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All today's news from the site and beyond.....

Welcome to Wednesday's live blog, with Jack Sexty, Simon MacMichael and the rest of the team. 

Live blog: 

24/04/2019, 18:21

Battle of the Bastard Climb

No apologies for the Game of Thrones reference.

Watch as Julian Alaphilippe and Jakob Fuglsang slug it out on the Mur de Huy at the end of today's Fleche Walllonne.

24/04/2019, 18:13

24/04/2019, 15:33

Julian Alaphilippe successfully defends Fleche Wallone title

Julian Alaphilippe, along with Mathieu van der Poel one of the two in-form riders of the early months of the season, has won La Fleche Wallone for the second year running.

The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider crossed the finish line on top of the iconic Mur de Huy this afternoon ahead of Astana's Jakob Fuglsang, with Diego Ulissi of UAE Team Emirates third.

Victory in the women's race went to another rider who is absolutely on fire at the moment - world champion Anna van der Breggen of Boels-Dolmans  - her fifth successive win in the race.

24/04/2019, 14:12

Blues and twos (wheels)

...and coming soon*: a trailer for patients and a helmet with built in blue lights and siren.

*in our imaginations

24/04/2019, 13:28

Chris Froome on Tenerife training: “You have to make yourself hurt”

Team Sky’s Chris Froome says “you have to make yourself hurt” to get the benefit from training camps on Tenerife to be able to help you cope with the suffering and pain once you are racing.

The four time Tour de France winner was speaking during a camp at Mount Teide to the BBC’s Tom Fordyce.

"When I first started coming here, it felt like we were on the Moon," he said. "I wondered what we were going to do for two weeks.

"It's pretty desolate up here. It's just the hotel. But that's perfect. These training blocks, you can literally shut the rest of the world out.

"We're out on our bikes almost all day, and when you come back to the hotel in the evening there's nothing. Just peace and quiet. Massage, eat, sleep. Rinse and repeat. You do exactly what you need to get ready for July.

"It is going to bring pain. But that is what this is all about. We're bike riders. You're not going to get better by just cruising around, getting coffees every day.

"You've got to get out there and make yourself suffer. You have to make yourself hurt."

Froome is currently racing at the Tour of the Alps and next month, rather than defend his Giro d'Italia title, will ride at the Tour de Yorkshire, his first race in the colours of Team Ineos following its takeover of Team Sky's management company.

Read the full interview here.

24/04/2019, 11:49

Mikel Landa to replace Vincenzo Nibali as Bahrain-Merida's star Grand Tour GC contender, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport

La Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting that Landa is on his way out of Movistar to be the new top dog at Bahrain-Merida. With Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde already on Movistar's roster, it's a move that could help Landa to fulfil his potential shown at the 2015 Giro d'Italia, when he finished third.  

 

24/04/2019, 11:10

Ritchey launch 25th anniversary edition of the Swiss Cross frameset

Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 11.17.39

Tom Ritchey designed and built the first steel Swiss Cross cyclocross bike a quarter of a century ago for the Swiss CX champ Thomas Frischknecht, and now they've updated it to mark the occasion. The new Swiss Cross has flat-mount disc brake compatibility, thru-axles, a full carbon fork and updated geometry for a slightly more aggressive position. It also has clearance for up to 40mm tyres for off-road forays away from the CX race course. 

100 limited edition framesets will be launched and there will be a normal production run of the standard black version (below). Check them out on Ritchey's website here.  

Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 11.21.57

 

24/04/2019, 08:46

New York City Cops, they ain't too smart...

New York Police Department is renowned for its occasional 'crackdown' on certain behaviours and petty crimes that might seem heavy-handed to the rest of us; and recently, photos and videos emerging on social media of cops surrounding youths and fining them for not having bells on their bikes appears to be the latest use of resources that could probably be best exercised on more pressing issues. There are also reports of officers seizing bikes, and the image below allegedly shows "at least 20" police officers surrounding BMXers and telling them to leave for having the audacity to sit in Union Square. 

Streets Blog NYC reported that New York Mayor De Blasio knew nothing of the heavy-handed approach or of the four tickets that were handed out to youths for not having bells on their bikes. He dismissed it as precautionary due to the perceived spike in marijuana use on '4/20 day' (the 20th of April), although it's difficult to see what that has to do with confiscating bikes. 

Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who is planning to run for mayor, commented: “We should be encouraging cycling by making people feel safe biking on our streets, not targeting cyclists for overly punitive crackdowns. We have to do better than this.”

24/04/2019, 08:38

A cycling club and restaurant in Hackney are working in tandem to fund bikes for refugees

The Hackney Citizen reports that Cycling Club Hackney and the Italian restaurant Venerdi are raising funds to kit out local refugees with new road bikes. It's part of the club's Aspiring Rider Development Programme to help young cyclists to compete at a high level. The scheme also includes youths from disadvantaged backgrounds as well as refugees who have been riding with the club for over a year.  

Cycling Club Hackney's manager Keir Apperley has coached at youth level for ten years, previously mentoring Team Sky's Tao Geoghegan-Hart who won his first WorldTour stage win at the Tour of the Alps over the Easter weekend. 

The new bikes have been rebranded with Venerdi logos before being given to aspiring young racers, and there is also custom kit. 

 

24/04/2019, 08:32

Cyclists in Aberdeen plan to demonstrate in the city over lack of proper cycling infra

As part of the Pedal on Parliament movement that has long called for better cycling infrastructure in Scotland, the Aberdeen Cycle Forum plan to ride into the City Centre of Aberdeen on the 28th April to highlight the need for segregated cycle lanes. It will start at 11am and riders will complete laps of the city. 

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 being Staff Writer at 220 Triathlon magazine, and reports on all things tech as well as editing road.cc's live blog. He is also the news editor of our electric-powered sister site eBikeTips. 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.