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F1 star Charles Leclerc cycles home after winning Monaco Grand Prix – and fans say “it’s crazy”; Pro cycling ain’t noise pollution: Is loud music and announcer hype ruining bike race finishes?; Goose vs Cyclist; Chris Froome’s back + more on the live blog

Another Bank Holiday done and dusted, and Ryan Mallon’s back with all the cycling news, views, and updates you’ll ever need on the Tuesday live blog

SUMMARY

28 May 2024, 09:48
“He’s just won Formula One and he’s riding a bike to his house. It’s crazy”: Charles Leclerc enjoys casual bike ride home after winning “dream” Monaco Grand Prix (and passing fans are stunned)

It’s fairly well known by now that most Formula One stars love riding their bikes when they’re not blitzing around a track in an overly loud racing car (just ask Valtteri Bottas, the owner of the most distinct tan lines in motor sport).

But that didn’t stop some passers-by being stunned at the sight of Monaco-born Charles Leclerc riding his bike after winning his home Grand Prix on Sunday, a feat the 26-year-old Ferrari driver tearfully described as the “ultimate dream”.

“He’s just won Formula One and he’s riding a bike to his house. It’s crazy,” one of the F1 fans filming Leclerc’s commute home (and who presumably attended the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday) says in the video.

Or, you know, he’s just riding a bike because it’s fun, easy, and fast?

Anyway, I thought I’d leave the last word to the Giro’s hardworking social media admin, still going after a hard three weeks on the road:

28 May 2024, 16:43
Hit-and-run driver who killed father and son as they cycled together jailed for 12 years
28 May 2024, 13:52
“Goose chose violence”: Commuter cyclist crashes heavily after goose launches itself at him on canal path

What’s going on with our feathered friends at the moment?

Last week, we witnessed a mischievous pair of crows swooping and attacking a cyclist on no less than three occasions in Dulwich (and sparking poor Adwitiya’s irrational Hitchcock-inspired fear on the live blog).

And now, a Stoke-on-Trent-based goose has – presumably after reading too many MailOnline columns – decided he’s had enough with cyclists, launching himself rather terrifyingly at one unsuspecting commuter last week and causing him to clatter to the ground.

Goose chose violence
byu/Last_Ad1372 inCasualUK

“Riding to work along my usual route this morning and this bloody goose decides today is the day it’s having me off. And it did,” the cyclist wrote on Reddit.

And there was me thinking the cyclist was riding on a safe, protected route…

Or perhaps this Stoke goose was simply getting his own back for his mates over in France at the cyclocross?

Eli Iserbyt avoids pair of ducks during Flamanville round of UCI cyclocross World Cup (Eurosport/GCN)

> Is that Sven and Thibau Geese? Cyclocross riders forced to avoid pair of ducks chilling out on course during World Cup race

28 May 2024, 15:38
A remarkable rebirth and return to emphatic winning ways after years of mediocrity? A subsequent, and unsurprising, positive test for EPO? How very old school
Anti-doping (CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED by Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious)

> Former pro cyclist tests positive for EPO after Gran Fondo wins

Well, I suppose the 1990s and early noughties are on trend at the moment…

28 May 2024, 08:06
Pro cycling ain’t noise pollution? “Scourge” of loud music and overzealous announcers “ruining” fan experience at race finishes, says Ned Boulting

If you were lucky enough to attend the finish of a big bike race this weekend – be it the Giro, RideLondon, or the Rás – then you may have noticed that, even long before the riders make an appearance, they’re not often the best spots for some quiet contemplation.

Nope. Instead of the steady murmur of anticipation usually found down the road, on a key climb or in some sleepy hamlet, pro cycling finish lines are home to the incessant, worryingly loud drone Eurotrash techno music or 1980s hair metal ballads, interspersed with the frequent exhortations from an excitable race announcer to “MAKE… SOME… NOISE!”

And judging by a clip he posted from the Rome finale of a long, long Giro d’Italia on Sunday, it’s pretty clear that Ned Boulting – a man who knows a thing or two about race finish areas – is fed up with it all.

“I’ve been sitting here making my notes, getting ready for the race to start – competing against the noise as the animators try to whip the crowd up into a frenzy here outside the Colosseum,” Boulting, commentating on the race for the international feed, said in the Twitter video, before leaning out of his box to capture sounds more suitably found in the aftermath of a late winner at a South American football match than the pre-start entertainment of the final processional stage of a grand tour.

“This has been going on for hours. I mean, the race isn’t due in for another four and a half hours. It’s been a long, long race,” Boulting continued, as the beat dropped during another anonymously thumping dance number outside.

Expanding on his thoughts a day later, the ITV commentator wrote: “There’s an entire industry called ‘Sports Presentation’. Its function is to ruin the experience of spectators, nullify any chance of conversation, and generally pollute the space they operate in.

“From football to cycling and beyond, it is a scourge. I love the Giro, but not this.”

Final stage of 2024 Giro d’Italia, Rome (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

Is that Mr Brightside I hear in the background? (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

While many empathised and agreed with Ned’s take – with more than a few pinning it on the ‘Americanisation’ of sport worldwide – Ant McCrossan (one of cycling’s most well-known finish line announcers) believed there is an “interesting debate to be had” around ‘sports presentation’.

“Not sure the speakers and many skilled people in sports presentation would entirely agree. But perhaps there are things that can be changed to make the experience better,” McCrossan wrote.

“Ant – not meant personally of course – you’re amazing at what you do, introducing riders onto stage etc... genuinely none better,” Boulting replied.

“But it’s the sheer volume and hype for so long before any real excitement is called for. Yesterday in particular it was an affront.”

“That’s exactly what I mean,” said McCrossan. “It’s an interesting debate about use of sports presentation at the right time and in the right way. As used in the right way it enhances the experience, but it can also as you say make the experience a less enjoyable one.”

What do you think? Is the cycling finish line experience now overhyped, overblown, and overly loud? Or is it all just part of the experience of attending a bike race?

While you think about that, I’m off to put Livin’ on a Prayer on for the sixth time this morning…

28 May 2024, 15:20
May as well rename this the Formula One live blog today…
2024 Valtteri Bottas Canyon Aeroad Stills from "What is the magic of Monaco?" Ted's Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying - 2

> Is F1 driver Valtteri Bottas riding an unreleased Canyon Aeroad?

Who knew F1 could actually be exciting? Now we just need a secret new bike reveal every week and I’ll be hooked…

28 May 2024, 14:54
Dom Jackson wins 2024 Rás Tailteann (Lorraine O'Sullivan)
Now that’s what I call a tight bike race: Rás Tailteann podium separated by zero (yes, zero) seconds, as Britain’s Dom Jackson holds on for win

While all the talk at the Giro may have been about the wide open chasms in the general classification, if a tight stage race was what you were after at the weekend, all you had to do was head over to Ireland.

On Sunday’s final stage of the Rás Tailteann, the island’s biggest and most famous stage race, British rider Dom Jackson of the Foran CT team withstood a series of attacks to hang onto the yellow jersey in the pouring rain in Bective, as UK Wheelbase-Cabtech-Castelli’s Tim Shoreman won the stage.

And Jackson’s winning margin over his closest challenger, Conn McDunphy? Nothing at all. And third place Liam O’Brien? Oh, he also finished on the same time, in what was – unsurprisingly – the closest Rás in history.

26-year-old Jackson, who made the winning move on day one, taking yellow the next day into Sneem, owed his “super emotional” win to his better accumulated stage placings over his Irish rivals, who no doubt will be mulling over the missed second here or there over the five stages.

1989, eat your heart out.

28 May 2024, 14:23
Like a limited edition Taylor Swift vinyl variant, the Van Rysel RCR Pro is back – for now
28 May 2024, 13:17
The ultimate ‘What were you doing at 25?’ post

Alright Pogi, don’t rub it in…

28 May 2024, 12:30
Merida the latest bike brand to report significant slump in sales, profits down a third

Merida has reported a fall in sales and profits for the start of 2024, following on from a challenging 2023 as the bike industry continues to battle through difficult times.

The manufacturer saw sales drop by 29.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2024, while post-tax profits are down 31 per cent, both of those figures in comparison with the same time period last year, a further slump considering the brand suffered a 26.4 per cent reduction in sales during 2023.

2023 Merida Silex  - 32.jpeg

Read more: > Merida the latest bike brand to report significant slump in sales, profits down a third

28 May 2024, 11:56
Chris Froome (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)
He’s back! Chris Froome set to return to racing tomorrow at the Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes after scaphoid fracture

While his old mate Geraint is still busy racking up the grand tour podiums at 38, another member of the old Team Sky grand tour wrecking crew, Chris Froome, is set to make his comeback tomorrow at the Mercan’Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes one-day race, two and a half months after breaking his wrist at Tirreno-Adriatico.

The 39-year-old crashed on stage two of the Italian spring stage race, continuing on for two stages (and even cracking the top 100 on one of them) before a scan revealed he had fractured his scaphoid.

The fracture brought an abrupt end to what had been, even by an ageing Froome’s recent standards, a slow start to 2024 for the four-time Tour de France winner. The Israel-Premier Tech rider started the season by finishing 27th overall at the Tour du Rwanda, over 15 minutes down on his British teammate Joe Blackmore.

By the time of his DNS ahead of stage five at Tirreno, Froome was sitting in 156th place, almost 17 minutes down on sprinter and then-GC leader Jonathan Milan.

Froome will be hoping his return to action at the extremely mountainous Classic Alpes-Maritimes will bolster his chances of starting for Israel-Premier Tech at the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he remains on the team’s provisional list, before potentially riding the Tour in July.

And while the fading grand tour phenom is still hopeful of one last shot at a decent GC place or even a stage win (which he described as a “dream”), it’s difficult to see at this point how Froome can salvage yet another injury-ravaged season.

Unless he pulls off a 2018 Giro special on the Col de la Porte tomorrow, of course…

28 May 2024, 11:34
“Dangerous cycling” law will be passed following election, both Labour and Conservatives confirm

The prospect of “dangerous cycling” laws being introduced in the United Kingdom in the near future looks increasingly likely, as Labour joined the Conservatives in committing to introduce stricter legalisation if they win the upcoming general election.

Cyclist in London with pedestrians in foreground - copyright Simon MacMichael

Read more: > “Dangerous cycling” law will be passed following election, Labour and Conservatives confirm

28 May 2024, 10:58
Richard Carapaz, 2021 Olympic road race, Tokyo (Alex Broadway/SWpix.com)
Reigning Olympic champion Richard Carapaz not selected by Ecuador for Paris Games, as Giro stage winner Jhonatan Narváez takes sole spot

This bit of news has been rumbling for a while, but it was finally confirmed yesterday that Ineos Grenadiers rider Jhonatan Narváez will race the men’s road events at this summer’s Paris Olympics for Ecuador, leaving the defending road race gold medallist from Tokyo, Richard Carapaz, at home.

Despite Carapaz’s success in Tokyo three years ago – where his impressive solo ride saw him become the first Ecuadorian to win cycling gold – Ecuador only qualified one spot for the road race and time trial at this year’s Games.

And with Narváez enjoying an impressive start to 2024, winning the first stage of the Giro d’Italia and taking the pink jersey before riding strongly throughout the three weeks, a public spat began to emerge between the pair vying for the Olympic berth.

Jhonatan Narváez, stage one, 2024 Giro d’Italia (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

(Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

According to former Giro winner Carapaz, whose 2024 also includes wins at the Tour de Romandie and Tour Colombia as he builds up towards the Tour de France, the selection process – focused on UCI points and rankings this year – was skewed towards Narváez’s heavier start to the season, describing his impending omission on social media as “an injustice”.

However, despite the EF climber’s public remonstrations, the punchy course in Paris certainly suits the in-form Ineos rider more than his compatriot, and yesterday the Ecuadorian federation agreed, confirming Narváez’s spot in Paris.

Appearing to put the bad blood of recent weeks aside, Carapaz responded to the news by wishing Narváez well on social media.

“This time it wasn’t possible for me to be the representative for the Olympic Games, but I want to wish Jhonatan the best of luck, may he do well and may he represent us in the best way,” the 30-year-old said.

“For my part, I continue to prepare for new objectives and new goals. Remember: never stop raising your voice for a fair sport.”

28 May 2024, 10:42
And with a last-gasp attack, Geraint Thomas wins the Giro d’Internet

His third place in Rome cemented his place as the oldest podium finisher in the Giro’s history, and 38-year-old Geraint Thomas has also proved he’s still got what it takes to mix it with the kids when it comes to bashing out classic memes on social media, as evidenced by the final image the former Tour winner included on his post-Giro Instagram post yesterday:

Geraint Thomas Giro Instagram post

Now, surely that’s worth a grand tour podium on its own?

28 May 2024, 10:17
“Wales is amazing. Audax is great. 600km is easy. Life is beautiful”

Fancy a lovely long read (and video) about audaxing and the 600km Bryan Chapman Memorial ride? Well, thanks to Dave – who finally completed the thing after a harrowing experience in 2018 – you’re in luck…

> The Whole Bryan: How I finally conquered the 600km Bryan Chapman Memorial audax ride

28 May 2024, 08:57
Bank Holiday weekend round-up: Legal challenge set to be launched against park rat-run closure; More parked cars on cycle lanes; Rund um Köln vs zebra crossings + more

If you were too busy enjoying your three days off in a row, and the remnants of the May sunshine, to keep you up to speed with the latest goings-on in the world of two wheels, don’t worry because – as ever – we’ve got you covered…

Poole Park (Facebook/Leave Poole Park Alone)

> Motorists to launch legal challenge against “totally undemocratic” decision to close park rat-run to drivers to “appease the cycling brigade”

Back at Poole Park, the site of an ongoing ‘to rat-run or not to rat-run’ saga, a group of local motorists – incensed at not being able to use the heritage-listed park as a short cut – have threatened to launch a legal challenge against what they describe as the council’s “totally undemocratic” decision to permanently close one of its entrances in order to encourage cycling, walking, and you know, not sitting in a car.

“We believe this has been done to appease the cycling brigade who have wanted cars banned from the park,” the chair for the Leave Poole Park Alone group said.

Perhaps they should change their name to Leave Poole Park Alone (and full of cars), eh?

Children cycling on middle of road due to parked cars in Ealing cycle lane (CitizenUddin, Twitter)

Meanwhile, Ealing Council – a month after being accused of “prioritising bus times over cyclist and pedestrian lives” and “putting motor traffic first” by ripping up some cycle lane proposals – is back in the news, after some local cyclists claimed it isn’t doing enough to clamp down on illegal parking that has rendered many of the London borough’s cycle lanes useless, making it “too dangerous” for children to ride their bikes to school.

> “The message seems to be as a motorist there is nothing you can’t do”: Politicians are “cowards kowtowing to drivers” in area “too dangerous” for children to cycle thanks to illegal parking rendering bike lanes “useless”, claim campaigners

Disinformation and democratic chasms (there’s a new one for you) were also hot topics over the weekend, as thank tank Demos chastened the government for spouting conspiracy theories over LTNs and 15-minute cities.

Sticking with this government’s odd views on cyclists, the Conservative MP for Shipley, Yorkshire, Philip Davies, was accused of displaying “massive prejudice against cyclists” in the wake of an “angry email rant” to a constituent who questioned his “contradictory” views on road safety and number plates for cyclists.

Tadej Pogačar’s routine Giro victory was also analysed, Tech of the Week featured a new “AI rear-view mirror” for cyclists, and Keim Cycles’ super odd frame made an appearance on Bike at Bedtime.

Keim Cycles Arvak 4 - via Keim Cycles on Facebook

> Remembering the rare Keim Cycles Arvak with a monocoque white ash frame (that you can apparently still buy for just under £10k)

And that should be you all caught up. Let’s hope you’re battling the post-bank holiday blues better than the unfortunate woman who stumbled across a zebra crossing in Germany on Sunday – only to find the Rund um Köln breakaway hurtling towards her…

Breakaway group narrowly avoids hitting woman on zebra crossing (Rund um Köln)

> “These cyclists, never respecting pedestrian crossings”: Group of pro cyclists narrowly avoid hitting elderly woman with walking aid on zebra crossing during one-day race

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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19 comments

Avatar
Owd Big 'Ead | 3 weeks ago
1 like

Did anyone really expect Starmer to be any different than the Tory wankers?
We're doomed whoever wins the general election.

Avatar
Owd Big 'Ead | 3 weeks ago
0 likes

As for the noise made by mic'd up media types at the Giro?
It's the continual Americanisation of sport, whatever the discipline.
Nobody can be enjoying themselves unless the sound is turned up to 11.
I absolutely hate spectating at any sporting event these days everything seems to be about appealing to the dimwits only.

Avatar
Owd Big 'Ead | 3 weeks ago
0 likes

Cyclist being hit by a goose.
What exactly were they expecting?
For it to just jump out of the way like pedestrians are supposed to around cars.
The cyclist had ample opportunity to slow down, but chose not to.
Well player goose for standing ones ground.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Owd Big 'Ead | 3 weeks ago
1 like

Owd Big 'Ead wrote:

Cyclist being hit by a goose. What exactly were they expecting? For it to just jump out of the way like pedestrians are supposed to around cars. The cyclist had ample opportunity to slow down, but chose not to. Well player goose for standing ones ground.

That's a bit of a strange take on it! I rode along the Thames (mainly) from Reading to London on Monday and I did ask a couple of cyclists to slow down as they were slaloming in and out of geese and swans with their young but in this case the goose was on the grass to the side of the path, the cyclist wasn't expecting it to get out of the way because it wasn't in the way.

Avatar
ktache | 3 weeks ago
1 like

Geese are getting a bit antsy at the moment, goslings, I'm getting hissed at.

Anyone know what bike lelerc is riding?

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to ktache | 3 weeks ago
3 likes

ktache wrote:

Anyone know what bike lelerc is riding?

The size of the downtube and what looks like a control unit on the bars, not to mention the ease with which he's spinning it uphill, makes me think it's a mid-motor ebike...maybe a Specialized Turbo Vado with a customised paint job?

Avatar
Oldfatgit | 3 weeks ago
2 likes

Forth Radio normally has a mobile broadcast unit and presenters at the start / finish line of the Tour De Forth.
I absolutely hate it with a passion.

It's not even 8am on a Sunday morning [typically] and the volume is absolutely horrendous.
It's ear-bleading stuff, made worse by the presenters shouting down their mikes.
The event used to be out of Ratho, but now its been mover to RBS at Gogarbank as the closest people around are golfer's... and they don't really count as much as they think they do  1

Avatar
brooksby | 3 weeks ago
2 likes

A section of NCN Festival Way closed until next year.  Is this something people ought to be told about?

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/cycle-route-close-until-...

Quote:

The National Cycle Path in Ashton will be closed from Canada Way to the underpass below Brunel Way.

The works are being undertaken by Bristol City Council and according to the Temporary Traffic Regulation Order, the cycle route known as Festival Way will be closed off to pedestrians and bikers. A diversion is in place.

According to One.Network, the work could last until next year, as the website indicated an end date of January 24, 2025. It is unknown what the work is aiming to improve.

The diversion for pedestrians and cyclists, starting northside of the closure, will see them use the Brunel Way underpass to head to Ashton Avenue Bridge, and then going south past the Ashton Gate bus stops until able to access the A3029 and onto the A370 Brunel Way.

After following the road heading westbound, pedestrians and cyclists will enter the A369 Clanage Road before joining Canada Way. During this time, access to the allotments via Festival Way will be prohibited.

 

Avatar
Kapelmuur | 3 weeks ago
4 likes

The 'music' is the reason I don't attend 1 day cricket.

Avatar
stonojnr | 3 weeks ago
6 likes

Ned has a point, remember visiting a Vuelta stage and being subjected to the official song on permanent repeat it felt like, though at least the volume wasn't deafening.

Unlike Ride London who had hired a dj whose job it seemed was to make as much noise as possible.

The stupid thing was as soon as the riders approached the finish, they turned the volume up to 11, so you couldn't hear the crowd cheering, couldn't hear the commentators either, just a wall of loud beat dance music.

Avatar
AidanR | 3 weeks ago
8 likes

Re: music, noise and annoying MCs, this is also a problem with many running events which I've entered. I don't want to be assailed by loud music and a group warm up session with a couple of mic'd up muscle-bound PTs who haven't run over 5k in their lives.

I just want to quietly prepare for the race in the 20 minute queue for the portaloos.

Avatar
the little onion | 3 weeks ago
6 likes

What cycling needs is MORE COWBELL

Avatar
ktache replied to the little onion | 3 weeks ago
0 likes

Chainsaw engines?...

Avatar
Paul J replied to ktache | 3 weeks ago
4 likes
ktache wrote:

Chainsaw engines?...

There should be a rule that anyone who brings a damn chainsaw to a bike race is fair game to be wedgied and then tied up securely to the nearest tree or lamp post.

Really, absolute fucking the most annoying thing. Someone brought one to the Dublin WCup cyclo-cross, and kept revving the fucking thing. It was stupidly loud for anyone within 50 metres - and annoying even if you were further away than that. The person presumably thought they were really funny, but they were just a massive bellend.

Avatar
HarrogateSpa replied to Paul J | 3 weeks ago
6 likes

I can see a potential flaw in the plan of tying the owner of a chainsaw to a tree.

Avatar
belugabob replied to HarrogateSpa | 3 weeks ago
0 likes
HarrogateSpa wrote:

I can see a potential flaw in the plan of tying the owner of a chainsaw to a tree.

The chainsaw with no blade attached?

Avatar
NotNigel replied to the little onion | 3 weeks ago
0 likes

Cowbell and banging music...they need mid-noughties Soulwax.

Avatar
lesterama | 3 weeks ago
8 likes

I've got D:Ream on repeat while I watch Sunak's catalogue of election catastrophes again and again. Make background noise great again!

Avatar
LondonCalling replied to lesterama | 3 weeks ago
1 like

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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