this."

Councillor Lee Scott, a member of the cabinet for highways maintenance and sustainable transport explained the plans by highlighting recent data which showed more than 90 per cent of Essex residents are concerned about air pollution, traffic congestion and road safety. Scott also stressed that fewer cars and more people cycling and walking would be a positive option for creating a "thriving and healthier" area.

02 June 2021, 13:27
Just the King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander riding to a community centre visit
02 June 2021, 11:38
Electra announces new partnership with PRiDE OUT to support equality and diversity in cycling
PRiDE OUT logo.PNG

Electra Bicycle Co. and its parent company Trek Bicycles have partnered with PRiDE OUT in a bid to bring greater diversity, equity and inclusion to cycling. The partnership aims to grow the reach and visibility of PRiDE OUT and its rides. PRiDE OUT is a friendly and inclusive cycling group for LGBTQIA+ people across the UK and works to get more people taking part in social exercise and group rides, from five-mile beginner events to 50-mile+ rides and everything in-between.

"We want to encourage cyclists of all identities to grab their bicycles and ride together to celebrate love, diversity and the powerful history of the LGBTQIA+ community," Helen Guesford, marketing manager at Electra said. "We’re proud to be working with PRiDE OUT, supporting them in their goals and helping more people find a passion for bike-riding."

Richard Hearne, founder of PRiDE OUT added: "Much too often LGBTQIA+ people are missing from the cycling landscape picture, so to have the support of one of the world’s largest bicycle companies will make a huge difference in bringing about positive change and getting many more LGBTQIA+ people on bikes."

02 June 2021, 11:20
Matteo Trentin makes a friend
02 June 2021, 10:28
Richmond Park van driver spotted dangerously tailgating overtaking cyclist

Another clip of some dangerous Richmond Park driving...this van driver, possibly using the park as a rat run, follows the overtaking cyclist and hardly leaves any gap as they descend towards a roundabout. Just as well the driver's company isn't plastered all over the outside of the van...

One comment under the video from a cyclist said they had seen seven trade vehicles during their ride in the park earlier in the day and suggested the problem of rat running drivers is getting worse. 

The London Cycling Campaign got involved too, tweeting: "Commercial vehicles are officially banned from using the Royal Parks' roads as through-routes. The reality is that because the roads are open as rat runs, van drivers and many other freight operators are routed through Richmond Park by sat nav apps. This puts cyclists in danger."

Traffic issues in the popular park for cyclists in south west London have received plenty of scrutiny in recent times following often shocking instances of bike riders being put in danger by motorists. Calls for through traffic to be banned from the park became particularly vocal after a crash in February left a cyclist in hospital. 

And you will probably remember the controversial code of conduct for cyclists which attracted widespread criticism a couple of weeks ago after it was suggested cyclists should avoid frightening drivers. In an opinion piece published on road.cc, Chris Campbell, the co-founder of Richmond Park Cyclists revealed how and why the code was drawn up and addressed some of the criticism.

02 June 2021, 09:43
road.cc reader's epic 265-mile Lancashire ride
Ben Cooper.jpg

road.cc reader Ben Cooper got in touch to share his epic ride to mark Bike Week while also raising money for cancer charity The Christie. Ben took on the 265-mile challenge yesterday riding from his home in Lancaster and circumnavigating Lancashire. The route had more than 13,000ft (3,900m) of elevation and he made a pitstop at his workplace Vital Energi's headquarters in Blackburn to be cheered on by colleagues before the final 100 miles.

"Inspired by lockdown restrictions and how we can still explore and have adventures on our own doorsteps, I decided to plot a cycle route that circumnavigates Lancashire," Ben explained. "I love an adventure, so I'm really excited about the challenge. The furthest I've ridden in a day is 190 miles, so I know this is going to be tough, but it is all for a great cause."

Ben's charity of choice, The Christie, supports over 44,000 cancer patients every year with life-changing and potentially life-saving projects that will benefit cancer patients now and in the future. Here's a link to Ben's JustGiving page...

02 June 2021, 09:29
Cargo bike success story: how one London plumber ditched his van for an e-bike
02 June 2021, 09:11
Wout van Aert admits yellow jersey dream may have to wait as he recovers from appendicitis

Wout van Aert has admitted his plan of taking the yellow jersey during the Tour de France's opening week may be too ambitious as the Belgian recovers from appendicitis. Van Aert had targeted the race as an opportunity to wear the race's leader's jersey for the first time in his career due to the particularly well-suited parcours during the first week. However, having taken time off the bike to have surgery for appendicitis, the 26-year-old told Het Nieuwsblad he feels it may no longer be realistic to expect success so soon.

"The original plan was to build to my best form after the Dauphiné and to be top from the first week of the Tour," Van Aert explained. "That first week consists of difficult sprint stages and a time trial. That suits me very well. I had made a big goal of the yellow jersey in the first week. I fear that this is no longer realistic. I will have to have more patience until I will be in really top form this summer."

At the Tour the Jumbo-Visma rider may have to sacrifice personal ambition to help teammate Primož Roglič's quest for yellow. However, afterwards Van Aert will be fully committed to his own results at the Olympics in Tokyo, home World Championships and rearranged Paris-Roubaix.

"Because of that operation, I almost had to start over from scratch. You can compare that with a winter break," he continued. "I don't have much pain on the bike because the abdominal muscles are not strained much. It only hurts when I lean back or tense my abs. If I had to race cyclo-cross now instead of racing on the road, it would be much more difficult.

""I still hope to be top during the Tour, but that is anything but a certainty. If that doesn't work, I am sure that I will be top after the Tour. I'm not worried at all about Tokyo and the autumn, with the World Championships and Paris-Roubaix."

02 June 2021, 07:46
Car-free campaigners show how cities would look if cyclists took up as much space as motorists

You have probably heard it before...'think about how much better congestion would be without that cycle lane blocking the road'. Tory politician Tony Devenish was spouting about that very subject just last week. Whether it is riding two abreast or having a segregated space to ride our bikes...one of the most common complaints we hear about cyclists, almost exclusively from motorists, is that we get in the way of other traffic...

Campaigners in Berlin thought up this clever way of visually demonstrating what happens to cities if people are discouraged from active travel...more car journeys and more vehicles on the roads.

The demonstration was organised by a Berlin car-free movement that is campaigning for serious action on driver numbers within the Berlin Ringbahn. In February the group submitted a bill for cost estimation and has called for a referendum on the subject. 

 The demonstration is explained on Volksentscheid Berlin autofrei's website: "We want free space instead of sheet metal, fresh air instead of exhaust fumes, climate protection instead of heat stress. In the front part of the march, we work with Greenpeace to bring so-called walkers onto the street to show how much space cars take up. In the back section, everyone is invited without a walker to bring their visions and demands for a car-free city onto the street in a creative, dreamy or angry way."

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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