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British pro says Specialized helmet visor saved his eye; Cyclists urged to be careful after woman injured while walking pet goat; Cav to ride Tour of Britain; Atlético Madrid find rival for Pog; Wiggle named UK's best place to work + more on the live blog

It's the start of a new week and a slightly sunburnt (he's not sure how either) Dan Alexander is here for your live blog fix...
16 August 2021, 15:44
British pro rider says Specialized helmet visor saved his eye

British pro rider Benjamin Turner has said his helmet visor saved his eye after he crashed during the prologue of the Tour de l'Avenir, the top U23 race in the world. In a statement on Twitter, the Trinity Racing youngster thanked Specialized for his TT helmet visor, which he says "100 per cent" saved his eye.

Turner crashed hard on a downhill corner during the short TT and collided with a sign, fracturing multiple bones on the left side of his face and breaking his nose. Without the visor, Turner says he "would have 100 per cent lost my eye [...] and probably had a brain injury #alwayswearahelmet".

The 22-year-old shared a photo of him lying in a hospital bed bashed up after the fall. He said he hopes to be back on the bike "at some point" but is just relieved to have not suffered worse injuries.

Søren Wærenskjold took the prologue win in Charleville-Mézières as Ethan Vernon was the best of the Brits, finishing 6th, seven seconds back. The Norwegian won Sunday's opening road stage too.

16 August 2021, 14:37
Old block of Glasgow toilets turned into a 'cyclists paradise'

Kustom Kruizers created this cycling centre from an old block of public toilets in Robertson Park, Renfrew. The project includes hosting classes for young people aged 13-21 often from disadvantaged backgrounds, and teaches them how to strip, build and restore bikes which are then sold on.

The hope is that youngsters can then gain work experience, mechanical skills and qualifications in the new workshop and coffee bar. After a delay due to the pandemic the centre is finally open for riders to get their bikes fixed and pop in for a coffee.

"It is so exciting but also surreal to finally have the workshop open. It’s turned out 100 times better than we expected. We didn’t realise how big the space would be until everything had been taken out," Kustom Kruizers founder Dave Neill told the Glasgow Times.

16 August 2021, 14:19
British pro rider Cameron Jeffers boosts iron levels by 77 per cent by switching to a meat-free diet

Ribble-Weldtite pro Cameron Jeffers swapped out his standard diet for a vegan nutrition strategy for a one-month trial in a bid to boost his performance. The 24-year-old had health advice and support from Medichecks and underwent an Endurance Fitness blood test to measure his biomarkers before and after the diet change.

Jeffers' iron levels increased by 77 per cent, while his cholesterol levels reduced. Vegan Food and Living notes the result is particularly interesting considering iron deficiency is often one of the main concerns people have when transitioning to a vegan diet.

"I was raised on a farm and have eaten meat since I was young, but I was interested to see if a plant-based diet could benefit me and my performance levels," he told the vegan news site. "I went into it with an open mind and found the transition quite easily. Will the vegan approach help give me an extra edge? – yes massively."

Jeffers has since added meat back into his diet, however his weekly meals are now 50 per cent plant-base. Any vegans here noticed any cycling performance improvements/changes since ditching meat?

16 August 2021, 13:25
Vuelta a España Stage 3: Picón Blanco and first summit finish of the race

This is what we came for. It's what the Vuelta is all about. Stage 3 and we've got a summit finish up a brutal slog of a climb. Picón Blanco is a perennial challenge for riders at one of the Spanish Grand Tour's final warm up races -  Vuelta a Burgos.

Having said that; it wasn't used as a summit finish this year, possibly due to its Vuelta inclusion just a couple of weeks later. Romain Bardet won the stage that went over the climb. Last year at Burgos, Remco Evenepoel blew away the field, taking a stunning summit finish victory ahead of riders like Mikel Landa and teammate João Almeida.

Other past winners here have included Iván Sosa as well as two of the climbers racing today: Landa and Miguel Ángel López. Primoz Roglic is the big pre-stage favourite, but we're most interested in seeing how the Ineos boys go...will Egan Bernal be up to speed? Can Richard Carapaz hold his Tour de France and Olympics form? Where's Adam Yates at after a light schedule all year and yesterday's crash? Questions we'll hopefully have answers to in a couple of hours time...

The climb is 7.6km at 9 per cent but spikes at 18 per cent and has three kilometres north of 10 per cent. Tasty.

16 August 2021, 12:37
"I move mountains": Zlatan Ibrahimovic continues knee injury recovery with some mountain sessions

He's never been short of confidence that he is proclaiming he moves mountains on a stunning bike ride somewhere we'd love to be too. Add Jan Oblak and Ibra to the footballers who like cycling XI. Although at this point we're probably up to a full 23-man squad plus some reserves...Foster/Oblak in goal, Lee Dixon, Geoff Thomas, Alan Shearer, Michael Owen, Ibra...not a bad start. And of course Neil Warnock in the dugout. 

16 August 2021, 11:37
Wiggle named UK's best place to work
wiggle logo.PNG

Wiggle has been named the UK's best place to work by employee satisfaction portal Glassdoor and retailing publication Retail Week. Cyclingindustrynews reports the online retail giant scored 4.7 our of five in the rankings, edging out other top performers Gymshark, Jimmy Choo and Sweaty Betty.

"We’re excited to announce that Wiggle has been voted number one in the Top 20 Retailers to work for on Glassdoor, as voted for by our colleagues," a post on the brand's Linkedin page said.

Part of Wiggle's success is said to be its willingness to listen to employees, holding monthly 'townhalls' where staff can raise concerns or suggest areas for improvement. Wonder if they get unlimited free Haribo too? 

16 August 2021, 11:14
Fred Whitton releases new app allowing riders to take on notorious Lake District route whenever suits
Fred Whitton Lake District (press release)

The Fred Whitton is a bit of a bucket list event for those of us who enjoy filling our free time with savage gradients and long days in the saddle. At 113 miles and taking in all of the Lakes' toughest clibs, the Fred Whitton is one of, if not the toughest sportive in the UK. Consequently, it's popularity can mean part of the struggle is getting a place in the annual ballot. 

To give riders more freedom about how and when they ride the route, Fred Whitton has teamed up with Macmillan Cancer Support to create a new app, the Macmillan Four Seasons Fred Whitton Challenge. The app allows people to 'officially' ride the route in their own time, whenever they please, over one or more days. 

All riders have to do is download the app, pick a date and fundraise for Macmillan or one of their other charities, start at one of the eight locations on the route and clock out as a champion at the same point 113 miles later. 

16 August 2021, 10:38
There's a new Slovenian sheriff in your backs Rog and Pog

The next big star of Slovenian cycling? 

16 August 2021, 09:46
Coming to a town near you...Mark Cavendish is racing the Tour of Britain

Cav's back! We've spent most of the summer saying that. Your Monday morning might be boosted by the news that everybody's favourite sprinter is coming back to the Tour of Britain for the first time since 2019. A stage win will surely be on his mind, a feat Cav surprisingly last achieved in 2013. A home race win would top off a stellar year for the 36-year-old who added another four Tour de France stage wins to his palmares and now shares a spot at the top of the stage wins table with Eddy Merckx.

"It is always an honour to race on the home roads of the Tour of Britain. It is a race where I have always enjoyed success and I am really looking forward to racing with what I know will be a strong Deceuninck – Quick-Step team. It has already been a special year for me and riding the Tour of Britain will be a great way to see so many of the people that have supported throughout," Cav said.

16 August 2021, 09:08
Sussex Police day of action sees more than 70 bike bells handed out to cyclists
Brighton Marine Parade - via wikimedia commons

Sussex Police hosted a day of action in Brighton where they spoke to cyclists and pedestrians to give safety tips on using shared-use paths by the seafront. More than 70 bike bells were fitted and pedestrians were reminded that they are used as a warning, not a challenge. The Argus also reports that dog walkers were asked to keep leads short near cycle paths and shared spaces. No word on if any goat walkers were spotted.

Sergeant Andrea Leahy of the central neighbourhood policing team said: "Sussex Police encourages all users of the seafront, including cyclists and pedestrians, to behave responsibly and help make our shared public spaces safe for everybody."

Back in January a picture of a mobbed shared-use path on the seafront and empty road running parallel caused a fair bit of discussion, with some questioning why the segregated lane that had been handed over to cyclists after the first lockdown has since been removed. If memory serves me from when I was down there a few weeks back, there is still the very busy shared-use path and a cycle lane segregated with wands, just not a full lane of the A259.

16 August 2021, 08:23
Bahrain Victorious pro Gino Mäder pledges €1 to an environmental organisation for every rider he beats on each stage of La Vuelta

This is pretty cool from 24-year-old Swiss star Gino Mäder. Not least because he's a super strong rider with a Giro d'Italia and Tour de Suisse stage win on his palmares for 2021. He's already up to 282 euros after the opening two stages...

16 August 2021, 07:51
Cyclists urged to be careful after woman injured while walking pet goat
Pet pygmy goat (screenshot Wigan Today video)

A Wigan goat walker has urged cyclists to be more careful when riding on shared-use paths after she was injured when her pet pygmy goat bolted as a pair of riders passed. Donna Charnock told Wigan Today that she regularly walks her goats on The Lines, a gravel three-metre-wide bridleway, but was left with a £120 bill for her broken glasses and some injuries after the recent incident.

 "We were alongside Standish High School’s playing fields when two cyclists - a man and woman who appeared to be in their 20s or 30s - passed us at speed abreast," the goat walker recalled. "This caused Porthos, a powerfully-built animal, to bolt. I lost my footing and was dragged along the gravel surface for several yards. I had to release Porthos, who galloped off leaving me on the ground, and my husband had to leave me to sprint after him.

"The cyclists failed to stop, though they would have had to be stone deaf to be unaware of the accident they had caused, as I was screaming, and my husband was shouting after them. Fortunately, a lovely lady saw the incident unfold and came to my assistance. I was dazed, bleeding and in considerable pain; the lenses of my glasses were broken and the frame had cut into my forehead just above my left eye. My right knee had taken much of the impact, as had my head and face."

The 60-year-old was told to visit the hospital by her GP, who feared she had broken ribs. X-rays showed no breaks but she did have to spend £120 on a new pair of glasses. Asked whether she'll continue to walk Athos (presumably named after her favourite Specialized ride...minus the e), Porthos and Aramis on the bridleway, Donna said she would and stressed she believes it was probably a one-off as people are normally keen to stop and ask about the unusual pets.

"Be careful. You see people on The Lines with their children out of the prams and if we take the goats, these little toddlers just want to rush over. When I think of that, cyclists could take anybody out - an elderly person out with their dogs or a child. They need to be aware that animals could be there. We are in charge of our responses as humans, but animals respond differently."

Strangest pets you've ever seen out on a ride? The viral clip of the man walking an emu springs to we have a higher bid?

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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