Vuelta tweets: TT slapdown, French frankness, and goggled again

With the GC staying static(ish), it was the dramas behind them that were the stories of the week. From Switzerland versus Germany to a Dutchman afroth, an Argonaut with a way with words to Ryder‘s fashion statement that just keeps shouting at us. So let’s get out of the neutralised zone and start this column!

Spartacus vs Panzerwagen

The individual time trial last Tuesday was supposed to be won by Tony Martin, the current world champion. Everyone – including me – thought that it was a given. But Fabs throws the gauntlet down for Firenze.

V Fabs Indurain V Fabs traffic sign

For most of the rest of the peloton, TTs are not their favourite stages. Greg Henderson did, however, find the fun part.

V TT henderson

Now. There are things I do not like in this world. Unruly and straggly facial hair – beards that look like something could get caught in them. And slobbering. So imagine my horror whenever Laurens Ten Dam gets camera time.

V TT Ten Dam froth 1 V TT Ten Dam froth 2 V TT Ten Dam 3And back to the two masters of the TT – I see Tony Martin has that magic cooling mist that’s so popular with the peloton. Applied directly to his head – are they trying to freeze his brain?

V TT Martin cools

While Fabs catches his breath and points out that, hey, where is his cooling mist?

V TT Fabs cools

Rainbows, carrots and baths in the parking garage

I think everyone let out a sigh of relief when PhilGil finally took a win in the rainbow jersey – just in the nick of time. Worlds are only a few weeks away!

V Gilbert smileFernando Alonso was still soaking in the congratulations on saving the Carrots. From everyone in the world, it seems.

V Alonso 2Remember what I said about the glamorous life of the cyclist in last week’s column? Well, Lotto’s Tosh Van der Sande was livin’ the high life in a parking garage!

V Tosh in parking garageCome rain or shine

The weather is playing its part in this year’s Vuelta – from boiling heat to freezing rain.

V Nibs weather doping V Tosh Vuelta weather

In the #Veloshire, helicopters can always negotiate the weather.

G Veloshire TV coverage

Vincenzo Nibali‘s expression doesn’t change, come rain or shine.

V Nibali pic 2 V Nibali pic

V Vuelta tweet ratioThe Bird takes flight

We have ourselves a new hero in the Vuelta – the young Argonaut Warren Barguil, who has so far won two stages, both from a breakaway.

V Barguil 1st win 1

V Barguil 1st win 2V Barguil 6

His post-stage interview yesterday was brilliant – so fresh, so enthusiastic!

V Barguil interview 3V Barguil 5 V Barguili interview 1 V Barguil interview 2

THIS is what he said about the man he beat in the photo-finish of the stage. But he said it really sweetly. V Barguil 3 V Barguil 4 V Barguil 2

And here’s why they call him The Bird. Bless his heart. Cuter than a cute thing from Cute Town. #ARGOCRUSH

V Barguil birdCommentary corner

Even Sean Kelly is getting into the spirit of Kirbyisms.

V Commentary corner V Commentary corner 2Picture 1

The Gruppetto

This year’s Vuelta has given hope to MAMILs everywhere. [That’s ‘middle-aged men in lycra’ – Ed.]

V gels savon 1

I just liked this picture.

G Seiberg pic

Disappointed that the elegant Mr Basso had to abandon this weekend due to hypothermia. This was obviously taken when it was a bit warmer. Great picture.

G Basso shadesWhile we’re on the subject of sunglasses, remember Ryder’s goggles from earlier this summer? It’s finally catching on. I wish it wouldn’t. (Sorry, Panache!)

G Ryder goggles 3 Velo G Ryder goggles 4 Velo G Ryder goggles 1 G Ryder goggles 2

This is really disappointing. I hope Ted King can get a contract – where would we be without the Pancake King in the peloton?

G No Ted King contract

Spartacus wants some sugar.

G Fabs like candyThis is a particularly lovely picture of Andre Greipel.

G Greipel win

Grace under pressure.

Contador dignity 1 Contador dignity 2

What has Wiggins been doing when he’s not road racing? Tour de House for the yellow pyjamas, of course.

G Wiggo tour de House G Wiggo tour de house 2

Jens is raging against the dying of the light – he will not go gently into that good cardigan!

G Jens cardi 1 G Jens cardi 2 G Jens cardi 3But, um, Jens … there was a team presentation a few years ago where you had to wear a cardigan. I’m hoping your instructions aren’t backdated.

G jens-voigt-grey-cardi

The Last Word

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