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Bettiol lobs bottle at cameraman filming him suffering with cramp at Tour Down Under; Rohan Dennis wins TDU stage 2; "A fast 200": Remco Evenepoel and the Soudal-QuickStep boys casually smash out 200km in just over five hours + more on the live blog

It's cold, very cold, extremely cold, extraordinarily cold... you get it, it's cold... Dan Alexander is c̶o̶l̶d̶ here for the Thursday live blog...
19 January 2023, 17:31
Alberto Bettiol's air bottle lob

But comment of the day goes to Shake... "I would have liked to have seen Bettiol throw a bottle at the helicopter". Stage three is in eight hours or so... you're up, Alberto...  

19 January 2023, 09:33
Cameraman filming the moment Alberto Bettiol's Tour Down Under unravelled due to cramp gets bottle thrown at him by irate EF rider

We can all feel Bertie Bettiol's frustration in this clip and a lot of you will have been there. Your mind and the rest of your body is still (sort of) saying yes, but an excruciating cramp stops you in your tracks and there is nothing you can do about it.  

We see the 29-year-old Italian — who won Tuesday's 5.5km prologue — desperately trying to beat the cramp out of his upper left leg, before conceding and coming to another stop. At about 54 secs into the clip, Bettiol notices that an intrepid cameraman has sniffed out a scoop and stopped to zoom in on his suffering... and angrily chucks a bottle in his direction when the filming doesn't stop. 

Suppose cameraman was just doing his job, and that reaction can't be fully justified... but if we've learnt anything, it's that if Mr Bettiol is in a mood maybe give him some space!

19 January 2023, 16:18
More support for James Knox

That's Tao Geoghegan Hart, Oli Naesen, Luke Rowe and now Tim Declercq speaking out in support of James Knox... 

Pretty decent line-up those four... 

> Frustration over "very dangerous" precedent to kick James Knox off Tour Down Under for drafting car after concussion check 

19 January 2023, 15:20
And it's not just in Liverpool...

Another reader, Tim, got in touch with details about another case of bike lane blocking, this time on one of London's Cycle Superhighways near Battersea Bridge. Submitting footage of a moped parked in one, he told us the infra is "marked with a solid white line, and may or may not also be marked with wands."

"It did not seem to be damaged or parked there in an emergency, and the rider summonsed to court following non-acceptance of a penalty charge notice."

Offences: Danger of injury to other persons and Obscured vehicle registration mark 

Court Result: Fine £440, Costs £159 and L/E 3ppts

The rider did not attend court.

"Word has spread, and Battersea Bridge has remained clear of parked vehicles for several months now," Tim said.

"This may seem minor, but it's a busy road, and cycle lane obstructions can force vulnerable road users into the main flow of traffic, so am pleased with the result, which sends a clear message. 

"I do think it unfortunate that Transport for London (TFL) hasn't really done much in the way of spreading awareness about not parking in cycle lanes, and unless you keep up to date with the TFL website, you would never know that there's London-specific legislation." 

19 January 2023, 14:37
Cav to make Astana debut in Oman
Mark Cavendish Astana (Image credit: Astana Qazaqstan)

Tour of Oman. That's where Mark Cavendish will make his Astana Qazaqstan debut next month (February 10-14). 

> Mark Cavendish signs for Astana Qazaqstan for 2023 season

And speaking to Cyclingnews, team sports director Stefano Zanini said it's an "honour" to work with Cavendish and the team will "do everything we can" to help him win races.

"It's an honour that a great sprinter like Mark has decided to join Astana Qazaqstan," he said. "He's the best there is and probably the best sprinter in the history of the sport. We'll do everything we can do to help him this season and set him up in every sprint we can contest.

"Astana Qazaqstan was traditionally a Grand Tour and stage race team. Now we've got Mark in the team and so we'll adapt and do whatever we can to back him. We'll need some time to perfect a lead-out train but we've got Cees Bol who has also come on board specifically to help Mark. There's also Martin Laas, under-23 world champion Yevgeniy Fedorov, Dmitriy Gruzdev, plus Manuele Boaro and Davide Martinelli for the final kilometres.

"People have questioned if we can set up Mark for the sprints but I think we can and even do it pretty well."

19 January 2023, 13:07
Get back to where you once belonged (the road)... why cyclists don't use the cycle lane part 8576, Liverpool tanker edition
tanker in cycle lane Liverpool - credit Grant Carter-Moore

You can get a ferry across the Mersey by all means... but riding a bike alongside it isn't so easy nowadays, because this cycle lane on Liverpool's dock road "is not only a mass of broken glass but being used for parking", according to reader Grant Carter-Moore. 

The cycle lane, which runs past Everton's new football stadium that is set to be completed in time for the 2024/25 season, is segregated in parts... but it looks like the parts that aren't segregated have reverted to disappointing type, with what looks to be an oil tanker parked on the left side of the lane. 

"The cycle lane has only been opened the last couple of years, wagons park over it all the time", Gareth told 

We've asked Liverpool City Council for comment. 

* Update, 20/01/23: A Liverpool City Council spokesperson told [We] have forwarded on to our highways and parking team to see if someone can go out and issue a ticket and get the vehicle moved."

19 January 2023, 12:27
DJ Eenkhoorn

Just imagine the disgust of the winter sun seekers trying to enjoy a peaceful lie in... 

19 January 2023, 12:16
Top 10 | The BEST gravel bikes awards show — gravel adventure bikes & gravel race bikes
19 January 2023, 11:52
Cycle lanes removed from Exeter's Queen Street redesign
Queen Street Exeter (Google Maps)

Plans to redesign Queen Street in Exeter have seen the proposed cycle lanes scrapped due to cost concerns. The BBC reports that Devon County Council agreed the cycle infrastructure should be removed from plans due to "significant increases" in the cost of materials.

Councillors said the £250,000 active travel project needed to stay within budget, meaning the cycle lanes have been removed from the plans and the new widened footpath will be 50cm narrower than previously stated. This is to allow the road to return to two lanes...

19 January 2023, 10:55
Tour Down Under stage two highlights

Here's the action if you missed it this morning...

19 January 2023, 10:16
Concussion check controversy

Sorry everyone, nipped out to do something on one of the big stories from yesterday...

James Knox crash Tour Down Under (GCN+)

> Frustration over "very dangerous" precedent to kick James Knox off Tour Down Under for drafting car after concussion check

19 January 2023, 10:05
Other Tour Down Under news... Rohan Dennis wins stage two

Aside from Bertie's bottle and cramping leg, Rohan Dennis had no such problems and claimed a home victory on stage two in Adelaide. Dennis broke away from a strong lead group of five, displaying raw power to cross the line with a couple of seconds to spare... 

19 January 2023, 08:48
"A fast 200": Remco Evenepoel and the Soudal-QuickStep boys casually smash out 200km in just over five hours

It never fails to amaze us how much better the pros are at riding a bicycle than you or I...


While one part of the peloton is over in Oz starting their season with Tour Down Under, there's another bunch over in Argentina (pro cycling's a green sport, eh) gearing up for Vuelta a San Juan.

World champ Remco is the big name on the startlist and along with his Soudal-QuickStep teammates set off on this silly speed 200km training ride. Now admittedly there was only 900m of climbing on the flat hit out, but still... 38.3km/h, 200km in 5:13...

Along with Remco was 'John Deere' Yves Lampaert, new signing Jan Hirt, Pieter Serry and presumably non-Stravaing teammates Fabio Jakobsen and Michael Mørkøv. Not a bad little group 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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