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Virgin Media van driver muscles in front...blames cyclist; Larry Warbasse photobombs Polish wedding pic; Bike change skills; Bahrain Victorious' eye-catching Vuelta kit; LTN positivity; G risks Friday 13th spin; Pidcock's 2022 plan + more on the live blog

Start your weekend celebrations by joining Dan Alexander on the live blog before we can all disappear into the evening with a beer in hand
13 August 2021, 15:58
An email from a reader on the week's events
Jeremy Vine two abreast cyclists video screenshot

At the end of a live blog week dominated by two abreast arguments and social media squabbling we got this email from a reader from the Netherlands who was over in the UK recently...we thought we'd share it for some Friday positivity...

"I am a loyal follower of you channel and can be amused by the 'close pass' videos and ensuing debate in the comments. But it seems there is a war on and the cyclist is under attack, whilst I also observe inconsiderate behaviour from cyclists. Like many I had a great laugh about Angela Epstein on the Jeremy Vine show, and found out later she portrays herself as a serious journalist. Really?

"Anyway, whilst visiting the in-laws in Mid-Wales I cycle and must say I am impressed with the patience and courtesy extended to me as a cyclist. Solid wide passes, not always 100% on the other side of the road, but spacious enough to make me feel safe. From my side, I help a bit by slowing in a passing place or at a busstop. It takes two to tango and in Mid-Wales there is no shortage of car and lorry drivers who understand this. That's why I would like to share a big appreciation to those drivers around Llandrindod Wells who enable me to cycle and enjoy the scenery without being scared stiff."

That's a nicer way to end the week...

13 August 2021, 15:37
Why we love the Vuelta

Thursday September 2...get it in the diary. 

13 August 2021, 14:13
Virgin Media van driver muscles in front...gets nowhere AND blames the cyclist

The Department of Parks & Recreation is a regular on our live blog with their vids of dangerous driving in Richmond Park and occasionally police officers stopping cyclists for, really. 

They're back with another incomprehensible driving gem, this time from a man behind the wheel of a Virgin Media van. As you watch the clip you expect to have to wait a little longer for the action considering how little room there is between the cyclist and vehicle ahead.

Nope. Mr van driver just can't wait any longer behind the pesky cyclist keeping up with traffic and forces his way in front, barely able to fit between the gap. At least he got to wait at the next set of lights for a few seconds longer...when the rider catches up he asks the driver to give cyclists more room.

Here's the moment. What's it going to be? An apology? Nah, let's double down on that one...

"I do give cyclists plenty of room. You also need to keep to one side as well. You can't take up a whole road". You can't take up the whole road on your skinny road bike...wait until he hears he's driving a van with two spare seats. 

13 August 2021, 13:23
Work on south east London's first major protected cycle route set to begin on Monday
London cycle lane Cycleway 4 (image via Transport for London)

Transport for London will begin construction on south east London's first major protected cycle route on Monday. Cycleway 4 will build upon earlier sections completed between Tower Bridge Road and Rotherhithe, with the finished route connecting local communities in the Greenwich area and Central London via accessible active travel.

Once created, the route will include 1.4km of two-way protected cycle tracks as well as pedestrian crossings at Gosterwood Street and Grinstead Road. The works also include upgrades to existing pedestrian crossings and wider footways and a new public space at New King Street, with new trees and seating. 

Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “Thousands of people are already benefiting from new and upgraded cycle routes across London, and the next phase of Cycleway 4 will make a huge difference to those cycling around Deptford. Making it easier to walk and cycle in the capital is key to a green and sustainable recovery from the pandemic, and it’s really exciting that this key route between central London and Greenwich is going to be improved.”

13 August 2021, 13:08
Josh Quigley sets September date for record attempt

Josh is back from the knee injury that forced him to abandon his first crack at the seven-day cycling distance record...September 13-20 is the new month to go.

13 August 2021, 11:36
(POLL) Battle of the Olympic champs...who did it better? Cervélo or Pinarello?
Who's the king of Olympic gold bikes?

Rog's TT machine
Richard C's gold Dogma
Created with PollMaker

13 August 2021, 11:22
Cervélo delivers Primož Roglič a special golden TT bike in time for Vuelta opener

Oh yes. We wondered if Cervélo would be making a special visit to Burgos to sparkle up Olympic champion Primož Roglič's TT machine...they certainly did not disappoint. Will  Primož be getting a golden aero lid too?

Check out Richard Carapaz getting a first glimpse at his golden Pinarello Dogma on yesterday's live blog. Which do you prefer? 

13 August 2021, 10:45
Larry Warbasse photobombs couple's wedding photos at Tour of Poland

Larry Warbasse made the most of his Tour of Poland breakaway by photobombing a couple having their wedding pics taken on the route. The American's escape was doomed with all the big teams chasing to set up a queen stage sprint victory for João Almeida, but Warbasse didn't arrive in Bukovina Resort empty-handed...He'll be immortalised on these newlyweds' mantelpiece for the rest of time...

After the stage the AG2R Citroën rider wrote on Twitter: "If our breakaway couldn’t make it to the line at least I got a good photo op out of it." What. A. Pic.

You'd think these two would be quite happy with the snap...more so than the Philadelphia newlyweds who had their pictures taken at the very moment the city's naked bike ride went past...

Another cracker on the wedding theme from the archives was at the 2014 RideLondon when a cycling-mad couple briefly broke off their progress on the 100-mile ride to tie the knot.

13 August 2021, 10:10
Tom Pidcock won't make Tour de France debut in 2022 - will target classics, mountain bike world champs and possibly Giro d'Italia
2021 tom pidcock gold medal team gb great britain mountain bike tokyo 2020 olympics

Tom Pidcock will not be rushed into Ineos Grenadiers' Tour de France plans next year and will target the classics and more success on the mountain bike scene instead. A Giro d'Italia debut is also a possibility for the 22-year-old sensation who won gold in Tokyo.

"For the moment, the goal is the classics but I certainly do want to transition to riding GC at some point," Pidcock said ahead of his Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta a España this weekend. "I’m not riding it [the Tour de France] next year. Maybe I’ll ride it in 2023. It takes more time and energy and is a much more high-pressure environment. There’s no rush to go that way soon."

As for this season, Pidcock's big goal is the road race World Championships in Belgium in September as well as a first crack at Paris-Roubaix, a race he won as a junior and U23.

13 August 2021, 10:04
G risks Friday 13th ride

Take a rest day, G! 

13 August 2021, 09:30
An explosion in a Dulux factory or Bahrain Victorious' new Vuelta a España kit?
Bahrain Victorious Vuelta a España kit (press release)

I'm torn: do i love it or do I hate it? I can't tell...Bahrain Victorious has released pics of its new limited edition Vuelta a España kit. Along the same lines as EF Education-Nippo avoiding clashing with the pink jersey at the Giro, Bahrain have switched out their usual reddish orange jersey to respect the race leader's red. The kit has been designed by Alé and promotes awareness about obesity and diabetes. It features the quote, "exercising 30 minutes a day reduces your risk of diabetes by 25 per cent".

Elsewhere on the jersey, as news editor Simon pointed out, there's a hint of TikTok to that TBV colour scheme...and just below the noble healthy lifestyle messaging is a Bapco sponsorship. That would be *checks notes* the Bahrain Petroleum Company...

13 August 2021, 08:58
Watch Matt Gibson's Tour Series bike change skills

What do you do when you need a new bike mid-way through a town centre crit when your heart rate's through the roof and your legs withered to jelly 20 minutes ago? If your Matt Gibson you casually roll to the side and gracefully remount on your new steed, barely breaking stride. That's got to be worth a couple of bonus points...

It seems the Tour Series is the place to go for elite bike changes, back in 2017 a 17-year-old Tom Pidcock entertained the Durham crowds with his skills...first the bike change...

And then the skidzzz...

What ever happened to Pidcock? Haven't heard about him for a while... 

13 August 2021, 07:52
Diane Abbott announcing major new LTN met with... positivity

After a week of two abreast noise and social media spats, let's start Friday on a positive. Labour MP Diane Abbott shared the news that in her Hackney constituency, cars, vans and lorries are to be banned from the high street during the day to encourage cycling and walking. Only buses, emergency vehicles and blue badge holders will be able to access the street between 7am-7pm from September 20 as part of a plan to improve air quality and road safety.

Transport for London has funded the 18-month scheme and there is hope from some that the high street can copy others nearby, such as Orford Road and Francis Road in neighbouring "mini Holland" Waltham Forest.

What's more, the reaction was pretty positive...even taking into account the abuse and opposition that Abbott gets as standard under every tweet. 

And although most of the top replies feature the usual anti-LTN arguments: traffic displacement, what about those who need access etc. but even the pockets of negativity were weighed out by sensible replies...

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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