Well, that was some World Championships, wasn’t it?! And it wasn’t just played out on the road, but on Twitter as well. We have Cancellara‘s saucy bibs, weather pictures that would make a BBC meteorologist drool, and one hell of a Skyfall – but first, let us take a moment to say congrats to perhaps the greatest living cyclist. Continue reading
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 29th July 2012.
The boys are back in town
Our heroes began arriving in London for the Olympic Games early last week and they used their iPhones and Twitter accounts with a renewed enthusiasm, posting up pics of their shiny new surroundings like kids at summer camp! I think we should all take a moment and consider how bereft our lives would be if our guys didn’t believe in oversharing.
So first up, my dream scenario: looking around an airport queue and finding My Beloved Fabs standing there. Of course the next picture would be me taken away in handcuffs as I’d, um, broken the conditions of my restraining order. #FreeTheFondue will be the hashtag, kids. Remember it. Good chance you’ll have to use it one day.
Ladies’ favourite Bernie Eisel might be a relative newbie to Twitter but, boy, he’s embraced the ‘this is where I am and this is what it looks like’ ethos. And he’s getting creative with his picture taking … four, four, four pics in one!
While Bernie is flicking the switches and looking in all the storage cupboards in his room, Tom Boonen is availing himself of the free transport in the Olympic village. Notice the white socks and sandals ensemble – other than his remarkably trim figure and his rather fetching Belgian national jersey, he’s just like any other London tourist in summer.
One thing we have learned about our intrepid adventurers is that, no matter where they are, food is a big, big priority for them. Here the German team with Andre Greipel, Marcel Sieberg and Tony Martin have found some new friends at the Village and are tucking into their lunch. “So do you think if we throw spitballs at the British, we’d get in trouble?”
Bernie, however, had decided that breakfast in his cozy new East London pad was the way to go. Much less spitball action, I suspect.
Those crazy boys even had a ‘quad-off’ – who has the biggest thighs in the German camp? Apparently, not Andre Greipel. However, Greipel definitely wins the superhero underpants’ contest.
However, some athletes, hmmm, didn’t have it quite so good. What did Janez Brajkovic do to be made to sleep on a kid’s mattress on the floor? And that bedspread just adds insult to injury – it looks like it’d throw sparks if you rolled over too quickly. I wonder if he was forced to wear Spiderman jimjams as well.
So once the boys got their room assignments, met up with their old friends and made some new ones, it was time to explore the countryside.
First up, Team GB take to the Surrey roads – and the convenient stopping points along the way.
Hollywood Phinney had promised himself that he would not become distracted this Olympics by an #OlympicLoveStory and that he was going to get his head down and focus on the task at hand. Which, considering he placed fourth in the road race, seemed a fairly good policy.
The Day of Reckoning
So the day arrived, the crowds had gathered, the media had whipped everyone into a gold medal frenzy. But you and I both know, gentle readers, that cycling races don’t always go as planned. The strongest and the fastest don’t always win. The final play rarely goes to script. And so it was on Saturday. So many strands to this story, it’s hard to figure out where to start. Let’s start with Cav and work through it together. Everyone hold hands now. Deep breaths. Here we go.
There was a mighty big reaction on Twitter as you can imagine. This is just a sample of opinions. First, the reaction to Team GB’s finish.
The following string was a continuation of a discussion about the absence of race radios and if that contributed to Team GB’s loss.
The winner, the crash and the controversy
Of course, Alexandre Vinokourov won the gold medal, aided in part by Fabian Cancellara‘s crash on the corner with 15km to go. Here are some of the responses in respect of those two events.
A big discussion on Twitter was around Vinokourov’s past – it was a very mixed reaction. Some people liked that he won, others were still suspicious. In any case, I think Jonathan Vaughters hit the nail on the head.
Then there was the small matter of why Uran sat up and looked the other way just before the finish line. A mystery I suspect we may never unravel.
Then there was My Beloved’s reaction to his crash.
“We share your pain”
No, not Cavendish’s or Cancellara’s. That’s what the broadcasters, both here in the UK (I’m looking at you, BBC) and the US, seemed to be saying about their third-rate, downright abysmal commentary on the race. Lack of time information is one thing, but getting commentators in who couldn’t tell one rider from another (and if you watch enough cycling, you start to notice that, um, they have different riding styles. And faces) was insulting to the sport and to the fans.
And then of course there’s the print media, who reckoned that Vinokourov was a ‘nobody’ – no matter what you might think of his doping past, the man isn’t ‘nobody’. I could spend all of this column detailing the howlers that got through, but this is the one that was most bizarre. For anyone who doesn’t know, Fran Miller is David Millar’s sister and she is head of Team Sky’s business operations. BTW, Telegraph writer, that’s unbelievably easy to find out if you just google the woman’s name. Fact checking anyone? Anyone?
Crowd control : good and room to improve
What with the excitement of a British win at the Tour de France and the fact that this is the Olympics and all, the crowds that came out for the road race (both men’s and women’s) were massive, with some estimates in the region of over a million lining the route. This is some of the reaction from the peloton.
Right, I’m off to the Olympic Village with tweezers and antiseptic to tend to Bernie’s wounds (I am a qualified St John’s Ambulance First-Aider, doncha know). Fabs isn’t staying there so there shouldn’t be any problem with that pesky restraining order. So have a good week, tweeties – till next Tuesday.