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“Please find a different job”: Jeremy Vine blasts ‘toxic’ London taxi driver; “Bristol cycle infrastructure needs reinventing”; Pidcock a doubt for classics; Snake Trespass, round 2; More dropper post chat; Coffee and cycling + more on the live blog

Happy Monday! After a weekend spent having nightmares about Matej Mohorič’s Poggio descent, Ryan Mallon’s pulled himself together to bring you the first live blog of the week
21 March 2022, 18:49
Jan Ullrich auctions off 1998 Tour bike for Ukraine

Do you have a spare 25 grand and a deep fascination with one of cycling’s darkest moments?

Well you’re in luck, as 1997 Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich is auctioning off one of his bikes from the following year’s race – yes, that one – to benefit the ‘A Heart for Children’ campaign, which supports sick children and orphans in war-torn Ukraine.

The autographed bike features carbon-fibre wheels, a Campagnolo groupset, and a carbon fibre Pinarello frame, painted yellow (with yellow bar tape too), presumably kitted out in anticipation of the German’s second victory at the race, before his infamous collapse on the road to Les Deux-Alpes at the hands of Marco Pantani. Ullrich, despite wearing the yellow jersey for a number of stages, rode a bike bedecked in standard-issue pink and grey Telekom colours throughout the race.

Of course, the 1998 Tour proved more notable for what happened off the bike – at customs checks, in hotels, and at teary press conferences – than the racing itself, so Ullrich’s ill-fated yellow Pinarello is a potent symbol of one of the sport’s murkiest hours.

The highest bid currently stands at over €25,000.

You can place a bid for your own little piece of the Festina Affair and help out the humanitarian effort in Ukraine at the auction site here

21 March 2022, 17:42
Another record: Boy completes Rubik’s Cube in 14 seconds – while riding a bike

 Careful now while trying this at home…

21 March 2022, 17:09
A new bike lane record?
21 March 2022, 16:04
Countdown to the cobbles

I know, I know, Opening Weekend was back in February – but the real cobbled classics season starts this Friday in Harelbeke, for the Ronde-lite E3 Saxo Bank Classic.

Let’s hope by then we’ve finally finished talking about dropper seatposts…

21 March 2022, 15:52
Tom Pidcock wins Brabantse Pijl.PNG
Pidcock a doubt for classics: “We can't find the cause of his stomach problems,” says coach

Tom Pidcock is a doubt for the upcoming cobbled classics after the British rider suffered stomach problems during Milan-San Remo on Saturday.

The cyclocross world champion, who also missed Strade Bianche two weeks ago due to similar digestive issues, was dropped on the small capi climbs that precede the Cipressa and Poggio at Milan-San Remo, before the racing had truly ignited. 

Pidcock failed to finish the first monument of the season and was later fined by the UCI after he was forced to stop for an emergency toilet break by the side of the road.

The Ineos rider’s coach Kurt Bogaerts told Het Laatste Nieuws that Pidcock won’t race until his stomach problems are resolved. 

The 22-year-old wasn’t scheduled to race Friday’s E3-Saxo Bank Classic or Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem but is now a doubt for next Wednesday’s Dwars door Vlaanderen, which itself is only four days before the Tour of Flanders, one of Pidcock’s main spring objectives.

“It wasn't a stomach bug, but Tom had to go to the toilet seriously. Even afterwards, his stomach did not feel one hundred percent healthy. There was no point in racing any further,” Bogaerts said.

After failing to start Strade Bianche, Bogaerts claimed that Pidcock felt fine while training at altitude in Andorra before the issues suddenly and dramatically resurfaced at Milan-San Remo.

“The strange thing is that he doesn't really feel sick,” Bogaerts said.

“We are going to investigate this. Tom had a blood test on Wednesday and we hope that based on those results we can find a cause.

“We are not going to make a race schedule until this problem is solved.”

After De Ronde, Pidcock is pencilled in to race the Ardennes Classics later in April. He was also due to make his debut at the Giro d’Italia in May, though recent reports suggest he could be on his way to the Tour de France as Ineos Grenadiers recalibrate their plans in the wake of Egan Bernal’s training crash. 

21 March 2022, 15:05
WVA: Best hair in the peloton?

Move over Marcel...

He may have missed out on La Primavera this year, but Wout van Aert continues to pick up accolades wherever he goes… 

21 March 2022, 14:59
Martin on Matej

It seems as if Matej Mohorič wasn’t being completely honest with Dan Martin during the Tour de France last year:

That particularly conversation, which took place only two months after the Slovenian’s horror crash on a descent at the Giro d’Italia, was evidently forgotten by Mohorič on Saturday afternoon as he crested the Poggio and deployed his dropper post.

Paying homage to Sean Kelly on the thirtieth anniversary of the Irishman’s second Milan-San Remo win (he must have read Thursday’s blog), the Bahrain-Victorious rider added ‘bunny-hopping out of the gutter’ and ‘nearly ending up in someone’s living room’ to the Poggio descent lexicon…

As well as commenting on Mohorič’s madcap descending, the now-retired Martin also decided – rather mischievously – to throw the 27-year-old’s name in the ring as “a strong contender” to become only the fourth rider in history to win all five monument classics.

And to think we haven’t even gotten over the whole ‘Pogačar is too dominant’ debate yet…

21 March 2022, 14:21
More ‘accessible’ infrastructure...

 I don’t even know where to start with this one...

21 March 2022, 13:11
Coffee and cycling: can you love one without the other?

Coffee stops are synonymous with cycling – but is there anyone out there who can’t stand a cappuccino or a flat white?

As a teenager on club runs, I was one of the few who ordered a cup of tea – but over the years they slowly ground me down (geddit?) and now coffee is a prerequisite on a long ride.

Has anyone stronger than me held out against the ever-increasing pressure to bow down to the omnipresent cycling-coffee culture of the 2020s?

21 March 2022, 12:45
Roadies – always at the cutting edge

With half of the cycling world taking to Google to figure out what exactly a dropper post does after Matej Mohorič’s death-defying descent of the Poggio to win a thrilling edition of Milan-San Remo on Saturday, we all assumed we were witnessing the birth of some new ground-breaking technology, set to revolutionise the sport.

> UCI confirms Matej Mohorič’s Milan-San Remo-winning dropper post is within rules

Mohorič even described dropper posts as “the future of cycling” in his post-race press conference.

But, as with all great leaps forward in road cycling, the dropper post of course stems from another branch of the sport, and was first tested in mountain biking a decade before the Slovenian was born:

I imagine I wasn’t the only one who spent the weekend listening to their brother claiming: ‘I knew they’d bring dropper posts in. After they banned riding on the top tube, I knew it…’ 

In any case, as Sam Bennett predicted over the weekend, just like LeMond’s tri-bars in 1989 the market for dropper posts has surely ballooned after Mohorič’s monument-winning antics on Saturday:

21 March 2022, 11:57
Snake Trespass, round 2

Following Cycling UK’s call for Derbyshire County Council to publish a risk assessment justifying why it closed Snake Pass to walkers and cyclists, a bunch of two-wheeled trespassers took to the Peak District climb on Saturday for the second week in a row.

Despite the brutal headwind, everyone seemed to enjoy a sunny and rather pleasant spin on the car-free A57:

21 March 2022, 11:28
“Bristol cycle infrastructure needs reinventing”: Drum and Bass on the Bike founder calls for change

The founder of ‘Drum and Bass on the Bike’, DJ Dom Whiting, is using his popular pedalling rave to call for improved cycling infrastructure in Bristol.

Around a thousand people joined Whiting as he went for a spin around the city yesterday, spinning some tunes from his handlebar-mounted decks.

It’s the second time the DJ has taken his mobile disco to Bristol, filling the streets with cyclists, scooters, walkers and positive vibes – not to mention bemused onlookers and frustrated motorists… 

Last month he celebrated the one-year anniversary of Drum and Bass on the Bike with a tour around his hometown of Southampton

“We definitely shut down Bristol, that is for sure”, Whiting announced to the impressive crowd during yesterday’s ride.

But as they went around the Bearpit roundabout and headed down Haymarket, the DJ had a message for the local council, declaring that “Bristol cycle infrastructure needs reinventing ASAP”.

Now it may not be my cup of tea musically (as regular readers will know from my punk and classic rock-based puns), but if it leads to more cycle lanes I’m all for the occasional drum and bass…

21 March 2022, 08:56
“Please find a different job”: Jeremy Vine blasts ‘toxic’ London taxi driver

Ah, Twitter. Widely renowned as a place for thoughtful, considerate debate (isn’t it?), the social media platform can also – surprisingly – provide a largely anonymous refuge for the more toxic opinions of certain groups.

And so it proved, when over the weekend Jeremy Vine posted another video of his commute in London, which showed a van driver mounting the footpath to get past a taxi on what used to be the cycle lane on Kensington High Street:

One particularly unpleasant taxi driver’s response to the broadcaster’s video was, let’s say, rather blunt:

In fairness, Vine didn’t hold back either:

After a few more childish and largely meme-based taunts (I would probably avoid visiting Tom the cabbie’s profile, as it’s pretty unsavoury), one user came up with handy idea for cyclists to avoid any anti-bike taxi drivers:

This prompted some cyclists, including’s very own Simon MacMichael, to share their favourite bike-related taxi stories:

And my personal favourite, from cycling author Chris Sidwells:

Others, however, were keen to point out that Tom the cabbie certainly doesn’t represent all taxi drivers: 

The last time I was in a taxi, a few weeks ago in the coastal town of Bray, just outside Dublin, we spent almost an hour chatting to our driver, a retired café owner who used to race mountain bikes, reminiscing about local cycling legends like Peter Crinnion. Thankfully he didn’t keep the meter running…

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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