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Timmy Mallett pedals up UK's steepest road; Huge finish line crash causes debate; Bike porn; Cycling in focus at local elections; May the 4th be with you; Climbing Sa Calobra; Forget panniers, wheel a suitcase; Giro countdown + more on the live blog

It's the middle of the week and Dan Alexander is here for your Wednesday dose of live blog action...
04 May 2022, 16:12
"This whole trip is a pain in the ass": Bauke Mollema gets into the Giro spirit

The crowds are building in Budapest for the team presentation...

But, one man who's a bit pissed off to be in attendance is Bauke Mollema. The Trek-Segafredo climber called the Hungarian Grande Partenza a "pain in the ass" this afternoon while speaking to the media.

"I don't really have a Giro feeling yet. I've only been there a day. After the team presentation later today, I expect to have a bit more feeling. During a round of free riding here we did not meet many cyclists. I didn't feel very safe here in the traffic," he said.

"This whole trip is a pain in the ass, I find it quite disturbing that we don't start in Italy and have to fly after only three days. The rest day is also not a real rest day, because you have to travel. Flying Sunday evening would have been nicer, but we don't do that until Monday morning. I am happy when we are in Italy."

Tell us how you really feel, Bauke...

04 May 2022, 15:53
Is there an active travel class divide?

Over on a Dorset active travel group on Facebook a post has attracted a fair few comments. It is titled: Do you think there is a class divide over active travel? You've probably heard the line about cycling being a middle class sport before, or that only those with plenty of disposable cash can afford the top-end carbon bikes and Rapha kit...but when a car (and fuel) costs so much, why has the humble bicycle attracted such a reputation? Is there a distinction to be made between 'sport cycling' and active travel?

Here are some of the comments:

"Not a class divide more a financial divide. It gives mobility to the less well off."

"I would say the class or financial divide is real, I generally see far more cyclists and bicycles ridden costing several thousands of pounds. Just last weekend I saw a family of four enjoying a Sunday ride on matching ebikes, what appeared to be Giant Fathom E+ or visually similar. The sub-segment of Lycra-clad enthusiasts being the most obvious example of this. Yes, there are some that embrace the cost effective means of travel that is to be had on two wheels. I in my past have been one of these folks, it was short-lived. Unfortunately the placement of cycle lanes thus far does show a certain bias to user groups."

"I think this question is too generic and undefined to really get any useful feedback on it"

"Yes, I don't know how people afford to run cars. Ok my bike was a bit of an investment for me but still cheaper than most second-hand cars and I don't have to pay out for fuel costs and parking at work. But we weren't well off growing up so my parents didn't have regular access to a car until my teens so I grew up a lot more independent than some of my peers and am used to getting about under my own steam."

"When I grew up on a council estate I cycled as it was an affordable option. Today I cycle because I enjoy it. Very different bikes too. But in each case I cycled."

04 May 2022, 15:47
Ineos boss Jim Ratcliffe's £4.25bn bid to buy Chelsea FC has been rejected, according to reports
Sir Jim Ratcliffe at Team Ineos launch (picture credit Simon Wilksinon,

Majority shareholder of Ineos, the chemical group that owns the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team, Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been informed his £4.25bn offer for Chelsea Football Club has been rejected, according to reports.

A consortium led by LA Dodgers owner Todd Boehly is believed to be the preferred bidder. "We've been rejected out of hand," Ineos director Tom Crotty told Bloomberg.

On Friday, it was reported that Ratcliffe, and Ineos, were interested in adding the Premier League club to their sporting portfolio, which already includes the aforementioned cycling team, Ligue 1 outfit Nice, Swiss team FC Lausanne, as well as interests in Formula 1, athletics and sailing.

04 May 2022, 14:04
It's that time of the year...EF Education-EasyPost release special Giro d'Italia kit

 EF Education-EasyPost and Rapha's annual maglia rosa deviation kit announcement is here (why not give us another bank holiday, eh?) 

Two years ago it was the Supreme special, then last year the 'switch out kit'...

> Expert trolling of UCI rules as Rapha and EF Education-Nippo unveil new kit

This year, Vaughters' boys have gone for a very classy-looking black (with every colour under the sun) number. Kind of how 'paintings' by toddlers could look if the spray and pray approach actually worked...we like it...

Your Giro countdown is under the two-day mark...

04 May 2022, 09:13
Mallett hammers UK's steepest road

Ffordd Pen Llech...before you ask. An excruciating 230m @ 21 per cent...but all about that 37.5 per cent max gradient. The road was once considered the steepest in the world before those pesky Guinness World Record jobsworths (joke) saw Baldwin Street in New Zealand... 

> Utterly brilliant: An interview with Timmy Mallet on all things e-bike

It's not the first time the legendary entertainer has taken on an epic e-bike challenge. In 2018, he set off from his home town of Maidenhead on a 2,000km ride across Europe to Santiago de Compostela.

"I like the unexpected adventure of cycling. It's not how far you go, or how fast; it's how much fun you have along the way," Mallet explained. Words to live by...

Oh, and of course he's on Strava too...

Timmy Mallett Strava


04 May 2022, 10:29
"I pedalled up it fully laden with my panniers, art stuff and me": Timmy Mallett recalls UK steepest road ascent
Timmy Mallett Strava

"I pedalled up it fully laden with my panniers, art stuff and me," Mallett wrote on Strava. "I even videoed it as I panted... And I managed it! I have officially pedalled up the steepest street in the world." (Unfortunately Guinness World Records might have something to say about that)

"That'll do. I am an athlete! Harlech castle is stunning perched on the craggy cliff top. Artists through the years have painted it and so did I today. The lovely team at the castle took photos and pointed me to the rocky but where the view is amazing. It was. I sketched out and tonight I'll work something up in my hotel room.

"Then I discovered a puncture. In the back tyre. It was tricky getting the small hand pump to make any difference. At which point Joe arrived. Joe lives in Harlech and we headed down the steepest hill to his house to use the big foot pump.

"Clearly I hadn't got rid of all the thorn via after a cuppa the tyre was going down again. So another new tyre [tube] was needed and I'm so glad Joe was there to lend assistance and encouragement.

"Joe also had as good tip. To head to Ynys for a view like no other. Straight across the water to Portmerion and over to the mountains of Snowdonia. Amazing. Especially as the sun came out and the afternoon was bathed in warm full sunshine. My day is done. I'll be painting this evening."

04 May 2022, 13:25
May the 4th be with you...
04 May 2022, 12:55
"It's never my intention to bring anyone down or cause a crash. Having contact in the sprint at 70kph is hard to control": Sam Welsford comments on yesterday's crash
04 May 2022, 12:46
"It's interesting how different sports apportion blame in crashes": Reader reaction to Four Days of Dunkirk shocker

Velophaart_95 commented: "It's interesting how different sports apportion blame in crashes. In this instance the view is 'it wasn't intentional, so no action should be taken'........

"Yet it will continue to happen. The massive pile up in Liège–Bastogne–Liège; no action was taken as to who caused it. There is a lot of reckless riding in cycling which goes unpunished; we can't be surprised when crashes keep happening.

"Very different in motorsport; they want to know who did what, so action can be taken – even if it was accidental."

Miller said: "I watched that finish and I straight away thought Welsford was likely to be relegated. The finishing straight had plenty of room. It looked to me that Welsford put out his elbow to block a rider coming through who then couldn't stay upright. Sprinting, eh. Not for the faint-hearted."

Peted76 added: "That crash was/is pretty dramatic, a bit touch and go whether Welsford would be relegated and it was reported yesterday that he'd kept the win. He was not celebrating after the line, he was talking and looking concerned. Clearly the decision was overturned and he was relegated.

"I think the only person who 'deserves' the win is Dan McLay, who did nothing wrong and was in the lead until Arnaud De Lie tried to squeeze through a very small gap and Sam Welsford closed that gap. Any other result in my eyes is irrelevant. The deviation was wrong, but minor in the scheme of things and elbows are expected."

66km to go on stage two...fingers crossed for no repeat of yesterday...

04 May 2022, 11:32
How realistic is indoor cycling? Climbing Sa Calobra

How close to Ed Laverack's time can Brad and Dave get?

04 May 2022, 10:55
Suitcases are the new panniers...
04 May 2022, 10:17
Cyclists are not funny...Oh, wait...I stand corrected

It's a look...


04 May 2022, 10:09
Last chance to ask candidates to stand up for cycling
Jeremy Corbyn bikesatpollingstations May 2016 (source - Twitter).jpg

Cycling UK got in touch with the following message ahead of this week's local elections...

You've only one day left to ask candidates where you live what they'll do, if elected on Thursday, to get more people cycling. 

Cycling UK is asking people to email the candidates for your council to ask whether they support their manifestos for cycling. Cycling UK has contacted every candidate to ask them, but many haven’t committed yet. 

Find out where the candidates for your council stand, it only takes a few minutes to ask whether they support our manifesto. 

They want your vote on Thursday, so if you want councillors in your area to push for safer cycling and to get more people cycling, email them now to ask them what they’ll do to make that happen. 

04 May 2022, 10:05
Bike porn
04 May 2022, 07:57
Huge finish line crash causes debate..."but it’s easy to say with hindsight" argues rider involved

Yesterday's opening stage of the 4 Jours de Dunkerque probably would have flown under the radar for all but the most committed racing fan. A race with a smattering of WorldTour talent, but mainly pro and continental teams. However, the sprint finish on day one has been thrust into the spotlight after a frightening crash as the sprinters lunged towards the line.

Lotto-Soudal's Arnaud De Lie thought he saw a gap between Brit Dan McLay and Sam Welsford. Aussie Welsford poked his elbow out to shut the door, only to nudge the surging De Lie into McLay, causing one almighty fall. Ultimately, Welsford was relegated, Arvid De Klijn — who somehow evaded the contact — won, and De Lie crossed the line on his back in sixth (but later abandoned the race with concussion).

So...what to make of it?

Despite some pointing blame at the finish...

That was disputed by one of the riders involved (and most-badly impacted), McLay, who also stuck up for his rivals too...

Back at home, others had different views on the incident...

What do you think? 

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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