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Alexandar Richardson's latest mind-boggling training ride — 220km at 37km/h; "Take your paint and give it to us, you did a s**** job": Bike-sharing service paints vandalised bicycle gold; La Vuelta or Titanic outtakes?; EF fashion + more on the live blog

Happy Friday one and all! The Vuelta starts later, catch all the build-up on the live blog with Dan Alexander
19 August 2022, 15:55
Vuelta claxon

The final Grand Tour of the season gets underway shortly...

GCN Plus Vuelta lead image (Play Sports)

Here's how to watch all the action with GCN+...

With that we'll leave you to it, until Monday, when the live blog will be back in action. Have a good weekend...

19 August 2022, 15:30
Latest Bicycle Association report says UK bike sales down a quarter on pre-Covid levels
CS5 cyclists (screenshot via London Cycles video Twitter)

Compared to the pre-pandemic first half of 2019, bike sales are down 25 per cent in the first half of 2022, according to the Bicycle Association's latest report.

Tom Payton from the Bicycle Association told BikeBiz: "Despite falling sales, cycling activity appears to be relatively strong. During the first seven months of 2022, Department for Transport data shows cycling levels were tracking well above 2021 levels.

"Following a sluggish start to the year, for March-July 2022 average daily cycling activity reached 139 per cent of the March 2020 baseline (compared to 93 per cent in 2021). Average weekend activity reached 166 per cent of the baseline (compared to 129 per cent in 2021). This relative buoyancy of cycling participation may bode well for a future uplift in sales, once recovery begins and normal 'purchase and replacement cycles' return."

19 August 2022, 15:25
Cycling UK fixes Tory MP's cycle lanes public meeting 'invitation'

The charity wrote: "Fixed it for you. Glad we could assist in making your event that bit better, and give you the chance to fairly represent the views of people in your local area.

"No need to thank us — it's what we're here for as a responsible charity working to make the world a better place for everyone."

Mic drop...

19 August 2022, 15:05
Marcel Skittles
19 August 2022, 14:48
Mathias Flückiger tests positive for Zeranol ahead of European Championships
Mathias Flückiger (off-road)

Mathias Flückiger, the 2021 Olympic runner-up and 2021 World Cup overall series winner has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for the anabolic substance Zeranol.  


19 August 2022, 14:23
That's enough internet for one day

I mean unless he can pull it off on a bike, in which case I'd say fair enough... 

19 August 2022, 13:58
The strange world of cycling transfers — Ineos announce Richard Carapaz and Dylan van Baarle are off to new teams... just hours before La Vuelta starts

That was a muddling headline to write. To be clear, Carapaz and Van Baarle are off to EF Education-EasyPost and Jumbo-Visma respectively from next season and will race La Vuelta for the Grenadiers as planned. However, it is a weird quirk in cycling, more so than football or Formula 1 or pretty much any other sport with transfers, that riders hop from rival to rival so easily, with often little impact on the current season.

Would Manchester United say Ronaldo's off and then stick him up top for a trip to Brentford? Ah, wait a minute...

Anyway, here's the confirmation of Carapaz [above] who'll be something of a coup for EF, and Van Baarle [below] who joins Jumbo-Visma along with compatriot Wilco Kelderman who, as it happens is about to start the Vuelta, also riding for a rival team — Bora-hansgrohe...

Because if there's one thing Wout van Aert and Jonas Vingegaard need, it's an even stronger team of top-tier talent...

19 August 2022, 13:12
The inside story

If you're watching Dan Bigham's Hour Record attempt you've probably noticed the production quality is... how shall I say this? Less than ideal...

There isn't a timing graphic so we're getting lap times from the shout of Dan's coach yelling out the previous lap to his rider from across the velodrome. 

Why? We're not too sure, but anyway, here's one (parody) explanation that made us chuckle...

Consensus is he's certainly looking like beating his old record, plus Campenaerts' too, but we're kind of left with analysis like this...

19 August 2022, 12:10
LIVE: Watch Dan Bigham's Hour Record attempt

19 August 2022, 10:41
Alexandar Richardson's latest mind-boggling training ride — 220km at 37km/h

 Six hours on a bike is a big day out for almost anyone (excluding you Transcontinental/London-Edinburgh-London/audax-loving heroes), but while you or I might be happy to see a more leisurely distance on our bike computer come the end of the ride, Alexandar Richardson sees 220km...

> Alexandar Richardson smashes London to Brighton (and back) at 40km/h solo

Some quick maths will tell you that equates to an average speed of 36.8km/h...

Strava estimates Richardson, third at national champs and possible starter at the upcoming Tour of Britain, burnt 5,871 calories, covering the distance and 1,413m of climbing in almost exactly six hours.

For any riders familiar with the area, Richardson channelled his inner Super Hans, rode to Windsor, dropped into the Surrey Hills for a smash over some climbs, including Box Hill, before riding back into London for Richmond Park laps. All in a day's work...

19 August 2022, 11:36
Comment of the day
Live blog comment 19/08/2022


19 August 2022, 11:21
Dan Bigham's Hour Record set-up

About an hour to go until Dan Bigham's latest Hour Record attempt. The British record holder needs to surpass Victor Campenaerts' distance of 55.089km, with the Belgian saying he is "quite convinced" Bigham will break his record.

"I'm quite convinced he will break the record. Ineos is a serious company and they wouldn't support an attempt if they did not think it will be successful," he told Cyclingnews.

"We will see. I don't know Dan at all, I don't know what his level is at the moment. I just know he's very smart and very much into aerodynamics, and when Ineos support an attempt, I'm convinced it will be serious."

Bigham will be riding a Pinarello prototype frame, decked out with Princeton Track Special wheels and Most Custom 3D basebar and extensions. Running a monstrous 64x14, Bigham's cranks, chainring and rear cog come from his own WattShop company, while his chain is an Izumi Kai. Bioracer, Ineos' kit manufacturer, has provided the skinsuit and overshoes, while Bigham's lid is a KASK Mistral.

19 August 2022, 10:27
EF catwalk

While everyone else was recreating Titanic, Esteban Chaves was content looking cool...

Thinking about it, we're now wondering why the team didn't float down the water aboard a Rapha x Palace branded duck? 

19 August 2022, 08:47
FASTER and LIGHTER? - 2023 Giant Propel SL 0 - First Look
19 August 2022, 08:32
"Near, far, wherever you are I believe that the Grand Depart does go on": La Vuelta or Titanic outtakes?

Jack and Rose, sorry I mean Sam Bennett and Ryan Mullen or Maxim Van Gils and Cedric Beullens, were front and centre at the Vuelta team presentation in Utrecht last night...

Mullen said it was inevitable...that or the boat sinking. Not to spoil what happens in that particular film, Ryan, but you're on the right tracks...

Simon Geschke's got déjà vu...

Meanwhile, UAE Team Emirates were too busy doing that thing a group of lads in their 20s and 30s on a boat can't help but do 

Next time, if somebody wants to fall in that would be great for our live blog, thanks. 

19 August 2022, 08:01
"Take your paint and give it to us, you did a s**** job": Bike-sharing service paints vandalised bicycle gold

Here's a problem with trying to do a good thing by providing a bike sharing service for people to enjoy the convenience of hopping on a bicycle to get around town — someone will inevitably try to damage your bikes, steal them, chuck them in the canal etc. etc.

> Andy Burnham urges residents to not chuck hire bikes in canals

HumanForest, an electric bike sharing service in London came up with a novel way to turn a negative (a wally wielding gold paint) into a positive (a spectacular golden hire bike)...

Human Forest gold bike (Jack Mitchell / Human Forest / LinkedIn)

Writing on LinkedIn (very 2022) Jack Mitchell recalled the scene using that now internet-famous scene from Come Dine With Me, in a post titled 'Message to all bike vandals'...

"Dear lord, what a sad little life. You ruined our bike completely for no reason. We hope you can get some much needed lessons on grace and decorum. Take the rest of your paint and GIVE IT TO US BECAUSE YOU DID A SHITE JOB.

> Big Issue pauses Bristol e-bike share scheme due to "relentless" vandalism

"We found a bike half covered in gold paint, so we decided to clean it up and spray it ourselves to make it look absolutely spectacular so the HumanForest community can ride it again.

"Look out for the gold icon on the app to give it a ride."

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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