From the Tour de Suisse time trial nail-biter to Contador‘s flying descent in the Route du Sud, we’ve got all the action on the road this week. But one thing that won’t be on the road (or in the parking lot) is the Sky Motorhome Convoy. And as an added tweet-treat for summer, #FlechaWatch is back and catchin’ a wave (or two).
On the threshold
The Tour de Suisse had an exciting cast of characters. First up, everybody’s favourite Frenchman* Thibaut Pinot. (*this might not be strictly true). He rode into the yellow jersey by conquering an unprounceable climb with fire in his eyes.
What do we think of his new look? Horrible. Just horrible. The top right picture surely is Mark Cavendish just pretending to be Pinot?
See what I mean? We never saw them together during the week, now did we? To be honest, I didn’t actually realise Cav was in this race until I saw the tweets.
The FDJ boyband. Arnaud Demare‘s national jersey really is a thing of beauty, isn’t it?
The jersey in action …
Moreno Moser just hangin’ out in his Calvins (and a few socks?) on the team bus. I think a pair of Ryder’s goggles would top that look off just dandy.
I will let Beeker have his say on this.
The Velvet Samurai was back in action – and he was within a whisker of breaking the record for most stage wins at the TdS. Switzerland seems to suit him so I suspect he’ll ‘put the record out of reach for decades’ next year.
Swiss TT time means Fabs time
The final time trial was ridden through the lovely medieval city of Bern – which just happens to be where Fabs lives. (It looks so different without night vision goggles…) So the Swiss crowd was even more thrilled to see him. As was I.
Possibly the best time check inflatable ever in the history of the world. I like Velocast’s crazy golf idea.
Fabs set the best time by a long way early on in the day so he sat in the Alpecin HotSeat™ for quite some time. Until a Giant came to take his throne.
Tom Dumoulin might have taken his rightful place in the Alpecin HotSeat™ but it was really down to Geraint Thomas and Simon Spilak‘s performances to decide the final podium. NYVelocity’s tweet says everything we need to know about that.
Baby Blackbird in flight
It was also the Route du Sud, where there was the showdown between Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana. In the end, the showdown was more hype than reality as Quintana didn’t take the bait.
I’m liking the lemony-lime colour of the Tinkoff kit. Has it always been this limey? We’ve got some god-awful camu thing for the Tour, don’t we? Oh dear …
It was the penultimate stage that Contador and Quintana busted out of the peloton. Poor Pierre Latour was in the mix too.
But it was the power of flight that gave Contador his edge. Get used to this view, guys, you’ll be seeing it a lot in July.
It’s the silent scream from Latour.
Bertie took the orange leader’s jersey and that was that.
Breaker Breaker …
Well, the Sky RV Convoy has been broken up before they could even get the PorteMobile steamcleaned. The UCI has said ‘Non!’ to the Sky caravan park. Some thought the ban was a good idea. Some didn’t.
Even Chris Froome got into the debate. Quite honestly, though, is he saying that he was forced to sleep on the floor at the 2013 Tour (if the 102w on the picture is true)? Richie didn’t give up his bed for him? Bad Richie.
Just a final thought on this: didn’t Team Sky have a sustainability/green policy when it started, or did I just make that up in my mind? If they did (and I couldn’t find it on the website as there’s no search facility), how would they have retrofitted their commitment to a fleet of motorhomes lumbering around France for a month? The Pope would not be impressed.
The boys were in Baku for the European Games (although why we need more Games, I’m unsure) and Pippo was surprisingly fully dressed.
It was touch and go there for a bit while Adam Hansen had to wait for his x-rays from a nasty crash. Luckily, he will almost certainly be on the start line in Utrecht!
The Aviva Women’s Tour was actually televised last week. How proud are Hannah Barnes‘ parents with her stage win? I love this picture.
Thanks to Ant, we know what Chris JJ and Alex were talking about in this picture.
Love this poster by Eliza Southwood. A huge talent.
I really can’t think of anything to say about this next one, other than this Spartacus amulet is €870. I feel the fact that I don’t wear jewellery of any kind, not even a watch – either smart or stupid – has helped me dodge an expensive bullet here.
Our cry of longing was answered, all the way from the Indian Ocean. Juan Antonio Flecha sent us some holiday snaps. I nearly hyperventilated with excitement.
Why is Giant such a great team? Because they have great esprit de corps and the management keeps the team together.
I see Mick Jagger is back to taking selfies of himself in the most improbable places.
Tell me Christian Knees does not look exactly like Mick Jagger in this picture.
The Lotto boys have made this little girl’s day. I love this series of pictures. Cyclists are always so generous with their time – especially with the littlest fans.
So many questions … no believable answers.