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Tour de France cyclocross: Sepp Kuss takes the scenic route to avoid high-speed crash (Pogačar wins + takes yellow); On yer bike!; Council plan will "make roads more dangerous"; Roubaix stage carnage; Drama made for Netflix + more on the live blog

It's Thursday and Dan Alexander has just about recovered from live blogging yesterday's Roubaix stage... today we'll, of course, have stage six coverage plus (hopefully) plenty of other stuff from the world of cycling...
07 July 2022, 15:36
Pubs named after cycling teams #1

Maybe this will be the start of a new series. Keep your eyes peeled for The UAE Team Emirates' Arms and The Dog and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team...

Grenadier pub (Image: Simon MacMichael)

Big claims from Simon who's out on his travels this afternoon: "Arguably the best secteur of pave this side of Lille too, got to be a good 300 metres of it. Private mews for the win". 

More importantly than all of the's the bike...

> Bike at Bedtime – Some Giro pink on an Italian Colnago classic

07 July 2022, 15:20
The comfiest bike in the Tour de France - Merida Scultura Team

07 July 2022, 14:49
Tadej Pogačar wins stage stage six to take yellow jersey

Shall we all pack up and go home now?

 Tadej Pogačar sprinted to victory on stage six's hilltop finish and is now the third holder of the yellow jersey at this year's race. Poor Ryan might need to update his article from last night...

> Is the Tour de France already over?

Michael Matthews won the 'without Pog' race, while David Gaudu was third. Tom Pidcock was prominently placed in the final stages but couldn't better fourth. A defiant Primož Roglič opened the sprint first, but it was really only delaying the inevitable as his Slovenian compatriot eased around the Jumbo-Visma rider opening up a big gap instantly. Despite Matthews' best efforts said gap was held all the way to the line.

 Pogačar is now 31 seconds clear of Jonas Vingegaard (the closest GC rival). Neilson Powless is four seconds back and will hope for a spell in yellow (if Pogačar allows it)...

Destructive brilliance yet again from the 23-year-old...

07 July 2022, 14:32
Tour de France cyclocross: Sepp Kuss takes the scenic route

It seems Wout van Aert has been teaching Jumbo-Visma cyclocross bike-handling...

The rider, called on comms as Tiesj Benoot but looking awfully like Sepp Kuss, avoided this high-speed fall which brought down Reinardt Janse van Rensburg as well as FDJ's Valentin Madouas.

Back on the road, Van Aert has been caught and instantly dropped meaning we'll have a new yellow jersey tonight.

Who will it be? We should know in the next 10-15 minutes or so.

Last minute predictions?

07 July 2022, 14:01
Kid's playing tetris while dominating the Tour...

Do kids still play tetris? Probably not... 

07 July 2022, 13:14
Giro d'Italia Donne: Breakaway victory for Juliette Labous — Annemiek van Vleuten tightens grip on maglia rosa

Marianne Vos walked away from the Giro d'Italia Donne this morning to "recharge and focus on the next team goals". That might have something to do with the fact the parcours heads into the mountains for the next few stages, starting with today's won by Team DSM's Juliette Labous.

Behind, Annemiek van Vleuten gained another four seconds (plus a two bonus second advantage) over her nearest maglia rosa rival Mavi García, meaning she now leads the race by 31 seconds. Marta Cavalli is third on GC and was the third of the GC riders across the line, 10 seconds after Van Vleuten.

Tomorrow the race crosses Passo Bordala and Lago di Cei during a 104km stage finishing in Aldeno.

Can anyone crack Van Vleuten?

07 July 2022, 11:48
This sums up stage six

The situation has changed again since we last spoke...

Now it's Wout van Aert back on the attack. He's got Jakob Fuglsang and Quinn Simmons with him. 27 seconds advanatge... let's see if this one sticks... 

07 July 2022, 11:14

Stage six of the Tour is 50km old and it has been absolutely breathless so far...

Moments ago we had a group spearheaded by Wout van Aert, also including Jonas Vingegaard, Tadej Pogačar (obviously) and Geraint Thomas chasing the breakaway with more than 170km to go...

We've had various attackers but now something of an escape has formed, including Christophe Laporte, Magnus Cort (obviously), Aleksandr Vlasov(?!), Kasper Asgreen and a few others. They're being chased down due to Vlasov's presence, but this is absolutely manic. 165km to go...

07 July 2022, 11:02
Cycle forum says council plan will make roads more dangerous
Portsmouth harbour (CC BY-SA 2.0 Ronald Saunders:Flickr)

The Portsmouth Cycle Forum had the following to say about the city council's proposed trial of allowing private hire vehicles (PHVs) in the city's combined bus and cycle lanes, which the Forum says will make the roads "even more dangerous for cyclists".

A similar proposal was considered in 2015 and was kicked out due to lack of evidence and the council's dreadful road safety record [...] The new proposal, which is only very slightly tweaked from last time, suggests that trials will
only be held in bus lanes where there is alternative cycling infrastructure, but according to the council's own plans (Local Transport Plan 4 and Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan) over 75 per cent of cycling infrastructure in Portsmouth is substandard.

Using an alternative route will almost certainly take much longer, so it's likely most people will choose to stay in the bus lane; and it will also put cyclists into conflict with pedestrians - which nobody wants. Until PCC provides decent cycle infrastructure, bus lanes provide crucial space for people cycling to be distanced from high flow motor vehicle traffic.

We asked our 400+ members "would you feel as safe as you currently do, or less safe, cycling in bus lanes if you had to share with PHV drivers?" Our members come from all walks of life and ride all types of cycle - we represent everyone from children on trikes, cyclists in their 90s, and everyone in between. 100% of the respondents said they would feel less safe, and several members shared their own scary experiences of close passes.

Image: Ronald Saunders / CC BY-SA 2.0 Flickr

07 July 2022, 10:39
Team bike exchange
07 July 2022, 09:57
"I decided to attack just to avoid crashes": Alberto Bettiol 'explains' strange tactics

Here's what Bettiol had to say this morning...

He was slightly less apologetic when talking to CyclingTips last night: "I was feeling really good. I decided to attack just to avoid crashes and because I had two strong [teammates] in the front. From the car they told me not to go full gas because it was still a long way but I felt really, really good today but unfortunately I had a flat tyre later on but I have good feedback from today's stage."

In another interview he added: "Tadej told me 'let's go, Alberto! I told him I can't pull too much because I have two guys in the front, I just wanted to break the peloton."

That's that explained...sort of...

07 July 2022, 09:37
Drama made for Netflix: Alberto Bettiol rides AGAINST his own team

One of the stranger incidents on yesterday's stage led to this tweet from EF Education-EasyPost team boss Jonathan Vaughters...

The incident? Alberto Bettiol, a teammate of Neilson Powless and Magnus Cort — both up the road in with a chance of the stage win and Powless potentially riding into yellow — appeared very pally with Tadej Pogačar, rode to the front, checked Pog was on his wheel, then put the hammer down.

No, we're not sure why...

Anyway, Simon Clarke won the stage, Powless missed out on yellow by 13 seconds to Wout van Aert who keeps the jersey for another day, and Netflix have some drama to get their teeth into...

07 July 2022, 07:48
Carnage of Roubaix Tour de France stage: Shocking fan footage shows Daniel Oss crash into spectator

Stay. Off. The. Road. 

At Roubaix (or the Tour equivalent) every rider will get back on the team bus with a story to tell: a puncture, a crash, a near miss. But due to the spread out nature of the day most of these incidents happen away from the TV cameras and go unseen.

However, roadside spectator Victor Loy captured the moment TotalEnergies' Daniel Oss, skirting the non-cobbled dirt, found his path blocked by a fan and collided violently into a young spectator, causing himself, the Bora-hansgrohe rider following and Michael Gogl third-wheel (who abandoned the race due to his injuries) to crash. 

Overnight, Oss joined Gogl in abandoning from the race, his team saying: "Additional examinations revealed a fracture of a cervical vertebra requiring immobilisation for a few weeks."

Tour de France stage five crash (screenshot Twitter video/ Victor Loy)

In the carnage, Oss' battered bike lies saddle-less on the cobbles, while another spectator holds the missing saddle...

Tour de France stage five crash (screenshot Twitter video/ Victor Loy)
Tour de France stage five crash (screenshot Twitter video/ Victor Loy)

Also largely unseen by the TV cameras was the fall that brought Primož Roglič down. We saw the TV moto pass the roundabout, seemingly dragging the protective hay bale into the road, before the group, including Caleb Ewan who we did see fall, struggled to get around safely.

Roglič was slightly behind Ewan, but this roadside snap shows the impact which left him putting his own shoulder back in place at the side of the road...

"I couldn't put it back in on the road," A quite unbelievably matter-of-fact Rog told reporters afterwards. "So I needed to sit on a chair of a spectator to use a technique to pull my arm down and put it back in."  

A couple of days recovery? Of course not, straight back to it...

07 July 2022, 08:27
On yer bike!
Boris Johnson (picture credit TfL).jpg

Boris on his bike? No idea how this got here...

We'll have a slightly more serious look at the possible implications for active travel later today...

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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