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Aussie rider spotted hitching a lift on busy highway; Women's Hour Record attempt; Nicolas Cage as...bottle cages; MP responds to "misinformation" accusation over LTN row; Bernal confirms Vuelta target; Bike Week; Sunshine at last + more on the live blog

It's Tuesday and Dan Alexander is in the saddle for another day on the live blog...
01 June 2021, 16:08
Fun in the sun

Well, summer has finally turned up...that bank holiday weather was glorious. Hopefully you all managed to make the most of it with some nice hot miles and didn't get too sunburnt...

01 June 2021, 15:48
Former England footballer Geoff Thomas fears Tour 21 ride at risk of being cancelled due to French quarantine restrictions
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The Tour 21, an event led by former England footballer Geoff Thomas which involves amateur riders take on the full route of the Tour de France to raise money for Cure Leukaemia, risks being cancelled for a second year, this time due to French quarantine restrictions. The French government last week announced restrictions for UK citizens travelling to France which means visitors must quarantine for 14 days.

Thomas and the man who saved his life Professor Charlie Craddock CBE have appealed to both the UK and French governments to provide special dispensation to allow it to take place in three weeks' time. The event has a fundraising target of £1,000,000 and all funds will be invested in the national Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) which connects blood cancer patients from the UK catchment area of over 20 million people with potentially life-saving clinical trials. 

Tour de France organiser Christian Prudhomme has also got involved, saying he hopes the event can go ahead. "I want to ask you to help Cure Leukaemia," Prudhomme said in a recorded message. "There are many children with blood cancer who need help, and you can help them by supporting the 25 who will be doing the Tour."

01 June 2021, 15:18
Joss Lowden announces women's Hour Record attempt this September
Joss Lowden. JPG

British pro rider Joss Lowden will take on the women's Hour Record in Switzerland in September. The DROPS Le Col s/b Tempur rider is aiming to beat the current record of 48.007km which has stood since Victoria Bussi broke the old record in 2018. Since the record was unified in line with other UCI rules and regulations only seven attempts have been made. Lowden's attempt will be held at the BMC Track velodrome in Grenchen in Switzerland at the end of September.

Last November, Alex Dowsett was forced to cancel his Hour Record attempt due to a positive coronavirus test. Dowsett had been hoping to reclaim his record which was broken by Bradley Wiggins back in 2015 before Victor Campanaerts then bested Wiggo.

01 June 2021, 14:34
Nicolas Cage as...bottle cages: the Twitter thread you never knew you needed in your life

Where to start with this? All round great cage content...What a strange place the internet can be...

01 June 2021, 13:57
Sonny Colbrelli wins Critérium du Dauphiné stage three

After twice winning the sprint for second behind the solo winner in the first two stages of Critérium du Dauphiné, Sonny Colbrelli finally got his win on stage three. On stage one the Italian was foiled by Brent Van Moer before Lukas Pöstlberger outfoxed the bunch yesterday. Bahrain Victorious were never going to let it happen a third time and kept the two-man break on a very short leash.

In the sprint Alex Arranburu kicked first but Colbrelli managed to follow before overpowering the Astana rider in the final 100 metres of a tough uphill finish in Saint-Haon-Le-Vieux. Tomorrow's 16km lumpy individual time trial could have a big say on who takes the yellow jersey ahead of a big weekend of Alpine climbing.

The Dauphiné is the traditional warm up race ahead of the man unlikely to get the nod for the big one is Mark Cavendish. Deceuninck-Quick-Step team boss Patrick Lefevere told Italian website Bici.Pro that the Tour "is probably too hard for him now".

"Mark has done a few races. He's also been unlucky because some of the race he was supposed to do were cancelled. He retired on stage 3 of the Vuelta a Andalucía saying it wasn't a race for sprinters and then André Greipel won the next day." Trouble in paradise?

01 June 2021, 13:27
Simon Yates off to the Tour de France after Giro d'Italia podium

Despite his best efforts Simon Yates could not overhaul Egan Bernal or Damiano Caruso during the final weekend of the Giro d'Italia and had to settle for third place in Milan. After the TT, Yates said he had no regrets and that the two riders above him on GC were simply the strongest two in the race. 

Yates' directeur sportif at Team BikeExchange told Cyclingnews it is likely the team's star rider will be heading to the Tour de France. "First is a holiday," White explained. "I can guarantee that one, he’ll be packing his bags and starting a nice break on Monday. Then we’ll sit down, see how he’s come out of the Giro. But obviously for Simon a big goal for him is to win the Olympic Games. And it’s highly likely you’ll be seeing him at the Tour."

In 2019, Yates won two stages of the Tour having raced to eighth a month earlier at the Giro. White did not mention if the 28-year-old's primary goal will be stage wins or GC, however BikeExchange's provisional team selection for the race suggests the former is more likely.

01 June 2021, 12:50
Celebrate Bike Week with Cycling UK
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This week is Cycling UK's annual celebration of cycling and runs up until this Saturday. The charity is asking people to get out and enjoy a bike ride as well as sharing photos and logging their miles online. Over the bank holiday, it hosted the World's Biggest Bike Ride and with the week coinciding with half-term, Cycling UK has created a list of 21 family-friendly bike rides across the UK.

Sarah Mitchell, chief executive of Cycling UK, commented: "Over the past year we have really seen the importance of staying active and getting outside on our wellbeing, both physical and mental. We estimate that one in three people in the UK either owns or has access to a bike – that’s about 25 million people. This Bike Week we want to see as many of them as possible sharing the benefits and joy of cycling and showing the possibilities of a better world by bike."

01 June 2021, 11:36
Former Utah Jazz NBA Defensive Player of the Year killed in cycling crash

Former Utah Jazz basketballer and twice NBA Defensive Player of the Year Mark Eaton has been killed in a cycling crash, the team announced. UPI reports the 64-year-old was found unconscious in the road on Friday evening in Summit County, Utah and according to the authorities there is no reason to believe anyone else was involved.

The Jazz shared the news on Friday:

The Utah Jazz are profoundly saddened at the unexpected passing of Mark Eaton, who was an enduring figure in our franchise history and had a significant impact in the community after his basketball career. 

His presence continued around the organisation as a friend and ambassador while giving back as a businessman and volunteer to his adopted hometown in Utah. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Teri and their extended family. Mark will be greatly missed by all of us with the Jazz.

 Eaton was twice awarded the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year accolade and his No.53 jersey was retired by the Jazz following his retirement. The shocking news comes two months after the Dallas Mavericks confirmed their former player Shawn Bradley had been paralysed after being hit by a driver while cycling in Utah.

01 June 2021, 10:52
Wedding bells

This cycling wedding got us digging into the archives to see if we have covered anything like this before...the answer? No, not really. Isa and Terry's brilliant big day featured all the guests travelling to the ceremony by bike and the couple emerging from the service on two wheels...perhaps the first dance was a quick 20 minute HIIT?

01 June 2021, 10:31
Giro d'Italia winner Egan Bernal targets Grand Tour sweep at Vuelta a España

A post shared by Egan Bernal (@eganbernal)

Egan Bernal has confirmed he will target the Vuelta a España having secured the Giro d'Italia on Sunday. Bernal does not turn 25 until January, but by that time may have won all three of cycling's Grand Tours...not bad. The Colombian told Semana TV he will be keen to take on the Spanish race after some rest and "can't just sit at home and do nothing."

"Yes, the Vuelta. Right now, I don’t want to think about one month training and being away from home, but I like to race, and I like to prepare, to do things well, so I know I will have the motivation to go to the Vuelta and do it well," Bernal explained. "We’re looking at the Vuelta. I can’t just sit at home and do nothing."

Just seven riders have managed to win all three Grand Tours...Bernal's former teammate Chris Froome being the most recent, winning his third at the Giro in 2018. Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali represent the only other riders from recent times in the exclusive club alongside greats of the sport such as Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Jacques Anquetil and Felice Gimondi. 

"The Giro was completely different than we expected," Bernal continued. "We thought that the first part of the race would be about limiting the losses, and then taking the time back in the end on favourable terrain in the mountains.  And it turned out completely opposite; I took time early, and then when the mountains came, there were others stronger and I had to really count on my teammates."

01 June 2021, 09:40
Aussie rider spotted hitching a lift on busy highway

Watch this video in full screen came out of Queensland over the weekend after being shared on the 'Cairns & Surrounding Area Bad Drivers Exposed' Facebook group. Ange Scott-Mitchell called the cyclist "crazy dude" after spotting him hanging on to the back of the trailer on the fast-moving highway. As you might expect, the police condemned the man's behaviour telling a local news report that it "put other motorists at risk".

In the comments, Ai-Yeng Chang made us laugh by asking "how’s that car pulling the weight of this man's balls?"...while a few others were more concerned that he is not wearing a helmet...

Back in March an outraged Welsh dairy farmer shared a similar clip of a cyclist hitching a lift on the A40 near Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire. The exasperated farmer said: "’I've seen some things in my time but this is up there with the best of the stupid ones!"

01 June 2021, 08:23
The right tool for the job...Bike Is Best
01 June 2021, 07:30
MP responds to "misinformation" accusation following row over LTNs and Clean Air Zone

MP Khalid Mahmood has hit back at criticism of his outspoken views on Birmingham's Clean Air Zone. Last week, a city transport chief wrote to Mahmood asking him to "stop publishing misinformation to undermine vital efforts to improve air quality across the city."

The MP for Perry Barr has also been vocal about LTNs and got in a bizarre social media argument recently after commenting on a video of gridlocked traffic blaming the schemes for congestion. Mahmood suggested greener buses and "stopping fining poor people to make money" was a better way of tackling pollution before calling a proponent of the low-traffic schemes woke and "bourgeoise".

Now, the Labour politician has clashed with a councillor and cabinet member for transport over the city's new Clean Air Zone which comes into effect today and will see motorists charged for driving non-compliant vehicles in certain parts of the city. Waseem Zaffar expressed "frustration and disappointment" at Mahmood's criticism of the scheme and accused the MP of spreading misinformation.

In the letter, Zaffar corrected Mahmood's social media post that suggested the council had withheld information on pollution levels. The Labour councillor also corrected the MP's claim that the Clean Air Zone will cost £130 million, instead saying it will cost an initial £14 million with a further £38 million from the Clean Air Fund to help businesses and individuals prepare for its implementation.

Mahmood responded in his own letter to the transport chief: "I believe strongly that we should have the cleanest possible air for our children and our citizens. This model places a burden on those least able to afford this tax." 

As in the LTN argument a week before, Mahmood suggested improved bus services as a better solution. He also disputed that the level of Nitrogen Dioxide warrants a Clean Air Zone.

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote 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 making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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