Roll up, roll up, let's finish the live blog week with some social media outrage... after this fairly easy to criticise giveaway from... *checks notes*... *checks notes again to make 100% sure I'm reading this correctly... the NSPCC...
Would you like to win this Land Rover Defender as well as your dream home?! 😍
Every entry supports us to help keep children safe 💚
— NSPCC (@NSPCC) May 12, 2023
Needless to say the ratio of two likes to 75 replies is telling, many followers saying they donate to the charity but have been left somewhere on the scale of shocked to dismayed to downright furious...
Well, objectively some children will be less safe thanks to this corporate partnership. Perhaps you haven’t thought this through quite as carefully as you should have done https://t.co/I6Wl0Hbdyu
— Leo Murray @crisortunity [at] urbanists.social (@crisortunity) May 12, 2023
"Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years."
This is in very poor taste, as others have pointed out.https://t.co/3F0IFNpu47
— Edward Lamb (@edwardlamb) May 12, 2023
— Simon (mzdt [at] toot.wales) 🪗 (@mzdt) May 12, 2023
Streets for people campaigner Jo Rigby replied: "Oh come on — I've a direct debit with you and couldn't think of anything less appropriate to put up as a prize."
Another called it "utterly tone deaf".
Nice quiet Friday afternoon in the NSPCC offices then...
Here was the moment...
"A life changing moment at the Giro d'Italia"
25-year-old Davide Bais wins a bike race for the first time in his career!
— Eurosport (@eurosport) May 12, 2023
Not a classic Grand Tour stage by any means, in fact almost instantly forgettable but don't let that take anything away from Davide Bais' achievement. A first win as a professional... and it comes at his home Grand Tour, on the first summit finish of the race at a famous mountain, the site of a Marco Pantani victory way back when. Chapeau.
Timmy Mallett was back out on the bike yesterday, on familiar off-road paths near Maidenhead and Windsor, including a stretch of National Cycle Network 50. Unfortunately the take-home message from this spin in the countryside was that "sadly it looks like the end of cycle route 50" because of this...
"For decades I've been riding the green ways of Britain and this green way, like many others, is by permission of the landowner," Mallett told his Strava followers. "Oh dear. This week a new bike trap at Lighlands lane, Cookham, has gone in on cycle route 50, and I can't get my handlebars through.
"The result is the green way is now off limits and not accessible for cyclists, hand bikes or wheelchairs. What a shame."
"It is of course the prerogative of the landowner how they choose to make the way accessible and for whom. Sadly it looks like the end of cycle route 50," Mallett continued. "Instead the detour is over the treacherous Widbrook common, which is utterly scary.
"I pedalled along a road into Maidenhead, picked up NCN4 where the bike gates have been removed and the green way is shared safely and happily. Across the new cycle path by the side of the M4 over the Thames to Dorney and down past Boveney chapel to the lovely meadows by Eton.
"May is a gorgeous month to enjoy Britain's cycle paths. There's a new pedestrian area being constructed by Queen Victoria's state next to Windsor castle. The way home came through fields of buttercups and cascading white may blossom. There were also huge flooded footpaths.
"A Sustrans volunteer was at work on the Jubilee River doing an audit of these bike hazard entrance gates/traps. The Highway Code has made the vulnerable a priority. The green way landowners have some way to go to make the cycle paths accessible..."
This news Just-in...
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has been given three penalty points and a fine of more than £500 after being caught driving at 25mph in a 20mph zone last year. The 67-year-old was travelling along the Albert Embankment towards his official residence at Lambeth Palace and was sentenced at a private magistrates' court hearing, the BBC reports.
Lavender Hill Magistrates' Court ordered Mr Welby to pay a £300 fine, a £120 victim surcharge and £90 in legal costs, as well as the penalty points.
A spokesperson for Lambeth Palace said: "He has tried to resolve this and pay the fine three times. He has all the paperwork to prove that he has tried to pay. Admin errors seem to be causing problems."
There's more than just the Giro to enjoy this weekend. Don't worry we won't bore you with what's happening at the Tour of Hungary, but the world's best women's racers are having a showdown in the Basque Country, a week on from Annemiek van Vleuten's somewhat controversial (urinating-related) win at La Vuelta.
Demi Vollering got revenge, of sorts, winning today's opening stage in dominant fashion, 47 seconds ahead of teammate Marlen Reusser, with Katarzyna Niewiadoma third and Van Vleuten fourth.
Nice weather for it...
🎊🥳 @demivollering 🥇
LIKE 2022, STARTS WINNING 🙌🏻@teamsdworx
— Itzulia Basque Country (@ehitzulia) May 12, 2023
We'll see how well these words age in about an hour or so...
Speaking to Rois de la Pédale, one of Eurosport's talkshows, Remco said he believes his big GC rival Primož Roglič is nervous...
"I have the impression that Roglic is nervous," he told Philippe Gilbert. "He knows he is 44 seconds behind. Jumbo-Visma rides nervously through the peloton anyway. They push a lot, but that's their style. After the time trial and the stage the day before yesterday, I think I am the strongest at the moment.
"For now it is an ideal scenario for us. In Catalunya I was behind, now in front. There is no stress for us. It's more the case with them, I think."
The opening summit finish of the race is just half an hour away...
Our story on George Fox's 18:41 10-mile road bike time trial certainly got some attention...(and not just for my unapologetic cocktail of metric and imperial measurements)...
We spoke to Colin Sturgess, pro rider-turned-DS who had a few fast times of his own back in the day, not least the then-10-mile TT record of 18:48, which stood from 1988 until 1992. Oh, did I mention Sturgess set that time... yep, on a bike from the 80s and only seven seconds slower than Fox's 2023 time.
Both George and Colin have said it is a pretty pointless exercise comparing eras, Sturgess telling road.cc he "couldn't be happier for the guy. He's a genuinely lovely lad". And while we initially said Fox had 'broken' the road bike TT record, as that record doesn't officially exist (with Cycling Time Trials, so George would have to beat Marcin Białobłocki's supersonic TT bike time of 16.35), saying 'set' could make more sense as we've only got Sturgess' time to compare to, especially considering bike tech has hardly stood still for the past 25 years...
"He and I have spoken at length about it, and I couldn't be happier for the guy. He's a genuinely lovely lad," Sturgess told road.cc. "When I broke the 10 record it was outright comp record (low profile bikes etc. were allowed). My rear Campag Ghibli disc wheel hadn't arrived from Italy, and I didn't have a low-profile bike at the time, so I used my normal road bike, with a pair of 28-spoked wheels. Used the bike the next morning in a crit."
Speaking to CTT after Sunday's impressive ride, George added: "It was never about comparisons, nor ever will be. I've said it before and I'll continue to say it, Colin Sturgess is another level and 18.48 was way ahead of the game when it was set!"
"It was never a case of comparing to his ride," George explained. "It was more the fact there was a record which using technology and science we think is theoretically possible. That was always the premise that it was breaking a number not comparing to the ride which was done previously."
This is 1987. Afraid I scanned it badly but it gives an idea as to what Boardman and Sturgess were riding in that era pic.twitter.com/9AVVgnBsgd
— Ex roadman (@ExRoadman1) May 11, 2023
Hey Conor 👋 I’ll see if I can find one mate
— Col Sturgess (@ColinASturgess) May 11, 2023
— Col Sturgess (@ColinASturgess) May 11, 2023
So there, hope you enjoy reading about time trialling...
We mentioned on yesterday's blog that British rider Charlie Quarterman had made the day's breakaway, coming a long way since being berated by Jeremy Clarkson during lockdown... no, really...
Speaking about his day in the break (back of shot in the purple jersey), Quarterman called it a dream to be back racing against the best riders in the world.
"I wouldn't say no to winning a stage like I did at the Tour du Loiret but quite a change. Felt the difference riding through towns yesterday so loud with fans I couldn't hear the radio or any of the riders shouting next to me. Even if it's hard, it's already a dream to be here."
This group ride playing 'how many cyclists does it take to lift a cargo bike over cycle route barrier?' made our live blog back in March...
On the same lines as Timmy Mallett's post (and dare I say the never-ending talk about bike storage on trains), fine if you've got skinny bars and can lift your bike, not so fine for those in wheelchairs, riding cargo bikes, wider handlebar bikes etc.
And from the replies to Mallett's Strava activity, he's not the only one pissed off...
Karen: "There are campaigns to take these out all across the country. It's really disappointing to see new ones going in."
Rob: "To those saying to turn the bars 90 degrees. We need to be making our cycle ways more accessible for those with a wide range of abilities riding a wide range of bikes. Simply letting these gates be installed and only used by the able isn't the answer."
Simon: "This has happened in Portsmouth, also on a Sustrans route."
Crispin: "Such barriers are in breach of equality legislation. They should be being removed, not installed. Report to Sustrans."
Andrew: "Supposed to stop motorbikes, but still rubbish for people with wide bars and even wheelchair users."
Serves 'em right for enjoying yesterday's sunny jaunt along the Amalfi Coast and making us all very jealous...
Lots of standing water and water flowing down the roads early in todays stage ☔️
— Hannah Walker (@spannawalker) May 12, 2023
Recognise this “keen cyclist” - helmet on, foot down on a Lime Bike?
Journo from Mail or Telegraph come for a put up job by Chiswick’s anti cycling group and happy puppets of the far right culture war?
— Paul Campbell 🚲 (@PauloCampbell) May 11, 2023
Simon's over in Italy, snapping pink bikes (some of which may or may not be horror movie worthy)...
Here's what's on the menu today...
The race is headed to the highest point in the Apennines, the climb where in 1999 (off the back of a Giro-Tour double the previous year and just two weeks away from that fateful positive test) Marco Pantani soared to victory by 20 seconds at the end of a seven-hour-long 253km stage. Just the 218km today.
More recently, in 2018, Simon Yates took the first of three stage wins that year, eventually cracking three days from home as Chris Froome launched a comeback for the ages. So cautious optimism for whoever wins today, you might be the best in the race now, but there's still no guarantee of pink in Rome...
Thibaut Pinot was second that day in 2018, wouldn't a Giro stage win in his final year as a pro be a popular victory.
Dan joined road.cc 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 road.cc, 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.