Tweets of the Week: A sullied rainbow, a sizzlin’ Giro and “Dear God, don’t look!”

Funny, cruel, odd, personal … you get it all on Twitter. Each week, we’ll have a rundown of some of our favourite tweets. Here are the tweets for the week ending 30th September 2012.

After all the seriousness of last week, I reckon we could use some levity. Doesn’t mean there aren’t some serious tweets in here. But I’m going to start off with something wonderful. Something really wonderful!

Joaquim in the rain

Saturday’s Lombardia was quite a race – Mother Nature seemed to want to show the boys who could boss a race and it was she. So much so, they couldn’t even broadcast live pictures from the final climb when Joaquim Rodriguez put in a stinging attack and held on to take the year’s fifth and final Monument. And he took the number one ranking in the WorldTour as well. Jered Gruber, one of my favourite photographers in the world ever, took this magnificent shot of Purito coming over the line. Says it all.

Our new King of the World came a cropper on one of the slippery descents on Saturday and unfortunately finished the race in the BMC car, the rainbow jersey torn and sullied.

Is this the curse of the rainbow jersey having its wicked way with our boy? Nah, I don’t believe in curses. I doubt PhilGil does either. So many guys were wiping out on the slick roads that it would mean there was a hell of a lot of voodoo at work … Shame he couldn’t finish the race, however. And thank God he didn’t go with the white shorts. (Just sayin’…)

Sticking with Lombardia, this tweet by RadioShacker George Bennett says a lot about the heart and soul of a cyclist.

As does this …


Someone’s been at the VeloVoices drinks trolley, and this time it wasn’t me! (Well, not just me!) It was, in fact, über-Argonaut Marcel Kittel, who welcomed the opportunity to kick back with a couple of cold ones after taking back-to-back sprints in Franco-Belge (which from all accounts was brutal). Marcel, plenty more on the VV drinks trolley if you want to pop round to the Towers …

We were also treated to a very complimentary Overlord yesterday, which TourDeJose questioned – was he going soft? There wasn’t a *chuckle* in sight, what was going on? Ah … Overlord had been at the drinks trolley as well. Of course, we’re always happy to stand Overlord a drink or ten at the Towers.

China in your hands

The UCI has done it again. This ridiculous Tour of Beijing which, it seems no one wants to ride, has just gotten downright racist in that, because of the dispute over the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea between Taiwan, China and Japan, some teams with Japanese links have been uninvited. Some. Not all. Inner Ring and Overlord had a few thoughts on this.

Overlord … have you been reading my mind again? Kittel’s skittles, yeah baby!

But this whole mess is not really funny – there are safety issues, moral issues and the riders are being used as pawns (if not cash cows). It’s an outrage, actually. It’s time for a revolution, people…

Ready, Steady, Giro!

The 2013 Giro d’Italia route was unveiled on Sunday and even though it has waaaaaaay too many kilometres of time trial (snoozeville unless watching the haunches of Cancellara), it also has a goodly sum of difficult mountain-top finishes. So for all those excited about this being Wiggo’s chance to get another Grand Tour under his belt, this might not be so easy for him in May. (Again, just sayin’.) But in what can only be described as “Huh?”, the Giro organisers had a cook-off between Ryder Hesjedal, Mark Cavendish, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali (who really had an unfair advantage as he has been sizzling up Sidi shoes for over a year now). [They’re a bit chewy, though – Ed.]

I didn’t watch the presentation so I have no idea why this was happening. So I will skip along to the real attraction of the day (for me, at least) and that was Hollywood Phinney, who hitched a ride on a private jet with Cav en famille. And no, that guy at the bottom of the picture is not Alejandro Valverde, although I thought it was when I first saw him.

I do love Hollywood’s exuberance.

My eyes! My eyes! The horror! The horror!

From the sublime to the ridiculous. I’ll start you off slowly … this was a shot from one of the stages of the Tour of Britain. Can you imagine what that must have looked like from the front? Poor Bernie. To be … exposed … to such horrors.

That, however, is nothing compared to this pic. Oh. Dear. God. Make. It. Stop.

And on that note, see you next week, tweeties.

Vuelta a España: Team presentation (a VeloVoices gallery)

In addition to our army of VeloEyes bringing us images of the races and riders we love, we’re not averse to getting in the mix ourselves and getting our own personal shots of our favourite races. Here Sheree has collated her pictures from last night’s Vuelta team presentations. Enjoy!

Yesterday’s evening’s Vuelta a España team presentation kicked off in sweltering temperatures in the very heart of Pamplona, the Plaza del Castillo, used as a bull-fighting ring until a permanent venue was built in 1844. The only stampede yesterday was for the seats in front of the stage. Not everyone looked hot and bothered, Navarra and Spain’s favourite sporting icon, Miguel Indurain, gave us his thoughts on this year’s Vuelta, looking as cool as a cucumber, in a jacket!

The team presentation was a bit parochial. Not Spanish, no Spanish riders, no contenders then you just entered left, waved briefly and exited right. To be fair the commentators had to respond to the dicatates of an hour-long programme on Spanish television, plus squeeze in highlights from last year’s Vuelta, a quick run-down of this year’s stages and a travel promo for Navarra.

First up local boys Caja Rural

First up: local boys Caja Rural

It's the Argonauts

It’s the Argonauts

More blinding while kits with the boys from FDJ

More blinding white kits with the boys from FDJ

Now it's the hot pink of Lampre

Now it’s the hot pink of Lampre

RadioShack read our Team Review and have wisely made Maxime Monfort their lead rider

RadioShack read our team review and have wisely made Maxime Monfort (left) their lead rider

OPQS’ Tony Martin (left) hoping for better luck in the Vuelta

Orica-GreenEDGE’s Daniel Teklehaimanot didn’t seem to mind the heat either!

Euskaltel’s Igor Anton, a firm favourite with the fans

Cheers too for cheeky Catalan chappie Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodriguez

It’s the boys from BMC who have PhilGil (far left) as their lead rider!

Newly shorn Christophe Le Mevel looking Garmin-Sharp and ready to do battle

Cofidis’ man for the mountains David Moncoutie

Will Sky’s Chris Froome (far left) really challenge?

Saxo Bank’s Alberto Contador (left) happy to be back in the saddle

The biggest cheers of the evening were reserved for Alberto Contador who reiterated his pitch-perfect PR press conference from earlier in the day where he downplayed his chances and talked up everyone else’s. He said he’d been scarred by the events of the past two years but had emerged mentally stronger. He also paid tribute to the support of fans, family and friends and said how much he was looking forward to the start in Navarro.

Last up was defending champion Juan Jose Cobo, now riding for Navarran-based Movistar. He’ll be well-supported by Alejandro Valverde, two Basques and, this year’s must-have accessory, a Colombian in the form of Nairo Quintano.

Local boys Movistar with defending champion Cobo (far left)

We’ll be back in the Plaza del Castillo this evening for the team time trial.

VeloVoices Vuelta a Espana previews

Teams and sponsors (part 1)

Teams and sponsors (part 2)

Key stages

Key contenders

Link: Vuelta a Espana official website

Tour du Haut Var preview

This weekend, February 18th/19th, sees the running of the next French race in the calendar. The 44th edition of the Tour Cycliste Internationale du Haut Var  – to give it its full title – will provide additional racing largely for those who’ve already competed in the GP Marsellaise, Etoile de Besseges and Tour Mediterraneen.

It’s yet another race supported by the local daily newspaper, and sure to be popular with the locals who will flock to watch two-time winner Thomas Voeckler defend his title.
Continue reading