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Letting agent staff accused of vandalising cycle lane wands; Pogacar forced to push fan out of the way on TDF stage 17; Rose Bikes no longer shipping to UK; Wheelie hour record smashed; Brailsford critics "moronic", says Vaughters + more on the live blog

Your midweek live blog will mostly be compiled by Jack Sexty, with some contributions from Simon MacMichael later this evening


16 September 2020, 16:20
Birmingham letting agent employees accused of vandalising cycle lane wands to park their cars

In the footage, a driver is shown parking inside a cycle lane with recently installed 'wands' on Carver Street in Birmingham. At least five cars are parked inside the cycle lane - rendering it useless - and after attempting to bend a wand and pull it out of the ground, two people are then shown unscrewing and removing it entirely. 

Sophie Watson, who uploaded the footage to Twitter, said: "Cones have been here for 3 weeks now and I'm pretty sure all cars here belong to staff at the branch. Plenty of room left in front and behind to get out. I just wish I could say I was shocked watching this."

Today the missing wand appears to have returned, but the cycle lane still cannot be used because of cars parked within it. The policing unit for the Jewellery Quarter area of Birmingham have now said they will "try and get someone down to speak to the owners of the vehicles". The people in the footage allegedly work for property management company Martin & Co. 

16 September 2020, 16:06
Golf more dangerous than cycling, according to new survey

Ok, that might be twisting the truth a little... but a new study from Golf Support has found that by ranking the percentage of participants who have picked up injuries while playing/doing their sport, cycling only just makes the top 10. 

Football tops the list, with 71% of players reporting that they have picked up an injury, and darts is the 'safest' with just 18% reporting injuries (how 18% of darts players managed to pick up an injury is surely the question that needs asking here). 

The most common reason given for injuries were 'another person’s carelessness' (something cyclists can definitely relate to), while three in five said they required medical attention after sustaining their injury. 

16 September 2020, 15:29
More TDF fan behaviour concerns, as Pogacar is forced to push a fan out of the way on final climb

The Slovenian was seen pushing a fan back with around 2km to go, which obviously shouldn't be happening during a global pandemic. Some have called for barriers to be installed on climbs, or at least ensure that riders are given more space. 

Last week, Movistar Team and Andre Greipel were among those calling for fans to wear masks and respect the riders, after TV footage captured a number of maskless spectators getting too close to riders in the Pyrenees. 

Movistar pleaded: "Please wear a mask, use it correctly, and keep some distance. Do it for us and the rest of the field."

How do you think the Tour's idiot problem should be solved? 

16 September 2020, 15:19
Miguel Ángel López wins stage 17, Roglic extends overall lead

It looked like Pogačar was going to catch Roglic on that brutal final kilometre... but the yellow jersey held on and then some, even managing to put a valuable few extra seconds into Pogačar - full stage report here

16 September 2020, 15:14
Roglic goes after Lopez

Roglic looks to put more time between himself and Tadej Pogačar, but his compatriot is coming back fast. 

16 September 2020, 15:08
They've got him

Carapaz is caught, Roglic looks pretty infallible and let Sepp Kuss go for the stage win... but Kuss went back for Roglic, and now Miguel Angel Lopez of Astana will take the stage. 

16 September 2020, 15:05
Tour de France stage 17: will Carapaz hold on?

There's around 3km or so to go now, and the GC group are less than 30 seconds away from the Colombian. Meanwhile, Mikel Landa got dropped like a stone...

16 September 2020, 14:38
Riders neutralise second stage of Tour of Luxembourg in protest due to dangerous course conditions

There were numerous complaints among the riders and team staff about cars in the road, including a near miss with a tractor, which meant that all teams agreed to neutralise stage two after just 18km. 

Nicolas Guillé - who was driving AG2R La Mondiale's team car, told Direct Velo: "We already complained about a lack of security after the first stage. There were cars all over the place.

"This start of the second stage was a continuation of what we saw yesterday, with  vehicles travelling in the opposite direction of the race. It was really dangerous, so we decided to stop."

After some negotiations, the neutralised peloton agreed to ride to the finish circuit in Syren for a restart and a 42.5km modified stage, which was won by Arnaud Demare  of Groupama FDJ. 

16 September 2020, 14:04
Square Mile workers, visitors and residents say cycling is the most effective way to tackle climate change, according to survey
London cyclists at Hyde Park Corner (copyright

In a survey of over 2,600 people carried out by the City of London Corporation, 59% said that better cycling provisions and renewable energy were the most important things for tackling climate change. 49% said they would prioritise changing the way they travel, and 95% said that combating climate change was important. 

The survey also found that those aged between 25-34 were keenest to make changes. Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, said: “It is clear that tackling the global climate crisis is a top priority for many City workers, residents and visitors, and we share their desire for change.

“Together we will build a greener City, where we can all play our part.

“These results will be built in to our Climate Action Strategy, which will reduce the City’s carbon emissions and ensure we are resilient to climate change.”

The City Corporation say they have invested heavily to achieve their goal of becoming net-zero emission and climate resilient in the future, including the introduction of a City-wide speed limit of 20mph, the UK’s first 24/7 zero-emission vehicle street at Beech Street, and the ‘All Change at Bank’ scheme which they claim has transformed a former accident hotspot. They also plan to expand the existing Square Mile cycling network, introduce more cycle parking and potentially introduce a new 15mph speed limit. 

16 September 2020, 13:12
Apple launching a virtual fitness subscription service 'to rival Peloton'

Costing just £10 a month or £80 a year, Apple's new Fitness+ service features "world-class workouts by the world’s top fitness trainers" according to the tech giants, and will be viewed as serious competition to the likes of Peloton, Les Mills and Fiit. This coincides with the launch of the sixth generation Apple Watch, which now has plenty of extra detailed features (blood oxygen levels anyone?) to tempt serious athletes as well as more casual users.

There are spin sessions and many other sports/exercises on Fitness+, with many of the floor workout designed so they can be done in hotel rooms, at the park or in your living room: "It’s easy to turn any place into a state-of-the-art studio", say Apple.

For Apple Watch users, Fitness+ will also recommend workouts and training plans based off activity tracking from your watch. You'll also get three months of Fitness+ for free. 

For more info, head over to the Fitness+ landing page on the Apple website.

16 September 2020, 12:28
Rose rumours roll on, as German bike retailer reportedly stops selling to the UK

Are Rose 100% definitely no longer selling bikes to UK customers, and is it all because they are refusing to set up bikes front brake/right? We've not heard back from them and the rumours are flying, after a would-be Rose customer claims they received this letter below. 

Ddi you have your eye on a Rose, and have you heard otherwise? Let us know in the comments or email us at info [at]

16 September 2020, 10:37
Jonathan Vaughters says criticism of Brailsford's team selection is "moronic", and has another pop at Lance Armstrong

As the current EF Pro Cycling manager references, he hasn't always seen eye to eye with Brailsford (once suggesting that Bradley Wiggins' 2012 Tour de France victory would always be blemished by his use of a TUE), but has slammed some of the criticism Brailsford has received over his team selection. 

"@INEOSGrenadiers picked the best team they could based on the data available. End Of", said Vaughters. 

He also had time to reiterate his thoughts on a certain Lance Armstrong when asked a question about Jumbo Visma's Sepp Kuss moving to EF Pro Cycling, calling the disgraced Texan "bitter and vindictive."

"And, I might add, totally out of touch with modern cycling. #livinginthepast", added Vaughters. 

16 September 2020, 10:34
The 'queen stage' is underway, minus Egan Bernal

Stefan Küng of Groupama FDJ has also dropped out to focus on the world championship time trial. 

16 September 2020, 09:47
The wheelie hour record has been broken... and now stands at a wheelie fast 30.95km

On an athletics track just in Gümligen just outside of Bern, Switzerland, Manuel Scheidegger smashed the previous record for the farthest distance travelled in one hour while doing a front wheelie. The previous mark was 25.86km, and Scheidegger destroyed it by going 30.95km in the 60 minutes. The rules stipulate that the rider's front wheel must never touch the ground throughout the whole attempt. 

We're not sure if Scheidegger's attempt has been ratified by Guinness World Records yet, but he's uploaded the activity to Strava if you want to analyse more details. It's not the first rodeo for this Swiss wheelie specialist either, as back in June, Scheidegger completed the first wheelie'd everesting. It took him over 21 hours, with all challenges raising funds for the Wheels for Nepal charity. 

16 September 2020, 10:07
British Cycling confirm men's squad for Road World Championships
Great Britain in tthe men's road race at the 2016 UCI Road World Championships (picture

The hastily rearranged event will now be held in Imola, Italy, and Team GB have now announced their elite men's squad. Some big names are missing because of preparations for the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana, but Performance director Stephen Park said he is "confident" the team will get some good results. The selections are:   

Elite Men’s Road Race

Hugh Carthy
Matt Holmes
James Knox
Tom Pidcock
Luke Rowe
James Shaw

Elite Men’s Time Trial

Alex Dowsett
Geraint Thomas

16 September 2020, 09:23
Rose reportedly no longer shipping bikes to the UK due to 'legal reasons'

The German retailers will no longer be sending bikes to the UK, according to a message reportedly send to a potential customer. 

Rose say it's because they are now only setting up brakes 'Euro style', and as they're not allowed to send bikes here with the brakes set up the other way round/not set up, that gives them no option but to pull out of the UK. They say it's also not possible to get around it by ordering from Rose's overseas sites, as they've blocked deliveries to UK addresses. 

The letter also says: "Furthermore, we do not sell any single frames or forks for dumping protection reasons. 

"At this point in time, we cannot say if and when ordering for UK citizens will be possible again." have contacted Rose Bikes for more details - but as their UK website no longer includes bikes for sale, we can all but confirm the news. 

16 September 2020, 09:13
Pierre Rolland retweets competition to win a polka dot jersey
pierre rolland retweets polka dot jersey - sep 2020.PNG

It appears Rolland has a back-up plan if he doesn't manage to wrestle the real thing from Benoit Cosnefroy, comically retweeting the competition above. 

16 September 2020, 08:58
Brailsford: Ineos need to "go back to the drawing board"
dave brailsford ineos interview - august 2020.PNG

Speaking to reporters yesterday evening, Brailsford admitted that Ineos need to go away and have a re-think if they are to compete with Jumbo-Visma next year. 

He said: “Have we got to go back to the drawing board? Totally, and that’s quite exciting in some respects. We’ve got to put together a team and a coaching staff that can deliver and try and win the race again."

Denying that he "took a gamble" with selections, Brailsford stood by his decision not to take Chris Froome or Geraint Thomas to the Tour, adding: "I don't gamble. 

"People are entitled to their opinions, but I didn’t gamble with selection. They were big decisions. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. I’m sure that people have a lot to say but they’re not privy to the facts that I’ve got.

“It was a good decision, regardless of what anybody else may think.”

16 September 2020, 08:52
Bernal is the first defending champion to pull out of the Tour since... a certain Chris Froome

And the last one before Froome? Bernard Hinault in 1980. It really has been all or nothing for Ineos since they began dominating in 2012. 

16 September 2020, 08:26
Bernal pulls out of the Tour ahead of stage 17
egan bernal - via ineos grenadiers on twitter.PNG

The young Colombian has thrown in the towel, after struggling to make an impact and losing huge chunks of time to Primož Roglič in the mountains. 

A short statement (that has crashed the Ineos Grenadiers website at the time of writing) from Sir Dave Brailsford says: “We have taken this decision with Egan’s best interests at heart. Egan is a true champion who loves to race, but he is also a young rider, with many Tours ahead of him and at this point, on balance, we feel it is wiser for him to stop racing.”

Egan Bernal said: “This is obviously not how I wanted my Tour de France to end, but I agree that it is the right decision for me in the circumstances. I have the greatest respect for this race and I am already looking forward to coming back in the years ahead.”

Is Brailsford now ruing that big decision not to include Chris Froome or Geraint Thomas in his squad?

16 September 2020, 08:47
The alternative lives of the riders in the Tour de France Panini album

Tom Owen has re-imagined what some of pro cycling's biggest stars would be doing if they weren't pro cyclists - do you think the observations are spot on? 

Arriving at in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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