WorldTour Wrap: what’s the Flemish for greatest love story ever told?

Victor Campenaerts hits the dating game but Simon Geschke can't even grab a lift with his own team-mates

The WorldTour can get weird at the calmest of times, so when there’s a Grand Tour in full swing things really enter the Twilight Zone.

This year’s Giro d’Italia, the first Grand Tour of the season, has been no different. Chuck the always-entertaining Amgen Tour of California into the mix and you have a recipe for a week of mayhem.

While the big stories are Tom Dumoulin taking a stranglehold on the Giro and George Bennett winning the overall in California, here we’ve collected some of the juicier nuggets from the week past that you may have missed.

Victor Campenaerts uses the Giro time trial to ask a girl out – just your standard Grand Tour then… (pic – Sirotti)

Who’d be an old romantic?

When his team told him to take things easy in the individual time trial on Tuesday, Victor Campenaerts saw that as an opportunity.

The bosses at Team Lotto NL-Jumbo decided that despite his impressive palmarés against the clock (he’s the Belgian national TT champ), Campenaerts’ energy was better saved for his role as team domestique for Steven Kruijswijk.  

So, instead of flogging himself for thirty-odd minutes and trying to set the best time on a course eventually won by Big Tom Dumoulin, young Victor rolled down the ramp with his skinsuit unzipped and a message written on his chest, ‘Carlien daten?’ – which means ‘Carlien, will you go out with me?’

Carlien, you see, is a girl Victor fancies and hasn’t had the nerve to ask out yet. To the delight of #couchpeloton members around the world, we later learned that she said yes. It was a love story for the modern cycling age, perhaps the greatest romance ever to unfold in the middle of an ITT.

The UCI took a dim view of the young Belgian’s antics and fined him 100 Swiss francs for ‘damaging the image of the sport’. Which, as Scott O’Raw pointed out on Twitter, seems a little disproportionate given Movistar were fined just 50 francs for parking their car in the middle of a race.

Proportionality aside, the big question now is where does Campenova go from here? Will he have to win a GT stage before he can ask Carlien to move in with him? Will we see him cross the line at the World Championships with ‘please could you buy milk?’ daubed on his forehead. What will he write, and where on his person, if Carlien ever dumps him?

In an homage to Victor, I would like to take this opportunity to ask if anyone would like to go out with me? Not fussy, really. Must like bikes.

Decided to take a leaf out of Victor Campenaerts’ playbook. Waddya say ladies? Anyone? #romance #procycling #campenaerts #painfullysingle #sosingle #dating #carliendaten?

A post shared by Tom Owen (@tomowencc) on

Double trouble for Geschke

Simon Geschke is one of Tom Dumoulin’s most important domestiques at Team Sunweb. He is a familiar face in the peloton because of his big bushy beard and his solid performances in the mountains.

Given how important Geschke will be in the Giro’s final epic week in the Dolomites, it’s a little bit surprising that his team would forget about him and drive off from the finish of a stage leaving the German to hitchhike his way to the next start town. And yet this is exactly what occurred, Geschke later joking that he had hijacked a car to help him catch back up.

All told, it’s been a great week for Geschke’s Twitter account, with this superb Bob Jungels photobomb and self-deprecating follow-up quip rounding out a solid seven days in the social media saddle.

‘Cookie corner’ is a thing, because America

I’ll admit there are a lot of things I don’t understand about America. What exactly is a Twinkie? Why do they put their road bikes in their cars and then drive them to the starts of rides? Virtually anything their president says. All these things are mysteries to me.

And so we come to Cookie Corner. Apparently Cookie Corner is a thing where people dressed as cookies and/or holding giant jars of real cookies run alongside the riders on particular points of stages in the Tour of California.

Here is Lawson Craddock being handed a cookie from a jar by former team mate Phil Gaimon.

Now here’s Phil just hanging with a whole bunch of the Cannondale-Drapac lads. Dressed as a shirtless king and holding a giant cardboard cookie. Of course.

And here is Gaimon again, this time running alongside Peter Sagan.

Honestly, I have no idea why they are doing this, but just listen to the Americans whoop and holler and tell me you don’t want to do the same thing with scones and battered fish the next time the Tour of Britain comes through town.

It’s like they never saw anyone do a no-hands wheelie while climbing uphill and going round a corner before. Pffft, we do those on our way to work here in Europe, guys, have some decorum.

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