Earlier today, Stirling was confirmed as the host city for the time trial events at next year’s UCI world cycling championships. The 2023 championships will be the first ever multi-disciplinary cycling worlds, taking in road, track, BMX, mountain bike, gran fondo, trials and indoor cycling events.
Glasgow is the base for the combined championships, though events will take place across Scotland.
And what better way to mark today’s announcement than a nostalgic throwback to Chris Boardman flying up the cobbled hill to Stirling Castle at the 1998 PruTour?
📢 Skin-suits you, #Stirling!
The Road #TimeTrial at the 2023 UCI Cycling Worlds is coming to the heart of Scotland! 🙌🏼
— 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships (@CyclingWorlds) March 8, 2022
Little update on why I'm still yet to start my season 👇 sorry to you guys that I've flicked that had me in your fantasy teams for the spring classics 😘 because it's gonna be a while until I'm racing again. Health is wealth, and we're taking our time to find my 100% again! 😊 https://t.co/WrEKNHQR53
— Jake (@jakey_stewart) March 8, 2022
The promising young British classics rider Jake Stewart has confirmed that he will take a break from racing as he undergoes treatment for intestinal inflammation.
The 22-year-old Groupama-FDJ rider had a strong start to 2021, including an impressive second place at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, but has not raced at all this season.
“Since mid-January, I have been bothered by intestinal problems, which prevented me from competing,” Stewart said in a statement today. “We are looking for the best solution to cure it. During this period of time, I will not be able to race at a high level, I can train but I will not compete.
“I also want to thank the specialist who is following me, [head of the team’s medical department] Jacky Maillot and the whole team Groupama-FDJ. They listened to me and gave me time to understand what was going on. Everything is in line for me to get better and to get back to my best level.”
Stewart had been hoping to play a key role for Groupama-FDJ in this year’s spring classics, as one of the French squad’s leaders alongside Arnaud Démare and Stefan Küng.
No date has yet been set for a return to competition.
— Matthew Bowater (@MBowater) March 6, 2022
There must be something wrong with Just Eat’s sat navs, as yet another cyclist delivering food for the online order service was filmed during the weekend riding his bike on the motorway.
The rider was spotted by a passing motorist while cycling on the hard shoulder of the M6 in Birmingham, near the Slade Road spaghetti junction.
In November, another delivery rider – apparently from Just Eat too – was caught on a dashcam cycling on the M5 in Birmingham.
Just Eat, while predictably distancing themselves from the rider, said the company would investigate this weekend’s incident.
“Most delivery drivers delivering food to customers’ doors are employed directly by independent restaurants,” the company said, “we do work with third party courier companies, agency couriers and self-employed independent contractors in certain areas.
“We hold ourselves to the highest standards and in line with these, we would expect all drivers associated with Just Eat to act responsibly and respectfully at all times.”
Tim Merlier wins stage two of @TirrenAdriatico , his first victory of the season. 👍 Olav Kooij (he was coming back fast!) and Kaden Groves complete the podium while Caleb Ewan was blocked somewhere behind. #TirrenoAdriatico
— Mihai Simion (@faustocoppi60) March 8, 2022
Alpecin-Fenix’s Tim Merlier took a convincing win from a messy sprint on stage two of Tirreno-Adriatico, breaking his duck for 2022.
The Belgian sprinter won ahead of two promising young fastmen, Jumbo-Visma’s 20-year-old prodigy Olav Kooij and 23-year-old Kaden Groves (BikeExchange).
— Alpecin-Fenix Cycling Team (@AlpecinFenix) March 8, 2022
Peter Sagan (who presumably avoided any pee flying around the peloton today) launched the sprint off the back of Quick Step’s train, eventually taking fourth, the Slovakian’s brightest showing of the year so far.
Caleb Ewan missed out after being boxed in during the finale, while Mark Cavendish didn’t contest the sprint after some challenging climbs in the final third of the stage.
Tomorrow’s stage, a lightly rolling 170km to Terni, represents the last chance for the sprinters until Sunday’s final stage into San Benedetto del Tronto, a break from the traditional closing time trial.
— patrick (@patricksnet) March 8, 2022
With petrol and diesel prices skyrocketing in the last few weeks since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Daily Mail’s This is Money site has helpfully shared their top 10 tips for saving fuel.
You’ll be shocked, shocked I tell you, to find that not one of those tips involves cycling or walking for shorter journeys, or avoiding unnecessary trips (though number nine's advice about doing multiple errands on the one drive arguably strays perilously close to that for the Mail’s readership).
Too much wishful thinking on my part?
After a relatively disappointing classics campaign last year, 2019 world champion Mads Pedersen once again proved he’s one to watch in the upcoming cobbled races with a convincing victory from a reduced bunch sprint into Dun-le-Palestel at stage three of Paris-Nice.
The Trek-Segafredo rider held off classics rival Wout van Aert and a fast-finishing Bryan Coquard on the slightly uphill run to the line to take his team’s first WorldTour success since Bauke Mollema’s win at last year’s Tour de France.
Yellow jersey Christophe Laporte went down hard in a crash during the final sprint with Groupama-FDJ’s Luxembourg champion Kevin Geniets, but was able to retain his one second overall lead over Jumbo-Visma teammate van Aert.
By the frenetic standards of the first two stages, today was altogether quieter. Once the day’s break – a strong one which featured Thomas De Gendt, Alexis Gougeard and Owain Doull – DSM’s Søren Kragh Andersen made two separate attempts to jump away, with no ultimate success.
However, the constant pressure at the front of the peloton on the final climbs killed off the hopes of many of the big sprinters, including yesterday’s winner Fabio Jakobsen and Sam Bennett, who has endured a frustrating start to his time back at Bora-Hansgrohe.
Total Energies’ Pierre Latour – the highest placed possible overall contender behind the Jumbo trio – looked feisty at the day’s second intermediate sprint, taking the bonus seconds ahead of Primož Roglič. The Slovenian, who ends the day third overall, 24 seconds ahead of Latour and 30 in front of the likes of Aleksandr Vlasov, Nairo Quintana, and Adam and Simon Yates, will be hoping to widen the gap opened up on stage one to a yawning chasm following tomorrow’s 13.4km time trial.
We can't wait for International Women's Day on Tuesday! 🤩 We're going to be celebrating with a whole host of amazing women via the magic of Zoom! Come and join us! 👇 #IWD2022 https://t.co/HYcwKjMcWR @evefrancisholt @Ayi_Emore @MCRActive @ThisGirlCanUK pic.twitter.com/3fzJcLVYir
— Lady Pedal (@Lady_Pedal) March 6, 2022
To mark International Women’s Day, Lady Pedal – a women’s cycling community group based in Manchester – will host the fifth edition of Women’s Cycling Stories, a night of inspirational talks and stories by women from diverse backgrounds and cycling experiences.
The talks will feature a range of interesting and thought-provoking themes, such as women and active travel, adventure riding, racial equality, and body image and transitioning.
The panel discussion, supported by This Girl Can and MCR Active, is organised by Lady Pedal, a group which arranges cycling events for women and aims to “encourage women to cycle by helping them to feel safe and confident on Manchester's roads”.
The free event, naturally, takes place on Zoom and kicks off at 7pm this evening. You can register for tonight’s event here.
The Race from the Sun pic.twitter.com/uA04wVeexL
— Peter Cossins (@petercossins) March 7, 2022
Paris-Nice, the best stage race in the world (you know I’m right), is commonly known as the ‘race to the sun’; the logic being that as the riders travel from France’s capital to the Côte d'Azur they will leave behind the cold, grey, rainy conditions of winter for the inviting blue skies of spring.
However, echelon-inducing wind aside, this has been an unusually sunny start to Paris-Nice, with rain and colder temperatures instead forecast for the race’s conclusion in the south of France at the weekend. Perhaps that’s why Primož Roglič, scuppered by bad luck during the closing stage of the 2021 edition, seems so keen to wrap up proceedings early this year.
At the moment, a very strong trio of Thomas De Gendt (who as we saw earlier was very excited to ride into Balsac today), Alexis Gougeard and Owain Doull are out front enjoying the unseasonal sunshine in La France profonde. Until Jumbo-Visma decide to detonate the race in the crosswinds again, that is…
I had to dodge a pedestrian who stepped into the road I was turning into on my bike this morning, which was a little bit scary and annoying.
It was only as I rode on that I realised I was in the wrong for continuing, and that I should have braked to allow her to cross. Sorry.
— Ned Boulting (@nedboulting) March 8, 2022
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's...
👨🎨 Ravanello Sport pic.twitter.com/1BGX4RMvxI
— INEOS Grenadiers (@INEOSGrenadiers) March 8, 2022
Because every superhero needs a costume... 🦸♂️
— INEOS Grenadiers (@INEOSGrenadiers) March 8, 2022
It’s already one of modern cycling’s most iconic celebrations – now Tom Pidcock’s got the kit to back it up (or at least wear on the local club Halloween ride). Superman and the rainbow bands – a classic combination I’m sure you’ll agree.
Not sure how aero or UCI-compliant the cape is, mind you…
In my new job I've spent too much time explaining why I don't always wear a helmet.
If we're going to reap the benefits of cycling, we need to stop finger-wagging + start backing the kind of infrastructure that will genuinely keep people safe.
— Adam Tranter (@adamtranter) March 8, 2022
He’s only been Cycling and Walking Commissioner for the West Midlands for three months, but it seems as if Adam Tranter is already fed up with talking about helmets.
In a column for the Birmingham Mail this week, the former bicycle mayor for Coventry had his say on that evergreen cycling safety debate, arguing that “in order to make cycling a normal and everyday activity, we need to make active travel as convenient as possible”.
Tranter, who started his new role in December, compared the expectation that cyclists should always wear helmets to feeling like “you had to wear safety gear or risk being judged by people on Facebook” every time you want to pop out for a walk.
(I would argue that you should ignore the opinions of Facebook users when it comes to every decision you make in your life, but that’s just me…)
Tranter also noted that the key to really keeping cyclists safe, as evidenced in the Netherlands, is not safety gear but “slower vehicle speeds, safe streets and proper infrastructure”.
“If we’re going to reap the huge benefits of cycling,” he wrote, “we need to stop finger-wagging and start supporting the kind of dedicated infrastructure that will genuinely keep people safe.”
Meanwhile in the land of the pros, UAE Team Emirates’ unofficial cycling safety spokesman Matteo Trentin praised his helmet after a crash at Paris-Nice yesterday.
“You never understand how important wearing your helmet is until your head touches the ground,” the Italian, who has recently spoken about the dangers of cycling in traffic and the need for an attitude change among motorists, said on Twitter.
You never understand how important is wearing the helmet until your head touch the ground! https://t.co/U4ezWDQhJS
— Matteo Trentin (@MATTEOTRENTIN) March 7, 2022
If this doesn’t feature Lars Bark on the drums, I will be extremely disappointed…
Uno-X are releasing a prog album?!
Seriously, I'm intrigued by this, looking forward to finding out more 👀 https://t.co/tsVKe8M2NR
— Katy M (@writebikerepeat) March 8, 2022
Of course, cycling has had a long association with prog rock, starting with Pink Floyd’s seminal concept album about the EPO years, The Dark Side of the Peloton.
And who could forget Mike Oldfield’s classic 1973 debut, Tubular Tyres?
Maybe instead of promoting the sport through a potentially dodgy Netflix series, riders and teams could release a slew of experimental, arty albums about life in the peloton. That’s what the kids really want in 2022, isn’t it?
In that spirit, here are some of my suggestions for possible cycling prog albums:
EF Education-EasyPost – In the Land of Grey and Pink
Jumbo-Visma – Wind and Wuthering at Paris-Nice
Steve Cummings – Close to the Edge (of the Bunch)
Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton (aka The Vanishing Twins) – Clutching at Straws
Any other examples of noodly, symphonic cycling LPs? Get them in the comments...
After going through Pussay yesterday. We are now heading to Balsac. pic.twitter.com/WgWsOlNZ28
— Thomas De Gendt (@DeGendtThomas) March 8, 2022
I also heard this lot were marshalling yesterday’s stage:
I hope you wore commemorative t shirts, a la The Inbetweeners? pic.twitter.com/UDG7nW8Cky
— Stumpy (@elstumpo250) March 8, 2022
Double world time trial champion Filippo Ganna certainly doesn’t need much help when it comes to races against the clock.
Nevertheless, his Ineos team were leaving nothing to chance during yesterday’s opening stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, seemingly taking advice from the Italian king of external aero assistance, Francesco Moser…
Old school bump draft there. Nice work. We are using the team bus for Alex Dowsett next time. https://t.co/o03HlVpVfj
— Greg Henderson (@Greghenderson1) March 7, 2022
It was good while it lasted, but it seems the rumours were true – Snake Pass, the scenic Peak District climb which has become a cycling paradise over the past few weeks thanks to road closures, is also set to shut its doors to those on two wheels.
EF Education-TIBCO-SVB pro Lizzy Banks reported the sad news after attempting to ride the climb yesterday evening. Banks was told by traffic management on the road that the pass – which was initially closed only to motorists after landslides caused by storms Eunice and Franklin last month, allowing it to quickly become a cycling paradise at weekends – will now also be closed to cyclists full time.
Bad news folks.
I was told by Traffic Management at the bottom of Snake Pass that it will now be closed to cyclists on the weekend as well 😭 Tried to go up this eve at sunset once workers had clocked off. Council said people posing in the slip for pics + has moved 2m further 😭 pic.twitter.com/GqsJe0WWbC
— Lizzy Banks (@ElizzyBanks) March 7, 2022
Hoping it's not true but the guy I spoke to was convinced this was the case. He said the council had also requested 24h traffic management at either end 😭😭😭😭😭
— Lizzy Banks (@ElizzyBanks) March 7, 2022
Derbyshire’s Roads Policing Unit appeared to confirm this news with a particularly snarky tweet announcing a 24 hour staffed closure yesterday:
Does it look closed to you?.
Roadworks ongoing for landslip and @DerbyshireFRS dealing with moorland fire, with smoke across the Rd.
Still motorists/cyclists ignoring the closures.
Now requiring a 24hr staffed closure due to people just ignoring the signs. pic.twitter.com/SLjJAEFPft
— Derbyshire RPU Bikers (@DerbysRPUBikers) March 7, 2022
However, some were hopeful that the cycling-specific signs would still be removed come Saturday:
It's only closed to cyclists when they're actually working on it. That's why there's a separate sign for cyclists, which was removed at the weekend for example.
— Mark Ross (@_markross) March 7, 2022
Others, such as Banks herself and cycling writer Simon Warren, were sceptical that the apparent decision to ban people on bikes was based on concern for their safety on the “perfectly passable” pass:
Need to request some urgent modelling and statistical analysis on the road vibrations caused by cyclists.... I'm certain a slowly moving slip is less risk to me than hundreds of drivers close passing me at 60mph on the alternative roads.
— Lizzy Banks (@ElizzyBanks) March 7, 2022
Be great if the same people shutting an empty Snake Pass to protect cyclists were so worried about their safety when it was open.
— Simon Warren (@100Climbs) March 8, 2022
So is this the end of the Snake Pass cycling paradise? Or are you still planning on riding Britain’s most scenic LTN at the weekend?
Ryan joined road.cc 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.