Cyclist Van Avermaet wins online Tour of Flanders


This 5 April 2020 video says about itself:

De Ronde Lockdown Edition: Tour of Flanders Virtual Race LIVE On GCN Racing

With the Ronde van Vlaanderen unable to take place in 2020, 13 pro riders, including defending Tour Of Flanders champion Alberto Bettiol, and young sensation Remco Evenepoel, go head-to-head on a virtual 30km course, taking in the final 3 climbs of the real-life Ronde. Flanders Classics teamed up with technology partner Bkool & Kiswe for this unique alternative to the race, join us LIVE for the virtual monument.

#StayHome

Because of the coronavirus, there are now hardly any sporting events anywhere.

However, cyclists, who now cannot cycle on roads, can ride on home trainers at home.

So, today, there was an online Tour of Flanders.

The winner was Belgian Olympian road race champion Greg Van Avermaet.

Second was Oliver Naesen from Belgium. Third, Nicolas Roche from Ireland.

The Tour of Flanders result, copyright Flanders Classics

There will be more online cycling.

From 22 to 26 April 2020, there will be the Digital Swiss 5.

This 27 March 2020 video from Switzerland says about itself:

WORLD PREMIERE: THE DIGITAL SWISS 5 – Tour de Suisse, ROUVY and Velon start the first digital race with the best pro teams in the world.

All information about the 5 races in April: here. …

Bauke Mollema, Trek-Segafredo, said: “I have great memories from Tour de Suisse including a stage win in 2013 and a 2nd, 3rd and 5th place in GC. I love riding in the mountains and on Swiss roads. I was looking forward to racing again, but obviously this is uncertain at the moment. To stay in shape and keep competitive form, I am riding a lot of hours on our Saris Smart Trainer, but I never actually participated in a virtual race. It seems like a great way to stay fit and test my condition against other pro riders. See you online!”

All the teams that would have participated in the real Tour of Switzerland have been invited to participate with three cyclists each.

Jumbo-Visma and many others have already reacted positively.

This photo shows Dutch Jumbo-Visma rider Robert Geesink on his home trainer at home in Andorra.

This photo shows Dutch Jumbo-Visma rider Steven Kruijswijk on his home trainer at home in Monaco.

Tour of Flanders cycling on home trainers tomorrow


This video, planned for April 2020, says about itself:

De Ronde Lockdown Edition: Tour of Flanders Virtual Race LIVE On GCN Racing

With the Ronde van Vlaanderen unable to take place in 2020, 13 pro riders, including defending Tour Of Flanders champion Alberto Bettiol, and young sensation Remco Evenepoel, go head-to-head on a virtual 30km course, taking in the final 3 climbs of the real-life Ronde. Flanders Classics teamed up with technology partner Bkool & Kiswe for this unique alternative to the race, join us LIVE for the virtual monument.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Mike Teunissen goes to bed on time nowadays. “Yes, now certainly, because on Sunday it is a race again”, says the rider of Jumbo-Visma laughing when he speaks to the Langs De Lijn En Omstreken radio show in the evening.

Teunissen is one of the thirteen professional cyclists who are allowed to ride the Tour of Flanders on Sunday afternoon – from home, though. Because the cycling classic has been cancelled due to the corona crisis, just like all other sporting events, a select group of cyclists will virtually compete in the finals of Flanders’ Finest.

“I think it’s nice to do something different for once”, Teunissen reacts enthusiastically. …

“I notice from the reactions that many people like that something happens once again, that there is some live sport. Let’s hope it will be a success.”

While the riders in the traditional Tour normally ride over 260 kilometres, the Tour of Flanders ‘Lockdown edition’ is about 32 kilometres this Sunday. That is long enough, says Teunissen. “I think this will be tough enough. I already heard from Thomas De Gendt that he is preparing for a time trial of 32 kilometres. I think I will do that as well …”

On Sunday, the riders will place their bicycles without rear wheels at home in a modern version of a roller bench, which simulates a real cycling race on a computer-controlled basis. It is like participating in a computer game, but with serious physical effort.

The virtual Tour of Flanders will be broadcast live on Belgian television on Sunday afternoon [15:30]. …

Teunissen does not expect that there will be a lot of tactics involved in the race. “The best thing would be if you could play a little team game. But I assume that some guys will start at full speed and leave a gap. And then it is everyone for himself. So I will do that.”

So, this will be eight cyclists from Belgium, one from the Netherlands, one from Italy (Bettiol, last year’s winner), one from the Czech republic, one from Ireland, one from Australia.

One should hope that, if other races like the Tour de France will also not be able to go ahead in the open air this year, there will be a similar solution for them.

Online horse racing, cycling this weekend


This 6 February 2020 video from Belgium about cycling is called Tour of Flanders 2020 – Course Elite Men.

Wikipedia writes:

2020 Tour of Flanders

The race was scheduled to be held on 5 April 2020 in Belgium, serving as the 14th event of the 2020 UCI World Tour, but was postponed due to the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.

However, on 2 April the organisers wrote there would be a Tour of Flanders after all. By professional cyclists on their home trainers at home, online. The participants will ride a virtual rendition of the hilly last 32 kilometres of the race.

On Sunday 5 April, 15:30, this virtual cycling race will start on the Internet and on Belgian TV. 13 cyclists will participate, including Belgian Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet, Wout van Aert, Italian Alberto Bettiol who won last year, and Dutch Tour de France stage winner Mike Teunissen.

Then, there is this tweet from Britain.

Dutch NOS radio says today (translated):

The most famous and most iconic horse race in the world will be held on Saturday, but then via an animation. The virtual version of the Grand National is even broadcast live on television.

And – as usual with a serious horse race – you can also bet on that. This time, the proceeds will go to fighting the coronavirus.

Due to the coronavirus, the 173rd edition of the event, which is held annually at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, drew 700 million viewers and is part of British culture last month, was canceled.

Virtual race result often equal to real race

The virtual race has been held since 2017 to get an indication of the real race. “Using the most modern technology and algorithms, we ask the computer to make history,” said producer Rob McLoughlin. …

Forty horses are participating in this year’s virtual race. It is mainly horses that would also participate in the real race. Eg, Tiger Roll, the winner of the past two editions.

UPDATE: Virtual Grand National 2020: Potters Corner takes victory – as it happened: here.

There was also a unique participant: Red Rum. That horse died in 1995 and, together with Tiger Roll, is the only horse that has won the Grand National twice in a row (in 1973 and 1974). So now they are competing against each other for the first time.

Contrary to the dead horse Red Rum in the 2020 Grand National, there will be no dead cyclists participating in the 2020 online home trainer Tour of Flanders. So, no chance for Achiel Buysse (1918-1084; winner in 1940, 1941 and 1943); Jaap Eden (1873-1925); Fausto Coppi; Jacques Anquetil or others.

Caribbean-Dutch Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, world cycling champion


This 31 January 2019 video says about itself:

Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado grew up in a small town in the Caribbean [Cabrera, in the Dominican Republic]. Now [meanwhile of Dutch nationality], she’s regarded as the most promising young talent in CX, firmly focused on bringing home the rainbow jersey at the 2019 Cyclocross World Championships in Denmark.

But who is this young woman, widely touted as one of the world’s biggest and most exciting talents? We caught up with her to bring you a glimpse into her life, from early beginnings to the CX racing stage.

That was last year, when she was riding in the junior Cyclocross World Championships, and won the bronze medal.

Today, Ms Alvarado rode in the adult women category of the Cyclocross World Championships. According to her age, she still would have had the right to start in the junior race, but she prefered the senior category.

When the last round started, three Dutch cyclists were riding ahead, including Ceylin. The Dutch TV commentator thought she would not become world champion, as the other two Dutch riders had better reputations in sprint finishing.

Nevertheless, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado won the gold medal; with silver and bronze for the two other Dutch women.

Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado with her gold medal, Belga photo

Shirin van Anrooij, juniors woeld champion, Belga photo

Seventeen-years-old Dutch Shirin van Anrooij won the juniors’ world championship on the track in Dübendorf in Switzerland.

British Conservatives ban Ecuadorian cycling star


This June 2019 video says about itself:

Richard Carapaz: Giro d’Italia 2019. Best of. Song: Prismo – Stronger (Raiko Remix)

This video is about Carapaz wins and attacks on his winning Giro 2019.

After his victory in this tour of Italy, the first-ever Ecuadorian victory in a big cycling tour, Richard Carapaz wanted to participate with his Movistar team in the Tour of Britain this month.

However, the Conservative Boris Johnson government in Britain decided otherwise.

The British government, as far as Ecuadorians are concerned, prefer to deal with right-wing president Lenin Moreno, with whom they colluded to violate the political asylum of Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Moreno won the presidential election claiming he would continue the left-wing policies of his predecessor; but then, flip-flopped towards Donald Trump and Boris Johnson.

Eritrean cyclist Teklehaimanot, king of Italian mountains


This 6 May 2017 Daniel Teklehaimanot – Post race interview – Stage 2 – Tour of Italy / Giro d’Italia 2017.

Today, Eritrean cyclist Daniel Teklehaimanot arrived first on a second category climb in the mountains of Sardinia island, in the second stage of the Giro d’Italia race.

This meant that Daniel Teklehaimanot took over the King of the Mountains jersey (a blue jersey in the Giro).

After Teklehaimanot had already been King of the Mountains in the Tour de France, as first African ever, now he is the first African ever in the Giro’s blue jersey.

This will generate big enthusiasm in Eritrea, where cycling is popular.

Teklehaimanot is a member of a South African team.

There is also a new leader in the general classification after this second stage: Greipel from Germany, the winner of today’s bunch sprint.

African war refugee cyclist wins Paralympic gold metal


Daniel Abraham Gebru wins gold medal

Daniel Abraham Gebru was born in Eritrea, 31 years ago. When he was a teenager, he took up cycling, which is popular in Eritrea. Ethiopian soldiers used to attack Eritrea. They imprisoned Daniel’s father, a merchant. Daniel’s father died in an Ethiopian prison. Daniel Abraham Gebru fled this war when he was fifteen years old. His mother managed to escape from the Ethiopian soldiers, but it took thirteen years for Daniel to find her again.

Daniel went to the Netherlands. He succeeded in making it in the Dutch injured people’s road cycling team for the Paralympics in Brazil.

At the Paralympics time trial, he was fourth. Just short of a bronze medal.

Today, the road race. There was a breakaway group of three cyclists, including Daniel Abraham Gebru. At the final part, just before the finish line, Gebru was unable to keep up with the two other cyclists any longer.

However, these two other cyclists collided and fell. Daniel Abraham Gebru was able to ride around the fallen cyclists. He won the Paralympics gold medal.

Olympic cycling training on Ameland island


This 20 July 2016 Dutch video is about Bauke Mollema, a participant in the cycling road race of the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. The video shows him training on Ameland island, where his family is originally from.

This video says about itself:

Rio all set to host the Olympic games

29 July 2016

Four years later, it’s time for London to hand over to Rio. But people in London still remember the 2012 games.

This video says about itself:

Olympic dream crashed

29 July 2016

Indian wrestler Narsingh Yadav and shot putter Inderjeet Singh have tested positive for a banned substance and their chances of representing India at the Rio Games are almost over.

Ultra-orthodox Israeli ban on girls riding bikes


Girls with their bikes in Israel. Photo by dnaveh/ iStock

As this blog has pointed out repeatedly, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where it is illegal everywhere for women to drive cars (even though officially there is no law against it).

Are Saudi religious misogynists unique in the world? Unfortunately not.

In London, England Jewish ultra-religious extremists decided to ban women from driving cars. They also decided that children driven to school by women would be banned from school classes.

Though women cannot drive cars in Saudi Arabia, recently they were allowed to ride motorbikes and bicycles (though only in restricted recreational areas).

Even that small concession to women’s rights seems to be too much for some religious fanatics in Israel.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Ultra-orthodox Israeli rabbi bans girls over five from riding bikes because it is ‘provocative’

Ruling is latest in series of restrictions imposed on groups of Haredis

Kayleigh Lewis

Friday 3 June 2016

An ultra-orthodox Jewish leader has reportedly banned girls aged five and older in some areas of Israel from riding bicycles – claiming it is “immodest”.

The rabbi of the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Nahloat distributed the stringent decree to his followers in synagogues across the area.

He had said young girls riding bicycles could “cause serious damage to their modesty” and that bicycle seats caused young girls to sit in a way men found “provocative”, according to the Arutz Sheva 7 website.

The ruling said: “We inform parents that they are obligated to forbid their daughters from age five and up from acting in this illegitimate way.”

Those affected by the ruling are members of the ultra-orthodox Haredi branch of Judaism.

In December ultra-orthodox rabbis requested women in Israeli city Bnei Brak refrain from studying in higher education, according to Yeshida World News website.

They claimed institutions which teach secular subjects presented a real danger, and that girls and women should not study.

Haredi leaders have also attempted to effectively ban the internet from their communities, even declaring smartphones non-kosher.

However, studies suggest this interdict has had little effect, with ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel using the internet just as much as anyone else, according to the Washington Post.

Ultra-Orthodox rabbis ban women from going to university in case they get ‘dangerous’ secular knowledge: here.

Ikea Israel apologizes for female-free catalog. Furniture giant responds to outcry over publication of brochure tailored specifically to Jewish state’s large ultra-Orthodox community: here.

Giro d’Italia cycling, from Costa Rican to Dutch victory


This 20 May 2016 video in Spanish shows Costa Rican cyclist Andrey Amador winning the leader’s pink jersey in the Giro d’Italia cycling race.

Andrey Amador was the first Costa Rican ever, and the first Central American cyclist ever, to wear the pink jersey.

However, that was yesterday.

Today was a very difficult mountain stage.

When Amador had difficulty following other favourites on a steep slope, a woman waving a Costa Rican flag started running besides him, encouraging him.

By going downhill fast after the mountain top, Amador managed to catch up with other favourites again.

However, then came another mountain, and still another one …

Amador lost his pink jersey to Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk.

This April 2016 video is called Kruijswijk aiming high at the Giro d’Italia.

This is a Dutch interview with Kruijswijk after winning the pink jersey today.

Tomorrow, there will be time trial stage up a mountain. Kruijswijk now has 41 seconds advantage on number two, Italian favourite Nibali.

Who will win?