It is with a few sad sighs that I put this week’s Tweets together. Sad sigh for the end of my favourite part of the season – once the dust settles at Roubaix, I feel a sense of overwhelming ennui. And a heartfelt sigh as we said goodbye to the greatest Classics rider, possibly of all time, Tom Boonen. We’ll be doing a special post about that soon (#StayAlert!) but today, we have the Stories of Roubaix – bits and pieces I’ve picked up over the weekend from Twitter. For me, it’s often what happens behind the leaders that are the most interesting stories. Enjoy!
Gentlemen of Speed
Team presentations, up close and personal!
A fun little montage of Roubaix on the day.
Speeding through Arenberg – having been to Arenberg last year, they make it look easy at the front of the peloton but one of the clearest memories for me was seeing the guys who aren’t naturals on the cobbles weaving and struggling to turn the pedals as they went past us. Pain etched on their faces …
Arenberg is difficult enough in the daylight – can you imagine riding it at night? Would be SO COOL!!!!!! Gives me chills just thinking about it. It must have been so atmospheric for those guys.
There are riders I always love to see do well and am always cheering on, no matter what. Andre Greipel is absolutely one of those riders. It would be a monumentally happy day for me if the Gorilla one day stood on that top step and lifted that cobble overhead. Might never happen but I love that he loves this race and gives it his all, every single time.
And Lotto-Soudal (and all its previous incarnations) has always been one of my favourite teams because it feels like they actually have a lot of fun together. And I LOVE whoever handles their PR and social accounts – their team photos are always something just a little different (boys in boxes is an all-time classic) and this year is no different.
The Mighty Degs might not have finished Roubaix the way he wanted, but he still is a Gentleman of Speed, as is his trusty lieutenant, Koen de Kort.
Edward Theuns has every reason to smile at the end of the race – and not just because his hair looks like one of those comedy evil moustaches.
There are so many Roubaix stories. This one is particularly poignant. Last year, Mitch Bowen had a horrific crash in Arenberg that doctors said he was lucky to have survived. He rode Roubaix again this year – and slayed the Arenberg dragon. Nothing but respect for this man.
The dirt, the wounds …
Not a Sky fan (I know, I know – I’ve been keeping that secret for a long time, haven’t I!), but I’m quickly becoming a big fan of this man. Gianni Moscon has been tearing it up this season and he certainly has what so many of my favourite riders have – fierce joy! Will be interesting to see how he develops this season. As long as his joie de la course doesn’t get drilled out of him …
It’s farewell from Manuel Quinziato – it’s his last Roubaix as he is retiring at the end of this year. Which makes us rather sad as he’s always been a favourite here at VeloVoices Towers. We’re already contemplating our Farewell Q extravaganza …
With no real break and the whole peloton going full gas, it was a strangely uneventful race to watch much of the time. If only we had a mad breakaway rider …
Rarely do we see SuperSagan looking so sad.
Tears in the Velodrome. One day, Zdenek, one day …
A lot of guys kissed the cobblestones on Sunday as they crashed onto the dusty stones. But only one gets to kiss it and take it home … Chapeau to Greg Van Avermaet
What will it be like next year when we don’t have Tom Boonen to light up the Classics? An amazing career and – from all accounts – a down-to-earth, decent bloke. He will be missed …
I would do a lot more core classes if that picture was on the wall of my gym.
I so love this advert. It’s everything I love about Roubaix, everything I love about Boonen, everything I love about cycling.
When asked before Roubaix how he was going to feel on the Monday after, Boonen said ‘I’ll feel terrible. I always do when I’ve got a hangover’ (or something to that effect).
Oh, that we all could just line up and hug him goodbye.
In many ways, cycling is unlike any other sport. But in one way, it is exactly like every other sport – and that’s in superstition … fun feature from Rouleur – plus it gives me the chance to say ‘Sylvain Chavanel‘ quietly to myself.
Baby Blackbird is starting to look like the eternal second this year. But he seems to be taking it with a sense of humour. Here’s hoping he goes one better in the Tour de France …
Looks like Yorkshire has its act together.