It was an Olympic few days – lots of hard racing, terrible crashes, fabulous wins and heartbreaking losses. But that’s what sport is all about, isn’t it? Here are some golden tweets for you – and a special VeloVoices Gold Medal for Tweeter of the Week, Dan Craven!
Crash, Boom, Bang
The men were the first to try out the Olympic road race course – one that had cobbles (which magically ejected all bidons as the riders went over them), ‘nippy’ climbs and (literally) treacherous descents. There were a lot of broken bones – Vincenzo Nibali and Richie Porte just two of the victims; there was some blatant drafting behind cars; there was ‘tweeting from the bunch’ (not literally); and there was a thrilling victory. But best of all, there was serious racing.
Our new favourite Jarlinson Pantano was riding for Colombia – and was, of course, in the early break!
Bauke Mollema was almost as unlucky as Richie Porte in this race – he had to change his bike about 100 times. However, unlike Richie, he didn’t break any bones.
Fabio Aru. Like Mollema and Porte this season, his luck has not been a lady. In fact, even grabbing a water bottle seemed just a bit too much for the Italian rider. Or perhaps he thought the soigneur was His Nibs in disguise.
Julian Alaphilippe made an impression on everyone in this race – fearless, driven, hard as nails. Hey, we don’t call him Angryphilippe for nothing – and we mean it as a compliment!
Chris Froome was one of the favourites to win. In fact, wasn’t there talk of him doing the Olympic double of RR and TT? And a double of Tour and Olympic gold? So it’s just the Tour / Vuelta double that’s on now.
It was Greg Van Avermaet who proved the smartest rider of the bunch, keeping his cool in the last kilometre to take a fantastic win in a fantastic kit. His early season misfortune is surely now completely out of his mind.
I think our Midge had to lie down on the Victorian fainting couch as her favourite Jakob Fuglsang took silver in THE BEST KIT EVER – more on the kit as we go along …
And Rafal ‘Winker’ Majka took bronze – heartbreaking for him, as for a few of the final kilometres everyone was convinced he had won the gold, but for a Belgian/Danish duo who powered past him at the last …
And bless Laurens De Plus‘ heart – he couldn’t contain his tears of joy. This was full-on sobbing with joy – which made me cry too. That’s how much gold means to teammates.
Just a few random road race tweets that were too good to miss.
I didn’t realise this was Purito‘s last race forever and ever. We’ll miss him.
It was a mini-redemption Saturday, with Dan Wuori interceding for Laura Weislo who wanted Matt Brammeier to unblock her. He did. Everyone was happy.
Gold? or Rainbow? What would they choose?
THE best kit EVER in the history of cycling. EVER. It cannot be topped. It will not be topped. Midge has ordered 17 sets of each. AND the caps!
The women’s road race had two main stories on Twitter. First was the demonisation of Lizzie Armitstead, due to total mishandling of missed drugs test by everyone involved – before, during and after. The second was the appalling crash of Annemiek van Vleuten, which was terrifying to see for everyone – riders and fans alike. Therefore, it was incredibly difficult to find very many tweets that were funny and joyous about this race – so apologies for the brevity of this section.
Seeing the crash of AVV, I think we can all agree, her recovery is nothing short of miraculous. Let’s hope there’s no lasting damage to this incredible rider.
Riding against the clock
And for both winners of the TTs on Wednesday, ‘riding against the clock’ had a double meaning. Kristen Armstrong (not the wife or any relation to Lance as some Olympic viewers seemed to think) won her third consecutive women’s TT gold at the age of 42 – in fact, today – Thursday – is her 43rd birthday.
And the men’s TT gold medallist rode against the clock on the countdown to his retirement. Fabian Cancellara rode a monster TT in one of his last professional races ever – it wouldn’t surprise me if it was his final race. Why not swagger off the sporting stage with a gold medal around your neck and not look back? I was obviously beside myself with joy.
But first, he had to get out of that odd-looking, breeze-block garage that they provided the teams to warm up in. Definitely not #kingclass.
Tony Martin – basking shark and accidental nudist (more on that in a sec) – just didn’t have it this year. Which surprised a great man.
Tom Dumoulin did a fantastic ride, considering his wrist injury at the Tour – we weren’t even sure he’d be able to race. And Chris Froome put on an extra push at the very end to take bronze. If I were him, I would have words with whoever ‘designed’ his jacket. This is the other extreme from the Danish kit. This is a monstrosity.
Speaking of accidental nudist, Tony Martin – as he was in the breeze-block garage warming up, the cameras caught him with his skinsuit at a jaunty, some would say pornographic, angle. From the looks of it, he has a full waxing regime … (As everyone was so shocked at what they were seeing, no one had the presence of mind to take a screen grab. I think that’s a good thing.)
The Australian mechanic should get a gold medal for this amazing move when he was changing Rohan Dennis’s bike.
Disappointment for Taylor
That Boy Phinney had targetted the TT, hoping this would be a golden comeback. It was not to be. But we did get great pictures. Let’s hope next season, he gets his rhythm back.
Dan the Man!
The breakthrough story of this year’s Olympics for men’s cycling was absolutely and totally Dan Craven @DanfromNam. “Tweeting” during the road race, his exuberance at being at the games and representing his country, and his quixotic TT, which he rode because Twitter told him to. Here at VeloVoices Towers, we’ve loved him since he won the little piglet a few years ago – now the world can love him too. These are just some of the great tweets he’s given us. Go to his timeline and read the rest. They’re priceless.
Rusks figure heavily in his tweets.
We shall keep him on our list of go-to tweeters for future Tweets of the Week!
Just a few bits of news to wrap up and then we’re done!
Ashley House’s secret wardrobe warehouse has been revealed!
Trek won a stage in Tour of Utah – I picked this tweet out because these guys look like they were imagined by MC Escher – you can’t figure out whose arms are whose or how many heads there are …
Lovely fantastic news for the lovely Quinziatos and their Mini-Q.
The last word