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Mark Cavendish: Inspiring next generation means the most; Tour de France crash has riders scrambling; Wattbike to win England the Euros; Protesting cyclist stomps bike lane blocker; LEJOG record; Yates abandons; Giro Donne; 140mph + more on the live blog

Happy Friday! One more day to go...Dan Alexander will be bringing the weekend home on the live blog
09 July 2021, 16:15
A trip down memory lane...Watch all Cav's Tour de France stage wins

How good was that? 34 stage wins at the Tour de France. I'd have given you good odds on that a year ago...Is there any better start to the weekend than a quick look back at the other 33...

Right then, I'm off for a bike ride and will be sprinting for every single town sign in honour of the great man...The live blog will be back on Monday, possibly at a more leisurely hour depending on how Sunday night goes...

09 July 2021, 15:36
Reaction from Cav...What's it like to be the equal of Eddy Merckx?

A visibly shattered Cav was still keen to downplay the importance of number 34, he said: "It's just another win on the Tour de France. It's like my first one, I've won a stage of the Tour de France - that is what I dreamed of as a kid. I worked so hard for it.

"We've seen such a growth in the UK of cycling since I started racing here at the Tour. So if any one of my wins can inspire a kid to ride the Tour de France or Tour de France Femmes next year then that's what means the most to me..." Well said.

The Manx Missile still managed to find the energy to talk through the finish..."It's tiring, I can't even think about it, I'm afraid. I'm so dead, 220km in that heat with that wind...I went deep there. The boys were incredible. A lot of the day it didn't feel like it was going to happen, I was so on the limit. It was slightly uphill, Ballero [Davide Ballerini] was there. Cortina made a good jump but luckily I had Mørkøv who dragged him back."

Number 35 and the outright record on the Champs-Élysées? 

09 July 2021, 14:21
Simon Yates abandons Tour de France as major crash has riders scrambling up hillside

A big crash at the Tour de France has seen riders left scrambling up steep slopes to get back to the road. The fall on the right-hand side of the peloton saw riders slung down a steep bank. Simon Yates, Lotto-Soudal's Roger Kluge and Lucas Hamilton have abandoned, while Geraint Thomas was also involved, but is back on his bike again.

Mark Cavendish's teammate Tim Declercq was one of the 'lucky' ones who managed to avoid falling into the trees, however DSM's Søren Kragh Andersen was not...he could be seen scrambling up the bank passing his Scott to a waiting member of staff. Possible challengers for the stage, Cees Bol and Nacer Bouhanni were also affected. With 36km to go Mark Cavendish has also just been held up after stopping for a bike change but should have time to get back into the peloton before the finish in Carcassonne. 

09 July 2021, 14:10
Giro d'Italia Donne: Lorena Wiebes wins stage eight as Dutch domination continues

Lorena Wiebes has her second stage win of the Giro d'Italia Donne. The Team DSM sprinter outkicked Emma Norsgaard at the finish in Mortegliano - Marianne Vos was back in sixth. The win was the sixth of the seven road stages so far to be taken by a Dutch rider, while Anna Van Der Breggen holds on to the leader's jersey ahead of the big final weekend, starting tomorrow with the cat one summit finish at Monte Matajur.

09 July 2021, 13:56
Round-the-world cyclist Mark Beaumont smashes Land's End to John O'Groats relay record with ex-pro James Lowsley-Williams

Mark Beaumont and James Lowsley-Williams set a new Land's End to John O'Groats relay record riding the full distance in under 40 hours. The pair, followed by the GCN cameras, averaged 22mph (35.4km/h) taking it in turns to ride one-hour stints. 

Mark first rode LEJOG aged 15 and told the Caithness Courier the south-westerly wind was an important factor in the mammoth challenge. "We had the conditions and were lucky with the weather," he said. "But we still had to turn the pedals and do it. It was great fun and a great team challenge in logistics and performance. 

"It was bizarre when we arrived in John O'Groats because it was 3.45 on a Thursday morning. It was only us there at that time and we were very tired after missing two nights' sleep."

Next month Beaumont will be back pushing himself to the limit riding between the two iconic points when he takes part in the GB Duro, a 2,000km off-road bikepacking event guessed it, Land's End to John O' Groats.

09 July 2021, 13:49
Cav saves his legs at the intermediate sprint...Colbrelli and Matthews close the gap slightly

You might be getting the feeling this has become the Cav live blog today...I'll dig out some non-Manx Missile related stuff for the next hour before the finish...

However, over lunch there were some interesting scenes at the intermediate sprint as Sonny Colbrelli took 13 points, Michael Matthews 11 points and Jasper Philipsen 9. Cav rolled across the line taking eight points and more importantly expending as little energy as possible. He appears to be saving everything for the big finish in Carcassonne...

09 July 2021, 13:19
Swapfiets extends bike membership service to London

Swapfiets bike membership service is coming to London with city bikes available for £12.90 a month, including all insurance and repairs. The Dutch-based company is hoping to join the post-covid cycling boom by offering people a hassle-free way of commuting by bike. Jumbo-Visma sported blue front tyres on the opening weekend of the Tour de France to promote the service.

More than 220,000 people across nine European countries have already signed up to the service which aims to avoid the 'hassle' of owning a bike by including 48-hour repairs, insurance, 'puncture-resistant tyres', a lock, luggage carrier and lights. 

Marc De Vries, CEO of Swapfiets, said: "We feel that lockdown revealed a huge desire people had for an easier and more comfortable commute. It has presented a great opportunity to accelerate the cycling agenda and transform our cities into healthy, green, social environments – bikes are a transport solution for life, not just for lockdown. We are very excited to introduce the Swapfiets concept to London’s roads and help make cycling more accessible and affordable for everyone."

09 July 2021, 12:21
Don't read too much into the absent skinsuit

Yesterday when Cav appeared at the start wearing a regular jersey and shorts it started the whispers that the break would probably be allowed its day. Today, likewise, he's in the jersey and shorts, which prompted a few questions of whether Deceuninck were going to bother chasing today...Here's your answer...They've run out. 126km to go and the break's advantage has been cut to under three minutes. Ominous.

09 July 2021, 11:17
Stage 13 breakaway's looking like a sprint stage...

Pierre Latour, Sean Bennett and Omer Goldstein have made the breakaway and have four minutes on the peloton led by Mark Cavendish's entire Deceuninck-Quick-Step team...I think we can guess which way this one's going.

It's looking like a classic Tour sprint stage, but will Cav win? get voting in the poll we posted earlier...It's pretty tight...57 per cent say he's going to do it.

Away from the Tour, Quick-Step have announced Fabio Jakobsen has signed a new contract to keep him with the team until at least the end of 2023. Jakobsen has made his return to racing this year, helping Cavendish win four stages in Turkey and taking his best result of the year at the Dutch national championships.

Veteran Iljo Keisse has also extended his deal for another year and announced the news with a very, very bizarre video. I guess Patrick Lefevere has to get his money's worth out of Remco somehow...

09 July 2021, 11:13
0-140mph in eight seconds
09 July 2021, 10:59
Chiswick High Road protected cycle lane success story

The data is in from a trial cycle lane in Chiswick. Figures from Transport for London shows it led to a significant increase in the number of people cycling in the area, while also leading to a reduction in the number of people being hurt while cycling. The temporary protected cycle lane on Chiswick High Road has been in place since December 2020 and is an amended version of earlier designs for Cycleway 9.

Check out our full story here...

09 July 2021, 10:17
Gareth Southgate? Raheem Sterling? Dodgy penalties? Nah, it's coming home because of Wattbike...according to Wattbike's CEO...

If you haven't heard, football might be coming home...and you've got Wattbike to thank for it. The brand's CEO, Richard Baker has proudly pointed out that the bikes have a "fundamental role in the coming days to help England seal the victory on home soil". 

No, Gareth isn't so confident that he plans to replace Jordan Pickford with a static bike for the final. Although a Wattbike might have got closer to that free kick...Baker's link is that the squad uses the bikes in training...

"It fills me with immense pride to know that Wattbikes have been selected and utilised as a trusted training tool so far," he said. "The training that goes into preparing for the Euros tournament is intense. It requires equipment that provides data insights to improve individual players’ fitness levels.

"The unrivalled data and accuracy that a Wattbike can provide is priceless. It’s also typical for players to use the bikes for low-impact off-feet conditioning in between games, as well as injury rehabilitation."

So remember Wattbike when you're ripping out bike lane wands in celebration on Sunday evening...

09 July 2021, 08:46
Tour de France stage 13: Cav's date with destiny, crosswind chaos or another breakaway stage?

As you can see on the interactive map for today, it's another stage where the threat of crosswinds can't be ignored. Without the wind or 12 gruelling stages already in the legs, you'd say stage 13 is a nailed on sprint.

 Will Deceuninck-Quick-Step try and control it for Cav? Or will we see a repeat of yesterday with the Belgians happy to let a breakaway sweep up the green jersey points? It's an interesting dilemma, but with five tough mountain stages in a row after today you'd think they would want to give Cav a chance now and worry about the green jersey later...

Is today the day Cav equals you know who?

Yeah, he's going to do it!
Not today
Created with Poll Maker
09 July 2021, 08:14
Mark Cavendish hails Marianne Vos the "absolute GOAT" after 30th Giro d'Italia Donne win

Today's all about Cav, but yesterday should be all about Marianne Vos. The Dutch cycling legend won stage seven of Giro d'Italia Donne, the biggest women's stage race and closest thing to a women's Grand Tour, to take her tally to 30 stage wins. On Instagram, Cav called Vos the "GOAT" (greatest of all time) and said her achievements continue to inspire him. 

Vos is in her 16th season as a professional and has racked up 12 world championship victories in that time across three disciplines - road, track and cyclo-cross.  Next year she should get the chance to race the long-awaited women's Tour de France, which will launch in 2022.

A female equivalent of the biggest race in the world has been missing since 1989 and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift will begin on the Champs-Élysées in Paris on the same day the men's race finishes. It will run from July 24-31 and will consist of eight stages.

09 July 2021, 07:43
Protesting delivery cyclist stomps over car blocking bike lane

A delivery rider in Querétaro, Mexico, was filmed stomping over a car parked in a bike lane during a march demanding safer conditions for cyclists. The protest was organised by the Union of Cyclists in Querétaro (UCIQ) to raise awareness of the dangers cyclists experience every day to hopefully prevent further deaths on the road.

The protestor, wearing a food delivery backpack, was filmed walking straight over the obstruction as fellow protesters can be heard shouting: "It's a bike path, don't you understand?"

UCIQ member José Antonio Morán told Mexico News Daily: "When there is a lack of road culture and authorities stay silent and speeding, recklessness and non-compliance with traffic rules are not adequately sanctioned we fall into the chaos."

According to Infobae, there have been 43 collisions involving drivers and cyclists in the Mexican city this year, resulting in three deaths. In the city's defence, transport director Saúl Obregón said 43 million pesos (£1.5 million) had been invested building 80,000 square metres of bike lanes.

It's not the first time we've covered Mexican cyclists taking the no-nonsense approach...Back in 2011, activists in Mexico City painted a 5km guerilla cycle lane after progress on building a new network stalled...

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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