Tweets of the Week: Tanks v Tractors, Vikings and caged fans

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!

Eneco Boonen 1 Eneco Boonen 2FDJ’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.

Eneco Le Bon 1a Eneco Le Bon 1b Eneco Le Bon 2

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…)

Eneco Quinziato 1 Eneco Quinziato 3 Eneco Quinziato 4 eneco Quinziato 5 Eneco Quinziato 6

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.

Eneco Quinziato 7

The winner of the Eneco gets a kiss.

Eneco Wellens kiss 2 Eneco Wellens kiss 3

Although maybe it wasn’t as nice as she thought it was going to be. Ewwww, sweaty.

Eneco Wellens kiss 4

The win, it can be told, was really down to the champion’s roommate.

Eneco Henderson 2 Eneco Henderson Win 1

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.

Arctic house

This looks like one of those Hallmark moments where Thor is thinking about Alexandre Kristoff and Eddy Haagen-Dazs.

Arctic Hushovd

The guys in Eneco got kegs of beer, stage winners here win their bodyweight (well, their teams bodyweight) in salmon.

Arctic salmon 1

Arctic salmon 2

This is that little bit of crazy I was talking about.

Arctic TV

Whale? I didn’t think whales were supposed to be hunted anymore. I’m a bit disturbed by this tweet.

Arctic buffet

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.

Eneco Viking jersey 1a

Eneco Viking jersey 1 Eneco Viking jersey 2


We all love the synchronised tractor roadside performance art of Belgium and France but, wow!, the Norwegians have really upped the ante.

Tanks v Tractors Soldiers 1a Tanks v Tractors Soldiers 1b

The army base pulled out all the stops – or rather lined up all their tanks.

Tanks v Tractors 1a

Tanks v Tractors 1aa Tanks v Tractors 2

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.

Tanks v Tractors 2a Tanks v Tractors 2aa Tanks v Tractors 2b

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?

Tanks v Tractors 3 Tanks v Tractors 4

The gruppetto

Nice to see Nico and Bennati have kept up their friendship. They look happy, don’t they?

G Benna Roche

“Hello, hi honey. Yes, I can pick up some bread and milk on my way home. Just need to finish this race first.”

G car phone

That must have been one smelly interview.

G cows

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?

G Derby 1

G Derby 2

Custom paint jobs for Purito.

G Purito helmets 1 G Purito helmets 2

Shoes for doping solutions.

G shoes

I didn’t realise that Tao Geoghegan Hart was a ginger.

G Tao Sky

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.

G Thibaut rio 3

G Thibaut Rio 1

G Thibaut rio 2a

G Thibaut rio 2

It’s our lucky Lotto box for the Vuelta! Adam Hansen – going for number 13!

G Vuelta box 1 G Vuelta box 2

The last word

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Giro Tweets of the Week: Snowy Stelvio, zany Zoncolan and pink go-go boots

The final week of the Giro certainly made up for the more meh previous weeks. And for every great stage, the Twitterstream delivered as well. Snow on the Stelvio, crazed fans on the Zoncolan (and not just Oleg Tinkov!) and a pink-booted Nairo Quintana. We also have Sky’s TdF reconnaissance, That Boy Phinney back on Twitter and out of the hospital and a whole lotta gruppetto!

‘Do I have to pee on my hands again?’

Hold on a second, didn’t we have these pictures last year for Milan-San Remo? It looks pretty familiar: snow, lone riders and Jered Gruber. Memories light the corners of my mind …

Giro Stelvio 10 Giro Stelvio 4 Giro Stelvio 1 Giro Stelvio 9 Giro Stelvio 7 Giro Stelvio 11 Giro Stelvio 6

Get on your boots …

One of the big talking points last week was Nairo Quintana in pink. Not because he was leader of the race and was in the maglia rosa, but because he had on the most extraordinary outfit for his time trial.

Giro Quintana pinkboots 8 Giro Quintana pinkboots 5 Giro Quintana pinkboots 7 Giro Quintana pinkboots 10 Giro Quintana pinkboots 9 Giro Quintana pinkboots 1a Giro Quintana pinkboots 3 Giro Quintana pink boots 1 Giro Quintana pink suit Giro Quintana pink boots 2Of course, Quintana is actually the only person who could wear those hot pink boots with a straight face. In fact, that’s almost all we saw him with – a straight face.

Giro Quintana raceface 2 Giro Quintana raceface 1The Zoncolan!!!

Drunk fans in tutus, wedding dresses, mankinis … and a world champion’s jersey. The Zoncolan was one of those stages where the crazed atmosphere started at the base of the mountain and just got more and more intense.

Giro Zoncolan fans 9 Giro Zoncolan Rogers finish 2 Giro Zoncolan Quintana uran Giro Zoncolan fans 10Giro Zoncolan final kmGiro Zoncolan Rogers 3Giro Zoncolan GasparottoGiro Zoncolan fans 1Giro Zoncolan fans 2Giro Zoncolan wheelie 2Giro Zoncolan CadelGiro Zoncolan fans 6Giro Zoncolan fans 4Giro Zoncolan steep 1Giro Zoncolan fans 5

Giro Zoncolan Rogers kissGiro Zoncolan wheelieGiro Zoncolan fans 3

Mick Rogers took his second solo stage win and was crowned King of the Zoncolan. Oleg Tinkov was at the finish to catch him and then basically stuck to him like glue.

Giro Zoncolan Rogers finish

Giro Tinkov champagne 3

Giro Zoncolan Tinkov 1

Giro Tinkov Zoncolan 2

And the party went on and on and on with the Tinkov bubbles.

Giro Tinkov champagne 1 Giro Tinkov champagne 4

If this is what the team gets for a stage win, can you imagine what is going to happen when Baby Blackbird Contador wins the Tour de France this year? (Oh, did I say ‘when’? Of course, I meant ‘if’.) There will be enough champagne to fill Niagara Falls. (By the way, three ‘litters’ of Dom Perignon, I believe, is actually called a Jeroboam.)

Giro Tinkov champagne 2

High fives and smiles all round

Quintana looks so much younger when he smiles, don’t you think?

Giro Quintana presentation 3 Giro Quintana presentation 2

I really love this picture. Mick Jagger is one class act, congratulating his compatriot as he becomes the first Colombian to win the Giro.

Giro presentation 5

This picture is really rather surprising, don’t you think?

Giro Quintana presentation 1

And he gets his own personal pyramid when he goes back home.

Giro Quintana pyramid

Let’s tie everything else up, shall we?

Oh, it’s another “I win!” Um, no, the guy above you won … (That would be Stefano Pirazzi.)

Giro Pirazzi win

Did I mention how much I love it when riders cry when they win?

Giro Pirazzi crying

It’s also great to see how much this victory means to Colombian fans.

Giro Colombian fans

Of course, a grand tour Tweets column can’t be without a few pictures from the wonderfully talented Emily Maye. I love these pictures.

Giro Emily Maye 3 Giro Emily Maye 2 Giro Emily Maye 1This might not be what you think a rock star would be eating in the limo (or Skoda) on the way to the line, but it is. Rice. Tuna. Corn.

Giro Jagger ride 1

See how happy he is after he had his carbs and protein? Just laughing and singing a song … “She comes in colours everywhere, she combs her hair – she’s like a raaaaaainboooooow”

Giro Jagger ride 2 Giro Jagger ride 3

Ulrika GreenEggs were left with just two riders by the end of the Giro – so Dan Jones, the man who makes all the Backstage Pass vids for the team, paid tribute to them on the last sign-in of the GT.

Giro Orica last 2

Ah, King Kelly – there’s no one quite like him in the commentary box.

Giro Seanism 2 Giro Seanism 1I think that this year’s Giro sorely missed the magic of Michele Acquarone. Here’s how he felt about it all.

Michele Giro 1 Michele Giro 2Sweaty or not, this is really rather wonderful. And he still made the time cut!

Giro proposal 1

I think we’re going to see young Julian Arredondo for quite some time to come.

Giro Arredondo 1 Giro Arredondo 2

Skygazine in Yorkshire

While everyone else was celebrating in Italy, Sky were riding some of the roads that are going to be so crucial in July. To the delight of many, including one of my favourite Twitter pals, Alex Jones.

TdF reconnaissance Sky 7 TdF reconnaissance Sky 8 TdF reconnaissance Sky 2 TdF reconnaissance Sky 1 TdF reconnaissance Sky 3 TdF reconnaissance Sky 4 TdF reconnaissance Sky 6

He doesn’t look happy on those cobbles.

TdF reconnaissance Sky 5

Taylor update

That Boy Phinney has started tweeting again, after two surgeries on his leg, and is concentrating on recovery. As long as he tweets, he’s in this column.

Phinney 6 Phinney 7 Phinney 8a Phinney 5 Phinney 4 Phinney 3 Phinney 2

Phinney 1

The Gruppetto

Remember this guy? Robbie McEwen? Don’t you think Arredondo looks a bit like him (only way smaller)? Not sure about the Oakleys though.

G Robbie McEwen Oakleys

Artcrank has been teasing us with some of the most beautiful and intriguing cycling prints.

G Artcrank 2

G Artcrank 1

Marcel is ready for his close-up.

G Kittel photo G Kittel Granada

What is it with the Lotto boys and motorbikes?

G Henderson motorcycle

This is actually from last year but Geraint Thomas won Bayern Rundfahrt this year and got another flagon of ale. Except those aren’t flagons. And they probably didn’t open the beer bottles with a deft smack on a table edge like Fabs did after Flanders.

G Sky Bayern Rundfahrt

Meanwhile, Tom Boonen was collecting jerseys in the Belgium Tour. And a keg of beer. (I do know that that’s a keg – hey, I went to an American university, I know all about keg parties…)

G Boonen jerseys G Boonen keg

Our weekly Instagram of the delectable Manuel Quinziato.

G Quinziato Sanchez

The Velvet Samurai seems to have found a friend.

G Sagan tandem

Even Freud couldn’t unravel this dream.

G dream Vaughters

Speaking of sex, here’s Cipo! In camouflage! I can’t ever imagine this man blending in to his surroundings.

G Cipo camo

I just thought this was a cool poster.

G Raleigh

I love this caption: ‘All Team around the Ham’. Sounds like a touching tradition. Lovely to see my #CostaCrush – I hope the summer racing is good to the World Champ.

G Costa Ham

And who knew Brian Cookson had a sense of humour? (For those of you who don’t know, Mark Cavendish was a teen champion ballroom dancer.)

G Kazakh Cav

And what is Michele Acquarone going to? We have to wait and see. Whatever he does, we wish him the very best of everything. We really missed him this Giro.

G Michele new job

The Last Word

Last word