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Surrey traffic cops call out safe driving campaign spouting "dangerous advice" about riding two abreast; Disgusting scam profiting from NZ cyclist's death exposed; Gold Pinarello; Pro Brexodus?; Froome embraces 'leisure rider' life + more on the live blog

It's Thursday and Dan Alexander is here for another day of the live blog...
12 August 2021, 16:16
Katie Compton's husband raises concerns with suspension - says both have suffered huge mental health implications

This reaction to yesterday's big story that 15-time US cyclo-cross champ Katie Compton has been handed a four-year ban comes from the athlete's husband...

12 August 2021, 15:32
Grieving brother of New Zealand Olympic cyclist Olivia Podmore exposes online scam that tried to profit from her death

The brother of New Zealand cyclist Olivia Podmore, who tragically died earlier this week, has urged people not to donate to an online scam posing as a fundraiser for the family of the athlete who competed at the 2016 Olympics. The page claiming to be created by 'Team Podmore' and titled 'Help Olivia Podmore' has been exposed by the athlete's brother Mitchell.

He shared the scam on Facebook, saying "I hope this is not what I'm seeing, the Podmores have not started a gogetfunding or give a little page. Do not react to this." Yahoo Sport reports the now-deleted fundraiser had a target of $50,000.

Podmore died suddenly, just hours after posting a message on her Instagram warning of the "struggle" of elite sport. The 24-year-old competed at the Rio Olympics and the most-recent World Championships but was not selected for the Tokyo Games.

12 August 2021, 14:38
Fabio Aru to retire at the end of the Vuelta a España

Fabio Aru will retire from pro cycling after the upcoming Vuelta a España. The 2015 winner of the race has struggled since 2017 and has said he is looking forward to spending more time with his family. Aru shot to prominence at the 2014 Giro d'Italia where he finished on the podium, a feat he repeated in 2015. The Italian achieved his best result at the Tour de France in 2017, winning the stage to La Planche des Belles Filles and finishing 5th on GC in his national champion's jersey.

"Reaching this decision has not been easy but it is something that I’ve been thinking about and discussing with my family for some time. I’ve been racing my bike for 16 years and for more than a decade as a professional, but the time has come now to prioritise other things in my life, my family," Aru said.

How better to remember Aru than with his many pain faces...

12 August 2021, 10:54
Aaannnd it's gone...1-0 Surrey traffic cops

That went well. Bashing cyclists about riding two abreast turned out to be...fatal...for Fatal 5's road safety 'campaign'. Despite claiming to be targeting the five main reasons for death and serious injury on UK roads: speeding, distractions, carelessness, no seatbelts and intoxication, Fatal 5 found the time to bash two abreasters too. Blasting cyclists as "ridiculous" and "downright dangerous" for doing so.

Surrey traffic cops then got involved, did their best to educate the so-called road safety page, before giving up and reporting it instead. Whether the account was deleted or removed by the powers that be, we don't know...either way Fatal 5 is no more...  

12 August 2021, 14:19
Chris Froome embraces the 'leisure rider' lifestyle
Chris Froome randonneur Strava

At least Chris saw the funny side...If you missed it, he was amusingly mistaken for just a leisure cyclist by French TV yesterday. Just a leisure cyclist with four Tour de France titles, all won during a time France 2 broadcast the race...

12 August 2021, 13:29
American BMX star Connor Fields missing multiple days from memory after Olympic Games crash

US BMX racer Connor Fields has revealed the frightening days of treatment and missing memory that followed his crash during the Olympic semi-finals in Tokyo earlier this month. Fields, who won bronze in Rio five years ago, crashed heavily when his front wheel landed on another rider's rear wheel causing him to fall heavily.

The 28-year-old suffered a shocking list of injuries, including a brain haemorrhage, broken rib and a collapsed lung and was stretchered off the track and straight to hospital. Fields posted an update on his recovery to his Instagram followers and said he is still missing four of five days of memory.

"I have about 4-5 days that are completely missing from memory from competition day to the following few days," he wrote. "I am finally back home and on the road to recovery from Tokyo."

Fields was in second place at the time of the crash. Dutch rider Niek Kimmann recovered from a crash with an official during practice to win gold as Briton Kye Whyte won GB's first medal in the event.

12 August 2021, 13:19
One killed as driver strikes 11 cyclists in horrific incident near Tongaat in South Africa
One killed as 11 cyclists hit by driver in South Africa (Image credit: IPSS Medical Rescue)

A driver hit 11 cyclists, killing one, in a shocking incident on the R102, near Tongaat in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday morning. The South African reports the driver was allegedly overtaking several cars on a blind rise when they struck the group. One cyclist in his 20s was pinned under the vehicle and was declared dead at the scene. Three of the riders suffered "minor to moderate injuries".

IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson said the scene was chaotic. "IPSS Medical Rescue, together with IPSS Search and Rescue division, responded to the reports of a mass casualty incident on the R102 Frasers, Tongaat. It was reported that a vehicle had allegedly been overtaking several cars on a blind rise when the vehicle struck a group of cyclists," the official statement reported.

12 August 2021, 11:47
Ethan Hayter takes his silver medal back to the place where it all began

 Olympic silver medallist Ethan Hayter popped down to Herne Hill Velodrome on Wednesday to show off his bling at the place where he started training aged 13. 

Speaking to the PA news agency, he said: "It's not really sunk in yet, it's a bit strange coming back here and I don't feel like I should be but I'm treated like a celebrity which is weird.

"I got back and my whole road was out and after getting back from the airport it's been really nice, in a way it's meant more to everyone else than it has to me. It's been really nice, everyone has been saying well done and coming up to see me and stuff like that. I feel like the same person, I was here eight years ago and the buzz around the Olympics was massive - this time it was me competing which was weird."

12 August 2021, 10:18
Richard Carapaz's stunning Olympic gold Pinarello Dogma

How good is this?! It's what we've been waiting for since Richie C won gold a few weeks back. His new Olympic gold Pinarello Dogma is just about as good as it gets...well, maybe apart from if Top Ganna had won TT gold so his supersonic world champ's machine could be given a gold trim.

The Ecuadorian hero will debut his fresh new ride at the Vuelta a España when it kicks off this weekend. We'll have to wait until Sunday as the first stage is a TT. I wonder if Cervélo has anything special planned for Primož Roglič?

12 August 2021, 09:55
Tour of Denmark crash has the critics criticising...

We've been here before: rider crashes, bike does something bizarre on impact...must be a peloton-wide conspiracy of motor doping. Okay, that's a bit of a straw man. I can't explain why Ryder Hesjedal's bike did what it did at the Vuelta in 2014, nor can I explain what happened here...maybe if I didn't ditch Physics after an extremely underwhelming GCSE campaign I'd have the answers.

Some are saying it's clear evidence the rider's bike has a motor, others that it was just the wind, others rotational energy? Anyone smart want to help me out here?

12 August 2021, 09:40
Ned Boulting launches 'make cycling infrastructure fit for purpose' petition

You might have seen Ned's vid from the North East on the blog earlier this week. In it, the commentator and writer shared a familiar scene for cyclists across the UK: lazy, substandard token infrastructure - at most a white painted bicycle and a few lines...

The clip got a lot of traction, so Ned has decided to set up a UK Government Petition to 'Make cycling infrastructure fit for purpose. Just like we have done with roads.' The petition is in moderation at the minute so you might not be able to sign it for another few days.

Here's the link to it, we'll share it again once it's live.

Replying to a question about what a parliamentary debate will achieve, Ned said: "I'd rather is WAS debated than WASN'T. I'm hoping it can serve as a focal point for campaigners and will give us something to work with. I'm not expecting miracles, but it could matter."

12 August 2021, 08:52
Meet Jose Laverico...the British pro grabbing a Spanish residency card to bypass Brexit ball-ache

Back in February we highlighted the situation facing British riders subject to visa rules in the wake of Brexit meaning non-EU citizens can only spend 90 days in Europe in a 180-day period. With the majority of WorldTour and Pro Conti races held on the continent, and with many British riders opting to make places like Girona and Andorra home due to the superior training options - it's become a very real problem for many. 

Luckily for Hagens Berman Axeon pro Joe Laverick, he's found an alternative...introducing...Jose Laverico.

12 August 2021, 07:47
Surrey traffic cops call out safe driving campaign spouting "dangerous advice" about riding two abreast

We're back to this again...we thought it was done and said it will take something spectacular to drag us back into the 'debate'. Well, everyone's favourite police Twitter account caught our eye with this call out of a page posing as a road safety campaign...Fatal 5 says it is a: "Campaign against the biggest dangers whilst driving: inappropriate speed, distractions, carelessness, no seatbelts & drink/drug driving". Fair enough.

 Interestingly Fatal 5 chose to tackle the road's biggest dangers by saying cyclists riding two abreast is "a ridiculous act to encourage" that is "downright dangerous", in reply to Jeremy Vine's viral vid. When challenged by the Surrey road cops, Fatal 5 doubled down: "Vehicles are being forced further to the offside than necessary with cyclists riding 3 or 4 abreast as demonstrated here, this in turn adds danger from hidden exits etc Are you advocating that cyclists ride 3 or 4 abreast, contradicting guidance as outlined in the Highway Code?"

If you're new around here you might not know why we think the Surrey road cops are worth a follow...back in June its admin slid into the DMs to educate one person bemoaning "dickhead" cyclists riding away from the kerb...

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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