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Robyn’s Extremely Online Round-up #9: ‘JAAAAAAAA’

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

Robyn Davidson
12 Apr 2022

Welcome back to another edition of my Extremely Online series! It seems like just last week we had #8.

We’ve been notching up the reviews at Cyclist, from the Café du Cycliste Petra gilet to the Sportful Fiandre Medium jacket

I also caught up with Larry Warbasse as the American enters his 10th year as a professional.

We discussed changes in the peloton over the years, his #1 goal for the 2022 season, and his penchant for extensive Uber Eats research. 

Now, let's get into this week’s Extremely Online series featuring Tim Merlier, Geraint Thomas and a whole lot of JAAAAAAAs.

Oh mama, Merlier

The issue with making one (1) mistake as a professional cyclist is how quickly those on social media can react to it.

Gone are the days when you'd have a day to escape the heat via a stage report in the following morning’s newspaper.

Tim Merlier found his notifications lighting up at Scheldeprijs – and not for the reason he would’ve wanted.

After finishing his sprint, the 9th placed rider began to head back to his team bus.

On GCN comms, Magnus Backstedt and Carlton Kirby highlighted the danger before the thought crossed Merlier’s mind.

‘That’s probably not the smartest thing to do’ said Backstedt.

This is the kind of insightful commentary I pay for.

Merlier saw the incoming danger in the form of a mass sprint heading straight in his direction, before quickly unclipping and lifting his bike over the barrier.

With not even a second to spare, the Alpecin-Fenix rider put his cyclocross skills to the test and jumped, sitting incredibly awkwardly before hoisting his legs over and heading back to his team.

He later apologised for the incident on Twitter, saying he’d believed all riders had crossed the line. 

The little bastard <3

Self-awareness is a wonderful thing.

A 7.5km time-trial awaited riders on the opening stage of Itzulia.

Geraint Thomas is no stranger to against-the-clock victory, winning the opening stage TT to wear the Tour de France yellow jersey in 2017 followed by national time trial championships success in 2018.

But then you remember people like Primož Roglič and Remco Evenepoel exist.

As expected, the two topped the general classification at the end of the day, Roglič beating the QuickStep Alpha Vinyl rider by five seconds.

Thomas finished in fourth place behind Rémi Cavagna.

But all’s fair in love and war. Even if you’re a little bastard*

*The views of Geraint Thomas are not shared by all at Cyclist. But I also didn’t ask everyone. 

When I say I'm having ‘just the one’

Prizes are a hot topic within cycling recently. From a free vibrator to garden gnome or golden trident, the possibilities are endless.

Almost as endless as the beer at the Amstel Gold Race.

When Marta Cavalli and Michał Kwiatkowski won their races (it took a while for the Ineos Grenadiers man to eventually be declared the winner, much to the dismay of poor Cosnefroy), they were faced with picking up a gigantic glass after a lengthy day in the saddle.

An interesting task when cyclists aren’t known for their upper body strength. 

But as someone whose tastebuds actively reject beer, when’s the race dedicated to rosé or even a nice bottle of 19 Crimes? Now that I’d participate in.

JAAAAAAAAs tweeted moments before disaster

Speaking of Benoît Cosnefroy, the heartbreak of his snatched-back victory in a two-man sprint was equally felt by Oliver Naesen.

His AG2R teammate watched the debacle unfold, tweeting his thoughts in real-time (professional cyclists… just like us!)

Kwiatkowski’s teammate Laurens De Plus then joined in to celebrate the delayed victory for his teammate much to the detriment of Naesen.

But Larry Warbasse revealed in our chat the other week that Cosnefroy would be a man to watch at the Tour de France. With teammates like this, who needs Amstel Gold?

Special shoutout: Mechanics

In the last Extremely Online article (which you’ve read, right?!) we discussed the possibility of a whole episode dedicated to penis napkins in the upcoming Tour de France Netflix series.

EF Education-EasyPost took it one step further, recreating the Drive to Survive pit stop titles for the show.

The back wheel change and bidon replacement won’t exactly win the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award – recently awarded to Red Bull in Melbourne through their fastest time of 2.27s with Perez – but it’s still fun nevertheless.

See you next week!