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"Sometimes you've got to have the balls to race...": Remco Evenepoel lashes out at Jonas Vingegaard's Tour de France antics; Newly elected Labour MP (+ his bike) head to Parliament; Giro fills Tour rest day void; Weekend round-up + more on the live blog

Welcome back to another week on the live blog, Dan Alexander is here to get you through Monday's Tour de France rest day... but don't fear, there's a stage of the Giro d'Italia Women to fill the void, plus all the usual news, reaction and more...

SUMMARY

08 July 2024, 07:50
"Sometimes you've got to have the balls to race...": Remco Evenepoel lashes out at Jonas Vingegaard's Tour de France antics

Has Patrick Lefevere been giving Remco Evenepoel media training lessons? The white jersey had some punchy comments for the TV cameras immediately after yesterday's gravel stage, the adrenaline possibly still running high and leaving the fiery Belgian to question if two-time Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard has "the balls to race".

"I think Tadej and I were not happy with it because maybe the whole Tour could have been decided today," Evenepoel said. "We have to accept race tactics and race situations, but sometimes you also need the balls to race, and unfortunately maybe Jonas didn't have them today. But it's no problem – the race is still very long, and I totally accept the reasons why he didn't pull, why he didn't race.

"Of course, Tadej and I both like to attack pretty far away from the finish, so we wanted to continue. Jonas is sometimes a bit more defensive, but we have to accept it. He will have all the good reasons to have raced like this, so I also completely understand why."

> "It's an unnecessary risk": Jonas Vingegaard joins Patrick Lefevere in criticising gravel and cobbled stages in Tour de France… but fans (and Pogačar) think otherwise

Vingegaard later made the case for the defence, stating that considering Visma-Lease a Bike had several teammates still in the peloton, more than Soudal Quick-Step or UAE Team Emirates, they wanted to have riders with the Dane "in case something happened". The defending Tour champ had suffered two punctures on the stage, perhaps evidencing a reason for the cautious attitude, the team's goal simply "not to lose time" yesterday. 

In the end, Vingegaard completed 100km on the Cervélo of teammate Jan Tratnik, the chaos of the stage never giving an opportunity to get on his spare.

Were you frustrated to see Jonas refuse to work with Evenepoel and Pogačar? Did it make sense for Vingegaard to wait and let as many teammates join as possible? It's going to be a long rest day, so get your thoughts in the comments...

08 July 2024, 15:18
"Tell me that didn't just happen": Aleksandr Vlasov abandons Tour de France with broken ankle, after Red Bull-Bora-Hansgrohe slammed for allowing dazed rider to immediately continue racing after heavy crash – but team boss says head injury was "minor"
08 July 2024, 14:56
"Last time I checked we did road cycling": Simon Yates joins those criticising inclusion of gravel stage at Tour de France

These were Yates's thoughts ahead of yesterday's stage (you probably guessed he hadn't dressed up in full kit for a rest day press conference), sentiment echoed later on by Jonas Vingegaard and Patrick Lefevere.

 The cynical part of me reckons Yates not being particularly proficient on the gravel (he finished 138th, almost 12 minutes down and in the same group as plenty of sprinters) might have something to do with it.

> "It's an unnecessary risk": Jonas Vingegaard joins Patrick Lefevere in criticising gravel and cobbled stages in Tour de France… but fans (and Pogačar) think otherwise

Polls

08 July 2024, 13:48
"A message for Mr Pogačar, that's Tadej Pogačar... please do not attack, I repeat, do not attack. Today is a rest day"

Remco Evenepoel wasn't the only one to question Jonas Vingegaard and Visma-Lease a Bike after yesterday's stage, Tadej Pogačar also telling the TV cameras: "Yeah for sure [frustrated], because me and Remco did [a] good effort, we break away and Jonas was also there, so obviously he has great shape.

"You can secure more the podium, you can make a gap to the others so to the fourth one would be a bigger gap. But I guess Visma don't want that, they're just focussing on me and maybe underestimate the others. We will see what happens in the next weeks, but for sure today would be nice if we could already break free."

Wout van Aert took the verbals to Strava...

 
08 July 2024, 13:35
32mm rubber, tubeless galore and more prototypes from Pirelli: what tyres did the Tour de France pros use on the epic gravel stage 9?
08 July 2024, 13:21
Chiara Consonni wins sprint stage at Giro d'Italia

It was an Italian sprinter who triumphed on the Giro d'Italia Women's second stage... but not the one Lidl-Trek were hoping for, Chiara Consonni getting the better of former world champion Elisa Balsamo and current rainbow bands wearer Lotte Kopecky on a slight rise to the line in Volta Mantonava.

Shout-out to Ana Vitória Magalhães whose plucky breakaway had looked to have a chance before the big names brought it back to contest the win. Also to Anouska Koster whose late attack added extra drama to the already pulsating finale.

Consonni said she had "no words, really" and admitted her UAE teammates had been "a little scared" when the gap to the breakaway went out to six minutes. "The team was super, they did a really, really good job," she added.

Unsurprisingly, no change on GC, Elisa Longo Borghini keeping the maglia rosa ahead of tomorrow's summit finish at Toano, a 12km climb with reasonably shallow gradients.

08 July 2024, 12:01
"Back with the boys!" Sir Bradley Wiggins joins Lance Armstrong’s podcast during Tour de France
08 July 2024, 11:26
It must be the rest day... Ineos launches campaign promoting its new "cutting-edge Next-Gen Non-Bio Laundry Liquid"... and Tom Pidcock has been roped in to plug it

 Ineos have used the rest day of the Tour de France to launch a campaign promoting its "next-gen laundry offering", the "laundry liquid of choice" for the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team. In a bid to promote their product to the masses, Tom Pidcock was roped in to "power the fastest wash cycle in just 20 minutes" (enough time for him to break the 5km world record again and still have a few minutes to make a brew).

Ineos' Head of Marketing and Innovation Caroline Reynolds was on-hand to provide those all-important PR-friendly soundbites... "Tom Pidcock and the Ineos Grenadiers' remarkable achievements perfectly align with our mission to deliver the best possible cleaning results in every wash.

"Together, we want to set a new standard in laundry and home care. Our formula has been rigorously tested under intense conditions, proving its competitive ability to remove tough stains and odours, whilst maintaining fabric integrity. Our ongoing partnership with the Ineos Grenadiers highlights our commitment to supporting everyday performance, whether meeting the demands of a champion athlete or handling the daily challenges of busy lifestyles."

Where would society be without marketing departments and press releases? It doesn't bare thinking about...

Tom Pidcock does his washing (press release for new Ineos laundry liquid)

 What might be of interest is Ineos is giving away a signed Pidcock jersey (presumably in sparkling condition) and two paddock passes to a stage of the Tour of Britain. You'll have to follow Ineos Hygenics on Instagram, like the campaign competition post, and tag a friend in the comments if you fancy it.

08 July 2024, 11:02
20mph speed limits reach anonymous opinion page
20mph speed limit opinion (Twitter)

 

08 July 2024, 10:23
Newly elected Labour MP (and his bike) head down south to Parliament

Hamish Falconer is the newly elected MP for Lincoln, the Labour representative waved off at the station this morning as he heads down to London to take his seat in Parliament. More importantly for our purposes, however, was the item he was bringing with him...

Newly elected Labour MP heads off to Parliament (Cllr Joshua Wells/Twitter)

Credit to Cllr Joshua Wells for capturing the crucial moment... now, where's the follow-up of him trying to wrench it into those god-awful upright bike storage cupboards?

It was a less positive night for others. Not that we're petty and spent Friday digging back up all the questionable cycling comments of the past four-and-a-half years for an at-length feature. That doesn't sound like us at all...

Jacob Rees-Mogg and Keynsham High Street cycle lane

> On your bike! How did the politicians who made questionable comments about cycling get on at the general election?

08 July 2024, 09:48
Tour de France pro bikes you can buy yourself — from Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, Merida, Wilier, Bianchi + more
08 July 2024, 09:32
Giro d'Italia Women: Home favourite Elisa Longo Borghini off to a flyer as race heads for first sprint

Praise ye the cycling gods who hath blessed us with a hallowed rest day dose of racing action. The Tour de France peloton may be doing as little as possible today, but over in Italy it's sprint day at the women's Giro d'Italia. Lovely stuff.

Yesterday, home favourite Elisa Longo Borghini was a popular winner of the opening time trial, getting the better of Grace Brown by just a single second. I've set my stall out by saying there's a 'sprint stage' on the cards today, a couple of little lumps with 10km to go might tempt someone to cause an upset. Lidl-Trek will surely want to set up Elisa Balsamo for a second team and second Italian win in as many days. It's been the Tour de France of French wins, but will it also be the Giro of Italian elation? 

08 July 2024, 09:10
"An awful day for cycling"; Gravel at Grand Tours; "UCI doing UCI things"; Wonderful scenes in Eritrea after Biniam Girmay wins second Tour stage; Bikejacking news + more that you might have missed over the weekend

It was another jam-packed weekend of cycling news, naturally much coming from the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia Women. More on that later. We'll start in Austria, however, where it was another tragic day for pro cycling, the worst possible news coming from the mountainous fourth stage of the Tour of Austria.

Norwegian professional cyclist André Drege died after a high-speed crash on a descent in the Austrian Alps, the race organisers confirming on Saturday afternoon, in news that once again left the cycling world reeling in shock and coming just a little over a year since Gino Mäder's death at Tour de Suisse.

Andre Drege (UCI)

Sunday's final stage of the race was replaced by a condolence ride. Slovenian rider Jaka Primožič, who was the only other rider in the breakaway at the time of the crash, expressed his sorrow about Drege's passing.

Andre Drege (@TeamCoopRepsol)

"As the only witness I can't explain how devastated I am," he said. "This should never happen. A crash which was nobody's fault. I would give everything to change something so that wouldn't have happened. My thoughts are with his team and family. Rest in peace, may the cycling heaven be nice to you. I can't say that I knew you but we shared the same passion and I will continue so with carrying you in my heart forever."

Elsewhere this weekend, at the Tour de France, the UCI drew criticism for fining Julien Bernard after the French rider stopped during a time trial to greet his family at the roadside.

Julien Bernard enjoys Tour de France time trial (Eurosport)

There were concerns about yesterday's gravel stage too, prompting the inevitable debate about whether white roads belong in Grand Tours or not, Patrick Lefevere and Jonas Vingegaard on the side of them being an "unnecessary risk".

No concerns about whether Eritrea is being inspired by Biniam Girmay's extraordinary Tour, the sprinter who last week became the first black African to win a stage at cycling's biggest race then adding a second on Saturday, prompting wonderful scenes...

Away from pro racing, a cyclist from Cardiff raised the alarm after being robbed of his £2,000 bike after he was punched a dozen times and placed in a chokehold. Damian Slowik also slammed the police for arriving after 40 minutes of reporting the crime despite the police station being five minutes away on foot, while also claiming that no bystanders came to his aid despite crying out for help.

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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28 comments

Avatar
Kapelmuur | 2 weeks ago
4 likes

I recently followed a group of club cyclists for over 4 miles, my choice as the road wasn't great for overtaking, they were moving at 20/25 mph,I was interested how they were  riding and their bikes etc.

But I'm the sort of person who will stop to watch people kicking a ball around on the park.

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DoomeFrog | 2 weeks ago
9 likes

Had a lovely 80km cafe ride with friends on Sunday, came across a family of 5 or 6 all riding on the road to a village pub.

A couple of the kids had been in the lead and we were just about to pass the lead children when the lad at the front signalled right to enter the pub and was very cautious, so we held back, encouraged him and let him turn into pub and we all worked together to let them go where they wanted to go and we got to go on our merry way.

Great to see the family not crammed into an SUV even if the weather was a bit suspect, no need for MGIF or abuse, just everyone enjoying a ride and getting to their desintation safe and happy.

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Hirsute | 2 weeks ago
5 likes

Came across this tweet

"find cyclists who make all the traffic behind them travel for miles and miles at 15 mph incredibly selfish. Sat in a line of more than a dozen cars, vans, buses etc behind a lone cyclist out on a casual and very slow ride for miles on a main road"

So far 2700 replies and going.

"miles and miles"

What's the longest distance you reckon you have held anyone up for ?

 

 

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chrisonabike replied to Hirsute | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

Not long!

I have driven behind a couple of cyclists for maybe getting on for a mile despite them waving to me to pass, simply because this was one of those country roads where I couldn't see far enough ahead for a safe pass.  How many miles of tailbacks this caused I couldn't say.  But in fact nobody seemed very happy with this...

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mdavidford replied to Hirsute | 2 weeks ago
8 likes

Hirsute wrote:

What's the longest distance you reckon you have held anyone up for ?

The length of a decent pistol shot.

 

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BalladOfStruth replied to Hirsute | 2 weeks ago
12 likes

I've spent my whole life in rural countryside - the sort of places that are always crawling with recreational cyclists. I can count on one hand the number of times (in 17 years of driving) that I've been stuck behind a cyclist for more than about 30 seconds.

At the start of last year, I spent 12 hours in traffic trying to get from Cheltenham to Carmarthen (on roads cyclists aren't allowed on!). In the space one journey, drivers have "held me up" more than a lifetime of cyclists - by an order of magnitude.

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mctrials23 replied to BalladOfStruth | 2 weeks ago
8 likes

There you go again applying some common sense to the cycling vs driving debate. Somewhat unsurprisingly I have found the same to be true. In fact I will go a step further. Cyclists hold me up for about 1/100th of the time that other drivers do when I am driving. When I am cycling anywhere remotely built up I am again, massively held up by cars and thats ignoring the fact they behave like utter twats and put my life in danger with their lack of attention.

You can always bet on drivers to overestimate the time they spend behind cyclists and underestimate the time they spend as part of the traffic. I think partly because it royally fucks them off that we don't sit there like lemons when its busy. 

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brooksby replied to mctrials23 | 2 weeks ago
4 likes

mctrials23 wrote:

Cyclists hold me up for about 1/100th of the time that other drivers do when I am driving. When I am cycling anywhere remotely built up I am again, massively held up by cars and thats ignoring the fact they behave like utter twats and put my life in danger with their lack of attention.

Totally agree.

Motorists know that their vehicles are nearly the width of a lane and just take it as read that they can't pass the car in front if there is oncoming traffic (well, unless they are trying to overtake a cyclist, when they seem to imagine that their car is three feet wide or something…). 

They forget that if their cars were not nearly the width of a lane then the cyclists they hate so much would be able to easily get past and get out of their way surprise

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Surreyrider replied to Hirsute | 2 weeks ago
1 like

Probably 250.

* According to a driver

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Bungle_52 replied to Hirsute | 2 weeks ago
1 like
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mitsky replied to Hirsute | 2 weeks ago
1 like
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Sanshelmut | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Whats the best streaming service (paid) to watch the big tours and the women's tours this year?

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mdavidford | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

All well and good, but now T-Pid's got to wash the kit he was wearing - he's just going to get stuck in an infinite cycle loop there.

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Rendel Harris | 2 weeks ago
6 likes

Not terribly sporting of Remco one feels, I am not a great fan of Vingegaard, finding him rather dull and uninspiring in his racing (I'm sure that will bother him immensely), but every tinker has his own way of walking and he's entitled to do what works best for him, if Remco and/or others can show that their way is better by beating him then great, if they can't then it kind of proves that his way works best, at least for him.

Additionally, the whole peloton knew (because several teams were mentioning it on their radios) that Jonas was riding Tratnik's bike; Tratnik is 2 cm shorter than Jonas and about 8 kg heavier, so although he was Jonas's nominated spare bike provider there must've been a fairly considerable difference in reach (they were saying on commentary that the stems were certainly different lengths), tyre pressure, saddle angle et cetera, enough certainly for Jonas to feel that he wasn't going to contribute to a break with the other two galácticos knowing that with them on their perfect-fitting bikes they would probably get less tired than him on somebody else's and so they could have had a chance of putting time into him over the last 20 km. Refusing to go in a break with them was a sensible pragmatic decision.

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eniaessem replied to Rendel Harris | 2 weeks ago
1 like

Whether it is agreeable or not, it is undeniably true that Jonas's choice not to ride exhibited zero panache. Negative racing is never nice.

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Rendel Harris replied to eniaessem | 2 weeks ago
3 likes

eniaessem wrote:

Whether it is agreeable or not, it is undeniably true that Jonas's choice not to ride exhibited zero panache. Negative racing is never nice.

If my supposition above is correct and Jonas felt that going hard on the wrong bike was going to take more out of him then if he had his own machine, so if he did work with the other two they would possibly take time out of him towards the end, what was he supposed to do? Give up a substantial amount of time just so people wouldn't call him boring? As I said, I don't find him terribly exciting to watch but in the specific circumstances of yesterday I think his behaviour was perfectly understandable.

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Surreyrider replied to eniaessem | 2 weeks ago
5 likes

Really?

Read somewhere else this spoof conversation:

Pog: We can set the podium here so ride with us.

Remco: Yeah, come on, it'll be fun and you can show you have balls.

Vinny: OK, no problem. Umm, can we just stop first so I can get on my bike?

Pog and Remco: No! We need to put time into Rog.

Vinny. Err, he's not the threat here - you two are so I'll stay like this ta very much.

That's not negative. It's pragmatic. It's tactics. Just like Pog and Remco wanting to push. 

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quiff replied to Rendel Harris | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

Rendel Harris wrote:

Jonas was riding Tratnik's bike; Tratnik is 2 cm shorter than Jonas and about 8 kg heavier, so although he was Jonas's nominated spare bike provider there must've been a fairly considerable difference in reach (they were saying on commentary that the stems were certainly different lengths), tyre pressure, saddle angle et cetera

Riding a bike that isn't set up to your preference can certainly make you feel like you don't have any balls.

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john_smith replied to quiff | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

It can make you feel a lot of things, but that's one one I don't think I've ever experienced.

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Rendel Harris replied to quiff | 2 weeks ago
3 likes

quiff wrote:

Riding a bike that isn't set up to your preference can certainly make you feel like you don't have any balls.

I think it might actually make you painfully aware of the fact that you have them!

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quiff replied to Rendel Harris | 2 weeks ago
1 like

If you push on through the pain you can get to comfortably numb.

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mctrials23 | 2 weeks ago
8 likes

Vingegaard will race the smartest race he can. Thats why people love Pogacar and are largely indifferent to Vingegaard. One makes racing exciting despite his domination at times and the other is just a mechanical machine slowly grinding to victory. Hes entirely allowed to do that however. Its just dull as anything. 

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HarrogateSpa replied to mctrials23 | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

'People love Pogacar'.

He is quite self-satisfied and smug, which makes him hard to like.

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Toffee replied to HarrogateSpa | 2 weeks ago
8 likes

I can't say I've ever seen that. He always seems to be the first to congratulate stage winners, even if it comes at his expense. He just loves to race hard, and that's great to watch.

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eniaessem replied to HarrogateSpa | 2 weeks ago
3 likes

It is fairly evident the vast majority of people do really like him. It is totally ok not to, but you are in a rather small minority.

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Surreyrider replied to mctrials23 | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Pog doesn't make racing exciting with his dominance. He makes achievements exciting - his predictable beating of everyone* is dull.

* Except Vinny in the Tour recently, where he's been smashed. 

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Surreyrider replied to Surreyrider | 2 weeks ago
1 like

Just to add I don't dislike any of the top 4 GC riders at this Tour.

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anke2 replied to mctrials23 | 2 weeks ago
1 like

I find the strong man racing intelligently for GC much more exciting than the boy who's trying to get some stage wins (and who is failing to talk his stronger competitor into a tactical blunder...)

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