The cycling season’s long and not just for the guys on the bike. Journalist chase the peloton from one race to the next. Each focused on getting the best coverage for their readers, viewer’s or listeners. Each media outlet demands a certain style or content, and obviously each country likes to focus on their home riders. Here in the UK we are used to hearing Cav’s temper flair after a not so successful result or listening to Wiggin’s spout off one of his “devil may care” comments but what about the riders and writers on the continent?
Paris-Nice, the first real leg tester for the GT riders of the year is now well under way and I wondered what the riders may be taking about that hasn’t reached our shores. With this in mind I’ve scoured the net, harassed a friend with a better grasp of European languages, and found some little bits of gossip and stories from the first days of Paris-Nice that you may not have seen on English speaking sites.
Prologue: Houilles 2.9km
The surprise winner, Europcar rider Damien Gaudin took the stage from fellow French man Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
I came across a few great comments after reading through some French news sites including a reporter that claims to have overheard Chavanel shouting out a few French expletives when he lost the prologue by only a second. Likewise Gaudin, was recorded saying in his native tongue. “I F***NG beat Chavanel”. Yep he sure did.
Stage 1: St Germain-en-Laye – Nemours 195km
Stage one was always going to be a sprinters stage and again a French rider turned up to Paris Nice ready to win. Nacer Bouhanni of FDJ took the stage win and grabbed the leader’s jersey in the process. A little digging around again led us to discover that Nacer is an ex-boxer , a bit of a different background for a procyclist to come from, but then again the pro peloton is full of surprises.
According to the FDJ director sportive Franck Pineau, Bouhanni is a bit of a cycling monk. “He’s not married, I do not know of him having a girlfriend, he dives in to the job thoroughly, he trains and then he sleeps…” “…this may be why he’s never late for breakfast.”
As Paris-Nice continues and Tirreno-Adriatico begins it will be interesting to see what the broadcasters and news writers ove rhear at the start line.