Before I send you off into the weekend, here’s a selection of some of your (and Twitter's) thoughts about the curious case of cycling Tom and the delayed van driver…
Apart from the risible NIP, I feel that one of the biggest issues with this story is the fact that the police have just given the van driver the perfect defence when his driving through the red light gets to court. ‘I'm ever so sorry, your honour. But I missed the red because I was frustrated at the cyclist holding me up. Even the police agreed with me on that as they are on record doing so.’
On my commute yesterday a car had stopped in the middle of the road for no discernable reason, which held up traffic.
The day before a delivery driver had stopped in the middle of the road, holding up traffic, to make a delivery when there was a space to park 20 metres down the road.
This was annoying, but it wouldn't have crossed my mind that they should be prosecuted for this because I'm not batshit crazy.
Nine seconds might not sound a lot, but to be held up and stopped by a cyclist trying to do a holier than thou would annoy me too... it always feels like longer. Yes, the driver is in the wrong, but deliberately impeding their journey is also wrong.
Nine seconds is nine seconds. If it feels like longer, that's your issue and it excuses nothing by way of your subsequent reactions and behaviour.
Obviously it's all relevant. Nine seconds is a long time if you're running the Olympic 100m. But I'm going to go out on a limb and say this wasn't relevant in the case described.
Seriously, though, if your temperament is such that you get annoyed for a nine second delay, I'm not sure you should be allowed to be in charge of any form of heavy equipment.
Plenty of things annoy me - packaging that's impossible to open without industrial tools, Carlton Kirby's commentary 'style', grocers apostrophe's, use of the words 'snowflake' and 'gammon', shop assistants who jump on me to ask 'are you OK there?' as soon as I walk through the door...
I'd find it bizarre to suggest that the people responsible for all of those should be threatened with prosecution, though.
(Well, maybe the apostrophes...)
You couldn't script this!
I would LOVE this to go to court to see what the magistrate made of it. I would hope it wouldn't get that far and the CPS would chuck it in the bin and send a laughing emoji response to the police force who are suggesting this.
— 🌱Carrie Purdom ignored you fine the first time. (@CarriePurdom) March 11, 2022
Clear to everyone The Police are finally and rightly sick and tired of trouble making cyclists who don't obey the road rules themselves but spend their days trying to provoke and video other road users so they can post online, slag The Police off whilst making reports. GREAT!
— Nerd (@stillphone) March 11, 2022
is it April 1st yet ?
Did the van company just make a large donation to the @ASPolice christmas fund ?
If only all the motor vehicles that hold me up on my London Cycle commute could be prosecuted
( Inner London average motor vehicle speed 8mph)
— cycleoptic💙💚 (@cycleoptic) March 11, 2022
If frustrated 🙃
— Stevie Zero (@zero_stevie) March 11, 2022
Remco Evenepoel’s off-route sojourn at Tirreno-Adriatico provoked quite the reaction on Twitter.
Yesterday we reported that the Belgian star has been banned from driving for three weeks after he was caught doing nearly 35mph over the speed limit in November 2020. The Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl rider claimed that he was speeding because he was late for a physio appointment, as part of his recovery from his horror crash at Lombardia earlier in the summer.
That excuse, naturally, has provided plenty of fresh material for cycling Twitter:
Remco going too fast again 😅 #TirrenoAdriatico
— pro cycling trumps (@procycletrumps) March 11, 2022
Remco's explanation for missing the corner: "I was running late for a physiotherapist appointment."
— Max's Cycling Thoughts (@CyclingOpinions) March 11, 2022
And a slightly more serious take on the subject:
As you watch Remco Evenepoel furiously pedal around Italy, note that he is conveniently "serving" a three-week driving ban in Belgium for excessive speeding.
— Peter Flax (@Pflax1) March 11, 2022
With all the focus on his driving conviction, lest we forget Remco’s original and most stubborn nemesis – gravel:
To fair Remco was just looking for a gravel section to lose time on https://t.co/iKBM0JmQz8
— Journal Velo (@JournalVelo) March 11, 2022
In last week’s article about the – ahem – ‘goody bag’ presented to Ellen van Dijk by sponsors EasyToys following stage one of the Dutch Bloeizone Fryslân race, I mentioned how that particular prize could at least be considered an upgrade to the vacuum cleaner awarded to Jolien D’Hoore at the 2015 Ronde van Drenthe.
Well, at today’s Drentse Acht van Westerveld, the prequel to Drenthe which takes place tomorrow, the podium ceremony featured what could only be described as a Generation Game-style assortment of questionable prizes, including a hoover, a kettle and an air-fryer.
Remember last week when I joked about hoovers being given out as prizes?
— Mathew Mitchell (@MatMitchell30) March 11, 2022
On the road itself, SD Worx’s Luxembourg champion Christine Majerus, one of the peloton’s most valued domestiques, beat Alison Jackson and Floortje Mackaij in the sprint.
It’s not yet been confirmed which prize Majerus drew out in the lucky dip…
🏁 🇫🇷@mat_burgaudeau surprend les sprinteurs ! 🏆
— Paris-Nice (@ParisNice) March 11, 2022
It was a dramatic day of racing at Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico, with French riders triumphing – with typical panache – in both races.
At the Race to the Sun, TotalEnergies’ Mathieu Burgaudeau held off a charging peloton with metres to spare to take his first ever professional victory.
Following strong moves from Britain’s Matthew Holmes and Team DSM’s Søren Kragh Andersen (with his by now customary doomed attack on every stage), Burgaudeau made his move over the short climb to the intermediate spring with nine kilometres remaining.
The 23-year-old, who took an impressive fifth place overall in last month’s Etoile de Bessèges, gave it his all on the following descent – taking a few risks along the way – to open up 20 seconds on the chasing bunch.
— 🅰ntoine VAYER 📸🖋️ (@festinaboy) March 11, 2022
Despite the efforts of Jumbo-Visma and Trek-Segafredo behind, that gap was enough for Burgaudeau to take the win after a nerve-jangling finale, with Mads Pedersen and Wout van Aert taking second and third mere metres behind the strong and canny Frenchman.
If today’s exhilarating finale wasn’t enough, here are some more reasons to sign up for Burgaudeau’s fan club (which should be called, if there’s any justice, Burg’s Babes):
Burgaudeau's from the island of Noirmoutier off the Vendée coast, connect to land via the Passage du Gois, scene of an infamous Tour de France crash in 1999. He spent part of the 2020 lockdown... at sea as his father is a fisherman with a commercial boat and went back to help
— the Inner Ring (@inrng) March 11, 2022
I love everything about Mathieu Burgaudeau, from the trouble his surname gives Sean Kelly to the fact he's never skipped arms day in his life and his Julian Alaphilippe 'stunt double' appearance
— Andy McGrath (@Andymcgra) March 11, 2022
At Tirreno-Adriatico, the climbing enigma Warren Barguil made it a clean sweep for France with a dominant solo victory in Fermo. The Arkea-Samsic rider looked the strongest of the day’s break on the short, steep ramps towards the end of the stage, and eventually broke clear on the double-digit gradients to take a comfortable win.
Behind, drama ensued as the big three of Tirreno (and quite possibly, stage racing over the next few years), Tadej Pogačar, Remco Evenepoel, and Jonas Vingegaard all strayed off course after Evenepoel overshot a corner with six kilometres to go.
— thecyclingdane (@Thecyclingdane) March 11, 2022
At that stage, the trio had broken clear following an Evenepoel acceleration and looked set to hunt Barguil down. Despite a somewhat frustrated chase from the Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl prodigy, all three ended up finishing together, only ceding two short seconds to a late attack from Ineos Grenadiers’ Richie Porte.
Despite the mishap, the sight of Pogačar, Evenepoel, and Vingegaard riding away from their rivals must be an ominous one for any rider with aspirations of grand tour success over the next decade. To paraphrase music critic Jon Landau, I have seen the future of stage racing (for a few kilometres at least), and its name is Pog, Remco and Jonas…
Tadej and Remco are the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object. Not sure which is which, but it's great stuff. I just wish Egan was there too.
— Matt Rendell (@mrendell) March 11, 2022
After three years away, I’ll be back touring a brand new one-man show this autumn. I’ve missed these evenings! Brilliantly, I have titled it the Retour De Ned, which is amusing. Tickets go live at 10.00 this morning.#ReTourDeNed https://t.co/LaURquV5qd pic.twitter.com/LEhicADTvI
— Ned Boulting (@nedboulting) March 11, 2022
Ned Boulting may already be back in the commentary box this week for ITV4’s daily highlights of Paris-Nice, but he’s also planning a return to the stage, with his one-man cycling show set to tour the country this autumn.
Titled ‘Re-Tour de Ned’, the show sees Boulting – who has covered the Tour de France on TV for almost two decades and edits the mind-bogglingly comprehensive Road Book – launch a “fresh assault on your cycling senses” with what he describes as an “indispensable theatrical road map for anyone aspiring to wear the yellow jersey on the Champs Elysées: a really very rough guide to the tactics (pedal faster) and challenges (not pedalling fast enough) which will need to be deployed to win the biggest bike race in the world.”
The broadcaster, podcaster and author’s first foray on the stage since 2018 (what’s happened since then?), the 29-date tour begins at the Quad Theatre, Plymouth, Devon on 8th October, taking in no less than four stops in Yorkshire, before concluding at the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms on 13th November.
“My last stage show tour was in 2018 so I’m excited to be getting back out there,” Ned says. “Along the way, there will be time to call to mind the greatest racers of the age, and to do hopelessly bad impressions of them.
“There will be scope to celebrate all that is French about France, and all that is Tourish about the Tour: Stuff like ignoring 12th century cathedrals, peeing at the side of the road, pushing spectators over, punching demonstrators and generally behaving like a shaven-legged hooligan for a month while riding over entire mountain ranges!”
“Join me for another ride through the peaks and troughs of the silliest and the grandest month of the year. I’ll hand out copious, thoroughly unreliable, advice on How To Win The Tour de France. Or if not that, then at least How To Watch It On The Telly!”
The full list of dates, and information on how to purchase tickets, can be found here.
— Katy M (@writebikerepeat) March 10, 2022
While most of the attention this summer will be paid to the inaugural Tour de France Femmes, women’s stage racing has received another boost with the news that the Giro d’Italia Donne – which returns to the World Tour for 2022 after being demoted last year due to issues with organising and broadcasting rights – will improve both its TV coverage and prize pot.
Race organisers Pulse Media Group (PMG Sport) and Starlight have promised two hours of daily live broadcast, distributed to 160 countries around the world through Discovery-Eurosport, and a €250,000 prize purse, which matches the money to be awarded by the French Tour.
Women’s cycling’s major grand tour, the Giro Donne has suffered in recent years due to poor organisation and limited race footage. The race was downgraded to the 2.Pro Series in 2020 after failing to supply the live television coverage required for World Tour status. While the organisers promised live TV for last year’s race, this was limited to the final 15 kilometres of every stage.
The 🇮🇹 #GiroDonne just announced a prize pot of 250 000 EUR, 5 times their previous prize pot.
I hope they also invested in providing proper coverage where we can actually see the mountain stages - unlike last year, as that should always be priority.https://t.co/nt8UVsjLSs
— Benji Naesen (@BenjiNaesen) March 10, 2022
However, with the race turning to cycling’s top division this year, the organisers have promised significant improvements.
“Once ASO, this very big organisation, decided to introduce the Tour de France Femmes again, it is a strong sign that women's cycling is growing fast,” said Roberto Ruini, founder of PMG Sport and General Manager of the Giro Donne.
“I think there is no competition but it is a big opportunity to develop the race together and women's cycling movement together. The prize money that we set at €250,000 is a big sign of this growth.”
The ten-stage 2022 Giro Donne will begin on 30 June in Cagliari, Sardinia’s capital city, and will feature a mountain-top finish at Passo Maniva before finishing in Padova on July 10, two weeks before the first stage of the Tour de France Femmes.
Is it true that Vingegaard used to play drums for Sigur Ros?
Pure talent 🤟🏼 pic.twitter.com/NfzYZIFzt2
— Jacopo Guarnieri (@jacopoguarnieri) March 11, 2022
Podium at the Tour de France, deliver brilliantly entertaining post-race interviews, play drums for a 2000s Icelandic post-rock band…
Is there anything Jonas Vingegaard can’t do? Apart from remember Filippo Ganna’s name, of course.
— Israel – Premier Tech / Israel Cycling Academy (@IsraelPremTech) March 10, 2022
Poor Hugo Houle.
With illness devestating the Paris-Nice peloton like a Tadej Pogačar attack, the Canadian rider is the last man standing for his Israel-Premier Tech team.
The squad's other remaining riders, James Piccoli, Carl Fredrik Hagen (both due to a non-Covid virus), and Tom Van Asbroeck (respiratory infection), all pulled out before yesterday’s stage, leaving Houle to make it to Nice on his own.
The 31-year-old is riding pretty well too, and sits eleventh overall on the general classification.
Israel team down to one rider in Hugo Houle. In the 2018 Paris-Nice by the time the race reached Nice, Groupama-FDJ had one finisher in Molard, same for Lotto-Jumbo with Gesink... and nobody from UAE finished the race, they were all DNF by the end https://t.co/O8sB6TybAZ
— the Inner Ring (@inrng) March 11, 2022
As of this morning, only 113 riders remain at Paris-Nice, with a further eight – including sprinters Fabio Jakobsen and Jasper Philipsen – withdrawing before today’s stage six to Aubagne.
Even the journalists at the race are falling victim to the bug going around the peloton:
Unfortunately had to DNS Paris-Nice this morning having caught the chest infection that’s decimating the peloton. Eyes so red I look like I’m possessed
— Peter Cossins (@petercossins) March 11, 2022
Time to rest the keyboard and get ready for the spring classics…
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses” - Henry Ford
Why consultation are a waste of time.
How do council's ever expect to get 'consensus' on cycling schemes when most people don't cycle (yet) and don't like change?
— Adam Bronkhorst (@AdamBronkhorst) March 10, 2022
I don't think the 'cycle lobby' are aggressive, in fact i'd say looking at comments on FB groups to any posts suggesting safer cycling it's people who don't want it who are the most aggressive. Here is a typical comment from last night. pic.twitter.com/tZpM4LOcZJ
— Adam Bronkhorst (@AdamBronkhorst) March 10, 2022
Consultations are a good things, but they should no more be allowed to prevent development of cycling infrastructure than anything else that is necessary for the community to function well.
— Darth Linda (@linkcott18) March 10, 2022
100% agree with you. So many planning applications are passed despite massive public outrage. Why councils don’t implement their commitments to active travel and don’t listen to their own experts but value joe publics opinion more is beyond me.
— Adam Bronkhorst (@AdamBronkhorst) March 10, 2022
What do you think? Are public consultations a worthwhile exercise or an unnecessary evil when it comes to implementing cycling and active travel schemes?
I bet Trek-Segafredo’s PR people just love Quinn Simmons.
After his compatriots Brandon McNulty and Matteo Jorgenson finished first and third on yesterday’s stage of Paris-Nice (with Simmons himself taking the KOM jersey at Tirreno-Adriatico), everyone’s favourite bike racing Trumper – sorry Chloé – compared the latest generation of American riders to… US Postal.
“The last time we had Americans riding at this level was with Postal,” the 20-year-old said to Cyclingnews after stage four of Tirreno.
“It’s good news about McNulty’s win, he’s had a great season so far, it's his third win. Magnus Sheffield has won too, Neilson (Powless) won San Sebastian last year, too.”
I’m sure those riders will be chuffed to be compared to the pioneering role models Lance, Tyler, Floyd and George…
Though, as a proud supporter of The Donald, perhaps picking role models isn’t Simmons’ strong suit.
Also – though I’m not saying Quinn has read the USADA report cover to cover – just like when George Bennett infamously described Chris Froome’s epic ride at the 2018 Giro as “doing a Landis”, any time a rider compares themselves or others to that murky era in the peloton, eyebrows will certainly be raised.
The poor Trek staff 🤦♀️
'Quinn? Quinn, you said the quiet bits out loud again.' https://t.co/O2UmohzsJl
— Katy M (@writebikerepeat) March 11, 2022
Unpopular view, but I actually like seeing Quinn Simmons on TV at the front of a bike race.
Only because it means you can be sure he won't be talking shit on Twitter for a couple of hours.
— Simon MacMichael (@simonmacmichael) March 11, 2022
Let’s spare a thought for that lost generation of American bike riders, trapped in limbo between the hedonistic Postal days and the current wave – including Transitions Lenses model (and Tour stage winner) Tyler Farrar and 2014 Dauphiné winner Andrew Talan-… actually, let’s just forget about him, shall we?
It’s been Snake Pass-mania this week.
The landslide-affected A57 – closed to motorists due to road works since the end of February – quickly captured the imagination, acting as a symbol of a car-free utopia as riders flocked to the pass to enjoy a temporary reprieve from motor traffic.
However, to many it has also served as a sign of how local authorities view cycling and active travel in general, after Derbyshire County Council barred bike riders and walkers from the road on Tuesday due to ‘safety concerns’.
As we saw earlier this week, many were appalled at the decision to extend the road closure, with one Twitter user describing it as an anti-cyclist move “dressed up cheaply as health and safety”.
To protest the decision, a group of cyclists have organised a ‘mass trespass’ on the hill tomorrow, invoking the 1932 mass trespass of nearby Kinder Scout, which helped galvanise the ‘right-to-roam’ movement for ramblers.
Updated poster with meet location. Please share this one! pic.twitter.com/Yie6zYUlc3
— Harry Gray (@HarryHamishGray) March 9, 2022
However, Saturday’s event has been criticised by Groupama-FDJ pro Jake Stewart, who has warned against the negative effects the protest may have on motorists' views of cyclists.
The Coventry-born rider, who came second in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad last year but has been suffering from intestinal problems this season, tweeted last night: “Please, if you're a cyclist considering attending this mass trespass this weekend, consider again.
“Take a thought to how we as cyclists are currently viewed in a number of people’s eyes and ask yourself how this will be conducive to finding harmony with motorists in the future...”
The 22-year-old, who says he rides Snake Pass regularly, also tried to cool enthusiasm for the climb, arguing that there are “plenty of other climbs in Derbyshire which are more stunning and nicer roads”.
Please, if you're a cyclist considering attending this mass trespass this weekend, consider again. Take a thought to how we as cyclists are currently viewed in a number of peoples eyes and ask yourself how this will be conducive to finding harmony with motorists in the future... https://t.co/YgL8KaBIrh
— Jake (@jakey_stewart) March 10, 2022
I ride Snake Pass regularly and let me tell you, even traffic free, its not that great a climb...plenty of other climbs in Derbyshire which are more stunning and nicer roads...I've got plenty of GPX files for you if you're struggling to get off the A-roads 😘 just a thought x
— Jake (@jakey_stewart) March 10, 2022
The response to Stewart’s tweet has been mixed to say the least. While some agreed with the classics man that cyclists should avoid stoking up antagonism from motorists, others criticised the rider’s perspective, as a professional racing cyclist, of safety on the road:
I totally agree Jake its mad to give motorists more reason to hate cyclist’s by ignoring the rules. It just generates anti cycling rhetoric in the media and that ends up endangering lives.
— Dean Tranter (@BikeWrenchUK) March 10, 2022
He gets to ride on closed roads 80 odd race days a year and has the brass neck to lecture the rest of us for wanting the same
— Harry Gray (@HarryHamishGray) March 10, 2022
The cyclists Vs drivers thing is a media confection, and when you think about it doesn't make much sense. I have a bike, but I don't think of myself as a "cyclist", though I like to go for a bike ride every so often. The conflict comes from 2 tonnes of metal traveling at 60mph
— Chris likes dinosaurs but not transphobes 🦕🦖 (@Nerd_CB) March 10, 2022
If you’re a pro cyclist who doesn’t actively oppose car culture, then you’re just a guy who gets paid to exercise and I’m not interested in your opinions thanks hun
— Hannah 🚲 (@theeyecollector) March 10, 2022
It's not the first time that Stewart has had his say on the cyclists versus drivers debate. In January, he responded to drivers’ complaints about the Highway Code changes, which he claimed underlined why "cycling in the UK is doomed”.
“Daily I have to make the decision to put my life in the hands of people like this...just to do my job,” he tweeted. “Too many have to make that decision to ride their bike for fun/get around. Society is broken.”
So I've just received a Notice of Intended Prosecution because when videoing a phone using, MOT-expired Audi driver, I held up a van by around 9 seconds!
Waiting for the physical letter, then I guess I'll be seeking legal advice. Any suggestions appreciated!@BristolCycling
— Tom Bugs (@BugBrand) March 9, 2022
This story, flagged in the comments on yesterday’s blog, is a bit of a weird one.
Tom Bugs, a cyclist in Bristol, tweeted earlier this week that he received a Notice of Intended Prosecution. His offence? Holding up a van driver for ‘around nine seconds’.
According to Tom, the lengthy hold-up occurred as he attempted (CyclingMikey-style) to capture useable footage on his helmet camera of an Audi driver using his phone behind the wheel (bonus points – the Audi’s MOT had also expired).
In doing so, a van driver behind was briefly held up. Tom said that he “acknowledged the van with a hand gesture and moved on in a matter of seconds.”
However, after submitting footage of the phone-using motorist Tom was issued with his notice, for riding his bike “without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other people using the road”.
PS Van driver then went through a red light - ASPolice rep (MB) commented "I would imagine in his frustration then decided to go through the red light" which feels presumptuous & an unprofessional comment which I'll no doubt challenge too.
— Tom Bugs (@BugBrand) March 9, 2022
To make matters worse, after his brief delay the van driver drove through a red light – which the representative from Avon and Somerset Police claimed owed to “his frustration”…
Tom tweeted his annoyance at what he thinks is a “negative and petty” decision, though he was also at pains to praise Avon and Somerset Police in general, which he described as “a leading UK force for dealing with constant road danger”. He later said the incident was “just a minor issue within a system that generally works well”.
I will, of course, add that the submission team at ASPolice are generally doing a great job, a leading UK force for dealing with constant road danger. But the decision to try to pin this one feels negative & petty.
— Tom Bugs (@BugBrand) March 9, 2022
In the words of one of our readers:
Drive into a cyclist, and you just get a warning letter. But a cyclist holds up traffic for nine seconds and they get prosecuted.
Yes, that makes sense.
Ryan joined road.cc 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.