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Disc-ussion and debate continues over which brake is best but should it all stop here?; Red Bull Timelaps is back; Chris Froome's epic in the Alps; Relatable Danish ad; Famous cycling faces invest in alcohol-free beer; New Tour kit + more on the live blog

It's Wednesday and Dan Alexander is back on the live blog nursing some slightly worse for wear legs after a couple days in Scotland...
16 June 2021, 15:39
Cycling limbs...did Yves Lampaert win or have Belgium scored?

There have been a few scenes like these popping up on social media this week...but none from a cycling race. Yves Lampaert got the full Euro 2020 treatment after winning his second national time trial championship.

16 June 2021, 15:16
ASO requires everyone in Tour de France bubble to download tracking app
Tour de France logo.png

The organisers of the Tour de France, ASO, will require everyone in the race's bubble to download a tracking app. TousAntiCovid uses bluetooth to track who people have come in to contact with for more than five minutes and therefore trace possible contacts if someone on the race tests positive. Riders and media will also be kept in seperate bubbles and there will be no interviews outside of mixed zones at the start and finish of each stage

16 June 2021, 15:05
Yves Lampaert crowned Belgian national time trial champion, Remco Evenepoel second

Yves Lampaert beat Deceuninck-Quick-Step teammate Remco Evenepoel and Victor Campanaerts to win the Belgian national champs this afternoon. Riding in front of his home crowd at Ingelmunster, Lampaert won by 20 seconds from Evenepoel who was in turn 21 seconds faster than Campanaerts. Lotte Kopecky won the women's race, while over the border in the Netherlands, Anna van der Breggen added another national title to her impressive palmares. 

16 June 2021, 14:46
Red Bull Timelaps returns for 2021 with indoor and outdoor races
Red Bull Timelaps

Red Bull Timelaps is back this year with a new indoor race to give riders more flexibility in how they participate in 'the world's longest one-day bike race'. On the weekend of 30-31 October riders and teams of cyclists will ride to see who can complete the furthest distance over 25 hours. 

New for 2021 is the virtual/indoor category which follows on from the 2020 event. This will allow teams of riders to ride the event on an indoor turbo-trainer set up, compete against other teams outdoors, or do both, with separate race categories available based on a team's preferred choice of getting involved. The In-person venues will be the Goodwood Motor Circuit and Red Bull Studios in London and entries are open on a first come first served basis at redbull.co.uk/timelaps.

And...for any of you feeling particularly hard there's a solo category to see who can ride the furthest on their own in 25 hours. Anyone can take part from home too by logging their distance on Strava which will create live leaderboards during the event and allow riders to track their positions.

16 June 2021, 13:43
Disappointed Pascal Ackermann accuses Bora-Hansgrohe team boss of breaking promises over Tour de France omission
Giro d'Italia 2019 Stage 10 - Pascal Ackermann signs on (picture RCS Sport, LaPresse)

Bora-Hansgrohe sprinter Pascal Ackermann has accused his team boss Ralph Denk of breaking promises after he was omitted from the team's squad for the Tour de France. Ackermann was expected to go alongside Peter Sagan as a second sprint option, however the team insisted the German was not up to the level necessary to be selected.

"I'm more than disappointed," Ackermann told German outlet Radsport News. "Ralph was always a man who kept his word. But this time he definitely didn't do it. It was said that I would be doing the Tour for three years, and it was always the case that I shouldn't worry about it. Without this promise, I would not have signed the contract back then. You have to see that too. That's why I am extremely disappointed."

Elsewhere in Tour de France news, Total Direct Energie have a new kit...perhaps it will grow on me...

16 June 2021, 11:44
Reaction to 8 reasons not to get disc brakes (spoiler alert... it got pretty lively)

Saying anything about disc brakes, positive or negative, seems to attract a queue of people ready to tell you how and why you're wrong. So we should not have been too surprised to get the reaction we did to 8 reasons not to get disc brakes — find out the hassles before you switch. Cue the comments...

Plenty of people have happily had no such issues using discs...David Wilkins wrote: "Had rim brakes for 15 years, had disc brakes for last 7 months. Will never go back. Braking power and little to no noise on my SRAM Reds. Love disc brakes and I descend some steep hills with ease now."

On a similar note, Soeren Kuehling said: "Never any problem with disc brakes, using them for years now, replace pads when gone (happens maybe after 5000km in my case). It feels safe racing downhill, can't say the same about rim brakes on my single speed bike."

Steven Hepworth was feeling articulate: "What hassles? I've been using disc brakes for years on mountain bikes, long before anyone thought of putting them on road bikes, and, especially these days, they hardly throw up any problems at all! Mega easy to change, and they actually stop you when it's wet. Unlike rim brakes. Sure that add a little more weight to the bike, but I'll just make sure I've had a good poo before I go out, to offset that weight!" I should have eaten my lunch before writing this...

Although these three did not sum up everyone's thoughts on disc brakes...

Bill Jones is not convinced: "Here we go again, all the disc brake fanatics denying their highly flawed brakes are not as good as rim brakes. Even Chris Froome said discs are rubbish after being forced to use them. I have never had a problem with rim brakes and have used them to descend the highest hill in the UK in the wet. I have used discs and found them to be useless and require constant maintenance. Had a disc brake overheat and fail on a short descent, found discs don't work when wet and disc pads have an alarming wear rate."

Under our article, NZ Vegan Rider commented: "Disc brakes - unnecessary hassle with virtually little improvement in braking in the wet. I have a hydraulic disc brake winter bike. It would be fine if it was rim braked like my other bikes."

I'll leave you with Graham Leather..."What is the saying, disc brakes are for deciding where you want to stop, rim brakes are for deciding where you want to crash."

Agree? Disagree? Couldn't care less? 

16 June 2021, 13:09
Jeremy Vines takes us on a tour of the dangers of cycling down Oxford Street
16 June 2021, 11:17
Get Dom to Le Tour
16 June 2021, 10:55
Danny MacAskill, Dan Martin and Zwift founder Eric Min invest in alcohol-free beer company
Danny MacAskill descending

Famous names from across the cycling world have invested in an alcohol-free beer company. Legendary mountain biker Danny MacAskill, Dan Martin, Zwift founder Eric Min and mountain bikers Greg Minnaar and Loic Bruni have invested in Big Drop Brewing Co. Daily Business Group reports the alcohol-free beer company's revenue has soared by 150 per cent over the last year as sales in the low-alcohol drinks sector rose by 50 per cent during the same period.

The famous cycling investors input has come via Rubix Ventures, an investment firm backed by athletes and company owners. Big Drop was launched in 2016 by Rob Fink and James Kindred who wanted to produce alcohol-free craft beer that tasted as good as the real thing. It now brews in the UK, Australia, Canada and the US and is available in more than 20 countries...perfect for when Dan Martin wins a stage of the Tour...

16 June 2021, 10:08
Chris Froome continues Tour de France prep with 5,161m of climbing on 237km epic ride in the Alps
Chris Froome Strava.PNG

Whatever you make of Chris Froome's comeback and the news yesterday that the four-time winner is in Israel Start-Up Nation's Tour de France team, you can't deny he is putting in the graft. Along with three of his teammates Froome went for an epic 237km ride in the Alps, climbing 5,161m of elevation at an average speed of over 27.3km/h...he even nabbed a Strava cup with the sixth fastest time up the second category Montée de Cohennoz depuis l'Isle.

Last week, Froome did a 220km Tour de France recon before opting to jump back on his bike for another 50km back to the hotel...will all this hard work pay off next month?

It seems Froome has learned from his scandalous behaviour last summer when he triggered eagle-eyed Strava followers by ending his ride on 99.4 miles...just go around the block, Chris...

I guess smashing 147 miles is one way to avoid that problem...

Chris Froome Strava.PNG

 

16 June 2021, 09:09
Once the great American hope...Tejay van Garderen to retire after US National Championships this weekend
Tejay van Garderen (CC licensed by Dave Strom via Flickr).jpg

Tejay van Garderen, who finished fifth at the Tour de France in 2012 and 2014, will retire aged 32 after this weekend's US Pro Road National Championships. Van Garderen was touted as a future Grand Tour winner during his early career and achieved impressive results during his spell with BMC, finishing second at the Critérium du Dauphiné twice and winning a stage of the Giro.

"The honest truth is that I don’t feel super effective as a bike racer anymore," Van Garderen said. "Once your ability starts to be less than it was, you have to find a way to make yourself effective. I was really motivated by the rise of Hugh Carthy, and I wanted to be able to mentor him and help him. I said, 'Okay, I'm still a good climber. Maybe I can stay with him in the high mountains and give him support.' But the truth is I wasn't able to just climb into a group of the 20 best anymore."

16 June 2021, 08:51
Londoners ditch 'green' transport during the pandemic in favour of more car journeys, according to TfL data...but cycling figures are up
London traffic © Jank1000 | Dreamstime.com

New Transport for London data shows the number of journeys walked, cycled or made by public transport dropped from 63 per cent to 57 per cent during the pandemic. While the initial figures might seem disheartening, it is believed the drop is largely due to a huge fall in Tube and bus passengers. 

"It does emphasise our recent concerns about a car-led recovery," Alex Williams, TfL's director of city planning told the Evening Standard. Figures to the end of March 2021 showed that cycling in inner and outer London is up between five and 20 per cent. A 25 per cent reduction in weekday cycling in central London has been attributed to more people working from home.

The report said: "This reflects the strong relative performance of cycling as a flexible mode increasingly being used for personal business and leisure trips, offsetting a fall in commuter cycling because of the pandemic."

16 June 2021, 07:44
Danish broadcaster TV2 releases relatable Tour de France advert that has us all dreaming of a last minute call up

As we all know, there is so much more to cycling than shaving your legs, wearing aero kit and looking 'pro', but some of us enjoy that side of our favourite pass time too...something Danish broadcaster TV2 has captured brilliantly in its Tour de France ad. Those early summer rides when even you have to wonder if this is your year for a chance meeting with Dave Brailsford, who will be so impressed by your pace that he'll draft you in as a late call up to Ineos Grenadiers' mountain train...then you hit your fairly mild local hill and remember exactly why that has never happened before.

If nothing else the ad has had a better reception than their compatriots at the Road Safety Council got after releasing a Viking-inspired helmet safety public service announcement that starred on the live blog last week...

Dan joined road.cc 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 enjoying life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends exploring the south of England.

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