Just... No.

Monumental Disrespect

by / / 86 posts

Now I’ve never won any bike race of any significance, therefore have never had to think about an appropriate finish line salute. If I was a professional bicycle racer with a show of winning a major race however, I think I’d probably sort my shit out just in case I may be bagging a big win. While I’m sure it must be fairly hard to keep your emotions in check when you’re a couple hundred metres from the line and you know this is the biggest moment of your career, you’ve probably done this kind of thing before, and it comes back to that job title: you’re a professional. Now’s the time to be one.

Watching the replay of the Ronde last night made for some hard viewing for my pedalwan and I. Witnessing the consummate pro that is Tommeke having to deal with equipment failure and a fat guy trying to get him going again had us yelling at the screen in frustration. Seeing our boys Sagan and GVA hitting the deck because of morons using the barriers as a clothes rack upped the angst levels even more. But things really went through the roof when an admittedly decent ride––aided by the previously-mentioned bad luck of the riders who undoubtedly would’ve fought out the win––was capped off by a display that you’d expect a local Cat 3 to even baulk at.

As Giblets––with the added weight of tradition of the Belgian tricolor to respect––rolled the last 300 I pleaded with the screen in a vain attempt for him to hear. “Don’t overdo it.” Whatever happened to waiting til the actual line to give a salute, both arms in the air, or a finger raised, or a bow or whatever, not ten different things all mashed up like a frickin David Guetta remix of some hack boy band. I mean come on, Merckx managed to win 525 goddamn races and never let crap like ’emotions’ get in the way of a good, honest arm raise and smile.

Ok, maybe I’m getting a little too invested in this, I thought as the line drew nearer. Then I noticed the unclipping of the feet. “He’s not, is he? Please don’t.” Yes, the ultimate act of treason unfolded before our eyes. A Rule #95 violation in one of the most famous and revered races in the annals of cycling. He may as well have dropped his bibs, pulled a photo of The Prophet from his jersey and taken a shit on it, then wiped his ass with a Lion of Flanders flag. This won’t be remembered as a great win, but a great travesty. A Monument defiled forever.

// Etiquette // Irreverence // Rantings from the V-Bunker // The Rules

  1. @lokerola

    What ever happened to Stijn Devolder? He won Flanders in 08 and 09 in crazy breakaway’s that were at least as good as Gilbert’s. Stijn was the Belgium road champ in 08 and Belgium time trial champ in 09. I rarely hear anyone talk about Stijn, was he ever a contender for anything else?

    Think he had to retire “early” after a few crashes beat him up pretty bad & he couldn’t pick up a contract.

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  2. @lokerola

    What ever happened to Stijn Devolder? He won Flanders in 08 and 09 in crazy breakaway’s that were at least as good as Gilbert’s. Stijn was the Belgium road champ in 08 and Belgium time trial champ in 09. I rarely hear anyone talk about Stijn, was he ever a contender for anything else?

    100% agreed. Devolder never got his props because both years, everyone in the peloton was marking Tommeke while he rode away. again, that’s racing, so credit where it is due. i don’t think there are any lucky accidents at Flanders, or LBL, for that matter. only the very strongest win these races.

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  3. @Randy C

    Now seriously… who is being too hard on Mr Terpstra ? A few years back he attacks, he rides away from some studs, and wins a great race and stamps his name on history. More recently, he sits on the back and what ??? Yahhhnnn … just saying.

    i love the way Niki Terpstra races a bicycle. winners find a way to be in the finale when they don’t have the strength to dictate terms. i mean, even Peter Sagan cannot simply ride away from the world tour peloton at the end of a race any time he chooses.

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  4. Geez, ya go away for a couple of months and the whole place loses its sense of humour.

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  5. @Carel Isn’t the rule –and the point– that the rider must proceed with his/her bike. Walking or running with it, if it’s broken, is allowed. Crossing the finish line requires a bike. Proceeding down the course, if on foot, must be done with one’s machine. Froome running up Ventoux without his bike raised questions, I thought, because he left his steed on the side of the road for dead. No Panic Allowed!!!

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  6. @Brett Just count yourself fortunate that no one came up with the American Flyers run with the bike scene as justification for Phil.

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  7. @Mikael Liddy He’s still riding for Willems-Crelan, and he’s been looking strong in some of the semi-classics. He’s 37 though so probably not likely to be winning the big races any more.

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  8. Looks like Phil got a PR in a triathlon. Sweet!

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  9. Great Ride Gilbert! but the only thing you lift above your head are your hands and if you are the one a cobble stone…

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  10. @lokerola He only got away ‘cos he was Boonen’s team mate and Boonen was sitting in the lead group behind him, and at that point Boonen was as good a sprinter as anyone else in the peloton. Therefore, many fans think of those two wins as being Boonen’s, really…

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  11. Meh, get over yourself. He’s won de Ronde with possibly the best ride ever seen there, he’s a former world champ with a couple of other monument wins to his name, and he can do what the fuck he likes. I’m not a fan of the ‘bike lift’ celebration either, but let’s talk about the ride because that’s surely what we’re here for. And that ride was epic. If Boonen’s mechanic wants sacking, and Sagan got too intimate with the fans, well that’s bike racing. Gilbert’s win at de Panne was pretty special too – a big attack on the Kapelmuur followed by a long time trial that even Luke Durbridge couldn’t match. Chapeau to him. When he did it I thought ‘ha, bet that will break the v-site’, but I didn’t expect a whole special article moaning about it. Chapeau to you too sir.

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  12. Well I think he has work to do on being more casually deliberate…. even if he did ride a hell of a race. But, I do give him points for not wearing a sponsor’s baseball cap in the post ride interview.

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  13. @Brett

    Geez, ya go away for a couple of months and the whole place loses its sense of humour.

    Ta FUCK?!?!? No shit, eh? But it was one hell of a race! Cannot wait for Sunday!!!

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  14. @Geraint

    Meh, get over yourself. He’s won de Ronde with possibly the best ride ever seen there, he’s a former world champ with a couple of other monument wins to his name, and he can do what the fuck he likes. I’m not a fan of the ‘bike lift’ celebration either, but let’s talk about the ride because that’s surely what we’re here for. And that ride was epic. If Boonen’s mechanic wants sacking, and Sagan got too intimate with the fans, well that’s bike racing. Gilbert’s win at de Panne was pretty special too – a big attack on the Kapelmuur followed by a long time trial that even Luke Durbridge couldn’t match. Chapeau to him. When he did it I thought ‘ha, bet that will break the v-site’, but I didn’t expect a whole special article moaning about it. Chapeau to you too sir.

    I don’t disagree about any of this. But based on the site I’m on I think I’m completely entitled to moan about him picking his bike up. If we don’t have the ‘elitist pedant’ mode to fall back on, what do we have?

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  15. @Bretto

    Geez, ya go away for a couple of months and the whole place loses its sense of humour.

    You’re spot on with the rant about the celebration but you must have overdone it on the Belgian Recovery Beverages if you think that Sagan and GVA would have undoubtedly fought for the win. They were both under pressure from the moment Boonen hit the gas on the Muur and even more so when Gilbert took off with 55 km to go. Sagan fucked up, they didn’t catch up. Philbert won. If you want to deal in ifs and buts, you should have seen the solo win I would have had in the ’95 Paris Roubaix if I’d been riding road bikes back then rather than having spent several years as an unreliable student. Breathtaking ride.

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  16. @RobSandy

    If we don’t have the ‘elitist pedant’ mode to fall back on, what do we have?

    Cwestiwn iawn, bach. I could relate to the outrage at Sagan’s Forrest Gump-ing, wheelie-ing, bum-pinching antics from a few years ago – he was an arriviste and his boyish games weren’t substantiated by his palmares. The pinch came after he’d just had his arse comprehensively kicked by Faboo, and it was easy for the ‘establishment’ to dismiss him as an immature and disrespectful oik. But this time a mature, established, proven winner – let’s face it, a hero of the sport – won his ‘second home’ monument with an absolutely epic attacking ride. He got a bit emotional about it, and overdid his celebration. Then a bunch of internet randoms slag him off for disrespecting the race. Maybe the irony has got a bit out of hand. Or maybe I’m just over the ‘elitist pedant’ thing.

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  17. @Geraint

    If we don’t have the ‘elitist pedant’ mode to fall back on, what do we have?

    Cwestiwn iawn, bach.

    Nadolig Llawen? My Welsh isn’t that great…

    But this time a mature, established, proven winner – let’s face it, a hero of the sport – won his ‘second home’ monument with an absolutely epic attacking ride. He got a bit emotional about it, and overdid his celebration. Then a bunch of internet randoms slag him off for disrespecting the race. Maybe the irony has got a bit out of hand.

    I think there was a certain tongue in cheek tone to the article and it was intended with my post. It was an incredible ride.

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  18. What a worthless post. Please don’t call yourself a fan of cycling ever again. Or at least try to spell the name of one of the greatest cyclists around correctly.

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  19. So Gilbert wins a freakin’ monument, but that doesn’t matter because of the way he celebrates!? Oh, the vanity….

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  20. Ow yeah , a bunch of coffee-drinking snobs who inventend some rules but never actually did any racing and who’s “looks” are more important than the power in their legs are going to tell one of the greatest belgians ever in cycling how he should celebrate his victory in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Belgium’s greatest tradition in cycling and biggest race. You guys ever been in Belgium? You sure know how to talk about “belgian style” and how you should wear your cycling hat. You know what? In Belgium. There is no such thing as “belgian style”. We just ride. We don’t need Rapha to feel pro. We don’t even need to feel pro. We just ride. With whatever clothing our team gives us. But we ride hard. When we want to. Don’t tell us how to act on a bike.

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  21. @Buck Rogers

    @Brett

    Geez, ya go away for a couple of months and the whole place loses its sense of humour.

    Ta FUCK?!?!? No shit, eh? But it was one hell of a race! Cannot wait for Sunday!!!

    Isn’t that a picture of the singer in the band in the 80’s French movie Subway? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6JBaTScs1E I think we should be told. Seriously cool movie BTW. Isabelle Adjani. That is all.

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  22. meh. I must watch too much cyclocross. I didn’t even think twice about it, as it’s not an uncommon sight in pro cx. including from the best the sport has ever seen: oh, and this loser too:

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  23. It was “an admittedly decent ride” by Gilbert, though. In retrospect he’s dead right. I mean a decent ride would have been Gilbert going off the front at the 250km to go mark, falling off on the Muur and breaking his leg in the process, crashing on the Koppenberg breaking his wrist and finishing 3 hours ahead of the peloton before asking the attending crowd if he was worthy of crossing the finishing line. …but even then, that will never be as good as clinging to some over rated Swiss bloke’s wheel putting in diddley squat effort and then pipping him at the post, will it?

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  25. @wiscot

    @Buck Rogers

    @Brett

    Geez, ya go away for a couple of months and the whole place loses its sense of humour.

    Ta FUCK?!?!? No shit, eh? But it was one hell of a race! Cannot wait for Sunday!!!

    Isn’t that a picture of the singer in the band in the 80’s French movie Subway? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6JBaTScs1E I think we should be told. Seriously cool movie BTW. Isabelle Adjani. That is all.

    Fuck! Something good has come out of this thread–I realised that there is an early Luc Besson movie that I have not seen. I really love his movies up through The 5th Element but then he went downhill a bit, in my opinion.

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  26. Yeah, Boonen had bad luck with his machine(s) but that “fat guy” trying to get him going was former hardman and current Quick Step DS Tom Steels. Maybe a few more Leffes heavier than his racing days but not just any fat guy.

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  27. @Buck Rogers Ha! Happy to help! I saw it a few times at the Glasgow Film Theatre in the 80s and have it on dvd now. It’s one of my “comfort movies” when you just want to kick back, relax and enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GS8HXcqdhlw And if you’ve not seen Subway, you mustn’t miss Betty Blue. Not Luc Besson, but Jean-Jacques Beineix. Still starring Jean-Hughes Anglade. Amazing movie that veers from comedy to tragedy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB5aeJ—Zg

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  28. Are you mad loved it get over yourself

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  29. The consequences of Gilbert doing this should be clear: Scrap the rule.

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  30. I was on the side of the road nursing my sore legs after the sportive the day before. PG was like a coiled spring both times we saw them pass. So I will put it down to being overcome with emotion. I’m disappointed with Sagan, don’t ride that close to beered up Belgians in hospitality, you are asking for trouble.

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  31. @wiscot Subway looks awesome, I”l have to find that. Do you think Christopher Lambert was the inspiration for Sick Boy’s look in trainspotting?

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  32. @chris

    @wiscot Subway looks awesome, I”l have to find that. Do you think Christopher Lambert was the inspiration for Sick Boy’s look in trainspotting?

    Good question indeed! There’s certainly a similarity in appearance and casual disregard of the law. Subway and Betty Blue show signs of their age (almost 30 years in both cases), but in a good way. Cinema Paradiso is also a big fave from the 80s, as are My Life as a Dog and Babette’s Feast.

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  33. @wiscot I find Betty Blue quite hard to watch these days. I used to love it but it’s quite painful now. I think back then I knew little of mental illness but it’s been a big part of some close friends lives. It’s still an amazing film though.

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  34. @chris

    @wiscot I find Betty Blue quite hard to watch these days. I used to love it but it’s quite painful now. I think back then I knew little of mental illness but it’s been a big part of some close friends lives. It’s still an amazing film though.

    I hear you. It’s very well handled and Dalle is superb in her role – you can see the fear in her eyes as she knows she’s losing the fight for sanity. If I’m making coffee in a French press, I still follow the advice of the slob owner of the holiday chalets: “moisten the grounds.” On the excellent, but hard to watch list, is Breaking the Waves. Emily Watson should have an Oscar for that one.

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  35. I am a bit surprised that the brand of bike is not visible in the money shot. If the shot had been of my bike Pinarello would have been visible in fluo yellow on matte black splendor. I am surprised Specialized hasn’t done the same. Or is it black on black? As far as the salute goes, I am not a fan. However, having never won a bike race I am not in a position to criticize Monsiore Gilbert. I say obey the rules until you win a Monument, Classic, or Grand Tour stage. At that point do whatever the f*** you want.

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  36. @The Belgian So what are you doing here Mr Belgie?

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  37. @JeroenK

    The consequences of Gilbert doing this should be clear: Scrap the rule.

    Is that the same Jeroen who led the 2015 Keepers Tour RVV ride? If not, forget that I mentioned it…

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  38. Final proof that these rules are made by, and apply only to people to who dont actually ride bikes!

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  39. Watching the race, reading the article and comments reminded me of what old Romans used to say about riding a bicycle: Quod licet jovi, non licet bovi…

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  40. @Pali65

    Watching the race, reading the article and comments reminded me of what old Romans used to say about riding a bicycle: Quod licet jovi, non licet bovi…

    +1

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  41. @Teocalli

    @Pali65

    Watching the race, reading the article and comments reminded me of what old Romans used to say about riding a bicycle: Quod licet jovi, non licet bovi…

    +1

    Or in more recent literature: some animals are more equal than others.

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  42. What a monumental load of tosh. You show massive disrespect both to the efforts of Philippe Gilbert and the sport with your pathetic comments. Who the hell are you to pontificate anyway?! Anyone who takes these so called rules with anything but a pinch of salt, really needs to take a good look at themselves. Right, I’m off to measure my socks…

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  43. When I win the Ronde I’m going to lift my bike to annoy you all too. But why the FUCK does he have an iPhone mounted on his stem? That’s unforgivable.

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    1. And it seems a trend has been created:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BSkLkONjvSz/

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  44. @The Belgian Right on!

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  45. @Brett

    Geez, ya go away for a couple of months and the whole place loses its sense of humour.

    Agreed! But not fucking me. That was awful. If any of the folks with a bad sense of humour were around, let’s NOT forget he was also picking up a steed produced by a company that tried to fuck over a Follower AND a kind donor to the VSP. Hoisting that bike made it worse. And so did the black fucking socks. Lads, stop comparing cross finishes to road. They’re a different sport. I don’t mind that in cross, but I do mind the bike hoist in road. Gilbert also used to look good on a bike, like in some of the Lotto kit. Not sure if it’s him, or both, but he’s not these days.

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  46. @Brett

    Geez, ya go away for a couple of months and the whole place loses its sense of humour.

    Taken you that long to work that out ? Think we need another ” tales from the past ” article.

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  47. Speaking of celebrations… can someone imagine a worst celebration ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vQb6Ltt5is This monday on the Tro Bro Leon, a half road/half gravel race in the “Finisterre”, french Britany.

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  48. Does anyone know what’s up with the website? Rules missing, broken links and redirects…

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  49. @Jeff

    Does anyone know what’s up with the website? Rules missing, broken links and redirects…

    Well, McFuck. It seems the site update I ran yesterday jacked the permalinks. Should be working better now?

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