What a banger of a weekend! No, not talking about hitting a club… Or the riding, which given I’m back in the cHub was pretty ordinary post having the flu… No, I’m referring to the double team of golden PRO racing action that moved in and set up camp directly in our grills over the weekend.
Don’t expect an informed race report here, no, this is more of a gushy outpouring and appreciation for how rad it was to see Paris Roubaix and the first round of the World Cup Downhill lining up to run a train (literally as it turned out) on our eyes, which lets face it, were gagging for the BIG event action like we got to froth over on Sunday night.
If ever there was an evening to make like Nuclear warheads were raining down and assume the bunker position with Salt & Vinegar chips, this was motherfucking it… Needed the right set up though, Bang Bang:
Not gonna lie, it was pretty hard to avert my saucer wide eyes from the Downhill track at Lourdes, which appeared to be one of the most brutal openers the world cup has had for a long time. The thing looked even crazier than Meribel last year, which is saying something. It appeared to spend the weekend eating riders, bikes and wheels…
There was a lot of foaming going down at the return of the Rat, back on the V10c dream bike and back into World Cups, with that spiffy Number 1 G.I plate on the bike. Full respect on a top 10 first WC back, pretty fucking cool considering there is more metal in that foot than a robot you send back through time borrow people’s trucks:
The main question out of the weekend that pretty much everyone was asking:
“How the fuck did Aaron Gwin go 6 seconds faster than everyone else in the middle sector?!”
Seriously, I haven’t seen his run yet, but its like he missed a whole section of track… To say it was dominant was a massive understatement and no doubt there is mucho head scratching going on, as he whipped a whole bunch of shredders by a big margin… In second place? Some French guy who clearly benefited from a bit of Dirty advice recently in qTown:
So, epic bad ass track, World Cup racing us underway and whilst none of our real Dirty Favourites nailed it, its golden to these guys laying down some insane riding on tracks that are difficult to comprehend, let alone ride.
Meanwhile… Somewhere further north… There was a road race going down that people get pretty pumped up for…
Given I was committed to the couch watching the World Cup and didn’t feel like being in France for either event this weekend, how best to get some abstract coverage from the monumental Paris Roubaix than to deploy someone who A) Actually speaks French and B) Has the right mix of persistence and confidence crossed with familiarity to get through the PRO stalking workload with the correct levels of creepiness.
Step up Clarso, yes, not seen since dishing out prodigious amounts of pain in Italian mountains, the Australian answer to the Welsh Assassin was fully relishing getting into his work as a Dirty Affiliate on the scene:
The best PRO stalking shot is when you’re next to them without obvious buy in to have your photo taken together, but the “line up and take direct shots of them while they’re doing stuff” is also right up there in terms of quality stalking, so I applaud this one of Sagan, he should have listened to Clarso…
Never one to be easily deterred or dropped when the going gets tough, Clarso made sure he let Team Sky know he was representing and fully rolling Dirty, as far as I’m aware, this is the first Dirty flashing I think we’ve seen of a PRO vehicle, respect it, for it demands to be respected:
And how about that Train huh? Watching mofos nipping under the barrier was a good reminder that the “win at all costs” spirit is still alive and well in the PRO Peloton, talk about the ultimate FOMO action crossed with the full lemming scenario… I would have fully chilled and had a $7 energy bar, instead everyone stood around looking Le Anxious:
Full Respect to John Degenkolb for being the first German since the First one to win PR, something pretty much ever cycling related person on the internet has mentioned thus far.
You can just imagine his thought process going into the Drome, with Greg VA assured of second or Third place and Quick step already blowing its numerical chances, it was never in doubt for the sprint – Something I’m sure was foreskin peelingly obvious for the other 6 as they went through the motions of the bell lap… Just waiting for that German fingering… And worst of all, he was on a Giant… Ouch.
I’m off to buy some more knee pads.