It was a rainy, crash-strewn Giro; a sunny, Brit-dominated Tour of California and another busy week swimming the Twitterstream. We have pink Bling, That Boy Phinney, jet lag, flu, instagrams a go-go and soooo much more. Let’s see what I fished out this week!
A Hollywood smile
It’s been a while since That Boy Phinney has featured heavily in our column – mainly because he wasn’t racing. But we heart him big time. So it seemed only right that the Tour of California would give us a platform from which to celebrate the charm of Taylor Phinney.
These pictures are really quite joyous – blimey, even Bradley Wiggins looks happy! Jens probably thinks this is just a normal day at the Voigt household (he has 150 children…) And that little girl in the yellow shirt doesn’t look like she wants to let That Boy Phinney go. I don’t blame her!
I just liked all these pictures. Nothing really to say about them. Just thought they were purdy …
This was a lovely touch to the race this week. The Santa Barbara stage featured a special walk for Breakaway from Cancer and the guys in the peloton were encouraged to ride in honour of someone in their lives who battled cancer. They put the names of these people on their dossards.
And the winner is …
Bradley Wiggins has won the Tour of California, a race that he has been targetting this year. Is it good enough to get him into the Tour de France team? More on that in a minute. Here he is with a bearded Mark Cavendish who won the final sprint into Beverly Hills on Sunday. What *is* it with beards this year? Stop it. Just stop it.
The great Stick Men debate
We’ve been through this before, we’ll continue to go through it up to and including and possibly after the Tour de France. But the question is: will Bradley Wiggins be part of Sky’s Tour de France team and will he ride for Chris Froome? There’s a thing called ‘managing expectations’. Andy Murray does it with the tell that he has on the tennis court. If he starts rubbing his thigh and looking at his friends/coaches/supporters in the crowd, you can be sure he’s going to lose. Dave Brailsford manages expectations in other ways – like talking about jet lag being a possible obstacle to Wiggins’ TdF preparation and selection. Because California is actually on Mars. And why would he do that?
So we see here that no one is fooled with the ‘jet lag’ theory. Because we know that California is not on Mars and the Tour is a good month and a half away. Unless Wiggins flies back in a cat box in the cargo hold, chances are he’ll be alright. What Brailsford is really saying is (as Velocast so succinctly puts it) “Froome says no”. But you can’t say that out loud. Below is a much more serious (although not necessarily any more enlightening) conversation around the tensions in a Froome/Wiggins team.
And of course, who can forget Wiggins’ “I’m targetting the Giro and won’t race the Tour. Oh! Hang on! I can do the Giro/Tour double” last year? I haven’t. Neither has Julien Pretot. And I’m fairly sure that neither has Chris Froome. And the beat goes on …
As if the Wiggins/Froome debate wasn’t enough, we also had a major debate around stage stx of the Giro d’Italia. There was a massive crash with almost everyone on the ground at some point. BMC and Orica-GreenEDGE, including the maglia rosa-wearing Michael Matthews and GC hopeful Cadel Evans, were at the front of the peloton and came away unscathed. They carried on, not waiting for the others to catch back up. It was also the base of the final climb, the race was already on and who knew what the riders knew or didn’t know about the carnage behind them.
The crash happened due to the pace being high as the rain started. On roads that aren’t used to rain so all the dirt and grease and oil and … crap makes the roads super-slick in a way that the Irish roads never were as it pretty much rains every day there. Sean Kelly knew what was about to happen.
Nico Roche was one of the riders who lost out by being involved in the crash. Now, this odd tweet by Oleg Tinkov (okay, odder tweet). “It has been great day for me” – what happened, I wonder. (That said, Majka is sitting in third in the GC at the moment…)
I wonder if that little inflatable maglia rosa is like the Queen’s Standard – it’s in the window of the bus if the maglia rosa is inside, just as the standard goes up on whatever castle the Queen is at.
Here’s some photographic flavour for you from the week just past.
Paging Dr Fondue, paging Dr Fondue
ArgoGod Marcel Kittel had to drop out of the Giro this week due to fever. Apparently the vodka didn’t help.
His use of hashtags also made temperatures rise. Marcel, please. Everyone knows that sick boys are pathetic, they’re not girlish. Man flu is named that for a reason. I think, however, Marcel got the message from Twitter fans.
The most mystifying tweet of the week from the Lord of the Velodrome.
For those of you not schooled in American politics, the man on the right is John Edwards, a US senator who ran for president a few times before it being discovered that he had a love child and he was indicted on felony charges for trying to keep that information out of the public arena. And now we’re wondering if he might have gone to Norway in the late 1980s …