Tweets of the week: Snakes, socks and schnitzel

This week, Tweets comes to you from the polar vortex of the American Midwest – in stark contrast to the heat-fests in Australia and Argentina. I am also having to macgyver this column from my iPad. It’s hard to create a masterpiece on a temperamental touchscreen but I will prevail! Why? Because the season has started, we have Jens and Geraint snake-handling (not a euphemism), Bernie in compression socks and flippies, and much, much more!

Schnitzel with noodles

Brown paper packages tied up with string … These are a few of my favourite things. They happen to be German. First up, former Argonaut but Forever ArgoGod™, Marcel Kittel.

Kittel win Crit

Kittel pregnant

Of course, where there’s a Kittel, there’s a Greipel, who is also in Australia for the Tour Down Under.

Greipel race face

Greipel smile

I’m not sure if I would be sleeping so soundly if I had that face behind me – but wow, does Andre look lean or what? He won’t be if he turns his ice cream dreams into reality.

Greipel ice cream song

Let us not forget that cyclists tweet about a few broad subjects: road rash and broken bones (complete with selfies and x-rays) and food. There’s also a lot of, not quite trash talk, but friendly needling and calling out. So when they combine a few of these elements, you get the Great Greipel/Kittel Schnitzel-eating Contest.

Kittel Greipel schnitzel 1

And of course, we can’t forget the baddest German of them all, Jens Voigt. A man who would win ANY eating contest. Or coffee-drinking contest, for that matter. Well, any contest, actually.

Jens coffee to go

Jens pic with Bernie 1

Jens pic with Bernie 2

Okay, we now know that in some fans’ eyes, the Ladies’ Favourite™ can do no wrong. I love Bernie but, guys, do not try that look at home – you will *not* get girls. (If you haven’t spotted him in that Jens snake-handling picture, he’s right on the left edge of the picture).

You know what it reminds me of? You know when you wake up a touch worse for wear after one of those nights and you need to go get an Irn Bru to boost your blood sugar? So you just put on a coat over your pyjamas, slip on a pair of butt-ugly shoes that you would *never* wear in public and you slope off to the corner shop? That. (Just me? Really?)

And our final stop on the German photo tour for today is with Tony Martin. This is a man who would never get caught out in compression socks and flippies. I absolutely love this picture. Such joy!

Tony martin fans


Australia isn’t the only place in the southern hemisphere that’s had some racing action. We also have the peloton in Argentina for the Tour de San Luis. Cav is there, as is Tom and his magnificent Boonens, and That Boy Phinney.

This is the first time in quite some time that Tom and Cav have raced together, due to Tom’s rather disastrous year last year. So there were plenty of photo opps and plenty of opportunities for jokes about little and large. This first photo looks like Cav is posing with his dad or something.

Boonen Cav airport Boonen Cav Devito

I think the Danny DeVito comparison was a bit harsh. I think Cav looks quite sweet in his specs. Certainly not DeVitoesque. (Yes, that’s a new word – I’m waiting for my call from the Oxford English Dictionary.)

But just as it is a scorcher in Australia, so too in Argentina. I love this picture. For obvious reasons. It could only be a better picture if it were the Sacred Haunches™ in that ice bucket.

Boonen  in the ice bucket

There was another of my favourites in Argentina as well – and he looked like a llama. The Dalai Lama? No, a lllllllama. That Boy Phinney is rockin’ the Andean look. (Those teeth – I love that boy’s teeth!) Thanks, as always, to the ever fanciable Manuel Quinziato for some great instagrams.

Phinney llama

Get on, get on, get on, get on, get on my crazy train

All aboard the Tinkov Express aka The Crazy Train. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, unless of course you are Alberto Contador. So last week or so, there was a picture of Bjarne & Oleg riding together at the team presentation for the Tinkoff-Saxo Bank jerseys. This picture in particular was uncomfortable viewing.

Riis Tinkov kiss

I suspect the guys behind Riis were saying, “There but for the grace of God, go I” as they crossed themselves. Even the atheists in the bunch. But it did give us a new catchphrase at VeloVoices Towers.

Kiss my tinkoff

In fact, after seeing that kissing thing, the Tinkoff boys came up with a cunning way to ward off any unwanted Russian affection. It is also the defensive pose for any boonens-maiming action by the oligarch if they lose a race.

Saxo prayer circle

While we’re on the subject of the Tinkoffs, let’s have another look at those bright, bright jerseys and bibs, shall we? It’s not black, but some fans were concerned about the amount of yellow, perhaps stealing the thunder of the maillot jaune. I can understand that, but I’m just thrilled they aren’t black mesh.

Saxo saturated Saxo signing Bertiejersey

They’ll never take away … our pashminas!

To be honest, as least this tartan isn’t like some of the hot mess that is being rolled out as national kit for the Sochi Olympics. But it did get one particular Scott a bit hot under the collar.

Team Tartan 1 Team Tartan 2 Team Tartan 3

Well, Scott, we can’t get you pudding, but I think Andre Greipel has some ice cream on the go and, of course, there’s always that schnitzel eating contest. By the way, the rumours that Irn Bru will be Team Scotland’s official energy drink are, at this point in time, unfounded. I think because they assume that none of the athletes will have hangovers before their competitions.

Hell no! We won’t glow

Except the Giro organisers, in all their wisdom, don’t seem to care if the Glows glow or not. After Mauro Santambrogio and Danilo di Luca brought the race into disrepute with their failed dope tests in the 2013 edition, no one outside of Italy would have put money on any incarnation of the Vini Fantini-Selle Italia team getting a wild-card for this year’s Giro. Oh, how naïve we were …

Giro Wild card 1 Giro wild card 2 Giro wild card 3 Giro wild card 4

I think Anne has a valid point about Twitter being a hostile place for the not-so-in-the-know cycling fan or novice. Twitter really does seem to bring out the smugness in people (and I do not hold myself as exempt from charges of smugness at times). That said, it’s also one of the best places to talk about cycling and meet other fans with the same passion. But take everything with a pinch of salt. [Here endeth the lesson.]

The Gruppetto

Tweets that were struggling to make the front of the peloton but too good to leave outside of the cut.

First up, Vincenzo Nibali. Great picture!

Nibbles awash

I do love Jan Bakelants. Sad that he’s not with the Trekkers this year but he looks good in his Pharmer kit. And joyful as ever!


The guy on the right is looking pretty fabulous, actually. Not sure who he is. Loving the Cannondale kit again this year. Pops in the sun!

Cannondale TDU

Speaking of Cannondale, absolutely *love* this special edition teeshirt!

TDU G4 teeshirt

The biggest surprise about this tweet? That the koalas, joeys and snakes were mentioned at all. Usually in a Sky picture, anyone/thing not on the team is ignored. Kind of like a Stalinist airbrushing.

Geraint snake charmer

I truly believe that if they made the winners ride bulls after the races, cycling would pick up a whole new group of fans. I hope they consider this when they’re looking at improving cycling’s profitability.

Bull riding Instagram

Possibly my favourite tweet of the week, this one.

Katusha Rockettes

Nah, can’t be Froome Dog. He’s too covered up.

Froome Tintin

It’s a hot old TDU.

Belkin big breath

Bernie in much more appropriate attire.

Bernie Sky train 1 Bernie Sky train 2

There’s got to be a better way …

Tour prize money

I think the distinction between Wiggo‘s saying “I’m looking forward to riding with Froome in the Tour de France” and “I’m looking forward to riding for Froome” is significant. #StayAlert

Cycling expert. Wiggo

The last word

Last word

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