— Neal Rogers (@nealrogers) March 31, 2021
Mathieu van der Poel told reporters in the mixed zone that he wasn't bluffing and that he just had a bad day. However, he said he wouldn't draw any conclusions from it and thinks he'll be back to his best on Sunday at the Tour of Flanders. "I felt it quite early," Van der Poel told Wielerflits. "It didn't work well in the beginning. It really wasn't my day. Whether it was the heat? That could be. I don't like that. In any case, I had enough food and drink. That wasn't the problem."
"I was certainly not alone. Julian Alaphilippe also came to tell me on the way that he was not worth a penny. I could not suffer either. I already knew it on the Hotond. I had to quickly fall back on my own pace. Better today than Sunday, I think.
"But why should my underachievement be a precursor to Sunday? Look at Van Aert. He was also not top in E3 Saxo Bank Classic, but then you see him convincingly winning Gent-Wevelgem. And it will also be less warm on Sunday than today."
Something definitely went wrong with Mathieu today, probably the heat. I don't think it was theatre, it's not like that would help him on Sunday. But he will be fine for De Ronde, I'm sure. Same with Loulou and Deceuninck. #DDV21 pic.twitter.com/vfEr4cY28p
— Mihai Simion (@faustocoppi60) March 31, 2021
Dylan Van Baarle's 50km solo attack was successful meaning the Dutchman wins Ineos' first Belgian one-day race since Michal Kwiatkowski won E3 back in 2016...Was Mathieu van der Poel bluffing? Is he sick? Was it the heat? All questions we should hear his account of in the next few minutes before they're answered for certain at the Tour of Flanders on Sunday. Van der Poel rolled in behind the peloton having had pain etched across his face for large stints of the finale.
If that’s an ‘I’m sick’ bluff by MvdP, it’s a good one.
— The Handmade Cyclist (@handmadecyclist) March 31, 2021
— Mihai Simion (@faustocoppi60) March 31, 2021
The UCI's ban on supertucking comes into force tomorrow so Dwars door Vlaanderen might be the last time we see this for a while. Here's hoping the winner marks the occasion with a supertuck over the finish line...With 35km to go, Ineos' Dylan Van Baarle is alone at the head of the race, 30 seconds in front of a small group containing Greg Van Avermaet and Jasper Stuyven. Mathieu van der Poel is in the peloton, 50 seconds behind his compatriot. Julian Alaphilippe is somewhere in between. There's still plenty of racing to go...
On @BBCr4today this morning @bbcnickrobinson "many people live in Low Traffic Neighbourhoods where you cannot use your car!". This is a lie, you can use a car in an LTN, you just can't rat run through them, but then Nick and the truth are increasingly strangers...
— Kim Harding (@kim_harding) March 31, 2021
There's been plenty of criticism for BBC presenter Nick Robinson this morning after he claimed that many people live in low traffic neighbourhoods where you can't use your car. Robinson has been accused of lying and was corrected on Twitter by many people including an LTN resident who said they have no problem driving to their house.
In the BBC Radio 4 Today interview with Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley, Robinson said: "More and more councils are doing these low traffic neighbourhoods where you don't even have those exemptions, you cannot use your car." Bartley agreed with the statement, saying it was proof of what happens if you don't plan schemes properly.
Please send this to their complaints department so they have to correct this. https://t.co/CD0ApNlZ1T
— Railton LTN (@RailtonLTN) March 31, 2021
I heard that too. It was a totally stupid question
— citymobility (@citycyclists) March 31, 2021
Hi Nick, I live in a new LTN and I can use my car and motorbikes. Please stop with the “un facts”.
— Michael (@baoigheallain) March 31, 2021
Last week the BBC justified a report about LTNs which critics said was "shameful" and "embarked on its own journey to stir up a manufactured culture war". A statement by the broadcaster said the report needed to use examples of "the passions LTNs have provoked" and hadn't normalised death threats or vandalism.
Bradley Wiggins thinks Chris Froome deserves more respect for coming back from a life-threatening crash and serious injuries. Despite casting doubt on his former teammate's chances of winning a fifth Tour de France, Wiggo praised Froome's tenacity to come back and said he "warrants more respect, the guy nearly died."
"Is it going to be enough for the Tour?" Wiggins asked on his podcast. "I wouldn’t say I fear for him, but with every week that goes by, and every race that goes by, it’s becoming less likely that we’re going to see a Chris Froome at this year’s Tour de France that is capable of winning in the old manner."
Speaking on the same podcast, Matt Stephens spoke about Mathieu van der Poel and questioned if the Dutchman's talent and style of racing would fit in at Ineos Grenadiers or Jumbo Visma. "For the commentators, for the fans, it’s spectacular. But in terms of actually racing to a plan, I don’t think at the moment Van der Poel would fit in a team like Ineos or Jumbo-Visma because he’s a showman," Stephens argued.
"Even his father Adrie van der Poel, himself an iconic talented bike rider, is left scratching his head at the way Mathieu conducts himself in races tactically."
Maybe it shows how strained my attention for these briefings is now we're past the one-year anniversary of the first lockdown but I completely missed this shout-out to Ilkeston Cycling Club during Monday's update from the PM. Perhaps I was too busy admiring the decor of the new £2 million media briefing room...
"And I want to congratulate the members of Ilkeston Cycling Club in Derbyshire that set off at midnight," Boris Johnson said about the early-morning group ride that caught the attention of the BBC and Monday's live blog.
Mark Dickens from the club told the Derby Telegraph he hoped Boris will one day join them on a club run. "It was amazing wasn't it?" he said. "I think he may have got it from David Nunn's Zoom call with BBC News in the morning. We were also on several radio programmes throughout the day.
"We were invited on BBC East Midlands Today and we made the point that Boris is more than welcome to come along to one of our rides and possibly open our new clubhouse. We know he is a keen cyclist. It was an amazing surprise and our Facebook page lit up like a Christmas tree with many people commenting. We are trying to make a really positive impact in our community and this was a real boost. People have said we have put Ilkeston on the map."
Brooks is encouraging us to get out and explore the adventures on our doorstep as part of their 'Whatever The Road' campaign. Supporting the launch of their new range of Scape bikepacking, gravel and touring bags, the brand is releasing a series of videos, starting with this off-road ride in the South West with YouTuber Juliet Elliott to capture that adventurous spirit of a two-wheeled challenge...
Harrogate could soon be getting their own CYCLOPS (Cycle Optimised Protected Signals) junction. The UK's first was built in Manchester last year with the aim of separating cyclists from general traffic and improving safety. The Yorkshire Post reports a Harrogate CYCLOPS junction could be on the cards as part of North Yorkshire County Council's active travel schemes currently being consulted.
"It is not something we have ever installed in North Yorkshire before but it is just an idea of what could be achieved," Melissa Burnham, the highways area manager explained. "Essentially, the idea would be that any upgrade at this junction would have to incorporate all road users effectively and efficiently but it would be subject to necessary traffic modelling to understand the impact from Station Parade."
Using the CYCLOPS to bypass the lights, ohhh so satisfying pic.twitter.com/NMFD3NAhGT
— Jen (OnTheMove) (@JenOnTheMoveUK) March 29, 2021
We thought and was hoping that it was just superficial, but this mornings x-ray showed a fractured second metacarpal after Sundays Cholet Pays de la Loire. Gutted to say the least to be missing De Ronde this week, but full focus now for recovering and getting back on the bike ✌ https://t.co/jHtdXnGfYV
— Jake (@jakey_stewart) March 30, 2021
Disappointing news for Jake Stewart who'll miss the Tour of Flanders after an x-ray confirmed he broke his hand in the Cholet-Pays de la Loire sprint incident with Nacer Bouhanni. The UCI has "strongly condemned" the Frenchman's sprint and referred the incident to its Disciplinary Commission. Bouhanni has apologised but claims it was accidental.
"We thought and were hoping that it was just superficial," Stewart wrote on Twitter. "But this mornings x-ray showed a fractured second metacarpal after Sundays Cholet Pays de la Loire. Gutted to say the least to be missing De Ronde this week, but full focus now for recovering and getting back on the bike."
The 21-year-old has impressed in his first few months riding for FDJ, finishing fourth at Étoile de Bessèges, second at Omlopp Het Nieuwsblad and sixth at Nokere-Koerse.
Aaaahahahahaha, someone's got the burn! pic.twitter.com/Qp4zlsshrx
— Vaccinated CyclingMikey is so happy. 🇪🇺🇳🇱🇿🇼 (@MikeyCycling) March 31, 2021
CyclingMikey's fanclub is open for new members like this supportive chap. We're guessing they didn't enjoy his latest video starring a corner-cutting cabbie and another impatient motorist at 'Gandalf Corner'...
Someone in Vancouver just got the dreaded 'Uh oh! Bus drafting cyclist just stole your KOM!' email in their inbox. Sent to the Vancouver subreddit discussion with the title 'Sometimes I feel like cyclists want to die in this city'...Plenty of cyclists and non-cyclists agreeing its reckless...
In the cyclist's defence, Bobavan suggested: "He knows exactly how stupid dangerous what he is doing and the consequences of something going wrong. But hey, people jump off mountains in those wing suits. Gotta get your thrill on sometimes. Humans are gonna human. Can stop much quicker than the bus, eagle eye kept on the brake lights. You'll probably be ok? Only one way to find out." Fair enough, not much of a defence. At least they'll be immortalised at the top of the leaderboard...
Dan joined road.cc as live blog editor last year. He has previously written 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 a keen cyclist ever since and spends his weekends exploring the south of England on two wheels.