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Italian cyclist 'throws himself into the sea' to evade police; 'The Body Coach' Joe Wicks broke wrist cycling; Geraint Thomas says cancelling Tour de France will cost jobs; Olympics clash with TdF; Coffee DOESN'T dehydrate; + more on the live blog

Jack Sexty is in charge of your live blog to start the week, with Simon MacMichael adding some titbits later this evening
30 March 2020, 20:23
Geraint Thomas: Cancelling Tour de France will cost jobs

2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas has said that cancelling this year’s race will result in people working within cycling losing their jobs.

While organisers ASO remain hopeful that the race can start as planned in Nice on 24 June, it seems unlikely that will happen, with countries across Europe and beyond in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic,

The Team Ineos rider told the Telegraph: “I just want to race my bike again, so in that sense I’d love it to be on, but only if it was safe to do so.

“But on the other hand there are 20-odd teams, and companies invested in those teams, and if it went there [could be] quite a few people left unemployed.

“So while the result itself doesn’t matter, the event does because there are a lot of livelihoods wrapped up in it.”

ASO has said that it plans to make a decision on whether or not the race would go ahead by 1 May, and while the French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu has said it could be held behind closed doors – that is, keeping fans away from the event – Thomas is not sure that is an option.

“It wouldn’t be the Tour without the fans,” he said.

30 March 2020, 15:11
Italian man 'throws himself into the sea' with his bike to avoid police checks

A disobedient cyclist in the Italian province of Lecce attempted to evade police by jumping into the sea with his bike. 

As the country now worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Italy's severe restrictions limit the public from leaving their homes without a valid reason; and with the man clearly lacking a reason and facing a fine between 400 and 3,000 euros, he took to the seas in defiance. 

"I've done nothing wrong", he protested according to our translations as the police officer attempts to persuade him to get out of the water so he could be identified. Unfortunately it wasn't all plain sailing, the officer stood firm and the man was eventually fined, according to La Gazzetta Del Mezzogiorno

The Italian government have ordered everyone to stay at home unless they have to go outside to get groceries or go to work, with exercise only permitted if it's close to home. Almost 100,000 people have been infected with coronavirus in Italy so far. ​

30 March 2020, 15:07
Amsterdam vs Copenhagen: exploring the differences in street design

Copenhagen is great "but it's no Amsterdam", according to this video which looks at some of the finer points that make Amsterdam's cycling infrastructure so renowned. 

The video was recommended to us by reader Mike, who commented: "I’ve been to Amsterdam and Copenhagen many times, though I know the former better. I agree with most of what this video says, but it does rather overlook the kamikaze like attitude of Amsterdam cyclists. If you’re a pedestrian, I think Copenhagen cyclists are more forgiving and less entitled.

"I also cycle in Munich pretty often, which is a much better city for cycling than many people realise."

30 March 2020, 14:50
1980 Milan–San Remo winner Pierino Gavazzi in critical condition with coronavirus
pierino Gavazzi - flickr creative commons.PNG

The 69-year-old has been critical in Ome hospital for the last two weeks, with his son Mattia Gavazzi (a pro cyclist himself who retired in 2016) telling La Gazzetta dello Sport that his father's lungs are continuing to deteriorate: 

"He's fighting. Two days later, we were called by a doctor and told that his lung condition had deteriorated significantly. My father was on his side and was struggling. 

"The situation is very critical, so we must be prepared for the worst. He then received an oxygen mask, so not everything is lost. I also feel that he has not lost the will to fight."

30 March 2020, 14:16
Beryl extend free bikes for NHS workers across every city they operate in
Beryl bikes

Beryl's bikeshare scheme is now free to NHS workers in every area they operate in countrywide. This means NHS staff in London, Bournemouth, Poole, Hereford (in partnership with Herefordshire Council), Norwich and Watford all have free access to Beryl bikes, allowing them to protect themselves further by skipping buses, tubes and trains. 

To get free access, workers will be able to access the scheme by signing up to the Beryl App with their NHS email address. This will automatically provide access to free sponsored rides. 

More details on Beryl's website

30 March 2020, 14:02
"Keep riding responsibly, take care, and we will get through this together", say British Cycling

After warning us that cycling would be banned if people don't stick to the rules in an open letter published on Friday night, British Cycling have issued a positive message encouraging the final few stragglers to comply in order for the world to beat coronavirus sooner rather than later. 

30 March 2020, 13:58
Our full story on the latest cyclist to take a motorway shortcut is linked below
30 March 2020, 12:03
'The Body Coach' Joe Wicks has been instructing the nation’s PE lessons with a broken wrist due to a cycling accident...

If you've been waking up to a workout with The Body Coach, now deservedly dubbed the nation's PE teacher (read our list of reasons why you absolutely should wake up to Joe Wicks' PE lessons here) you might have been wondering why the cast on his arm... in his latest video Joe explains: 

"You might be wondering what's this on my hand, I broke my hand last Saturday.

"I was out on my bike, I fell off and I've fractured a bone in my hand... but it's ok, I just can't do any push-ups or press-ups or burpees and stuff. But I'm sure you'll be happy about that because it means no burpees for you!"

Chapeau to Mr Wicks, a shining light in this time of crisis. Funnily enough Dave noticed Joe had hurt his arm in one of last week's episodes, which means reason four to do PE with Joe Wicks was: 

"Joe has hurt his wrist. It doesn't look like he's comfortable doing press-ups and things like that at the moment. So what you'll be subjected to is mostly core work and lower body stuff: lunges, crunches, squats, planks... exactly the sort of thing you should be doing as a cyclist."

Now we know why! 

30 March 2020, 12:32
Breaking: Olympics set for 23/07/21 start date... which has big implications for the Tour de France

Le Tour 2021 is set to start in Copenhagen on 2nd July 2021 and finish in France on the 25th July... meaning it could be virtually impossible for any riders to compete to the best of their abilities in both the Tour and the Olympics, with the games' new date set for a 23rd July opening day. Will the Tour get pushed back a week to accommodate both, or could all the cycling events be towards the end of the rearranged Olympics? Questions questions... 

30 March 2020, 10:53
Test your French with our latest quiz
Generic TdF Image via Cycling Wallpapers HD Quiz

So, you know ‘bonjour’, but can you match these descriptions of common cycling scenarios and words to their proper French phrases? Time to head back to school for this French-themed cycling quiz! Click here to play. 

30 March 2020, 10:52
Do you still need to shave your legs for training indoors?

Might as well have the most authentic experience possible... 

30 March 2020, 10:38
Cycling on the M60 "does not constitute your daily exercise", police tell rogue motorway cyclist

Another one, this time near Cheadle on the M60 report the Manchester Evening News. We'll have a full story up shortly with a recap of some of our other 'cyclists caught riding on ther motorway' highlights from years gone by... 

30 March 2020, 10:27
The dangers of getting bored at home

Thank the lord we have Zwift and the like to keep us entertained, or we could end up like this poor chap... headline of the year so far? 

30 March 2020, 09:27
Thomas De Gendt is loving life in lockdown

Is it Carling, Thomas? 

30 March 2020, 09:04
Coffee DOESN'T dehydrate you: study finds 'no effects' of moderate daily consumption

There's not a great deal of good news out there at the moment, but this gem courtesy of sports nutrition expert and keen cyclist and triathlete Asker Jeukendrup might just be our favourite since this strange new world we find ourselves in began to take shape. 

For the study published in PLOSOne, Jeukendrup and his team got 50 men to drink four cups of coffee per day for three days, or the same amount in water for three days... and found no change in body mass, urine volume or urinary hydration markers. They say coffee can be a diuretic (increases the production of urine), and at the end of the 'very long and labour intensive study' the conclusion was that there simply wasn't any difference between the caffeine and water trials in terms of hydration markers. 

The paper concludes: "The data suggest that coffee, when consumed in moderation by caffeine habituated males provides similar hydrating qualities to water.

"So now, when we board a British Airways plane we can actually read that coffee and tea also contribute towards daily fluid requirements."

We'll raise a mug to that!

30 March 2020, 08:30
Fully Charged is partnering with Gocycle on initiative aimed at helping key staff get to work - full story below
30 March 2020, 08:05
Bike sales one of the industries seeing increase in sales amid coronavirus pandemic
London Bike Kitchen workshop (via YouTube).jpg

We've already reported widely that the demand for turbo trainers has shot up rapidly, but the BBC now reports that the bike industry on the whole is seeing an upswing in sales and demand. 

The London Cycle Workshop say that they're twice as busy as normal, either servicing older bikes so key workers can travel without resorting to public transport, or servicing bikes for people "looking for something to do."

Brompton are reporting a 15% rise in sales across the industry, with CEO Will Butler-Adams telling the BBC: "People are thinking, I want to have independence."

Halfords have also reported big rises in sales, as well as Sigma sports. That doesn't mean the whole bike industry is benefiting of course, and some shops who are unable to trade and coaching businesses who have had to change to online-only are suffering - check out our rolling guide to cycling businesses that are worthy of your support during the pandemic. 

Arriving at in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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