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‘Kid needs to hold his line better – that’s a clear DQ’: Fans point out “outrageous” sprint deviation at Paris-Nice… from Romain Bardet’s child; “Don’t brake” for cyclists, says Mike Graham; Ganna vs Echelons; Roglič’s hairy legs + more on the live blog

It’s Thursday, the Côte d'Azur- I mean the weekend is in sight, and Ryan Mallon’s back for more cycling-based shenanigans on the live blog ...
09 March 2023, 09:09
Sprinting with the Bardets at Paris-Nice (credit - Daniel McMahon)
‘Kid needs to hold his line better – that’s a clear DQ’: Fans point out “outrageous” sprint deviation at Paris-Nice… from Romain Bardet’s child

I thought I’d kick off this wintery edition of the live blog with one of the more heart-warming moments so far from this year’s Race to the Sun:

Some serious cycling fans on Twitter, however, noted that young Angus Bardet – who astutely closed the door on his old man in the sprint for the team bus – may be following more closely in the chaotic wheel tracks of a certain anarchic French sprint line deviator, Nacer Bouhanni, than his polite Tour de France podium placer dad…

That shockingly dangerous post-stage manoeuvre from three-year-old Angus (who allegedly raced against Arnaud De Lie and Juan Ayuso in the U4 category last year) also prompted several calls for the Paris-Nice organisers to throw the book at the upstart:

Though I reckon kicking two generations of Bardets off the race in the space of six years might be pushing it, even for ASO.

> Stickiest of 'sticky bottles' gets Romain Bardet kicked out of Paris-Nice

It’s a good job that Primož Roglič is over in Italy at Tirreno, otherwise we all know who would be getting the blame:

It just goes to show, Peter Sagan was right: all these youngsters flooding into the pro ranks these days before they’ve properly served their apprenticeships, putting the old timers in danger with their sketchy bike-handling and youthful swagger.

There’s no respect in the peloton anymore these days, I tell ya!

09 March 2023, 17:06
Snowy podcast listening

That’s all for today’s live blog, but I thought I’d leave you with some early evening easy listening on the Podcast, featuring some insightful contributions (don’t laugh) from your bloggy favourites:

podcast episode 46 lead image

> Are petrolheads and cyclists really all that different? JayEmm on the Podcast + women’s racing discussed 

09 March 2023, 16:51
Olav Kooij sprints to biggest win of career at Paris-Nice

Until today, Jumbo-Visma’s sprinting protégé Olav Kooij had racked up seven top four placings in bunch sprints this season without tasting victory.

But the prodigious 21-year-old put that near miss record behind him on stage five of Paris-Nice this afternoon, beating Mads Pedersen and the fast-finishing Tim Merlier into Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux to secure the biggest win of his young career.

I have a feeling the floodgates might have just opened…

09 March 2023, 16:23
Cyclist who blasted police inaction after alleged hit-and-run sends complaint letter with the help of Cycling UK

A cyclist who criticised Police Scotland’s “appalling” inaction that enabled a motorist to escape punishment for an alleged hit-and-run has sent a letter to Police Scotland's Professional Standards department, with the help of Cycling UK, after originally receiving little response from East Dunbartonshire Police despite contacting them around 30 times. 

Alan Myles told "Cycling UK have been really helpful in submitting the request, so that it shouldn't be sorted with an apology and then swept under the carpet."

Since our original article was published, we also reported how delays to the introduction of an online road safety reporting portal in Scotland is potentially putting cyclists "at risk." 

Scottish cyclists currently have to use the Police Scotland Online Reporting Form, said to be time-consuming and inconsistent, and how much action is taken can often be down to the attitudes of individual forces and officers. 

Police Scotland and the Scottish Government announced funding for a national safety portal last year, but it hasn’t been implemented yet. 

09 March 2023, 16:03
Roglic hairy leg-gate: Slovenian says he was waiting for first win of the season to shave them

Well the results are in: if you participated in our super important survey below then I can reveal that 83% of you don't care about hairy legs amongst us mere mortals... however, the man who inspired the debate himself says that he was in fact waiting for his first win of the season to shave them, according to AD Sportworld reporter Daan Hakkenberg. 

"I still have some work to do. For example, shaving my legs," said Roglic. Expect to see the Slovenian looking a little smoother in the lower limb department at his next big race, then!

09 March 2023, 15:53
Flogging cookers > being a pro cyclist

In which we find out that you can actually buy an oven with an oddly specific Tomahawk steak setting... erm, take my money, sort of... 

09 March 2023, 15:43
YouTuber CycleGaz has started uploading near misses made to look like car dashcam footage

It's often said that a lot of misbehaviour and lack of understanding we see from a minority of drivers on the road is because they lack the perspective of other vulnerable road users... and so CycleGaz, the YouTuber who has built up a cult following with his almost daily uploads highlighting poor driving, has flipped this on its head with his latest tactic. 

Recent uploads have the clip played twice, once with an overlay that makes it look like CycleGaz is sat in the driving seat of a car, and then the original footage that shows it again without the special effect. 

He told Forbes: “Many people are blind to the issues that cyclists face, so I’m shifting the perception.”

What do you think, are these clip modifications likely to shift perspectives of the least understanding road users out there? Perhaps the driving theory test is due a revamp!

09 March 2023, 14:47
Tom Pidcock and Wout van Aert tangle and crash as Primož Roglič sprints to first win of the season at Tirreno-Adriatico

Cycling fans everywhere, excited at the prospect of a ding-dong battle between the world’s best classics riders over the next month, drew a sharp intake of breath at the sight of Tom Pidcock and Wout van Aert on the ground at Tirreno-Adriatico today.

The pair – who, along with Mathieu van der Poel, lit up the ‘cross field over the winter and are expected to challenge for the big cobbled races next month – tangled as Strade Bianche winner Pidcock made his way back down the bunch after doing a turn at the front in the final five kilometres.

Van Aert appeared to be briefly squeezed by one of his Jumbo-Visma teammates near the front of the peloton, leading him to clip the slowing Yorkshireman’s bike, with both riders hitting the deck hard.

Fortunately, despite the serious-looking nature of the spill, both Pidcock and Van Aert, after shaking hands, were able to get back on their bikes and ride to the finish, amiably comparing their respective road rash and tattered kits as they tapped along.

Tom Pidcock and Wout van Aert crash at Tirreno-Adriatico, 2023 (GCN)


As one British rider was forced to take it easy on the final climb to the line in Tortoreto, EF Education-EasyPost’s Hugh Carthy, with the Ineos Grenadiers’ Tao Geoghegan Hart closely following, launched a speculative dig with a kilometre to go.

However, lurking in the shadows was Primož Roglič, who proved that even hairy legs can’t stop him destroying the opposition on an uphill drag.

On a finish tailormade for the Slovenian’s monstrous finishing kick, the three-time Vuelta winner made up for his Jumbo-Visma teammate Van Aert’s disappointment by timing his sprint to perfection to beat Julian Alaphilippe and Adam Yates and take his debut win of 2023.

 Who needs a razor, eh?

09 March 2023, 14:14 Recommends Spring Special
09 March 2023, 13:24
Early season safety chaos, Tirreno-Adriatico edition

Jeepers, now there’s a ‘watch through your fingers’ turn if I ever saw one…

Thankfully, it appears that the peloton was able to safely navigate RCS Sport’s questionable attempt to introduce some Mario Kart-style cornering into today’s Tirreno stage to Tortoreto.

What’s next, a hundred metre jump over a cliff at the top of the final climb? To be honest, that might actually suit Mathieu van der Poel…

> More early-season safety chaos as Pidcock suffers near miss with motorist – on roundabout just after finish line

09 March 2023, 12:55
“This is why people are able to say, ‘waste of money. nobody uses it anyway’”: New narrow, painted bike lanes blasted by Bolton cyclists – while council says there isn’t enough space to do better “without inconveniencing responsible motorists”

While Bolton installed the UK’s second ever ‘Cyclops’ (Cycle Optimised Protected Signals) junction back in 2021, it appears that the cycling infrastructure close to that innovative design leaves a lot to be desired.

A Twitter thread posted yesterday by local road safety campaigner Grahame Cooper – who blogs under the name Mr Happy Cyclist – highlights some of the less ground-breaking aspects of the town’s new cycling infra on the nearby Manchester Road which, judging by Cooper’s clips anyway, appears to be largely narrow, painted, low-quality, and unsafe:


“Apparently the scheme has many compromises because there isn’t enough space to do better,” Cooper says.

“This is because it’s all to be done ‘without, of course, inconveniencing responsible motorists’ (to quote our Executive Member for Highways and Transport).

“This is why people are able to say, ‘waste of money; nobody uses it anyway!’ How will we ever see more people cycling in Bolton?”

09 March 2023, 12:18
Poorly timed cycling hot takes

Act One:

Act Two:

Act Three:

09 March 2023, 11:37
Ellen van Dijk celebrates winning 2022 UCI world time trial championships (Zac Williams/
Ellen van Dijk announces pregnancy – and Trek-Segafredo wins the internet

Three-time world time trial champion and Hour Record holder Ellen van Dijk announced this morning that is expecting her first child and will take maternity leave from racing for the entirety of the 2023 season.

The 36-year-old follows in the wheel tracks of Trek-Segafredo teammate Lizzie Deignan, who is currently preparing to return to racing following the birth of her second child last year.

After a sensational 2022, which saw her claim her third rainbow jersey in the time trial and smash the UCI Hour Record, setting a new benchmark of 49.254km in Grenchen last May, former Tour of Flanders winner Van Dijk is now planning to return to the peloton in 2024 – with a gold medal at the Paris Olympics a key target.

“Me and Benjamin are super excited to share the news that we are expecting our first child in September. It has always been our wish to start a family and so to have this wish come true, still feels a bit unreal right now,” the Dutch rider said in a statement today.

“Together with the Team, and the unwavering support of Benjamin, I have achieved my biggest goals over the past two years. When discussions around an extension of my contract began last year, we spoke about my seemingly conflicting ambitions: I want to win a medal at the Olympics in 2024, but I would also like to start a family. Straight away, the team was open to both scenarios and that was incredibly heart-warming.

“Of course, it’s a shame I won’t be racing my new supersonic shiny Speed Concept this year and I was really looking forward to wearing the rainbow stripes at the Tour de France Femmes and Vuelta, but you can’t have it all. Nevertheless, I’m very pleased to see these races taking the time trial discipline seriously and hopefully they’ll keep it for next year. It will also be weird not to defend my world title this year, but I think by that time my mind will somewhere else entirely.”

> Former world champion Chantal van den Broek-Blaak announces pregnancy

Van Dijk, who discovered she was pregnant while on a Trek-Segafredo training camp in January, says she still has “unfinished business” with the Olympics.

“In 2016, I crashed in the time trial and ended in a disappointing fourth place then, I didn’t get selected to go to Tokyo so, together with Benjamin and Josu, we have already started to tentatively make a structured plan for my comeback in 2024 and for Paris,” she said.

> Lizzie Deignan on the Tour de France Femmes, returning to the top after childbirth, her memorable wins, and much more

The 36-year-old also praised the example set by both Deignan – who returned to the sport following her first pregnancy to win the inaugural edition of Paris-Roubaix in 2021 – and the team in general, for enabling their riders to start families while continuing their careers, and forcing the UCI to update its rules concerning maternity leave.

Van Dijk continued: “Having Lizzie in the Team means a lot to me. She is a role model and seeing her do what she does, is very inspiring. Lizzie and Phil have proved that it’s possible to have a family and make a successful comeback. I’m sure I will be asking her for advice now and then as well.

“To have the full support from Trek is something special and they really are the game changers in women’s cycling. Having the option to get pregnant during your career should be a human right, but it wasn’t in our sport. However, thanks to Trek, other teams followed the example of supporting pregnancy and that eventually led to it also becoming a UCI rule.”

Meanwhile, Trek-Segafredo decided to mark Van Dijk’s wonderful news with a brand new, family-friendly aero concept:

09 March 2023, 10:54
“What about if you see a cyclist? Just don’t brake… They’re supposed to avoid me – otherwise there could be a problem”: More TalkTV ‘classics’ from Mike Graham

In what will almost certainly be the least shocking news you’ll hear all day, TalkRadio’s purveyor of fine nonsense, Mike Graham, has been laying into cyclists again, for no real reason…

> Highway Code 'fury': Calls for cyclists' driving test as Mike Graham and Daily Express continue attacking changes

In a typically belligerent ‘interview’ with green industrialist and Forest Green Rovers owner Dale Vince yesterday, ostensibly about Just Stop Oil and electric vehicles, radio ranter Graham decided to spend 30 seconds aiming a few digs, naturally, at people who ride bikes and the Highway Code.

(You’ll want to skip forward to the six minute mark on the below clip, otherwise your ears and brain will never forgive you)…

Describing the electric BMW i3, Vince said that “you can drive around town and never touch the brake. When you come off the throttle it brakes for you” – a rather innocuous piece of info that promoted this completely obvious segue from Graham into one of his pet topics:

“What if you see a cyclist? Just don’t brake,” the TalkTV presenter chortled.

“Well you have to avoid them,” a bemused Vince responded.

“No, they’re supposed to avoid me, that would be my advice. Otherwise there could be a problem.”

“You should maybe read the Highway Code.”

“I have read the Highway Code, and I disagree with it.”

Oh, how we all laughed and laughed and laughed…

09 March 2023, 10:19
Primož’s hairy legs: Should amateur racers ditch the razor?

Tell me racing Tirreno was a last-minute decision without telling me racing Tirreno was a last-minute decision…

With the three-time Vuelta winner unleashing his inner early season Sagan this week, inspiring weekend warriors everywhere to ditch the razor, where do you stand on amateur racing’s eternal ‘racing with hairy legs’ debate?


09 March 2023, 09:49
“Most insane cycling thing you will see today”: Filippo Ganna vs Echelons

I think it’s safe to say that, with two world time trial championships, Olympic gold, and an Hour Record already under his belt, Filippo Ganna didn’t really need to prove how ridiculously strong he is on a bike.

But then the 26-year-old Italian goes and does this as crosswinds hit the end of yesterday’s Tirreno-Adriatico stage into Foligno:

To be fair, it was only Wout van Aert and the rest of Jumbo-Visma piling on the pressure when Ganna decided to scythe through three-quarters of the peloton on his own.

Easy then…

Ryan joined in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

Add new comment


IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
IanMSpencer | 1 year ago
1 like

Was this a NMOTD?

"The driver was initially offered an educational course followed by a conditional offer of a fixed penalty for Driving without Due Care & Attention. The case was sent to Court after the driver failed to comply with these offers and was given a fine of £417 and 5 penalty points."

IanMSpencer | 1 year ago

With cost overrun on HS2, I am now hopeful that we will soon have a first class cycle superhighway infrastructure from Birmingham to London.

essexian replied to IanMSpencer | 1 year ago

There were plans when the scheme was first drawn up for a cycle path to run the length of the project... however, it was cut due to the cost of the scheme.... something like £100m.

IanMSpencer replied to essexian | 1 year ago

There has been one positive about the HS2 development - where they obstructed cycle access they spent money on constructing bypasses and manning plant crossings.

Solihull abjectly failed in providing something similar in constructing J5A on the M42 which probably has cost a cyclist's life.

Oldfatgit | 1 year ago

CyclingGaz and his overlay:

If I can ever work out how to do it in DaVinci Resolve, it's certainly something I'll be having a go at .. maybe with some royalty free music on in the background to reinforce the illusion.

Now ... what colour *is* Chromakey ... 😄

Clem Fandango | 1 year ago

Don't know whether to laugh or cry.
It's a war on motorists I tell you. Or a stupidity tax. You decide.

I can't help wonder what the headlines would be if "cyclist jumps same red light 22 times in short time period". Unless the usual suspects prove me wrong by hosting frothing phone ins (hah) It's clearly less socially acceptable than speeding in a motor vehicle for some reason.....

lllnorrislll | 1 year ago

Bragging about his BMW i3 - who would have thought that Mike Graham is a Champagne Environmentalist!

mark1a replied to lllnorrislll | 1 year ago

I think it was Dale Vince talking about the BMW i3, Mike Graham drives a Range Rover AFAIK. 

lllnorrislll replied to mark1a | 1 year ago

Range Rover? Loud, wallowing, desperately holding on a British heritage which has long since past. No - doesn't sound like our Mike.

Bungle_52 | 1 year ago

Re complaint letter to Police Scotland.

Brilliant news that Cycling UK is involved. Good luck wth it.

Time for another contribution to the Cylists Defence Fund I think.

wtjs replied to Bungle_52 | 1 year ago

Brilliant news that Cycling UK is involved. Good luck wth it.

True, but I caution against undue optimism in the face of institutional police idleness and hostility towards cyclists. You can present these things correctly and well with impeccable evidence, but police forces with no standards, morals or shame (Scotland looks to be about as bad as Lancashire) will still bin complaints with the stupidest of made-up 'reasons'. I have shown these before- the main reason claimed with the first was a rule they had made up which meant they "had to have a confirmation video from this 'APC overnight' van" and since the "video in the van wasn't recording" they couldn't do anything. I anticipate some such nonsense from ScotFilth, but I hope I'm wrong: that would give us all hope if there's 'something more than an apology'.

Or this one where there were 2 similar offences at the same spot by the same driver within 2 days. It was all set to go to court after a couple of years Covid delay when the police withdrew the case because they had 'suddenly discovered there was no rear view camera' and they had invented a new Lancashire only law where it's only an offence if you actually have film of them crossing over the unbroken white line  to get on the wrong side of it!

eburtthebike replied to wtjs | 1 year ago

wtjs wrote:

True, but I caution against undue optimism in the face of institutional police idleness and hostility towards cyclists. You can present these things correctly and well with impeccable evidence, but police forces with no standards, morals or shame (Scotland looks to be about as bad as Lancashire) will still bin complaints with the stupidest of made-up 'reasons'.

Not just the police, the BBC have an excellent complaints system, which has the sole purpose of excusing its employees*.   Having sent many complaints over thirty years about their overt bias against cycling, all supported with impeccablish evidence, and having seen all of them denied, I'm pretty sure they could teach the police a thing or two.

One case springs to mind; I complained that the BBC misrepresented the facts about helmets, and provided a list of 41 articles, 40 of which accepted that they were wonderful and would save your life, and one questioned their efficacy.  This was dismissed because 40:1 wasn't considered decisive, so I did a bit more digging, found another 40 articles saying that they would save your life, so that was now 80:1, only for it to be dismissed on the grounds that they had dismissed the first one.  I kid you not.

*Excluding Lineker, for not supporting free speech i.e. whatever the government says.

IanMSpencer replied to eburtthebike | 1 year ago
1 like

I can confirm that indeed the BBC do not consider the purpose of their complaints system to be one designed for the continuous improvement of the organisation, it is merely the first line of trenches at the Somme, and advancing a complaint is a similar exercise of futility.

Secret_squirrel replied to Bungle_52 | 1 year ago
1 like

I know the Met gets all the bad press about their culture problems but I'm willing to bet they are a shining example of reason and tolerance compared to most of the knuckle dragging minority of rozzers in the regions.

the little onion | 1 year ago

Motorists' convenience > cyclists' lives

brooksby replied to the little onion | 1 year ago


council says there isn’t enough space to do better “without inconveniencing responsible motorists”

And that attitude right there is the real problem.

quiff replied to brooksby | 1 year ago

Or as I recall a police force put it in a NMOTD: "the driver is going to have to inconvenience someone".

Bungle_52 replied to quiff | 1 year ago
1 like

I remember that one.

That one got NFA but this one in the same place

got a warning letter. Small step in the right direction.

belugabob | 1 year ago

I will take Mike Graham's advice and avoid him.
I've managed to do this, admirably, so far, and fully intend to maintain my 100% record

brooksby replied to belugabob | 1 year ago

So Mr Graham thinks he can just ignore any guidance or laws with which he happens to disagree?  I don't think it works like that... 

belugabob replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
brooksby wrote:

So Mr Graham thinks he can just ignore any guidance or laws with which he happens to disagree?  I don't think it works like that... 

Yes, but you actually think...

Awavey | 1 year ago

Womens tour stages & route just revealed #doesntcomepastmyhouse

EM69 | 1 year ago

Mike Graham is the best argument I know for the abortion law.

mitsky | 1 year ago

Presumably Mike Graham's own (idiotic) words can be used against him in court when he ends up there for causing a collision?

Grahamd | 1 year ago

More of this please, early this morning, just 

light hearted positive news, what a refreshing change.

Edit, now spoiled by the Mike Graham story.

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