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“You know what the problem with cyclists is”: Chris Hoy’s ‘fun’ taxi journey; Is cycling safer in Europe?; Vos puppy paws DQ: harsh or fair?; Confused anti-LTNer; Pidcock, true north; Commonwealths meet Braveheart; Creepy bollards + more on the live blog

After a weekend as hectic as a Commonwealth Games road race, Ryan Mallon is back with all the latest bike-related news and views on Monday’s live blog
08 August 2022, 15:50
Vos Puppy Paws poll result

Looks like the majority of you disagreed with the commissaires, and reckon Vos should have kept her win at yesterday’s Postnord Vårgårda WestSweden (let’s face it, she’s already got three of them – can’t be too greedy after all): 

Vos puppy paws poll result

Comment of the day goes to mdavidford who, when pondering how many crashes have been caused by the use of the puppy paw or super-tuck positions, concluded: “Probably about as many as overlength socks”.

The UCI may need a damp cloth for that burn…

08 August 2022, 14:59
Now, that is how you watch a bike race

It’s safe to say that the party spirit was alive and well at the Commonwealth Games road races yesterday around Warwick, with huge crowds enjoying the sunshine, atmosphere and spectacular racing: 

08 August 2022, 14:26
But… but… cyclists!
08 August 2022, 13:57
Cycling Home and Away: “How do we get British and Irish drivers to respect humans the same way?”

This photo – taken by a Londoner on holiday in France – got me thinking: Are conditions on the continent really better for cyclists, as the poster suggests, when it comes to road safety?

Or do we adopt a rose-tinted view of our experiences on the bike while abroad, compared to the daily, stressful slog of the commute?

The Twitter jury, it seems, is still out:

08 August 2022, 13:33
Ethan Hayter of Team Ineos Grenadiers credit Alex Whitehead:SWpix.com_
Ethan Hayter extends contract with Ineos Grenadiers until 2024

Fresh from taking the overall win at the Tour of Poland last week, Ethan Hayter has penned a new contract with the Ineos Grenadiers, tying him to the British outfit until the end of the 2024 season.

23-year-old Hayter – whose younger brother Leo has just joined up with Ineos as a stagiaire before turning pro with the team in 2023 – has enjoyed another stellar season following his breakthrough 2021.

Along with his GC win in Poland (the second stage race victory of his career so far after last year’s Tour of Norway), in 2022 Hayter has so far secured a second British time trial championship in a row, taken two stage wins and the points jersey at the Tour de Romandie, another stage win in Norway, and a stage and the points classification at the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali – not to mention going toe-to-toe with Wout van Aert at the Critérium du Dauphiné, before hanging on in the Alps for a very credible 15th overall.

“I am really proud to extend my contract with the team and keep racing as a Grenadier,” Hayter said in a statement released by the team today.

“The goal is clear – to kick on and win more WorldTour races, have a go at the World Champs and get some Grand Tours under my belt. I believe I am in the best environment to continue winning over the coming seasons.”

08 August 2022, 12:38
Confused motorist of the day: “My wife is now a cyclist due to the LTNs…”

The succinctly titled Twitter page, ‘Stupid shit people say on Facebook about cycling’, occasionally throws up a few gems.

And this is certainly one of them, originally posted on Zuckerberg.com by a motorist who used to be angry about cyclists but is now mostly angry about Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, largely due to the fact his wife can now ride her bike to work because of the LTNs… Got all that? Good.

The penny is right on the edge of the table, just ready to drop…

08 August 2022, 11:50
“Not made of sugar!”: Tom Pidcock, a true northerner

It may be lovely and sunny where I am right now, but Alpe d’Huez conqueror Tom Pidcock is currently racking up the post-Tour miles in decidedly less favourable conditions:

Ah, c’mon inside Tom and get yourself a brew.

Pidcock’s teammate Dylan van Baarle had the right idea, however, and spent the day with the feet up on the sofa.

Those mad cyclo-crossers, eh?

08 August 2022, 11:22
The bollards have eyes

There is definitely something horror film/sci-fi-esque about these creepy bollards in the Leicestershire village of Stoney Stanton:

Not sure how much they’ll improve road safety, beyond giving motorists recurring nightmares…

08 August 2022, 10:48
‘They may take our lives, but they will never take our bronze medal!’

At the end of a frenetic, tactically intriguing 100-mile battle around Warwick, Scotland’s latest two-wheeled Braveheart, Finn Crockett, had enough in the tank to see off England’s Fred ‘Longshanks’ Wright to secure a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games road race, prompting this not-at-all-over-the-top reaction video:

Crockett’s third step on the podium below New Zealand’s winner Aaron Gates and South Africa’s Daryl Impey – who, as far as I’m aware, didn’t have much of a role in the First War of Scottish Independence – capped off a super Sunday for the Scottish team, after Neah Evans took silver in the 4G-athon that was the women’s race, won by Australia’s Georgia Baker.

2022 Commonwealth Games women's road race (Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

In the men’s event, Northern Ireland’s fast-finishing Matthew Teggart (who kindly agreed to an interview for road.cc’s Rás Tailteann feature in June) also took an impressive fourth place, just missing out on the bronze medal by half a wheel after it all came down to a small group sprint for the win, following a last-ditch but ultimately unsuccessful attack by the little-known Welsh rider Geraint Thomas.

2022 Commonwealth Games men's road race (Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

I suspect we’ll hear more about that Thomas fella in the future…

Geraint Thomas, 2022 Commonwealth Games men's road race (Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

08 August 2022, 10:11
Live Blog worlds collide

Everyone, huddle around the wireless at half twelve today:

All we need is Ashley Neal, and that’s the perfect live blog radio line-up.

 Not sure what they could possibly be talking about, mind you…

08 August 2022, 09:33
Marianne Vos disqualified for illegal ‘puppy paws’ position: But was the commissaire’s decision a bit harsh?

Yesterday, Marianne Vos continued her red-hot streak from the Tour de France – where she won two stages and the green jersey after a five-day stint in yellow – by outsprinting Audrey Cordon-Ragot to take the fourth Postnord Vårgårda WestSweden title of her illustrious career.

Until she didn’t.

Almost three-quarters of an hour after Vos crossed the line as the victor, the UCI officials at the race disqualified the Dutch superstar – for briefly adopting the banned ‘puppy paws’ position (bringing her forearms close together in a faux-TT-style aero tuck) with 13 kilometres to go to the finish.

The rule was introduced last year, along with the banning of the ‘super tuck’ descending position on the top tube, in an attempt to improve safety both in the peloton and in your local Thursday night club race. The requirement for safe finishing straights, however, seems to be more lax in its implementation…

With Vos eventually disqualified, just as the top three (which also included emerging British talent Pfeiffer Georgi) were preparing themselves for the podium, the win went to Trek-Segafredo’s Cordon-Ragot, who was left with “mixed feelings” following her belated victory.

“It’s a strange situation,” she said, after hearing the news.

“After the finish line I was happy for my second place, and I am still proud of it. I had no regrets because I was beat by the strongest rider in the peloton at the moment.

“I was definitely not embarrassed to be second. But then I was told I was the winner and my name will be on the palmares.

“Chapeau to Marianne, because she was the first who recognized that a rule is rule and accepted the sanction.”

Vos, as ever, was magnanimous in defeat and disqualification.

“When I was in that ‘puppy paw position’, I quickly realised it was not allowed. I immediately switched to the correct position. Apparently, it was enough for the UCI to disqualify me,” the Jumbo-Visma rider said.

“We'll have to accept their decision. It is a pity, but it is a rule, and it is strictly enforced. You usually don’t ride in that position. I feel bad about it because I did not benefit from it, but rules are rules.”

What do you think?

Was the commissaires’ decision to disqualify Vos for her three-second infringement a touch on the harsh side, or is it simply a case of – as our dear leader so eloquently put it – ‘them’s the breaks’?

Also, if the officials believed that Vos had broken the rules, surely she should have been removed from the race as soon as possible, thereby reducing her considerable influence on its outcome?

Powered by Poll Maker

08 August 2022, 08:56
Sweaty Peloton spin bike - JBaNaNaS187 on Reddit
Weekend roundup: Victim-blaming police officers, Shapps’ dangerous riding law, sweaty Pelotons and more…

If, like me, you were as busy over the weekend as the non-stop, Cat 3-style racing at the Commonwealth Games (more on that later), then there’s plenty to catch of road.cc news to catch up on this sunny Monday morning.

First, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps renewed his pledge to introduce a ‘causing death by dangerous cycling’ law that would see bike riders found guilty of the offence face the same punishment as drivers convicted of causing death by dangerous driving, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Currently, cyclists involved in crashes in which a pedestrian is killed or injured can face prosecution under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 for causing bodily harm through ‘wanton or furious driving’, described by Shapps as a “legal relic of the horse-drawn era”.

According to the Daily Mail, the new legislation would be included in the Transport Bill, which will begin its passage through Parliament later this year.

A coroner’s inquest has heard how 19-year-old cyclist Reece Thompson was killed by a freak crash when he collided with a lamppost, causing fatal head injuries, while a Cambridge cyclist was robbed at knifepoint in the latest in an increasingly long line of moped-based bikejackings.

The growing concerns around violent bikejackings have prompted pro cyclist and former Scottish champion Jennifer George to avoid riding on her own, after she experienced two attacks in recent months.

The police – in both the UK and Canada – also drew our attention over the weekend, as one officer in Toronto, who had been dishing out fines to cyclists, later crashed his SUV into one in a bike lane – and then claimed he had not seen the rider because the sun was in his eyes. Classic.

Then, a cyclist who captured the moment a Range Rover driver hit him with their car has blasted Northants Police for “victim-blaming twaddle”, sharing a letter from the police confirming they were not taking action because the victim placed himself “in front of the car” by dismounting his bike.

The force's Chief Constable has now replied to the cyclist on social media to say the incident will be “reviewed and reassessed”.

Finally, a Peloton owner went viral after taking to social media for advice when his sister-in-law left his training machine in an “unacceptably gross” mess after a particularly sweaty session.

Apparently, much like her sweat, any attempt to reason with the offender goes in one ear and out the other…

08 August 2022, 08:39
“You know what the problem with cyclists is…”: Chris Hoy’s ‘fun’ taxi journey

Well, this is awkward:

Let’s just hope that particular taxi driver is better at spotting cyclists on the road than he is at spotting then sitting in his backseat…

Sir Hoy’s uncomfortable journey with the unwitting taxi driver reminded me of a live blog post from March, when cycling writer Chris Sidwells and road.cc’s very own Simon MacMichael recounted their own favourite bike-related taxi stories:

As the six-time Olympic champion posted the anecdote on social media for all the world to see, the usual suspects – some of whom, presumably, saw the post because they follow Chris Hoy, the famous cyclist, on Twitter – used the opportunity to continue the driver’s conversation for him, with predictable results:

Sigh...

But at least the taxi driver has a brand new story for his poor punters today: 

Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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