🚴🇮🇹 | Oei, het ging al een paar keer bijna mis en nu krijgt Girmay een kurk in zijn oog bij het openen van de champagne. Hij heeft er echt veel last van! 🍾🇪🇷 #Giro
📺 Koers kijk je op discovery+ pic.twitter.com/HxFM2JkfIx
— Eurosport Nederland (@Eurosport_NL) May 17, 2022
One minute you’re winning at one of the sport’s biggest races, breaking down decades-old barriers, and inspiring cycling fans across the world… the next you’re being thumped in the eye by a prosecco cork on the podium.
As they always say, cycling gives, and it also takes away (just ask Mathieu van der Poel, who suffered a similar, if slightly less painful, fate on stage one of this year’s Giro).
I’ve never been in a studio so filled with the highs and lows of emotion within an hour. From the thrill and tension of that final 10km, to Girmay’s historic win, to news he’s gone to hospital after hitting his eye with the Prosecco cork…
— Orla Chennaoui (@SportsOrla) May 17, 2022
According to reports, Girmay has gone to hospital to have his eye checked out. Let’s just hope his injuries aren’t too severe, and that he can carry on making history in Italy.
Biniam Girmay made cycling history this afternoon, becoming the first black African rider to win a grand tour stage, beating Mathieu van der Poel in a thrilling finish to stage ten of the Giro d’Italia.
The 22-year-old Eritrean has burst onto the scene this season, his debut year in the pro ranks, winning Gent-Wevelgem in March to add to his silver medal at the 2021 U23 world road championships.
The Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux rider raised a few eyebrows when he turned down the chance to ride the Tour of Flanders in order to prepare for his first grand tour – a decision that has been vindicated (and then some) at the Giro, where he was knocking on the door throughout the first week and a half, before today’s sensational win.
— Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert (@IntermarcheWG) May 17, 2022
And it’s only fitting that Girmay’s historic victory was taken after a thrilling head-to-head duel with Van der Poel, with whom the Eritrean has struck up a fierce but friendly rivalry (to the extent that Girmay misjudged a corner in the closing kilometres while glued to the Alpecin-Fenix rider’s wheel).
After being led out by the incongruously slight frame of Domenico Pozzovivo in the final kilometre, Girmay’s stunning 270 metre sprint – into a headwind, on a slight drag – was enough to see off Van der Poel, despite the Dutchman looking like he was gaining until the dying metres.
The image of Van der Poel – a bona fide superstar of the sport – giving Girmay the thumbs up as the pair crossed the line will be written into not only cycling folklore, but that of Eritrean and African sport.
Watching MVDP giving Girmay the thumbs up as he crossed the line, and thinking that we're in a superb era of bike racers. https://t.co/Rmhb2T6zXM
— Michael Hutchinson (@Doctor_Hutch) May 17, 2022
It’s also fitting that Girmay – a symbol of a new generation of cycling stars – won a stage that characterised the sport’s modern, attacking nature, as big names like Carapaz, Carthy, Nibali and even Van der Poel persistently peeled off the front in one of the most entertaining final ten kilometres of the season so far, before that soon-to-be-iconic sprint.
More important than merely being a symbol of a new era of racing, Girmay represents a world of new possibilities for professional cycling, which for over a century – with some, though very few, notable exceptions – has remained an almost exclusively Euro-centric, white, and insular sport.
At 22 years of age, and with compatriot Natnael Tesfatsion also impressing at this year’s Giro for Drone Hopper, today’s victory certainly won’t be the last time Biniam Girmay – and Eritrean and African cycling – make history.
Automaker Ford have launched a new campaign “Park The Car”, acknowledging that, even with EVs, “a traffic jam with no emissions is still a traffic jam”.
Ford’s President describes driving short journeys as a habit “many of us must change”, suggesting walking or cycling instead. pic.twitter.com/wz591ERY7B
— Adam Tranter (@adamtranter) May 16, 2022
‘Park the Car’, Ford’s European president says, will target 1 million ‘journey swaps’ across Europe.
Whatever their motives: interesting to see this.
More info: https://t.co/36GAgvu3Rz
— Adam Tranter (@adamtranter) May 16, 2022
In an unexpected turn of events, American automobile manufacturer Ford has launched its ‘Park the Car’ initiative, which aims to encourage motorists to swap the car for active travel for short journeys of up to five kilometres.
In a statement released last week, Ford of Europe’s President Stuart Rowley announced that the company will be supporting and investing in active travel schemes, and has set a target of one million urban “journey swaps” over the next 12 months.
Rowley says that encouraging active travel is essential for both “securing a greener future for everyone” and helping people “live a healthier, longer life”.
While the West Midlands Cycling and Walking Commissioner Adam Tranter is prepared to give Ford the benefit of the doubt, others were dubious about the car maker’s motives:
Is this greenwashing like BP's "beyond petroleum" campaign? It's hard to take seriously. What's the catch? It'd be impressive if Ford meant it and invested in building bikes.
— Phil (ascentale) 🚲🚍🚊 (@ascentale) May 16, 2022
I thought I read somewhere that automobile companies were now required to include some alternative transportation information in their ads (in Europe). My cynical brain thinks they wouldn’t be doing this unless REQUIRED.
— Andrej Marich (@avmarich) May 17, 2022
put me in the skeptical category. still it would be nice to say "listen, even the people at Ford are suggesting maybe people are driving too much"
— Paul Daly (@PaulDaly11) May 16, 2022
Large bike symbols have been painted in the middle of lanes in the Bournemouth suburb of Boscombe, as part of recent resurfacing works carried out by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council.
The council says that the new road markings on the A35 Christchurch Road and between Browning Avenue and the Christchurch Road roundabout were added to encourage cyclists to take a “prominent” position on the road.
“We recently undertook carriageway resurfacing in Christchurch Road at Boscombe and we have widened the cycle lanes in line with current standards and made them mandatory where possible,” a council spokesperson told the Daily Echo.
“The road markings highlighted are there to encourage cyclists to take a prominent position in the lane so therefore make them more visible to other motorists.”
The new markings haven’t gone down well with everyone, if the comments section under the Echo’s article is anything to go by (though it probably shouldn’t be).
Here’s a selection of the some of the more… shall we say, interesting… comments:
The demented BCP councillors go on about traffic congestion and air pollution and now with these markings have invited cyclists to ride down the middle of the road causing traffic to go slower, more congestion, more pollution. I seriously think the councillors need a mental health check.
If a law said cyclists had to wear a reflective waistcoat, or lose their bike, it could save painting anything on the roads if it is because they are not always seen clearly.
So if someone (walker, children) is crossing a road, you hit them and say "they didn't wear high viz"?
As someone who both drives and cycles these new Highway Code laws are nuts. Also don’t be a knob and cycle in the middle of the road for no reason, this is likely to risk more harm.
It's not the cycling we are condemning, it's prats we are condemning. Just because the majority of prats ride bikes is just a coincidence.
Though I refuse to believe that the below comment is the work of an actual, living person, and not a parody account:
I will take absolutely no notice of this symbol. There is no way I will stop using my old Jag.
We got Brexit done because of this silliness.
For balance, some cyclists aren’t head over heels with the markings either:
Paint is not cycling infrastructure. https://t.co/Jjx0ffzHd5
— Gary L 🏳️🌈🇺🇦🚵♂️🔉🎶 (@90sRaver) May 16, 2022
Sir Chris Hoy has reflected on grief and the loss of his friend, journalist and author Richard Moore, on the latest episode of Eurosport’s new podcast The Breakdown.
The Breakdown, launched earlier this month and hosted by GCN cycling presenter and style icon Orla Chennaoui and long jump Super Saturday veteran Greg Rutherford, aims to “break down the components of success” and “the battles common to us all”.
The series has already featured interviews with Mark Cavendish (who you may have heard of) and W Series rider Jamie Chadwick.
In the podcast’s latest episode, Sir Chris Hoy reflects on the grief he experienced following the death of cycling journalist, and fellow Scot, Richard Moore, who passed away in March at the age of 48.
Hoy, one of Britain’s most decorated Olympians, knew Moore for over 25 years, first as a teammate and later as a journalist at races, where he became known for his insightful articles, essential books on cycling history and beyond (including, but not limited to In Search of Robert Millar, Étape, and Slaying the Badger), and his key role on The Cycling Podcast, where he worked alongside Chennaoui.
“It’s just really difficult,” a clearly emotional Hoy says in the podcast, which can be viewed on Eurosport’s website.
“You can’t get your head around the fact that you’re never going to see him again. That is the real kicker, isn’t it?
“You’re in shock, and you think maybe it’s a mistake. You go through this denial phase, thinking it must be someone else… it’s not for us. Someone’s got it wrong.
“And then it slowly dawns on you that it is actually happening, it is horrendous. And then your heart breaks for his wife Virginie and his son Maxime – you just think: ‘It’s just not fair’.
“One of the first things that [psychiatrist and former British Cycling medical director] Steve Peters ever said to me was: ‘Life’s not fair. Why do you expect it to be fair?’
“It isn’t fair is it? It’s so kind of unreal at this stage. He was 48 and he passed away in his sleep. For him, he would have known nothing about it, which is sort of the one mercy of it all. But for those left behind, there are so many questions.
“And the worst thing about it, for me, is I wish I had told him how much he had meant to me.
“I just have so much respect and love for the guy. He was just an amazing individual, an amazing human being. We had so many fun times, racing trips, he was there for all the big races, one of the first people you saw after you finish a race.
“You come down to the track centre, all the journalists are there, and he’s the one you go to speak to first, because he’s the one who’s been with you from day one.”
— Ambrus Demeter (@AmbrusDemeter) May 17, 2022
Just former Giro winner Tom Dumoulin here, (jokingly) getting his own back on current pink jersey Juan Pedro López, after the Trek-Segafredo rider apologised for aiming a bottle at Dumoulin’s Jumbo-Visma teammate Sam Oomen during a tetchy moment on the way to Sunday’s summit finish at Blockhaus.
Top level bantz.
Dumo at the Giro – he never disappoints with the content, does he?
Was meant to go out for a bike ride, and then remembered a man was coming round to measure for a carpet; and now I’ve spent the entire morning conducting business in the house in Tour de France cosplay. Might just go for lunch like this.
— Dara Ó Briain (@daraobriain) May 17, 2022
You'll have to grab your lunch from someone stood by the side of the road holding a tote bag out.
— MaliciousA (@MaliciousA) May 17, 2022
Stupid sexy Dara pic.twitter.com/DAkvp5JeCa
— ------ (@DarrenASurridge) May 17, 2022
Naturally, the Irish comedian’s tale of delayed cycling gratification inspired others to relive the times when they’ve been caught with their helmet on:
Once answered the door to the postman wearing a skinsuit and time trial helmet with a mirrored visor. https://t.co/PkTDniwjRX
— Michael Hutchinson (@Doctor_Hutch) May 17, 2022
This sometimes happens when I go to work, get sidetracked and find myself still in riding clothes at lunch.
... At which point in for a penny, in for a pound...
— Dave (@stourdave) May 17, 2022
I have a mate who ran late on a bike ride and ended up going to a parent teacher evening in his Lycra. Not sure if his daughter’s talking to him again yet…
— Guy Brown (@BrownGuidofcb) May 17, 2022
I’m pretty sure I’ve cut the grass in my cycling shorts a few times (both before and after training rides)...
Anyone else been distracted while kitted out for a bike ride? If so, get your stories in the comments!
There are also rumours that I sit at my desk, constantly in my cycling gear, just waiting for a free moment where I can head out for a spin. But, as I say, they’re just rumours…
— Giro d'Italia (@giroditalia) May 17, 2022
Today’s stage of the Giro d’Italia, which has just got under way, will pay tribute to Michele Scarponi, the belated winner of the race’s 2011 edition, who was killed just over five years ago after being struck by a van driver while training close to his home.
The stage will finish in Scarponi’s birthplace, Jesi, and will feature an intermediate sprint in Filottrano, where the former Astana and Lampre rider lived with his wife and two sons, and where he was tragically killed at the age of 37.
Scarponi, who also rode for Liberty Seguros and Androni during his hugely successful if chequered 15-year pro career, finished second at the 2011 Giro d’Italia, but was retroactively awarded the pink jersey after Alberto Contador’s doping suspension was backdated to include the Corsa Rosa.
He later proved an invaluable domestique during his stint with Astana, who he was riding for at the time of his death, and was a key lieutenant for Vincenzo Nibali during the Sicilian’s improbable comeback victory at the 2016 Giro.
🇮🇹 RACE: @giroditalia
— Astana Qazaqstan Team (@AstanaQazTeam) May 17, 2022
Astana’s riders will use bottles bearing Scarponi’s name during the stage, as well as an image of his training partner parrot, Frankje, who accompanied the Italian on his rides.
Scarponi was training for the Giro, where he was set to lead the Astana team, in April 2017 when he was struck by a van driver at a junction.
The driver, 58-year-old Giuseppe Giacconi, claimed that he didn’t see the rider and reportedly admitted to prosecutors that he had been watching a video on his mobile phone at the time of the incident.
Giacconi, a local carpenter known to Scarponi’s family, was consumed by grief following the rider’s death, and died of cancer less than a year later, in February 2018.
As RideLondon defends its controversial decision to implement a safety car at the head of the race, which will travel at the stately pace of 22mph, other mass ride events have been getting involved in the debate.
The organisers of the Tour of Cambridgeshire, which has itself been on the receiving end of complaints (this time from miffed locals) about the event’s road closures, went all T-Swift on us in their reply to our story:
I don’t know about you but I’m not feeling 22. https://t.co/2dh7zleIRg
— Tour of Cambridgeshire (@thetourofcambs) May 16, 2022
Ah, sportive banter – the best kind of banter…
After problems with our Disc Brakes cost @W1lcokelderman a good position in the #Giro🇮🇹 GC we decided as a Team to go back to Rim Brakes.
We changed our whole Setup on the Rest Day (special Thanks to our Mechanics🚲💚).
— BOTA-hansglohe (@BOTAhansglohe) May 16, 2022
Breathe a little easier, all you diehard disc brake advocates – it’s only a parody account…
Although, by the looks of things, some of you are convinced Wilco himself is engaging in a spot of satire:
This is… not a thing. https://t.co/IEYW3BVmUU
— Pro Elbows (@pro_elbows) May 16, 2022
I know quite a view things about heat development on Disc brakes and I have 100% doubts there is a small chance any heat will get distributed direction hub or spokes on a moving bike. I would even say that's absolutely impossible https://t.co/sbphwG4q3N
— Christian Heule (@racing_h) May 16, 2022
I hate it. Every time I go on my MTB I snap a spoke.
— Matt Clinton (@MattyClinton) May 16, 2022
I usually blame getting dropped on the fact I had to many beers the night before🥳
— Steve Brown (@Charlie260268) May 17, 2022
Does he understand the heat required to alter the tensile strength of a steel spike? Heck even of an aluminium spoke? Maybe he had shit car I spokes with badly bonded metal inserts? That’s a maybe. Otherwise he’s quackers.
— Alastair Mackinlay (@amackinlay) May 16, 2022
Derbyshire’s infamous Snake Pass – after weeks of landslide repairs, road closures and pedalling protests which, if I’m honest, gave the live blog plenty of material over the spring – has been reopened to motorists and cyclists for the last month and a half.
And, I regret to inform you dear reader, the drivers are at it again.
Excellent driving on Snake Pass early yesterday morning. Surely a @roadcc near miss of the day contender. On a more positive note, at least Snake Pass is safely open for cyclists again @theJeremyVine pic.twitter.com/WleFi29LpU
— Faction Chamois Cream (@Faction_cc) May 16, 2022
This video, shot over the weekend and uploaded to Twitter, features a rather impatient Audi driver – perhaps they’re also not happy the A57 is so busy again? – attempting to overtake a long line of cars and almost striking an oncoming cyclist in the process, who was forced to take evasive action.
To cyclists on Twitter, this terrifying near miss only served to highlight the absurdity of Derbyshire County Council’s decision to ban cyclists and walkers from the pass while the landslide repairs were being carried out, apparently “because of concerns over safety”.
Blimey. This is why cyclists don’t use the Snake Pass. This could’ve been a whole lot worse!!
— Marc Etches (@marc_etches) May 16, 2022
But but it was too dangerous without cars....oh wait it looked infinitely safer without cars. Who would have thought 😳😳
— Andy Roberts (@ic3creamman) May 16, 2022
It's so good to see that it's safely open to all road users and everyone is sticking to the 20mph limit 👍
— Joseph Torsney (@JTorsney) May 16, 2022
For a brief period in February (just in case you were hiding under a rock or avoiding the live blog at that time) Snake Pass became a car-free “cycling utopia” after it was closed to motorists due to the storm-induced road works on a small portion of the road.
However, the council also soon closed the infamously dangerous section of the A57, which runs for 12 miles from Ladybower Reservoir to Glossop, to cyclists and walkers, except for local access, sparking complaints and even organised mass ride protests from active travel advocates who viewed the ban as an anti-cycling decision “dressed up as health and safety”.
The council claimed that the road was closed due to fears that “there will be an accident involving a vehicle and a cyclist because of the large numbers of cyclists that have taken the opportunity to go out and ride the road.”
— Faction Chamois Cream (@Faction_cc) May 16, 2022
Have you contacted @Derbyshirecc to thank them for making it so safe for cycling now?
— Matthew Williams (@DronnyMatt) May 16, 2022
Well let’s see what Derbyshire Constabulary think of that seeing as they were so worried when the road was closed. Usual letter of advice?
— David Bellini (@DavidBellini6) May 16, 2022
Well, by the looks of things, Snake Pass is a lot safer now…
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.