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Remco Evenepoel 60km solo victory halted by flaming roadside car; Cyclist "lucky" not to be hit after bollards removed; Gold medal prank; Bizarre New York wheelie crash; Packed bike lanes; Bernal shoots hoops; Paralympic medals + more on the live blog

It's Thursday and Dan Alexander is here for the penultimate live blog of the week before a bumper bank holiday weekend...
26 August 2021, 16:24
Remco Evenepoel 60km solo victory halted by flaming roadside car

Remco Evenepoel and Julian Alaphlippe were over in Belgium today racing the relatively unknown Druivenkoers - Overijse. Why? Well, the route covered some of the roads that will be used at next month's UCI World Championship road race. Evenepoe,l in typical style, laid down the gauntlet to the entire cycling world by attacking solo for 60km. 

That wasn't even the most noteworthy event of the afternoon however. A car caught fire roadside on the route meaning the race was neutralised and Evenepoel had to wait a while to continue kicking lumps out everyone else...

In the end the race restarted and Evenepoel got his win. But will he be wearing the rainbow jersey in a month's time? We certainly wouldn't bet against it... 

26 August 2021, 16:03
Bikmo and Love to Ride announce three-year partnership to get the UK cycling
Bikmo x Love to Ride

Cycle insurance provider Bikmo and cycling encouragement platform Love to Ride have announced a three-year partnership to "get more people on bikes and increase education for riders on how to keep their bikes safe".

Love to Ride's online campaigns have so far engaged more than 570,000 people worldwide, including 132,000 new cyclists. Riders can collect points to win prizes, some of which are provided by Bikmo and include gold sold secure rated Hiplok bike locks and a £200 Freewheel voucher to be spent in a local bike shop.

26 August 2021, 15:37
I can feel it coming in the air tonight


26 August 2021, 15:21
Queensbury Tunnel memorial installed to commemorate the ten men known to have died during construction
Queensbury Tunnel memorial

Campaigners hoping to reopen a disused West Yorkshire railway tunnel as part of a new active travel route have installed a memorial to the ten men known to have died during its construction.

Work on the Queensbury Tunnel betweeen Bradford and Halifax begain in May 1874 and involved the excavation of 180,000 cubic yards of rock. Groundwater delayed progress and dozens of the 600-strong workforce suffered injuries, many of them life-changing.

Ten workers died and to honour the navvies, the Queensbury Tunnel Society has built a memorial near the tunnel entrance. "Navvies are the forgotten heroes of the railway boom that changed the nation in the 19th Century," Graeme Bickerdike, the Society's Engineering Coordinator said. "The risks would be intolerable now and many paid the highest possible price, leaving their families destitute. As we ride comfortably on their infrastructure, we must not forget those who gifted us our railway network through the Victorian era."

26 August 2021, 14:40
No spectators allowed at Welsh Tour of Britain stages
Mathieu van der Poel wins the 2019 Tour of Britain (picture credit

Bad news for Welsh cycling fans hoping to catch the action at the Tour of Britain next month. The race's organisers have announced that no spectators will be allowed at the stage starts or team paddock of both the Welsh stages. That applies to stage three, starting in Llandeilo and stage four from Aberaeron on September 7 and 8 respectively.

The decision comes following consultation with local stakeholders and was announced today. No official word on what the play will be at stage finishes or out on the road but there'll also be no public access to the team paddock at the start and finish of all stages. The organisers say this might only be a one-year protocol and that hopefully from next year fans will be able to meet riders again as usual.

26 August 2021, 13:45
Cyclist "lucky" not to be hit after bollards removed from "dangerous" cycle lane - rider found herself travelling towards oncoming traffic after sudden works
B3108 cycle lane Bradford on Avon (Google Maps Street View)

A cyclist said she was lucky to avoid being hit by a driver after cycle lane bollards were removed from the B3108 between Bradford-on-Avon and Winsley in Wiltshire. The markings and signs remain, so Caroline Tassell used the lane as normal but soon found herself riding towards oncoming traffic with no protection from the bollards that usually seperate cyclists from drivers.

In the pictures below you can see how riders heading eastbound from Bradford-on-Avon towards Winsley were directed over to use the lane riding towards oncoming traffic, while riders heading westbound were encouraged to use a pretty questionable shared-use path...

B3108 cycle lane Bradford on Avon (Google Maps Street View)
B3108 cycle lane Bradford on Avon (Google Maps Street View)

The cyclist told the Wiltshire Times that if nothing is done then she fears somebody will be seriously injured on the road. She said: "I know the cycle lane between Winsley and Bradford-on-Avon has been a controversial subject for sometime now, and as a regular cyclist I have been using it somewhat reluctantly when travelling from Bradford-on-Avon to Winsley."

"It never felt safe - narrow, potholes, full of debris, and lethal if meeting another cyclist coming the other way. However, it was marginally preferable to the abuse I experienced from motorists if I chose not to use it and cycled on the road instead. Today, I started to cycle along it only to realise that a car was heading straight for me.

"I then realised that the bollards have been removed so there is nothing to separate cars from cyclists, however the white lines and signage remains in place indicating that this is still a cycle lane. As if it wasn’t dangerous enough before! I am lucky that I wasn’t hit but this has to be dealt with as a matter of urgency before somebody is seriously hurt. An absolute shambles."

Wiltshire Council says it intends to replace the temporary infrastructure with a permanent facility next year and the bollards have been removed under temporary traffic signals. The temporary facility was installed as a response to the Covid pandemic to make active travel more accessible. 

26 August 2021, 13:23
Alejandro Valverde back training five days after surgery

Just five days after having surgery on a fractured collarbone sustained in a crash on Friday's Vuelta stage Alejandro Valverde is back training on his home trainer. Could he be back in time for the World Championships in Flanders next month?

26 August 2021, 11:22
Olympic cyclist pranks airport security with gold medal

The dreaded airport security scanner goes pat yourself down: keys? belt? Ah, I forgot to take my Olympic gold medal off...we've all been there...

Kelsey Mitchell won gold in the individual sprint in Tokyo, her country's 24th of the Games. She's just the second rider from Canada to win a gold in an individual cycling event. But that all is secondary to this airport tomfoolery. Just as well the Japanese security kept up the host's reputation for their hospitality. Good luck trying that at certain airports elsewhere...

Let's just hope her bike got back to Canada in one piece...unlike poor Fabian Cancellara's Japan-inspired BMC.

26 August 2021, 11:09
Rapha teams up with San Antonio Spurs to create fan kit for NBA team

Rapha and San Antonio Spurs have teamed up to launch a cycling kit collection so fans can rep their team's colours out on the road. The first is a lightweight race kit with the team logo and traditional silver and black colours. The other features the team's "fiesta colours" of their famous 90s design.

The idea has apparently been worked on for a few years now after the team noted that cycling had become a popular post-retirement sport for a lot of its former players.

"Rapha was thrilled by the opportunity to work with the Spurs and offer a cycling kit to the team’s fans. This project gave us a special opportunity to forge a connection between local cycling initiatives and the broader San Antonio sporting community. We hope that the collaboration will have a positive impact by promoting the positive values that sport of any kind can bring to anyone’s life," a Rapha press release said.

26 August 2021, 10:38
Medals galore for ParalympicsGB in Tokyo this morning

It's been some morning in the velodrome for ParalympicsGB out in Tokyo. Tandem pair Aileen McGlynn and Helen Scott got the ball rolling with silver in the women's B 1000m time trial before Jody Cundy pictured above became the first man in ParalympicsGB history to medal at seven Games when he won silver in the C4-5 1000m time trial.

Jaco Van Gass then beat teammate Fin Graham in the C3 3,000m individual pursuit after smashing the world record in qualifying. Four medals, one gold and a world record. Not a bad morning's work.

26 August 2021, 09:42
Bizarre moment New York cop taken out by cyclist popping a wheelie

 This one's all quite strange. It could be a scene out of a bad cop comedy. None of the other NYPD officers seemed too bothered when one of their men was flattened by the cyclist popping a wheelie. The guy on the bike also seemed like he'd barely noticed the cop caught under his front wheel...

The clip has been viewed more than 650,000 times and nobody, as far as I can see, has worked out what's going on either. Some have questioned why everyone was going the wrong way down a one-way road, others were more concerned by the cops flying through the pedestrian crossing.

There's not much sympathy for the police officer in the 500 plus replies...

26 August 2021, 09:06
How steep? The best pictures from yesterday's savage Vuelta a España climb

25 per cent? More? Either way, Primož Roglič made it look easy...Tom Pidcock had fun too. 

At the finish the Slovenian said: "It was a tough day. Short, but very hot. Fortunately, I had enough energy left at the end to win today. Today’s finish suited me and it was an enjoyable challenge." Enjoyable. Rog enjoyed that? He's built different.

Today's profile looks a good opportunity for the breakaway. Stage 12 from Jaén to Córdoba is 175km with a couple of tasty 2nd cat climbs in the final 60km. The second of which tops out with 19km to go. We'll keep you updated on the day here on the blog and with our usual post-stage report.

26 August 2021, 08:11
Egan Bernal shoots some hoops to unwind after a tough Vuelta stage

For some reason I don't think the Milwaukee Bucks (yes, I had to look that up) will be coming in for Egan Bernal this off-season. He got there in the end...

Ineos Grenadiers don't have a great record when trying out other sports...their training camp trip to the driving range was entertaining for all the wrong reasons.

Don't get me started on when they did that crossbar challenge...

And as for the time Tom Pidcock claimed to have run a 13.25 5k and triggered the entire running community in the process...stick to the day job, lads.

26 August 2021, 07:46
"If the infrastructure is there, people will cycle": Queues at every traffic light and packed bike lanes

How good does this look? Maybe not if you were hoping to zoom home early, but that's not the point. This clip is from just outside Parliament in Westminster and bang at the heart of an area packed with segregated cycling infrastructure.

EricEatsPickles (great name) is a regular in these parts and sang the praises of the infrastructure: "For 14 years my commute home from work, but what a transformation there's been. Actual prioritisation and protection, no mad dash across lanes before the metal hounds are let loose, safety in numbers."

What's more London Cycles took the video at around 6pm so speculated that quite a few people could have already headed home or might be on holiday in August - not bad for a reduced crowd.

If the weather's nice this bank holiday weekend then expect similar videos of people out enjoying their city in the sunshine to pop up early next week...

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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