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The tweets of the week: when Will Clarke (Team Leopard-Trek) meets his neighbours

Added: monday 07 February 2011 at 23:58:00
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    The tweets of the week: when Will Clarke (Team Leopard-Trek) meets his neighboursA new blog section on www.velowire.com: the tweets of the week. In this section, you'll regulary (I don't guarantee it'll be every week) find the most funny, most interesting or most enchanting tweets from the world of cycling!

    I won't do a simple copy/paste of some selected tweets: for each of them I'll try to give you some explanations around them to help you understand the context of the tweet.

    As a starter, you'll find some tweets not only from last week, but exceptionally also from previous weeks. From Will Clarke who meets his neighbours to the race route of the Tour of Qatar 2011 prologue via the debate around the two-way race radios or team shirts no one's able to recognise!

    When Will Clarke (Team Leopard-Trek) meets his neighbours

    The first rider to open this new section with his tweet of the week is the young Australian rider Will Clarke, neo-pro with Team Leopard-Trek.
    Tweet of the week - Will Clarke

    Will Clarke joined Team Leopard-Trek at the start of this season as a neo-pro. In 2010 he already passed a few weeks in Belgium and some months in France as a stagiair with AG2R La Mondiale (see the interview Will Clarke turns pro which I've done at the Tour du Limousin 2010) and the Australian rider now decided to make the country of the Schleck brothers and of his new team, Luxembourg, his new home.

    After having started his season in Australia in the Tour Down Under, he thus decided to get back to Europe after having spent one week at home. After the long trip at the end of January / early February, he arrived at his new place in Luxembourg.

    He must have been quite surprised when someone knocked on his door on 5 February ... they were not the vampires (read: an anti-doping check because as a rider of a UCI ProTeam, Will Clarke now has his own biological passport and will thus be submitted to a more important number of checks than before) who came to visit him but his neighbours. He probably wondered in what world he arrived when they complained ... about the noise of his home trainer!! How on earth can this poor rider get in shape when the weather's bad in Luxembourg with such neighbours?!

    The race route of the Tour of Qatar prologue

    The Tour of Qatar 2011 started on Sunday with a great victory by Lars Boom (pronounce Bohm and not Boum!!) (Rabobank) who unfortunately lost lots of time during the first stage due to stomac problems and a cyclo cross like approach by Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky).

    The prologue was only 2.5 kilometers long but counted no less than a dozen turns in the Cultural Village, a new residential area in Doha, the capital city of Qatar. Add to this the cobbled stones (fortunately quite polished, or maybe even too polished as might have seen Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) who fell and ended the prologue last, at 1'13" from Lars Boom) and we have a good mix for a highly technical prologue!

    Alex Dowsett (Team Sky), who finally finished 5th here (at 6 secondes behind Boom), knew all about it and announced before he started:
    Tweet of the week - Alex Dowsett

    Indeed, the routes in Qatar are pretty rectilinear and surrounded by ... nothing! That's why the wind often plays an important role in the Tour of Qatar.
    It was thus not surprising that the English rider was surprised by the number of corners.

    Apparently Koen de Kort (Skil-Shimano) and Russell Downing didn't have access to Twitter before they started their prologue because the Dutch rider lost part of his shoe on it while his English colleague did a volplane:
    Tweet of the week - Koen de Kort

    Tweet of the week - Russell Downing

    When there's noise on the radio!

    As you probably know by now (if you didn't, the teams have given their try to let you know during the Trofeo Palma de Mallorca on Sunday), the UCI decided to ban the two-way radios from all cycling races except for those which are part of the UCI World Tour in 2011.

    Most of the riders recently said not being happy with this decision because they say the two-way radio is not only useful to make sure the breakaway gets caught at a few kilometers from the finish and end most races in a bunch sprint, but also for their security. They indeed have a point by saying so ... however, there's something to say for the UCI's argument to ban the two-way radios in the interest of the quality of the sporting spectacle as well. What's probably the biggest problem is that the decision seems to have been taken by the UCI only.

    Following this episode in the Trofeo Palma de Mallorca, which led to a cancellation of all results of this race, Steven Cozza, former rider of the Garmin-Transitions team and since this year riding for Team NetApp (without his mustache since Filippo Pozzato blew up the whole mustache thing), probably wanted to sound another voice by saying that the voices in his head telling him to go faster were enough already ...
    Tweet of the week - Steven Cozza

    As usual, Ted King (Liquigas-Cannondale)'s reply was full of humour but remained bloodly serious at the same time, because the King of Style told him that the voice telling him to slow down in case of danger was missing ...
    Tweet of the week - Ted King

    In his answer, Cozza makes a joke of his fellow-American by saying that of course everyone knows that Eddy Merckx hit 10 dogs in his career and fell off a couple of cliffs ...
    Tweet of the week - Steven Cozza

    King, running into the 140 character limit on Twitter, reminded him of the fact that the two-way radio is not the most recent invention either ...
    Tweet of the week - Ted King
    Tweet of the week - Ted King

    We will probably never know whether the two riders called each other to give some text and explanation ...

    At the same time, Danny Pate, a rider we almost forgot but who comes back on the scene with HTC-Highroad this year, almost regretted having been part of this protest by starting the race with his radio ... most importantly because it didn't work!
    Tweet of the week - Danny Pate

    When even the riders get lost with the jerseys ...

    You might have noticed that the team shirts for Team Sky and Garmin-Cervélo and less importantly for Team Leopard-Trek all look alike. Indeed, these shirts all use black as a dominant colour* with bleu as the second colour.

    * purists will tell me that black is not a colour!

    During the Tour Down Under 2011, even Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) admitted having some trouble in recognising them ... he did however find the perfect solution: give the Garmin-Cervélo riders the Movistar Team helmet. Indeed, the Spanish team uses a bright green helmet which could probably even have been recognised by Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervélo) before he got a better view!
    Tweet of the week - Geraint Thomas

    If you're not doing so yet, please note you can also follow www.velowire.com on Twitter

    Have you seen any tweets which could be part of the tweets of the week? Let me know by sending them to the address tweetsoftheweek@thover.com and you might see them appear in the next Tweets of the week!

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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