TotW: Sky’s yin & yang, the pink panther and the obligatory doping tweets

This week, we finish up in Qatar, look to Oman, look back (and forward) to the Giro, touch on a few Fuentes controversies and wonder who on earth would steal all of Garmin’s bikes?

All by myself …

Mark Cavendish won the Tour of Qatar – quite fitting that it should stay in the OPQS trophy cabinet, as Cav’s teammate Tom Boonen won it last year (and 2009 and 2008 and 2006 …). But with no podium girls and hardly any spectators, Cav celebrated alone.

Cav Qatar alone

Earlier in the week, there’d been a pile-up, resulting in a few broken collarbones (more on that in a minute). Geraint Thomas tweaked the nose of That Boy Phinney. Phinney tweaks right back…

Thomas Phinney training wheels

Thomas Phinney training wheels 2

One casualty of the Qatar crash was my favourite Argonaut, Koen de Kort, who came down and broke his collarbone. This is also the first rider x-ray of the year – last year, I believe we had a picture of Koen practically wrapped up like a mummy from some hideous crash early in the season. It may be the first x-ray, but it will not be the last as one thing cyclists love to do more than tweet is tweet pictures of their injuries.

Koen x ray

The yin & yang of Sky

The Tour of Oman always attracts a stellar group of riders and this year is no exception. We have Purito duking it out with Contador, Cav fast-twitching along with SuperSagan … ah, but could the biggest story and rivalry of the race be these two guys? Do you think they’re talking about who’s going to support whom during the Tour de France?

Sky yin yang

You’ve been Manga-ed!

Remember in the Tour Down Under, Japanese fans had given the Lotto boys some drawings and keychains? Well, looks like Sky got manga-ed too! Cool, hey?

Sky manga

He’s a groovy cat …

Last year’s Giro was a delight and we all know that one of the biggest reasons for this was the enthusiasm of the first maglia rosa of the race, Hollywood Phinney! The Giro has been ramping up the social media activity of late and they started with a quote from the man himself.

Phinney pink 4

This led some tweeters to do some reminiscing of their own. (Any excuse to put in a picture of Taylor… but the pink speckled sunnies? Really?)

Phinney pink 1

Phinney pink 2

Phinney pink 3


But there was a touch of Italian controversy – and we’re not talking about Cipollini (yet). It was the film made by the Giro, celebrating their podium girls. Hmmm, raised a few hackles.

Giro podium girls 1

Giro podium girls 2

Mistake or bit of fun? What do you think?

Okay, the obligatory doping tweets

The Fuentes case continues. I’m only going to touch on this because I have a strong suspicion that I’ll be doing a Special Tweets of the Week on this whole subject soon. Plus, this is a lighthearted column and, let’s face it, this is far from a lighthearted situation so I will only touch on a few of the issues here.

During the course of last week, My Beloved Cancellara was linked to the nickname ‘Luigi’ by, well, a bunch of tweeters and obliquely by Tyler Hamilton (he didn’t actually say his name). There was a bit of a feeding frenzy by tweeters on this one, but personally I prefer to go with what Shane Stokes says on the subject.

Luigi impossible

Luigi 4

Lion King Mario Cipollini’s alleged involvement was, however, splashed all over the front of Italy’s La Gazzetta, a publication Cipo is now threatening to sue. Again, Shane Stokes had, in my opinion, the best remark (remember, Cipo said that if he hadn’t been a sprinter, he would have been a porn star …)

Cippo 1

SStokes Cipo's DNA

But with all this, what do we do now?

Write off cip gen 1

Write off cipo gen 2

Bike thieves

Garmin Sharp, however, had a more technical problem during the Tour of the Med – all of their bikes were stolen out of the truck overnight!

Garming bikes 1

Garmin bikes 2

The final word goes to …

Keisse Show Class

Amen to that. Till next week, tweeties!

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