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‘Cyclists are more dangerous than 4x4s’; Taxi drivers love cycle lanes; What's your favourite grand tour?; Royal Parks cycleway closures; Countdown to the Giro; Upright bottle baffles readers + more on the live blog

It’s Thursday, the Giro starts tomorrow, and a very excited Ryan Mallon is here with all the latest news and views on the live blog…
05 May 2022, 17:18
Poll result: The Giro, road.cc’s favourite grand tour
Grand Tour live blog poll result

Turns out half of you are cycling connoisseurs, selecting the Giro as your favourite of the three grand tours.

That is, of course, the correct answer (and for those of you wondering, the best classic is the Tour of Flanders and the best week-long stage race is Paris-Nice, but that’s a debate for another time) – though as some of you said in the comments, it does help that the Giro is starting tomorrow…

Live Blog Grand Tour poll comments
05 May 2022, 16:52
Footage captures moment road rage motorist was assaulted by cyclist

An angry motorist got more than he bargained for after confronting a cyclist during an apparent road rage incident in Glasgow this morning.

According to the person who filmed the rush hour brawl, the driver in question cut off a cyclist on the city’s Edmiston Drive, close to Ibrox Stadium, the home of Glasgow Rangers Football Club.

The amateur videographer then claimed that the motorist emerged from his car to angrily confront the cyclist, only to quickly end up on the receiving end of a barrage of punches.

Of course, we will never condone violence towards any road user – judging by the video, it’s clear that the driver received no sympathy from his fellow motorists for his miscalculated act of road rage.

Police Scotland said that they have received no reports of the incident.

05 May 2022, 16:18
Return of the Phil: Gilbert wins for first time in almost three years at the Four Days of Dunkirk

While the prospect of a Valverde win at the Giro tomorrow is enough to fill most cycling fans with a powerful sense of dread, the long-anticipated winning return of another old timer, Philippe Gilbert, has been met with almost universal acclaim.

The 39-year-old former world champion’s last professional victory before today came at the Vuelta a España in September 2019.

But that 966-day barren run came to an end this afternoon as the Lotto-Soudal rider outsprinted Jason Tesson and Julien Simon on stage three of the Four Days of Dunkirk.

Gilbert’s win also moved him level on time with new race leader Arvid de Kleijn, after former pink jersey Tesson was docked 40 seconds for drafting too long in the cars earlier in the stage.

Ten years on since he was arguably the finest rider in the world, Phil Gil’s return to winning ways has brightened the day of cycling fans everywhere:

05 May 2022, 15:42
Fenton! Deer run across peloton during first stage of Junior Peace Race in the Czech Republic

Tweet of the day surely goes to James for this now obligatory, but still funny, Opi-Omi reference:

05 May 2022, 15:30
EF-Education-EasyPost to use compostable bottles at Giro d’Italia

It’s a very EF-EasyPost kind of day on the live blog…

The American squad, led at the Giro by British grand tour contender Hugh Carthy, will ride the Italian race using 100 percent compostable water bottles developed by Cannondale.

The bottles are made from plant-derived materials, and the cap, body, and bite value are entirely compostable and plastic-free.

EF says the bottles, when exposed to micro-organisms, heat, and humidity, will disintegrate within three months.

Both the men’s EF Education-EasyPost and the women’s EF Education-TIBCO-SVB squads (who previously went through around 34,000 one-use plastic bottles annually) will begin using the bottles immediately, while Cannondale hopes to invite all WorldTour teams to adopt the technology in a bid to help build a more sustainable future for professional cycling.

And it means we’ve also been treated to a top-notch bit of acting from Lachlan Morton…

05 May 2022, 14:34
Bikes at polling stations

For the day that’s in it…

 And, finally, my personal favourite – a special dogs in bikes at polling stations tweet:

 Anyone else riding a bike to exercise their democratic right to vote today?

05 May 2022, 14:18
Alpecin-Fenix divides opinion with special Giro kit

After EF Education-EasyPost’s triumphant unveiling of their now-traditional (and very cool) Giro alternate kit yesterday, Mathieu van der Poel’s Alpecin-Fenix squad followed up with a… shall we say… controversial new design especially for the Corsa Rosa.

Was dehydrated pet vomit the look they were going for?

For a team that brought us the perfect one-stage-only homage to the Mercier kit worn by MVDP’s grandfather Raymond Poulidor at last year’s Tour de France, it’s all a bit underwhelming – and confusing.

A quick Google, however, and you’ll find out that ‘verde comodoro’ is actually a colour used by sponsors Fenix in their kitchens. It all makes sense now… (kind of).

Unfortunately, the Belgian squad’s new “soft, timeless shade of green” has divided cycling fans on Twitter:

05 May 2022, 13:46
Who wore it better?
05 May 2022, 13:35
“Ah, that’s why I’ve been losing races”: Readers react to ‘Upright’ cycling water bottle

Our story yesterday on the ‘Upright’ cycling water bottle, which allows the rider to drink without having to rotate the bottle, turned a few heads in the comments and on social media (though isn’t head turning what it’s supposed to prevent?).

The bottle, produced by Dutch start-up Nothirst (very inventive titles guys), is designed with an angled bottleneck, allowing you to maintain your carefully tuned-in aero tuck and keep those watts where they belong, while still keeping hydrated and your eyes on the road.

> Upright cycling water bottle has an angled top to "maintain an aerodynamic position" while sipping, and it's crowdfunding on Kickstarter 

Judging by our readers’ response in the comments and on social media, it turns out I wasn’t the only one who has never noticed the disastrous effects drinking from my normal water bottle has had on my 10-mile TT times:

How is this an innovation? Bottles with angled heads were common in the 1990s. I had a purple one. I thought it looked cool. But then again, in the 1990s I thought purple-anodised chainrings looked cool.

Feels a bit like L-shaped cranks... The "angular neck" achieves nothing different to an angled straw, and water bottles with angled straws are a dime a dozen.

And if you're serious about aerodynamic drinking, there are of course far more effective systems already in existence (e.g. hoses attached to aero bars.)

This sounds so desperate – trying too hard to pitch a weak idea. If the rider in their picture was wearing a more aero jersey they will save far more effort…

But won't it be less aerodynamic for 99.9% of the time, e.g. when in the bottle cage?!?

If you're really going for it isn't your head slightly lower than your rear? I mean if they're really worrying about the most aero way of rehydrating...

Upright water bottle Facebook comments 1
Upright water bottle Facebook comments 2
Upright water bottle Facebook comments 3
Upright water bottle Facebook comments 4

 

05 May 2022, 12:20
Giro countdown: Is Valverde Hungary for pink?

Can the wizened old master Alejandro Valverde finally add a pink jersey to his illustrious collection in Visegrád tomorrow?

The signs are looking good:

Then again, with MVDP about, maybe not…

05 May 2022, 11:44
‘Cyclists are more dangerous than 4x4s’: Anti-Bike bingo reaches new heights as Australian Daily Mail calls for cyclists to carry licences

Folks, I think we’ve reached a new pinnacle for anti-cycling bingo.

This morning, the Australian Daily Mail – it’s never going to be great, is it? – published an article ostensibly devoted purely to motorists on social media calling for cyclists to carry licences, criticising those on bikes for taking up “car lanes”, and claiming that cyclists are “more dangerous” than 4x4 drivers.

According to the Mail, these angry Aussie drivers took aim at cyclists amidst a separate debate about the need to introduce special licences for off-road 4x4 motorists, as towing companies say they are being faced with increased calls from drivers bogged down in mud.

In a classic case of whataboutery so severe it would give you whiplash, one commenter wrote: “What about cyclists? They’re more f***ing dangerous”.

Another duly replied: “True story mate, they are unreal taking up a car lane with more than 20 riders, it makes me sick.

“They’ve got all the bikeways in the world and they want to ride on the road.”

One commenter said that if 4x4 (or 4WD) licences were introduced, then “cyclists need a f**ing licence and have to pay rego [Australia’s Vehicle Registration certificate]”.

Full house!

> New South Wales ditches plans to force cyclists to carry ID 

This debate certainly isn’t a new one in Australia, where attitudes towards cyclists can be pretty hostile in places.

In 2016, the New South Wales government ditched plans to bring in mandatory photo ID for cyclists, after a petition against road minister Duncan Gay’s proposals attracted over 10,000 signatures.

> NSW: tough new fines inspire people to stop cycling 

While Gay’s aim to bring in cycling licences failed, he was responsible for increasing fines for cyclists by up to 50 percent, including A$319 for not wearing a helmet and A$100 for not carrying a bell.

While the minister claimed that the new fines would make cycling ‘safer’, they only served to put people off riding their bikes (colour me shocked) and made New South Wales, according to academics, the “worst state in the world” for cyclists.

But, whatever you do, don’t go after their 4x4s…

05 May 2022, 10:57
2020 Giro d'Italia Geoghegan Hart LB/RB/CorVos/SWpix.com
Poll: What’s your favourite grand tour?

If you haven’t already guessed it from my excitable tone, grand tour season is only 24 hours away!

So, to celebrate, I’ve decided to roll out that ever-popular pro cycling debate: what’s your favourite three-week stage race?

Is it the Giro d’Italia, the handsome, suave, and ever-so-slightly pretentious wine-drinking middle sibling of the grand tours, who occasionally loses the plot and throws a massive house party, with the best food, booze and entertainment, only for none of their older brother’s friends to turn up?

Or is it the Tour de France: the ultra-successful, hyper-driven eldest child, who works a high-powered job at PWC and almost exclusively listens to Ed Sheeran, but who has recently tried to prove to his other siblings that he can be just as cool as them (‘Hey guys, check out this kilometre-long stretch of gravel, so dope, amiright?’)?

Or maybe you long for the Vuelta a España, the kooky, punky and endearingly weird youngest sibling who, after being neglected for so long, is now being mentored by their older French brother in the ways of the boardroom...

Well since we’re all voting today anyway, why not have a poll to decide?

SuperSurvey

As we say here in Northern Ireland: vote early, vote often!

05 May 2022, 09:43
‘You can dodge the rain, but you can’t dodge The Royal Parks’ cycle lane closures’

Please tell me I’m not the only one who read that tweet in the style of Rip Torn’s character Patches O’Houlihan in Dodgeball....

Remember Lance Armstrong’s cameo in that film? Ah, 2004, simpler times.

> Queen’s Platinum Jubilee forces six-week closure of key London cycleway

If you’re not up to speed with how the ceremonial habits of the aristocracy have impacted upon London’s cycleways, you can catch up on the full story here.

And it’s fair to say that not everyone is happy about changing their daily commute to accommodate Liz’s party schedule:

05 May 2022, 09:07
Giro + EF-EasyPost + AC/DC = Vibes

Unfortunately, I missed last night’s Giro team presentation (I’m as shocked and appalled as you are), but I really hope Jonathan Vaughters’ charges took to the stage to the tune of Acca Dacca’s aptly named Dirty Deeds-era classic ‘Ride On’.

Though it was probably ‘Thunderstruck’, wasn’t it?

Now, if we were back in the 1990s or 2000s, I doubt the DJ would have resisted the urge to play AC/DC’s homage to that particularly murky era of pro cycling, ‘If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)’.

05 May 2022, 08:18
“Taxi drivers love the Blackfriars Road cycle lane so much they want to use it too”

Footage from a cyclist’s London commute sent Twitter into a bit of a meltdown last night (and no, before you ask, it wasn’t Jeremy Vine), after a taxi driver was filmed taking up a decent chunk of the Blackfriars Road cycle lane in Southwark.

Needless to say, the cabbie came in for quite a bit of stick from baffled Twitter users:

However – and perhaps just as inevitably – some motorists came to the driver’s defence, pointing out that the cabbie may have been unloading a wheelchair at the time the footage was filmed:

What do you think? Did the driver, as one commenter claimed, have “no excuse” for parking in the bike lane, or can it be justified in certain circumstances?

Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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