Two days until women's Paris-Roubaix on Saturday. The men's race follows on Sunday. In other words, cancel your plans, and book that spot on the sofa. Here's the best of the pro peloton getting to grips with the cobbles.
— Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix (@A_ParisRoubaix) April 14, 2022
— SRAM Road (@SRAMroad) April 13, 2022
— Michał Kwiatkowski (@kwiato) April 14, 2022
And one devious plan for Saturday night. Yep, the weather forecast is saying we should have a dry Roubaix...
Would it be illegal to drop 10 000 liters of water on Carrefour de l'Arbre Friday, and Saturday evening? 🤔 #ParisRoubaix
— Benji Naesen (@BenjiNaesen) April 14, 2022
We couldn't possibly comment on that particular plan...
Women's WorldTour action is returning to London this summer, this time with a three-day stage race (Friday 27 May - 29 May) as part of RideLondon's new Essex route. The two extra stages will both be in Essex before the familiar city centre finale.
Stage one is 137km starting and finishing in Maldon, and features two laps of the Abberton Resevoir near Colchester before finishing with two circuits around Maldon. Full route...
Stage two is from Chelmsford to Epping, and is the hardest of the three, with eight climbs and 1,368m of climbing. Full route...
"This stage will be suited to the climbers, especially the final circuit in and around Epping. This circuit is very tough with short, steep climbs and it’s very fast in between the climbs, so there will be very short recovery times, which could play into the hands of the General Classification riders. It’s going to be quite a different experience to Stage One and a great prelude to the final stage in London," RideLondon race director Scott Sunderland said.
Stage three is an 85.3km city centre blast, differing from previous Classique routes with a start finish on Victoria Embankment beside the River Thames. Riders will race the high-speed finale along some of London's most famous streets, including Piccadilly, Pall Mall and The Strand. Full route...
The Classique is just one element of RideLondon 2022, with four mass participation events also taking place on Sunday 29 May. An estimated 25,000 people will take part in three challenge rides, the RideLondon-Essex 100, 60 and 30. Thousands more will participate in RideLondon FreeCycle, a free event that enables people to cycle around eight miles of traffic-free roads in central London.
Bloody cyclist. Why the hell don't they stick to one side of the road. Hogging the middle of the road. No care for other road user. I bet they don't even pay road tax, if they did they wouldn't have to ride on crappy roads like this. pic.twitter.com/Xf7PadjUjN
— Dave Everett (@ShoddyCycling) April 14, 2022
Andy Burnham has welcomed Greater Manchester's new cycle hire scheme hitting the 100,000km milestone since its launch in November. There have been over 39,000 journeys taken on the bikes, with over 10,400 active users.
Bikes are currently available from stations along the Oxford Road corridor, at the University of Salford and at MediaCityUK. The use of the bikes has been closely monitored since the scheme launched and learning will be fed in as the roll out continues later this year when the scheme expands and bikes become available in Trafford.
"We wanted to create a cycle hire scheme in GM so that more people had access to an affordable, accessible and sustainable form of transport," Burnham said.
"It’s great to see how the scheme has been received by the people of GM so far. Seeing the number of people riding around Oxford Road, the University of Salford and MediaCity on our iconic yellow bikes has been brilliant – and I’m really looking forward to more bikes becoming available in the future."
I'll try not to strawman MP Rupa Huq's tweet about a road in her constituency which someone said was dangerous for cyclists...BUT the Labour MP Ealing Central and Acton seemed to argue...it's not dangerous because she wasn't killed while using it...
Here's where we began...
All was sorted by 3pm pic.twitter.com/G1NSDlOO4d
— Rupa Huq MP (@RupaHuq) April 13, 2022
To which someone pointed out: "Taxi on double yellows forcing the bus to pull out. Not safe to cycle there is it?"
Hi Simon, I cycled there and lived to tell the tale
— Rupa Huq MP (@RupaHuq) April 13, 2022
Needless to say there were more than a few people willing to point out that not dying isn't exactly proof of safety. Simon speculated Malcom Tucker might well be having a word later today...
Others argued "I lived" is a strange bechmark for safe infrastructure, while many plugged in hypothetical scenarios where you didn't die, so it can't of been dangerous...survived an avalanche? Can't have been unsafe. Lived to tell the tale of that time you fell out an aeroplane without a parachute? Yeah, not dangerous.
We learned a new phrase though, so maybe something good came from this. 'Experienced cyclist bias'...
Your reaction is extremely problematic.
This is called the “experienced cyclists bias”.
This is why cities are dangerous for people: because of people who don’t take into account the fear that keeps 85% of the population from trying out the bicycle.
This kills quality living.
— Stein van Oosteren (@LCyclable) April 14, 2022
The bar for introducing safe cycle infrastructure is incredibly low isn't it?
"I didn't die"
— Jon (@Jontafkasi) April 14, 2022
Hi Rupa, this lady fell out of an aeroplane with no parachute and "lived to tell the tale"https://t.co/2I1pXinUlm
— rdekanter (@rjdekanter) April 14, 2022
It's not the first time Rupa Huq has made an appearance on road.cc...
Calling your own kit 'The Masterpiece' is a recipe for some gentle online trolling...
The Masterpiece. 🎨
Inspired by Dutch Masters, created by Artificial Intelligence.#TheMasterpiece
— Team Jumbo-Visma cycling (@JumboVismaRoad) April 14, 2022
Is it a masterpiece?
The inspiration for the new Jumbo-Visma jersey. pic.twitter.com/AKvcKr48Mb
— Cycling out of context (@OutOfCycling) April 14, 2022
The main man will be at Roubaix on Sunday, but sports director Merijn Zeeman said he won't be there to win..."Wout had very extensive examinations before he resumed training. At the beginning of this week, the medical staff determined that he is fully fit and can continue his efforts at top sporting level.
"On the functioning of the heart, among other things. Wout's health is in excellent shape. But after a week of isolation, top form is no longer possible. His run-up to Roubaix is poor and he will miss the reconnaissance on Thursday. All in all, it is anything but an ideal preparation. However, a rider like Wout can still play a role in supporting Christophe Laporte, Mike Teunissen or Nathan Van Hooydonck."
London postcodes are still the UK's bike theft hotspots, with five of the capital's areas in the top 10 postcode areas for bike theft claims in the last two years, according to Admiral Insurance.
Admiral's latest data shows that bike thefts are already 56 per cent higher in the first two months of 2022 than in 2021. The average number of bike theft claims over the last year was 25 per cent higher than the previous year and 40 per cent higher than the year before the pandemic.
The top 10 postcode areas for bike theft claims in the last two years, according to Admiral data:
The UCI comms would have told @Geertvanbondt it was safe to pass, then fined him when it caused a crash because of the narrowing through the finish straight. It was also rider error, not the @qst_alphavinyl cars fault.
— Dan Martin (@DanMartin86) April 14, 2022
Dan Martin disagrees with the jury's verdict...
"Normally the team car asks permission to pass the race. It happens time and time again that the comms will say yes, despite it being unsafe to pass. But yes. Agree that they should have waited for a safer place," he added later.
"The driver wasn't looking where he was going in that situation. The Cofidis guy looked around and swerved into the car."
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sports director Geert Van Bondt has been fined 2,000 CHF (£1,630) by the race jury for causing a crash while trying to squeeze his team's car past the peloton on the narrow finish straight at Brabantse Pijl.
Race officials reportedly waved Ineos Grenadiers' vehicle through once the gap reached one minute, with Van Bondt quickly following to support Remco Evenepoel who was also in the lead group.
Van Bondt says he too was told he could pass the peloton, and was honking his horn when Cofidis sprinter Bryan Coquard looked over his shoulder, hitting the vehicle and bringing down several riders, including the sports director's own rider — world champion Julian Alaphilippe.
"The leading group had a lead of one minute. Ineos was allowed to come forward from the jury and we also received a sign that it was allowed," Van Bondt told Sporza.
"We honked the horn to the riders at the finish and it went pretty well until one rider turned around and went a bit off his line. He hit our car and then it's no fun."
If a genuine emergency and if there are no other reasonable options. Here they could park in the main road lane quite happily and cause a minor inconvenience to motor vehicles
— Andrew Buss (@ambuss) April 14, 2022
Plenty of comments and reaction to this morning's emergency services using bike lanes question...
OnYerBike said: "The police could have been dealing with an emergency, but even so it was a conscious decision to turn off the main carriageway and block the cycle track instead. They could have remained entirely on the main carriageway. They could have straddled the curb and probably wouldn't have blocked either the main carriageway or the cycle track (from the lines, the edge of the cycle track appears to be set back from the curb).
"They could have blocked the pavement (not much better than blocking the cycle lane, although there is an argument that it would have been preferable because there is no legal impediment on pedestrians using the cycle lane, where as a cyclist cannot legally continue by diverting onto the footway). Or they could have parked right up by that pizza place (the bollard on the adjacent property wouldn't seem to prevent that)."
brooksby replied: "All this really demonstrates is the police are just like everybody else. We all know that motorists will park up on the footpath, or cycle path, or anywhere rather than stay on the carriageway."
mdavidford commented: "Even if they're attending an emergency, why do they feel the need to park in the cycle provision, which is thereby completely obstructed, instead of on the main carriageway, where vehicles would have the whole other lane to use to go around it?"
More from Twitter...
I don't have an issue with it. Not a great example but it's easy enough to cycle around this car.
— Johnny B (@JohnnyBizzel) April 14, 2022
If it’s an emergency, people should exercise common sense and stop being so self important.
— Steve Walton (@steveswalton) April 14, 2022
What an absolutely stupid tweet!
Do you know what they were responding too?
Would you rather they parked a distance away?
Or block the road rather than inconveniencing a few cyclists?
No doubt this will attract stupid comments from idiots about cops getting coffee etc.
— Regie Butler-Card 🇬🇧🇺🇦 (@RegBC) April 14, 2022
Happy Thursday, everyone!
SD Worx sports director Danny Stam has provided an update on Amy Pieters' condition, but unfortunately confirmed there is "still no clear picture" of the Dutch cyclist's future after a training crash in Alicante in December.
Pieters remains in an induced coma in hospital in the Netherlands, following surgery to relieve pressure on her brain four months ago.
"The difficult thing about the situation is that it is still so uncertain," Stam told AD newspaper. "If she can lead a decent life, I hope she wakes up. There is still no clear picture of what we can and cannot expect. The doctors say 'as long as she doesn't do things on command, she's not awake and we can't wake her'."
I feel like this picture should come with some sort of warning...
To this day I still think about the banana which fell out my pocket a couple of summers back...I like to think it appeared to another rider in a moment of bonk-induced need, but realistically it probably just got squished by an SUV and pecked at by a crow...
Would I have turned into Tom Pidcock with the extra 25g of carbs? Probably not, but you never know...that's what I blame it on anyway...
An emergency? Nowhere else to park? I couldn't see the police around. The car was parked on the cycle track, Preston Road this morning. Sets a poor example @sussex_police, and at a point that's a bottleneck even on a good day. What do you reckon @SussexPCC ? pic.twitter.com/KnGPNladkS
— Becky Reynolds (@Bexonabike) April 13, 2022
There is probably more nuance to the matter than a simple good/bad question suggests: is there an emergency? How serious is the emergency? Will stopping in a bike lane cause less harm than not immediately attending an incident? Etc. Etc. BUT...
Becky Reynolds snapped this photo on Preston Road, one of the main routes in and out of Brighton. She couldn't see an emergency, obviously doesn't mean there wasn't one, and "couldn't see the police around". She said it "sets a poor example and at a point that's a bottleneck even on a good day".
I'd say we're probably safe to conclude that if there is no emergency then yes, clearly this is a bad example, but what did other riders have to say?
This was there at lunch time with cars parked on the pavement all around with seeming impunity. They should park in the road. Not sure why pedestrians and cyclists should suffer when there's plenty of space for cars
— Chris Todd 🇺🇦 #BuildBackBetter #FBPE (@ecochris_todd) April 13, 2022
Everyone loves an obstacle course 😂 in seriousness though this cycle lane is horribly designed and below capacity without cars in it
— Harry Pinder (@HPinder500) April 13, 2022
Truly shameful and embarrassing. Yet another example of how little respect there is for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists even among those whose job it is to protect it and enforce the law.
— Brighton Naked Bike Ride (WNBR Brighton) (@WNBRbrighton) April 13, 2022
So you couldn’t ‘see’ them? Maybe they were inside a building dealing with an emergency?
— Stuinbrighton (@StupotManch) April 14, 2022
I guess without the context it's all speculation...were they at an emergency or enjoying a pizza lunch? I wonder if Sussex Police will comment and clear it up?
Elsewhere in Sussex...happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday to...Dane Road pothole...happy birthday to you...
— Sussex Traffic Watch (@SussexTW) April 14, 2022
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.