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“Are these people capable of running the Tour de France?” Demi Vollering’s team slam “ridiculous, unjustified” time penalty for drafting; Team car scenes; Bike lane or car door lane?; ULEZ expansion legal, High Court rules + more on the live blog

Don’t worry, we’re nearly there… It’s Friday (finally) and Ryan Mallon is here with all the latest cycling news and views to take you into the weekend

SUMMARY

28 July 2023, 08:09
Demi Vollering drafting Tour de France Femmes 2023 stage 5 (Eurosport/GCN+)
“I’ve had the feeling all year… If they want to do it that way”: Demi Vollering makes cryptic post-stage comment, as team boss slams “ridiculous, unjustified” time penalty for drafting and asks if race organisers are “capable of running the Tour”

The fallout from draftgate – the controversy which saw one of the big favourites for this year’s Tour de France Femmes, Demi Vollering, docked 20 seconds for spending a bit too long glued to the back bumper of her team car on the way back up from a wheel change – continues, as SD Worx launched arguably their most potent attack of the Tour so far last night… on the race organisers and commissaires.

In a scathing critique of the race jury, The Dutch team’s management claimed that the time penalty was “ridiculous” and unjustified” – and could even end up deciding the battle for yellow come Sunday evening – while DS Danny Stam, the man behind the wheel yesterday, even questioned whether those in charge “are capable of leading such a race”.

Strong words.

> Demi Vollering receives a 20 second time penalty for drafting as Ricarda Bauernfeind becomes youngest stage winner at Tour de France Femmes

Of course, you may be wondering what the big fuss is all about. During what was yet another chaotic, frenetic stage of this year’s Tour, won by the impressive Ricarda Bauernfeind, SD Worx made a meal of what should have been a routine bike change for team leader Vollering after she punctured with around 64km to go.

But, instead of just handing her a new bike, the mechanics opted for a wheel change (which, as all you rim brakes fanatics will know, isn’t so simple these days in the era of discs). In their haste to get their big GC contender back into the bunch, Stam provides Vollering with some handy drafting at the rear of the team car.

In most cases, commissaires would turn a blind eye to this, allowing the mechanically unfortunate rider to catch a draft until they get back into the race convoy (a situation that happens countless times during every single pro bike race in the world), at which point it’s then up to them to pick their way through the line of cars.

But Stam, however, decides to keep ploughing on, even indulging in some off-road action, as he flies up the grass verge, Vollering glued to the rear bumper. When he keeps towing the 26-year-old past the row of traffic, this is where the commissaires intervene, with one whistling and wagging their fingers at the DS for his attempt to bludgeon Vollering back to the pack.

But, despite that warning, and a brief spell where the Dutch rider was forced to ride in the wind, Stam then provides some additional assistance to enable Vollering to close that last gap. Cue a classic sticky bottle (despite Vollering already having two on her bike) and some more drafting, before teammate Christine Majerus takes up the slack to finally, around three kilometres, winch Vollering back up.

So, it’s all clear cut, really, isn’t it? There should have been very little surprise when the race jury last night slapped Vollering with a 20 second time penalty (relegating her from second on GC to seventh, and – most crucially – putting her now 12 seconds behind her big rival Annemiek van Vleuten), and fined the Dutch rider and Stam 100 and 200 Swiss Francs respectively.

Case closed.

But not for SD Worx, who endured a bit of a miserable day after Lorena Wiebes’ abandon through sickness and Marlen Reusser missing out on the stage win, and who spent last night tearing apart the commissaires’ decision.

The first reaction came from Vollering herself, who appeared shocked when she was told the news that she’d been penalised 20 seconds.

“Huh? Oh wow... Okay”, the baffled Dutch rider said when told of her penalty by Sporza.

“That must have been when I had a puncture? I only hung behind the car a little bit? Then I immediately passed it. Hey, Danny! I have a 20 second time penalty!? Very strange!”

Demi Vollering, 2022 Tour de France Femmes stage 7 (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

(Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

When asked if her team crossed the line during her return to the bunch, she said: “I wouldn’t know what. I don’t think I did anything wrong. I think this is very special.

“I find it comical. I’ve had the feeling all year… It feels a little strange. But if they want to do it that way...”

Is Vollering’s cryptic “feeling” throughout 2023 anything to do with her controversial defeat at the Vuelta Femenina in March, when she controversially lost the overall thanks to an opportunistic move by Van Vleuten during a nature break?

Who knows…

> Van Vleuten wins Vuelta Femenina after pee-gate controversy as "hungry for revenge" Vollering wins last stage

Anyway, the disappointed Dutch rider continued: “I can’t do anything now. It’s a pity, but I don’t really know what to do with this. It’s very disappointing. I work hard to realise my dreams. When things like this happen, it’s not so much fun.”

Demi Vollering drafting Tour de France Femmes 2023 (Eurosport/GCN+)

Meanwhile, DS Stam certainly avoided any cryptic messaging and pulled few punches after the stage, describing the penalty as “ridiculous”.

“I got her back to car 11 or 12. According to the regulations I then went behind her. That was clearly visible. Then 20 seconds is a very heavy penalty,” he told Sporza.

“The jury member came up with the message that I had to ride behind my rider, what he is right about and what I did. Nothing was reported to me before.

“At the finish I hear that we have 20 seconds. This is a fight for seconds. If you lose 20 seconds because of something like that and the UCI supports that decision, then I wonder if those people are capable of running such a race.”

“If the decision is made by someone who sits in the car, probably never was on the bike, then I am disappointed in this kind of thing.”

He continued: “Look at the men, it is quite normal there that they are brought back like this. There are no clear regulations either.

“As chief commissaire at the UCI, you have to think about whether this can affect the classification. The gaps can be big on the Tourmalet, but they can also not be so big. Again, I think you can lose the Tour de France by five seconds. I hope they can look in the mirror with a satisfied face on Sunday and then not think: we screwed up the Tour with five seconds.

“There’s not much we can do about it. The worst thing is that you penalise an athlete. If they put me off the race, I don’t care. But you penalise someone who doesn’t do anything about it. If we follow the rules so well, do it than everyone else.

“Our official protest has been rejected. We can go even higher, but the small print says that the UCI is always right. One of the jury members spoke English, the rest were unable to do so. That says something about the level in such an important competition.”

Anna van der Breggen on her way to winning 2018 worlds road race (Alex Broadway/SWpix.com)

Anna van der Breggen on her way to winning the 2018 worlds road race (Alex Broadway/SWpix.com)

The onslaught from SD Worx continued into the night, with team DS – and former double world champion – Anna van der Breggen releasing the following statement on the team’s website:

This time penalty falls raw on us. I cycled at the highest level for a long time. It used to be allowed to come back behind the car after equipment failure or a flat tyre. The penalty makes it seem that we are doing something totally unheard of, while in reality, riders return behind the car every day.

Not bringing your rider back after she was dropped herself is logical. But everyone understands that a sport director tries to help his rider after bad luck. So that is why bringing back behind the car a rider who has been knocked back for that reason is usually tolerated.

It is the first time I have experienced such a punishment. The moment the commissioner indicated we should stop, Demi rode from car to car herself back to the tail of the peloton. Therefore, for Demi, this punishment is unjustified.

What do you reckon? Is SD Worx right to claim that docking Vollering 20 seconds is “unjustified” for a manoeuvre committed – to varying degrees – during every race? Or is the Dutch team throwing their toys out of the pram after bending cycling’s team drafting policy to its very limit?

In any case, I don’t think this is the last we’ll hear of those 20 seconds… Especially if the battle between Vollering and Van Vleuten goes right down to the wire in Pau on Sunday…

28 July 2023, 12:13
Demi Vollering drafting Tour de France Femmes 2023 (Eurosport/GCN+)
“Perhaps in the first moment we reacted a little too emotionally to Demi Vollering’s time penalty. Too bad this happened”: SD Worx manager Danny Stam excluded from Tour de France Femmes for dangerous driving and “inappropriate comments”

In a startling update to this morning’s main story on the live blog, the commissaires at the Tour de France Femmes have excluded SD Worx manager Danny Stam from the remainder of the race, after the DS was scathing of the decision to dock Demi Vollering 20 seconds for drafting behind the team car during yesterday’s stage.

A statement by the UCI says that, “after careful and lengthy review of the available TV footage”, the race jury has excluded Stam – who questioned whether the organisers were “capable of running such a race” in his post-stage comments last night – from the Tour and fined the DS 500 Swiss Francs for his “dangerous driving” and “inappropriate comments… to the UCI Commissaires’ Panel”.

The jury noted that the footage “clearly shows the particularly dangerous nature of Mr Stam’s overtaking of other cars and riders” during yesterday’s stage.

Responding to Stam’s expulsion, a statement from SD Worx – who still hold the yellow jersey courtesy of Lotte Kopecky – said that the team is “surprised that the UCI imposes this penalty” but that it accepts the decision.

The statement continues: “Perhaps in the first moment we reacted a little too emotionally to Demi Vollering's time penalty. Too bad this happened.

“With Anna van der Breggen as first sport director, we will continue the race and go back to focusing fully on the race itself as soon as possible. Our mission remains the same and that is to win the Tour de France Femmes. Everyone is more than 100 per cent motivated to go for that in the coming days.”

28 July 2023, 15:33
If you can’t beat ‘em in the sprint, beat ‘em from the breakaway: Emma Norsgaard rips up the script to hold off the peloton for stunning Tour de France Femmes stage win

Now, if you’d predicted at the start of the day that Movistar’s Danish sprinter Emma Norsgaard would battle for the win at the end of today’s mostly flat stage to Blagnac, nobody would be accusing you of being Nostradamus.

But it was the way the 24-year-old took her first Tour de France Femmes stage win – by infiltrating a seemingly doomed breakaway of three, and having enough power to hold off (just) the other big sprinters – that took everyone by surprise and continued the chaotic narrative of a Tour where the rule book (both the literal and metaphorical, tactical versions) has been firmly thrown out the window.

On a day where the opening salvos were somewhat overshadowed by all the drama going on in the race jury’s office, Norsgaard, a stage winner at the 2021 Giro Donne, slipped up the road in a break alongside Agnieszka Skalniak-Sójka and Sandra Alonso.

With the gap to the bunch never extending beyond two minutes due to the sprinters’ insistence on having one last day in the sun before this weekend’s Pyrenean denouement, the move may have appeared foolish for Norsgaard, an established and fast bunch galloper in her own right.

But at a Tour where the race has rarely adhered to the script, the Dane was intent on ensuring a third consecutive victory for the breakaway, powering away from Alonso first and then, on the final straight, Skalniak-Sójka to hold on for a memorable, dramatic, scintillating win.

As if to underline Norsgaard’s stage-winning nous and ability to upset the odds, the big three for the flat days (in Lorena Wiebes’ absence), Charlotte Kool, Lotte Kopecky, and Marianne Vos, filled the spaces behind her, a desperate, frustrating second adrift.

“I’m lost for words, really,” an emotional Norsgaard, whose spring classics campaign was derailed by a crash at Strade Bianche, said at the finish. “It’s the biggest victory ever, I’m so happy.

“I’m not a sprinter anymore, I have to realise it. I might be fast, but I can’t keep up with the real sprinters. So I took my chance today, and I reached out for the stars, and here we are.”

And now surely, with two stage wins in the bag for Movistar courtesy of Liane Lippert and Norsgaard, the Dane will immediately turn her attention to clinching the overall title for Annemiek van Vleuten this weekend?

“Yeah, but I’m going to celebrate, don’t worry!”

Just right…

28 July 2023, 15:13
More disqualifications at the Tour, as Lotta Henttala kicked off race for holding onto team car

More team car related drama at the Tour de France Femmes just now, as AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step’s Lotta Henttala has been booted off the race this afternoon for holding onto her team car (for presumably an excessive amount of time), with her DS – and former Team Sky director – Servais Knaven also forced to wave goodbye to this year’s Tour following the jury’s decision.

One quiet day at the Tour with no drama, that’s all I ask, one quiet day…

28 July 2023, 14:36
Veronica Ewers soldiers on despite horrible crash into ditch

Terrible news for American Tour de France Femmes hopeful Veronica Ewers, whose GC hopes look to be in tatters after she crashed off the road, landing hard in a ditch.

The 28-year-old, who finished ninth at last year’s Tour and fourth overall at the Giro Donne earlier this month, initially appeared to have suffered a broken collarbone, with medics attempting to put her arm in a sling, but is now back on her bike (albeit tentatively). According to Iris Slappendel, reporting on the race from a motorbike for GCN-Eurosport, Ewers – despite clearly being in pain – looks set to try to make it to today’s finish in Blagnac.

Stage four winner Yara Kastelijn, now in the Queen of the Mountains jersey, also went down in the crash, though it’s EF Education-TIBCO-SVB’s Ewers, sitting 15th overall ahead of the race-defining weekend in the mountains, who came off worst, and even if she does make it to the finish today, her hopes of a top placing in Pau have almost certainly gone up in smoke.

28 July 2023, 13:58
“It takes two to tango”: Cycling photographer says “cyclists have become very disrespectful towards letting motorcycles pass” during races

Tour de France Femmes rider Kathrin Hammes’ close call with a race motorbike earlier this week has certainly divided opinion among current pros and ex-riders.

While Hammes and her EF team acknowledged that “these things happen in races”, and even actively argued in favour of the moto pilot to the race jury, riders’ union president Adam Hansen was scathing of the controversial manoeuvre and said that motorbike riders “need better education”.

For Hammes and Hansen, their admittedly differing views of the incident stem from their years racing in the pro peloton, navigating (and occasionally dodging) its plethora of motor vehicles.

Kathrin Hammes nearly clipped by motorbike rider on stage four, 2023 Tour de France Femmes (GCN)

> Motorbike riders slammed for pushing and clipping Tour de France Femmes rider, after Jumbo-Visma claim race-ending crash was caused by moto

But what about the view from the back of the moto?

Cycling photographer Drew Kaplan, who has spent quite a bit of time on the back of a motorbike during races, has claimed that some pros are becoming “very disrespectful” towards those using an engine to get to the finish.

“As a photographer sitting on the back of press bikes, I have to say that some cyclists have become very disrespectful towards letting motorcycles pass,” Kaplan wrote on Facebook, under our post on the incident involving Hammes.

“Not saying it’s all the riders fault but it takes two to tango. Motorcycles used to sound the horn and riders would take the left or right of the road – allowing for safe passage of the motorcycle.

“Nowadays you’d be happy to find riders allowing you to pass safely…

“With that said it should be within the motorist’s discretion not to pass and wait for a better spot.”

I feel this could be a debate that will continue to rumble on…

28 July 2023, 13:24
Things we like to see: Cyclists with a sense of humour

FDJ-Suez’s Australian star Grace Brown here, pulling the now classic Demi Vollering-style ‘celebrating just in case I’ve won, for the photos’ pose at the finish in Albi yesterday… as she finished 35th.

Brilliant (just don’t tell SD Worx…).

28 July 2023, 12:52
Look away now, Trafford Council…

The world cycling championships and some decent infrastructure changes? There’s a local authority in Greater Manchester that would be well advised to take some notes…

28 July 2023, 11:44
I hear the train a-comin’, it’s rolling round the bend: Nine Tour de France Femmes riders allowed to continue despite missing time cut – due to being held up by a train

We’ve been getting all up in arms lately about the influence of motorbikes in races, thanks to some of the chaos at this month’s Tours, but yesterday’s stage of the Tour de France Femmes saw the long-awaited comeback of the original disruptor of cycling events: the train.

At the end of the relentless stage to Albi, a group of nine riders, including former British champion Alice Barnes (below), crossed the line 24.22 down on winner Ricarda Bauernfeind – almost two minutes over the time limit for the day of 22.29.

Alice Barnes, 2023 Tour de France Femmes (A.S.O./Thomas Maheux)

(A.S.O./Thomas Maheux)

However, last night, the nine riders were reinstated and allowed to continue their Tour today – but as one of the group, Marjolein van ‘T Geloof, explained on Twitter, the decision didn’t stem from pity on the part of the race organisers.

“We had to stop for the train with 2km to go. They took the time of that we stopped and we had to sprint to the line. They did not pity us,” she said.

The UCI jury accepted that the riders were delayed by their untimely stop at a level crossing by 2.10, seventeen seconds more than the time they finished outside the limit, and gave them back the time they lost while waiting for the train to pass, as well as their spots at the Tour.

> French railway calls for prosecutions of Paris-Roubaix crossing-dodgers

As we saw at yesterday’s Tour Femmes, despite the efforts of organisers to schedule races and their routes around train timetables, the railway network still manages to put an abrupt stop to proceedings on the road from time to time.

This has proved especially the case over the years at the spring classics – at the 2020 Tour of Flanders, the peloton was forced to put the brakes on at a level crossing, with the break six minutes ahead up the road (usually, unless it’s a pretty swift halt, the organisers will slow the breakaway down to ensure the time gaps remain the same before the level crossing).

Riders ignore barriers at Paris-Roubaix

Things were a little less clear cut at the 2015 Paris-Roubaix, however, after several riders (stupidly) decided to hell with the rapidly closing barriers and the waiting policeman’s instructions, and ploughed on through a crossing anyway, with one barrier even clipping a Lotto-Soudal rider – second before a TGV hurtled down the tracks.

That particularly foolish attempt to gain a few seconds at the Hell of the North was condemned by French rail company SNCF, who described the riders’ actions as “extremely serious and irresponsible”.

28 July 2023, 11:12
‘Are you really sure you want to use the drinking in the pub analogy for a story about driving?’ ‘Yeah, yeah, it works perfectly’

I’m not sure this BBC London News reporter considered that there might be somewhat more serious implications for someone driving their car to go “for a drink in a pub” than just having to pay the ULEZ charge…

28 July 2023, 10:36
What is that seatpost all about?

The design of Team GB’s new Hope-Lotus Olympic track bike – set to make its debut at next week’s (next week!) Glasgow world championships – is certainly striking to say the least…

2023 Hope-Lotus bike

> Lotus and Hope reveal new British Olympic track bike: what’s going on with that seatpost?

What do you reckon? Is it the epitome of modern track cycling fashion, or all speed and no style?

28 July 2023, 10:21
ULEZ signs - Licensed CC BY 2.0 by Matt Brown on Flickr
ULEZ expansion legal, High Court rules

Some breaking news from the High Court this morning, as the planned expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to outer London – set to take place at the end of August – has been deemed legal, putting an end to legal action launched by five Conservative-led councils.

According to London mayor Sadiq Khan’s plans, the ULEZ – inside which motorists will be charged £12.50 a day for driving non-compliant, high-polluting cars – will be extended to outer London from 29 August, a decision described by the Labour politician as “not easy but necessary to reduce the capital's toxic air pollution”.

Stop ULEZ protest, London, 29 January 2023 (The Havering Daily)

> Boris Johnson blasts “unnecessary” ULEZ expansion as “mad lefty tax” designed to “rake in money from hard-pressed motorists”

Since the start of 2023, Khan has faced increasing pressure from local authorities to reconsider the expansion. Eleven of the 19 outer London councils initially expressed their apprehension towards the scheme over issues such as the seven-month timescale of implementation (which they believe does not give residents enough time to switch vehicles), the scrappage policy, and poor public transport links.

In the end, it was the Conservative-controlled Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Harrow, and Hillingdon councils who launched legal action over the expanded ULEZ, after publicly declaring that they would “do everything in our power to stop it from going ahead”.

But this morning, the High Court ruled that the expansion is in fact legal, meaning it will go ahead as planned.

> Whose ULEZ is it anyway? Political chicanery as clean air zone set to expand to outer London

Following the ruling, active travel charity Sustrans have now called on the councils who took the scheme to the High Court to collaborate with Khan to make London a more attractive place to live.

“We support the Mayor’s efforts to make the whole of London a cleaner, greener city for everyone in all postcodes,” Sustrans London Director, James Cleeton says.

“It would be great to see more energy from these councils put into constructively working with the Mayor to improve public transport, increase public green space and come up with smart ideas that would reduce harmful vehicle pollution fairly for the benefit of everyone.

“No responsible government at local, regional or national level, can let a situation continue where children, who have no voice in this debate, suffer stunted lungs and 4,000 people die prematurely each year because the air in London is so dirty, falling well short of World Health Organisation guidelines.

“It is for the people we elect to make these difficult decisions for the benefit of the whole population and our support is with those leaders who persevere with creating a healthier city.”

28 July 2023, 09:54
“That’s not a cycle lane, that’s a car door lane”: Is this the worst cycle lane design in the world?
Altrincham contraflow cycle lane (Bob Sweet)

> Council says green paint “will heighten drivers’ awareness”, as cyclists blast “dreadful” new contraflow cycle lane as “an accident waiting to happen”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Trafford Council’s latest attempt at cycling infrastructure in Altrincham (yes, apparently that is supposed to be a cycle lane. Can’t you tell from all the green paint?) hasn’t gone down too well in the comments section and on social media.

Here’s a selection of some of your thoughts on the brand spanking new slap of paint – sorry, I mean cycle lane…

“That’s not intended to be a cycle lane, it’s simply a path for passengers to exit the car surely? It might have been financed from the active travel funding though,” says road.cc reader Muddy Ford.

“Cyclists should not have to ‘proceed with increased caution’ along any marked cycle lane,” added brooksby. “If they do then the cycle lane is a failure.”

Meanwhile, tootsie323 said: “Apparently, ‘there were no concerns raised relating to the risk of vehicles crossing the cycle lane’. Based on what I see, whoever drew that conclusion must have ‘audited’ this with their eyes closed and hands over their ears, shouting la la la la la la...”

Over on Twitter (or whatever), Eddy wrote: “For those at the back not concentrating (and I mean you Trafford Council) paint is not infrastructure. Paint is not protection. This is worse than nothing. Well paid ‘professionals’ designed and signed this off. They should be ashamed of themselves.”

While Mungecrundle reckons they have the insider info on how this particular lane in Altrincham came about:

Positioning parked vehicles so that passengers open their door into live traffic (but it’s only a cycle lane) - Check

Ensure restricted forward vision for drivers of RHD vehicles pulling away whilst having to simultaneously look backwards - Check

Ensure cyclists are going against the one-way motor traffic to ensure maximum combined impact speed when they are knocked into the oncoming traffic - Check

Paint it a nice green to show that everything is nice and safe - Check

It’s almost as though anyone involved in designing this cyclist trap, approved it, built it, signed it off or now tout it as good cycle infrastructure doesn’t have a shred of competence.

Maybe they will at least now get a pre-prepared press release together explaining how the inevitable KSI was completely unexpected.

Everyone seems pretty pleased with the new bike lane, I reckon… 

28 July 2023, 09:25
“I f***ing love you guys”: Absolute scenes in the team car as Maggie Bäckstedt celebrates Ricarda Bauernfeind’s sensational stage win

Away from all the drafting and time penalty controversies, yesterday’s stage of the Tour de France Femmes to Albi really belonged to Canyon-Sram’s 23-year-old German prospect Ricarda Bauernfeind, who attacked with 40km to go, before dropping British rider Claire Steels and soloing to a sensational breakthrough win, holding on in the run-in despite the looming, panic-inducing threat of Marlen Reusser and Liane Lippert chasing from behind.

Ricarda Bauernfeind wins stage five of the 2023 Tour de France Femmes (A.S.O./Thomas Maheux)

(A.S.O./Thomas Maheux)

Welcome to the big time, Ricarda.

And it’s safe to say that Bauernfeind’s rampaging performance went down well in the Canyon-Sram team car, where one or two familiar faces – namely former Paris-Roubaix winner (and dad of Zoe and Elynor) Magnus Bäckstedt and Northern Irish ex-pro and Rás Tailteann winner Stephen Gallagher – erupted as the young German crossed the line…

Scenes.

Also, bonus points go to Gallagher for his pitch perfect impression of ‘your mate at the end of a big night out’: “I f***ing love you guys”. Classic.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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11 comments

Avatar
Hirsute | 7 months ago
3 likes

I see LTNs are up for review because drivers.

"The Prime Minister, then, saying that if you walk, wheel, cycle, take the bus or the train, he is *not* on your side."

Now what exactly are the numbers for car ownership in a ULEZ area ?

 

Meanwhile

https://twitter.com/transportgovuk/status/1684494149825826819

//pbs.twimg.com/media/F2CGakCWYAAYk22?format=png&name=small)

"Rishi Sunak has a point - it's so difficult for an ordinary bloke to travel by car these days that he often has to take a helicopter to Southampton"

Avatar
David9694 replied to Hirsute | 7 months ago
1 like

They scented blood in Uxbridge. 

At some point, probably when it's too late, UK public opinion will turn massively on climate change.  I would not want to have a back-catalogue of policies or articles that denied it.

Avatar
Hirsute | 7 months ago
4 likes

Kills a 13 year old by 'careless driving'
9 months in a youth offenders jail.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-66335933

The judge told him he would spend up to half of the nine months in a youth offender institution before being released on licence.

He was also banned from driving for three years and must take an extended test to get his licence back.

Broken Britain

Avatar
kinderje | 7 months ago
2 likes

Why couldn't Vollering and SD Worx just hold their hands up and admit they overdid the drafting? DDS says that they reached the line of cars then went behind Vollering but everyone can see that they tried to tow her furthere along the convoy, even passing another rider.

Or do they think that because they win 'everything' they should be allowed to do whatever they want?

Also, DS car for Canyon/SRAM showed some appalling driving - I know it's near the end of the race but Magnus was pulled over and hugged by his passenger!!!

Avatar
Carior replied to kinderje | 7 months ago
4 likes

Indeed - hard to see any justification for bombing up past a row of team cars, onto a verge and wedging another rider (who wasn't getting towed back up) between your vehicle and another team car.  It's dangerous and taking the p**s - then after you've been warned to throw a bit more egg into the pudding by a blatant sticky bottle is just thick!

To be frank, all these statements, protestation and slandering commissaires makes them look foolish, disrespectful and is detrimental to the race and the fantastic women who have produced some fun/frenetic racing.  SD Worx should be getting a fine with a few more zeros on it after this for bringing the race into disrepute.

I have always liked AVV but on this one she couldn't be more wrong!

Avatar
Simon E replied to Carior | 7 months ago
4 likes

Carior wrote:

hard to see any justification for bombing up past a row of team cars, onto a verge and wedging another rider (who wasn't getting towed back up) between your vehicle and another team car.  It's dangerous and taking the p**s - then after you've been warned to throw a bit more egg into the pudding by a blatant sticky bottle is just thick!

Having watched it more than once, I couldn't believe that they thought it was OK, never mind that they choose to slag off the commissaires!

Lanterne Rouge, Lizzy Banks on The Cycling Podcast (speaking with authority and good knowledge of both the rule book and the reality) and others have slammed SD Worx for doing it and their defence. I have to wonder about the ethics of people like this; what else are they prepared to do to win?

My biggest issue with this stuff is that one day someone will get seriously hurt or even killed with a stunt like this - maybe in this race, maybe in a smaller event. The reason 'puppy paws' was banned was because kids were copying them in youth circuit races (something I had seen for myself at local events).

I'm becoming less and less enamoured with pro racing, it just seems to be an escalating money-throwing exercise & technology battle, partly to sell stupidly-priced stuff to us plebs. The carbon footprint of each event is becoming ridiculous and impossible to justify for me. I'd rather read about the people and places in the recent Pan Celtic Race from Brittany to Llandudno or the Transcontinental (TCR #9), which is under way at the moment.

Avatar
Awavey replied to kinderje | 7 months ago
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the thing with penalties like this is consistency, but we know they never are consistent there will be examples of just as "bad" sticky bottles and motor pacing today, tomorrow, in the next race and so on some might get picked, some wont. So yeah its probably a fair time penalty, but apply it to everyone doing it not just the ones the tv cameras linger on. As for Dannys exclusion, I presume he said something a bit more forthright to the jurors which triggered it, should have used Dutch if they only speak English or French though.

But when they reached the line of the cars, the problem is  where does the SD Worx car go, if it just tags on the back of the line, actually it could get fined for being out of position, as has already happened in this race to another team, so they go alongside the line to retake their position maybe the other car in the "overtake lane" convinced them it was ok to do that, but there are other cars getting in the way or not getting out of the way to create the space so what do you want them to do, an emergency stop with a rider inches off the bumper ? or keep going and try to pick a way through, it wasnt pretty thats for sure, but I think it looks worse a situation because we normally dont see these kinds of shenanigans going on, so it shocks us but I think its a fairly normal situation in the team car line.

as for the whole wheel change thing, its not disc brakes that causes these issues, its teams not practising the change under pressure situations, so they fumble the ball to mix metaphors and inevitably make the situation worse. If they practiced the changes properly did it on muscle memory, theyd be much more relaxed when these situations arise and the change would be as quick.

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brooksby replied to kinderje | 7 months ago
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kinderje wrote:

Why couldn't Vollering and SD Worx just hold their hands up and admit they overdid the drafting?

How much drafting is actually allowed? (before the authorities say, "No more!")

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kinderje replied to brooksby | 7 months ago
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Haven't got a clue but they were arguing that they got to the convoy and then stopped the drafting when it was obvious that they continued on for a while. And then the blatant sticky bottle did them no favours.

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brooksby | 7 months ago
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Not a cycle related story, so feel free to ignore, but pretty awful.

 

 

Family urge care on roads after woman, 83, loses legs in Tyneside bus accident

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/jul/28/family-urge-care-on-road...

Quote:

(Bus driver) Scott Cliff mistakenly thought Joan Scott (83) had previously dodged paying a fare and closed the doors as she attempted to board, Newcastle crown court heard.

Scott’s walking stick, which was strapped to her wrist, was trapped in the door and she was dragged down and trapped under the rear wheels when Cliff began to drive off.

...

Cliff, 49, from Hebburn in South Tyneside, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving and was jailed for 27 months.

 

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to brooksby | 7 months ago
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Unless she was a Twirly, I don't see how an OAP can "dodge a fare". 

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