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Cyclist's injury caused by pothole costs council £200k; Surrey Bike Park plans moving at a snail's pace; Emotional Cav video; Excellent save on TDF time trial; 900km drive to get Van der Poel a special front wheel; & more on the Live Blog

After some serious shouting at the telly because Cavendish and England, a hoarse Liam Cahill is in charge of the blog today
30 June 2021, 16:21
Thomas says that his pacing was good but that there was "not enough power"

We thought that the TT would shake things up in the GC race a bit, but unless your name is Tadej Pogacar, it was a bit of a disastrous day. Here are Geraint's thoughts after losing 1'18" to Pogacar and slipping to 12th overall at 1'54".

30 June 2021, 15:45
Van der Poel - "I surprised myself today"

Having clung to his yellow jersey by a mere 8 seconds, you'd forgive Van der Poel for just wanting to relax, but he spoke to the media and thanked his mechanics for working until midnight last night to make changes to his Canyon Speedmax CFR. The changes, he says, were aimed at getting a more aero position.

Those changes included a host of non-sponsor-correct parts, including one of the Princeton wheels that, as we reported earlier, was driven 900km entirely for this TT. While we assumed that Alpecin-Fenix was in it for the front wheel, Van der Poel was actually riding the Blur 633 rear disc paired with an Aerocoach Aeox Titan front wheel.

Van der Poel was also using the Aerocoach Ascalon extensions in place of the standard Canyon cockpit and the team didn't stop with the bike. A Lazer Volante helmet replaced his usual Abus and Aerocoach/No Pinz overshoes were selected over the regular Kalas overshoes.


30 June 2021, 14:39
Tour de France latest: is another Swiss victory on the cards?

The current European time trial champ Stefan Küng put in a monstrous performance, posting a time of 32 mins 19 secs for the 27.2km. No one's touched him so far, but there's still plenty of talented time trial riders to go down the ramp yet. 

> Tour de France pro bikes: Anatomy of a time trial bike

30 June 2021, 14:33
Chris Boardman honoured to be appointed chair of Sport England

Boardman succeeds Nick Bitel, and will head up the Board for four years. 

30 June 2021, 14:22
The answer was yes

Piere Rolland isn't known for his time trialling abilities. Stefan Kung is. So when Rolland saw that Kung was starting three minutes behind him, he wrote a cheeky message on his bib number.

The competition was set to be nearly* as important as the Switzerland vs France football match where France lost on penalties. 

In the end, Kung easily caught the Frenchman and it was another win for Switzerland. Though we doubt that this one made grown men cry.

30 June 2021, 13:45
Might it have been these two?

Tony Martin and John Degenkolb were both police cadets before they became pro cyclists. Degenkolb has even said that he could go back to being a police officer once his racing career is over.

30 June 2021, 13:41
Comments section snails


30 June 2021, 12:53
We take your £100k pothole claim and raise you £200k
huge pothole - credit shaun wyllie on facebook.PNG

Yesterday we reported that of the £400,000 Surrey County Council paid out in pothole-related compensation claims, £100,000 went to one cyclist who was injured after hitting a pothole in Dorking - and further anaysis of the FOI request from Heycar reveals that £200,000 was paid out to a cyclist who fell on the A49 due to a pothole, reports

Even though councils in England filled 1.2 million potholes last year, or 20,000 a week, it's estimated that there are over 100,000 potholes on UK roads at any one time. The Asphalt Industry Alliance estimate it would cost more than £10 billion to nip the pothole problem in the bud and repair the lot. We can dream...

30 June 2021, 12:45
What a save!

Stefan Bissenger had a pretty scary wobble on today's stage 5 time trial, but managed to steady himself and get round the corner with just a second or so lost for the not-so-effiencient line he took. All in all, it's been a pretty fortunate week for the Swiss so far in cycling and football... 

30 June 2021, 09:17
Right in the feels

Deceuninck Quick-Step have released this video about Cav's return to the top at the Tour de France. 

In unrelated news, I seem to have something in my eye...

30 June 2021, 08:34
Plans for Surry Bike Park moving at a snail's pace
Roman Snail (WikiCommons)

Local residents opposed to the development of a free-to-use BMX track into what will be known as Surrey Bike Park have, Get Surrey reports, expressed their horror at the potential loss of habitat for rare Roman snails.

We first covered the potential Surrey Bike Park earlier this month when councillor Professor Patricia Wiltshire suggested that the development could attract child molesters, a claim that she clarified later as simply expressing the fear of a resident that had contacted her.

The area is already a popular spot with mountain bikers, but maintenance of the BMX track and trails that had been carried out by volunteers cannot be picked up by the council, as it says it can't afford to shell out for the work.

Plans are moving sluggishly and a recent agenda item to discuss the project was removed after it was decided that an ecological survey was needed to assess the site. 

Some residents are also keen to keep the site as a free-to-use facility for families to use. Bike Park projects are nothing new, and users are generally expected to shell out a pay-to-ride or annual fee.

Really, the question is... what have the Roman snails ever done for us?

30 June 2021, 08:16
Geraint Thomas "a little surprised" by Cav's win

"I hope he doesn't hear me say that..."

*tags Cav in tweet"

30 June 2021, 07:44
TdF race leader goes shopping for speed

Van der Poel's Alpecin Fenix team would rather like to hang on to their Yellow jersey for a few more days, but that means getting Mathieu van der Poel through today's time trial.

He's near unbeatable in pretty much all bike-related activities, but the race of truth has never been somewhere that Van der Poel shines.

To give him every chance possible, Nieuwsblad reports that the team purchased the supposedly very speedy Princeton CarbonWorks 6560 front wheel from Ineos rider Cameron Wurf in Andorra and then took them to Van der Poel's team hotel in Rennes, a drive of about 10 hours.

According to Nieuwsblad, team manager Christoph Roodhooft called Shimano to ask permission to use a non-sponsored wheel and Shimano agreed to turn a blind eye. Princeton didn't have any stock available, so they had to contact Wurf who had an unused wheel. The owner of a hotel and friend of Roodhooft then collected the wheel and drove straight up to Rennes to deliver it to a (probably) very tired mechanic.

All in the name of speed...

30 June 2021, 07:28
On today's Live Blog...

For a few hours yesterday, my little world was perfect. Cav was being Cav - winning, making me shout at the TV and then swearing in the post-race interview. And then England were competent at football. 

Today is TT day in the TdF. Some riders will be having a rest day. Not a full one, you've still got to ride pretty hard to make the time cut, but at least they should have a bit less stress while riding around on their own. It could, however, be a proper GC day. Primoz Roglic was heavily bandaged and we've heard that his Jumbo-Visma team expect him to lose around 1'30" to Pogacar today. How will Geraint Thomas cope after dislocating his shoulder?

We've also got some pothole news. As someone that has recently come off due to a pothole, I can actually feel this one. Anyone else had a run-in with a pothole recently? 

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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