Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Cyclist grabs the headlines with Hollywood moment (apparently he’s a footballer too); Why don’t cyclists use the cycle lanes? Because a skip, bins, and a sideways-parked car are in the way; Roubaix reaction + THAT post-monument run + more on the live blog

It’s Tuesday, and after a long weekend of chocolate and cobblestones, Ryan Mallon’s back with more cycling news and nonsense on the post-Easter live blog
11 April 2023, 08:15
Ben Foster Garmin partnership.JPG
The Cycling Goalkeeper – alright, League Cup winner and former England international footballer – Ben Foster grabs the headlines with last-gasp penalty save for Wrexham

Drink it in folks… It may not be 2012 anymore, but a cyclist has finally made it back to the top of the BBC’s Sport page.

And no, I’m (unfortunately) not talking about Mathieu van der Poel or Alison Jackson. Apparently sporting chaos, gripping underdog stories, and existential, devastating drama aren’t enough to secure that coveted spot on the Beeb’s website – especially when there are managerial changes and transfer rumours, as well as some golf, to be had, of course.

But at least one cyclist did manage to make national sporting headlines in the UK this Easter weekend…

> Footballers who cycle XI — the Premier League stars who love life on two wheels

Ben Foster’s dramatic last-gasp penalty save against National League promotion rivals Notts County at the always sunny Racecourse Ground has put Wrexham – and the club’s Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney – within touching distance of a long-awaited return to the Football League.

An England international and former Manchester United, West Brom, and Watford player – but better known to readers as the Cycling Goalkeeper off YouTube – Foster postponed a retirement of riding his bike in the Alps and Pyrenees last month to star in a Disney show and meet Mac from Always Sunny… I mean, help his old club in their quest to return to the footballing promised land.

However, despite his two decades of success at football’s highest level, within some circles he’ll always be known as the Cycling GK:

It’s always nice to see our old contributors doing well for themselves…

> "If a pro cyclist could come into a football club and show the players how hard they work it would really open their eyes", says Ben Foster

11 April 2023, 15:37
RIP Bottom Bracket
11 April 2023, 14:50
Why don’t cyclists use the off-road cycleways? Pub edition

While this morning’s trip to Belfast showcased the plethora of wonderful things that can be used to obstruct an apparently protected bike path (bins, skips, and cars being the main examples), reader IanMK’s Easter spin through Buckinghamshire proved that even off-road cycleways are susceptible to being blocked by all manner of culprits… such as pubs, apparently.

Unusual cycleway - through a pub (credit - IanMK)

Errr, there’s a pub in the middle of the cycleway

Ian’s intriguing cycleway prompted some speculation in the comments about how best to tackle such a quintessentially British off-road section:

Live blog comments 11 April 2023

And before you ask, yes, he did stop for a pint.

11 April 2023, 14:10
Tech news: Let there be light – Garmin offers more solar charging with new Edge 540 and Edge 840 Series GPS cycling computers
11 April 2023, 13:35 does Heat magazine: Pauline Ferrand-Prévot praises “fighter” (and boyfriend) Dylan van Baarle after horrific Arenberg crash at Paris-Roubaix which forced team doctor to “glue my face back together”

And now in the gossip section of today’s live blog…

Taylor and Kasia, Lizzie and Phil, move over – because is this cycling’s newest power couple?

Yesterday, the Ineos Grenadiers’ multi-discipline star Pauline Ferrand-Prévot posted what may well be the first photo of her and Dylan van Baarle as a couple (a photo of Van Baarle first appeared on the French rider’s Instagram back in February, for those paying attention), after the Jumbo-Visma classics specialist crashed heavily in the Arenberg Forest during Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix.

“Well, I guess we didn’t want to have a boring and well-planned life. But together stronger and always keep fighting (and smiling…),” the 10-time world champion – across road, cyclocross, and mountain biking, posted.

“The Hell of the North earned its name (too) well... Endless wait yesterday to hear of Dylan’s health. He suffered fractures in his left hand and right elbow. But what a fighter (and boxer).”

Van Baarle, who was defending his Roubaix title (won in the colours of Ineos last year), told the AD-In Koers podcast that he was “doing okay given the circumstances” following his high-speed spill on the brutal cobbles of the Arenberg, which saw him suffer serious cuts to his face as well as fractures to his left hand and right shoulder.

“Falling is part of the race in one way or another,” the 30-year-old Dutchman, who also missed the previous week’s Tour of Flanders due to illness, told the podcast. “I was tenth or eleventh into the Forest of Arenberg, then Fred Wright had a flat front tyre in front of me. I hoped to stay upright but his bike went to the right and his body to the left and I rode over his bike and landed on the ground.

“I immediately noticed that my whole body was hurting and my face was bleeding badly. I told the team mechanic, ‘This is not going to work anymore, dude.’ Then I was quickly put in the ambulance and driven to a crazy hospital in France.

“The two and a half hours that I lay there seemed so long. I was in the emergency room with no phone, no family, so I couldn't contact anyone. Then a French doctor said I could get in touch with some people via his Instagram account to let them know I was okay.

“The French wanted to stitch up the three cuts on my face, but our team doctor said we could glue them. He took over and so the team doctor glued my face together.

“I have a new scan in the Netherlands on Thursday. For the time being I have to do as little as possible and wait. That will be fine, because I really can’t do much right now.”

Van Baarle’s injuries unfortunately mean that my concept of a cycling power couples two-up time trial just before the Giro will have to wait for another year…

11 April 2023, 12:43
Former Barnsley and Torquay midfielder issues ‘come and get me’ plea to’s Cycling Footballers XI

Now here’s a scoop that has Fabrizio Romano’s name written all over it…

Following Ben Foster’s heroics at the Racecourse Ground yesterday, former Barnsley, Torquay, and Preston North End midfielder Nicky Wroe has hinted on social media that he’d be interested in joining the bike-mad goalkeeper in’s illustrious Cycling Footballers XI:

However, according to our well-placed sources, co-managers Roberto Mancini and Neil Warnock are still contemplating whether they should acquiesce to current midfield general Remco Evenepoel’s astronomical contract demands, with Wroe potentially lined up as a ready-made replacement for the former PSV playmaker (and road race world champion).

Not sure what Roy Keane, currently languishing on the bench, giving off about Lycra shorts, will make of falling even further down the pecking order, mind you…

> Footballers who cycle XI — the Premier League stars who love life on two wheels

11 April 2023, 12:08
“Leith Walk cycle lane explained at last”

> ‘Moronic’: Edinburgh Council to make changes to bizarre zig-zag cycle lane after social media backlash 

11 April 2023, 11:33
Quad-pacing with Mads Pedersen

No extra bar tape, motor-pacing behind a quad… It’s safe to say that former world champion Mads Pedersen isn’t scared of taking his own, original approach to preparing for one of cycling’s oldest, most revered races.

In any case, it worked – with the Dane putting in a quad-like assured ride over the rough stuff to finally and definitively crack the top 50 at Roubaix, outsprinting Stefan Küng and Filippo Ganna in the velodrome for fourth.

I’m sure a few quad hire shops in northern France are rubbing their hands in glee now…

11 April 2023, 10:45
Cameron Wurf (Zac Williams/
Finish Paris-Roubaix, run half-marathon, have dinner: A day in the life of Ineos pro and Ironman Cameron Wurf

While the weekend undoubtedly belonged to Alison Jackson and Mathieu van der Poel, the post-Hell discourse on Monday focused on a rider who finished a lowly 128th in the Roubaix velodrome on Sunday.

Professional triathlete Cameron Wurf, who dabbles in a bit of domestique work for the Ineos Grenadiers on the side, set the internet ablaze on Sunday evening when he posted details of what some may describe as a pretty excessive warm down after 260km over the bone-shattering cobbles of northern France during the fastest ever Paris-Roubaix on record.

While Alpecin-Deceuninck were plotting which disco they were heading to next on Sunday evening, 39-year-old Australian Wurf was completing the equivalent of a half-marathon, and in a jaw-droppingly fast time too:

Cameron Wurf goes for post-Roubaix run (Strava)

Or maybe he was just using the same GPS tracker as Tom Pidcock? (Though judging by Wurf’s Ironman results, I’d say not…)

> "Maybe he forgot to get off his bike": Running and cycling communities continue to question Pidcock's blistering 5k run

To continue with the ‘Using the hardest bike races in the world as training for triathlons’ theme, Wurf then went out for a relatively casual 50km spin on his bike yesterday, before completing a 3,000m, 52 minute “limb loosening” swim this morning.

Alongside riding a few stage races and classics for Ineos, the Australian – the oldest rider at this year’s Paris-Roubaix – has also notched up a top five at an Ironman in South Africa, as he builds towards the world championships in Nice in September.

While most fans have expressed their amazement at Wurf’s multi-tasking ability, GCN’s statsman Cillian Kelly, rather mischievously, pondered on Twitter whether Ineos leader Filippo Ganna, who battled to sixth in the Roubaix velodrome, may have benefitted from the support of a rider not treating the Hell of the North as phase one of his Sunday training plans:

Though, let’s face it, most of us would be confined to the sofa for a week after riding one-third of the Paris-Roubaix cobbles…

Wurf also found time before the race on Sunday morning to crack a few jokes with the motor-doping checkers, with whom he pleaded for some leniency based on his geriatric status in the bunch:

I’m sure those pleas will fall on deaf ears when they see your Strava profile, Cameron…

11 April 2023, 10:18
Sum up Paris-Roubaix in one image (okay, two… or, three, or four)

Well, what a weekend of racing that was at the Queen of the Classics. To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve fully recovered from the edge-of-your-seat drama of the women’s race…

Recency bias may be creeping in here, but I can’t think of a better final 50km than that epic, archaic, confusing, baffling, chaotic, drama-filled spectacle we witnessed on Saturday.

And has there ever been a more deserving winner of a one-day classic than Alison Jackson? Incredible stuff.

Alison Jackson wins Paris-Roubaix, 2023 (Alex Whitehead/

Alex Whitehead/

Obviously, Wout van Aert’s ill-timed puncture on the Carrefour de l'Arbre robbed us of a showdown for the ages in the men’s race, but that long-range move by the Magnificent Seven, who eventually coalesced after the Arenberg, proved that the template for racing monuments has been well and truly ripped up in recent years.

And who could argue against a Mathieu van der Poel victory, which saw the Dutchman become only the fourth rider in history to win Milan-Sanremo and Roubaix in the same year, after the desperately unlucky John Degenkolb, Sean Kelly, and Cyrille van Hauwaert?

To celebrate one of the best weekends of racing ever, here’s a gallery of some of the images that sum up the beauty and cruelty of Paris-Roubaix.

First up, the ecstasy:

Mathieu van der Poel wins Paris-Roubaix 2023 (Alex Whitehead/

Alex Whitehead/ 

Alison Jackson wins Paris-Roubaix, 2023 (Alex Whitehead/

Alex Whitehead/ 

... And the agony, epitomised by Marianne Vos nailing the trademark Roubaix thousand-yard stare:

Marianne Vos, 2023 Paris-Roubaix (Alex Whitehead/

 Alex Whitehead/

And Degenkolb’s sense of what might have been…

John Degenkolb, 2023 Paris-Roubaix (Zac Williams/

 Zac Williams/

Though maybe Silvan Dillier was just contemplating the Alpecin afterparty?

Silvan Dillier, 2023 Paris-Roubaix (Zac Williams/
11 April 2023, 09:51
Why don’t cyclists use the cycle lanes? Part 10,985

I really wish the above number were just a mildly amusing exaggeration, but I feel like we’re swiftly approaching those lofty heights of bike lane blocking on the live blog…

In Belfast, where cycle lane obstructing is becoming a national sport (along with not sitting in government), bike lanes aren’t actually designed for people on bikes, you see.

They’re really storage units for bins and skips, while the bollards – far from keeping cyclists safe from encroaching drivers (ha!) – provide a handy marker for motorists who’ve spotted a lovely sideways parking space near the city centre:

11 April 2023, 08:58
2023 Paris-Roubaix (Zac Williams/
Easter news round-up

From a scintillating weekend at the Queen of the Classics, which featured a surprise winner, chaotic racing, shocking crashes, and untimely punctures, to dodgy stout delivery drivers and good old-fashioned council backtracking, here’s what you may have missed from the cycling world while you were scoffing all those eggs over the Bank Holiday weekend…

Mathieu van der Poel wins Paris-Roubaix 2023 (Alex Whitehead/

> Mathieu van der Poel wins fastest ever Paris-Roubaix after Wout van Aert puncture drama

> Alison Jackson sprints to career-defining win at chaotic Paris-Roubaix, after huge race-altering crash takes down nearly all of the favourites

> Cobbles crash ends Peter Sagan's final Paris-Roubaix

> Paris-Roubaix safety concerns as tacks found on the course

> “That is just so Mad(s)”: Former world champion Pedersen “bravely” set to take on Paris-Roubaix’s savage cobbles… without extra bar tape

Guinness truck on cycle lane, Dublin

> My Guinness! Truck driver smashes down cycle lane wands, cuts across and parks on the pavement

> Scrapped funding puts the future of 1,000 bike hangars in doubt

> Helmet market to grow by over $300 million globally in the next four years

> "Irresponsible and dangerous parking": Police tow 40 vehicles to "reduce risk" to cyclists in Snowdonia

Bus driver close passes cyclist on Edinburgh cycle lane (credit - EdCycleHome, Twitter)

> Bike lane-using cyclist claims police said close pass by bus driver wasn’t against the law – because “everyone was in their own lanes”

> World Masters champion killed after being hit head-on in cycle lane by “speeding” driver

> Hundreds sign petition opposing cycle lane to protect trees… and parking space

Talbot Road (@DomCycling)

> Council to finally resurface cycle lane after backlash over fixing entire road but not the cycle path

> Online cycling retailer ProBikeKit set to close

> WTF? Check out Shimano’s system for moving your cleats automatically as you ride – plus top tech news from Trek, Oakley, MyWhoosh, Komoot, and more

Ryan joined as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

Add new comment


Rendel Harris | 7 months ago

Bit of a daft comment from Kelly about Ganna questioning how Wurf had the energy to go for a run: Wurf was given a specific job by INEOS which was to hang at the back and be ready to pick up any mechanical/crash victims from the team and pace them back (which he did at least twice), there was never any expectation that he'd be on the front pulling.

IanMSpencer | 7 months ago

It took me an hour and a half to get in the shower after my 65 mile ride today, let alone do anything more productive. It might have been due to the weight of the doorstop bacon and egg sandwich from Broad Acres (a fiver including coffee).

I will not be going for a run, I gave that idea up in 1997 after I discovered my knees didn't work for about 2 months after completing the London Marathon.

Kapelmuur | 7 months ago

As a Salopian I have to point out that Nicky Wroe also played for Shrewsbury Town.

Ryan Mallon replied to Kapelmuur | 7 months ago

He did, but if I listed every team he played for there wouldn't be much space left for anything else... (not that there's anything wrong with being a classic journeyman pro in the lower leagues, of course!)

Kapelmuur replied to Ryan Mallon | 7 months ago

Every fan believes their team is special!

Hirsute | 7 months ago

RAM that cyclist off the road (Easter Sunday too - not sure why they were in a hurry)


Awavey replied to Hirsute | 7 months ago

It seemed crazier that the roads were much quieter and that people were still driving like this.

IanMK | 7 months ago

More of an off road thing but I found this interesting cycle way. Yes I did stop for a pint.

Awavey replied to IanMK | 7 months ago

Are you supposed to ride through the awning ?

Matthew Acton-Varian replied to Awavey | 7 months ago

I think you are meant to hop over the tables Danny McAskill style.

brooksby replied to Matthew Acton-Varian | 7 months ago

Matthew Acton-Varian wrote:

I think you are meant to hop over the tables Danny McAskill style.

Or portage your bike through, bumping people's heads as you go (I hope they're wearing drinker's helmets).

brooksby replied to IanMK | 7 months ago

Streetview from August 2020 - - shows a lot fewer tables and no awning.  I presume that the cycle path indicated is supposed to go in front of the pub to avoid the canal lock, and then goes along that lane/road along the side of the canal?

IanMK replied to brooksby | 7 months ago

I think you're right. The cycleway comes through the pub car park but presumably avoids rejoining the towpath before the pub to avoid more tables, mooring bollards and most problematically the arms of the lock gates. I presume the awning was installed as a COVID thing.

Awavey replied to IanMK | 7 months ago

its interesting though as its presumably a right of way then, that existed before the pub was a pub, or maybe even built, either a footpath though more likely a bridle way given the canal & towpath.

so have the pub put a bunch of stuff there, that ultimately is blocking a right of way, as I bet on a summers day you're not even walking your bike through there if its busy,  because well no-one was stopping them, and they only considered walkers used the paths ?

IanMSpencer replied to Awavey | 7 months ago

There is a pub by the Severn, the Wharf Inn hear Holt Fleet that seems to have blocked off the right of way along the bank - the campers next to the pub looked like they thought we were dog shit for walking through the pub camp site as the only practical diversion.

IanMK replied to Awavey | 7 months ago

The pub actually has a terrace, you can see it in the reverse photo. It was sunny on Saturday and most punters were sat there. It's away from the main road and more pleasant. I suspect that the awning went up when you weren't allowed inside and has never come down.

brooksby replied to Awavey | 7 months ago

Awavey wrote:

its interesting though as its presumably a right of way then, that existed before the pub was a pub, or maybe even built, either a footpath though more likely a bridle way given the canal & towpath.

so have the pub put a bunch of stuff there, that ultimately is blocking a right of way, as I bet on a summers day you're not even walking your bike through there if its busy,  because well no-one was stopping them, and they only considered walkers used the paths ?

I would bet that you're right.  Quiet word with the council highways people, maybe...?

puppet-head replied to IanMK | 7 months ago
1 like

Yes the cycle path predates the awning by about 15 years, and the tables by about 10.  The electic pole tiedown was always there though.

The cycle path was built using government money, and is subject to a legal agreement between beds/bucks/herts councils and British waterways(as was), so isnt going anywhere.

Matthew Acton-Varian | 7 months ago

What a weekend of racing in Hell! If Hopefully the race organisers will start their TV coverage earlier next year!

SimoninSpalding | 7 months ago

Hi Ryan,

hope you had a good weekend, I think you will find that Wrexham play at the Racecourse, not racehorseyes

Jack Sexty replied to SimoninSpalding | 7 months ago

Just a little test after the Easter break, congrats you passed! 

Ryan Mallon replied to SimoninSpalding | 7 months ago

Have to keep you on your toes…

Latest Comments