Boy was the opening stage of the 2.1 CIC-Tour Féminin International des Pyrénées eventful. In the end, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio took the victory ahead of Britain's Anna Henderson, but the stage will be remembered for all the wrong reasons as the peloton was put metres from danger repeatedly.
We're not talking about one stray local accidentaly ending up in the middle of a bike race after reversing out their drive at the wrong time. No, we're talking about this level of ridiculousness...
— Esencia Ciclista (@EsenciaCiclista) June 9, 2023
And worse still, on the narrow streets of Lourdes near the finish...(insert your own divine intervention/praying jokes, I don't have the energy)... just as well Carlton Kirby has been sent to the Dauphiné...
🤬 Caótico final, y etapa completa, en el Tour des Pyrénées con coches en marcha en los últimos kilómetros, gente en la calzada, autobuses parados...#EsenciaCiclista #TourPyrenees #CICTourFéminin pic.twitter.com/OOBWBgOyZC
— Esencia Ciclista (@EsenciaCiclista) June 9, 2023
Quite rightly, serious questions will be asked of the organisation after that...
Impressively quick U-turn there, might have even beaten Grant Shapps' record from last summer, aptly on the same issue...
— Intermarché-Circus-Wanty (@IntermarcheCW) June 9, 2023
Away from the carnage in the Pyrenees there was also a Dauphiné stage this afternoon, won by Intermarché-Circus-Wanty's Georg Zimmermann, the German dramatically overhauling Mathieu Burgaudeau in the final metres.
"To be honest, I can't believe it," he said at the finish. "It's been a while since I won my last race, in the Tour de l'Ain in the summer of 2021. Winning a bike race is a feeling I can't really describe. I’m overwhelmed. A rider like me doesn't experience this so often so I enjoy it as much as possible. Yesterday I already felt strong and today I tried again.
"I don't experience the winning feeling very often. It's indescribable. I was not afraid to lose. First or second place, I knew I would give my best. I am so proud to deliver this victory!"
You might have seen this earlier today...
Bit of concern about the knock-on effect of Just Stop Oil taking their protests to two wheels. We got in touch with JSO and were told: "We are happy to show solidarity with cyclists everywhere and ask them to join us in civil resistance. Whether marching or cycling we will continue to do whatever is non-violently possible to end new oil and gas."
We've asked again specifically about the concerns we've read, suggesting this change of tactic might increase hostility towards cyclists. In the meantime, here are some of your thoughts...
In terms of legal strategy it's a really good idea - makes it very dark grey as to whether it's "obstructing the public highway".
— Tobster 🌥️ (@iamtobster) June 9, 2023
solidarity with cyclists by making sure ppl hate a group unrelated JSO a bit more?
— josh heslop (@joshheslop3) June 9, 2023
Rich_cb: "Excellent news. Personally I don't feel that there is enough animosity towards cyclists. It's nice of JSO to try and rectify that."
Morgoth985: "I'm not sure. You might also say that there's so much animosity towards cyclists, so what difference does it make?"
Steve K: "Hi Viz, tick. Helmets, tick. What are people complaining about?"
brooksby: "How long until Braverman decides to ban bicycles 'just in case'...?"
Muddy Ford: "Great, so now I have to throw my orange cycling jacket away to avoid the brain dead in Corsas and Transit vans believing they are rightously mowing me down in support of 'hard working man' thinking I'm part of a JSO protest."
What do you reckon? Does it matter? Will it see increased hostility towards cyclists? Do you support Just Stop Oil's change of tactic?
This should come with a trigger warning for all of us who've suffered similar...
I've been riding a few years now, but you're never more than one moment's inattention away from an embarrassing un-clipping incident.
Of course, it happened at a packed set of traffic lights.
— Brian Moore (@brianmoore666) June 8, 2023
Fortunately no schoolchildren, just a sizeable group of building workers who I'm sure were extremely sympathetic in their laughter...
We've all been there. Mine happened to be a morning commute at a busy zebra crossing, made worse by the fact the heavily worn cleat which wouldn't unclip, still refused to budge as I was lying on the floor... serves me right for being cheap and forcing every last pedal stroke out of them...
Fortunately, I haven't managed it again since, unlike the former England rugby international (don't worry, Brian, I'm sure I'll make it 2-2 at some point).
Close to your anniversary..!https://t.co/n3rDYC4Plm
— Phil Jones (@philpmj) June 8, 2023
Time for your tales...
Richard Cotton: "I was fortunate that it happened to me in a fairly quiet country lane. However, I was unfortunate in that I went down on the drive train side and bent the rear mech inwards!"
James Flibble: "My first attempt with clips, I got to the end of the road. Neighbours were chatting in the front garden. Clips wouldn't release, I fell in what seemed to be slow motion. They were delighted, I was less impressed."
James Shepherd wins... "When I first started riding clipless, I came down on the Fulham road at 5pm on a match day. 100s of Chelsea fans signing 'she fell over' as I lay on the ground."
At least none of the above ended up on camera...
First ride of the year and I forgot the golden rule - if in doubt, clip out!😂🙈 pic.twitter.com/CHZm01XZ5N
— Michael Owen (@themichaelowen) February 26, 2021
Ah well, I thought we were free of the numbel plate 'debate' here in the UK, spoke too soon...
— Nick Freeman (@TheMrLoophole) June 8, 2023
Must be quiet on the celebs needing motoring loopholes front. As we all know number plates have eradicated car theft entirely... oh, wait...
It's going to be a long afternoon reading about Bike Register and the fact that many frames have a number already... much like, I don't know, a VIN on a car. I guess all of the above is assuming the tweet is a serious suggestion and not just some early weekend trolling.
One alternative from the replies? "Or stop people who find loopholes to get criminals off due punishment. This might be more of a deterrent if criminals knew they wouldn't get away with it." And while I'm not sure there are too many loopholes regarding theft, certainly none that this lawyer deals with, still an amusing thought for this extremely serious discussion.
Many of them have @bikeregister number burned to the frame. It doesn't help. Same as car VIN numbers don't guarantee recovery. The problem is in authorities' inaction.
— PhoneKills (@phonekills) June 8, 2023
Chris Boardman believes £18 billion is needed to grow cycling equitably between rural and urban areas, Laura Laker has reported for Cycling Industry News. The current budget is £3.8 billion, the head of Active Travel England noting that to meet the 2030 target (of half of all journeys in towns and cities being make by walking or cycling) will cost £9 billion, while to do things equally in rural areas also would cost double.
"If we focus on areas of high population density, we focus on [authorities] who have the capability now to meet the targets by 2030, we can do that. If we want to spread it more equitably across the country, go to rural areas, then that will move towards the £18 billion, and that’s a governmental choice," Boardman said.
"We know that 31 per cent fewer young people are now owning cars. That's not how they want to spend their available disposable income, and they're looking for alternatives. I think right now we also have a duty to ensure that people have access to cheap transport.
"Active travel provides all of that for the local journeys, the vast majority of which are less than five miles, and a huge, around about a third, are less than a mile. So it is a part of our future as part of an integrated transport system."
What time is it?
I love the casual cycler 😂 pic.twitter.com/OCJA8UXtJl
— NOELREPORTS 🇪🇺 🇺🇦 (@NOELreports) June 8, 2023
Well that's an interesting take on Near Miss of the Day...
Back in February 2022 we shared a picture on our live blog of a Kyiv cyclist spotted training "surrounded by tanks" in one of the most surreal photos of the year. Days later, more Strava activities from the city were spotted online.
Here's a lovely sight for your Friday morning...
It’s almost shocking to get back to London at rush hour and see people commuting home through central London absolutely everywhere pic.twitter.com/LB10OhRq19
— Danny Williams (@citycyclists) June 8, 2023
Strange, I thought the Northern Ireland comments told us cyclists don't stop at red lights...
Officers across Northern Ireland yesterday took part in close pass operations, whereby plain clothes officers ride a bicycle along a stretch of road, flagging any dangerous driving to colleagues further along the road who then educate/enforce a penalty.
And while any action to try to "raise awareness of cycle safety" is appreciated, one Belfast cyclist pointed out it would also be useful if cyclists had an Operation SNAP-style reporting portal to submit footage of dangerous driving, rather than the current system where complaints go through PSNI's 'Online Incident Reporting'.
In response to an FOI request by a Mr Murray in March, "PSNI can advise we do intend to introduce a scheme matching Operation Snap used by UK police forces. Research has been conducted with UK forces to establish how the scheme operates and best practice. Enquiries have also been made regarding the technology and training required to run the scheme."
Interestingly, the FOI also revealed such a platform would cost "£3,500 per annum, with an additional £2,000 set up cost", plus staffing costs.
Of course, it wouldn't be a police force talking about cyclists without a touch of anti-cycling bingo...
"All very good, but when are you going to get cyclist off the footpaths and enforce that in town centres."
"Are there any plans to make the use of cycle lanes compulsory?"
"Can you also educate cyclists on how to use cycle lanes & also the road in general when there aren't any. From what I can see they are a law onto themselves when sharing the road."
"Tell the cyclists, especially cycle clubs, to stop at red lights at pedestrian crossing and not just drive through!"
"Will you be riding side by side at 5 miles an hour moaning at all the drivers who unlike you have to take a test and pay to use the road"
Saved my favourite for the end there...
Dan joined road.cc 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 road.cc, 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.