Is it just me or are the guys really racing hard all the time this season? We were treated to a cliffhanger of a Criterium du Dauphine last week and we have the tweets to prove it! We also have a few choice photos from the Tour de Suisse, as well as the controversy that will not end: Sky motorhomes.
On a knife edge
The Criterium du Dauphine had a lot to live up to, as last year’s final stage drama set a high bar. But the riders make the race and they went hell for leather the whole time. First up, Bouhanni Bouhanni Bou Bou Bouhanni.
I think you can only really admire the bombast and unflinching self promotion of Nacer Bouhanni. Unless maybe if you’re part of his team and he doesn’t recognise your contributions to his gloriousness.
By the way, that scrappy nasty half-way house of facial hair he’s sporting? Got. To. Go. It’s hideous.
On the other hand, there was the stealth descending skills of Bouhanni’s compatriot Romain Bardet. So fast, so twisty, so balls to the wall, no wonder Bernard Hinault looked like he’d won the lottery when he took the young Frenchman in his arms. A man after his own heart.
Here’s an interesting discussion on the very subject of descending.
I am so totally loving MTN-Qhubeka. They didn’t come to the Dauphine to be anonymous – no siree! They were in the breaks, they were in the sprints, they were in the mountains. And Daniel Teklehaimanot gave the team their first World Tour jersey. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the team can do in the Tour de France.
(I’m really rather charmed by that little yellow hand waving on the bill of his hat.)
And speaking of jerseys, Simon Yates took the Best Young Rider’s jersey from the aforementioned Bardet in stage 6 and kept it to the end. He’ll be interesting to watch if he’s in the TdF team next month.
Speaking of white jerseys, Peter Kennaugh really does look the business in his British National Champion’s jersey, even when he’s yelling for a Coke.
It was a battle between the explosive rider versus the sustained effort rider; battle between the stem watcher and the eyes straight ahead. Tejay van Garderen put in a valiant effort to take the yellow and then to keep it. (The Shaggy-like beard thing? That can go.)
Sport is about emotion – and unfortunately heartbreak is all part and parcel of a great race. He really felt that.
He does, however, have the makings of a petting zoo. Let’s hope he adds to his lion herd at the Tour.
The guy who broke Tejay’s heart was, of course, Chris Froome. Promises of a motorhome awaited the victor.
Sky was doing that Sky thing on the last couple stages – riding to a high tempo, decimating the peloton, making the race up to the point of their attack pretty dull. I’m prone to agree with NYVelocity on this one – give us a drunken DS (*not* a drunken owner, mind you) who lets his guard down and barks out mad instructions. Just once.
To sum up, here are a few tweets that were just too good to leave out. I am assuming that this first tweet was a quote from Carlton Kirby. Just a wild guess.
Marshall Kappel is doing some great work this season.
It looks like they’re cycling in a dream.
The second guy on the left of that picture. He got a few tweets during the Dauphine. The once and future villain.
Cowbells at the ready!
More Alpine fun at the Tour de Suisse. Of course, it all starts with Fabs.
Spritzer is filled with soft Alpine dew and ready to cool off the man they call Spartacus.
I like this. I think spectators should sing to riders more often.
Lord Hoy! Would you look at the size of those thighs? Maybe this win will get the Velvet Samurai back on track and shut the pink-haired one’s mouth for a while.
Looks like we got ourselves a convoy!
Oh. F. F. S. I guess Brailsford’s marginal gains have nothing to do with team cohesion, camaraderie or esprit de corps. Neither do they have anything to do with sustainability, environmental stewardship or parking logistics. I wonder if the UCI is going to weigh in on this, considering that it is against the rules. Don’t hold your breath. (The UCI might let it slide – I’m betting the ASO doesn’t.)
Sometimes the alphabet plays a blinder.
Andrey Amador turning a young fan away from the nightclub.
Was he pushed or did he jump?
Socks. One of those subjects that gets people’s blood up.
The Last Word