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Did you ride your bike yesterday?; TV presenter slams “pure ugly, Soviet-era Russia” cycle lanes; Double rainbow for GB at junior worlds TTs; Speed record attempt crash; Adam Yates joins UAE; Enrique announces Spain squad – on bike + more on the live blog

It’s Tuesday (don’t worry, I checked), it’s cold, and Ryan Mallon has finally switched off Paddington to bring you the first live blog of the week
20 September 2022, 16:51
Cycling meets football, part two: Laurent Fignon, Partick Thistle ultra

It’s all gone a bit capybara crazy in the comments (the size of them!), so I’ll leave you on this fine Tuesday evening with a fantastic photo of the late two-time Tour de France winner – and diehard Partick Thistle fan – Laurent Fignon:

They certainly don’t make leader’s jerseys like they used to…

And on a related note, could you please sign my annual petition to the ASO to bring back the white Paris-Nice jersey?

20 September 2022, 16:27
“A few millimetres more and I would have been paralysed”: French track rider crashes during speed record attempt

Seven-time world track champion François Pervis has said that he was millimetres away from being paralysed after crashing during an attempt to break the recumbent bike speed record on Friday.

The 37-year-old Frenchman, who has world titles to his name in the Keirin, sprint and kilo events on the track, as well as the kilo world record, broke a 30-year-old speed record over four kilometres by travelling at 112.47kph in San Francisco on Friday.

Later that day, Pervis was attempting to break Ted Reichart’s human-powered recumbent speed record of 144.17km/h when he crashed, due to what he says was a small pebble on the road.

Posting photos of the damaged machine and helmet on social media after the terrifying incident, Pervis wrote: “On my evening run my rear tyre blew out at 130kph. The bike and tyres were faultless, so we are thinking it was caused by a small pebble on the road.

“I had a long slide down the road before ending up with a couple of barrel rolls. Luckily for me, the path was clear and no poles or trees were in the vicinity. I was not thrown off my bike which protected me extremely well.”

Pervis was immediately transferred to hospital, where he received treatment for a pulmonary haemorrhage and a fracture in his spine.

“According to the doctor, a few millimetres more and I would have been paralysed,” he said. “But don't panic, luckily it didn’t happen and everything will get better very soon.”

Pervis, who described the incident as “more fear than harm”, returned to France today where he will continue his recovery.

20 September 2022, 15:55
‘So, what’s the proudest moment of your 13-year professional cycling career, Sam?’
20 September 2022, 15:37
Dude, where’s my bike? World championships edition

Spare a thought for Pavel Novák, the 17-year-old Czech rider who turned up, ready to go, at the start ramp of the junior world time trial championships – without his bike:

Even after that late start – which couldn’t have helped the youngster's morale ahead of the 28.8km test – Novák still managed a very credible 15th, just over two minutes behind British winner Josh Tarling.

Things were even worse for Belgium’s Jens Verbrugghe, who came into the championships in Wollongong with realistic hopes for a medal after a strong season that included a silver medal in the European time trial championships.

However, Verbrugghe fell foul of the dreaded junior gearing rules, with a last-minute check from the UCI finding that the 17-year-old’s Lapierre was fitted with a 53-tooth chainring, one tooth more than the maximum gearing allowed for U18 riders.

Without a spare bike in Australia, a devastated Verbrugghe was then forced to frantically borrow a Ridley TT bike from the Belgian Cycling Federation – one that he had never ridden before – eventually finishing 2:58 behind Tarling, who passed him on the course.

Belgium's Jens Verbrugghe, 2022 UCI World Junior Time Trial Championships (Simon Wilkinson/

Simon Wilkinson/

“There was indeed a 53 instead of 52 sprocket on his bike”, Belgian Cycling’s technical director Frederik Broché told Het Nieuwsblad after the race. “They hadn't seen that at the UCI during the first checks and neither had we in recent days. We unpack bicycles and assemble them, but a new gear has not been set up there. The UCI finally saw that it was 15 centimetres too big, so we had to get another bike.

“They made that bike for his team, but if you’re interested in the technical aspects of cycling, you know that 52 is not made much anymore. It is the UCI that imposes: 52 and 14, or 7m93. Then 52/14 is the most logical combination, but nowadays – with the current gears – that has all become 53.

“There is a good chance that they have imposed a standard gear there. That is the end of the matter and you should already buy a 52. This will all change next year, I would like to add that as a side note.

“But it’s a mistake, he didn't know it himself. You don't do this to anyone, especially for a young guy. The Ridley bike was one of ours, he didn’t have a spare bike with him. This is often the case with juniors. And we also assume that the gears are in order, so that is not always checked.

“It’s a human error on the part of several people: rider, mechanic, the man who put his bike together, our people who didn’t see it… But I'm not going to point the finger at anyone.”

20 September 2022, 15:07
Now That’s What I Call Cycling Infra!

 Maybe this is what Elon Musk has been banging on about all year…

20 September 2022, 14:17
Fausto Capybara

Alright, no more puns – Unless of course someone has anything better than that dreadful attempt, then please send it my way….

20 September 2022, 13:39
2023 Pinarello Bolide F Ganna - 1
Hour Record and Il Lombardia are Ganna clash, says RCS Sport

And that’s my last pun of the day, I promise…

Anyway, last week we reported that Filippo ‘Top’ Ganna (you can’t count that one, it’s too well-established) is gearing up to take on the Hour Record, currently held by the Italian’s Ineos team’s aero guru Dan Bigham, who covered an impressive 55.548km back in August.

Just like Coppi, Merckx, Moser, and Boardman before him, Ganna’s attempt on the Hour may well prove to be an era-defining ride, and one that could put the record out of sight for the foreseeable future.

> Filippo Ganna confirms Hour Record attempt

However, not everyone is buzzing about former world champion’s attempt. RCS Sport, the organisers of the Giro d’Italia, are unhappy that the date set by Ganna and Ineos – 8 October – clashes with Il Lombardia, part of RCS’s stable and one of the sport’s monument classics.

“Upon hearing the news of Filippo Ganna’s Hour record attempt on 8 October, the same day as Il Lombardia, the last monument race of the season, RCS Sport considers this coincidence inappropriate,” an RCS spokesperson told Gazzetta dello Sport at the weekend.

“Two events of international level and of great importance for professional cycling should not take place on the same date. RCS Sport hopes that an optimal solution can soon be found to allow enthusiasts and professionals to follow both these wonderful challenges.”

While RCS Sport’s concerns appear to be slightly over the top – the Hour Record is scheduled to start in Switzerland at 8pm, hours after Lombardia finishes, and could actually help to raise interest in another important Italian cycling event that day – the usually dominant Ganna may in fact welcome a last-minute change of plans after his surprisingly subdued seventh place at the Worlds time trial on Sunday.

Or he’ll just go out on 8 October and smash the Hour to pieces. I know which outcome I’d bet on…

20 September 2022, 13:09
More Angry Birds

> "It was terrifying": Remco Evenepoel and World Championships pros suffer magpie attacks 

20 September 2022, 12:21
Big up to the Club TTs
20 September 2022, 12:00
Luis Enrique announces Spain’s Nations League squad – on his bike

Now, this is how you announce an international squad (take notes, Mr Southgate)…

Spain manager Luis Enrique – a keen cyclist and runner – paid homage to the Vuelta a España by going for a spin in the mountains outside Madrid, which played host to the grand tour’s finale two weekends ago.

In a cool touch, as former Barcelona boss Enrique announced the players who will be representing their country this week in the final round of Nations League fixtures against Switzerland and Portugal – the squad’s last semi-competitive games before this winter’s World Cup in Qatar – the names of those selected were superimposed on the mountain roads, as if they were painted there by some overzealous Basque fans.

Spain football squad announced with homage to Vuelta (credit - SEFutbol, Twitter)

Come on Gareth, let’s see you on Buttertubs…

20 September 2022, 11:34
“Watching London commute past me”

 There are definitely worse views in London…

20 September 2022, 10:57
Shannon Bridge, Limerick (Limerick City and County Council)
Irish TV presenter slams “pure ugly, Soviet-era Russia” cycle lanes

Ah, morning television presenters, what are they like?

No, not Holly and Phil, I’m talking about Ireland AM presenter Muireann O’Connell, who took to Instagram this weekend – for a reason I’m yet to fully identify – to blast Ireland’s “pure ugly” cycle lanes, which she claims are turning parts of the country into “Soviet-era Russia”.

It’s not quite queue jumpgate, but we’ll take it…

O’Connell, who presents the daily morning show alongside former Ireland and British Lions rugby player Tommy Bowe (the perpetrator of the greatest Accidental Partridge moment of all time), posted a series of Instagram stories criticising Limerick’s segregated bike lanes which she described as a “blight” and “a danger to absolutely everyone”. 

But don’t worry, as she has “nothing against cyclists”.

 She wrote: “Limerick is like something out of Soviet-era Russia with these things. I don’t know how cars are meant to move in for ambulances. All for the cycling btw. These are just pure ugly.”

An hour after her initial post, O’Connell clarified to her 102,000 followers (hey, it’s over double’s number on Insta) that her issue with bike lanes is that Irish roads apparently aren’t wide enough for them.

“Hi guys, know they’re all over the country. Where I live in Dublin, they’re all knocked down as the road isn’t wide enough for them so no one could fit safely,” she explained.

“And they’re a blight. Europe manages to have cyclists and cars on the road but don’t make the place look like a kip. I was pointing out the massive raised concrete block on the road as well.

“For whatever reason, some counties’ councils have gone with these so the road can be a danger to absolutely everyone. Love that we are making the country look more manky by the day.

“I do know that plastic bollards can bend… not so much the concrete blocks that I saw a poor cyclist take a hopper off a few months back.

“Nothing against cyclists, just think Ireland [is] executing cycle lanes terribly.”

I can’t wait to hear Schofield’s take…

20 September 2022, 10:34
Policing a state funeral or preparing for tomorrow’s world championship team time trial?
20 September 2022, 09:52
Adam Yates leaves Ineos to sign for UAE Team Emirates

Tadej Pogačar’s UAE Team Emirates squad have bolstered their line up for the grand tours by snapping up the Ineos Grenadiers’ Adam Yates on a three-year deal.

The 30-year-old former Mitchelton-Scott rider has enjoyed a prosperous two-year spell with the British team, winning the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour of Germany, as well as securing top fives at the Vuelta a España, Il Lombardia, Paris-Nice, the Tour of the Basque Country, and the GP Montréal, and two consecutive second places at the UAE Tour (both times, incidentally, behind his soon-to-be team leader Pogačar).

Yates also went into this year’s Tour de France with genuine GC ambitions, but was forced to settle for ninth overall after Covid struck just before the race and he fell ill in the final week.

According to VeloNews, the British rider was considering offers from UAE, his old team BikeExchange-Jayco, and a new Paris-based team run by former pro Jerome Pineau after Ineos offered the 30-year-old half of his existing €2 million salary to stay.

“I’m really excited to join UAE Team Emirates,” Yates said in a statement announcing the move. “I have seen the growth of the team over the years and the opportunity to join was one that I could not turn down.

“I feel that I’m entering my peak years as a rider and the team will get the best out of me. I look forward to riding with many of the top riders in the world and to contribute to the team becoming number one in the world.”

UAE Team Emirates’ principal Mauro Gianetti added: “We are very pleased to welcome Adam into our team for the coming years. His ability to win and achieve top results across a wide variety of races is very impressive and he has proven to be a consistent talent. We all know he is a rider of great panache and we believe that he will be the right fit for our structure as we continue to reinforce the team for the coming years.”

20 September 2022, 09:10
Zoe Bäckstedt wins 2022 junior world time trial title (Casey Gibson/
Double rainbow for GB: Welsh wonders Tarling and Bäckstedt win junior worlds time trials

British cycling fans woke up to a double rainbow this morning, as Welsh wunderkinds Josh Tarling and Zoe Bäckstedt stormed to victory in the junior time trials at the UCI road world championships in Wollongong.

After missing out on the junior TT title last year in Bruges, 17-year-old Bäckstedt completely decimated her rivals this time around, covering the 14.1km course in 18 minutes and 26 seconds, a massive 1.35 ahead of runner-up Justyna Czapla.

Bäckstedt’s blistering ride was so impressive that she actually reached the first time check quicker than elite world champion Ellen van Dijk managed during her gold medal winning ride on Sunday (and on junior gears too).

The Welsh star’s win means she now holds the unique distinction of being the reigning junior world champion in four different disciplines: cyclocross, track (in the Madison), the time trial and the road race, which she will defend in Wollongong on Saturday.

Zoe Bäckstedt wins 2022 junior world time trial title (Alex Whitehead/

Alex Whitehead/

Bäckstedt, the daughter of Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus and former British road race champion Megan Hughes, is set to turn pro with EF Education-TIBCO-SVB next season. Today’s dominant time trial performance has only served to underline her undoubted promise as she steps into the professional ranks.

Josh Tarling wins 2022 junior world time trial title (Alex Whitehead/

Alex Whitehead/

Not to be outdone, another young British – and Welsh – talent about to join the WorldTour also struck gold in the junior men’s time trial, as Ineos-bound Joshua Tarling beat Australian Hamish McKenzie by 19 seconds to earn another rainbow jersey on a sensational day for Team GB.

Tarling covered the 28.8km course in 34:59, ensuring heartbreak for home favourite McKenzie, an early starter who had occupied the hot seat (phone in hand) for most of the day until Tarling’s storming ride.

The 18-year-old, like Bäckstedt, avenged his silver medal from last year with an assured performance against the clock, the kind of barnstorming display that will set him up nicely for his pro debut with the Ineos Grenadiers next year.

Josh Tarling wins 2022 junior world time trial title (Alex Broadway/

Alex Broadway/

“It definitely hasn’t sunk in yet, but it just feels like a relief,” Tarling said at the finish.

“It’s been so much hard work and I was a bit annoyed after last year. I really wanted it. It’s just relief mainly… It’s been so hard. I had a bad start to the season with injuries and feeling empty. Then from half-way through the year it’s all been about this. I had some food poisoning during the Euro track championships. After that it was all about trying to bring GB another jersey after missing out.”

Lead image: Casey Gibson/

20 September 2022, 08:34
Did you ride your bike yesterday?

Alright, hands up – who took advantage of the bank holiday and went out on their bike yesterday?

(Don’t worry, I’m not a British Cycling mole…)

Yesterday, you may have noticed’s rather cheeky tweet that linked to what we claimed was a “comprehensive guide” to the rules and regulations surrounding cycling during the Queen’s state funeral – inspired, of course, by BC’s own faux pas-laden attempt to do the same last week…

While our sneaky tweet highlighted the inability of many social media users to actually read the article they’re criticising – even when it’s only 11 words long – lots of you used it to share your experiences out on the bank holiday roads.

> “We’re sorry – we got this one wrong”: British Cycling apologises for advising cyclists not to ride their bikes during state funeral

Here’s a selection of your thoughts and photos from your bonus Monday bike rides:

Unfortunately, I drew the short straw and had to man the news desk yesterday, but did anyone else go for a spin on their bank holiday?

Was it “blissful and peaceful”, or just like any other Monday morning, dodging dangerous drivers on the roads of Britain?

Finally, and be honest, who fell for’s spot of online tomfoolery? There’s bound to be at least one of you out there somewhere…

Ryan joined 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.

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