It was quite an eventful weekend. We had the CX World Championships, which brought us a lot of mud, Leonardo DiCaprio and an actual motor in a bike – but whose bike? “It ain’t mine!” Plus we have some exciting racing in Mallorca, not least a Spartacus win, which made us launch fireworks off the top of VeloVoices Towers.
Sprints and descents
It was Challenge Mallorca this week and we had four days of great racing. Andre Greipel looked like he was picking up where he left off last season and topped and tailed the four days with sprint wins.
And one Fabian Cancellara started his last >chokes back tears< season as a professional cyclist with a solo win from a breakaway >KermitArms< Looks like his retirement year will be about mixing it up and taking his chances for a victory whenever and wherever. No swanning around in the back of the peloton looking moody.
It was 17 years ago and the Haunches were already Sacred.
While my favourite little Movistarlet, Andrey Amador, was racing as well.
Still takes a minute to realise that is KwiatKrush in Sky black. There really is an anonymous quality about that kit. The rainbow-striped cuffs, however, are a lovely touch.
I’m really getting into the Team Dimension Data kit now, probably because I keep thinking the old Cervelo Test Team is back (and that makes me happy).
And then there was mud
We don’t cover CX, or track, but sometimes the pictures are just too good to leave behind. And, um, it was very eventful this weekend (although in a few very bad ways …). It also got a lot of traction on Twitter.
Almost looks like he’s singing. That boy needs some sleep.
Quite simply, one of my favourite photographs this week.
It was a dirty weekend.
A mud-spattered Evie Richards takes the women’s U23 championship.
Belgian Wout van Aert became the men’s world champion and there was much to say about this young man.
There was a touching photograph of his parents celebrating his win. You can almost hear them say, “That’s our boy!”
There was a comment about his tidy helmet straps.
And his striking resemblance to Leonardo DiCaprio, around Titanic time.
And, at least from @tjswonderboy, some serious hair envy.
Belgians behaving badly
There seems to be a worrying trend of “fans” (and I use that word to mean the opposite of what these people are) abusing riders – verbal abuse, throwing beer on them, even spitting on them. I think we can all agree that kind of behaviour is never ever acceptable.
One slightly lighthearted tweet in this chain is “Need I remind you about frogmen in the tour last year?” Frogmen? There were frogmen???? Ah, autocorrect …
It was Sven Nys‘s last worlds.
This is one of the creepiest – and strangely inexplicable – photograph I’ve seen in a long while.
Ah, if the Staypuft Marshmallow Man were world champion …
Which brings us to this …
The UCI has confirmed that they found a motor in a bike belonging to (or associated with) Belgian U23 rider Femke Van den Driessche. For the details as he knows it, read Inner Ring’s blog about the UCI case and this great opinion piece by Neil Rogers for CyclingTips. Meanwhile tweeters took the subject, lifted it up and ran with it …
But what kind of motor was it?
Pawel stopped it before it go silly. Which is a shame.
While pictures of big engines were being bandied about, Dan Wuori went straight to the defence. Ah, the Basso Defence! It’s an oldie but a goodie.
The I’ve Never Seen That Bike In My Life (But It’s a Friend’s) Defence.
And the Hamilton Chimeric Twin Defence (also known as the It’s So Crazy Maybe It’s True Defence).
Then there’s the Armstrong-Bruyneel Credibility Defence.
And, of course, the old Third Grader Multi-Defence.
The Tattoo Syndrome.
And just a very fast escalation around words my future husband*, Mats Janné, likes. This is why I want to marry him, folks. He likes a good vocabulary. (*possibly not true…)
There was even a conspiracy theory, which InnerRing drily counters.
Who’s a pretty boy?
Doping. One thing you notice on Twitter is that there’s black (“hang ’em high!”) and white (“let them all do it, like in bodybuilding”) and way more than 50 shades of grey in between (“I hate dopers – but he’s not a doper, he was framed” to “I hate dopers but I like him even though he doped” to “his doping was different” to “everybody does it, except I don’t believe he did” to “give him the maximum penalty” to “I hope they’re lenient on him”). This Scarponi parrot sketch is quite revealing in that respect.
As you remember from last week, Giant-Alpecin’s Chad Haga was the one most injured in that horrific head-on crash with a car. Here is his left side.
And here is his right.
And here he is after he had 45 stitches – 45!!!!! – taken out of his face and neck. He’s kept his high spirits throughout. #ClassAct
Fairly sure that’s against UCI regulations.
It was GP La Marseillaise day and Tibblets got pipped at the post by Dries Devenyns (in that great IAM kit)
To shave or not to shave. Looking at his baby face, KwiatKrush probably doesn’t need to worry about the peach fuzz on his face.
Pippo impersonating Henry VIII.
Pippo impersonating some sort of sinister gameshow host. “You win the prize of an all-expense paid trip to the island of Dr Moreau.”
Don’t try this at home, kids.
Laurens Ten Dam‘s hope for a retirement where he doesn’t have to get naked in public – well, not unless it’s just for fun.
There is nothing that is not mystifying about this tweet from Oleg. How do you instagram breaking news on cycling or digital banking? I’m too scared to look.
After all these years, looks like Alejandro Valverde has finally admitted it to himself and to the world. He is losing his hair. Poodle no more.
Maybe you should just say Bob. Like Blackadder. Bob.
The Last Word