Tour Tweets: Mud, sweat, tears and wild abandon

After the magnificent Grand Depart, hard to imagine that by the first rest day, we would have seen the abandonment of Mark CavendishChris Froome and Alberto Contador (among others), Vincenzo Nibali with a vice grip on yellow and Tony Martin wearing the polka dot jersey! We have all the tweets and instagrams from the most eventful week in the Tour de France in a very long time. Here we go …

Taking the rough with the smooth

Stage 5 was supposed to be one of the key stages in this year’s Tour. It lived up to its hype. It was cold, it was muddy, it was wet. It was decisive. St 5 more pics   St 5 cobbles water St 5 Bak over the bars St 5 Gruber cobbles St 5 Gruber image St 5 Bunnyhop Porte St 5 Contador face St 5 survived St 5 Dexter bus St 5 Ben King selfie St 5 Boom fans St 5 boom congrats 1 St 5 Cancellara wet St 5 Cancellara reaction St 5 Cancellara Fabianese NBC St 5 Phinney jam

St 5 Vanmarcke

The big abandonment number one

Or the number one’s big abandonment. Either way, it was a shock to see Chris Froome stepping into the team car before they even hit the cobbles. He couldn’t have been anything other than distraught. Screen shot 2014-07-15 at 20.02.00 Screen shot 2014-07-15 at 20.01.11 Screen shot 2014-07-15 at 20.00.47 Screen shot 2014-07-15 at 20.00.29 Screen shot 2014-07-15 at 19.59.52 Screen shot 2014-07-15 at 19.53.51 Screen shot 2014-07-15 at 19.51.40 St 5 Contador Froome

Even Jesus abandons sometimes

Stage 6 sees Jesus letting go of the Tour. St 6 Jesus abandons St 6 cobbles again   While Stage 7 sees Matteo Trentin take a sprint away from Peter Sagan by the tiniest of margins. St 7 Trentin win St 7 Sagan Cancellara

Vive la France

France has had a tremendous couple of days – Stage 8 sees a stage win for Blel Kadri as well as the KOM jersey. He looks thrilled, doesn’t he? St 8 Kadri finish salute St 8 Kadri hug St 8 Kadri schnozz 2 St 8 Kadri win 1 St 8 Kadri dot model What we hoped would be a battle royale for the rest of the Tour. Noodle & DoodleSt 8 Nibs Cont yellow better St 8 Nibs Cont long shot St 8 Nibs Cont Noodle Doodle St 8 hi-viz buttock shimmy The Curious Incident of the Yellow Hat in the Tour St 8 Talansky spot St 8 yellow hat 1 St 8 yellow hat 3 St 8 yellow hat woman 3 While Richie Porte perfects his ‘floating head’ trick. St 8 Porte creepy St 8 earpiece St 8 valiant valise

Outta my way!

Stage 9 and Tony Martin does another one of his wild rides alone – this time he made it. And helped sell a lot of caps, it seems. St 9 TT finish I’ve decided that the phrase ‘band of brothers’ is banned for at least the duration of this Tour. Let’s get more expressive, more imaginative with our vocabulary, eh, tweeties. And besides, can a ‘band’ be just two people – isn’t this more of a ‘duet of brothers’? Leaving that to one side, I really wonder who that podium girl is making eyes. ST 9 Martin Kwiat St 9 Martin faces St 9 Martin sorry St 9 Martin cap St 9 Martin cap potato So Tony Martin, current world TT champion, used his big engine and ability to ride near the limit for long periods of time to good use. Then, Fabian Cancellara, former (four-time) world TT champion and current #SacredHaunches, took second … in a seated sprint. Who was third? Greg van Avermaet. The irony of it all. St 9 Fabs sprint 1 St 9 Fabs 10 secs St 9 Cancellara sprawls   And the yellow jersey went to Frenchman Tony Gallopin of Lotto Belisol. He rode hard to get that jersey and Astana rode easy to make sure he did. St 9 Gallopin in yellow Marcel Kittel had the Duchess of Cambridge as his podium girl, Tony has Taylor Swift as his. Oh, wait, that’s not Taylor Swift, that’s Marion Rousse – a talented and successful cyclist in her own right. But damn, she’s a double for Ms Swift. St 9 Gallopin and Taylor Swift St 9 Gallopin uncle

Ask not for whom the bell tolls

It was a sad day for Alberto Contador and his fans – and even for some people who aren’t really his fans. I expect that the part where he climbs into the team car wasn’t in the pre-stage discussion he was having with Bjarne Riis. St 10 Contador pre crash St 10 Contador Rogers St 10 Contador on off   St 10 Contador car 1 St 10 Contador car St 10 Contador car 2 St 10 Contador shoe St 10 Contador 4 St 10 Contador Rogers 1 St 10 Contador Machado   St 10 peloton reaction St 10 Porte Nibz post race Nibali won the stage – and perhaps the Tour itself – on this momentous day. St 10 Nibali closeup St 10 Nibali afar St 10 Nibali photo finish Tony Martin had the pox. But only on the chest pox. Not haunch pox. St 10 Tony pox st 10 Martin pox 1 The Velvet Samurai pops a no-handed wheelie. On the summit. Beast. St 10 Sagan wheelie And the French are gearing up for something maybe quite special on the way to Paris. St 10 bleu blanc rage

Pressing on

Rest day means sleeping, recovery rides and press. Lots of press. Here Dave Brailsford is trying to energise Geraint Thomas by tickling his chin. Rest day Sky Geraint Never has day-glo looked so sad. Rest Day Tinkov Giants go out to play on their bikes. Rest day Giant SuperSagan looks like a little boy who desperately wants to go out and play on his bike but he can’t because he needs to get his school picture taken. Rest day Sagan While Tony Martin sleeps off the pox. Rest day Tony note

The Gruppetto

G Tour dietChris Horner, apparently, gets his 9000 calories with an unorthodox diet. G Horner diet 1a G Horner diet 2 G Horner diet 1 That Boy Phinney has been popping up all over this column. Here’s a lovely picture of him, looking all mean and moody. G Phinney aggressive The Taylor Recovery Report announces that he is now able to push some watts. Hell Yeah! G Phinney watts St 5 Phinney 1 In happier days for Tinkoff-Saxo G Tinkov popular Boy, that bus doesn’t look like it’s been decked out by Dexter, like Ag2r’s bus, does it? The difference in budget is there for all to see. G Sky photos “I can stretch my arms all the way out and still not touch the sides of this bus. Bite me.” G Thomas camp I wonder if Sainsbury’s would take a credit card of energy. Might see if I have better luck than Dan Wuori has had with it. G credit card of energy Cav‘s going to learn another language during his recovery period! Fabianese! G Cav Fabs Fabianese If this doesn’t look like a shindig at a frat house in the fifties, I don’t know what does. G Kittel Degs World Cup This is just an amazing picture. Of course, it’s a Gruber original. G Kittel sprint Gruber Love love love Juan Antonio Flecha‘s ‘man about the peloton’ gig on Eurosport. All the guys seem at such ease with him. And he’s not tried to break away once! G Flecha interview Greg Lemond is looking a bit ‘spy who came in from the cold’ in this picture. G Terpstra hats Jens was presented with six little yellow jerseys for his children. Sweet gesture for his last Tour. G Jens for yellow Cool cats. Grrrrrrr G Lions on a bus Just beautiful artwork from Artcrank. G Artcrank 3 G Artcrank 2 G Artcrank 1 When Nibbles was a pup. G Nibali as a boy No idea what the ‘hey lady’ story is all about but Peter DeNitto’s reaction was brilliant. G Scarponi yelledGeez, even the cows are taking selfies! (Two pairs of sunglasses but at least he’s got his seat belt fastened.) G cow selfie Um, okaaaayyyy G Hinault dissipated minerals “They didn’t believe us when we said Germany would win the World Cup too!” G Germans rule Million dollar idea. G Kelly calculator Is it just me or does this meringue portrait of Sylvain Chavanel look like something from a comic book and any minute now, he’s going to turn into some sort of superhero? Just me? Really? G Chava meringue I just liked this picture. G Fuglsang Lemond These cakes of Mrs Frog’s are just so delightful! I love the thought of her going into the kitchen, mixing up the batter and then saying to herself, ‘now, how am I going to make a stage tableau with this select group of toys’. The Tour’ll do that to you! G Mrs Frog cake 1 G Mrs Frog Cake 2 Charlie Eppes. (Tweet me if you get that …) G Greipel mathmatician Niki Terprstra is daydreaming about being a cardboard cutout. G Terpstra dots I know what Paolini was doing on his mobile the other day in the stage. … G Paolini on phone He was remotely guiding his clone to victory in the Velo29 Stockton GP. G Paolini lookalike Blimey, Trek’s hotel budget must be tight if they only give Fabs a crib to sleep in. G Cancellara sleeping time Speaking of sleeping time, I thought this was the best tweet of the week. Mats does it again! G Schrodinger There’s a lady who’s sure … G Stairway to heaven

The Last Word

Last word 1

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