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Britain’s Got Terrible Cycling Takes: Amanda Holden says cyclists with cameras are “asking for trouble”; Ford blasted for ‘aim your car’ ad; “Build infrastructure. Stop encouraging”; Delays, dancing and danger at the Women's Tour + more on the live blog

After the long bank holiday weekend it’s finally Monday again, so take the bunting down and join Ryan Mallon, fresh from his own Italian sojourn, for the first live blog of the week
06 June 2022, 16:59
Chris Hoy, photobombing around the final bend…

This would have been even better if Sir Hoy had been wearing his assigned Team GB Bob the Builder helmet…

06 June 2022, 16:09
Readers react to “depressingly despicable” Britain’s Got Talent video

Some reaction to Amanda Holden and those comments from last night’s Britain’s Got Talent final:

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.

06 June 2022, 15:47
Clara Copponi wins crash-marred stage one of Women’s Tour, as Alexis Vuillermoz takes breakaway win at Dauphiné

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 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.

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.

06 June 2022, 14:05
Women's Tour 2022 dancing (via GCN)
Twistin' the race away: Women’s Tour riders dance their way through stage one delay

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.

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…

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…

06 June 2022, 13:44
“Build infrastructure. Stop ‘encouraging’”: Northern Ireland Department for Infrastructure’s Bike Week social media campaign criticised by cyclists

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:

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…

06 June 2022, 12:11
Ironman Hamburg competitor’s bike stolen from inside transition area overnight

A post shared by Roman Lacko (@roman_ehub)

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.”

06 June 2022, 11:50
Happy Women’s Tour day – and you can watch it live!

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:

06 June 2022, 10:57
Cyclist’s wife “fine” and conscious after sickening finish line crash at Vuelta a Colombia

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.

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.

06 June 2022, 10:03
2023 Trek Madone spotted at Critérium du Dauphiné

Thoughts/comments on Trek’s top-secret new Madone and its rather radical and interesting (some of you may have stronger words) aero frame?

06 June 2022, 09:50
RideLondon partner Ford criticised for ‘aim your car’ advert

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”.

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…

06 June 2022, 09:12
Red Arrows, cycling style

Move over Cliff and Ed, this is the kind of jubilee content I want to see…

06 June 2022, 08:27
Amanda Holden says camera cyclists are 'asking for trouble' on BGT (via Britain's Got Talent, YouTube)
Britain’s Got Terrible Cycling Takes: Amanda Holden says cyclists with cameras are “asking for trouble” after BGT contestant performs anti-cycling bingo comedy routine

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.

> Simon Cowell suffers broken arm after falling off electric bike in London

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.

> Highway Code changes criticised in bizarre "I'm a cyclist, but..." Spectator article

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”:

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 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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