Another bumper crop of Tour de France tweets – from riders, journalists, fans – it’s a patchwork of passion and weirdness. This week we’ve got stages of note, ArgoLove, OPQSLove, a few #WTFs and two tweets from Oleg Tinkoff. The only two I could include that didn’t have profanity or were written in Russian. Oh, and a big doping story.
Let’s start with Marcel and the boys, shall we? A few weeks ago, I noted the uncanny resemblance between Marcel and Vanilla Ice. Somehow it didn’t catch on. Others went for Top Gun’s Iceman – whatever happened to Val Kilmer? – which seems to be accepted as a match. Kittel’s hair was talked about almost as much as his sprinting talent.
We’re thinking this is a fake – haven’t seen a pic of Koen of late so unsure as to the hair situation. And, boy, those see-through white kits don’t leave much to the imagination, eh? Koen’s fiancee, Kaitlin, takes this pic of Argonaut lovin’ after a stage win. I love that they’re so joyous.
The picture below is one of my favourites. This was just after stage 13 with the echelons that left Kittel waaaaaaaay behind the others. I like that these guys have such a great sense of humour.
Oh, and ladies? This one is for you.
Summer lovin’, had me a blast
Well, whatever the Argonauts can do, the Pharmers can do better – and that includes givin’ the love to their teammates. This was mainly for Matteo Trentin‘s win on Saturday. But it could have been any day that a Pharmer wins. And isn’t that nice?
And speaking of Cav and the Argonauts
Oh, there was a bit of a controversy in stage ten. It looked as if Cav caused Tom Veelers to crash on the stage that Kittel won. Did he, didn’t he? It was divided on Twitter although the commissaires saw no irregular sprinting. Here are a few comments from the man himself.
Cav was extremely defensive when he came out of the Pharmer bus (in super cool specs) and he was already a bit overheated when an American journalist asked him if he caused the crash.
Although Cav does give praise where praise is due. Here he pays tribute to the man who beat him.
Panzerwagon vs Praying Mantis
We all figured Tony Martin would win – or would Chris Froome? It was nip and tuck there for a while. But not before some idiot threw urine at Cav out on the course. Seriously, what does a person like that think in the morning? “Hey, if I piss in this bottle, I can throw it at a rider later. Cav! I’ll throw it at Cav to teach him a lesson. Yeah, I’m a biiiiig man.” Dickhead. [I’m led to believe Tim may have used slightly stronger words than that … – Ed.]
Cav, on the other hand, was able to joke about it later that evening.
I added this because I thought it was funny – “De Gendt may be strange …” I didn’t realise that he had a reputation for strangeness. I can see why he wouldn’t want to be overtaken on a TT though. That must be very disheartening.
This is what was bearing down on the strange Mr De Gendt.
And he rode with NO skin on his back, apparently! NONE!
Here he is with his proud mum – and a proper cycling cap on. That went over well with the twitterati.
When Froome came out of the start-house, it became apparent that the boy hasn’t been bingeing on cake, cookies and ice cream! And he gave Tony quite a scare – and we’re not talking about his yellow skinsuit!
Venga Venga Venga!
Then came stage 13 and those pesky crosswinds. First the Pharmers had a crack at spitting the other sprinters out the back (bye bye, Kittel) and then Saxo thought this might be a way of making up some time on Froome (and they did). What was supposed to be a routine bunch sprint stage turned into one of the most thrilling of the Tour.
This next tweet is addressing the ‘Valverde had a mechanical, why didn’t the peloton wait for him?’ issue. If you remember last year, Movistar in a few races drove hard the minute a rival had a crash or a mechanical. I remember one race in particular when Levi Leipheimer and Dries Devenyns from OPQS rode straight into a badly parked motorbike (Dries with his chin) and Movistar decided to pick that moment to crank up the speed so there was no coming back. [2012 Paris-Nice stage seven, won by the Strange Mr De Gendt – Ed.] This stage put paid to his Tour podium aspirations. Live by the sword, die by the sword, Alejandro.
And the winner?
Ventoux : The Day of the Mantis
Before the stage, anticipation … Andy looking thoughtful in the team bus, Bauke acting all carefree and nonchalant, Belkini man preparing himself for his close-up, Greg getting French lessons, Ventoux in Lego.
Reminiscent of a certain Mr Robbie McEwen, who always used to pop a wheelie at the top of the highest climb, SuperSagan popped one before the start of the Ventoux climb. I think he realised he might not be able to do it at the top.
By the way, we’ll get to the Magnificent Seven nonsense in the gruppetto later.
First we have the lovely Sylvain Chavanel with his Combativity Award. What’s missing? All the Pharmers falling over themselves to hug him, it seems.
How much do you wish Thigh Punch actually *did* have PhotoShop skills?
Quintana climbed Ventoux with barely a flicker of expression, but my, he looks sunken, doesn’t he.
Some of the riders actually had the energy to tweet at the end of the stage.
There were also a lot of other kinds of tweets but I’m not really interested in getting into that in this column. Suffice it to say, I believe this picture says what climbing Ventoux takes.
Boy, you really grind my beans
In the one doping story I will collect tweets for, we find out what Alex Oates is really up to. Those of you who follow Alex know that he loves riding, baking, riding, Oreos, riding … and coffee. We thought at first he was on the up and up but then – the milk coach.
Remember the reference to the Magnificent Seven? Well, this is what it was referring to. You’re trying to tell us that any one of these guys could be either Yul Brynner or Steve McQueen. Or Robert Vaughn? Or Charles Bronson? Really? REALLY?
It’s a shame that Eddy Higgs Boson Hugo Boss Hogg Haagen-Dazs crashed out with a broken collarbone – we wish him a speedy recovery. I will, however, continue to add to his name.
My favourite little Movistarlet, Andrey Amador, squashed into a lift with his teammates. Looks like Valverde missed the split again.
I’ve never been the biggest Cav fan in town – I figure Tim’s #ManCrush has that covered for the both of us – but when he’s excited, like after stage 13, or when he’s doing things like this, just being a gracious, good guy, I really think he’s top drawer.
And this makes me love Cadel that much more. You wouldn’t see Ronaldo posing with a croc (although I suspect Beckham might), would you? I love that he has a sense of humour.
One of the #LostBoys of the Tour – I think I might just open a gin joint on the off-chance that one day he’ll walk into mine. My, but isn’t Fabs looking vascular?
A little Panda power on its way to the Tour.
She’s just sweet. Always got room for a sweet pic. (I want a tutu like that!)
Now we know where Sagan gets his skills!
Brian Holm, DS for OPQS, has come out strongly against the ‘total pox-look’ of KOM. And now we know where his fashion authority comes from. He’s Euroman! (Okay, first picture, he looks like some sort of nerd but don’t you think in the third pic he is looking a bit like Christopher Walken? Just me? Really?)
And there’s only one hashtag for this. #WTF? What on earth is happening here? Why why why?
Apt, don’t you think?