Four-time Paris-Roubaix winner and three-time Flanders champ Tom Boonen is back racing competitively again...just not on a bike. The 40-year-old won the CN prototype class at the Benelux-focused GT & Prototype Challenge race series and told Sport/Voetbalmagazine, "it was great! Even better than any victory as a pro rider."
It's a nice problem to have when you've racked up so many Monuments that they start to lose their excitement..."Winning at Paris-Roubaix for the third or fourth time didn't even give me the same 'kick' as my first victories as a rookie racing driver. The pleasure of winning is certainly not proportional to the importance of the race. You get used to it. That's why those first steps are the most fun – also in my second career."
He did find comparison in the emotion of racing cars to a bunch sprint but still said it's a unique experience for him..."A bunch sprint, that's an explosion of hormones. After a chaotic final in which you find your way, shoot forward like a bolt, and then put your hands in the air. Bam! In my car there is less chaos, I have more control. You stay hyper-focussed and never go over the limit, even in a direct duel with another car. Once you cross the finish line, the joy is immense."
socks over vs under leg warmers is shit cycling banter honestly. depends on the whole get up. do what looks cutest for u x
— honor elliott (@honorelliott_) November 24, 2021
On those rarest dry days it's (old) white socks over my leg warmers. All other occasions it's black socks under for me. Don't all crucify me at once...sometimes I've just got to try and look 'pro' for motivation. Still, I look forward to the list of comments saying pros don't wear socks over leg warmers...
What looks cutest for you?
Annoying, isn't it? https://t.co/TuuIRQM9TH
— El Guapo (@patrickdtribe) November 23, 2021
Some reaction to that clever video from the States. As we said earlier, we definitely won't be trying this one any time soon, but it makes a decent point. What would the reaction be if I just decided to leave my bike here? You can get round, right?
And while we all mainly enjoyed adding "blinky orange lights of absolution" to our vocabulary, most of the reaction has been a little less facetious.
Eric wrote: "Seriously. Bike lanes aren’t short-term parking spots. The amount of times I’ve risked being hit because I was forced to swerve into traffic…"
Just go around 👍
— Aidan Hogan (@sarsfieldsride) November 22, 2021
Not everyone got it though...
— CryptoOutdoorsman (@BGrinny911) November 23, 2021
Guess they'll be more than happy for you to tow their vehicle away if it's in a bike lane then...
You can tell I'm back from holiday...we've got a local paper letter about those pesky cyclists breaking the rules of the road for your afternoon live blog entertainment.
Today's comes from the York Press. A.P.Cox wrote in to take issue with the news outlet's feature on the most dangerous roads for cyclists in the area. Hardly a bucket list travel guide, I know, but whatever...
The letter in full is here...but a couple of personal highlights..."What it did not say is why these roads are dangerous for those on bicycles. Could it be that the cause is cyclists weaving in and out of traffic to get to the front of the queue when they are unable to get onto the footpath because of pedestrians getting in their way?
"Or perhaps cyclists ignoring red lights and cycling through lines of traffic going in the opposite direction? Another survey should be done listing the most dangerous footpaths for pedestrians caused by cyclists riding on footpaths to avoid red traffic lights."
What a brilliant piece of entertainment that was...
The comments weren't too bad either if you want some more bingo and a local winning 'Guess The Author Before You See The Name'.
Transport for London has urged shoppers to pick greener transport options on their way home from the Black Friday sales. They've even got a discount of their own to mark the day... CYCLEBF21 will get you 25 per cent off an annual membership online or via the Santander Cycles app.
Alex Williams, TfL’s Director of City Planning said: "We’ve seen an increase in the number of personal deliveries across the capital which is affecting air quality in the capital and the health of many Londoners.
"Black Friday weekend is one of the busiest shopping events of the year and is highly anticipated for London’s shoppers and retailers. We’re encouraging Londoners to choose greener ways of getting their deliveries such as using click and collect or getting to the shops by public transport, helping to reduce the congestion on the capital’s roads and improving air quality."
🇳🇱 Mathieu van der Poel and 🇧🇪 Wout van Aert will meet each other in 5 cyclocross races before the National Championships.
26-12 🇧🇪 UCI World Cup Dendermonde
29-12 🇧🇪 Superprestige Diegem
30-12 🇧🇪 X2O Trofee Loenhout
02-01 🇳🇱 UCI World Cup Hulst
05-01 🇧🇪 X2O Trofee Herentals pic.twitter.com/U8pTkEBaw7
— Cyclocross24.com (@cyclocross24) November 24, 2021
Liam has already said "MvdP vs WVA is looking like the best bit of Xmas for me"...
The pair will renew their acquaintance on the mud at the World Cup event in Dendermonde on Boxing Day. Fair play to them. Slogging it out all year to stay in top shape. At least they'll get Christmas off? Nah, just water for these lads...
Get your Festive 500 x Christmas recovery ride in early and settle down for some Turkey leftovers and the two best in the world slogging it out...
The London Cycling Campaign's cycling film festival launches this Friday until the 5th of December, with tickets still available. It's running virtually and will include an international selection of short films, including how cycling has combated knife crime in London, the rapidly growing racing scene in Rwanda, a portrait of Bike Rides for Black lives and much more.
Tickets and more information can be accessed here...
Chapter2 is adding a new Blue + Cyan colourway inspired by the colours of Moana (sea, ocean, or large lake in Maori) to its TOA race model; the deep navy blue is subtly offset by the fading cyan colour on the rear of the seat tube and forks.
Designed in New Zealand, the front triangle of the TOA’s Kamm-Tail aero chassis is moulded using a one-piece Latex Mandel which Chapter2 says has increased the headtube stiffness by 34% over its TERE model. All the cables and hoses are tucked away for a clean finish and the aero benefits.
Chapter2 also gives the option to have its aero MANA Bar fitted which is practical too thanks to the brand’s Quick-Fit spacers that permit easy adjustment of the bar height and quick disassembly for travelling.
Up to 32mm of tyre clearance, vibration dampening seatstays and seatpost should also help when taking the TOA on rougher roads.
Chapter2 says it expects to start shipping this new colourway at the end of December. Tempted?
This emoji jacket lets cyclists communicate with drivers and hopefully saves lives pic.twitter.com/RmfCQEnr8q
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) November 22, 2021
Oh brilliant, that Ford emoji jacket is doing the rounds again. It was actually first launched as part of the car brand's heavily criticised Share the Road campaign in 2020. At the time, the dismal press release said: "Our roads are busier than ever with drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians all vying for space.
"It’s no wonder that tempers are lost, and conflicts arise as our ability to communicate is locked behind windscreens and inside helmets – resulting in more than 2,000 cyclists being killed on roads in Europe each year."
But yeah, put a sad face on your back and that'll keep you safe...
Egan Bernal will head to the Tour de France with the objective of claiming a second yellow jersey as his main goal for 2022. Speaking to Colombian website Revista Mundo Ciclístico, the 2019 Tour winner confirmed he'd be back at the Grand Tour he won aged 22. Tadej Pogačar's success has since somewhat eclipsed Bernal's achievement, but the Ineos Grenadiers climber says he is determined to return in top shape.
"The answer is yes," Bernal told Revista Mundo Ciclístico. "We are going to focus all our preparation and efforts thinking about competing in the Tour de France this year. It is time to return to the path that we found in 2019 and from which we have separated a little.
"I think I have fully recovered, but nevertheless we have been monitoring the physiotherapy sessions, strengthening with gym work, hoping to start the cycling year and continue without anything that could affect performance on the bike."
Bernal's preparation for 2022 has already begun and will continue at his team's December training camp in Spain. The 24-year-old's off-season began with him downplaying rumours of a rift with the team. When quizzed on the whispers linking him to a move to join Chris Froome, Bernal replied: "There is no problem. I never spoke to Israel Start-Up Nation."
Whoop last week announced the establishment of its inaugural Women’s Performance Collective (WPC) that commits to pursuing research and product development initiatives that specifically benefit women, and now it’s rolling out its new coaching feature to help users with natural cycles integrate their cycles into their training plan and sleeping habits.
The menstrual cycle causes dramatic hormonal shifts throughout the month, producing different physiological responses. “In some phases you may be more able to take on strain, can work out harder and experience higher gains, while in other phases you may need more sleep,” Whoop points out.
The fitness and health tracking brand says its Menstrual Cycle Coaching will provide more accurate Strain and Sleep coaching recommendations and Weekly Performance Assessment’s informed by their menstrual cycle for users who menstruate and are not on hormonal birth control. “These insights will allow members to plan their training, adapt their sleep, and improve their overall performance.”
Black Friday is coming up but this isn’t another mega low price announcement, instead of using the day as an opportunity to sell outdated stock and drive sales in the run up to Christmas, Raleigh has revealed its donating 100% of profits made on Black Friday to its charity partner World Bicycle Relief.
Offering no discounts or sales gimmicks, it will instead donate all of its profits made this Friday to the international non-profit organisation that specialises in large-scale, comprehensive bicycle distribution programmes to aid poverty relief in developing countries around the world.
“Viewing transportation on quality bicycles as a legitimate economic empowerment tool, all proceeds with go towards the production and distribution of specially designed Buffalo Bikes to those in developing countries - helping to provide better and safer access to education, work and healthcare,” says Raleigh.
'Getting a sandwich, be right back!'
— MonkeyWrenchGang (@M_WrenchGang) November 22, 2021
It's a bit of silliness that we wouldn't recommend making a part of your morning commute but this vid, originally from Minneapolis cycling aficionado Philip Schwartz, does make a decent point about how some motorists treat active travel space...as a car park.
Gary James reckoned all that's missing are the "blinky orange lights of absolution", then it would be fine.
And while some people, seemingly missing the irony of the vehicle parked in the left of the picture, took issue with Schwartz's stunt, most of the replies were fairly positive...
Petekfil commented: "Before you criticise, he could be rushing to a sick relative, just trying to do a day's work, collecting an anvil he can't carry. Why don't cars use car lanes designed for them? Oh, and I saw a car break a red light this morning."
"Just go around!"
— Coney Love (@coneylove) November 23, 2021
Now, I wonder what happens after the video cuts off...that BMW driver seemed pretty keen to keep things moving...
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.