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Insulate Britain confirms protesters sat in major London bike lane to stop motorists using it; Cav calls fan with Manx Missile tattoo; What does it take to be a pro?; Marginal pains; Belgian beef; Follow the sign; Pic of the week + more on the live blog

Hope everyone had a nice's time for another week of live blog action, starting with Dan Alexander in the hotseat...
25 October 2021, 16:10
You've heard of hamster wheels, now check out this...possom-bly the strangest thing you'll see today

You see what I did there? Possibly, possombly? I can see the tumbleweed rolling across the live blog. Don't all have a go at once...

25 October 2021, 15:29
Crazy fence action in Cambridge halts fleeing drug dealer
Funny headline typo

Here's your screenshot before the admin changes it...don't know how they build their fences in Cambridge, but that's one crazy crime prevention tactic...

25 October 2021, 15:04
Italian national team bikes stolen at UCI Track Cycling World Championships

 Thieves stole 20 bikes from the Italian track cycling team during this weekend's UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Roubaix. 15 track bikes and 5 others were taken on Friday evening from a hotel in Lille where the squad was based. Filippo Ganna's gold Pinarello, and the bikes of the fellow team pursuit winners were also taken.

The bikes were in a minibus in the carpark, ready to be returned to Italy when they were taken. Some of the stolen machines were valued at around £25,000 and had titanium 3D-printed handlebars worth £8,500.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, police believe the theft was the work of professionals who knew which vehicle to break into and who managed to evade hotel security.

"They were well organised," Italian delegation head Roberto Amadio told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"We knew how difficult the trip could be from a [safety] point of view, so we chose to stay in a hotel with a private, monitored car park even if the commute each day was a bit more demanding. Evidently, even these measures didn't stop the perpetrators."

25 October 2021, 14:12
What does it take to be a pro? New study digs deep into the numbers you would need to hit

Click on the photo to go through and see what sort of numbers you'd need to clock to be a pro rider. Yeah, not sure I'll be hitting them anytime soon (ever)... 

25 October 2021, 13:41
Insulate Britain confirms protesters sat in major London bike lane to stop motorists using it

Insulate Britain soon got back to us to address the images of protesters sat in a bike lane on Southwark Bridge this morning. The group said it "certainly wasn't to stop cyclists" and emphasised that riders were allowed through at all their protest sites. 

One of our readers also reported cycling through at 9:30am without any problems. The group's press team said they were "pretty sure it was to stop motorists". In fairness, most people assumed this was the case anyway...

Although some questioned if even blocking part of a cycle lane was acceptable, considering people on hand cycles, cargo bikes, trikes and trailers would struggle to get past.

25 October 2021, 13:36
Photo of the weekend: The Bunny Hop
25 October 2021, 11:27
Questions asked as Insulate Britain protesters sit in major London bike lane

We were happily scrolling Twitter, watching videos of Insulate Britain protesters blocking the northern end of Southwark Bridge, when something caught our eye...they're sat in the bike lane too? It wasn't just us who noticed it either, plenty of others replied with jokes and questions about why they'd block one of the greener forms of transport. 

We've dropped Insulate Britain a line for a comment, although we suspect it might be to prevent drivers using the lane to get past as in the clip a cyclist rides past the protesters without issue.

News editor Simon pointed out this is a particularly popular route for London cyclists and is the cycle lane just before it crosses CS3, a major cycleway connecting central London with the east of the city. Met Police confirmed 53 people have been arrested this morning, including some who had glued themselves to the road.

We'll wait to see what Insulate Britain says, in the meantime here's some of the reaction:

25 October 2021, 11:51
Reader Rob's breathtaking Sir Dave Brailsford tattoo...

Fair play, Rob. That's some tribute. Was the needle a marginal pain or more serious?

25 October 2021, 10:29
"He has to learn when he can and cannot say things": Jasper Stuyven reveals Remco Evenepoel did not show up to Belgium's post-World Championships debrief

The fallout from Belgium's home World Championships continues...Jasper Stuyven, who finished fourth at the event in his home town of Leuven, has spoken to Het Nieuwsblad and shone further light on Remco Evenepoel's behaviour during and after the race.

Stuyven questioned those around the young Belgian and said he needs to learn when "he can and cannot say things". Milan San-Remo winner Stuyven also revealed the 21-year-old didn't turn up to a debrief in the days after the race. 

"Everyone was there, except Remco," Stuyven explained. "He was aware, but didn't think it was necessary. I think that is a shame, especially because he thought it necessary to say things on TV. That stuck with some of us. I think that Remco should sometimes be slowed down by his entourage. He still has to learn when he can and cannot say things. Also, a super-strong rider – which he certainly is – should realise that some things should remain internal.

"In the first place, he should have ridden a different race. What he did – ride full in the early break, gesticulate and be omnipresent until the final started – any sub-topper can do. But even if he had spared himself, he would never have ridden away from Alaphilippe."

Last week, Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx downplayed talk he dislikes Evenepoel, insisting he's a big fan and doubling down on his assertion that the young talent should not have been selected for Belgium's team when the goal was solely to help Wout van Aert. Evenepoel raised eyebrows by attacking early in the race, going in the breakaway and subsequently getting dropped when the group returned to the peloton.

25 October 2021, 09:45
Follow the signs...
25 October 2021, 09:25
UCI Track Cycling World Championships round-up: Ethan Hayter caps incredible season (+ Katie Archibald back on the podium)

The weekend action in Roubaix was dominated, from a British perspective, by Ethan Hayter's emphatic win in the omnium and Katie Archibald's ever-growing trophy cabinet. Just the two national titles, Olympic silver and rainbow jersey for the 23-year-old Hayter this season. Not bad at all...

Archibald also rounded off a superb week in northern France, winning two more medals to take her tally to four for the week. First up was the women's omnium on Friday where the Scot won gold ahead of track and road stars Lotte Kopecky and Elisa Balsamo. Then on Saturday, Archibald and Neah Evans took bronze in the madison — Sunday's points race brought a first silver of the week. One gold, one silver, two bronze. Again, not bad at all...

Elsewhere yesterday, Elia Viviani became world champion with victory in the elimination race, a happy end to two difficult seasons with Cofidis. If the rumours are to be believed, he and Hayter could be teammates next year.

25 October 2021, 07:40
Mark loved my tattoo so much he called me! Cav calls fan who got tattoo of his face

 Paul James made a bet at the start of 2021. If Mark Cavendish won a race he would get a tattoo of the great sprinter somewhere on his body. As we all know, Cav won once, and nine more times afterwards, giving Paul plenty of time to decide where he was going to put his new splash of ink.

He wasn't disappointed about it either, proudly calling the artwork "[An] Ode to my idol Mark Cavendish who overcame adversity to prove he's still the GOAT. Hopefully he likes this". Well, he did like it. Cav called Paul on FaceTime and said he loved it. 

Paul shared the news on social media: "Mark loved my tattoo so much he called me. Not every day you get to FaceTime your hero. Thank you so much Peta (Cav's wife) for setting it up and for Mark for the call. Still in a bit of shock and awe. Wow!!"

Seems there's no motivation like making someone look at your face for the rest of their life...

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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