Two of the opening four stages of this week’s Tour de Normandie in France have been settled by bunch sprints – but it turns out the cycling teams may have a thing to learn about slipstreaming and lead-out trains.
British UCI Continental teams JLT-Condor and Madison-Genesis are once again taking part in the seven-stage northern French race, and the former outfit have enjoyed a promising first four stages: Steven Lampier sits seventh overall, and Ali Slater tenth, while New Zealander Alex Frame has continued his eye-catching form with two fifths and a seventh place.
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But the real talking point at yesterday’s stage four was not the win for Justin Jules (WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect), but rather what JLT-Condor tweeted.
As you can see, eleven
riders, I mean piglets, were following the charge of their main lead-out rider piglet, causing the cars behind the peloton to allow their passing.
Although teams of 12 is double the amount of personnel every other team has, we applaud their audaciousness.
The rear of the sprint chase are closely packed together – good for slipstreaming and conserving vital energy in the remaining sprint – but, alarmingly, there is a sizeable gap to the four riders who seem to have broken away for the line.
While the piglets could work on team cohesion a little better, JLT-Condor were exploiting the chance to use as many cycling and pig puns as possible.
And, of course, French cycling and pigs isn’t a new phenomena: the Tro Bro Léon rewards the victor with their very own pig.