It was a busy week in the cycling calendar last week. We have a look at the Eneco Tour – from Boonen to Quinziato and we get a few Wellens kisses. Then we fly north to check out the little bit of Viking craziness in the Arctic Race, not to mention our bodyweight in salmon. Then we bring them together in a battle of the heavy equipment! A long drink of Pinot in the gruppetto and that’s your Tweets of the Week.
Rain and climbs and the Muur
The Eneco Tour really did live up to its reputation as a spring classic in late summer. It had rain, it had cobbles, it had Big Tom Boonen winning a stage!
FDJ’s Johan Le Bon won one of the wettest stages in a while – and once again we were reminded as to why white shorts are not the best of ideas. Many Duran Duran lyrics were thrown around. I count us all very lucky that Matteo Bono wasn’t the second person in that two-man break or we’d never have heard the end of it.
One of the most popular wins of the race was a breakaway win (with a nailbiting finish) by the lovely Manuel Quinziato. That he won on the Muur was even better (and oh, how we miss that fantastic climb in the Tour of Flanders…)
The day before, he was looking pretty frisky for a while – it’s no surprise that he was able to take the stage win on Sunday.
The winner of the Eneco gets a kiss.
Although maybe it wasn’t as nice as she thought it was going to be. Ewwww, sweaty.
The win, it can be told, was really down to the champion’s roommate.
Salmon and Tanks and Vikings
The Arctic Race is a great race – beautiful scenery, a good combination of World Tour and Pro Conti teams and a little bit of crazy.
This looks like one of those Hallmark moments where Thor is thinking about Alexandre Kristoff and Eddy Haagen-Dazs.
The guys in Eneco got kegs of beer, stage winners here win their bodyweight (well, their teams bodyweight) in salmon.
This is that little bit of crazy I was talking about.
Whale? I didn’t think whales were supposed to be hunted anymore. I’m a bit disturbed by this tweet.
The Viking jersey is given to the teammate of the day – sort of the opposite of most aggressive rider, really. Seems odd, with the reputation that Vikings have, that it isn’t the other way around. But it’s good to see MTN-Qhubeka make a big noise no matter where in the world they are.
We all love the synchronised tractor roadside performance art of Belgium and France but, wow!, the Norwegians have really upped the ante.
The army base pulled out all the stops – or rather lined up all their tanks.
Then one of the tanks broke away and started to race the peloton itself. Personally, if I were riding along on my bike and suddenly I saw a ginormous tank next to me, I would have a hard time concentrating on the road. So kudos to the peloton for keeping their cool for the finish.
JournalVelo saw what this was really about – those tanks were basically a 5-ton heavy-metal gauntlet thrown down to the Belgian farmers. They responded with aplomb. I love how neatly the tractors are lined up – do they get together at a farmers meeting to decide when and where they’re going to line up, I wonder?
Nice to see Nico and Bennati have kept up their friendship. They look happy, don’t they?
“Hello, hi honey. Yes, I can pick up some bread and milk on my way home. Just need to finish this race first.”
That must have been one smelly interview.
So the Derby Velodrome was the place to be this weekend (if you weren’t in Belgium or Norway). Does Cav realise that Brad is not listening to him?
Custom paint jobs for Purito.
Shoes for doping solutions.
I didn’t realise that Tao Geoghegan Hart was a ginger.
Strava continues to be popular with riders (clarification: a lot of riders, not all riders). And these crazy kids were in Rio, testing out the Olympic route – and having fun on the beach.
It’s our lucky Lotto box for the Vuelta! Adam Hansen – going for number 13!
The last word
It’s been a busy three weeks since the Tour de France and already the Vuelta a Espana looms large on the horizon. We look back on the recent action and look forward to what promises to be a belter of a Vuelta.