Tweets of the week: Cobbles, barbecues, and what on earth is curry ketchup?

Strap in for our pre-Paris-Roubaix round-up of social media's finest

Mathieu van der poel with a tweet embossed saying mayonaise and curry ketchup
(Image credit: Getty)

They say that, at a bike race in Belgium, you’re never more than 200m away from a chip van (US translation: french fries van). The Tour of Flanders is no exception. 

At the start line of the season's first cobbled Monument, the race organisers asked the pros what they like to douse over their chips. The answers, let’s say, were mixed. 

“Ketchup,” said two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar, giving what many Brits would deem the correct response. 

For Mads Pedersen and Lotte Kopecky, mayonnaise was the condiment of choice. 

Then there was Mathieu van der Poel, Milan-San Remo winner and cyclo-cross extraordinaire. “Mayonnaise and curry ketchup,” the Dutchman said frankly. Now, call me uncultured, but what on earth is curry ketchup? 

A cursory Google search tells me it’s common in mainland Europe, particularly Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, Van der Poel’s home country. The same Wikipedia page explains that the main ingredients in curry ketchup are, yep you guessed it, tomato ketchup and curry powder. 

Well, for all my scoffing, it appears Van der Poel had the last laugh. When the race was finished and the chips were served, cobble conquerors Pogačar and Kopecky seemed non-plussed. In fact, they actively said they didn’t want their spoils. 

Van der Poel, however, like a pubgoer after a heavy session, stared dreamily at his curry-ketchup-covered snack, and tucked straight in. Bosh. 

This weekend, I’m in Roubaix for the second, and final, instalment of the cobbled Monuments. As a vegan at a bike race, chip vans are my best friend. Now inspired by Van der Poel’s contentment, I’ll be seeking out his preferred dipping sauce. Avez-vous du ketchup au curry, I'll ask, and I'll lather it on generously.

Who knows, maybe I’ll buy an extra portion for Mathieu to enjoy in the velodrome. 

1. Find yourself someone who looks at you the way Mathieu van der Poel looks at chips and curry ketchup

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2. Never let the rain spoil your barbie

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3. *cue Rocky-style montage of Elisa Balsamo*

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4. Let's see how many of our 100 people can name a stage winner of Itzulia Basque Country

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5. Speeding tickets guaranteed with Lorena Wiebes at the wheel

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6. T-1 day

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7. Lads, you're going to need a bigger shovel

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8. I'm dreaming of a muddy Roubaix, just like the one two years ago

9. Josh Tarling is set to become the youngest male competitor at Paris-Roubaix since 1937. Allez Josh, indeed

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10. Alison Jackson's got moves, but we're not sure this one's going to catch on

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