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Mark Cavendish edits sign to mark 31st Tour de France stage win; Primoz Roglic reveals crash injuries; Rider protest; £100k for pothole claim cyclist; Rowe fined for 'insults'; Boardman tipped for National Cycling Commissioner role + more on the Live Blog

It's Tuesday and Liam Cahill is still in control of the Live Blog with help from Jack Sexty...
29 June 2021, 18:51
Hang on...

We'll go one better, and share Cav editing this sign to correctly read 31 victories rather than just the 30 he'd won as of summer 2016. Will we see him make it to 34 to level the great Eddy Merckx, or even 35 to surpass him this TDF? We wouldn't put it past the greatest sprinter of all time. 

> "The stars aligned” – Mark Cavendish wins first Tour de France stage win in five years

29 June 2021, 18:39
Cav "back where he belongs"

Class is permanent. On this - a memorable evening for many of us who reside on or in between the British Isles - we'll leave you with a bunch of uplifting Cav-related tweets. Whatever your talent, hobby, profession etc... never give up! 

29 June 2021, 15:18
"So many didn't believe in me": Cav talks to the press after amazing victory

Cavendish told ITV4 that he didn't believe he would ever come back to the Tour de France in an emotional interview, thanking his team for believing in him. 

The greatest sporting comeback of all time? We can't think of anything better. 

29 June 2021, 14:50
Cav takes stage 4 in dramatic sprint
Cavendish 2021 Tour de France


Mark Cavendish of Deceuninck Quick-Step has taken the win on stage 4 of the Tour de France!

After a half-hearted rider protest at the top of the day, the pace gradually ramped up and the expected sprint finish looked certain to materialise.

Brent van Moer held off the chasing pack for a surprising amount of time, going solo from the breakaway with just over 10km left to ride. It looked good for the 23 year-old Lotto Soudal rider who has form with this sort of move.

Moer took stage 1 of the Criterium du Daupine at the end of last month and while the sprint teams waited for a team to really take up the chase, Moer buried himself to hold the gap at over a minute until the final 6 kilometres.

But it was the Manx Missile that turned the clock back to take the sprint and it's what we love to see.

29 June 2021, 14:41
TDF stage 4 update: Cav wins... the intermediate sprint

He might not have took the stage yet, but Cav has shown his intent by taking an intermediate sprint. Will the Manxman put the icing on the cake of his remarkable comeback this afternoon? 

29 June 2021, 14:00
The other Geraint Thomas is having problems again

Probably more so at this time of year more than any other, the Twitter notifications of Geraint Thomas (not a professional cyclist) are flooded with things meant FAO Geraint Thomas (professional cyclist). As can be seen from this pinned tweet we expect that it peaked three years ago when Geraint Thomas (professional cyclist) won the Tour de France; but still Geraint Thomas (a university lecturer in visual effects, not a pro cyclist) is having to virtually bat them off left, right and centre... 

Looking forward to the Olympics, other Geraint Thomas? 

29 June 2021, 12:32
Cyclist gets £100,000 compensation from Surrey County Council for pothole injuries
Pothole (copyright Simon MacMichael).jpg

An FOI request has revealed that Surrey Council alone paid £400,00 in compensation for pothole-related incidents between April 2019 and March 2020, and one of those was a £100,000 payout for a single cyclist's claim. Surrey Live report that the council is yet to confirm if the pothole in question on Leith Hill Road in Dorking has been fixed.  

Countrywide, councils in England paid out £8.3 million in compensation claims and legal fees in the same period. Manchester topped the charts, with claims totalling £1,165,279. 

29 June 2021, 12:17
That smug feeling of being Swiss on a mostly French breakfast table

Following a shock result for the Swiss national football team over their neighbours last night at the European champs, Stefan Kung of Groupama–FDJ (a French team, whose riders are overwhelmingly French)  decided to rub it in at breakfast. Guess who's going to be on bottle-fetching duty for Groupama during today's stage...

29 June 2021, 11:57
Rider protest: reports of 'disjointed stoppage', and CPA recognise mini-protest

While denying that a protest would take place an hour ago, the CPA has now tweeted "in solidarity" with the riders, who stopped at kilometre 0 as rumoured.

tour de france protest screenshot 29 june

According to our news editor Simon MacMichael, the protest looked disjointed with a number of riders - including Julian Alaphilippe - appearing to be unhappy with what was going on. 

To refresh those who aren't regular followers of pro cycling, the CPA, which has existed since 1999, is a not-for-profit organisation set up to defend the interests of professional cyclists. The mission statement on its website says: "The CPA works towards giving riders the opportunity to defend their interests, see their rights respected, and demand improved working conditions. Gathered in the strong and cohesive community of the CPA, the riders can make their voices heard in negotiations and in the dialogue with the other key players of world cycling, such as UCI, teams, and race organisers."

29 June 2021, 11:36
Tour de France stage 4 underway: riders plan to pause then ride first 10km 'slowly' in protest, while CPA deny official protest will take place

To protest against yesterday's route following a stage marred by horrendous crashes, it was reported that riders will pause for a minute at kilometre 0 (which should be coming up any second now at the time of writing) and will ride the first 10km slowly. 

There were some suggestions that any protest would be cancelled, as teams failed to reach an agreement. Here is the CPA's statement on the matter (translated) released about an hour ago, that denies that any official protest will take place: 

After the crashes during the third stage of the Tour de France, the riders discussed the measures to be taken to underline their dissatisfaction and the lack of attention on problems related to safety.

Although their frustration is great with foreseeable and preventable incidents, the riders wish to underline the respect they express towards their sponsors, their sports groups, the organisers and their international institutions. The spectators are very important to them, so that is why they will be practicing their profession as professional cyclists today.

The riders of the Tour de France ask, in return for the respect they express, the same for their physical integrity, which is why they are asking the UCI to set up discussions with all the parties and stakeholders to adapt the 3km rule during stage races.

With this noble proposal, the riders intend to show their understanding to all parties and to open up to a constructive dialogue rather than prompting actions that could create difficulties for cycling and the fans. However, the riders and the CPA will be determined to pursue the changes that are more than necessary.

29 June 2021, 11:04
Fastest LEJOG in history completed by relay team

As that stage was pretty hectic yesterday, we're still catching up from some weekend news on home soil... a big one being the setting of a new provisional Guinness World Record for riding LEJOG as a relay team, who completed the official route in a time of 38 hours 54 minutes - for reference, the Road Records Association record for an individual on a conventional bicycle is held by Michael Broadwith, who completed the route in 43 hours 25 minutes back in 2018

The team of 12, which included Torq Fitness owner Matt Hart, had to pass a GPS-enabled baton during changeovers to satisfy Guinness rules. "By relay, Steve meant splitting the route into sections and each rider having 3-4 focussed efforts of roughly an hour, taking it in turns to do the distance whilst passing a GPS baton", as it's explained on the Torq Fitness website. 

Starting at 5am on Saturday, the team finished at around 8pm on Sunday, smashing their 40 hour target and raising £640 for the Jigsaw charity at the time of writing


29 June 2021, 10:55
Suplest bring out Spartacus to show off shiny new EDGE+ GAME ON ltd edition shoes

A post shared by suplest (@suplestshoes)

Cancellera is rocking the new EDGE+ GAME ON shoes that are "vivid and ready to perform where the sports world is competing", according to Suplest. Two BOA dials sit atop of the Japanese microfiber upper, and the carbon sole has Suplest's 'Solestar' insole that allows "an efficient boost power to the pedal during the whole ride."

suplest Game On shoes 2021

All that attention to detail and borrowing Fabian Cancellara for your promo means these shoes don't come cheap - they're priced at 379 euros on the Suplest website

29 June 2021, 10:45
More war wounds for Jumbo-Visma

A post shared by VeloKicks (@velokicks)

Unfortunately for Steven Kruijswijk this isn't the latest hip custom shoe design from VeloKicks, just a very bloodied leg. 

kruijswijk insta stories 29 june.PNG

Kruijswijk himself shared the pic via his Instagram account apologising for messing up Sepp Kuss's bike. Those two Euro last 16 matches were definitely eventful last night, but not this eventful!

29 June 2021, 10:24
"The situation is far from good": Primoz Roglic will "see how it goes" on stage 4

The Slovenian is one of many battered riders taking to the start line today, but arguably he is more battered than most... at 1m 35 secs down in the general classification and 56 secs behind his main rival and countryman Pogacar, can Roglic do the unthinkable and get himself back into contention in this state? 

29 June 2021, 08:17
The Times names Chris Boardman as favourite to oversee active travel in England
Chris Boardman in Copenhagen (copyright

The Times' Transport Editor, Nicholas Hellen reports that Chris Boardman is currently favourited to become England's first National Cycling and Walking Commissioner.

If accurate, the claim, which appeared in the print version of the Sunday Times, would see the former Olympic champion aim to take the successes and knowledge gained during his time as Greater Manchester's Cycling Commissioner and apply it on a national scale. 

Hellen suggests that one of the main aims will be to entice a portion of school run parents out of their cars, with safe cycles lanes being key to this aim.

Back in February, Grant Shapps said that the government wants “half of all journeys in towns and cities to be walked or cycled by 2030,”  however, Shapps lacked information regarding the funding that would be made available past 2025 to make this possible.

The move to appoint a Walking and Cycling Commissioner in a national role could be one step towards achieving this goal.

29 June 2021, 07:30
TDF situation update

Yesterday's stage was another that was marred by big crashes with Roglic's mountain domestique Robert Gesink and GC hopeful Jack Haig failing to finish. Aussie sprinter Caleb Ewan is also out after a high-speed crash in the closing meters. Here's where things stand.

Ineos Grenadiers look to have come through the carnage with the best GC placing. Giro winner Richard Carapaz is in third, just 31" down on yellow. Wilco Kelderman is quietly sitting at 38" while last year's winner Tadej Pogacar is at 39". Geraint Thomas is at 1'07" while Primoz Roglic had a disastrous day, slipping to 1'35". 

Tour de France 2021 stage 4

It's another sprint stage today and given their dominance yesterday, Alpecin-Fenix will be feeling confident about launching Belgian Tim Merlier to a second stage win. 

29 June 2021, 07:17
Rowe wasn't happy with race officials' decision to allow Geraint Thomas no help

Ineos Grenadiers rider Luke Rowe has been handed a 300CHF fine and docked 20 UCI points for "assault, intimidation, insults, threats, or improper conduct."

Rowe said in a tweet that once he had helped Thomas back to the peloton, he "spoke to the jury and said this was not correct under the extreme circumstances of a nasty crash and a mangled shoulder."

Rowe admitted that "I shouted at the jury and said some words I shouldn’t of."

Rowe has a very valid point and you can see why he was angry when Primoz Roglic crashed with 10km to go. The Jumbo Visma team car came past Roglic and his teammates and proceeded to sit in front of the group, towing them up to what was the second group on the road and limiting the time that Roglic lost in the general classification.

While Rowe was indeed wrong to speak in the way that he did, the lack of consistency in which the rules are applied must be incredibly frustrating.

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