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Endurance race shenanigans, Mario Cipollini in the buff, more hapless thieving and very dodgy driving - here are eleven things we've learned this week.....

1. It doesn't take much for Mario Cipollini to get his kit off

Mario Cipollini in the nude.JPG

Mario Cipollini in the nude.JPG

The legendary Italian sprinter stripped off again after doing so last year in response to photos of him riding without a helmet. This time it was to promote his new range of MCipollini bikes. “We got naked – and soon we’ll reveal her, too”, said his Instagram caption...

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2. Crime doesn't pay

Clontarf bike thief (360 Cycles via Facebook).JPG

Clontarf bike thief (360 Cycles via Facebook).JPG

A mechanic who had just finished work at a bike shop in Dublin leapt into action last weekend when a youth tried to steal his bike which he had left propped against a wall while he popped back inside. Needless to say he didn't get very far, as the mechanic promptly rugby-tackled him and reclaimed the green road bike. 

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3. Unless you're making your getaway by bike...

The FBI is offering a $2,000 reward for anyone who can identity Colorado’s 'Sneaky Cyclist Bandit'. The suspect is thought to have carried out a whole string of bank robberies in various towns and cities in Boulder County, fleeing the scene of his crimes by bicycle. Though he might still be at large, of course we can only hope this crim is caught... no matter how he chooses to escape! 

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4. The Itera lives on, sort of... 

Itera stolen from Bakelite Museum

Itera stolen from Bakelite Museum

Yet more theft-related drama, as a road.cc reader has donated a rare and famously terrible plastic bicycle to Somerset’s Bakelite Museum, after learning of the theft of the same model last week on road.cc. After the rare bike, that is famously completely dangerous to ride, was stolen it seemed there would be no winners from this situation, but it's heart-warming that the useless yet priceless Itera will stand proudly in the museum once more... 
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5. Sean Conway is almost human after all

Sean Conway

Sean Conway

​The Zimbabwe-born adventurer, who famously swam, cycled anc ran the length of the UK, has had to call a halt to his attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for cycling across Europe from west to east due to a torn muscle. He'd been planning to undertake the 4,500-mile ride in 24 days or fewer, however, he had to abandon through injury after 800 miles as he headed into the Pyrenees. "It’s such a tough decision to admit defeat and I am gutted however, I will take this time to rebuild my strength and come back stronger", Conway said. 

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6. But Mark Beaumont goes on despite terrifying near-miss

Mark Beaumont silhouette

Mark Beaumont silhouette

Beaumont, attempting to cycle around the globe in 80 days, was caught up in a worrying incident in Melbourne, Australia as his support crew's camper van was hit from behind by a car driver. Fortunately none of his support crew nor the occupants of the car, including a one-year-old child, was seriously injured, but Beaumont acknowledged that the incident could have been “a lot, lot worse.”

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7. What happens on stag... finishes in A+E

Luke Rowe (picture courtesy Team Sky).jpg

Luke Rowe (picture courtesy Team Sky).jpg

Team Sky’s Luke Rowe says that he could be sidelined for up to a year after breaking his leg while whitewater rafting during his brother’s stage weekend in the Czech Republic. The 27-year-old broke his tibia and fibula in what he told BBC Wales Sport was a “freak accident”. “I knew straight away how serious it was, it was excruciating pain and there are quite a few broken bones. It was a case of trying to get out of the water as quickly as possible and into an ambulance. I lifted my leg, but my foot stayed still, it was kind of hanging off, limp". It doesn't sound pretty, and we wish Luke a speedy recovery. 

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8. We now know the true value of Rapha gear

Rapha founder Simon Mottram.jpg

Rapha founder Simon Mottram.jpg

£200 million, to be precise. An investment firm owned by two heirs to the Walmart fortune (who also own the Asda supermarket chain in the UK) have bought a majority stake in the upmarket cycle clothing firm. The brothers, both keen mountain bikers, are the grandsons of Sam Walton, who founded Walmart in the midwestern state in 1962. Though it's unlikely we'll see Rapha gwar in Asda any time soon, it seemed an unlikely pairing in the opinion of some road.cc readers. 

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9. Cars aren't weapons 

This worrying footage of a Virgin Media employee attempting to swerve into a cyclist reached us earlier this week, and it's safe to say the driver's actions were at best reckless, at worst endangering a life. Luckily the culprit's reg plate is clearly visible and Virgin Media are aware, so let's hope the appropriate action is taken...

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10. MAMIL doesn't equal midlife crisis

Etape Royale.jpeg

Etape Royale.jpeg

A new study, published in the journal Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, examined the reasons for many middle-aged men’s enthusiasm for cycling. The researchers believe that far from being tied to some kind of mid-life crisis, there are in fact complex motivations for riding a bike recreationally, tied to the desire for good mental as well as physical health. Even more reason for all of us, even males in the 35-55 age bracket, to get out on our bikes! 

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11. 18 grand tours and still going? No problem for Adam Hansen... 

Adam Hansen during 2016 Tour de France (CC licensed by Andrew Sides via Flickr).jpg

Adam Hansen during 2016 Tour de France (CC licensed by Andrew Sides via Flickr).jpg

The hardy Australian was due to sit out of the Vuelta due to a chronic saddle sore - but following a more serious injury to Lotto Soudal teammate Rafael Valls during training, Hansen's six year, soon-to-be 19 grand tour streak will continue. “So I’m back. I will start my 19th grand tour in a row… six years of suffering, pain and pure love of it all,” said Hansen of his exhausting feat. 

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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.