Snake Pass: Cycling UK will challenge the council’s decision; Cyclists – beat the traffic; “If you have to ring too much, you’re in the wrong place for bikes”; Remco and the outlaw motorists of the peloton; The cost of the bike + more on the live blog
It must be hard sometimes to be Remco Evenepoel. The latest in a long line of Belgian riders dubbed “the next Eddy Merckx”, the Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl rider – who just turned 22, let’s not forget – has been stalked relentlessly ever since he burst onto the scene as an all-conquering junior.
His otherworldly talent has never been in question (as we can see this week in Tirreno-Adriatico, where he looks best placed to challenge Tadej Pogačar for victory), although he also had to constantly pushing back against accusations that he is the “enfant terrible” of cycling. , a disruptive presence in both his Quick Step team and the Belgium national team.
This morning’s news – that Evenepoel has been fined and banned from driving for three weeks after he was caught speeding to 125kph (nearly 80mph) in a 70km zone /h – certainly won’t deter anyone skeptical of the attitude of the young Belgian sensation.
Oh Remco. Uncool. You deserve a longer ban because you should be more aware of the danger of driving assholes than most. https://t.co/Poto3GpuwW
— Journal Vélo (@JournalVelo) March 9, 2022
However, Remco is certainly not the first high-level professional cyclist to be caught speeding behind the wheel.
In 2008, Tom Boonen – the original poster child for Belgian cycling – lost his driving license for 14 days after being caught speeding 120 km/h in a 70 km/h zone.
The speeding offense for Boonen – arguably Belgium’s biggest sports star at the time – came on either side of two positive out-of-competition tests for cocaine in 2008 and 2009 (and another positive to cocaine earlier in 2007).
A different character altogether, Andy Schleck, winner of the 2010 Tour de France, successfully appealed a month-long driving ban in 2017 after being clocked at 52mph in a 30mph zone in his Luxembourg native.
Later that year, another Tour winner who arguably failed to deliver on his original promise, Jan Ullrich, was fined £7,700 and given a suspended 21-month prison sentence after he hit two cars in the village of Happerswil in Switzerland.
The German, who had a number of well-known drug and alcohol problems, was found to be “heavily drunk and medicated” at the time of the accident. Fortunately, there were no injuries, although Ullrich was driving over 130 km/h in an 80 km/h zone before the incident.
Ullrich’s personal demons were certainly not an anomalous feature in the peloton of the 1990s, with some of the sport’s most tragic stars committing driving offenses as they struggled with addiction, depression and the aftermath of the toxic atmosphere of sport during those years.
Changing and troubled Belgian star Frank Vandenbroucke, the subject of Andy McGrath’s new book God is Dead, reviewed by road.cc today, was twice arrested by police in 2002 while under influence of drunk driving.
In November 2000, Giro and Tour winner Marco Pantani damaged eight cars as he drove the wrong way down a street in Cesena. The Italian climber, who by then had already succumbed to cocaine addiction, despite having won the Ventoux stage of the Tour four months previously, was involved in three separate incidents involving cars that day- the.