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Evening ride or photoshoot? Bradley Wiggins' empty computer mount raises questions; Cycling Mikey's Gandalf Corner on Google Maps; Selfie-seeking cyclist's TV fall: Cat predicted Sagan's win; Caleb Ewan responds to Merckx criticism + more on the live blog

It's a lovely, sunny Tuesday Giro stage today but Dan Alexander will be sharing plenty of other stuff on the live blog...
18 May 2021, 20:40
Bradley Wiggins accused of staging a photoshoot in latest slick social media pics

A post shared by Sir Wiggo (@bradwiggins)

When he's not providing highly entertaining commentary at Grand Tours, nowadays Sir Bradley Wiggins can often be found on his Instagram account modelling a diverse array of attire; but he's took a break from the fashion shoots to get back on the bike in his latest post. 

Wiggins claimed it was a "lovely evening for my first spin in a while!", not forgetting to tag in Le Col and Oakley who have kitted him out with the new Project Aero jersey and shorts and the Kato shades respectively. Not everyone was convinced Sir Brad was out on a genuine training ride though...

As spotted by Rolan Rat on Twitter, the one photo that shows Wiggins on the bike reveals an empty computer mount, and there's an alarming lack of spares on his Cervelo S5 should he suffer a mechanical... although does that just mean Wiggins is not a fan of data now he's no longer a pro?

"No bike computer!! Just doing it for the love", said on Instagram. Another of Wiggins' Instagram followers accused the 2021 Tour champ of going through a "mid life crisis" and that his recent posts "have become fairly bizarre"; although many others only had good things to say, with another follower commenting: "Great to see you on the bike, looking class." 

18 May 2021, 15:16
Gandalf Corner reviews removed from Google Maps
Gandalf Corner.PNG

Well, it was fun while it lasted...the many reviews left for Gandalf Corner on Google Maps appear to have been removed. If you zoom in close enough it is still marked on the maps though...

18 May 2021, 09:02
CyclingMikey's famous Gandalf Corner added to Google Maps...and it's got great reviews

Gandalf Corner, a turning on the Outer Circle of Regent's Park made famous by CyclingMikey, has been added to Google Maps. The turning has become one of Mikey's most recognisable locations for clocking drivers forcing their way up the wrong side of the road to get past other road users. 

Back in March, we shared his most recent video from the spot after Mikey was confronted by the angry passenger of a corner-cutting cab. Giving it his best 'you shall not pass' impression he blocked the road and forced the taxi driver to get back in the queue, a long way behind where he would have been...

Gandalf Corner.PNG

As you can see, Gandalf Corner has got rave reviews from satisfied visitors...16 five-star ones, to be precise. 

Steve Ace-Driving-Videos' review captured the mood: "A great place to find Mikey and also pick up a fine and points on your driving license. There is an alternative route (approx 5 metres to the left) best taken by those that aren't entitled. Anyway, if want points or a fine continue to drive like a bell as it's quite entertaining for the rest of us."

firepartydiscopenguin 1 (random name) also left a review: "Stand and observe the wild driver in its own habitat, texting, watching videos or saving precious seconds by driving on the wrong side of the road. If you're really lucky, you will spot the legendary Gandalf stalking it's prey. It films them then goes in for the final kill a few months later in front of Magistrates' Court."

18 May 2021, 15:41
Mistaken identity

No win for Cav in Andalucia...the flat(ish) looking profile turned into a much harder day involving some of the GC men. A teammate of proud Gibraltarian, Owain Doull, finished fourth as Ethan Hayter was just behind Daryl Impey. Movistar's Gonzalo Serrano won the stage.  

18 May 2021, 15:07
London to host two rounds of inaugural UCI Track Champions League in early December
British Cycling logo at Lee Valley, World Championships 2016 (copyright

Top class track cycling will be returing to the Lee Valley VeloPark this December when London hosts two rounds of the inaugural UCI Track Champions League. London will host the fourth and fifth rounds of the series on 3-4 December. The event will begin in Mallorca on November 6 before moving to Paris for the second round two weeks later. 

Panevėžys in Lithuania is due to host round three before the London dates at the start of December. The series will finish in Tel Aviv on December 11. The new competition will see four champions crowned across sprint and endurance categories with the men and women competing for an equal share of the €500,000 prize pot.

Sir Chris Hoy has been named as an event ambassador and Ed Clancy was one of the founding riders named on the startlist last week.

18 May 2021, 14:29
Demand for bike insurance at five-year high, according to data from Quotezone
Bikmo partners with Quotezone/cyclists Cheddar Gorge(via Bikmo)

Price comparison site Quotezone has crunched the numbers to find that demand for bicycle insurance has surged to a five-year high during the first quarter of this year, a 130 per cent increase on the same period in 2020. "It’s not surprising that bicycles were incredibly popular during lockdown," Quotezone founder Greg Wilson said.

"But it is interesting to see demand is still on the rise as restrictions ease, especially since the good weather has yet to arrive. It will be hard to predict what will happen once more people return to the office – I would imagine cycling could prove a favourable alternative to public transport until the population is completely vaccinated."

In a bid to better serve the cycling community and especially new cyclists looking for insurance, Quotezone has partnered with cycle and triathlon insurance experts Bikmo.

18 May 2021, 13:48
Caleb Ewan hits back at critics...including Eddy Merckx

A post shared by Caleb Ewan (@calebewan)

Eddy Merckx was furious with Caleb Ewan abandoning the Giro d'Italia during stage eight, saying the Aussie sprinter had disrespected the race and the sport. Ewan had already stated his intention to leave the race before the high mountains to prepare for the next stage of his goal to win a stage at all three Grand Tours this year.

However, a knee injury brought his departure forward, much to the disgust of one of the sport's all-time greats. Merckx told Het Nieuwsblad: "What Caleb Ewan did also bothers me enormously. I find his statement shows a total lack of professionalism and lack of respect for the Giro and the sport of cycling. He deserves a sanction: take away all his bonuses."

Ewan swiftly responded to his critics: "To the people who think I’ve disrespected the race, I’m sorry you feel that way. If you saw the hard work and dedication I’ve put into my preparation to honour this race and perform at my best, I’m sure you wouldn’t think the same. I’m more disappointed than anyone. Honestly, it’ll be hard to watch the sprint today at the Giro d’Italia and also on the 13th stage as I felt my form was coming into its best."

18 May 2021, 12:36
Selfie-seeking cyclist takes embarrassing fall on live TV

Right, I am back. Just about managed to dodge the showers for a quick lunchtime spin...thankfully no selfies from my ride, but an amusing piece of selfie schadenfreude coming up next on the blog...

There are definitely better places to fall off your bike than behind the camera broadcasting your misfortune to the nation. With one hand on her phone this woman's slow motion crash did not seem to do too much damage and thankfully she could ride away.

Anyway, I am sure those on Santa Monica Beach and everyone at home got a good laugh out of it adding some entertainment to the report on nurses reacting to the latest mask-wearing guidance.

And...while writing that it has started hammering it down...perfect timing.

18 May 2021, 11:05
'Strade Bianche' stage has the pros worried

No Giro stage today but a cracker in store tomorrow. It sounds like a similar stage to Strade Bianche with more than 30km of gravel roads...that will keep the mechanics will be busy.

18 May 2021, 10:55
Five-star reviews keep rolling in for Gandalf Corner...

Another 17 five-star reviews have been posted on Gandalf Corner since we put the story up on the blog a couple of hours ago. They are all quite entertaining so why not share some more?

Edward has gone all dramatic on us: "A true wonder of the world. Where time and sides of the road inexplicably come intertwined in a Wild West standoff between good and evil."

RT wrote: "Great place to watch Mikey work his magic and hand out social justice to illegal drivers. Also spot simple, entitled people baffled to be told that the rules apply to them. Highly recommended."

Chris Cox enjoyed his visit: "A wonderful place to visit unless you're an entitled doctor with a bad attitude. You shall not pass."

And if you are wondering about the reference to the doctor that keeps popping up, go back and check out the original Gandalf Corner wizardry...

18 May 2021, 10:42
Stage two winner Tim Merlier abandons Giro d'Italia on first rest day due to fatigue

Alpecin-Fenix confirmed their sprinter Tim Merlier will be heading home on the Giro d'Italia's first rest day due to fatigue. Merlier won stage two, his and the team's first Grand Tour victory, but struggled yesterday after being dropped early by the pace set by Bora-hansgrohe.

His team also said that the rider had been suffering with stomach problems for the past few days. "It is a shame I have to leave," Merlier said. "I believe it is the most sensible choice. This was the first time in my career that I raced for ten consecutive days and the past few have taken their toll. I don't feel able to sprint for the win and I don't want to compromise the rest of my season."

Abandoning the race has become a hot topic in the past couple of days since Caleb Ewan pulled out during stage eight. Even Eddy Merckx got involved, saying it showed a "lack of professionalism and a lack of respect for the Giro and cycling." Blimey...

18 May 2021, 10:09
Mark Cavendish heads to Spain for first race since winning four stages at Tour of Turkey

No Giro stage today so all eyes will be on the re-arranged early season race Vuelta a Andalucia. Cav is back in the peloton again for his first race since winning four stages of the Tour of Turkey. His teammate Jannik Steimle, who suffered a scary crash at Nokere Koerse back in March, is also making his return.

Cav has told us not to expect too much from him this week given the climbing on the route...another couple of stage wins then?

18 May 2021, 09:28
British Cycling supports the launch of the Road Collision Reporting Guidelines

An important bit of news that we will have more on shortly...British Cycling has backed the new Road Collision Reporting Guidelines which have been put together by contributor Laura Laker and Rachel Aldred in consultation with road safety, legal, media and policing organisations. The guidelines will inform reporters on how to better portray collisions, avoiding describing incidents as unavoidable or attributing a crash to a car instead of a driver.

We will have the full story with all the latest guidelines up on the site shortly...

18 May 2021, 07:47
Feline lucky: Punter's cat correctly picks Peter Sagan to win Giro stage

Cast your minds back to the 2010 World Cup when Paul the octopus was one of the stars of the tournament, correctly picking the winner in all seven of Germany's matches and Spain's victory in the final...

Paul's superstardom reached surreal levels, including Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero offering the cephalopod state protection and his Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian calling for Paul to be brought to safety in Spain...

One punter has channelled the spirit of Paul by getting his cat to predict the winner of stage 10...given the choice of the favourites: Fernando Gaviria, Tim Merlier, Peter Sagan, Davide Cimolai, Elia Viviani and Giacomo Nizzolo, the black moggy correctly chose Sagan.

I say chose, it ate the treat sat on Sagan's name which is good enough for me. The owner Peter G. Lindegren even had time to fire a shot at Paul, saying the octopus only ever had to pick between two teams...

You keep providing the winners, kitty. We'll keep the cat treats coming...

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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