Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Van der Poel and Van Aert: a rivalry for the ages; Active travel bridge deemed “unsuitable for cycling”; Canadian rider’s casual mid-race finger relocation at cross worlds; Jake Stewart’s dentist trip; Cycle and Lamborghini lanes + more on the live blog

Mondays… But don’t let the post-cross blues get you down, as Ryan Mallon’s back to kick off another week of live blog news and nonsense
06 February 2023, 16:48
Plans for Ireland's first ever indoor velodrome (Cycling Ireland)
Planning permission granted for Ireland’s first ever indoor velodrome – a week after Cycling Ireland cut U23 schedule

Planning approval has been secured for Ireland’s first ever indoor velodrome, which Cycling Ireland’s interim CEO Chris Kitchen believes will “help Irish cycling to the next level”.

On Friday, the governing body confirmed that permission had been granted for the shared cycling and badminton centre, which will be built at the Sport Ireland Campus in Blanchardstown, just outside of Dublin, the venue for December’s inaugural Irish round of the UCI cyclocross World Cup.

The centre will include a 250m track, with 12 badminton courts within the infield. Other spaces, including a café, changing rooms, offices, training facilities, and bike stores and hire facilities, will sit under the track at ground level.

Plans for Ireland's first ever indoor velodrome (Cycling Ireland)3

The new facility will be based at the Sport Ireland campus near Dublin

Despite producing several elite track talents over the past decade – including 2013 scratch race world champion Martyn Irvine, World Cup winners Mark Downey and Felix English, and the European bronze medal-winning team pursuit squad of Kelly Murphy, Emily Kay, Mia Griffin, and Alice Sharpe – the country has never had a proper indoor track (despite number failed attempts), with those leading riders forced to train on the boards in Palma, Mallorca.

Cycling Ireland chief Kitchen, who took over the role on an interim basis in December after a turbulent time for the governing body fraught with financial and legal troubles, says the news is “a testament to the hard work of many at Sport Ireland, Sport Ireland Campus and Cycling Ireland.”

He continued: “We’re delighted to move one step closer to the development of a state-of-the-art velodrome on the Sport Ireland Campus that can help bring Irish cycling to the next level.”

The international commissaire Paul Watson, who has been working on the design and plans for the velodrome, added: “It’s something that Sport Ireland and Cycling Ireland have been working towards for a long time, and we can’t wait to continue our work with them on the project to deliver a world class velodrome for Irish cycling.”

Plans for Ireland's first ever indoor velodrome (Cycling Ireland)2

> “This decision has not been taken lightly”: No Irish teams for road world championships in Australia

This positive development comes only a matter of months after Cycling Ireland took the decision to not send a squad to the road world championships in Wollongong, citing the mounting costs and the body’s stretched budget, and only a week after the schedule for the island’s U23 team was cut.

According to a report from Sticky Bottle, the Irish U23 road team will only ride three events in 2023 – despite possessing two of the most talented riders in the world at that age, Archie Ryan and Darren Rafferty – and will not ride the prestigious Tour de l’Avenir, which Ryan would have entered as a favourite after finishing fourth in 2022.

As well as limiting the schedule, U23 road team manager Irvine has not been rehired, despite being credited with the promising group’s success last year.

06 February 2023, 15:44
Just the nice, easy 207km Sunday ride for Sepp Kuss
06 February 2023, 15:00
I think I might be sick… Canadian cyclocross rider shares distressing image of THAT dislocated finger

I’m warning you now, this isn’t for the faint-hearted…

06 February 2023, 14:29
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Melbourne (source Facebook).JPG
He’ll be back… with your bike, after he takes it to get fixed (because he hit you with his car)

Ah, that reference turned out to be more tortured than I anticipated…

Anyway, it was reported over the weekend that Kindergarten Cop and Last Action Hero star (those are his best films, right?) Arnold Schwarzenegger – a live blog favourite known for his love of two wheels, but not helmets, and active travel advocacy – struck a cyclist with his car, leaving the woman with minor injuries.

TMZ reported that Arnie was driving through West LA yesterday when, according to local police and three eyewitnesses who spoke to the magazine, the cyclist suddenly swerved across into the former Governor of California’s lane and collided with his car.

Law enforcement sources told TMZ that Schwarzenegger didn’t have time to brake, was driving at a sensible speed, and will not be blamed for the collision.

He also apparently took the cyclist’s bike to a local bike shop for repairs, so he really will be back after all.

“Get to the bike shop!”… Nah, doesn’t really work, does it?

06 February 2023, 13:38
Bikes, trains, and lots of tickets…
06 February 2023, 12:50
Tour of Antalya cancelled following devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

The organisers of the Tour of Antalya, a four-day stage race set to take place in Turkey this week as part of the UCI’s Europe Tour, announced this morning that the event’s fifth edition will be cancelled in the wake of the two massive earthquakes that have devastated southern Turkey and northern Syria in the past few hours.

Our thoughts go out to all those affected by this terrible disaster.

06 February 2023, 12:18
The pedestrian and cycle crossing “unsuitable for cycling”

What do you call a pedestrian and cycle bridge that’s unsuitable for cycling and potentially dangerous for pedestrians?

Well, that seems to be the question currently posed to Norwich’s lovely-looking Jarrold Bridge, which opened in late 2011 to provide an active travel link to the city centre.

But despite those worthy intentions from the early 2010s, a new ‘No Cycling’ sign (though, as the pedants will surely note, it’s actually a ‘No No Cycling’ sign, but I digress) installed on the floating bridge, and posted on Twitter over the weekend, now informs people on bikes using the crossing that they must dismount, as the wooden surface is “unsuitable for cycling”.

Ah, so I’ll just walk my bike across then. Not so fast – apparently the bridge “may be slippery when wet” (alright Richie Sambora) and that pedestrians should “proceed with caution”.

According to the bridge’s engineers, Ramboll, “long approach ramps” were included to “retain full accessibility for cycles and wheelchairs”, while the bridge was “surfaced with timber in a pattern intended to naturally reduce the speed of cyclists”.

Making them walk their bikes certainly is one way to reduce speed, I’ll give them that.

Needless to say, the active travel bridge that’s unsuitable or dangerous for active travellers hasn’t gone down too well on social media:

06 February 2023, 11:31
Pidcock the drone, some casual finger relocation, mammoth comebacks, and cracked frames at the cyclocross worlds

It wasn’t just the Mathieu versus Wout show at Hoogerheide yesterday, you know? Here’s a quick run-through of the noteworthy, and occasionally wince-inducing, tales from a wild weekend at the worlds…

First off, one of the stars of the show over the last few days was definitely The Drone™, which captured some stunning footage of the riders as it ominously followed them around the course:

Although cycling writer Katy Madgwick reckons the drone was simply acting as a stand-in for the missing member of the ‘cross Big Three:

Meanwhile, as Van Aert and Van der Poel forged clear at the start of the elite men’s race, Canada’s Michael van den Ham suffered an untimely crash, which forced the 30-year-old to – calm as you like – force his finger back into the socket before carrying on to finish 33rd.

Excuse me while I fetch a bucket…

Speaking of poorly timed crashes, in the junior race American national champion and junior Koppenbergcross winner AJ August hit the deck hard right on the start line.

The 17-year-old, who lost a fair portion of his skinsuit in the crash, was then forced to run to the pits, which he exited in 71st, dead last, 1.36 behind the leaders.

But despite the obvious effects of the early crash and having to pick his way through a crowded field, August managed to cede only a further five seconds throughout the rest of the race to the winner, France’s Léo Bisiaux, and passed 49 riders along the way to finish an 22nd, an absolute stunning ride in the circumstances.

Remember the name.

Despite his misfortune, at least August didn’t suffer the bad luck that struck this poor Italian junior fifteen minutes before the start of the biggest race of his life:

And finally, let’s bring it right back to the start, and the greatest rivalry cyclocross has ever seen. While Van der Poel lapped up the plaudits in front of his home crowd, spare a thought for poor Wout, who has to content himself with only the three world ‘cross titles, and a Milan San-Remo, and the Tour green jersey, and…

06 February 2023, 10:57
‘Glad to see the new bike and Lamborghini lane open…’

A classic of the ‘why don’t cyclists use the cycle lane?’ genre from Sheffield:

No, of course not... 

06 February 2023, 10:29
Ekoi Refresh sleeveless indoor training vest
Weekend roundup: Unicycle lanes, scarily impatient taxi drivers, ‘Peak Gravel’, Peep Show quotes, and more…
06 February 2023, 09:54
Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel at the 2023 world cyclocross championships in Hoogerheide (Alex Whitehead/
“When we look back, we’ll appreciate these duels”: Van der Poel and Van Aert, a rivalry for the ages

Yesterday’s rainbow jersey showdown in Hoogerheide between the two undisputed titans of ‘cross, Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert, felt like… something, you know?

Two of the defining talents of their age, capable of astounding feats on almost any bike on almost any terrain, who have matched each other pedal stroke for pedal stroke throughout their careers, and even lives, on the bike, duking it out, alone together on the front, way ahead of the rest, roared on by a delirious 40,000-strong crowd captivated by their rivalry.

It really doesn’t get much better than that…

> Mathieu van der Poel outsprints Wout van Aert to win cyclocross world title after thrilling duel

Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel at the 2023 world cyclocross championships in Hoogerheide (Alex Whitehead/

[Alex Whitehead/]

As I noted in yesterday’s race report, the elite men’s race at the 2023 cyclocross worlds – won by the home favourite Van der Poel in, naturally, a nail-biting sprint – will go down in history, alongside the 2020 Tour of Flanders, as a snapshot of a generation-defining rivalry.

That rivalry began, as the images shared on Twitter over the last day show, when they were just kids on bikes; one that progressed from muddy fields to cobbled bergs and sun-kissed mountains, and back to muddy fields again, and which will almost certainly be ingrained in the sport’s memory in the same way as Coppi v Bartali, Anquetil v Poulidor, Boonen v Cancellara.

Sitting together in the post-race press conference, Van der Poel and Van Aert were asked if they enjoyed the seemingly countless duels they fight out on the cyclocross field.

“For me, yes. If you take one of the two of us away, it gets less interesting,” the now five-time world cyclocross champion Van der Poel said.

“There’s always respect between us. Maybe you’re not going to appreciate it when you get beaten but when we retire and glance back, we’ll appreciate these duels.”

Beside him, seemingly always beside him, Van Aert nodded: “For me, that’s the same.”

06 February 2023, 09:19
Ouch… Jake Stewart’s trip to the dentist after nasty Étoile de Bessèges crash

Before we get on to the Mathieu and Wout show (the longest-running sitcom in cycling history), and the rest of the reaction to a weekend of ‘cross action, let’s turn our attention to the road… and, in particular, the section of road Jake Stewart’s face collided with during Saturday’s stage of the Étoile de Bessèges.


The 23-year-old from Coventry, who burst onto the scene with second place at the 2021 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad before taking his first pro win at the Tour de l’Ain last August, was forced to abandon stage four of the early-season French race – and book a trip to the dentist – after this nasty-looking spill on the way to Mont Bouquet.

Reminds of the time when I was seven, and we were giving each other backies around the estate – before my mate attempted, rather foolishly, a two-man bunny hop and promptly face planted the kerb, losing a tooth in the process…

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the Étoile de Bessèges GC was decided by a solitary second, after EF Education-EasyPost’s Neilson Powless pipped Mont Bouquet victor Mattias Skjelmose by the finest of margins on the final 10km time trial around Alès.

You could almost say Powless won by the skin of his teeth… (Too soon, Jake?)

Ryan joined in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

Add new comment


eburtthebike | 1 year ago

Eat your hearts out Norwichians (?).  Bristol put in three shared use bridges in succession before they got it right with the fourth.

First there was Perot's Bridge, on a council defined strategic cycle route, but not suitable for cycling.  I took them to the ombudsman and won, and they promised to learn the lessons.  A few years later, there was Valentine's bridge, also on a cycle route and also unsuitable for cycling, not just because of the surface, but the parapets were too low; Sustrans gave it an award.  It also received trenchant criticism and the council again said they'd learned the lessons.  The coup-de-grace was the Cheesegrater, a bridge so incredibly unsuitable for its intended use that it's hard to understand the mental processes of the designer and whoever approved it; collective insanity?

All of these bridges were designed by highly paid consultants, and were all abysmal.  Just a couple of hundred miles away, there are any number of shared use bridges that are fit for purpose and are cheap to construct, but no, they had to make something pretty but useless.

Rendel Harris replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
1 like

eburtthebike wrote:

Eat your hearts out Norwichians (?). 


brooksby replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago

Rendel Harris wrote:

eburtthebike wrote:

Eat your hearts out Norwichians (?). 


Bless you!

brooksby replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
1 like

eburtthebike wrote:

First there was Perot's Bridge, on a council defined strategic cycle route, but not suitable for cycling.

Too narrow, and hellishly busy with pedestrians, IIRC.

HarrogateSpa replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago

I always assumed that the local govt ombudsman would be a waste of time and reluctant to find against councils. Maybe I was wrong.

Did you find it a good process?

eburtthebike replied to HarrogateSpa | 1 year ago
1 like

HarrogateSpa wrote:

I always assumed that the local govt ombudsman would be a waste of time and reluctant to find against councils. Maybe I was wrong.

Did you find it a good process?

It wasn't quick, and it was a long time ago, since when they've had all their teeth removed and are basically as useful as a chocolate teapot.

Awavey replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago

I remember the cheesegrater was very slippy, even walking on it.

The issue here for the Noriwichians isnt fundamentally in the design, their problem stems from they started with untreated wood as a material, and probably havent done any annual maintenance on it since.

as anyone who has a bit of a decking knows, its not the rain that makes the wood slippy, its the algae/mould that thrives in environments of damp/wet wood that then make it slippy and as a result you have to spend fair bit of time cleaning the wood properly every year.

Mungecrundle | 1 year ago

Why would anyone complain about a Lamborghini in the cycle lane when they have clearly been designed to be ridden over?

OldRidgeback replied to Mungecrundle | 1 year ago

A bicycle lock thru the brake disc and wheel spokes wouldn't be hard to do I expect. Leave a note on the windscreen for the driver. It'd be amusing to watch from a safe distance.

Cocovelo | 1 year ago
1 like

Wout's tweet is so classy. Both of those guys are just legends.

ChuckSneed | 1 year ago

Pro cyclists crashing their £10000 bikes makes sure dentists can continue to ride their £10000 bikes.

hawkinspeter replied to ChuckSneed | 1 year ago

ChuckSneed wrote:

Pro cyclists crashing their £10000 bikes makes sure dentists can continue to ride their £10000 bikes.

The last time I went to the dentist, I was leafing through a car magazine and could hardly believe my eyes. The BMWs actually come with indicators as standard!

Cocovelo replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
1 like

Driving a BMW (or any flashy expensive car) is definitely an indication of something.

In a related story I was once chastised for not indicating before turning right on my bike which doesn't come with indicators as standard.

quiff replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago

If it's anything like my dentist, the magazines aren't exactly up to date. I believe indicators now require an additional subscription, like the heated seats.  

Rendel Harris replied to quiff | 1 year ago

quiff wrote:

I believe indicators now require an additional subscription

That must be this "pay per click" one hears so much about these days.

hawkinspeter replied to quiff | 1 year ago

quiff wrote:

If it's anything like my dentist, the magazines aren't exactly up to date. I believe indicators now require an additional subscription, like the heated seats.  

Your dentist has heated seats in the waiting room?

Rik Mayals unde... replied to quiff | 1 year ago

Indicators come as standard, the subscription is to refill the indicator bottle regularly.

Rik Mayals unde... replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago

They do!

Latest Comments