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Highway Code changes going well — even in a bike lane you're never safe; Tell us you cycle with a pic; "Up against extra-terrestrials"; Lotto-Soudal pro's Sagan impression is undefeated; Police investigate spate of 60 bike thefts + more on the live blog

Is it? It can't be...surely not...Friday??? Dan Alexander is more than ready for his rest days, sorry I mean weekend. One more live blog to go... until Monday, of course!...
08 July 2022, 16:16
Happy Friday!

Right, seven days on the job in a row and I'm ready for some David Gaudu time...

But first some beers. Seven Tour stages in a row and I'm pretty sure at this point my self-talk will be in the voice of Sean Kelly..."make the calculation, do you need another one?" "Don't go full gas, as they say, make the calculation"... 

Anyway, the live blog will be back Monday...

08 July 2022, 15:40
"It was a really special day. We opened a foundation for cancer research": Tadej Pogačar announces creation of cancer foundation after stage win

"It was really difficult, especially the last part. When Jonas attacked he was so strong but I said 'my boys were working all day I have to push to the finish line'. Especially with Urška [Žigart] and my family at the bottom of the climb. It was a really special day. We opened a foundation for cancer research so special shoes just for today. I'm really happy and proud to take this win."

Urška Žigart, Pogačar's partner, suffered the loss of her mother in April after a battle with cancer. 

08 July 2022, 15:24
Louis Meintjes our hero

In the midst of the madness, Louis Meintjes may have just produced the most relatable moment of the race so far...running across the finish line...

08 July 2022, 15:17

Unbelievable drama...this Tour just keeps getting better...

Poor Lennard Kämna looked to have done enough, battering his way up the brutal inferno of La Super Planche des Belles Filles, only to be caught within bidon-throwing distance of the line.

The rider who won the stage? Tadej Pogačar, obviously. But this wasn't the dominant, Tour-ending performance some of us expected to see. Jonas Vingegaard opened up his sprint first, distancing the yellow jersey for the briefest of moments before Pogačar somehow found the strength, physical or physchological, to wrench his bike ahead of the Dane. 

The results sheet will show the Slovenian has won his second stage in two days, and extended his GC lead to 35 seconds over Vingegaard, but there's life in this Tour de France yet...

08 July 2022, 14:34
Stage seven hotting up

This is where we're heading...

The break is: Lennard Kämna, Max Schachmann, Dylan Teuns, Luke Durbridge, Imanol Erviti, Simon Geschke and Cyril Barthe. They've got an advantage of 1:45 as UAE Team Emirates try to close the gap for their leader and yellow jersey Tadej Pogačar to potentially take his second win in as many days.

Having made the break, my pre-stage pick Giulio Ciccone has just been dropped from the peloton. Superb. Any last predictions?

08 July 2022, 14:15
Kristen Faulkner's ridiculous save

We mentioned it in our race report earlier, but here's the video evidence...

How'd she keep that up? 

08 July 2022, 13:29
Timmy Mallett back on English soil
08 July 2022, 13:12
Annemiek van Vleuten continues Giro d'Italia Donne domination — despite late crash

Giro d'Italia Donnination... 

Annemiek van Vleuten won stage eight of the race this lunchtime, despite a nervy moment when she crashed on the final descent, a fall she later called "stupid and unnecessary" before apologising to her mum watching on TV at home...

Kristen Faulkner had given it her best shot, and put all our heart rates through the roof...

Home riders Marta Cavalli and Elisa Longo Borghini finished second and third on the stage, Cavalli rising above Mavi García into second on GC, still 2:13 behind Van Vleuten. Tomorrow is likely the last opportunity to find an unobvious chink in the Dutch rider's armour (if such a thing exists) as the peloton travels 112km to San Lorenzo Dorsino across three mountain passes.

The last of the climbs, the HC Passo Daone tops out with 27 lumpy kilometres still to race and averages 10 per cent for 6km. 

Can anyone beat Van Vleuten?

08 July 2022, 11:18
08 July 2022, 10:07
Even in a bike lane you're never safe

I'm sure our Netherlands-based readers might take issue with the idea of bike riders never being fully safe in a cycle lane...however, unfortunately this is still the sort of 'infra' (and accompanying standard of driving) popping up across our island...

So not too far from the "transformed" Hammersmith gyratory then...

> Hammersmith gyratory "transformed" to make cycling safer and easier 

Jeremy Vine spotted this vid and asked: "What part of 'give way' do so many drivers not understand? Is the word 'give' causing problems, or is it the word 'way'? Or the combination?"

Worth noting it's a situation explicitly outlined in those incredibly well-communicated Highway Code changes...

EDIT: Adam has kindly sent us the video if you cannot see the tweet...


As you probably predicted...

08 July 2022, 11:05
Black Unity Bike Ride 2022
Black Unity Bike Ride (press release)

The Black Unity Bike Ride returns on August 6 for its third year to celebrate Black Empowerment. A 15-mile ride across London, founded by Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, is led by an alliance of over 20 Black-led cycling collectives from across London and welcomes novices and experienced riders alike to join the peloton.

The annual bike ride began during the period of mourning following the death of George Floyd in 2020, and calls for the Black community to unite against social injustice and inspire more active wellbeing.

"The Black Unity Bike Ride is a community ride that was created with the aim of inspiring more unity and a sense of empowerment," founder Mr Ajasa-Oluwa said.

"It's an awesome vibrant day where we get participants aged seven to seventy-year-olds riding side-by-side and enjoying some of London's most iconic landmarks."

08 July 2022, 11:02
"I'm going to try again today, but it doesn't make much sense to continue"
08 July 2022, 10:29
La Super Planche des Belles Filles

The first proper summit finish of this year's race. We're not even in Pog's favoured territory yet...

Here's what the peloton will face this afternoon. We all know it by now, it's been a first-week staple of the past decade (now with that extra gravel in the final kilometre).

08 July 2022, 09:52
"We're up against extra-terrestrials": Guillaume Martin in awe of Tour de France rivals

"We are up against extra-terrestrials." That is how Cofidis climber Guillaume Martin summed up the ridiculous yellow jersey breakaway of Wout van Aert and subsequent continued domination from Tadej Pogačar...

2022 Tour de France stage six (A.S.O. Pauline Ballet)

(ASO/Pauline Ballet)

Speaking to Stelvio, the Frenchman simply concluded "they're above everyone". Tom Pidcock had something similar to say about Van Aert (just with a bit of Yorkshire straight-talking chucked in)...

> "He's playing with our balls... he's taking the piss!": Tom Pidcock sums up how we all feel about Wout van Aert

So, will the alien win again today? Predictions in the comments...

08 July 2022, 09:07
Roubaix stage injuries rack up: Michael Gogl fractured pelvis, collarbone and vertebrae

Remember that Roubaix stage horror crash we shared on the live blog yesterday? Well, Michael Gogl, the second rider to abandon due to it, has shared an update on his condition via his Alpecin-Deceuninck team...

"Thanks to the amazing staff on site in the hospital who made me feel very comfortable. I have a fractured pelvis, collarbone and vertebrae and a light pneumothorax. Other than that, I am grateful to move my legs and I can text this today.

"I got transported to Herentals hospital yesterday, where further examinations will be done and decisions will be taken. All the best to Alpecin-Deceuninck in the race. And thanks to my team for the support." 

08 July 2022, 08:56
We said we wanted a CYCLE PATH next to the road 🤦‍♂️

Two days old but hey, it's Friday... 

08 July 2022, 08:50
Police investigate spate of 60 bike thefts in town

Lincolnshire Police are appealing for information as part of an ongoing investigation into more than 60 bikes that have been stolen from properties and public spaces in Grantham during the past six months.

The force says it has attended all reports of bike thefts and carried out house to house and CCTV enquiries. The Grantham Journal reports dedicated patrols have also been part of the response.

"There has been a high number of bikes stolen from the local area in the past six months, and our investigations lead us to believe that there may be an individual or group, trafficking these bikes for profit," Sergeant Lee Mayfield said.

08 July 2022, 08:16
Lotto-Soudal pro's Peter Sagan impression is undefeated


08 July 2022, 07:55
Friday fun: Tell us you cycle with a pic

We love a good Twitter thread here on the live blog...and today's cracker: tell us you cycle with a pic...(Prepare yourself for more tan lines than you've ever wanted to see)...

But it's not just about the questionably bronzed quads...

Nah, every 'proper' cyclist has done that before, they just might not admit it...

And finally, our personal favourite...

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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