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Tour trouble, 30% gradients and pedalling dogs. Here are 11 things we've learned this week.....

1. A week into le Tour, the battle for yellow is playing out a familiar narrative 

Chris Froome during Stage 1 of Tour de France 2017 (video still).JPG

Chris Froome during Stage 1 of Tour de France 2017 (video still).JPG

Bossing the stages, one of their own in second place and Froome in yellow. It’s all playing into team Sky’s hands at the moment, and we can’t help thinking it will yet again take someone or something formidable to deny Froome a fourth Tour de France win.  

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2. Elsewhere, it’s an entirely different story though…

Sagan Cavendish TdF 2017 Stage 4 crash.JPG

Sagan Cavendish TdF 2017 Stage 4 crash.JPG

What was looking like a pretty uneventful stage turned into the most dramatic in recent memory, with one of Le Tour’s most prolific stage winners and the World Champion both out of the race by the end of the day. We don’t have to fill you in on what happened, but if you want to recap on the details hit the link below…
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3. We thought the Tour de France was tough, until we saw the Giro Rosa time trial course… 

Giro Rosa climb (via Twitter).jpg

Giro Rosa climb (via Twitter).jpg

Stage five of the ten-stage Giro Rosa featured a 12.7km time trial with a gradient of 30% at its steepest point, with the video showing just how excruciating the section was to get up. Box Hill looks relaxing in comparison…

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4. The story of Philippa York is a fascinating and positive one for our time

millar.jpg

millar.jpg

As Robert Millar, ITV4’s new pundit Philippa York was the first Briton to win a jersey at the Tour de France, taking the mountains classification in 1984. York never went public with her transition, due to ‘archaic views and prejudice’ she suffered as little as ten years ago; however she commented that attitudes have moved on enough to have a public image once more.
On behalf of the road.cc team, it was great to see all of the positive comments from our followers in support of Philippa and the enthusiasm for the expertise she will bring to ITV4’s Tour de France coverage.

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5. It’s not always the driver’s fault… 

Commenters on road.cc and our social media pages seemed almost unanimous that in this clip, the cyclist was definitely at fault after undercutting a long vehicle after a traffic light. Stay safe out there and obey the laws of the road everyone…

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6. More Lance Armstrong shenanigans, but this could be the end...

Lance Armstrong Photo by Maryse Alberti, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Lance Armstrong Photo by Maryse Alberti, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

The disgraced Armstrong's agent Bill Stapleton and business partner Barton Knaggs have agreed to pay $68,000 to the federal government and $90,000 to Floyd Landis’s lawyers to get out of a $100m lawsuit. Landis had sued them and Armstrong on behalf of the United States government in a case that is due to go to trial in November.

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7. How light? 

giro prolight bag.jpg

giro prolight bag.jpg

Giro's new Prolight shoes weigh a ridiculous 150g for a size 42. Is there a limit to how low the bike brands will go?

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8. A cyclist's best friend...
 

Pedalling pup (via Tanya Reid on Facebook).JPG

Pedalling pup (via Tanya Reid on Facebook).JPG

If you have a dog, you'll know they like nothing better than keeping their owners happy by helping out with various tasks - attempting to prevent the postman from delivering bills or helping recycle the newspaper by giving it a thorough shredding for example. But here's one we haven't come across before - a 13-year-old Pomeranian named Ace who went for a bike ride with his owner Tanya Reid in Toronto, Canada and mimicked her pedalling action...

 

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9. More bikes...
 

There's been more fancy tour tech and bikes released this week, with the pick of the bunch for us being this fancy BMC Teammachine customised for Greg van Avermaet...

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10. 20mph speed limits are a polarising issue that shows no sign of slowing down...

20mph sign (CC licensed by EdinburghGreens via Flickr)

20mph sign (CC licensed by EdinburghGreens via Flickr)

 

Government speed compliance statistics for 2016(link is external) indicate that 81 per cent of car drivers exceeded the speed limit on 20mph roads, as did 80 per cent of light commercial vehicle drivers and 71 per cent of HGV drivers. Between 2011 and 2016, there has actually been a gradual increase in compliance with speed limits for most vehicles on most roads.

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11. No one’s bigger than Le Tour
 

Peter Sagan - picture credit Bora-Hansgrohe - Veloimages.jpg

Peter Sagan - picture credit Bora-Hansgrohe - Veloimages.jpg

Although the neutral can’t deny that the Tour de France won’t be the same without Sagan, the appeals have fell on deaf ears and he remains disqualified. Whether you agree or not the Court of Arbitration for Sport ca be commended for standing their ground on this occasion without being influenced from the outside.

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After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since.  He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.