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Julian Alaphilippe taken down by crash involving his own team car; Cyclist hit by drunk driver... police say wear hi-vis; "Spoilt little brat": Remco argy-bargy doesn't go down well; Dear council, what the f%&k is this? + more on the live blog

It's Wednesday and Dan Alexander is here to take you through the middle of the week on the live blog...
13 April 2022, 18:14
The Empire Strikes Back: All the reaction from a whacky day of racing in Belgium

This SHOULD be the take-home image from Brabantse Pijl; the news generation of Ineos Grenadiers (aged 19, 22 and 23) ripping up a top-class one-day classic field. Yet, this will probably be what we all remember...

No word from the world champion yet, nor Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl. Unless of course you're interested in snapping up a women's replica bibshort and jersey for €149.95, as they've advertised in their latest tweet...

Remco (or perhaps Remco's PR team) has taken to social media to address today's OTHER big incident. That shove. Hardly peak Mike Tsyon, I know, but for pro cycling standards that was pretty major pushing and shoving...

Speaking to the press post-race, Remco said: "It felt a bit like a cyclocross race, I thought it was a road race, but looks like a cyclocross race today. It was really slippery. I think was really hard to stay up on the bike was really a big task to stay up on the bike and don't crash. On the cobbles I wasn't really comfortable. I still felt the legs a bit.

"I wouldn't really like to do the Flemish classics, I think. There are so many cobbles. I'm already in difficulties with only two cobbled sectors, so can you only imagine the Flanders races? I think it would be really hard. 

"Ineos, what can you say. The strongest team."

Speaking of Ineos, here's what race winner Magnus Sheffield thought: "I just felt unbelievable when I found myself off the front with those last kilometres. I really didn’t expect to be able to hold on, and I really wanted to try to lead out my teammate Ben for the sprint. But I was off the front and I was able to hold on to the finish. It was really gritty out there and you just had to fight the whole way."

What were you doing at 19 years old? Keep it clean...

13 April 2022, 16:30
Oh to be a fly on the wall in the Quick-Step camp tonight

Much like Cameo allows you to pay extortionate amounts to receive a personalised message from your favourite sportsperson or actor, I reckon there should be a platform for paying (less extortionate amounts) to watch Quick-Step's nightmare day with...I don't know, let's say an outspoken team boss, perhaps? 

Go on, Patrick. Give us a comment...

13 April 2022, 15:42
Are Ineos Grenadiers the new Quick-Step? Magnus Sheffield rides away from lead group to make numerical advantage pay

After the silliness of Remco's shove and the world champion's team car crash, Magnus Sheffield made Ineos Grenadiers' three-man advantage pay, riding away to solo victory at Brabantse Pijl. Behind, defending champion Tom Pidcock and fellow Yorkshireman Ben Turner could roll across the line, ahead of a fuming Evenepoel, to celebrate the team's victory.

Benoît Cosnefroy was, like at Amstel Gold Race on Sunday, second again, with Tim Wellens third. It was Wellens who attracted the brunt of Evenepoel's finish line gesticulation, presumably due to his fellow Belgian sprinting from one side of the road to the other, cutting space for other riders to sprint. Thankfully there was no repeat of the earlier push that had Adam Blythe on commentary calling the 22-year-old a "spoilt little brat".

We'll have all the reaction from Remco, Julian Alaphilippe and Quick-Step as it comes in...

13 April 2022, 15:15
Julian Alaphilippe taken down by crash involving his own team car

World champion Julian Alaphilippe was taken down by a crash at Brabantse Pijl caused by...*checks notes*...his own team car trying to overtake the peloton and instead colliding with a Cofidis rider.

Alaphilippe fell in the pile-up at the finish line, with one lap to go, of the Belgian one-day race as his support car tried to overtake the peloton to follow Remco Evenepoel who is part of the lead group, 45 seconds ahead.

The Quick-Step car paused when the bunch started to move across the road before a Cofidis rider checked over their shoulder, presumably distracted by the following vehicle, made contact and fell, causing several riders, including the world champion, to hit the deck.

Alaphilippe Brabantse Pijl crash

 Alaphilippe clutched his shoulder but was soon back up on his bike, pedalling gingerly.

Back in the race, Evenepoel is in a group with Tom Pidcock, Tim Wellens, Ben Turner, Magnus Sheffield, Benoît Cosnefroy and Warren Barguil who have 30 seconds advantage with 5km to go.

We'll bring you the full result + any Alpaphilippe updates as we get them...

13 April 2022, 14:23
"Spoilt little brat": Remco argy-bargy doesn't go down well with Eurosport commentator Adam Blythe

10/10 for Adam Blythe's "spoilt little brat" line...

Remco has been given a warning, according to Sporza, but remains in the race. He's also up front along with the rider on the receiving end Ben Turner, Tom Pidcock, Sunday's unfortunate second Benoît Cosnefroy, Tim Wellens, Victor Campenaerts, Magnus Sheffield, Rob Stannard, Dylan Teuns and Warren Barguil.

EDIT: A few minutes later and Evenepoel has been dropped (along with Campenaerts and Barguil). Cue more Blythe magic...

"I bet he wishes Ben Turner could give him a push back on now...sorry"

Someone get Remco an ice pack for the burn...

13 April 2022, 12:58
Tributes to "an absolute belter of a lad" who died in A595 collision
Ted Southward (Cumbria Police)

Family and friends have paid tribute to a 14-year-old boy who died following a collision on the A595 in West Cumbria on Friday. Ted Southward's friends described him as: "Funny, kind, talented, fearless, legend."

A family statement said: "Ted was one in a million, loved and respected by so many. He was at his happiest covered in grease, working on engines, racing his car or driving tractors."

Ted was riding a mountain bike when he was hit by a car being driven on the A595 near Waberthwaite. Police were called at 8.06pm on Friday 8 April, Ted sadly died at the scene.

"An absolute belter of a lad, who would have grown into an amazing man. Our hearts and lives are shattered, forever and ever," the family's statement continued.

13 April 2022, 12:46
Demi Vollering wins De Brabantse Pijl

It was a first win of the season for SD Worx's Demi Vollering who ditched her attack partner Pauliena Rooijakkers to win solo and dispell the second-place Amstel blues. It's Vollering's first win of 2022, having also finished second at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad behind the unstoppable Annemiek van Vleuten, and capped a fine day for SD Worx who had three riders in the top eight. Katarzyna Niewiadoma and Liane Lippert rounded out the podium.

The men's race is next up, with Remco Evenepoel and Julian Alaphilippe leading the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl charge against defending champion Tom Pidcock. Evenepoel has been talking up how Brabantse Pijl, on home roads, is one of his main goals for the season...

"I know every bend, every pebble"

13 April 2022, 12:21
Durham Roads Policing Unit joins the hi-vis party

"It's a simple concept, really," Durham's Roads Policing Unit commented to a backdrop of morning hi-vis chat following Greater Manchester Police's much-criticised safety vid (on the blog earlier).

Under the live blog, one comment stood out: "It always amuses me when the police recommend hi-viz.  My brother will spend the rest of his life dealing with the effects of crushed vertebrae after he was hit while cycling by an off-duty police officer. It just so happened that he was indeed wearing hi-viz (despite it being a bright sunny day with excellent visibility anyway), but as is always the case, if the driver doesn't actually look it makes no difference what you are wearing."

TriTaxMan agreed: "No matter what you wear or what lights you use, if a driver isn't actually looking it makes no difference at all. I have had two collisions on my bike.  Both of which were at night, both times I had hi-viz and reflective clothing on, a solid state light and a flashing light on my bike and both times the driver 'Sorry I never saw you'."

JoanneH added: "My mum was knocked off while in high-viz and with lights in broad daylight by a driver who claimed she didn't see my mum. (Mum still has back problems from the injuries she sustained). I'm pretty sure there are thousands of similar stories."

13 April 2022, 10:46
A philosophical question none of the greats have yet been able to crack...
13 April 2022, 10:19
Dutch traffic deaths drop, but cycling deaths outnumber other road user numbers

National statistics office CBS has revealed the Netherlands' traffic fatality stats for last year, which saw 621 people killed on the roads — the lowest level since 2015. However, of those killed, 207 were cyclists, including 80 e-bike users and the over-55s accounted for one third of the victims.

Dutch News reports compared with 2000, the number of people killed in traffic incidents has halved. Despite this, safety research group VeiligheidNL said more cyclists are being seriously injured, with the number of seriously injured traffic incident victims rising by 18 per cent over the past 10 years. 

Two-thirds of the 110,000 people treated in hospital last year due to traffic incidents were cyclists.

13 April 2022, 09:52
Ellen van Dijk announces Hour Record attempt

Joss Lowden's Hour Record will soon be challenged by Trek-Segafredo TT machine Ellen van Dijk, who has today announced she will be attempting to beat the Brit's 48.405km distance in the same Swiss velodrome on 23 May.

> Joss Lowden’s Hour Record-breaking Argon 18 bike and Le Col kit

The 35-year-old track and road racer won a rainbow jersey on the track in 2008, backed up by two individual time trial world championships and four TTT rainbow jerseys. An Hour Record is next in her sights...

"This has been a dream of mine for a very long time. The hour record is something that I have always said I wanted to do one day and now that day is finally here. I get butterflies in my stomach when I think about doing it, a mix of excitement and nerves which is normal. You are always just on the edge with big challenges, and this is a huge challenge, so it is going to be exciting and frightening at the same time," Van Dijk said.

The Dutch rider will take on Lowden's record in the same Grenchen Velodrome that the Brit smashed Vittoria Bussi's previous distance last September.

13 April 2022, 09:49
Funny-looking bikes
13 April 2022, 09:02
Dear Wolverhampton Council, what the actual f%&k is this?

When I took a peek in our archives for our past stories about driving instructors it didn't make for great reading...

> Footballer-turned-driving instructor Ashley Neal divides opinion with use of horn in overtaking video

> Driving instructors have their say on the Highway Code – “a recipe for disaster” or “not a big deal”?

> Driving instructor who forced cyclist off the road, causing him to break his arm, loses job

So, it's nice to have been sent a message from Richard of Inclusive Driving who specialises in helping people with disabilities, and is also a cyclist. 

He was left wondering how those on bikes can take primary position, and maintain a safe distance from the kerb? 


13 April 2022, 07:49
Cyclist hit by drunk driver... police say wear hi-vis so motorists see you

We've seen a few of these social media posts popping up recently as part of the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s '2 Wheels' campaign. On Monday, it was Bedfordshire Police's now-deleted tweet telling cyclists to try not to make "mistakes" to stay safe...

This message was accompanied by a bingo card reminder to: wear a helmet and hi-vis. Unsurprisingly this particular tweet was not the force's most popular, attracting victim-blaming accusations before unceremoniously being deleted.

Today, it's Greater Manchester Police's turn...

The headlines from this shocking story are: a cyclist in Manchester was riding on the pavement because they felt safer than on the road, a drunk driver then hit the cyclist, causing life-threatening injuries that are going to "stay with them forever".

So, what conclusion should we be taking from this? Tougher action on dangerous driving? Infrastructure that makes cyclists feel safe to use the roads, and not have to jump onto the pavement, all without the risk of being hit by a drink driver?

Well, according to GMP's #2wheeloperation vid: "So for cyclists and motorcyclists, basically to wear the protective clothing, wear the hi-vis, make yourself as visible as possible to everybody on the road." Right. Presumably the same goes for dog walkers, children and pedestrians who could have been hit by the aforementioned drunk driver?

"Being a cyclist or a motorcyclist can be even more dangerous because you've got less presence on the road. So there's less for people to see," one of the force's family liaison officers continued.

Someone go get the Surrey traffic cops...

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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