There are no two ways about it, watching a cycle race is all about the drama and passion it invokes. Those moments that make us weep, cheer, gasp, swear and grip the arm of the chair so hard our knuckles show white! Such breathless interludes are rightly celebrated in today’s VeloVoices award for Spine-Tingling Moment of the Year.
Well, this is the final Tour Tweets for 2015 and what do we have? We have Tibbles, Nibbles, Bedhead Bardet, Baby Blackbird, Chewie, the Gorilla, Goggles, Hercules Hansen and, of course, a podium full of riders, including the Velvet Samurai, Q and Bones. Have no clue as to what I’m talking about? Read on and all will be explained.
It was a mountainous week, that last week of the Tour. And it was a week that made the French very happy, with two of their great hopes winning prestigious stages. But first, let us consider a certain bearded German who won our hearts with his tears of joy. We call him Chewie.
Here is Chewie’s fabulous solo win at Pra Loup – and his tears. Anyone who can get through that interview without crying with him has no soul.
Those Alpecin shampoo ads with the ArgoSunGod and the Mighty Degs. Odd, aren’t they?
Then we had another great stage win, thanks to a sinuous descent by a certain French garçon (as in boy, not waiter) with braces and a shock of hair that cannot be tamed. We call him Bedhead (although JV calls him Stud Muffin).
I doubt Bedhead is old enough to drink – but he’s definitely old enough to be celebrated by his team (and his fans)!
Young Romain before the start of the Tour.
Bedhead and Tibbles : The Calvin and Hobbes of French cycling.
And speaking of Thibaut Pinot (for he is Tibbles). No toys out of the pram and the only screaming he did at his team car was to ask “How much time?” as Q was motoring up behind him. But he won on Alpe d’Huez in an audacious, fabulous ride. We cheered long and hard on Saturday.
The mountains, however, giveth and they taketh away. And there was one who usually flies over the climbs but this year did not have the wind beneath his wings. We call him Baby Blackbird.
Scattered on the climbs
A stem that could have been for the rider we call Nibbles.
Thomas Voeckler as an, ahem, inflatable.
I think Jumbo K is channelling Tommy V.
Marshall Kappel was at the Tour and got some utterly fantastic photographs – as usual.
The man we call Goggles.
The man they call Herculean Hansseen. He has now tied the record for most consecutive Grand Tour finishes with 12. Twelve! 6+6! 3×4! 24 divided by 2!
The Alpe is Adam’s personal bar!
Well, it wouldn’t be Tweets of the Week without a shout-out to the Grubers! We call them friends.
Nah, I don’t think the Goliath nickname is going to stick. We call him Bones.
The one we call Haagen-Dazs.
A possible disco brawl between Bones and Nibbles?
Unhappy tears for Tejay. Always heartbreaking when you see this – just shows how much it matters to these guys.
Anyone who hasn’t been to the This Is Cambridge website for their cycling caps should go now. Look at her? She looks magnificent in that polka dot cap! You could look like that too!
Warren Barguil now has a reputation for erratic descending. We may call him Wobbler.
Nail on head.
Chaaaaaavaaaaa – you don’t have to put out the red light … Sebastien looking good in white.
Before we leave … one of *the* loveliest pictures I’ve seen anywhere this month.
Right. let us regroup.
Ah, just a bit of banter. Tell me, does this not look like the science geek who is trying to play it nonchalant around the coolest kid in the school, but is really thinking ‘Oh God, he’s going to give me another wedgie.”
A beautiful picture from Karen Edwards of Cav and his daughter.
The Mighty Degs maybe not as smooth skinned as Delilah. And certainly not as happy as Andre Greipel. Another beauty from Karen.
The podium. The Velvet Samurai might not have won a stage but not for lack of trying – and he really was one of the most joyous of riders in this year’s Tour.
Apparently, Valverde has such power he can make his bouquets sprout legs.
Andre Greipel with his family waiting to take his place on the podium for the stage win. A worthy winner.
What it looks like from the other side.
Someone must have read the wardrobe memo upside down.
After the podiums, it was Team Selfies.
Look! Tony doesn’t have a sling! He must be healing up quite nicely.
I must have missed the press release where Lotto Soudal announced the signing of Boris Becker.
Ah, a hideous malaise that descended on the Velvet Samurai and Baby Blackbird during their final press conference. Has Oleg just walked into the room?
What. In. The. World? “We’ve just cycled up and down mountains, in the rain and the wind and the harsh sunlight. We’ve crashed, we’ve come in second but never first, we’ve seen dreams crushed, we’ve broken bones and undergone cancer surgery. And we end up in a Citroen dealership on the Champs????”
Stragglers that didn’t make it into the main Tweets sections.
Where would we be without Phil & Paul?
This bit sums up a lot of what happened on Twitter over the past few weeks.
#FlechaWatch! I miss him so much. I failed at finding a crystal ball for him, I failed at finding a Mint Magnum for him. I failed to win his pink jeans. #IAMsad
Looks like Greipel really needed that rest day – he’s starting to talk to goldfish.
I’m asking no questions …
While the best headline goes to …
The last word
Simon Geschke (Giant-Alpecin) showed his breakaway companions a clean pair of heels when he attacked at the foot of the Col d’Allos, soloing away for his first visit to the top step of a Tour podium. A frisky first day in the Alps also saw changes in the overall classification with Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) losing time in a crash and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) forced to abandon due to sickness.