Isn’t it great when something turns out to be waaaaaaay better than you thought it would? Like the Yorkshire Grand Depart and London sprint stage! All those naysayers predicting the whole thing ruined because certain British riders weren’t in the lineup must be disappointed the public didn’t seem to mind. This week’s Tweets is bursting at the seams with pictures from one of the great sporting weekends …ever!
Line ’em up
The presentation on Thursday night was, well, a bit too Eurovision for my taste. However, Adam Hansen gets special attention as this is his ninth consecutive Grand Tour. Glutton for punishment!
Hair – we’ll talk a lot about hair a bit later in the column, but one has to wonder what Greg Lemond thinks about the Velvet Samurai‘s new Wolverine do. From this angle, it looks like he slept with a bowl on his head (Peter, not Greg).
Even Ted King stares at the new do, trying desperately to figure out what is exactly going on there. Either that or he’s thinking about a nice stack of pancakes.
What’s wrong with this picture? Jens is there and the crowd is looking in the opposite direction.
A few random thoughts from the Hollies.
Is the Ladies Favourite™ not the absolute coolest, most confident man ever to sit on a bike in a breezeblock tunnel? And doesn’t Froomey look a bit like Wayne Rooney’s younger, much thinner brother? Really? Just me?
Selfies will feature heavily in this column – faux selfies, foolish selfies. Can I just say, I hate the word selfie now?
“So Mark, tell me again what fast-twitch muscles do?’
Schleck the Younger was pretty quick getting up to the front for this. But tell me something. What could Duchess possibly have in that little clutch that she couldn’t have asked Bernard Hinault to hold it for a sec while she wields some scissors?
Harrogate was showing its colours the morning of stage 1.
I don’t think Dom knows what the word ‘carnage’ means. Or are there bodies lying bruised and bloodied just outside the picture frame? Did Cav and Michal go into Betty’s and trash the place, like a two-man Led Zeppelin? No. So I think this would be called a crush, not carnage. Speaking of crushes, #KwiatKrush! (See what I did there? Vocabulary turns to love.)
Her Maj is about to be disappointed.
The Sacred Haunches has a go once under the flamme rouge but to no avail.
Then, Cav and Simon Gerrans crash heavily. I’m not going to post any of the pictures as I’m not wild about posting pictures of crashes (rider selfies with wounds, on the other hand, always go in). But this is what Gerrans’ jersey looked like at the end.
Which left Marcel Kittel – ArgoGod – to win the first stage and wear the first maillot jaune of the 2014 Tour de France.
With the yellow jersey, I have amended his nickname to ArgoSunGod. Just for the time being, mind.
The ArgoSunGod even commands royalty to help him don his golden fleece.
“No, I’m sorry, Harry. You will never be as cool as me.”
Duchess thinks: ‘Geez, my husband wears Jeremy Clarkson jeans and he’s only 32, we can’t get shot of his younger brother who is constantly third wheel and, Holy Mary, Mother of God, LOOK at the thighs on the ArgoSunGod!’ Yes, Kate, we know. We’ve known for some time.
Meanwhile, who has the Pox?
Jens did what Jens does and went away in the break on stage 1, eventually ending up in the KOM jersey. The crowd went wild.
We’ll have an entire section on dry stone walls in a minute, so #StayAlert.
“No, I’m sorry, Harry. You will never be as cool as me.” Harry foiled again.
Commentary fun. We’ll have more of that too.
One thing that was commented on was Jens’ climbing style.
Two’s company, three million’s a crowd
Each of the three stages saw the crowds topping a million. Amazing sites. Amazing names of climbs: Buttertubs; Blubberhouse. Where do they come up with names like that? Do they also have Fatassgarage? Maybe for the Tour of Britain. Fingers crossed!
Just wondering how many of those people will go back to their everyday lives and tweet about trying to hit those damn cyclists who get in their way on the road.
Get Rich Quick Scheme: dry stone walling
“Dry stone wallers come at a price – and a premium.” Saturday we were treated for a history of dry stone walls. It was fascinating. (note sarcasm)
More commentary fun.
The art of the road
It wouldn’t be the Tour without roadside art, now would it?
It didn’t happen if there ain’t no selfie
Did I mention I hate the word selfie? And did I also mention that it isn’t a selfie if someone who is not in the picture is taking the picture? That’s called a group photo (vocabulary is important, people!). However, this won’t stop me from uploading a bunch of … group photos … from the presentation night because a lot of them are funny.
I am beyond understanding the banana thing, but I had to put in my #CostaCrush.
We will come back to Romain Bardet‘s bedhead.
The blurry guy – is he being beamed up to the mother ship?
Now these guys look like fun!
Laurens Ten Dam – two seconds after the picture was taken, there was drool everywhere.
As we can see from these, some teams really do look a lot more fun than others. But who should be the King of Selfies? Or at least the King of Being In Someone Else’s Selfie? It would be Baby Blackbird himself, Alberto Contador. There were a few fans who got an acknowledgement from him. (This however might not have deterred people from jumping in the middle of the road to take a selfie with the peloton.)
On the other hand, this one looks like Geraint Thomas is either a cardboard cutout mask or has been photoshopped in.
Remember how Paul Smith designed last year’s maglia rosa? And who wore it for more of the Giro? Reunited – and it feels so good.
The selfie that is going to send some hearts aflutter. Hey baby, how you doin’?
Saving my favourite for last.
Every follicle counts
There are some fine heads of hair in the peloton and special attention has been paid to making sure the luscious locks are looking their best for the greatest stage race in the world. My Beloved‘s hair was so fluffy and lustrous at the presentation ceremony.
Love the cheeky bedhead style of Romain Bardet. He looks so young you can imagine he’d have a few conkers, a slingshot and some Bazooka bubblegum in his pockets.
A hard day’s racing can cause havoc with the do.
An ArgoGod’s hair is his crown.
We’ve mentioned SuperSagan‘s hair before, but it needs to be mentioned again. I’m not sure how he gets it to flip up like that on the sides. A real feat of engineering.
“And I ran, I ran so far away. I just ran, I ran all night and day. I couldn’t get away.” Possibly because he couldn’t see for all the hair in his eyes.
As has been said many a time, the Tour de France is bigger than any one rider.
Monday was London’s turn to shine. And even in the rain, it did. A great stage, some great pictures, and a Sprint Royale at the end. If I were the Queen, I would have demanded to be podium girl for this one. Can’t let Duchess have all the fun!
Taylor Recovery Report: This picture of That Boy Phinney was from about two weeks ago but since there wasn’t a Tweets, I thought I would hold it over. Still smiling. But we sure missed him this weekend. Keep up the great recovery, Taylor!
I wonder what he was really doing? Storming the palace?
Excellent wordplay here. Excellent.
For all the Tony Martin fans out there. (And there are a lot!)
This sums up the last kilometre of stage 1 perfectly.
Code for: Tinkov team looking after Contador.
I bet this would taste great as iced tea (being American, that’s the only tea I understand).
I think the Fashion Police have put out an APB on David Millar for this atrocious headgear. Rumour has it, after retirement, he wants to go into fashion and lifestyle design. God help us all.
OH! I see what’s he done there, now!
I don’t care so much about the custom sock/shoe combo – I just love this picture. Not your run of the mill peloton pic!
I think Astana could use some design tips from Cannondale when it comes to national jerseys.
See what I mean?
Astana – LOOK! National champion’s jersey for Switzerland.
Picture it: David Millar in the Scottish Commonwealth Games official outfit. With that Pharrell hat.
If it isn’t a selfie, it’s a wheelie.
Only in cycling would someone use banana-costumed fans as timing markers.
I just put this in because he’s so pretty.
Typical IAM cats – all sprawled out, doin’ as they please, like all cats do.
Cruel. But funny.
Drones. Carlton Kirby spent a lot of time talking about drones and the future and the coming apocalypse and the demise of mankind on stage 2. I think he might have been pitching a movie.
Geraint Thomas is up in lights!
Back to the Buttertubs. Scott, as usual, has lowered the tone. I really don’t know why I keep talking to him.
And I’ve saved the best tweet for last. Gold, Jerry. GOLD!
The Last Word