We’ve just had the first week of the Tour and – wow! – has it been the most exciting racing you’ve seen in a good long time? This is the biggest race in the world and the boys have responded by giving us a show. And of course Twitter really is the subtitling service for bike racing, don’t you think? Today, we discuss the weighty subjects of Ryder Hesjedal‘s goggles, Jonathan Vaughters‘ evoking of the animal spirits, That Boy Phinney‘s purdy pants and two epic days in the mountains.
Mama! He’s makin’ eyes at me!
Ryder Hesjedal made a sartorial statement – well, I say, statement, I think I mean he asked a sartorial question – that divided cycling fans. Are they cooler than cool things from Cool Town or are they just silly and wrong? I know which side of the argument I’m on (the silly side).
They even caused a sibling spat. “MOM, Panache is wearing those silly glasses again!”
In the UK, we have two choices when it comes to commentating teams. Eurosport has Carlton Kirby, who is constantly laughing at his own jokes, and Sean Kelly, who actually says things that are funny. ITV4 has Phil and Paul, who seem to have lost the plot most of the time! Here are just a few of the gems that caught the ear of the twitterati.
The most shocking thing that we heard this week, however, was when Carlton Kirby welcomed Stephen Roche to the show and revealed his man-crush. (Put that away! This is a family show!)
I believe this is a rich seam that we will be mining for the next two weeks. Keep posting them on Twitter, kids. I’ll find them!
I love the Argonauts! Marcel Kittel strode around last week like an Argonaut god in yellow and then green. He’s back in his snowy white kit now but the ArgoCrush is still going strong! Oh, and get a load of Koen de Kort’s collarbone.
Phinney’s Flower Power
That Boy Phinney‘s got his eye on some new britches!
Stage 8 – The Empire strikes back
Today was the day that Chris Froome showed the world what he had. It was a lot. The other guys in the peloton … well, they were suffering but, for the most part, kept their sense of humour.
If you recall, Nairo Quintana of Movistar made a solo attack – he got reeled in by the Skybots. Richie Porte made a remark about that which rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way. In fact, he said a couple of things that made him sound the wrong side of arrogant. This was noted – now hold that thought until we get to stage nine.
I wonder if he’d have been this well-mannered.
Of course, a lot of people were wondering what would have happened in last year’s Tour if FroomeDog had been let off the leash. Food for thought.
I wonder if a certain Sir is glad he isn’t racing in France this month.
Stage 9: Skyfall
What a difference a day makes, eh? We haven’t seen a team disintegrate so quickly like that in, well, years and years. For anyone who thought the Tour was over as of stage eight, think again.
Remember those Richie Porte remarks from stage eight? Here are the sequels. Quintana came across the line with the favourites, Richie came in 17 minutes back. What did John Lennon sing? ‘Instant karma’s gonna getcha.’ [I thought it was the rhythm that’s gonna get you – or is that Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine? – Ed.]
I think someone should give this man a G&T.
The stage had a worthy winner in the form of Dan Martin. Jonathan Vaughters used Martin’s spirit animal to help him along the way (if you remember, he was chased in the last kilometre of LBL by a giant panda – Dan Martin, not Jonathan Vaughters). Whoever tweets for the WWF should get a prize for the best tweet ever!
Andy Schleck‘s been doing rather well this Tour – well, better than anyone other than me thought he would be doing. I think it’s his new-found cooking skills that help relax him that is the key to his success.
While Peter Sagan‘s key to success might be the blessing of his father before the stage. Is it me or does he have the expression of a little boy on his face? Just me? Really?
And this is the key to Daryl Impey‘s success.
But wait – it can’t just be me who thinks he’s a dead ringer for Robbie from EastEnders.
Anyone who says being an athlete is easy just needs to look at the next few tweets. I work in an office and I wouldn’t go to work with any of these injuries! Of course, what kind of office would I be working in that would cause me to sustain these kinds of injuries? [I would just like to point out for the record that the only injuries sustained at VeloVoices Towers come from popping champagne corks – Ed.]
How on earth can you eat in a way that damages the image of cycling? What was Chava doing to his food?
It wouldn’t be the Tour without cows.
Okay, I’m sorry. I know that this is disturbing. But I couldn’t do a tweets of the week without this one. Again, I’m sorry.
I loved this Jensie tweet. Shows the spirit of the race.
And I think Neal has said what we’ve all been thinking. Bring on week two!
The other big story of last week was Ted King‘s elimination for coming seven seconds outside the time cut. Twitter exploded. I was going to put the whole gamut of tweets about that in this column and then I saw this one, just after the stage where Cannondale bossed the peloton and set up the win for Peter Sagan. And I thought that Ted’s tweet said it all. So he gets …
TBH, the Tony Martin road rash pic nearly made me abandon for three weeks (of commuting). Lord knows how he kept riding the tour.
I was on a train somewhere on the Belgian-German border when I read this. Crying laughing, people were staring at me! Brilliant, brilliant curation of all the cycling news.
Read this on a train between Brussels and Cologne, was laughing out loud and other passengers were staring at me. Fantastic blog!
Thanks very much! I’m so glad you liked it! (It’s really fun to do … so much good material out there.)