And we've embedded it here for your convenience so you can read all about the world's holiest cycling federation, petrol panic buying and disc brakes then just press play at 4.30. Enjoy!
Christ on a bike https://t.co/NNy8rb6kC9
— Will Strickson (@WillStrickson) September 24, 2021
A routine tweet was sent out by David Lappartient today announcing the latest nations to become UCI member states. Those nations are Equatorial Guinea, Solomon Islands, South Sudan and... the Vatican?
I don't think the vestments are very aero?
— Clare McMenemy (@highpoh) September 24, 2021
The Pope's back yard and the world's smallest country has also been recognised by the European Cycling Union, and it's led to a flurry of comments wondering what the Vatican will bring to professional cycling... how will sock height be checked under those vestments, and will any sports nutrition brands step up to make caffeine versions of Sacramental Bread? Will riders be allowed to compete on Sundays? Will the Pontiff be team manager?
A round up of the best comments and pics so far can be found below. For further reading on why cycling and Catholicism is a match made in heaven, read about when Egan Bernal gifted Pope Francis a Pinarello Dogma here, and when Pope Francis warned about cycling's 'dark side' here.
— René🦜Flup A & Ω 🇪🇺 🇵🇸 (@renevdeuren) September 24, 2021
I can't wait to see the national team of 🇻🇦 #VaticanCity in a race one day.
— CyclingBottle (@Cyclingbottle) September 24, 2021
Who wouldn’t love to do some Vatican City Crits? https://t.co/C3ybEQopXe
— Alex Murray (@leguape) September 24, 2021
I might panic buy some inner tubes, just so I don't feel left out.
— Peter Walker (@peterwalker99) September 24, 2021
If you don't own a motor vehicle, perhaps it's time to stock up. That said, cyclists have certainly known what its like to experience supply issues since the pandemic began...
World-class performance ✅
World-class celebration ✅
— UCI (@UCI_cycling) September 24, 2021
This morning was the men's junior road race in Flanders, with Per Strand Hagenes of Norway triumphing after launching an attack on the penultimate climb of the day. He ended up crossing the line 19 secs clear of Romain Gregoire of France, with Estonian rider Madis Mihkels winning a sprint to round off the podium. These poor Lithuanians apparently didn't make the start line because they turned up an hour late....
— Eurosport IT (@Eurosport_IT) September 24, 2021
In the U23 race, there has been so many crashes it's difficult to keep up. There was a breakaway with a gap of just over a minute with about 60km to go, but by the time we've sent this post there's likely to have been another dramatic development...
— UCI (@UCI_cycling) September 24, 2021
Ah, bring back the golden age of the first lockdown. Riding the wrong way along all the main roads, 4 abreast, red lights ignored. Magical times.
— ZombyWoof (@ZombyWoof65) September 24, 2021
There's already been some reaction to our lead story about petrol panic-buying not being all that bad after all.
— 𝕁𝕒𝕔𝕜 𝕁𝕒𝕫𝕫 (@JayJay08752584) September 24, 2021
— The Department of Parks & Recreation 🦌 (@ldnparks) September 24, 2021
Denying Londoners and guests safe and enjoyable cycling worsens the dependence on petrol and diesel - and the impact of shortages when they come 😬 https://t.co/BCsUFkLOU0
— London Cycling Campaign (@London_Cycling) September 24, 2021
Fuel has joined toilet paper, pasta and soap as the latest thing to be panic bought by UK consumers - although this time the pandemic is thought to be only partly to blame, with some petrol stations missing out on deliveries yesterday because of a big shortage of HGV drivers - this news in turn led to some panic buying, which had led to the current situation of some fuel stations running out of fuel today.
While other countries across Europe are also experiencing difficulties with their supply chains, the problem in the UK is thought to have been exacerbated by Britain's exit from the European Union.
Grant Shapps was quick to clarify today that the UK does actually have plenty of petrol and diesel and that drivers should buy fuel as normal, telling the BBC that refineries have "plenty of petrol".
It won't be long before petrol rationing comes back! On the plus side I can enjoy cycling on quieter roads....
— SouthwestCyclist #FBSI (@ejmatthew) September 24, 2021
At least 16 months of walking, running, cycling, skating everywhere with everyone claiming they are enjoying a healthier way of life. One mention of a petrol shortage because of the lack of drivers and everyone is #panicbuying again. pic.twitter.com/kVwMOtFE34
— Fomorunner (@Fomorunner) September 24, 2021
Not all people are sad at the pumps being empty, however, with some suggesting a lack of available fuel could mean quieter roads. Others have noted the irony of Britain transforming into a nation of outdoor enthusiasts over lockdown, and then panic-buying petrol again at the first mention of shortages.
Could a silver lining in this latest supply crisis be quieter roads to cycle on because everyone has run out of petrol? The only problem being that malt loaf, bananas and jelly sweets are invariably delivered to their final destinations via lorry, so we might not be able to ride very far without getting super tired...
It seems like we just can't stop talking about stopping at the moment, and our latest article on the subject of disc brakes delves into the theory that the bike industry saw us coming and are steadily moving all road bikes to disc brakes as a cynical ploy to rinse more money out of us.
After doing some investigating, the conclusion of Mat's feature is that "the idea that disc brakes are being forced on a reluctant bike buying public is a complete myth," because there is plenty of evidence to suggest the shift is consumer-led, not top-down as some folks on certain video sharing platforms have theorised.
What do you think? Sam3 commented: "In this new world, rim brakes will be a quaint leftover but otherwise really irrelevant, much like cars with manual transmission. Especially as the bikes industry reconfigures itself and its supply chain around this new design direction. That's why. It's not an illuminati plot to impoverish bikers or anything. I got disc brakes on a bike I bought about 10 years ago, found them to be shockingly better, low maintenance in practice and I would never go back to mucking about with rim brakes - or rim brake wheels. It's so yesteryear. It's fascinating that it's mainly in the british press that I still see these kinds of disc--vs-rim storylines. Everyone else has pretty much moved on."
Captain Badger, we suspect with a hint of sarcasm, says: "I for one am sick and tired of the Disc-lobby's machinations. I'm a hard-pressed v-braker, and this is just another stealth tax. This isn't what I voted Brexit for! It's political correctness GAWN MAIRD!"
nicmason added: "I have hydraulic disc brakes and have never had maintenance problems with them. For sheer stopping power they can't be beaten. If you've never had them I'd recommend trying them. Also I have worn through several wheel rims using rim brakes, I would not return to rim brakes."
It seems road.cc readers are team disc. Maybe those rim brake aficionados are just a noisy few, and we're preaching to the choir after all...
Ineos will end a five year sponsorship deal with Castelli when it begins a partnership with the Belgian cycling and triathlon apparel brand Bioracer for the 2022 season. Sir Dave Brailsford was at the Bioracer House along the World Championships course in Leuven yesterday to finalise the deal.
Known for its custom kit, Bioracer sees this deal as part of its lofty ambitions to expand into the UK and North American markets, aiming to reach an annual turnover of 100 million euros by 2030.
Its founder Raymond Vanstraelen said: "From day one, Bioracer’s ambition has been to partner with the best riders, and thanks to our work with cycling federations, we have been able to fulfil these ambitious but extending this to a partnership with Ineos Grenadiers is a personal dream come true for me. The very best all-round team of this century shares our constant drive for innovation like no other."
Brailsford commented: “I’ve known Danny [Segers, Bioracer's CEO] and Bioracer for a long time and always admired what they do and the way that they do it. I’ve always hoped and believed that we would work together one day so I am genuinely delighted that day had now come. The ethos that underpins their work is built around speed - pure and simple - with athletes right at the heart."
Known for its custom clothing, Bioracer plans to have measuring and custom fitting sessions with all Ineos riders before unveiling the kit in December. You'll be able to buy replicas from January 2022.
Germany's national anti-doping agency (NADA) has banned the former professional cyclist Björn Thurau for nine years and six months for multiple offences including attempted use, possession, distribution or administration of prohibited substances for doping purposes in cycling. All Thurau's results from December 2010 to the present day will be voided.
According to Spiegel, the 33-year-old was named as part of Operation Aderlass, a blood doping scandal of which the German doctor at the centre of it, Mark Schmidt, was jailed for four years and 10 months in January.
Thurau's ban comes two years after his professional cycling career ended. His father Dietrich Thurau won Liège–Bastogne–Liège and six Tour de France stages in the 70's and 80's, but Björn never won a major World Tour event other than a mountains classification jersey at the 2014 Tour de Suisse. His most recent public appearances were on GCN's German YouTube channel, where he was working as a presenter as recently as January of this year.
The nation of Rwanda is mad about cycling, so you'd think it's only right that its president Paul Kagame flew into Flanders to meet UCI boss David Lappartient this week to confirm Rwanda as the first African hosts of cycling's road world champs. However, some have highlighted the country's recent human rights record as a reason not to be so thrilled with the announcement...
News that Rwanda will be hosting the cycling World Championships in 2025 comes in the same week as Paul Rusesabagina was sentenced to 25 years in prison on "terrorism offences" - https://t.co/9zYB6kP13Q
— adam becket (@adambecket) September 23, 2021
Going by that we would never ever hold major events in Germany, Russia, China, Qatar, Argentina, Chile, South Africa to name just a few.
Regimes do change and cant be shunned forever and sometimes sport can help in that process
— sussexfox (@sussexfox1) September 23, 2021
Others, however, defended the decision, with one saying: "...when did human rights become a litmus test for allowing countries to host international athletic competitions?"
Reaction to the story by Rwandan newspaper The New Times seemed largely positive - do you think a Rwandan world champs is positive for the sport?
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.