— Baloise Belgium Tour (@belgium_tour) June 9, 2021
Robbe Ghys of second division Sport Vlaanderen won the opening stage of his home tour, beating Remco Evenepoel in a three-up sprint. However, the day was all about Evenepoel who is seemingly back to close to his best after returning to racing for the first time in nine months at the Giro d'Italia. Evenepoel abandoned the Giro in the third week but was back attacking on home roads today.
The 21-year-old dragged Victor Campanaerts, Gianni Marchand and Ghys from 30km to go all the way to the finish on his own, without the help of a single turn. Evenepoel's pace was so strong Campanaerts needed to get off his bike to stretch out his cramp after he was dropped on the penultimate climb...Ghys pipped Evenepoel in the sprint, but the Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider will wear the leader's jersey tomorrow having taken nine bonus seconds on the road.
Over in Switzerland it was also a breakaway day with another home rider getting the win. Stefan Bissegger beat two rivals to sprint to victory from the breakaway. Elsewhere, Tadej Pogačar enjoyed a stress-free day at his final warm-up race for the Tour de France as Phil Bauhaus won the bunch kick at the Tour of Slovenia.
— Thomas De Gendt (@DeGendtThomas) June 9, 2021
Monday is Cycle & Run night in Ealing! I so enjoyed coming out with these young families who want @EalingCouncil to make their streets safer — something so contentious that they asked me not to show their faces. Yep, some residents are THAT angry at the closure of their rat-runs pic.twitter.com/KqKFgWKymh
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) June 9, 2021
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux withdraws from Tour de Suisse as a precautionary measure following positive COVID-test.
— Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert (@IntermarcheWG) June 9, 2021
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert did not start Tour de Suisse stage four after a member of staff tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday morning. All the team's pre-race tests were negative and the staff member is not showing any symptoms but the team has withdrawn to protect the race bubble.
"The decision to withdraw was not easy to take," team manager Jean-François Bourlart said. "But we want to be cautious and protect the race bubble after one team member tested positive yesterday even if the rest of the group were all negative. Our priority is riders’ and staff members’ health so we decided to withdraw from Tour de Suisse in consultation with the race organiser. We will keep monitoring the team’s health and focus on the next goals."
It's a packed afternoon of racing with three stages in three different countries. Suisse stage four ventures into the smaller mountains but should still give Mathieu van der Poel an opportunity for a third win in a row. Over in Belgium, the Baloise Belgium Tour gets underway with some cobbles, while in Slovenia, Tadej Pogačar makes his final Tour de France preparations at his home race. Tasty.
The big news out of Belgium yesterday evening was that Mark Cavendish had been drafted in by Deceuninck-Quick-Step to replace Sam Bennett at Baloise Belgium Tour because the Irishman is struggling with an injury. The team has been tight-lipped on Bennett's condition but said he has a problem with his right knee following a "small incident in training last weekend".
With the Tour de France now less than three weeks away could we see Cav stake his claim for a spot on the team at the biggest race of the year? A couple of wins in Belgium would certainly help his chances...
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves we should point out the word from the team is that Bennett will make the Tour and he has been withdrawn from racing this week so he can rest for the big one. Patrick Lefevere has also gone on record saying he believes the Tour is too hard for Cav at this point in his career. Let us dream, Patrick...
— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) June 9, 2021
Oh sweet Jesus
This is as bad as people who took "The Rules" seriously
No..... Just no... https://t.co/V2m7daEkbI
— Andy Roo (@ViewFromEssex) June 9, 2021
If you make an exclusive jersey that can only be earned by proving you ride fast enough to wear it then you should probably expect a chilly reception. Go Faster's Kickstarter for that very idea is going down gloriously well with our readers...
Rendell Harris hasn't written the idea off just yet..."I think it's a splendid idea – it will be very useful for identifying absolute cockwombles and therefore avoiding them."
LastBoyScout said he wouldn't be touching their clothing with a barge pole, which seems to be the consensus from literally every single comment we've seen...
£100 for a jersey by a company who've never made anything before.
And they're complete tossers about it?
— Mounsey. (@rosemeyer1939) June 9, 2021
You'll also have to prove you have awful dress sense. Because they'll be the only customers.
— Dave Dee (@dodgyd) June 9, 2021
Muc-Off has expanded its tubeless range with the release of some new tubeless valves, using some fancy-sounding aircraft grade aluminium for increased strength and reliability. They weigh two grammes less than the previous model so even the keenest weight-saving fanatic is unlikely to be too excited at that aspect of the product. Where riders may be more pleased to hear about improvements is that the new valves can be used with inserts to further reduce the risk of punctures or rim damage.
The valves are priced at £24.99 and come in 44mm, 60mm and 80mm lengths as well as having ten colour options if you want to add a bit of sparkle to your wheels. Muc-Off's pro team partners: Ineos Grenadiers, EF Education-Nippo and Canyon Factory Racing have been using the new valves this season but the tech is now also available to us commoners.
"It’s rad to be once again building on our incredible tubeless range with the addition of the new tubeless valves. Being riders ourselves, we’ve seen first-hand the shift towards running inserts, so we knew we had to innovate again. Following the usual rigorous testing our team of in-house shredders are known for, we’ve developed an awesome product. I’m confident our customers are going to love the modifications," Alex Trimnell, CEO at Muc-Off said.
Great improvements - looking forward to checking it out! 👀🥳🚲
— London Cycling Campaign (@London_Cycling) June 9, 2021
There have been growing calls to make Chelsea Bridge and surrounding area safer for cyclists and pedestrians, particularly since 2017 when a cyclist was killed in a collision with the driver of a lorry turning onto the bridge. Nearby Battersea Bridge has also attracted safety concerns. In January, a petition calling on Transport for London to install a pedestrian crossing reached 14,000 signatures in three days.
This is part of @MayorOfLondon’s upgrade of the entire Cycle Superhighway 8 route. It means that people on bikes being squeezed between a bus and a 4x4 is a thing of the past. Fantastic to see a cargo bike and an e-bike using it this morning.
— Will Norman (@willnorman) June 9, 2021
Derailleurs of the Lost Ark https://t.co/tftdwiwsUa
— Just a bloke on a bike 🚵🏻♂️ (@Berk_On_A_Bike) June 9, 2021
Star Wars and Indiana Jones puns are flying off the shelves this morning. They have been too good not to give a shout-out. 'Just a bloke on a bike' providing just a top-class Derailleurs of the Lost Ark pun...incredible.
Steve Leyland christened Ford's North East spin Indiana Jones and the Temple of Toon, while over on Facebook, Pedro Nogo wanted to know if it was a solo ride...
On a similar line AlsoSomniloquism asked if it was a solo ride before suggesting he could have been riding a Falcon bike. 0-0 delivered my personal favourite so far: "Harrison Ford holds the KOM on the Kessel Run"...very good, keep them coming.
Where is our new favourite cycling A-lister going to show up next? From North Shields (not South Shields) via Sigma Sports in London...
Posting on Instagram, the Hampton Wick store wrote: "Over the years we have been very lucky to have had our fair share of legends from the world of pro cycling and some of the best triathletes in the world swing by our Hampton Wick store.
"Up to now though, visits from college professors of archaeology who aren't shy when it comes to running from boulders and defeating villains to help save the world have been few and far between.
"That though is until we were paid a visit from a certain Mr Harrison Ford. It was an absolute pleasure to welcome the acclaimed actor and director into our store and yes, we are still pinching ourselves!"
The Harrison Ford UK cycling tour is in full swing...
Back on the road six days after a broken collarbone 😮
— INEOS Grenadiers (@INEOSGrenadiers) June 9, 2021
Good news for all of us hoping to see Tom Pidcock at the Olympics in Tokyo next month. Just six days after the 21-year-old broke his collarbone, he is back out on the road. Last week, Ineos Grenadiers confirmed their rider underwent surgery in Girona and a picture circulated on social media showed what appeared to be his snapped Pinarello lying in the road.
It’s only Indiana Jones (in his cycling gear) at The Ships Cat on the North Shields Fish Quay! pic.twitter.com/Yt5M1tP1Ll
— Steve & Karen (@TheSandK) June 8, 2021
There were more than a few shocked faces when Harrison Ford strolled into one of North Shields' local spots on a Tuesday evening...in his cycling kit. Even The Ship's Cat restaurant could hardly believe it, posting a picture on social media with the caption: "Imagine sitting here enjoying your coffee then you look over and it's.... Indiana Jones!"
Ford is currently in the North East filming the fifth instalment of the Indiana Jones film franchise and has been spotted at Bamburgh Castle and on the North Yorkshire Moors. The A-lister unwound from a hard day of filming with a bike ride over to the North Shields restaurant to enjoy some seafood.
It's not the first time Ford has been snapped going for a spin while filming in the UK. In 2014, the Star Wars star went for a ride around London on his Genesis Croix de Fer...sadly, everyone in North Shields seemed too shocked to get a pic of his current ride.
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.