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Van driver intimidates female cyclist... doesn't realise she's plain-clothes cop; Would this cyclist be fined for using the pavement?; Colbrelli needs "miracle" to race again; What does it take to ride 1000km in 24 hours?; COBBLES + more on the live blog

It's Friday! We're one step away from some glorious weekend riding weather. Skive off Friday work with Dan Alexander on the live blog and start planning those routes.....
25 March 2022, 17:09
Obligatory Jeremy Vine comment...

And with that we'll ride off into the sunset of another week on the live blog. Ryan's back on duty for you next week, enjoy the sunshine! 

25 March 2022, 16:02
Wout van Aert wins E3 Saxo Bank Classic
Wout van Aert Christophe Laporte E3 (GCN Eurosport)

It's another photo for the Jumbo-Visma scrapbook...

Wout van Aert crossed the line first, followed by Christophe Laporte. Behind, Stefan Küng's late attack earned him a spot on the podium, while Eritrean Biniam Girmay sprinted to fourth on debut.

What a race. What a win... Can anyone stop Jumbo-Visma next Sunday?

25 March 2022, 15:31
Wout van Aert being Wout van Aert II (ft. Christophe Laporte)
Wout van Aert Christophe Laporte E3 (GCN Eurosport)

It's Paris-Nice all over again. There have been several splits and regroupings since we last checked in with the racing in Belgium, but the main facts are: Wout van Aert smashed his way up the Paterberg, taking teammate Christophe Laporte with him. The pair have been sharing the work since, in a two-up TT...

Their gap is over one minute, and the team's biggest headache looks like deciding which rider gets the win...(sorry Jumbo-Visma if that jinxes it)...

Anyway, my money's on Van Aert 'letting' Laporte have the win as a thank you for being an invaluable teammate. We'll see...

Behind, Benoot is in the chasing group, who aren't doing much chasing, including: Kasper Asgreen, Biniam Girmay, Matej Mohorič, Stefan Küng, Valentin Madouas, Jhonatan Narváez and Dylan van Baarle.

> Podcast: Matej Mohorič says he could have descended faster at Milan-San Remo if motorbikes weren’t in the way

25 March 2022, 15:24
How not to enjoy your birthday...
25 March 2022, 15:08
Van driver intimidates female cyclist... doesn't realise she's plain-clothes cop

Some delicious karma for your Friday afternoon...

 Now it would be a real shame if this tough guy had his phone number and email address plastered all over his van, wouldn't it? Sheffield North West said they were only too happy to instruct the driver's employers on his attitude towards cyclists...Notice of Intended Prosecution in the post...

 The Sheffield North West Neighbourhood Team has done a detailed write up of the incident over on the Strava activity, including: "Having been briefed to take primary early and manage the approach to the pedestrian refuge things went well and the traffic had to slow and give space to the cyclists controlling the lane.

"All good. But there's always one. One driver seeing a woman cycling in primary position who responds by getting too close, loudly revving the engine and sounding the horn.

"One driver who will be receiving an NIP [Notice of Intended Prosecution] through the post very soon. He should remember the incident as several rather annoyed cyclists approached his van and claimed to be police. But he left before we could badge him.

"Fortunately his van is fully sign written and now we know which company not to go for for roofing services. We will also be in touch with the phone number on the van and it won't be to book a job."

25 March 2022, 14:13
Wout van Aert being Wout van Aert...
Wout van Aert attack (GCN Eurosport)

80km to go? Wout's bored...time to start racing...

25 March 2022, 14:02
Changes to law regarding using phone while driving
Driver using phone (via Warwickshire Police)

From today the law has changed, expanding the meaning of 'using' a phone behind the wheel. Offending drivers will now get a £200 fine and six points for:

  • Illuminating the screen
  •  Checking the time
  • Checking notifications
  • Unlocking the device
  • Making, receiving, or rejecting a telephone or internet based call
  • Sending, receiving or uploading oral or written content
  • Sending, receiving or uploading a photo or video
  • Utilising camera, video, or sound recording,
  • Drafting any text
  • Accessing any stored data such as documents, books, audio files, photos, videos, films, playlists, notes or messages
  • Accessing an app
  • Accessing the internet
25 March 2022, 13:50
25 March 2022, 13:40
Max Walscheid airlifted to hospital and "lucky to be alive" after collision involving driver in Germany — avoids serious injury

Cofidis rider Max Walscheid is being treated in intensive care in Germany after being hit by a driver while training. The 28-year-old says he is lucky to be alive after the incident, and luckily avoided serious injury.

Walscheid did not lose consciousness and has not suffered any broken bones.

"The first thing that comes to my mind is that I was incredibly lucky to survive this accident. Even though we haven't done all the x-rays yet, I obviously don't have any broken bones. I was just doing classic training after Brugge-De Panne. I was on a calm road, in perfect conditions.

"Fortunately, I was not advancing very quickly, on the side of the road. A car came from the opposite direction. She suddenly turned to the right, without blinking, rushed at me and hit me. I didn't even have time to do anything, nor to be afraid before the accident happened.  

"So I was hit in the face. I jumped over the car and fell a few meters away, luckily in the ditch and not on the asphalt. My bicycle was completely destroyed, 10 meters away… People quickly came to help me, the ambulance and the police too. I was then transported to the hospital and admitted to the emergency services where they made a scan of my whole body. 

"Even though they didn't detect anything broken, I had to spend the night under observation. We will continue the tests and examinations this Friday, in particular for my head and to check my breathing and my electrocardiogram."

25 March 2022, 13:24
Sonny Colbrelli needs "another [miracle] to get back on the saddle"
Sonny Colbrelli Merida Reacto Paris-Roubaix (Credit A.S.O._Pauline Ballet)-2

Sonny Colbrelli has commented for the first time since collapsing in the aftermath of the opening stage of Volta a Catalunya, having suffered an unstable cardiac arrhythmia. The Italian collapsed shortly after sprinting to second on the uphill kicker in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, and admits it is a "miracle" he is alive.

> Sonny Colbrelli in stable condition in hospital after collapsing at Volta a Catalunya finish

"It's already a miracle that I'm alive, now it would take another to get me back on the saddle," Colbrelli told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"We will evaluate day by day. There are so many people who love me."

Bahrain Victorious released a statement on Thursday saying the team had "no further news" about the rider's condition, saying he remains in hospital in Girona.

25 March 2022, 11:26
Would this cyclist be fined for using the pavement?

Our big live blog story of the week was Wednesday's video of a cyclist getting pulled over by police for using the pavement during a lane closure. Despite saying the manoeuvre was to let motorists pass during the extended roadworks, it "buttered no parsnips with this PC".

General consensus in the live blog comments was that the optics of the situation probably didn't help and, if the rider had waited for the temporary lights to turn green before waving traffic through as he moved onto the pavement, it probably would have been fine.

Well, there's another video doing the rounds today, highlighting the other side of the badly-timed traffic lights/but not using the pavement coin...

Stick to the rules of the road to the letter and you might end up with this less-than-ideal predicament. You go through green, light turns red before you're fully through, next light turns green, you're now riding into oncoming traffic presumably with everyone and their dog shaking their heads at your 'red light jumping'...

Presumably (we're doing a lot of that this morning) our PC friend would have been alright with the cyclist hopping onto the footpath? That seems like common sense?

But maybe again we're back to the optics of the incidents...not slowing down riding straight onto the pavement while the light is red vs faced with oncoming traffic having waited for the light to turn green...surely no PC with common sense would fine a cyclist for riding on the pavement here?

Either way, it goes to show an underlying problem cyclists often face with temporary lights and lane closures. Do you break 'the rules' to get out the way or don't and struggle to make it through in time?

Anyway, who knows if any of that made sense to you reading it? Get in the comments with your thoughts...

25 March 2022, 11:04
Magical memes

Add this to the folder alongside Oli Naesen...

25 March 2022, 10:40
Another record-breaking month — Santander Cycles celebrates six record breaking months in a row, with more than 750,000 hires in February

> E-bikes finally coming to London's Santander Cycles hire fleet from next year 

25 March 2022, 09:45
Flanders dress rehearsal: E3 Saxo Bank Classic

One of my favourite racing days of the year — E3 Saxo Bank Classic. The Flanders dress rehearsal: harder than Omloop — 204km, Kanarieberg, Taaienberg, Paterberg, Oude Kwaremont, Tiegemberg, plus many more of Flanders cobbled beasts. With Flanders next Sunday it's time to find the form...

Nine times in the past 22 years, the winner of E3 has gone on to win Flanders. Will we get a tenth this year?

On the startline: Kasper Asgreen, Wout van Aert, Zdeněk Štybar, Florian Sénéchal, Tiesj Benoot, Victor Campenaerts, Greg Van Avermaet, Oliver Naesen, Bob Jungels, Gianni Moscon, Matej Mohorič, Stefan Küng, Jhonatan Narvaez, Luke Rowe, Dylan van Baarle, Sep Vanmarcke, John Degenkolb, Søren Kragh Andersen, Jasper Stuyven, Mads Pedersen, Peter Sagan, Anthony that's not bad, is it?

And, of course, it wouldn't be E3 without Oli Naesen memes...

25 March 2022, 08:48
What does it take to ride 1000km in 24 hours?
1000km Christoph Strasser

What does it take to ride 1000km in 24 hours? Good legs. Case closed, thanks for reading...

Okay, there's a bit more to it than that. Last July, Austrian ultracyclist Christoph Strasser rode 1,026.215km at an average speed of 42.75kph to smash the world record for greatest distance ridden by a cyclist in 24 hours.

The six-time Race Across America champ hit the record at the Zeltweg Air Base to beat the road record, he already holds the track record, in just 21 hours 6 minutes, before clocking an extra 26km, presumably just for fun?!

Strasser's record was aided by the support of his INSCYD coach Markus Kinzlbauer, who has now broken down exactly what it took to perform such an outstanding athletic feat...

Speaking to the athletic performance software company, Kinzlbauer, who also won two Paralympic medals in handcycling during 2021, said the effort was highly dependent on nutrition. We all recognise when we haven't eaten enough on a ride, the legs start to fade, the speed drops, until eventually you're crawling home pedalling through mud.

Well, if you're trying to ride for 24 hours, let alone at an average speed of 42kph, Strasser needed: "116g/h (grammes of carbs per hour) in the first 12h and a total of almost 105g/h in the 24h."

"Such a performance is highly dependent on the energy demand and intake. We experimented with nutrition intake. We tried a lot with sugar mixtures. During the race, we fed 116g/h in the first 12h and a total of almost 105g/h in the 24h," Kinzlbauer explained.

In total Strasser took on 13,450 calories, roughly five times the recommended daily intake for men.

"One of the puzzle pieces in the training prior to this historical benchmark was the INSCYD PPD test. We used the fat and carbohydrate combustion graph to calculate nutrition intake and pacing, and saw that the results were extremely reliable," Kinzlbauer continued.

The crucial balance was making sure Strasser has enough energy to complete the distance without suffering digestive issues.

Stats: 24 hours, 1026km, 42.75kph, 272w average power, 136bpm heart rate.

1000km Christoph Strasser

Check out Strasser's mind-boggling Strava file here...

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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