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Legendary cyclist killed in collision with SUV driver; Close Pass Day met with...sensible comments from motorists; Vini Zabù out of Giro after EPO positive; 90% of stolen bikes locked; Joys of commuting; Zwifters in the peloton + more on the live blog

It's Thursday and Dan Alexander is in the hot seat for all your live blog needs...
15 April 2021, 16:52
Arnaud Dé-marvelous: FDJ make it two from two in Spain

Arnaud Démare won his first stage of 2021 over in Spain today in some miserable April conditions at the rearranged Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. The French champion made it two out of two for FDJ at the race after Miles Scotson's win yesterday and beat Caleb Ewan, who was third.

That's another day of the live blog wrapped up until the morning...

15 April 2021, 16:33
I can make that...
15 April 2021, 13:48
Legendary Californian cyclist killed in collision with SUV driver

Legendary Californian cyclist Joe Shami was killed in a crash with an SUV driver at a roundabout in Lafayette on Tuesday, the East Bay Times reports. In 2019, at the age of 85, Shami completed 600 weeks in a row riding to the summit of Mount Diablo, a 12-mile climb to 1,173m. For 11 years and 28 weeks, he rode to the summit of Mount Diablo every Sunday. The driver hit Shami early on Tuesday morning and despite an off-duty nurse's care, police confirmed the cyclist died in hospital later that day.

 Friend and local rider Al Kalin told the paper how sorely missed he will be in the local community. "Eighty-seven years young, and just an amazing cycling ambassador," Kalin said. "He was the friendliest guy, and so helpful on so many levels. He was a very good friend."

15 April 2021, 14:04
Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec earn late call up to Giro d'Italia after Vini Zabù voluntarily withdraw

Good news for fans of the team managed by Gianni Savio who love a sponsor or 35...Androni Giocattoli–Sidermec will be back at the Giro next month. Vini Zabù–Brado–KTM withdrew this morning out of "love for the sport" after one of their riders tested positive for EPO. 

Bad news for Nairo Quintana fans...

15 April 2021, 12:47
José Manuel Díaz wins stage five of Presidential Tour of Tukey

What a grind that final climb was... José Manuel Díaz takes the win but arguably more eye-catching was Jay Vine in second. The 25-year-old Aussie is at the first race for his new team Alpecin-Fenix this week having earned himself a contract by winning the Zwift Academy finals last November. Could we see more riders come into the professional road racing ranks through Zwift in the future?

15 April 2021, 11:19
More on the close pass comments

Some of you have fairly pointed out that Joanna Ball's comment about fixing potholes isn't quite the common sense solution I said it was...Fair enough, granted, fixing potholes doesn't help out cyclists if it means drivers expect us to ride in the gutter...

What caught my eye was someone who hadn't been triggered into screaming 'road tax', two abreast or "lycra lout" by the police asking them to give us space. Perhaps I should pass the common sense crown on to Jill Lloyd Eccleston who wrote: "When I took my driving test in 1976, the instructor always told me to pass bikes with enough room for the bike to fall over. Have done so ever since."

15 April 2021, 11:04
Velobici partners with Factor for new performance cycle clothing range
Factor x Velobici performance range

Velobici and Factor Bikes have come together to create a new performance clothing range. Focusing on two colourways, grey and red, the kit uses "cutting edge fabrics" and has a heritage inspired design which will come out of Leicestershire via Velobici.

For every sale, a percentage of profits will be donated to mental health charities around the world and off-bike clothing is coming soon too. As for the new range, the jerseys are lightweight and use a high-wicking fabric, while the black bib shorts come in a mild compression fit.

15 April 2021, 10:48
Vini Zabù out of Giro after positive test

One of the Italian teams given a wildcard spot at the Giro d'Italia, Vini Zabù, have withdrawn from the race after Matteo De Bonis' positive test for EPO. The team has self-suspended itself from racing and said the withdrawal was out of their love for the sport. 

"The team and the main sponsor Vini Zabù have decided to give an important message to the world of cycling, to teach those athletes who still think they can take shortcuts by cheating," a team statement said. "The team has agreed with its main sponsor not to participate in the Giro d'Italia, despite having demonstrated to the competent bodies that it has taken the most diligent measures to combat doping.

"Our decision not to participate in the Giro d'Italia is intended to underline the damage that the unlawful conduct of an individual can cause to the entire team, with devastating effects on those who, instead, put their best efforts into enabling cyclists to compete."

15 April 2021, 10:13
Cycling with invisible illness
Cycling with invisible illness jersey

Sam Gray got in touch to share his experience of using cycling to recover from Crohn's disease. Having suffered symptoms for years but hidden them from friends, family and doctors through fear and embarrassment, he was hospitalised last year. While in hospital Sam promised himself to focus on his recovery by taking up cycling and raising awareness of the invisible chronic condition.

Sam's Instagram account 'Cycling with Chron's' documents his journey to now being in a position to take on his first 100-mile ride in July, one year on from the diagnosis. He has also designed a jersey that will raise money for Crohn's and Colitis UK and mental health charity Mind.

The jersey is designed to "turn the 'charity jersey' on its head and create something genuinely wearable that also does good, and helps make invisible illness, whether it's mental or physical, visible," he explained.

15 April 2021, 09:40
Study finds 90% of stolen bikes were locked
Locked bicycle (copyright Simon MacMichael)

An AlterLock study looking at bike thefts in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands found that 90 per cent of cyclists had their cycles locked when they were taken. The survey of 1,500 people also found that more than half of cyclists had experienced bike theft, although the UK figure of 47 per cent was significantly lower than the 64 per cent of Dutch cyclists and 65 per cent of German cyclists who had experienced the crime. Of those figures, 35 per cent had been the victims of bike theft themselves, while 24 per cent knew a family member or friend who had a bike stolen.

AlterLock bike theft stats
15 April 2021, 08:50
Joys of commuting
15 April 2021, 07:41
Close Pass Day met with...sensible comments from motorists

What's going on here? Surely not some sensible comments being left under a police close pass campaign...The last time Gloucestershire Constabulary shared one of these posts they were inundated with anti-cyclist replies. 'Road tax', red light jumping, riding two abreast and all the other usual suspects...But not today. Well, not quite as much today...

Top comment from Joanna Ball: "What would help drivers and cyclists alike is if all the potholes to the sides of roads were fixed. Many times cyclists have to move further out into road so as not to hit pot hole and be flipped off bike. They could then cycle closer to path and be less of a danger to drivers when they are passing.

"Lots of bad cyclists as there are lots of bad drivers. Neither is totally at fault. Make more cycle lanes, widen roads and make paths thinner. Loads of paths too big than is needed but no cycle path. Cyclist have choice of ride on dangerous potholed road or path." What are you doing bringing common sense and reasonable solutions to the comments, Joanna?

And it wasn't just a one-off either...Mickey Riordan said: "Cyclist are cycling considerably more in the centre of the road to avoid pothole like motorists have to, simple make the roads safe for everyone, mend all the potholes."

Dave Lucas added: "Can't we just take some of the unused paths and turn them into cycle routes. Hardly anyone walks on paths these days."

We even had someone say they prefer overtaking cyclists riding two abreast...I'm going to go and have a lie down.

Dan joined as live blog editor last year. He has previously written 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 a keen cyclist ever since and spends his weekends exploring the south of England on two wheels. 

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