Spartacus, Fabs, Fabu, the Swiss Express, Monuments Man, Legend, three-times RVV champion. I’m sure it will come as no surprise to anyone that this week’s Tweets is dominated by the Big Swiss. And I do not apologise for that.
The Ronde run-up
A year ago, Fabian Cancellara attacked on the Kwaremont, handed Peter Sagan his ass as he rode away and TT’ed all the way to the finish. Here is what last year looked like.
Fabs has his eyes closed, no doubt thinking to himself, ‘Do not tell me that boy just pinched her bum.’ He did.
Fast forward to last week – lots of recons, lots of press conferences, lots of lots-of. Tom and his magnificent Boonens was back in the peloton, ready to take on what up to now had always been his race. With his uber-strong OPQS classics team, who would bet against him?
The obligatory press conference – both looking on and looking out. And yes, as Neal Rogers says, Niki Terpstra looks thrilled to be there – like a petulant child who has been told they have to sit still or they won’t get any ice cream.
Sylvain Chavanel, the name I like to say most of all, was in full press-friendly mode, as he is more often than not a key protagonist in these one-day races. And he looked mighty grand in that gorgeous IAM kit.
The look in this little girl’s eyes says: ‘I could beat him, no problem.’
Trek’s press conference – and some pinstriped legs. Fabs was relaxed and joking.
That Boy Phinney was given the keys to Bicycling Magazine’s Instagram account – as always, exuberant to be making his debut in one of the hardest races in the calendar. He was up to the challenge.
For any rider who needed a refresher course on what to expect and how to prepare for the cobbles.
So far, the best pair of custom shoes of the season.
How to get around bad planning? Or at the very least, plot revenge.
Sunday! We’re ready to Ronde
Signing in, Fabs was playing it cool. And looking sleek and panther-like (told you it was going to be unbearable) in his Trek kit. He wisely has eschewed the unfortunate fashion ‘decision’ by Trek to offer one white arm and one white leg warmer. Fabs is in black.
But everyone still had their eyes on OPQS and Tom Boonen.
That Boy Phinney was in the break for a good part of the day. Looking strong. Looking sleek. Surely one day he will be an honorary Flandrian.
Ladies’ Favourite™ Bernie Eisel also made it into a breakaway during the race. >cue sound of global swoons<
Johnny Hoogerland – the toughest man ever anywhere – kept getting flats. Just as Stijn Devolder kept crashing. Both just kept riding on. No matter what.
The trio everyone thought would be duking it out at the end. Tom, Fabs and SuperSagan.
Remember last year’s Roubaix? Fabs seemed to have cajoled Sep Vanmarcke to ride with him as opposed to sucking his wheel and letting Fabs drag him to the win? Looks like Fabs started the Jedi mind tricks early in the race with Sep. And they worked. Again.
Even the mark of the beast couldn’t help Sep.
“You know what? I’m so relaxed and in control, I might just have a little snack. Mmmmmm, gels!”
How fast were they going? Meowclank was there – on the day! – and got some great pics of the Swiss Express leaving the Belgian Flyers behind.
I’ll just let all these speak for themselves.
And this is what the podium kiss looked like this year.
But what about the others? What about poor Vanmarcke who had his head in his hands, again, as he sat in the changing tent beside the man who once again employed the track stand manoeuvre to cross the finish line first.
What is Sep sleeping with (besides his bike…on cobbles)? What is that little doll/puppet/thing beside his ear?
He might want to loan it to Zdenek Stybar – maybe take those nightmares away.
Team Sky didn’t make much of a mark in the race. You know, if Geraint Thomas can stay on his bike through an entire race, he might just win it. (Not being horrible, I like G, but man, the ground is like a magnet for that boy!)
Never need an excuse to put in a picture of Manuel Quinziato.
And now we know that Fabs has more power than three vans.
And finally, if you didn’t know your cheers make a difference, you know now.
Next week – Roubaix. Okay okay, I’ll stop with the Fabs pics. Promise.
Oh oops! I lied. No, now, after this one, I will stop with the Fabs pictures. Double promise.
So Cav must be feeling better. Lucky there’s a member of ZZTop to catch him.
And here’ s a picture of Cav and Delilah.
Last week, Cipo looked like Stretch Armstrong, this week he looks like Buzz Lightyear.
While Marcel Kittel looks like a blond GI Joe, according to Panache.
My CostaCrush. What glorious teeth!
We *thought* That Boy Phinney was riding in Belgium, but could he also be modelling for Burberry in his spare time?
I have no idea what is going on here, but I like it.
Mr Moon has discovered the key to longevity.
Seemed like the right picture to end this column on.
The Last Word