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Can it be real? Mechanic shares double cleat horror set up; Cav: I can get better; Wheelie-popping kid outshines Tour of Britain; Dan Martin announces retirement; Local paper positivity; Pro bike-handling skills; Charity rides + more on the live blog

It's the start of a new week and summer seems to have saved itself for the Tour of us, it isn't always like this...Dan Alexander is here for your first live blog of the week...
06 September 2021, 16:13
"Just drop the saddle height five inches": Reaction and comments to the toe cleats from hell

Is it fake? Charlie makes a good point...we'll drop our man a message to see if we can get any more info. Gary V isn't sure what all the fuss is about and thinks this could be a way to end that annoying toe overlap once and for all...

On Facebook, Allanna speculated our mystery toe pedaller must be Michael Jackson - very good.

Jon Bayley's calling it a set up too... 

 And in the comments here, Mungercrundle made the case for using something similar for hill climbs. I'm not sure I'd want to ride to the shops, let alone up a hill at full tilt, with that cleat position. Anyway, let's hope we get some answers soon...

06 September 2021, 15:44
Some mountain bike drone footage well worth 54 seconds of your time

Not bad...but...could he pop a wheelie outside the Wilson Way Industrial Estate? Okay, I promise that's the last time I use that line...

06 September 2021, 15:38
Comment of the day...
Live blog comment 6/9/2021


06 September 2021, 14:42
Hundreds attend Cycling UK's 100th anniversary Meriden Cyclists' memorial service

 Hundreds of cyclists came together in the West Midlands village of Meriden yesterday to pay tribute to fallen cyclists who have died in combat. This year's service was the 100th anniversary since the first memorial in 1921 and involved a service, readings and wreath laying ceremony.

06 September 2021, 14:10
Mathieu van der Poel extends Alpecin-Fenix stay for four more years
Van der Poel Stage 2 (A.S.O. Charly Lopez)

Mathieu van der Poel and Alpecin-Fenix until 2025 is a 'four more years' we can get behind. The all-conquering Dutchman took the yellow jersey and a stage at his first Tour de France, to add to his impressive 2021, which already included a cyclo-cross world title, Strade Bianche and multiple impressive stages of week-long races.

The news will come as a boost to the 26-year-old who hasn't raced since crashing out of the Olympic mountain bike race, eventually won by Tom Pidcock.

"I’m very happy to have signed this long-term contract with a team that feels like my second family. I’m really enjoying myself at Alpecin-Fenix. The team has developed fantastically in the last years – simultaneously with the progress I’ve been making – and are still getting better and stronger each year," Van der Poel said.

Van der Poel also confirmed that competing in multiple disciplines, including cyclo-cross and mountain biking, will continue to be a priority for the next stage of his career.

06 September 2021, 13:31
Cow about that? Un-bull-ievable scenes in Dartmoor


06 September 2021, 13:19
Mark Cavendish: "I believe I can stay at this level, and I believe I can get even better"
Mark Cavendish and Eddy Merckx (picture credit A.S.O./Pauline Ballet)

Mark Cavendish is back in Britain this week, as we speak slogging his way around the grippy second stage through Devon. The Manxman is out of contract with Deceuninck-Quick-Step at the end of the season but has expressed his desire to stay with the team beyond 2021.

His return to the team has been an overwhelming success, with him winning four stages and the green jersey at the Tour de France. However, with that success comes an increase in his market value, something Patrick Lefevere hasn't shied away from when speaking to the media about the prospect of Cav signing a new deal.

"I want to continue racing, and I hope it's with the team where I am now," Cavendish explained to reporters at the Tour of Britain. "Negotiations are underway, but I don't know. It's not up to me. At the beginning of the year I thought it was my last season. I wasn't looking for a fairytale. I knew I was still good, but you also have to show it in the race. In the end it turned out to be a fairytale.

"After this year it would be easy to say I'm done, because there is a risk that I won't win next year, but I believe I can stay at this level, and I believe I can get even better. I'm no longer head and shoulders above the rest, and that's why I want to continue racing. I've lost races this year - that never happened before. This year I won a lot, but I also often finished second or third. I want to go back to that level where I don't lose anymore. I believe it is possible."

After this year, we're not going to bet against you, Mark...

06 September 2021, 13:10
I'm saying nothing...
06 September 2021, 12:55
Dan Martin announces retirement from pro cycling at the end of this season

Israel Start-Up Nation have knocked off their early stage two ambush in Devon this lunchtime. Setting up one last stage win for Dan Martin might have been the reason for the early pace setting. 

The Irishman has spent 14 seasons in the pro ranks, winning a stage of each of the Grand Tours, plus Il Lombardia and Liège–Bastogne–Liège. Speaking about his decision, the 35-year-old said he is looking forward to spending more time with his family and pursuing his business interests.

"I will always be a cyclist; I won't hang up my wheels, just my race number," Martin said. "I feel fortunate to be deciding when I retire. I am genuinely grateful for the support of family, friends, fans, and so many cycling teammates and colleagues who have supported me throughout my career. A big thank you to my current team, Israel Startup Nation and all the staff and riders for making these past two seasons one of the most enjoyable and successful periods in my career.

"Giving 100% to what I do has always been how I operate. Though I could continue racing for a few years to come, and for many, this would seem like the obvious thing to do; I am at a point where I'm ready to take on some exciting new challenges in life."

06 September 2021, 11:35
Delightful Devon

Lovely weather to watch a bike race...not so to be in one. 130km to go and Israel Start-Up Nation and Alex Dowsett have put the hammer down, cut three minutes off the breakaway, and started smashing it up all the steep hills. There are riders all over the road and Cav's back in the cars looking for help of some sort...we could have some day of racing ahead of us.

06 September 2021, 11:03
Matej Mohorič showed off his bike-handling skills in Belgium yesterday

But could he pop a wheelie outside the Wilson Way Industrial Estate as the Tour of Britain passes? It's like cycling's version of could he do it on a cold Tuesday in Stoke? 

Mohorič has turned heads with his bike-handling before...the rumour is that it was the Slovenian who was the first pro to adopt the now-banned 'supertuck', on his way to winning the junior world champs road race in 2012...

06 September 2021, 10:14
Can it be real? Mechanic shares double cleat horror set up

Where to start? Is it real? If so, how long has this poor guy been riding like this? How has nobody said anything? Was he clipping in the SPD or three-bolt? Or was he wedging the pedal between the two?

Some will say it has to be fake...if the guy 'toe cleat man' was riding with knew about cleats, and also used them, surely he could have helped, or at least avoided the ignominy or a trip to the bike shop? But then again, we've seen more than our fair share of disastrous home mechanics and maintenance over the years.

Here's the story, as told by Trench Tales on Instagram: "Two guys roll up - the second looking really awkward on his bike. First guy says 'can you help my buddy out here? He's tired of pedalling on his tip-toes, and is wondering if there's a better way you can mount his cleats!'

"I say 'alright, let me see your shoes', at which point he takes them off and hands them to me. I must have stared for two minutes straight - not uttering a word - fully expecting cosmic black holes to open up on the bottoms of those kicks."

Unsurprisingly, the picture has got a lot of attention online...replying to a message saying the photo must be framed for future generations' benefit, the mechanic added: "Following my involuntary moment of silence, I think I dropped to me knees, in tears - while clutching those stinky shoes to my chest - and whimpered 'Thank you, Bike Gods. Thank you so much.'"

NotBenLopes wrote: "The wear on the cleats seals it for me. He’s been like this for a minute..."

Bike Cycles Wilmington was just pleased the profession is likely to be around for the foreseeable: "That, that right there...That gives me hope that bicycle shops will continue to be around. It is spectacular."

The photo made it to Twitter too...

06 September 2021, 09:59
Local paper positivity...Cornwall Live celebrates the Tour of Britain visiting

Local press talking about cycling usually doesn't end well — we've more than enough examples in our live blog archives. However, not CornwallLive was more than happy to see Bodmin get a big day out.

In a story headlined 'The Tour of Britain breathed life back into the sleepy town of Bodmin' (although one local objected to his patch being sleepy) reporter Aaron Greenway celebrated the race's visit.

He wrote: "The event turned Bodmin into a carnival atmosphere as locals and visitors alike explored the shows, the sights, the sounds and the smells of the various stalls and attractions on offer across the weekend, with the majority organised by Bodmin Town Council.

"The last time something this big came to Bodmin, no one's really sure - of those we asked, they thought it could either be when the Queen came down during her Jubilee or when there was the Total Eclipse of 1999. Whatever it was, this was on a different scale."

Even the comments were free of 'road tax' ramblings, or people demanding Ineos switch out their kit for something more visible...and stop jumping red lights.

06 September 2021, 09:18
Sir Chris Hoy leads Glasgow to Edinburgh charity ride raising money for new Social Bite villages

 Sir Chris Hoy and around 500 charity cyclists pedalled from Glasgow to Edinburgh yesterday to support Social Bite's Break the Cycle campaign, which has so far raised more than £700,000 towards the creation of Social Bite villages in Glasgow and London.

The villages have helped 43 homeless people so far, with 100 per cent of Edinburgh village residents polled saying they preferred living at the Social Bite Village over hostels or B&Bs.

Hoy was joined by former Scottish rugby player John Barclay as well as residents and staff from the Edinburgh Social Bite Village, where the ride finished close to.

"I’ve been a huge supporter of Social Bite and the incredible work it does for a number of years now," Hoy told The Scotsman. "I’ve seen the positive impact the charity has on so many people’s lives and I’m really thankful to everyone who has been able to support the Break the Cycle campaign so far."

06 September 2021, 07:49
"Give him a pro contract now": Wheelie-popping kid outshines Tour of Britain peloton

Bryn Appleton stole the show on day one of the 2021 Tour of Britain in Cornwall, wheelieing his way to TV fame as the race passed on some of his local roads. Luckily for us, the 15-year-old has the top-notch bike-handling skills to avoid an embarrassing crash with the two pensioner types strolling towards him...we dread to think what the Mail Online's headline would have been for that...

As the breakaway rolled through near the Wilson Way Industrial Estate in Pool, Bryn hopped up onto one wheel and took the acclaim of commentator and ex-pro Adam Blythe..."That's wheelie impressive."

BBC Radio Cornwall chipped in on social media to ask if anyone knew who the wheelie wonderkid was before Bryn came forward to claim his praise...let's hope the UCI don't get too heavy-handed and pop at roadside DQ through his letterbox...

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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OldRidgeback | 2 years ago

Have hose cows on Dartmoor not read The Highway Code? They aren't even wearing helmets or hi viz!

mdavidford | 2 years ago


Primož Roglič is the first rider to win a grand tour, ridden entirely on disc brakes.

So dominant, he doesn't even need a bike.

mdavidford | 2 years ago


the rumour is that it was the Slovenian who was the first pro to adopt the now-banned 'supertuck'

The rumour is wrong, though. Mohorič may have been the first to try pedalling while holding it, but the position was being used well before that.

Mungecrundle | 2 years ago

Toe cleats? Don't knock it till you've tried it.

Genuinely wondering if there might be something to be said for such a setup for hill climb sprints? Like sprinting on your toes?

AlsoSomniloquism replied to Mungecrundle | 2 years ago
1 like

I suspect he bought the shoes, then bought the wrong pedal types, ("but it states they both support SPD...."). And those big screws at the front are the right width weirdly so why not.

paulnettles replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago

If only he'd googled it - there appears to be a video on Youtube showing to to do it that features the same exact shoes...

Nick T replied to Mungecrundle | 2 years ago

Handy for riding a tandem solo if you can clip into both cranks

Sriracha replied to Mungecrundle | 2 years ago

My pedals are different each side - SPD one side, flat on the other. Maybe they brought out a new permutation...?

racyrich replied to Mungecrundle | 2 years ago

In the days of clips and straps you could get shoeplates with 2 slots, so you could slide your foot forward 1/4 inch for climbing.

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