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Robyn's Extremely Online Round-up #2: Salad in risotto, Viviani vs. Ganna and Pogacar pranks

The second instalment in our new series recaps the weekly shenanigans in the peloton, showcasing the fun side of cycling

Robyn Davidson
22 Feb 2022

Roll up, roll up. It’s time for another edition of… the fun side of professional cycling!

My new series recaps the funnier side of the sport and boy do we have some nuggets of gold for you.

From Elisa Longo Borghini’s memed quote to Elia Viviani vs. Filippo Ganna (not on the road), sit back and enjoy the second edition of Robyn’s Extremely Online Roundup.

Viviani vs. Ganna

Ineos Grenadiers recently launched their new series Teammates on YouTube.

The videos pit two riders such as Elia Viviani and Filippo Ganna against each other, plastic pointers at the ready, to answer questions such as ‘who spends the longest styling their hair?’ and ‘who is the best singer?’

The pair both believe they are the better singer – so it’s only fair a karaoke contest in on the cards.

After being asked who is more Italian, Ganna produced a reaction meme that I will be overusing until the end of time.

Gordon Ramsay, who?

‘I’ve seen people putting salad into a risotto. I think this is the worst. After that, I don’t know what there is. Probably only death.’

An early but strong contender for Quote of the Year.

When fellow journalist Sadhbh O’Shea broached the topic of Italian food with Elisa Longo Borghini, the Trek-Segafredo rider spoke of a crime so heinous that it may be worse than the empty void of ceasing to exist.

I’m no stranger to butchering food, but I hope I never spoil Italian so much that Elisa – who I imagine acquires a sixth sense when someone even thinks about placing a lettuce leaf where a lettuce leaf should not be placed – shudders hundreds of miles away.

Or perhaps she'll sneak up in the middle of the night, slap two slices of bread on my face and call me an idiot sandwich. The possibilities are endless.

Pogacar pranks

What do you do when you have nothing but 60km of straight road ahead? Is it:

  • A) Daydream about what you’re having for dinner, preferably not salad in risotto
  • B) Spark up a conversation with someone from a different team
  • C) Spray your bottle on your mate’s seat

If your answer was C, congratulations! You are Tadej Pogačar. The yellow jersey is arriving the post. After a much-needed bottle run during the opening stage of the UAE Tour, Pogačar aimed and fired water into the seat of poor unsuspecting Rafał Majka, who turned to the innocent João Almeida before the real culprit was revealed.

Professional cyclists, they’re just like us. There was also an alternate option of course.

  • D) You’re Sergio Samitier and wish you never left your bed this morning. I call this one Me Most Days.

Bit windy out here

Remember when a gust of wind blew Geraint Thomas off his bike? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Poor Thomas doesn’t have the best of luck with crashes. A stray water bottle here, an accidental nudge from Warren Barguil into a telegraph pole there and before you know it, your fruitful career is intertwined with tales of ending up on the ground.

Gent-Wevelgem was a mightily windy affair in 2015. Two days after winning E3 Harelbeke ahead of Zdeněk Štybar and Matteo Trentin, the peloton endured torrential conditions in the next spring classic.

A monumental gust of wind sent the Team Sky rider hurtling into a ditch, fortunately injuring little except his pride.

He reposted the gif on Twitter this week as the UK continues to be battered by storms.

But Thomas would go on to finish third at Gent-Wevelgem, so remember the next time you crash on a club ride, you’re simply channelling your inner Geraint Thomas.

This week's special shoutout...

Where would we be without parents, ey?

This week's special shoutout goes to all those with cycling children, who have to wake up at ungodly hours to drive their kids to races.

(Or, if you were my parents in 2012, drive me to the Manchester velodrome at 7am for three hours of sitting and watching, every other Saturday morning.)

It's only fair then that they follow us on social media ready to humble us if the occasion arises.

Take Ethan Hayter for example. You can have the most impressive palmarès in the world, from Olympic silver medals to overall victory at the Tour of Norway, but when your dad sees you lurking at the back of the peloton, he’ll remind you.

Parents. They're always watching.

See you next week!