It’s the warm-up races for the Tour de France – the Criterium Dauphine finished on the weekend with a storming (and super short) final stage that took it to the final few seconds. The Tour de Suisse has just begun but already we have the scary mascot freaking stage winners out. It’s all fun and games in Tweets of the Week!
We sing a song of a bird in flight
We really do love races that come down to the last … few … seconds and the Dauphine delivered. Shame Eurosport didn’t show the stage live – it was all Eurosport iPlayer raw feed (no commentary) on the iPad, the Dauphine official website with its super-duper dashboard on one iPhone and Twitter timeline on the other iPhone at VeloVoices Towers. Quite a juggling act but SO worth it.
With GC leader Richie Porte on the ropes, Jakob Fuglsang took flight 6km from the summit finish and, well, I’ll let the video do the talking …
He won a second cow plushie with the stage win. I love those … I mean, they’re no Wolfie, but they’re great in their own bovine way.
He got a rather nice trophy and posed in such a way that his legs looked like sticks with clown feet at the end. Always a favourite with me!
Of course, while juggling two iPhones, an iPad and tweeting updates as the stage intensified, I also had to load the tranquilliser gun because Midge, Jakob Fuglsang’s most devoted fan™, had a heart rate beyond the max. It was a busy afternoon!
It took a few …
I owe you noooooothing!
Richie Porte … Chris Froome‘s trusted lieutenant while at Sky and, last year at least, continuing to be his trusted lieutenant even after moving to BMC. He seemed to do a lot of riding with Froome on his wheel. So it’s with great excitement that on Sunday he blew right past Froome on the final climb, in his frantic race to limit Birdsong damage and save his Dauphine title.
So now Porte is the Tour favourite. Certainly Froome didn’t look to be in the form of past years but a one-week stage race is a lot different from a three-week grand tour. That said, the TdF parcours looks so dull with few summit finishes and a lot of flattish, rolling stages, that might be the thing that saves Porte, who has always had a ‘mare of a day at some point in the big mountains.
Thomas de Gendt with a lion plushie that looks like it had just sucked a lemon. I still can’t quite get over the fact that races give grown men cuddly toys *every single day* – and such variety!
Saturday’s Dauphine stage saw Sky’s Peter Kennaugh and Emirates’ Ben Swift back together as they rode to a one-two stage win.
Lasse Norman Hansen got more than he bargained for as he actually got podium kisses from the Tour de Suisse’s mascot, which looks like a curious hybrid of mountain goat, cow and warlock, with a Bjorn Borg headband for good measure.
Bling, on the other hand, is wondering just what the hell is going on, what is the giant, horned – well – bug that he wins for the stage, handed over by the Mountain Goat Warlock.
It’s not just the Goat Warlock mascot that is strange. Some of the stage trophies are a little odd as well – including this ashtray on a plinth. Don’t they also get cowbells?
The Dauphine hurts, don’t ever think otherwise.
And look who won a Tour de Suisse stage? In a sprint! Flanders victor and all around Belgian legend, Philippe Gilbert.
Seems like Fabs has been retired forever … I miss him.
However, our very own Fabs – Fabrizio Viani – is (at the time of writing) riding from London to Monaco. He’s the best!
They’re riding to raise money for Duchenne UK, which funds new treatments and vital research to combat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy so, if you are so inclined, please donate here.