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Video of Paris-Roubaix pro using foot to brake sparks disc brake debate; Smell of the North: Matteo Jorgenson gets caught short; Mario Kart bike race; Women's Tour; Bike removals; Don't kill me; Gianni Mosc-off; Cobble snorkelling + more on the live blog

Happy Monday! There's loads to get through today, and that's just the Paris-Roubaix reaction...Dan Alexander will be doing his best to stay at the head of the race...
04 October 2021, 16:31
Morning bike commuter one of many trying to let ambulance past Insulate Britain protest on Wandsworth Bridge

Loads of talk around today about protests...and there's a cycle commuter in here trying to help get the paramedics through Insulate Britain at Wandsworth Bridge. It's an interesting comparison to the Stop Killing Cyclists demonstrations across London where news editor Simon recalls seeing event organisers quickly act to move everyone out of the road to let ambulances through, before resuming the protest.

04 October 2021, 13:23
Christophe Laporte is everyone's new favourite rider + Paris-Roubaix disc brake debate

Christophe Laporte sprinted to sixth place from the group containing Wout van Aert and Yves Lampaert. The best result of his career in a Monument. Impressive. Even more impressive considering earlier in the day he was using his foot on his rear wheel after his brakes stopped working.

Deceuninck-Quick-Step hopeful Florian Sénéchal also reported braking issues, prompting some to question whether discs were the best kit choice for the race...

On Twitter, John Galloway argued: "Also for the record. Discs are a stupid choice for Paris-Roubaix. Slow wheel changes and with certain pads they lost the ability to stop in a race where braking is not an issue for rim brakes. Forget evangelism, embrace pragmatism. They're mostly fantastic, sometimes there are better choices."

Let the debating begin...

I prefer Tom's take... Liam reliably informs me the pad choice theory is a decent bet, the pros would have undoubtedly been better served on sintered pads, not organic ones which can struggle in such wet and muddy conditions and work fine in cyclocross. We'll never know, but it's also something that could have been made worse by Laporte dragging his brakes if he was trying to avoid sliding out on the cobbles. Other possible issues could be to do with the piston or hose...

Which would you rather ride through a wet Roubaix? 


04 October 2021, 16:20
What you might have missed while watching Paris-Roubaix...Greipel retires, Cav wins again

While the rest of the world was watching Paris-Roubaix, Mark Cavendish and André Greipel danced the dance one last time. The German was riding his final race before retirement and waved goodbye to the crowds in Nienberge.

It was one of the Gorilla's great rivals who took the win, however. A certain Mark Cavendish won from a small group for his tenth win of the campaign. A meeting of two legendary sprinters...

04 October 2021, 16:19
Monday mood

You made it. Four days to go... 

04 October 2021, 14:39
A Kickstarter solution to staying seen as the long winter nights closing in?

There's a new eye-catching cycling Kickstarter, this time it's a bike reflector aiming to offer 360-degree visibility without affecting your bike's performance. The FLECTR 360 WING doesn't need batteries, maintenance and can't be stolen (unless they take the whole bike, of course), according to its designers. There's a challenge for British bike thieves...

What's more, for any performance addicts, it adds zero drag and weighs just four grams. Each reflector weighs one gram, but it's recommended you add two on each wheel front and back.

A good idea? 2,030 people on Kickstarter thought so, at the time of writing. The project has raised £69,105 of its original £9,846 target. Hey, it's got to be better than that GoFaster startup allowing riders to wear its kit one they've proved they're quick enough to wear it...

04 October 2021, 14:15
Marta Bastianelli wins opening stage of Women's Tour

As expected the opening stage of the Women's Tour came down to a sprint, and it was Italy's Marta Bastianelli who took the win. Is there anything the Italians won't win this year?

Chloe Hosking was second for Lizzie Deignan's Trek-Segafredo team and Clara Copponi third. Britain's Hannah Barnes and Josie Nelson both earned a top ten result in Banbury. Bastianelli will of course wear the leader's jersey tomorrow. Talking of which, it's a circuit race around Walsall. Nine laps of a largely flat loop before the town centre finish.

Highlights of today's stage will be shown on ITV4 at 9pm...

04 October 2021, 11:39
Moving house by bike

I'm calling a brief Paris-Roubaix timeout...there's just too much brilliant stuff from yesterday. We'll resume the cobbled brilliance after lunch. For now, here's PedalMe helping someone move house by bike...

And some eagle-eyed CCTV scanning...

04 October 2021, 11:31
Please don't kill me

04 October 2021, 10:48
Queen Lizzie Deignan, Elisa Longo Borghini, Elisa Balsamo, Joss Lowden headline star-studded Women's Tour line-up in Bicester
Lizzie Deignan Trek Domane SLR 9 Paris-Roubaix 3 (A.S.O.:Fabien Boukla)

There's more top class bike racing in the UK this week. The AJ Bell Women's Tour has attracted a stacked field, including world champ Elisa Balsamo, Paris-Roubaix winner Lizzie Deignan, third place at Roubaix, Elisa Longo Borghini and Hour Record breaker Joss Lowden.

> Take a closer look at the bike Lizzie Deignan rode to Paris-Roubaix glory

Today's stage is from Bicester to Banbury, before the race dips into the Midlands for tomorrow's Walsall stage and Wednesday's time trial in Atherstone. The week ends in Essex and Suffolk...Thursday is Shoeburyness to Southend-on-Sea, Friday is Colchester to Clacton-on-Sea, while Saturday's finale will take the peloton from Haverhill to Felixstowe.

Frustratingly, the race isn't being broadcast live, but there will be highlights on ITV4 at 9pm tonight and then 8pm for the rest of the week. We'll keep you updated with the stages here on the live blog...

04 October 2021, 09:39
Roubaix bog snorkelling

Cycling bog snorkelling is unbelievably already a thing. A nudge towards 14 of the world's incredible cycling world records. Number six? Yep, it's mountain bike bog snorkelling. Graham Robinson holds the fastest time on the Llanwrtyd Wells course, but shoutout to Dave who won the event two years running. The big question: could he beat a topless Frenchman who's been on the beers all morning?

04 October 2021, 07:20
Smell of the North: That wasn't mud on Matteo Jorgenson's shorts...Movistar rider apologises to families who saw him pulling a Dumoulin at Paris-Roubaix

Everyone had brown shorts by the end of Roubaix...

Matteo Jorgenson's place in the front group was lost thanks to "six hours of cow shit and mud in the mouth taking my stomach for a ride and a half". The young American took to Instagram to tell the tale of how he scarred several young families for life by adding to the Roubaix sludge...

The Movistar rider was in the same group as Mathieu van der Poel after the infamous Trouée d'Arenberg sector, but waddled home a few pounds lighter in 65th place after an unfortunate pit stop.

"Sometimes, nature calls and you have literally no choice but to answer," Jorgenson laughed. "Apologies to all the women and children who just wanted a wholesome day out watching Paris-Roubaix, but this is the Hell of the North. Six hours of cow shit and mud in the mouth took my stomach for a ride and a half. Maybe next time I can stay in the winning move once I make it."

The jokers in the comments had fun with Matteo's misfortune, one dubbing it the "winning movement", another congratulating him on being a "hitter"...well, it rhymes with hitter. Ask Tom Dumoulin, it happens to the best of us...

04 October 2021, 08:31
No sympathy for Gianni Moscon: Puncture and crash ends Italian's Monument the delight of cycling fans everywhere

Cue the memes...

There was a moment yesterday when it seemed as though, after 30 months of absence and expectation, one of pro cycling's least popular names was going to spoil the party...

Alas, Gianni Moscon punctured, got a new bike with rock-hard tyres, bounced over the cobbles and crashed. The trio of chasers caught up, dropped him, and left the soon-to-be Astana rider one step off the podium in fourth.

It's fair to say there wasn't much sympathy for the Italian during, or after, the race...

Buckle up for a 'why Moscon is peloton enemy number one' history lesson. During the 2017 Tour de Romandie he racially abused French rider Kevin Reza, resulting in a six-week suspension. Later in the year he was accused of deliberately causing Reza's teammate Sébastien Reichenbach to crash. Lack of camera evidence meant the case was dropped. To top off the year, he was then disqualified from the World Championships Road Race for holding on to a team car.

At the 2018 Tour de France, Moscon was kicked off the race for punching Élie Gesbert, and then at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne last year he was disqualified for throwing a bike at Jens Debusschere after a crash...nice chap.

04 October 2021, 07:55
Mario Kart or a bike race? AG2R Citroën team car ends up in a ditch at Paris-Roubaix

The Hell of the North lived up to its title. The first wet edition in 19 years was as brutal/ chaotic/ hectic/ epic as expected. It even made getting out on the bike at half seven in full winter gear worth it. There were crashes, motorbike falls, punctures, Adam Blythe meltdowns, Christophe Laporte using his foot as a brake, Matteo Jorgenson ditch dumping, finish line scenes, and that's just the stuff we saw. 

AG2R Citroën's team car taking a spill was one of the many incidents the TV cameras missed, but thankfully a well-positioned fan didn't let this prime content go to waste.

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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