pro cycling

Tour de France 2015 – Week 1 Round-up

Following an eventful and incident packed first week of the Tour de France 2015, the cycling press has been in overdrive discussing the key moments of the race so far: Quintana and Nibali losing time against Chris Froome; a battle royale between Greipel and Cavendish on the sprint stages; the first black African to wear the polka dot jersey in the shape of Daniel Teklehaimanot; and the horrific crash on Stage 3 which put Fabian Cancellara out of the race and left many others walking wounded.

But in a striking example of the cycling press burying their heads in the sand when it comes to the big issues facing the sport, there has been a notable absence of column inches describing the horror of the Tinkoff-Saxo colour scheme.

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Fluoro yellow with grey camouflage stripes, for goodness sake!

The UCI has long had a list of banned substances which pro-cyclists are forbidden to take due to their performance enhancing qualities, but is it now time to introduce a list of banned colour schemes, for reasons of visual pollution if nothing else?

For too long we have had to put up with Ag2r-La Mondiale’s brown, white and blue affair, with the authorities seemingly lacking the appetite to step in and put a stop to it, and we are now reaping what they have sown in the shape of ‘flouro yellow and camouflage’.

It is apparently such an affront to Slovakian superstar Peter Sagan that he has chosen to ride the entire race disguised as the 1980’s.

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In surprising news, Chris (‘Crash’) Froome managed to ride the cobbled Stage 4 whilst remaining defiantly and resolutely upright; great news for his prospects of winning the race, but not such great news for lazy newspaper headline writers who, if things continue in this vein, will be forced to develop a new nickname and persona for the Kenyan born Brit.

Let’s face it, ‘Crash’ Froome worked beautifully, and Froomedog never really caught on, did it?

Suggestions on a postcard please.

In a shock development, the ITV commentary team in the UK leave viewers amazed and surprised by correctly identifying Adam and Simon Yates; team mates with Orica-Green Edge and identical twins.

After a week punctuated with the phrase, “and that looks like one of the Yates brothers there making a move…” commentator Phil Ligget finally nails his colours to the mast and utters the immortal words, “and there goes Adam Yates, this boy is up for the fight today!”

Whether the veteran commentator just got lucky – it was a 50/50 chance after all – or whether he has finally cracked the visual code when it comes to telling one from the other, is a moot point; either way it was a seminal moment in Ligget’s long career.

Simon Yates. Or is it Adam...? (Image: Marc via Flickr cc)
Simon Yates. Or is it Adam…?
(Image: Marc via Flickr cc)

He later spoils the moment by bellowing, “who’s that…I think that’s Thibaut Pinot on the attack there!”

No, it’s not Phil. It’s a different rider wearing white.

As Mark Cavendish takes his first Tour de France stage win since 2013 (having crashed out on Stage 1 in 2014, lest we forget), an entire nation of British cycling fans settles down in front of the TV for a long awaited game of Cavendish bingo.

“Super happy”…check.

“My team was incredible”…check.

“I just wanted it so bad”…check.


As the Tour de France heads into the Pyrenees for week two, expect long lingering camera shots of mountain goats, Basque flags, and the spooky glazed expression of Columbian Nairo Quintana on the attack.

1 comment on “Tour de France 2015 – Week 1 Round-up

  1. Pingback: I hate my boss (something is broken in his head) | ragtime cyclist

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