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Motorcycle thieves using angle grinder foiled by passing cyclist; Peter Sagan leaving Bora; Wattbike CEO appeals to PM; Jeremy Vine hits back at taxi page demanding reg plates on bikes; Olympic underdog; LEJOG record updates + more on the live blog

It's Thursday and Dan Alexander will be keeping you up-to-date with the live blog while trying to dry out from last night's biblical commute...
29 July 2021, 15:59
Tour of Britain route includes time trial

Jumbo-Visma's Merijn Zeeman knows what's up...His team must have done something incredible to get the Tour of Britain organisers on side, either that or someone on the Dutch squad planned the route. You may as well hand Wout van Aert his jersey now.

Jumbo have, as of yet only, provisionally anounced three riders for the race: Wout van Aert, Dutch national TT champs bronze medallist Koen Bouwman and third on the opening TT of the Giro, Tobias Foss. Forget the other unnamed three, that might be enough...

Way to make the domestic conti teams feel welcome...

29 July 2021, 14:35
Thread: Why isn't that cyclist getting out of my way?

Chances are if you're reading this then you know the answer already...

29 July 2021, 14:11
Tour de France breakthrough rider Jonas Vingegaard rewarded with three-year deal at Jumbo-Visma
Pogacar, Vingegaard and Carapaz on 2021 Tour de France Stage 17 (picture credit A.S.O./Pauline Ballet)

Jonas the Dane will be a key part of Jumbo-Visma's plans to Vinge-guard Primoz Roglic at Grand Tours next year...24-year-old Vingegaard won a stage of UAE Tour earlier this year and earned a Tour de France call up when Tom Dumoulin took his break from the sport. The prospect took the chance with both hands, finishing second on GC at his debut Tour...

"I am very happy to extend my contract with the team," he said. "So far our cooperation has been successful and hopefully we will continue to achieve good successes in the future. I feel good here. That made it an easy and natural choice to stay longer with the team."

29 July 2021, 13:44
Peter Sagan to leave Bora-Hansgrohe at the end of the season
Peter Sagan's Paris-Roubaix-winning Specialized s-Works Roubaix (picture credit Specialized and Brakethrough Media)

The rumours had been circling for a while, Peter Sagan will leave Bora-Hansgrohe at the end of the season, it has today been confirmed. During his time with the German team, Sagan won the last of his three world titles, Paris-Roubaix (pictured above), two green jerseys and five stages of the Tour de France.

However, by his elite standards, the 31-year-old has struggled for form in the last couple of years, winning just a Giro d'Italia points jersey, two stages of the Giro d'Italia and one stage of Volta a Catalunya in the past 24 months. That's still more than most win in a career, but hey, that's what happens when you set the bar as high as Sagan has...

In a statement on his own website, Sagan thanked Bora-Hansgrohe and team boss Ralph Denk. "We have achieved so many things and even in difficult times, we stuck together. I think that we weren’t just teammates, we were part of a big family," Sagan said.

"However, after a long and thorough discussion with my own management and under a mutual agreement with Bora-Hansgrohe, we came to the decision that it would be best if my cycle in the team came to a close and that a new chapter opened in my career. Change is part of life and growth. I’m sure Bora-Hansgrohe will continue to be successful and I wish them all the best in the coming seasons."

After Patrick Lefevere emphatically squashed premature talk of Sagan signing for Deceuninck-Quick-Step, the word on the street has been the Slovakian star will be off to Team TotalEnergies for 2022. We'll see...

29 July 2021, 12:28
London cyclist confronts motorbike thieves using angle grinder to steal bike

MailOnline have this footage from a semi-pro cyclist called James Richards who spotted the thieves cutting through locks using an angle grinder. He said all four suspects fled the scene, although one left a white Nike trainer behind. Police are investigating the incident which saw the attempted theft of a £13,000 Honda Africa Twin motorcycle from an east London street.

The cycling cameraman and a bystander apparently foiled the getaway by pushing the thief over as he left with the bike, causing him to flee empty-handed. Richards was walking home from training when he saw the group near Spitalfields.

"I was walking back from training and came across a white van and two mopeds parked in the road outside Tracey Emin's old house," he told MailOnline. "I automatically began filming. There was a man angle grinding the chain off a large sport bike. I wanted to film their faces so I went towards the two mopeds, I then approached the man with the angle grinder at which point he came at me with it.

"I wasn't really afraid, they're just idiot kids. I think they didn't want the hassle. Their plan was to load the bike into the white van, however the van and one of the mopeds drove away as it became clear I was calling the police and filming, leaving two men and a single moped on their own."

A Met Police spokesman said: "Police were called at 11:37hrs following reports of a group of males attempting to steal a motorcycle. A member of the public intervened and the males then fled prior to police arrival. There have been no arrests; enquiries continue."

29 July 2021, 11:31
Fred Wright back racing at Herne Hill Velodrome after first Tour de France with Bahrain Victorious
29 July 2021, 10:32
Wattbike urges Boris Johnson to do more for UK businesses as surging costs for shipping and materials hike Atom prices up by £100
Wattbike Atom (press release)

Wattbike CEO, Rich Baker has called for the PM's help as British manufacturers are "bearing the brunt" of surging shipping costs. Customers will bear the brunt too, however, as the brand announces its flagship home trainer, the Wattbike Atom, is set for a five per cent price rise from £1,899 to £1,999 from Monday. Baker warned that prices across its range will have to rise to address spiralling costs within international shipping and parts.

"We’re calling on the Prime Minister to intervene," Baker said. "During the pandemic the message to everyone was keep exercising, stay fit and invest in your health. We’re now calling on the government to make sure that Wattbike can continue to offer our products at competitive prices and help keep the nation fit.

"We’re seeing shipping container charges 850% higher than normal and, whilst we’re not the only industry affected, this simply can’t go on. We’re calling on the Prime Minister to intervene on the ongoing international shipping chaos on behalf of manufacturers, consumers and businesses up and down the country who are bearing the brunt.

"At this rate, it’s inevitable that prices will rise across all imported goods and we’ve tried everything to avoid putting our prices up, with little help coming from Westminster. So we really want to see Boris get on his bike on this issue, for the good of all British consumers. We’ll even reserve him a Wattbike to build his fitness for the challenges ahead."

Ahead of the Euro 2020 final, Wattbike made the live blog after sending out a press release celebrating its, slightly tenuous, role in England's success...If only Marcus Rashford had thrashed out a few more intervals...

29 July 2021, 10:05
Christina Mackenzie update: Past the halfway point in LEJOG record attempt

Hats off to Mr Broadwith for these graphics. Christina Mackenzie is ahead of schedule and almost into Scotland. Not a bad day's riding. As you can see from the profile, the next stretch is the toughest with the big climbs north of the border still to come. At this rate we'll have the result for you at some point tomorrow...

29 July 2021, 09:35
Ineos Grenadiers pro Laurens De Plus to take a break from competition after viral illness diagnosis

Laurens De Plus is to take a break from cycling while he recovers from a viral illness. Ineos Grenadiers announced the news in a brief statement, saying they worked hard to diagnose the problem and the rider has their full support.

The Belgian has hopped across a few of the biggest teams in the sport, starting his career with Quick-Step, before a couple of years across the Dutch border with Jumbo-Visma. The 25-year-old joined Ineos Grenadiers at the start of the season on a three-year deal and had been touted by some as the possible long-term replacement for Dylan van Baarle in the Ineos Tour de France mountain train.

"The first job for me is to rest, then get back to physical activity step by step. The team will help me with regular meetings and medical checks to monitor how I am getting on over the next few months. Thankful for the incredible support by Ineos Grenadiers," De Plus wrote on Twitter. 

29 July 2021, 09:17
Syrian cyclist Ahmad Wais on representing the Refugee Team at Tokyo 2020

This is what the Olympics is all about...Syrian cyclist Ahmad Wais took on the big boys in the time trial yesterday, finishing 38th, 13 minutes off Primoz Roglic's time, but still with a strong average speed of 38.6km/h for the rolling 44.2km course. The 30-year-old rides for the Kuwait Pro Cycling Team and prepped for the Games with the Tour of Estonia. Forget the result, anyone with an Olympics on their CV gets kudos from me...

29 July 2021, 07:47
Jeremy Vine hits back at London taxi news site calling for registration plates on bikes

Taxi Leaks, 'London's no1 Taxi news website/blog', tagged Jeremy Vine in this video from the weekend of a crowd of people riding through the capital in a ride-out, thought to be linked to an anti-knife crime campaign. "Time for registration plates on all bikes", Taxi Leaks wrote, tagging Vine, London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman, Deputy Mayor of London for Transport Heidi Alexander and the Mayor of London himself, Sadiq Khan.

Vine got back to Taxi Leaks, replying: "They're kids on bikes. I wouldn't do it, but they aren't a danger to anyone else and probably not even to themselves. Stop, let them go, and be happy that they are not all racing Subaru Imprezas at 50mph. The only dangerous thing in this film is the motor vehicle."

Dan is the news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

Add new comment


IanGlasgow | 2 years ago

He seemed to be taking a long time to cut the lock with that angle grinder. Wonder what kind of lock was on it?

Rick_Rude | 2 years ago

Brave to confront anyone with an angle grinder, they are viscous things. Had a near accident with one stripping a bike frame. Wouldn't want to mess with one with a metal cutting disc on.

brooksby replied to Rick_Rude | 2 years ago

They're vicious, too  3

I wouldn't have done it, either.

wtjs | 2 years ago

Thread: Why isn't that cyclist getting out of my way?

Lancashire Constabulary thinks this as well! One of my prized possessions is the email from Sgt Lavin, Lancashire TacOps Blackpool, threatening to prosecute me under some section or other for obstructing a motorist. It turned out that as far as LC was concerned it was my fault the driver had been obliged to cross right over the double white lines on the dangerous Wyre Bridge, Garstang which is followed by a RH bend. I urged him to prosecute as it would have been a perfect test case for LC ignoring vehicles crossing unbroken white lines, red lights etc.- the berk never replied and I never heard from him again- maybe he's been put out to grass teaching at Police Academy.

Jenova20 | 2 years ago

For reference: Coronavirus led to port staff shortages, economic shutdowns. container shortages, and massive backlogs at ports, meaning that shipping containers increased in price last year from $2000, to the current ~$12,000. This problem affects all of Europe, plus the UK.

Some companies can afford the price increases, others are passing it on to consumers. If Wattbike expects special treatment, it won't happen, because every importer in Europe is looking at the same issue.

IanMK replied to Jenova20 | 2 years ago

It would be interesting to know whether he supports government intervention on all economic matters or whether it's just when the free market doesn't suit him.

wycombewheeler replied to IanMK | 2 years ago

IanMK wrote:

It would be interesting to know whether he supports government intervention on all economic matters or whether it's just when the free market doesn't suit him.

I have no issues with increased shipping costs, perhaps it will drive more local production or reduce the incredible amount of energy expended moving stuff around the world.

Jenova20 replied to IanMK | 2 years ago

IanMK wrote:

It would be interesting to know whether he supports government intervention on all economic matters or whether it's just when the free market doesn't suit him.

Some companies were asking MPs for this to be sorted at xmas when popular xmas gifts increased in price because containers were around $10,000. MPs can't sort this problem affecting all of Europe, because there is no simple solution, and hence today prices are slightly higher than then.

This will only be solved when coronavirus restrictions end and the economy goes back to normal. Be that months, or years from now.

OllieB | 2 years ago

Re Stuart Helmer's thread - was coming down Priory Lane this morning when a car hooted (thanks for letting my know you're behind me!) then zoomed past 10mph above the speed limit. Thing is, they were SO irate I wasn't using the bike lane, like i'd just sacrificed their first born on my way to work. It's sad it has come to this; in these peoples' eyes cyclists can never do right and unfort I don't see how anything on twitter will change that

Awavey replied to OllieB | 2 years ago

Was thinking the same, had several of the narrow road ones lately, & it's not so much the stopping starting thing that bugs me, its theres usually no room unless I chuck myself into a hedge. Yet I'm still expected to do that to save the driver 10-15secs it might take me to get to a better passing point. And then you dont even get acknowledged when you do make space.

As for the ones who just drive straight at you...another topic entirely.

Hirsute replied to Awavey | 2 years ago

I was impressed with a white van man earlier today. I made sure I got to the roadworks lights before the cyclist and expected the cyclist to be squeezed out (slighly uphill, into the wind as well). When I checked in the mirror, the driver was waiting patently !

OllieB replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago

Yes! Most people - and more than a few years ago - are really courteous and observant. Apart from that idiot it was a nice ride into work!

open_roads | 2 years ago

How does the CEO of Wattbike think that the UK Govt can resolve the global shortage of containers for freight transport?

The problem is across all industries and nearly all freight routes - and compounded by the reduction of air freight volumes. The main root cause is the concentration of supply chains for cheap production with no environmental controls and use of modern slavery  production in China, shortages of containers, shortage of vessels and finally crew issues caused by covid.


I love my bike | 2 years ago

I wonder how many riders of Boris Bikes (which all have visible ID numbers) have been contacted/reported due to annoying taxi drivers/anybody?

Also, how much effort would the police take in following up a report by a taxi driver that a cyclist broke the law (or more likely the taxi driver's idea of it)?

Carior replied to I love my bike | 2 years ago

I believe someone did a FOIA request on this when Professor Robert Winston, using his big professor brain, was carping on about this a few years ago and I think the answer was that across the like 15 years of London Cycle Scheme the answer was basically 0 people had ever been reported based on the license plate - i.e. its pointless from an enforcement perspective.

Jenova20 replied to I love my bike | 2 years ago

I love my bike wrote:

I wonder how many riders of Boris Bikes (which all have visible ID numbers) have been contacted/reported due to annoying taxi drivers/anybody?

Also, how much effort would the police take in following up a report by a taxi driver that a cyclist broke the law (or more likely the taxi driver's idea of it)?

I reported someone on one of those Wind scooters a while back for the way they were scooting (?) on the pavement; with another passenger, and zigzagging between pedestrians. They told me bluntly to just report it to the police in future.

open_roads | 2 years ago

The taxi drivers probably haven't worked this out yet - but many of their passengers are cyclists.

Their endless whinging about cyclists has been going on for years now - as has my own commitment to never give them any of my hard earned cash.

Muddy Ford replied to open_roads | 2 years ago

Ditto. I've stopped using taxis since they have risen to become the biggest anti-cycling bigot group. Obviously their thoughts have nothing to do with pedestrian or cyclist safety, but I suspect more to do with a fear of losing customers to a bike.

Zazz53 replied to Muddy Ford | 2 years ago
1 like

I had an amazing sensible conversation with a cabbie ten days ago - I thought he was going to be a bigot but turned out his critique of cycling and road infrastructure was nuanced and insightful.  When we arrived at my destination he turned off the clock and we chatted for  another five minutes about how We could get a joined up debate going between respectful road users!

Steve K replied to Zazz53 | 2 years ago

I once had a taxi driver call something out to me out of their window.  I was trying to work out what made up infringement I was going to be accused of, when I realised he was actually asking me for a review of my Garmin 1000.

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