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Team calls for Giro to be stopped after two weeks' racing; De Gendt feels organisers are 'hiding things' regarding Covid-19 situation; 17 police motorbike racers associated with Giro-E test positive; Video: James May builds a bike + more

Today's live blog with Alex Bowden (daytime) and Simon MacMichael (evening)...
15 October 2020, 15:28
UCI says there will be extra screening of Giro teams

Responding to EF Pro Cycling's request that the Giro d'Italia be cut short (see below) the UCI has said there will be additional general screening of teams on Thursday and Friday, on top of the testing due on the second rest day (Monday).

15 October 2020, 15:14
EF Pro Cycling calls for Giro to be stopped after two weeks' racing

Eurosport reports that a proposal from EF Pro Cycling to stop the Giro d’Italia at the second rest day because of "a clearly compromised bubble" has been refused by the UCI.

The team wrote to request that the Grand Tour end this coming Sunday, with winners declared as per their positions at that point.

It said that following a series of positive tests at the first rest day,  “it must be expected that further illness will result.”

Mitchelton-Scott and Jumbo-Visma have pulled out of the race. Regarding finishing the Giro early, the letter says that, “it would be better for the Giro and the UCI World Tour…(if) this be done in a systematic, holistic way versus a chaotic withdrawal on a team by team basis.”

The UCI denied the request with its president David Lappartient arguing, “we now face a challenge to finish the season and this can be achieved by continuing this spirit of collaboration and unity in professional cycling.”

EF says it will leave the Giro if the team returns even one positive test - and may even call it a day before that happens.

“While we hope to remain in the race until an official early finish, should anyone on our team test positive, or should the riders and staff grow uncomfortable with the situation, we will leave the race at that time.”

15 October 2020, 14:59
Jhonatan Narvaez (Eurosport)
Jhonatan Narvaez wins Stage 12 of the Giro

Jhonatan Narvaez (Ineos Grenadiers) has won from the break on a day of miserable weather in the Giro d’Italia.

The Ecuadorian was one of two riders who had seemed set to hold off the peloton to contest the win. However, the unfortunate Mark Padun (Bahrain-McLaren) suffered a puncture immediately after the final climb of the day.

15 October 2020, 14:08
Thief 2
Thames Valley Police releases images of two men officers would like to speak to following 27 bike thefts in Marlow

Between August 1 and September 8 a total of 27 bicycles were stolen from three locations across Marlow.

The thefts occurred from outside Sainsbury’s supermarket in West Street, from Higginson Park, and from outside Marlow Railway Station.

Sergeant Robin Hughes, of Marlow’s Neighbourhood Team, said: “As part of our enquiries, I would like to speak to the two men shown in the images as they may have information which could assist us. If you recognise them or believe you are either individual, please contact police.

“Many of the bicycles stolen were locked so if you have to leave your bicycle in public I would urge you to please ensure you double lock it as securely as possible in a recognised secure cycle parking area, which is well lit and is covered by CCTV. Use two good quality locks, at least one of which is a D-lock and remove or secure any removable parts.

“It is also advisable to get your bike securely marked and registering it at BikeRegister. Please take the same steps at home to ensure your bicycle is secure.”

If you have any information about the incidents please contact the 24-hour non-emergency number 101 quoting the reference 43200271523.

Thief 1


Thief 3
15 October 2020, 13:57
What's your GSI?
15 October 2020, 13:18
75-year-old former marine completes North Coast 500 for PTSD charity, raising over £13,000
Jonathan Thomson north coast 500 fundraiser

Jonathan Thompson set off on 5th October to complete his mammoth challenge, and accompanied by a small support team, he conquered the brutal 500 mile route around North-West Scotland within a week.

A former Royal Marine, Mr Thompson was raising funds for the PTSD Resolution charity, describing PTSD as “a dreadful affliction”. He trained six times a week leading up to the event, making use of a road bike and a Wattbike Atom, and faced hilly terrain mixed with typically dreadful Scottish weather during the challenge itself. Doubling back from John o’ Groats on the final days to avoid the busy A9, the total distance was extended to 542  miles.

Mr Thompson originally aimed to raise £10,000, but has already smashed that target with the running total now over £13,000 – if you want to donate the fundraiser is still live here, and you can find out more about the PTSD Resolution charity here.

15 October 2020, 13:04
Mini orcas: not a deterrent to parking in cycle lanes
15 October 2020, 12:44
Rule No.1 of stick bottles: at least *pretend* that you want the bottle
15 October 2020, 11:20
RCS says the 17 police officers who tested positive for Covid-19 were "exclusively engaged in the escort of Giro-E"

We alluded to this earlier when reporting on Thomas de Gendt's suspicions that Giro d'Italia organisers RCS Sport are 'hiding' things with regards to the spread of Covid-19 at the race.

It's been reported that 17 police motorbike riders tested positive, but RCS says these particular officers were only tasked with covering the Giro-E e-bike race, which finishes an hour before the main race each day.

A spokesperson said:

"With reference to the stories that appeared in the press relating to the Coronavirus status of Polizia Stradale officers at the Giro d'Italia, it must be highlighted that the reported cases only concern personnel exclusively engaged in the escort at the Giro-E, an event with organization, logistics, hotels, timetables and starting locations completely separate from those of the Giro d’Italia.

"It was found that the cluster would have originated in the technical escort team. As for the escort policemen on the Giro d’Italia, who follow autonomous prophylaxis dynamics, the recent Covid tests carried out have all returned negative responses."

15 October 2020, 11:15
NTT Pro Cycling – Africa's only top flight team – could fold with implications for the Qhubeka charity

The BBC reports that Japanese telecommunications company NTT has pulled out of sponsoring Africa’s top cycling team, for whom Domenico Pozzovivo is currently sitting fourth overall in the Giro d’Italia.

Team principal Doug Ryder said the team was, “struggling to keep the lights on.”

They’ll need a new sponsor in place by November.

"We've literally got three to four weeks, so the clock is absolutely ticking. We hope we can find somebody who can keep us going."

NTT Pro Cycling was formerly MTN-Qhubeka and Team Dimension Data and is still connected to the Qhubeka charity which provides African students with bikes.

"This is our tenth year in solid partnership with them and we've helped [give more than] 100,000 bicycles to individuals and give them hope, opportunity and change lives," said Ryder.

"The team has given that initiative global exposure. We will continue to support Qhubeka, no question, but if the team doesn't exist then it will severely impact Qhubeka as a whole."

15 October 2020, 10:46
VecchioJo is aimlessly pedalling about

I'm late on this, but I'm posting it because there's every chance some of you will have missed it too.

VecchioJo about a goalless focus-less year of riding.

15 October 2020, 09:50
Lotto-Soudal riders discussing whether or not to start today says Thomas de Gendt

According to Thomas de Gendt, Lotto-Soudal signed the start list today but have since been discussing whether or not to ride on the team bus.

It's been reported that 17 police motorbike riders associated with the Giro-E tested positive for Covid-19.

Race organisers said the officers were separate from the main race, but de Gendt seems sceptical.

"I thought it was much safer in the Tour. I never felt unsafe there at any point. But I have the feeling that the organisation is hiding things and giving it a twist.

"There is a lot of money involved and for sponsors it is very important that we go to Milan. They are waiting for the government to make a decision and those decisions come too late."

15 October 2020, 08:58
Video: James May builds a bike

"A new bicycle - the most exciting thing you can buy."

15 October 2020, 08:37
Fuglsang backtracks

We reported yesterday that Jakob Fuglsang has been letting off a bit of steam in his daily column in the Danish media.

The recurring theme is that he is disappointed-to-angry with his team.

Our favourite line was the utterly brutal one about Oscar Rodriguez. "It's not like I'm disappointed with him. I probably would not have expected more, but you are allowed to hope."

He also said of Vincenzo Nibali (presumably partly in jest): "He doesn't say hello to me. Maybe he's jealous of me."

Then there are his comments about Sicily.

It's important to note that these were produced with the assistance of Google Translate.

Fuglsang has now pulled a very modern version of the old "I've been misquoted" in a bid to minimise the damage.

He said: "The translations with Google Translate, believe me, are not so reliable. I love Italy and that translation does not reflect my thoughts."

You can certainly lose a bit of nuance with any translation - particularly one generated by computer software. Not sure that explains everything though, Jakob.

15 October 2020, 08:28
Today's stage of the Giro d'Italia

Stage 12 is 200-and-odd very hard kilometres.

Stage 12, 2020 Giro

Organisers say it follows the same route as the Gran Fondo Nove Colli, if that means much to you.

They say: "With the exception of the first and of the last 25km, the remaining 150km do not even feature a single flat metre to let the bunch catch their breath.

"The route is an endless succession of climbs and descents, with double-digit gradients at points, often on narrow and worn-out roads."

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

Add new comment


huntswheelers | 3 years ago

James May needs to sort out that front brake's routed incorrectly..... 

Gkam84 | 3 years ago

Looks like the "extra screening" was actually Covid testing, I've seen a number of teams being tested after today's stage

Secret_squirrel | 3 years ago

Maybe it's my eyes but maybe someone should tell Marlow rozzers that all 3 pictures are the same man....

AlsoSomniloquism replied to Secret_squirrel | 3 years ago

Nah, bottom pic the geezer has thick sideburns which isn't in either of the top two pics. They are wearing the same coat and rucksack though but that might be the scummers uniform of choice.

captain_slog | 3 years ago

Love the sticky-bottle clip. But let's give him the benefit of the doubt. I imagine the conversation went something like this:

Hector: What is it? What's in the bottle, guys? What's the drink?

Soigneurs: [After some discussion] Er, we think it's our secret recipe: a nutritious mix of cold tea and beetroot juice.

Hector: Eeeeuch!

(But in Spanish, natch.)

jollygoodvelo | 3 years ago


autonomous prophylaxis dynamics

I don't know what this is, but I suspect my wife wouldn't like to find out I've been watching it.

Brauchsel replied to jollygoodvelo | 3 years ago

I think I've got one of their Peel Sessions on cassette. 

Secret_squirrel | 3 years ago
1 like

I think Mr Fuglsang needs to learn the difference between speaking out loud and his internal monologue.   Its like the journalist has tapped into his thoughts prior to going through his internal censor.  Unless of course he's like that all the time.

Secret_squirrel | 3 years ago

"follow autonomous prophylaxis dynamics"

Is it just me that this phrase conjures visions of some giant robot condom laying waste to Neo-Tokyo?

It is just me?  As you were then.

EK Spinner | 3 years ago

Mr May, that was crap, the front brake hose (probably cable) should not pass behind/under the frame, it will end up catching on the front tyre you muppet

PRSboy | 3 years ago

I've watched the Italian Job... Fuglsang better tread carefully.  It would be a shame if he entered a tunnel at speed and met, say, a bulldozer.

Miller | 3 years ago

De Gendt is right, I'd never noticed how close Sicily is to mainland Italy. Why isn't there a bridge? 

the little onion replied to Miller | 3 years ago

Because it would be, by some margin, the world's biggest suspension bridge. In an earthquake prone region, subject to crosswinds.


As I understand it, a bridge has been approved and subsequently cancelled a few times, because of cost and risk.

Secret_squirrel replied to Miller | 3 years ago


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