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"Disgrace": Pro riders rip into UCI over "unacceptable" speed bump sprint crash; G falls in Commonwealth TT; Could you save £750 by cycling to work? (+ Cycle to Work Day); "Always nice to see Rick rolling": Rick Astley goes cycling + more on the live blog

It's Thursday and Dan Alexander will be doing his best to keep you entertained as we move one step closer to the weekend on the live blog...
04 August 2022, 09:11
"Disgrace": Pro riders rip into UCI over "unacceptable" speed bump sprint crash

Some reaction to the terrible Burgos crash that we covered on yesterday's live blog...

The UCI has been criticised from all angles after this one, with riders, staff, media and fans alike pointing out the danger of the finish AND the fact it broke the governing body's own rules regarding safety of race finishes.

Commentating on GCN, Brian Smith read out the UCI's statement: "Last year the UCI stated: 'There must be no obstacles such as road narrowings, traffic islands and speed bumps in the final kilometre.'

"Well that contravenes the UCI regulations, so who signs these things off? It's the same with what has happened in Poland, this finish could have been fine and been used in years to come, but we had an incident. It feels as though the UCI waits for an incident, then reacts to it and that shouldn't be the case."

At Tour de Pologne, too, there was a sprint crash, as riders fell while rounding a high-speed bend in the final kilometre...

Despite the horrendous scenes, everyone involved in the Burgos pile-up, which happened when a speed bump on a sharp downhill section caused Jumbo-Visma's David Dekker to lose his grip of his bars, managed to finish the stage...

Burgos crash (GCN/Eurosport)
Burgos crash (GCN/Eurosport)
Burgos crash (GCN/Eurosport)
Burgos crash (GCN/Eurosport)

GCN commentator Rob Hatch concluded: "I have to say I think that's one of the worst crashes I've seen in recent times [...] I'm not quite sure what we've just watched there but it's an absolute shocker."

Burgos crash (GCN/Eurosport)
Burgos crash (GCN/Eurosport)
Burgos crash (GCN/Eurosport)

 The riders involved also had strong words for the UCI. Edoardo Affini, along with stage winner Timo Roosen, was questioned for celebrating the win, but hit back to say he had no idea about the crash behind and was caught up in the madness of leading out...

04 August 2022, 15:55
Sprint star Lorena Wiebes to join SD Worx next season

Double Tour de France Femmes stage winner, and opening yellow jersey wearer, Lorena Wiebes has signed a three-year deal to move from Team DSM to SD Worx from the start of next season.

Wiebes' transfer was negotiated between the two teams as a clause in her contact allowed her to leave with an improved offer. The transfer makes SD Worx a frightening prospect in 2023 with Wiebes, the best sprinter in the women's peloton, joining Flanders winner Lotte Kopecky and Tour de France Femmes second place Demi Vollering.

"Lorena is a pure sprint star. When it comes to pure speed, she is by far the best," said Team SD Worx sports manager Danny Stam. 

"Although we mainly focus on the tougher races and as a team like to make the race, it is also nice when you have a big chance in the sprint. With Demi Vollering, Lotte Kopecky and Lorena Wiebes we have three world-class riders for the coming years who each excel in their own field."

04 August 2022, 15:42
Cycling levels surge in England
Monmouthshire cyclist - (credit - Mabel Amber)

To mark Cycle to Work Day, Cycling UK has published its latest analysis of transport data in England, which the group says shows more people are turning to cycling as the impact of record fuel prices is felt.

On average between March and July this year, weekday cycling levels have been 47 per cent higher, and on weekends and holidays 27 per cent higher, when compared to the same time in 2021.

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK, said: "Rising fuel prices have triggered some people to think about their transport choices, switching some of their car journeys to cycling. But too many people don't feel like they have that option because they don’t think our roads are safe enough to cycle on.

"The answer to that is more and better infrastructure for cycling and walking, giving more people the opportunity to do so safely rather than default to driving a short trip to work or the shops.

"With 71 per cent of all journeys made in the UK under five miles, switching some of those to cycling is a simple way to help people make ends meet during the cost-of-living crisis, with additional health, wellbeing and environmental benefits. But to give people that choice we need local authorities to act now to make active travel a realistic option and help people keep moving."

04 August 2022, 14:45
Rohan Dennis wins Commonwealth Games TT

There is the final podium, Fred Wright taking a surprise silver, and Rohan Dennis adding a Commonwealth gold to his silver from Glasgow in 2014. Geraint Thomas was third that day too as Alex Dowsett won gold, but went on to win the road race. Will lightning strike twice? 

04 August 2022, 14:12 roadside

Editor Jack's on the scene...

All very positive atmosphere-wise at the roadside, but then again maybe all the unhappy NIMBYs are locked in their homes unable to leave...

04 August 2022, 14:07

Dan Bigham joins the Commonwealth crash club...

Straight up trying to untangle aero bars from the barriers, a jog to the team car and he's off again... 

04 August 2022, 14:02
Well that's a positive...
04 August 2022, 13:56
TT update: Checkpoint two, sketchy descents and Gen Z-ing
Geraint Thomas Commonwealth Games (BBC)

Here's the situation at the second checkpoint. Not much change, with Dennis on track for gold. Aaron Gate did well to keep himself rubber side down while negotiating one of the delightful steep descents on the course...

Commonwealth Games TT (BBC)

All the while, clubhouse leader Fred Wright was checking TikTok...

Fred Wright (BBC)

Kids, eh...

04 August 2022, 13:35
Geraint Thomas falls during Commonwealth Games TT

You can almost see the 'why always me?' moment as G picks his TT machine up from the deck after yet another big race tumble...

Having made it around the sketchy first bend, which has claimed a few victims so far today, the podium finisher at the Tour de France overcooked a left turn and was brought down after clipping a barrier. He's back on the road and chasing Fred Wright's current best time. A podium finish may still be on the cards, especially given Ineos teammate Luke Plapp's hopes were all but ended by a slow bike change following a jammed chain.

Luke Plapp Commonwealth Games mechanical (BBC)

Despite the spill, G went through the first checkpoint second fastest 30 seconds down on fastest man Rohan Dennis. Without getting too far ahead of ourselves it will be very difficult for anyone to best the Australian from here...

04 August 2022, 12:13
Fiona Kolbinger first woman home at Transcontinental

Fiona Kolbinger is the first woman home at Transcontinental (and the eighth rider overall). She's been uploading her rides to Strava too which makes her a winner in our eyes...

Nothing major, just 101 hours on the bike last week and 60 this week...and it seems she was stuck in 50x15 for her last day...

04 August 2022, 11:43
If you ever feel useless just remember this Vuelta a Burgos marshal
04 August 2022, 11:40
From the Tour de France to a tent in Wolverhampton

Nothing against Wolverhampton, just a lovely representation of the glitz of UK time trialling. We'd have liked to see the organisers take it even further and host sign-on in the local village hall, but hey, I guess the pros need some level of professional luxury... 

04 August 2022, 10:53
An antidote to the NIMBYs: Cycling-mad couple watching Commonwealth Games TT from their front garden

The other side to yesterday's live blog moaning about road closures for the Commonwealth Games TT today has been pointed out to us in an Express and Star piece well worth a look this lunchtime...

> Cycling-mad couple who have one of the best views of the time trial route

Lifelong cyclists Brian and Jean Hinett, both in their 80s, will watch the race from their front garden. The couple met at Oldbury and District Cycling Club in 1963 and married the following year with bikes on their wedding cake. Brian estimates he's racked up 400,000 miles over the years and is looking forward to seeing the event so close to home.

"It's lovely we have got it on our doorstep. The more people who get on a bike the better," wife Jean said. "A runner went by earlier and said 'you've got a grandstand view'."

04 August 2022, 10:39
Grace Brown wins women's TT title (+ men's start times)

The women's event was won by Australia's Grace Brown who will be joined on the podium by Anna Henderson of England and Georgia Williams of New Zealand. Brown set a time of 40:05, 33 seconds faster than Henderson, and 1:20 quicker than Williams. Aussie teammate Georgia Baker missed out on making it a 1-3 on the podium, finishing 19 seconds slower than third place.

Teniel Campbell was seventh, Elynor Backstedt eighth, Sarah Roy ninth and Joss Lowden 12th.

The men are up next... here are some of the start times to watch out for...

12.24pm Daryl Impey, 12.25pm Luke Plapp, 12.27pm Fred Wright, 12.28pm Owain Doull, 2.28pm Rohan Dennis, 2.29pm Geraint Thomas. The medal ceremony is expected at 3.40pm.

Sneak a peak at the BBC coverage online at work, or if like editor Jack you can simply head to the end of your road for a front row seat...

04 August 2022, 08:57
"Always nice to see Rick rolling": Jeremy Vine and Rick Astley ride bikes

Is it Rick Astley?

Get in the comments with your case for or against...anyway, it led to an early comment of the day contender...

Well played... 

04 August 2022, 07:48
Could you save £750 by cycling to work?

It's Cycle to Work Day so well done if you ditched the car, train, bus or tube this morning...

Some interesting research from Blackhawk Network dropped in our inbox this week, suggesting that 46 per cent of Brits would prefer to cycle to work to reduce travel costs, and that cycling to work helps people save on average almost £750 a year (£1,400 for those in Greater London)...

2021 La Passione Commuter -10

The figures come from a survey of 2,000 employees across the UK conducted by the employee benefits platform, in partnership with Sapio, to mark the 10th anniversary of Cycle to Work Day, and also suggest more people want to take to life on two wheels to get to work and cut costs. In the last year alone, 11 per cent began cycling to work, and a further 36 per cent are actively considering it.

In part due to soaring prices elsewhere — 40 per cent of commuting drivers and 82 per cent of rail commuters have noticed a significant increase in cost of travel compared to a year ago — almost half of respondents (46 per cent) said they would prefer to cycle, with 67 per cent of those saying cutting travel costs is their primary reason.

Last month we did a vid with Ribble to ask the question: how much money you could save by ditching the car on your commute? Check it out for more cycle commuting chat...

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


Miller | 1 year ago

What a crashfest that Commonwealth Men's TT was. Thankfully it did not look like anyone was hurt too much. What a very technical course, actual bike handling required. 

zideriup | 1 year ago

I remember being served by Rick Astley in a video rental shop. I asked whether there were any good Pixar films in stock. Bit of a stingy barsteward to be honest, he'll happily give you Toy Story, Bugs Life and Cars but he's never gonna give you Up.

adamrice replied to zideriup | 1 year ago

Please stop.

darnac | 1 year ago

Ré the Burgos crash: Cyrille Guimard on the French Équipe channel suggested the need for a totally independent safety commission to inspect courses/finishes. Someone else on the panel argued that such a commission should have the power to ban stages that had too many bollards etc

Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago

Who cares if I save £750 or £1000?  They had me at the thought of an N+1  3

Jem PT | 1 year ago

When I bought my Brompton I reckoned it would pay for itself in saved underground fares in 16 months (quite apart from the benefits of cycling in open air rather than being on the underground). That was 8 years ago, and the savings keep on coming!

nosferatu1001 replied to Jem PT | 1 year ago

Post covid change of job into central London I couldn't face the thought of the central line at rush hour. My brommy Bolty saves me a fair bit, and I have a great mini cargo bike for shops at this end.  Perfection. 

Rendel Harris | 1 year ago

£1400 sounds a low saving for London, we live (Peckham) and work (my wife anyway, Fulham, I WFH) closer to the centre  of town than the majority of Londoners and Herself's annual travelcard would be £1800 (Zones 1-3); that's before you factor in the money spent on cabs due to strikes, cancellations etc. I suppose one has to subtract the costs of running the bike but that really amounts to a few innertubes and a couple of cans of oil a year.

TonyE-H replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago

Depends on the train line and where you live, for example an annual season ticket from Rainham, Essex to London Limehouse Street (Zone 6 to Zone 2) is £1,348.

BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago
1 like

Sounds on the low side to me. I reckon I save more than that over a year just in petrol costs, and I don't have a particularly long commute (shorter than the 7.8-mile average single-occupancy car drive), or a particularly thirsty car (Mini Cooper). When I drove to work, I was filling up every 3-4 weeks (stop-start traffic on hilly roads makes for poor fuel-economy). That comes to around £1k a year. If you add up the reduction in wear-and-tear on the car, reduced maintenance costs, slightly reduced insurance costs, not wearing out the tyres, ect. those are more savings still.

I hardly ever drive these days (done less than 150 miles in the last year), but I still keep the car around for the one or two occasions a year when I really need it. Just had a full service and MOT for £220, and my insurance is higher than I’d like (due to a self-claim because someone crashed into the car when it was parked and then buggered off), but If I was in a position to get rid of the car all together, I reckon I’d be saving around £2k a year. A lot of households are multi-car these days, so one person commuting by bike/public transport means they probably could ditch one car.

Obviously, lots of people would need to buy a bike - I went pretty over the top when I bought my commuter, but it's already paid for itself a couple of times over with petrol savings.

PRSboy replied to BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago

Indeed, though I suppose it depends on what car you drive, and the length of the  commute.  I have a 30-40 mile round-trip commute, which I do roughly once a week by bike.  My car does around 36mpg, so that saves approx 50 gallons of fuel a year.  At current rates that's £430.

My cycle to work day is Friday, traditionally, a hang-over from the before C19 times when I only wore casual dress on a Friday.  We have no shower at work, so mopping down with a flannel is tedious.

Its a relatively gruelling hilly route, so I'd struggle to do it more than once a week I think without it becoming a chore.  As it is, I look forward to it.

BalladOfStruth replied to PRSboy | 1 year ago

True, though I suppose (based on your sort of commute), a legal right to WFH if the job role allowed it would save people a lot more than getting to work by bike.

When it comes to getting cars off the road in order to reduce emissions/congestion, we really should be asking “do you really need to be there every day/at all” before we ask “do you really need to get there by car”.

Daveyraveygravey replied to PRSboy | 1 year ago
1 like

PRSboy wrote:


Its a relatively gruelling hilly route, so I'd struggle to do it more than once a week I think without it becoming a chore.  As it is, I look forward to it.


I'm similar, I ride to work 2 or 3 times a week.  I could do it every day, but that takes the fun out of it for me.  I have the choice of off road on the South Downs or on the road on country lanes.  It's all lovely, apart from the inevitable close passes...

mdavidford replied to BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago

You haven't factored in the cost of cake, though.

BalladOfStruth replied to mdavidford | 1 year ago

mdavidford wrote:

You haven't factored in the cost of cake, though.

Damn, you're right. And there was that fancy coffee machine that I felt strangely compelled to buy...

Rendel Harris replied to mdavidford | 1 year ago
1 like

mdavidford wrote:

You haven't factored in the cost of cake, though.

For London rail commuters the cost of such essential fuel items is more than offset by the saving in coffees, cake, newspapers etc purchased to while away the time waiting for delayed services.

brooksby replied to mdavidford | 1 year ago
1 like

Exactly.  I think I spend more on bagels/cakes/biscuits now than I did before I cycled to work...

ktache replied to mdavidford | 1 year ago

Bake your own.

Not exactly cheaper but you do get a lot more for the money, have quality and known ingredients and because it's difficult to eat a full traybake every week, your workmates and friends love you more.

I can make better flapjacks than any I have ever purchased too.

Baking non alcohol Guinness cake for a project students leaving do as I write.

Backladder replied to ktache | 1 year ago

My only difficulty in eating a full traybake every week is that there is nothing left by the end of day 3!

Hirsute replied to BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago
1 like

£2000 would pay for a lot of taxi trips and a bit of car hire.


BalladOfStruth replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago

hirsute wrote:

£2000 would pay for a lot of taxi trips and a bit of car hire.

This is true. I'm moving soon, so I might be able to get into a position where I can ditch the car altogether. That being said, my motivation for cycling to work is environmental rather than financial, and miles in a taxi/rented car are still car miles, so from that perspective it doesn't really make any difference.

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