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"I fight to survive" - Sagan says he swerved to avoid “square pole” in the barriers; Thomas admits “going through the motions a bit” during lockdown training; Boulting, Millar and Kennaugh go golfing; Van Aert fined for giving Sagan the finger + more

Welcome to Thursday's live blog, with Liam Cahill and Alex Bowden providing your updates throughout the day...
10 September 2020, 15:40
Marc Hirschi's first pro victory was pretty good

If you've been following this year's Tour, you'll know this one was on the cards.

The Swiss 22-year-old had already finished second on Stage 2 and third on Stage 9.

10 September 2020, 15:18
Family pay tribute to cyclist whose “last living action was pushing the pedals” - police appeal for witnesses.
10 September 2020, 14:07
That time when Froome got Nibali by the scruff of the neck…
10 September 2020, 13:47
Jens Voigt won last time a Tour stage finished in Sarran

I interviewed Jens a few years back.

Funny guy - although not always deliberately.

Doesn't look like it's going to be a win for the break today though.

10 September 2020, 12:38
geraint thomas ineos 2020
Geraint Thomas admits “going through the motions a bit” during lockdown training

Geraint Thomas, omitted from Ineos Grenadiers’ Tour de France team, has told the Guardian that he didn’t get into shape in time after, “going through the motions a bit,” during his lockdown training.

“I need to be super ‘on it’ to get to my Grand Tour competitive shape,” he said. “That takes a lot of work. It doesn’t come naturally, especially the whole weight thing. So, I was just running a little heavy and it was more a case of getting on top of that. Six weeks of racing has really helped.”

Thomas is currently sitting fourth in Tirreno-Adriatico.

“I’m feeling better than three weeks ago for sure,” he said. “It’s the first time I’ve been at the pointy end this year. This race will do me the world of good for the Giro. I’ve got some confidence again.”

10 September 2020, 11:52
The poetically named final climb of the day
10 September 2020, 10:54
"I fight to survive" - Sagan says he swerved to avoid “square pole” in the barriers

Peter Sagan says he didn't see the selfie stick which some have been suggesting was the cause of the manoeuvre that saw him relegated in yesterday's sprint (see earlier).

He says he was actually trying to avoid a square pole that was lying in amongst the barriers.

Bit blurry, but we think he means this thing:

Swerve

Here's the footage:

10 September 2020, 10:36
The Tour de France heads through Cloud

A quick look at what awaits the riders in today's stage of the Tour de France.

It's an intriguing one and the longest of the race.

Ironically, they pass through Cloud before they've hit the first climb of the day.

10 September 2020, 10:30
It's illegal for more than six people to gather from Monday. British Cycling and Cycling UK are still trying to work out what that will mean in practice
10 September 2020, 09:16
This one has it all...

Dressed up for the big shoot, angry face, blame the cyclists etc...

The Lancashire Post writes that "Stephen lives at Walton Le Dale with wife Jacqueline and said the commute to work can now take up to half an hour for a journey of just two miles."

If only there was another way to travel those two miles. Has anyone got any ideas?

10 September 2020, 08:32
Organised sports events events excluded from social gathering size restrictions because organisers are trusted to make them covid secure

We've still got a few questions.

What we're really waiting for here is one of the cycling organisations to spell things out for us.

10 September 2020, 08:30
Was Sagan swerving to avoid a selfie stick?

You'd think he'd have mentioned it, if he was.

10 September 2020, 08:12
What a photo

The best picture of the Tour de France so far and it'll be hard to top it.

This spectacular image shows the closing meters of yesterday's sprint stage with Sagan, Van Aert, Bennett and Ewan all eeking out their last ounces of energy in the race for the line. Take a bow BettiniPhoto.

10 September 2020, 08:03
Two former pro cyclists and a commentator go golfing...

Some questionable form and lost balls are the order of the day in 'Golf Attack - The Movie'.

Maybe we need to send Ned, David and Pete a set of our custom road.cc golf balls...

10 September 2020, 07:40
200CHF for flipping the bird
Van Aert Middle Finger

As the cameras focussed on Bennett and Ewan, they picked up Wout van Aert making his feelings known to Peter Sagan.

Sagan had taken a gap up the barriers, before making himself some more room with a shoulder to the ribs of Van Aert. The move earned Sagan more than just a hand gesture from Van Aert. The race officials deemed that his sprint was dangerous and Sagan was relegated to 85th place, losing his green jersey points from the stage as well as being docked a further 13 points in the sprinter's classification.

Van Aert got told off too, getting an effective slap on the wrist in the form of a 200CHF fine. That's Swiss Francs by the way. 

If you haven't seen what Van Aert was upset about, here's the replay...

10 September 2020, 07:15
Ah that social distancing thing
Cheshire Cat Sportive (picture credit britishcycling.org_.uk)

So it seems that group rides are back down to a maximum of six people per ride.

Will people be sticking to this and have you just had to cancel some plans due to the new restrictions?

It also looks like racing at a local level is back off, just as it was getting started again. We're still not sure about sportives, but we'll be keeping an eye out for news from British Cycling 

10 September 2020, 07:14
Backstage Pass Stage 11 - Mitchelton Scott

 

10 September 2020, 07:07
Good morning, sports fans

It's Liam kicking off the blog today, freshly returned from a few days 'working' in Italy.

We'll be looking at all of the talking points surrounding Sagan's heavy use of his shoulder in yesterday's sprint finish and then Van Aert making his feelings known. Today's stage looks set to be a day for the break so who's your money on?

Away from the Grand Boucle, we'll have all of the cycling news from around the web. So, let's dive into Thursday with some Sam Bennett energy.

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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