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Josh Quigley abandons seven-day cycling distance world record attempt due to injury; Cyclist films close encounter with alligator; More than 100 stolen bikes donated to NHS staff; Cav reflects on recent wins; Sagan to the Giro + more on the live blog

It's almost time for another bank holiday so let Dan Alexander take you through to the three-day weekend on the live blog...
30 April 2021, 15:54
Marc Soler wins stage three of Tour de Romandie

One of the stars of Movistar's Netflix documentary Marc Soler had a message for the haters as he crossed the finish line at the Tour de Romandie today...

The Spaniard attacked on the final climb and survived until the end in what can only be described as miserable conditions. Magnus Cort beat Peter Sagan in the sprint for second. Tomorrow's summit finish at the 2,000m high Thyon 2000 climb has been brought forwards due to expected rain and snow. Sounds fun.

30 April 2021, 15:09
British Cycling updates National Road Series calendar
British Cycling logo

British Cycling has updated us on their plans for the 2021 HSBC National Road Series. The rounds in Sheffield (14 July), Colne (20 July) and the Midlands (30 July) have been cancelled due to "ongoing challenges associated with Covid-19". It is hoped the rounds in Otley and Barnsley, scheduled for 30 June and 9 July respectively will go ahead and British Cycling hinted at the possibility of adding a new round for both the men's and women's series. 

The National Road Championships has not been cancelled but will move to a new date later in the year, which will be announced in the current weeks. The event had originally been scheduled for 24-27 June.

British Cycling's head of sport and major events Jonathan Day explained the challenge for race organisers. "While we have been really encouraged by the appetite for racing since the resumption of activities on March 29, it is sadly clear that difficulties remain in securing the necessary local permissions required for hosting larger scale events.

"We are incredibly thankful for the efforts of all of our event organisers and look forward to welcoming those which have sadly been cancelled today back onto the calendar in 2022. The team is also continuing to support those organisers whose events remain on the calendar, and after a challenging 12 months we’re excited to get things underway at the Women’s CiCLE Classic on June 27th."

30 April 2021, 14:15
A video to make your legs hurt

Oof, that is steep...wonder if this is Rigo training to finally drop that pesky backpack-wearing local in his baggy khakis... 

30 April 2021, 13:55
Primal Europe launches 'Shut Up Legs' collaboration with former pro rider Jens Voigt
Primal 'Shut Up Legs' kit.PNG

Primal Europe has teamed up with Jens Voigt and his iconic 'Shut Up Legs' brand to bring out some flashy new kits with the former pro rider's catchphrase prominent in the design. The range includes four striking jersey and bib short combinations, including a navy jersey with 'Shut Up Legs' literally written all over it to remind you what to do on that killer final climb of a long ride.

"Early in my career, at some of my first races, I realised that attacking is just my nature. I am a person that acts instead of reacts," Voigt explained. "It’s the same with a lot of things in life. If you come to a room where nobody knows anybody else, instead of having an embarrassing silence, I just break the silence and chat to the first person next to me. It’s the same in cycling. I like to make things happen."

Well, that is the philosophy behind the man. The kits look quite cool too...

30 April 2021, 12:52
Josh Quigley forced to abandon seven-day cycling distance world record attempt due to injury

Unfortunately Josh Quigley had to abandon his seven-day cycling distance world record attempt this lunchtime due to an injury. Josh covered more than 1,200 miles in the first five days and was chasing down the 2,177-mile target by trying to ride 320 miles each day. His efforts were made more remarkable by the fact that as recently as January, he was hospitalised with multiple fractures following a training crash in Dubai.

That incident was just over a year since he was forced to abandon his around-the-world attempt after a horror collision with a driver in Texas left him with a punctured lung and multiple fractures. In September he broke the North Coast 500 record, covering the 516-mile route across the Scottish Highlands in 31 hours, five minutes faster than the previous best.

30 April 2021, 12:36
Your Reilly, your way

Here is a fitting tribute to renowned framebuilder Mark Reilly who sadly died last month. Mark's legacy will live on with every ride cyclists make using one of his frames. As you can see in this video, there are plenty of them.

30 April 2021, 11:16
Peter Sagan to ride the Giro d'Italia as Bora-hansgrohe announce line-up for first Grand Tour of the season

As expected Peter Sagan will be on the start line in Turin next Saturday for the Giro d'Italia. Sagan debuted at the race last season, winning stage ten. The three-time world champion appears to be in good form ahead of the Giro having won Wednesday's first road stage of the Tour de Romandie and he should get another crack at victory later today. Sagan will be joined by the team's GC hopeful Emanuel Buchmann who finished fourth at the Tour de France in 2019.

30 April 2021, 10:51
"The Tour of Turkey is not the Tour de France, but just to win again after some years of physical and psychological difficulties is something special": Cav reflects on Tour of Turkey wins
Mark Cavendish Tour of Turkey stage 4 podium - credit Stuart Franklin Getty Images

Mark Cavendish penned a blog on Deceuninck-Quick-Step's website to reflect on his winning return at the Tour of Turkey. The 30-time Tour de France stage winner explained the emotion of being back on the top step of the podium, regardless of the fact it was not at a Grand Tour or WorldTour race.

"The Tour of Turkey is not the Tour de France, but just to win again after some years of physical and psychological difficulties is something special. Raising my hands is super emotional, as I felt a lot of people had just given up on me over the last years. But Patrick [Lefevere] believed in me, I owe him so much. He is my hero.

"I’ll work towards my next races now. I want to help the team where and when is possible and enjoy every day on the bike with The Wolfpack, because whatever comes from now on is a bonus."

Cav won four stages of the race but was just as happy to see teammate Fabio Jakobsen back in the peloton. "It’s amazing seeing the guys work for me and afterwards celebrating together. Especially Fabio, having done this Tour of Turkey with him is incredible. I remember him as a neo-pro, I’ve seen him grow. I was there in Poland last year and to have him in the team with us now is great, it’s a big step seeing him back in the bunch after what happened. 

“The pride for me that he was involved in the four wins is enormous. Deceuninck – Quick-Step is special, it’s a family. We win together and we lose together."

30 April 2021, 10:28
ChiswickChaos Twitter account against LTNs and cycle lanes claims Strava is evidence of cyclists "racing" in Chiswick

Sadly this account seems to have missed the point of the vast majority of rides uploaded to Strava and why cyclists use the app. The tweet leaps to the assumption that every time anyone records a ride they are going hell for leather to top the segment leaderboards, rather than possibly just wanting to track their rides, use maps, follow new routes or see where their mates have been riding...

30 April 2021, 09:34
Florida cyclist captures close encounter with alligator on camera

There are times you just have to be grateful the worst wildlife we have to deal with in the UK is often just a bike-seeking pheasant...going off-road in Florida left one cyclist in this less-than-ideal spot. What do you do in this situation? Try and speed past before it notices or turn around? I am going for the latter...

Obviously the correct answer is stand a couple of metres away filming the gators until they move and you have yourself a viral video. According to NBC, Brenda Stelzer came across the reptiles on a trail at Bird Rookery Swamp near Naples in the south of the state.

"I guess I was a little afraid but not where I panicked," Stelzer said. "I was like I either have to shut my phone off, back up and get a running start to bike past him quickly or just dismount the bike and put the bike between me and the alligators."

A professor of ecology and environmental studies at Florida Gulf Coast University told the news outlet that cyclists should not be concerned if they see an alligator on a trail. "If you see a gator on a trail he is not there waiting to catch you and pull you off your bike he is just getting sun and doesn’t want to be disturbed. I feel like I need to be a gator length farther away from the front end of a gator. It’s a really really low probability that you are going to have a bad interaction with an alligator."

Fair enough, professor, good advice for Floridians but I can tell you now, if I ever come across a trail-blocking gator here in England I will be turning around and sprinting back to the cafe...

30 April 2021, 08:27
Aggressive cycling
30 April 2021, 07:44
Met Police donates stolen bikes to NHS staff

 More than 100 bicycles were given to NHS staff for free this week thanks to the work of bicycle charity Pro Bike Service CIC and the Metropolitan Police. The Met donated the bicycles, which were all believed to be stolen and had been in police storage unclaimed.

Pro Bike Services CIC restored the bikes, giving them a service and doing any repairs for free, while representatives from Bike Register and Sold Secure registered the staff's new bicycles and provided locks.

Andrew Attfield from Barts Health NHS Trust was grateful for the donations: "If you’ve ever had your bike stolen or borrowed without your permission, you’ll know how upsetting it can be. Barts Health staff are incredibly grateful to the Metropolitan Police and Pro Bike Service CIC for organising this contribution."

Bike theft from hospitals has become a significant problem, especially during the pandemic as more staff cycle to work to avoid public transport. In February, the London Cycling Campaign slammed poor bike parking facilities at University College Hospital after a recent spate of thefts.

Founder of Pro Bike Service CIC Lawrence Mohammed said he hopes more will be done to prevent bike thefts but was also keen to help support NHS staff who have given so much during the last year. "I believe it’s vital we tackle crime at multiple levels," he said. "From early intervention with disadvantaged children, restorative justice and effective rehabilitation for offenders, to prevention through bike marking and the return of stolen bikes where possible.

"All of the bikes gifted need servicing, repair and new parts to be brought back to their former glory and the number of bikes the Met have secured exceeded my expectations. As a result, I am now calling on other bike shops to offer their support to this initiative."

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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