After the finish of any stage, there is a tidal wave of response from riders and sports directors as teams react to their performance on the day.
Often riders voice their disappointment, share their introspection, or look ahead to the coming days, while the winner celebrates the key moments that put them on the top step.
As you’d imagine every rider approaches the post-race comment in a different way, with some being more fascinating than others in their response.
But one quote particularly caught our eye after stage one of the Tour Down Under on Tuesday (January 15), from Jumbo – Visma’s Danny van Poppel.
The Dutch sprinter had some colourful description of the heat he was happy to share with cycling fans.
He said: “Above 40 degrees it feels like you are taking sausage rolls out of the oven. You get a blow of heat in your face.
“Somewhere on the course it was 30 degrees, it just felt cold.”
The Tour Down Under is notorious for the heat riders must suffer through in the South Australian summertime and stage one was no different.
With temperatures peaking at 45 degrees Celsius during the opening day, riders’ endurance was really tested, but we’ve never heard it described with such a fitting simile before.
Van Poppel, the 25-year-old son of sprinting legend Jean-Paul, finished ninth in the opening sprint, as Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Elia Viviani threaded through the peloton to victory.
Jumbo – Visma sports director Frans Maassen said: “The lead-out went well but Danny had to start too early.
“The finish of [stage two] suits him better.”
Van Poppel added: “Tomorrow is a good sprint for me.
“The lead-out went well today. If that’s the same tomorrow, I’ll have a good chance.”
It’s still early in the 2019 season, but van Poppel’s comments surely put him in the lead for unofficial quote of the year.
The one remaining question – are van Poppel’s sausage rolls vegan?
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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