Some reaction to Amanda Holden and those comments from last night’s Britain’s Got Talent final:
— Wayne (@waynebago1) June 5, 2022
Never heard of her! People who drive recklessly are asking for trouble, hence my I have a GoPro attached to my bike and a dash cam in both cars.
— Brian Muir (@brianrobertmuir) June 6, 2022
Cyclists with cameras are asking for trouble?
Presumably, so are drivers with dashcams?
That BGT video is just despicable. Like depressingly despicable.
Plus if nobody had cameras then nobody would have clocked her on that 200 mile trip to Cornwall during the lockdown...
Even worse is all the speed cameras dotted around the place - the police are totally asking for trouble by doing that.
So people with house alarms deserve to be burgled? People with life insurance deserve to die? A motorcyclist with a helmet deserves a head injury?
Not sure where she would be going with that kind of comment...!
Utterly despicable. ‘Why do cyclists seek to protect themselves when comics are prepared to go on stage and laugh about endangering their lives’? Yes, why indeed!!
She won't be going on the TV with Jeremy Vine anytime soon.
Pretty much the only thing I saw on that snoozefest was that performance and wow, cheers mate.
And Holden? Never has someone so untalented been in charge of giving votes on a talent show...
Put Amanda Holden on a bike in London and then see how she changes her tune.
It's a 𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙤𝙩𝙞𝙘 finish to the opening stage of the Women's Tour 😱
— Eurosport (@eurosport) June 6, 2022
FDJ’s Clara Copponi took this afternoon’s first stage of the Women’s Tour in Bury St Edmunds ahead of Sofia Bertizzolo following a chaotic and dangerous final few kilometres which saw pre-stage favourite Lorena Wiebes and Coryn Labecki hit the deck in a nasty looking crash.
The organizers of Vuelta a Colombia can finally breathe a sigh of relief after watching today's stage finish in the Women's Tour...🙈 Clara Copponi won the first stage after Lorena Wiebes went down in one of the final turns of a very dangerous final km. #WomensTour pic.twitter.com/QnXjk09Smb
— Mihai Simion (@faustocoppi60) June 6, 2022
The sprint finish, which took place on narrow, constantly twisting streets through the Suffolk town, had been a source of worry for the peloton throughout the stage (which, as we noted earlier, was also severely affected by an hour-long pause due to an incident ahead of the race).
After discussions with the commissaries, it was agreed, in a bid to make the finale safer, that the GC time would be taken with three kilometres to go.
Just as well, perhaps, as even with those last minute adjustments the sprint remained a frightening affair, with riders fighting for positions on roads which narrowed and widened at a moment’s notice, and in some places saw parked cars reduce the road to just two riders wide.
The final tight left hander with 250 metres to go saw the well-positioned Labecki and Weibes (fresh off a clean sweep at RideLondon) crash hard into the barriers, giving Copponi the chance to take her first win of the season and the race’s first leader’s jersey.
Is this normal for a World Tour race? Get your sh*t together! Such situations are just dangerous for every human soul on this planet. Do something about it.#WomensTour #UCIWWT pic.twitter.com/k54sI7yKve
— Domestique (@Domestique___) June 6, 2022
Hot take - ridiculous finishing roads at the women's tour. Asking for a crash, and they got one
— Matthew Standley (@matt_stan81) June 6, 2022
Finish was much, much worse than I expected. Disgrace, that final. Really not okay that riders are exposed to such danger by reckless organisers. Just hope the next stages aren't so bad... #womenstour #UCIWWT
— Jens Dekker (@jens_dekker) June 6, 2022
Meanwhile, at the Critérium du Dauphiné, TotalEnergies’ Alexis Vuillermoz rolled back the years, sprinting to the win from a breakaway group that narrowly held off the peloton in the closing kilometres and taking the yellow jersey off the shoulders of Wout van Aert, who was once again the fastest man behind ahead of Ethan Hayter.
Listen to that celebratory 𝐑𝐎𝐀𝐑! 🔊
— Eurosport (@eurosport) June 6, 2022
It’s been a cold one for the riders in the Women’s Tour peloton today, as an incident ahead of the race which required the attention of medical services has led to the stage being neutralised for over an hour.
The breakaway photo you never expected to see! With 35km to go in Stage 1 of the Women’s Tour @DanniShrosbree has a 1:15 advantage over the bunch. With the race neutralised we’re making use of the heated seats. Taking it all in her stride 💪 pic.twitter.com/sZwznoU0sp
— Dani Christmas (@Dani_Christmas) June 6, 2022
While some, including lone leader Danni Shrosbree, sought the warmth of the team car – and its heated seats – during the delay, the riders from Team Coop-Hitec decided to boogie away the cold, TikTok style…
— Team Coop - Hitec Products (@Hitec_Products) June 6, 2022
I'm not sure I'd be able to pull off those moves, even without cycling shoes on...
Thankfully, a shivering Shrosbree and the trailing bunch are finally back on the road, with 35 kilometres left to the finish in Bury St Edmunds.
I’m cold just thinking about it all…
Bike Week starts tomorrow!
Keep an eye on our social media sites for all the ‘wheely’ great reasons to cycle & tips for novice cyclists or those thinking about giving cycling a go! #BikeWeekUK @roadtozero @SustransNI @ConnsGreenway @NWGreenway @CyclingUK_NI @publichealthni pic.twitter.com/LpOP1o7Q1i
— Dept Infrastructure (@deptinfra) June 5, 2022
Today marks the start of Bike Week in the UK, so you know what that means – lots of ill-judged social media posts!
In Northern Ireland, the Department for Infrastructure decided to follow in the wheel tracks of the PSNI (remember that odd, pixelated road safety campaign from a few months ago?) by annoying cyclists from Strabane to Strangford with a tweet promising some “wheely” great reasons to cycle along with tips for novice cyclists.
Considering the lack of dedicated cycling infrastructure in Northern Ireland – an area under the control of, you guessed it, the Department for Infrastructure – let’s just say that that particular message didn’t go down too well:
Build some decent safe and segregated cycling routes, you shower of absolute charlatans. Frankly any social media campaign by yourselves on Bike Week deserves to be met with ridicule and scorn.
The single biggest obstacle to building a climate resilient city is your department. https://t.co/4TO4spnRuu
— Cllr Brian Smyth (@Briansmyth99) June 5, 2022
How about building more segregated cycleways to stop them filling full of cars?
— Seven ⭕🍃💚🍃🇺🇦 (@Seven_of_9ine) June 6, 2022
Build. Protected. Cycling. And. Walking. Infrastructure.
— Agustina Martire (@agusmartire) June 5, 2022
Build safe segregated cycle infrastructure. That's your actual job FFS.
— Darryl Collins 🌱🌿🌳🍃🌍 (@darrylxxx) June 6, 2022
Could you stop trolling everyone now please @deptinfra ? You are the barrier to great active travel infrastructure in this country ... you don't enable anything, you plough ahead with car centric thinking, delivery nothing for active travel & now are going to give people tips?
— Aaron (@arnoboko) June 5, 2022
I will be pedalling to work as normal this week, and marvelling* at how everyone has got on board with this and at how quiet the roads in this car-choked, litter-strewn city are for a few days.
*dodging cars and broken bottles https://t.co/UvGPyZRjV9
— CycleBelfast (@BelfastCycle) June 5, 2022
The Stormont department’s much-derided campaign follows last week’s news that £22.3 million has already been spent on an interchange scheme designed to address a major traffic bottleneck on three of Northern Ireland’s busiest roads in Belfast – before work has even begun on the project.
Surely the Assembly could throw some of the money being spent on stalled schemes for cars into active travel infrastructure? Now that would be a “wheely” great reason to cycle…
Horrible news for British Ironman competitor Roman Lacko, who was unable to compete in Hamburg at the weekend after waking up to find that his Canyon TT bike had been stolen from the race’s transition area.
“My beloved bike’s been stolen from the transition area overnight at the Ironman Hamburg,” Lacko posted this morning on Instagram.
“The help from Ironman staff, Hamburg police and many athletes was great, big thanks for that.
“I feel hopeless at the moment and worried about my rest of the season with two main upcoming events, Ironman Ireland and the World Championship in Kona in October. My heart is broken.
“I still can’t believe this could happen with all the security guards.
“I don’t want to talk too much about it as life needs to go on, but I’ll update you if progress is made. Thanks all for your support.”
Stage one of the Women’s Tour is underway at the @ColSportsPark.
— The Women's Tour (@thewomenstour) June 6, 2022
The Women’s Tour kicked off this morning in rainy Colchester, as the race returns to its traditional early June slot after a couple of Covid-disrupted years.
While 2021 champion Demi Vollering won’t be defending her crown, Elisa Longo Borghini, former winner Kasia Niewiadoma and home hero Pfeiffer Georgi will be among the star names aiming to take one of the six-day race’s hardest ever editions, which will feature a 7.2 kilometre summit finish in Wales’ Black Mountains on the penultimate day.
And better yet – for the first time ever, the race is being broadcast live on Eurosport GCN, where you can watch every stage from kilometre zero to the finish (that should satisfy even the “why doesn’t the race go by my house” complainers).
While a live TV broadcast has been long overdue for such a prestigious World Tour race, the prospect of wall-to-wall coverage, only confirmed last week, is a massive boost for the sport in the UK and has got plenty of us even more excited for the next six days:
How cool is it to be able to watch a stage of the Women's Tour right from the start? We've given them a tough time over TV coverage but they have really stepped up to the plate this year. #WomensTour pic.twitter.com/ggXfAo18Y8
— Sadhbh O'Shea (@SadhbhOS) June 6, 2022
Look at us getting live coverage from BEFORE the start right to the finish of a race in women's cycling... look at us... who would've thought...
— robyn (@robynjournalist) June 6, 2022
Live coverage of the Women's Tour was long overdue but these things can't happen without investment. For this to happen after two years of lockdown and a worsening economy is amazing. Well done @thewomenstour, @gcntweet @eurosport and @cottagescom #WomensTour #UCIWWT
— Simon P. (@thepuncheur) June 6, 2022
Absolute MADNESS in the finish of stage 3 in @Vueltacolombia1 ! 😱🇨🇴 Luis Carlos Chia wins after swimming through the last km and passing Quiroz on the finish line. While celebrating, he crashed hard into his wife! Incredible stuff. #VColombia2022 pic.twitter.com/Qosqxuwb0M
— Mihai Simion (@faustocoppi60) June 5, 2022
Any readers of a squeamish disposition, look away now.
The final sodden kilometres of yesterday’s third stage of the Vuelta a Colombia, into Monteria, seemed to resemble more closely a 1970s Division Three match or the Olympic 100m Breaststroke final than a cycling road race.
As riders crashed around him, 25-year-old race leader Luis Carlos Chia managed to grimly pick his way through the chaos, water from the flooded road flying from his wheels, overhauling Óscar Quiroz in the dying metres to take his second victory of the race.
However, as Chia crossed the line with his arms raised, he rode straight into his wife, unable to stop in time in the atrocious conditions.
Gracias a todos por acompañarnos en nuestra transmisión. pic.twitter.com/k5eK6VZjud
— Señal Deportes (@SenalDeportes) June 5, 2022
While the immediate aftermath of the sickening collision appeared deeply concerning, Chia was quickly to his feet and later confirmed to reporters that his wife was also “fine”, “out of danger”, and did not lose consciousness, despite suffering a “scare”.
Subsequent reports claimed that Chia’s wife received four stitches and was kept under observation for four hours.
Thoughts/comments on Trek’s top-secret new Madone and its rather radical and interesting (some of you may have stronger words) aero frame?
Car companies have long promoted their products in an assertive and aggressive way, encouraging drivers to “be in control” and to “own the road”.
But Ford may have set a new low in openly marketing their cars as weapons. pic.twitter.com/NsSqV8VZis
— Adam Tranter (@adamtranter) June 5, 2022
Well that didn’t take long…
Just over two weeks after being unveiled as a major partner of RideLondon, motoring giant Ford has come in for criticism from cyclists who have blasted the company’s latest “aggressive” marketing campaign.
The ad, which encourages Ford’s customers not to simply drive their car but “aim it” – presumably a reference to racing drivers ‘aiming’ for the apex of a corner – was described on Twitter last night by the West Midlands’ cycling and walking commissioner Adam Tranter as a “new low in openly marketing their cars as weapons”.
It’s an interesting strategy for a company aiming to earn goodwill by promoting their support of people walking and cycling, the modes of transport most in danger of the weaponisation of cars. I have made a complaint to the ASA, you can too here: https://t.co/ejVRzDTPfi
— Adam Tranter (@adamtranter) June 5, 2022
Is this for real??? Or is this supposed to be some sort of morbid joke?
— Elias Zamaria (@EliasZamaria) June 5, 2022
The picture is not of a track though.
— Adam Tranter (@adamtranter) June 5, 2022
Man on twitter fails to distinguish between two tonne vehicle powered by 250bhp and 10kg human-powered bicycle.
— Jon Mathias 🇺🇦 (@JonMathias8) June 5, 2022
Ford were sponsoring last week's Ride London and Freecycle.
Their brand was emblazoned on riders' tabards...
— Helen Vecht (@helenvecht) June 5, 2022
In the same week that Ford announced its partnership with RideLondon, the firm also launched its ‘Park the Car’ initiative, encouraging people to ditch the car and cycle or walk if the journey is under three miles.
Let’s just hope some of those motorists inspired by Ford’s advertising to ‘aim’ their car are also encouraged to park it every once in a while…
I’ve been in Italy for the past two weeks, swapping the Platty Joobs for the Festa della Repubblica, so this year’s series of Britain’s Got Talent has somewhat passed me by (though, to be fair, that’s been the case for at least the last decade or so, thankfully).
But while idly flicking through the channels last night, I stumbled upon the grand finale of the talent show of diminishing returns, just in time for comedian Axel Blake to take the stage.
Resisting the urge to switch over to Crocodile Dundee II, I decided to give Axel a chance. Not that I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for – from what I’ve glimpsed over the years, comedians on BGT tend to be rather pedestrian, often channelling Chris Ramsey-levels of blandness to whoops of laughter from the clearly sleep-deprived audience.
And Axel certainly didn’t disappoint on that front, delivering what could loosely be described as ‘jokes’ for the first two minutes of his act.
But then the contestant mentioned that he used to cycle to work. My ears pricked up, eyes lifted from my phone.
What followed, however, was over a minute of ‘comedy’ (again, I use the term loosely) straight out of the Alliance of British Drivers’ manifesto, delivered to a national audience.
So dig out your anti-cycling bingo card, turn on the following video at 3.12, and get ready to shout “full house!”
Anti-cycling bingo, the BGT edition:
‘I am/was a cyclist, but...’ – Cheers Axel, straight out of the blocks with anti-cycling bingo’s foundational statement, with the contestant quick to point out the differences between cyclists and what he describes as “CYCLISTS!” Yep, it’s that kind of gig.
‘Spiked shoes’ – Here’s a new one. I assume he means cleats? Or maybe he doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about and is just playing up to a demographic he assumes will be voting on this stupid programme.
‘Spandex suit’ – Ah, a classic. Couldn’t miss out on a Spiderman reference there, Axel.
‘Curved handlebars’ – Another obscure bingo b-side here, but one that takes me back to my teenage years, when my mates would pore over my road bike, asking: “where are the gears?”
‘Mr Tour de France’ – This one was inevitable, but fair play to him for squeezing a big hit in after a few album cuts.
‘I need a car’ – Ah, the classic Clarksonian cliché, that cars are aspirational, and bikes are simply the refuge of the poor and unsuccessful. Timeless.
‘Cyclists hate when you cut them off’ – Big finish now, as Axel makes one final ‘joke’ about endangering the life of another human being, to roars of approval from the crowd. Not depressing, not depressing at all.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, skip forward to 7.25, when judge Amanda ‘I can’t believe she’s still on the telly’ Holden decided to add yet another line to your overflowing bingo card.
Holden, who embarrassed the nation at last year’s Eurovision by personifying Britain’s most Brexity stereotypes, told Axel: “The whole cyclists thing, I’m so with you.
“Why do they wear the cameras? They’re asking for trouble already!”
And with that, I flicked over to Mick Dundee.
Others, including Eurosport’s very own Brian Smith and DCS Andy Cox, instead took to Twitter to blast Holden’s “feedback”:
. @AmandaHolden dropping some bombs on BGT tonight...
England behind you, oh and Wales and Scotland and N.Ireland...
Don't get why cyclists wear those camera's...
FFS Its to prove they are being cut up by other roads users. If you rode a bike you would understand.
— Brian Smith 𝕆𝕃𝕐 (@BriSmithy) June 5, 2022
Primarily to deter dangerous and reckless driving and in doing so save life. Plus enforcement and crash investigation opportunities enabling dangerous and reckless drivers to be held to account.
— Andy Cox (@AndyCoxDCS) June 6, 2022
— Joel Gleicher (@JoelG_88) June 5, 2022
@AmandaHolden, when you get a call from paramedics to say your boyfriend has been knocked off his bike by a driver, you get him a camera. He was not asking for trouble! Your comment was everything wrong with the attitude towards cyclist. pic.twitter.com/lXMPKdffoZ
— Bee and Peach (@BeeandPeach1) June 5, 2022
Why did Axle Blake choose to bash cyclists in his Britains Got Talent final performance? Judge Amanda Holden joined in creating more negative feeling towards cyclists on national TV. He won’t be getting my vote #BGTFinal #amandaholden #ITV
— the walking, cycling, motorbiking, driving human (@nerolab) June 5, 2022
Why do idiots always try and paint people who cycle with cameras as asking or looking for trouble? What do they think about people who drive with a dashcam?
The reason is the same. To act as a witness against bad and untrustworthy people driving https://t.co/fpB6zYShGx
— Real Gaz on a proper bike #fbpe (@gazza_d) June 6, 2022
To cap it all off, according to the papers this morning, Axel and his ABD handbook later won the public vote, scooping the £250,000 prize and a spot on the Royal Variety along with it. Bingo!
Long live David O’Doherty…
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.