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"This needs an exorcist, not a mechanic": You'll never train indoors without a towel again; Every bike rack has its thorn: Lidl cycle parking filled with plants; How to take Sa Calobra's KOM; Alaphilippe's "race against time" + more on the live blog

It's ̶M̶o̶n̶d̶a̶y̶ Tuesday... Dan Alexander is bringing you the live blog back after the long bank holiday weekend...
03 May 2022, 15:41
Olympic silver medallist Azizulhasni Awang undergoes open heart surgery

Malaysian track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang, who won Keirin silver at last summer's Tokyo Olympic Games, has undergone open heart surgery in Australia. The 34-year-old won bronze in Rio in 2016 before last year's silver, but began feeling chest pain in February.

Having been referred to a cardiologist, Awang was operated on last month, news he revealed in a post on social media. "This heart condition is very rare and the specialist in Australia had advised him to undergo corrective heart surgery as otherwise, the risk of cardiac arrest was very high," National Sports Institute chief executive officer Ahmad Faedzal Ramli said.  

03 May 2022, 15:30
Komoot maps the Giro d'Italia
Komoot Giro

Komoot is the Giro d'Italia's latest partner, and will offer fans routable stage maps and comprehensive guides to cycling in each region the 2022 race passes through. The 105th edition of the Giro d’Italia starts in Budapest on Friday, and finishes in Verona on May 29th.

The stage routes will allow fans to see what's on the menu each day, or download them for your own Giro-inspired cycling holiday. In addition to the pro routes, Komoot has over 30 hand-curated routes aimed at giving riders a more leisurely, cultural experience during their trip.

"Our collaboration with the Giro d’Italia perfectly supports our mission to make outdoor adventures accessible to all," Komoot CEO Markus Hallerman said. "We invest a lot of energy into enhancing our community’s cycling experiences and now, spectators of the Giro will be presented with routes to make their Giro experience even more meaningful. We are honoured and excited to be part of such a historical fixture on the professional cycling world stage." 

03 May 2022, 13:48
"This needs an exorcist, not a mechanic": You'll never train indoors without a towel again

Warning: if you do stuff like this and then expect a mechanic to sort it out, your local bike shop WILL hate you...

 It's as good an advert as any for making sure you use a towel when training indoors. You could stick this on turbo trainer boxes à la cigarette packaging to pretty good effect. Unfortunately, we haven't yet been able to track this hideous handlebar down to source (we'd love all the grizzly details on how many unprotected Zwift miles it takes) but apparently it came from a mechanics' forum where, presumably, everyone moans about how much they hate their job...

Either way, the sweat corroded handlebars found their way to Twitter (as all disgusting things do) where it was shared with the apt caption: "Qualified bike mechanics should make $1,000 an hour".

At least the replies were fun...

Incredibly, it wasn't even the most grim job to come from this...

Don't say it. Don't say it. Don't say it...

That's taking the piss...

03 May 2022, 12:23
Get it framed and in a museum

Van on the pavement, a bike rack looking like it's taken a beating, business open as usual... 

03 May 2022, 11:41
Monday mood...

That reminds sure to check out our feature on the crazy idea that just won't die...ironically, a description which perfectly summarises both the cranks...and our feature... 

03 May 2022, 11:32
Zéfal issues voluntary recall of Little Z children's bottles
Zéfal Little Z bicycle bottle

Zéfal has put out a voluntary recall of its Little Z children's bottles after some were found to not always meet safety standards. BikeBiz reports the brand released a statement explaining how tests showed that in "rare cases the push-pull valve may detach too easily.

There is a choking hazard in case the push-pull valve would detach while drinking. However, to date, we are not aware of any incidents or detaching valves. Nevertheless, since the affected bottles were specifically designed for children, out of an abundance of caution we have decided to voluntarily undertake a recall of the affected bottles.

03 May 2022, 10:47
Julian Alaphilippe faces "race against time" to make Tour de France, admits Patrick Lefevere
2022 Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 Julian Alaphilippe  - 3.jpg

World champion Julian Alaphilippe faces a challenge to return to fitness in time for the Tour de France, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team boss Patrick Lefevere has said. The 29-year-old suffered a collapsed lung and multiple fractures in a crash at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

> Julian Alaphilippe suffers collapsed lung and multiple fractures in huge crash at Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Writing in Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, Lefevere said there is a "big question" about whether the team's leader, who has won stages and worn the yellow jersey in each of the last three editions of the Tour, will be on the startline in Copenhagen. 

"The Tour starts on Friday 1 July, a week earlier than usual. That is of course not an advantage," Lefevere said.

"If, in the most favourable case, he is back on his bike in mid-May, he still has six weeks. Julian has to recover from a collapsed lung, a broken shoulder blade and two broken ribs, which have also been displaced. He's not allowed to move for three weeks, which is agony for him.

"A Tour with or without Alaphilippe makes a big difference, commercially and sportingly. What we are definitely not going to do is use Remco Evenepoel as a stand-in."

What odds a certain Manx sprinter could get a post-Giro call up?

03 May 2022, 10:29
If Carlsberg did team announcements...
03 May 2022, 10:12
Feeling déjà vu this morning?

It seems Lidl isn't the only one... 

In fairness, Lidl responded quickly, making us assume there'll be some sort of progress on this front. 

Owd Big 'ead reported similar issues at Aldi: "My local Aldi does exactly the same and never does anything to help myself or other cyclists regardless of how politely you ask. Their loss, they don't get my business anymore."

eburtthebike added: "I'm waiting with bated breath for the opening of the new Lidl in Lydney, and whether it has decent cycle parking, unlike the Co-op and Tesco. 

"Whatever, it's got to be better than the Sainsburys in Filton which had a rack that would block the emergency exit if you locked your bike to it, which I reported three times but had to get the Fire Brigade involved before the management did anything.  In an act of spite, they moved the cycle parking to as far away from the entrance as possible, so good on Lidl management for actually listening."

 Supermarket bike parking is becoming a genre of its own...

03 May 2022, 09:07
(Long) weekend round-up: Queenie's closure; Sticky bottle; Aluminium frames; Puncture fixes; Highway Code prompts video submission rise; Reviews + more
Constitution Hill 01 (copyright Simon MacMichael)

Sadly the bank holiday is over...but at least we get another four-day one at the start of June. Thanks for that, Queenie...

Your Royal Highness's platinum party has caused problems for some cyclists in London, however, with six-week road closures on a key cycleway not going down too well...

Elsewhere on the site this weekend, we brought you an opinion piece from Steve Thomas about aluminium frames being the work of the devil. Play nicely in the comments...

Other stuff you might have missed:

> Highway Code changes: video submissions made to police rise as cyclists urged to report law-breaking drivers

> Psst… 23 puncture-fixing hacks to get you out of trouble – for tubeless too

> Sticky everything: footage of Spanish pro hitching a lift from team car on climb goes viral

> Review: Cervelo R5 Force eTap AXS 2022

03 May 2022, 08:44
Behind the scenes of Ed Laverack's Sa Calobra KOM
03 May 2022, 07:52
Every bike rack has its thorn: Lidl cycle parking filled with... plants for sale

Sad to see the great legendary retail establishment that is Lidl — with its magical middle aisle, bakery happy hour, and reasonable price tags — being brought down by something so simple as perhaps not sticking all those plants for sale in the exact spot designated for those on bikes to park.

I'll forgive you, largely due to your weekly impact on my bank balance, but also as they got on it, at least...

We'll see if it's still there this time tomorrow...

Another reply, featuring some language a bit full on for easing back into life post-bank holiday, shared a similar snap from another Lidl store, while someone else speculated the cycle rack roses were probably in breach of the planning consent.

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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