Tweets of the week: Mark Cavendish takes mid-race selfie with fan

It was photo time at the Tour Colombia in another wild week on social media

Mark Cavendish with fans at the Tour Colombia 2024
(Image credit: Getty Images)

One of the best (and sometimes worst) things about cycling is how close the spectators can get to the riders. 

At a bike race, everyone gets courtside seats. Fans can see the grimaces on their heroes’ faces, the beads of sweat cascading down their brows. They can also, apparently, nab a selfie mid-ride. 

At the Tour Colombia on Thursday, a young spectator in a sweatshirt and cap held his smartphone out to Mark Cavendish. A risky move, perhaps. At the time, the Brit was riding behind the bunch, spat out of the peloton on a climb with 44km to go. 

Cavendish would have been forgiven for swatting the phone away. He had a race to finish, a job to do. The selfies can wait until after. Instead, the Astana Qazaqstan rider reached out, grabbed the fan’s phone, and posed for a picture, all without breaking his pedal stroke. 

It was a touching gesture, but one that hopefully won’t encourage other fans to do similar.

After all, who could forget the infamous ‘Opi-Omi’ spectator, who brought down half the Tour de France peloton with a flimsy cardboard sign? There have also been cases of sprinters taking phones in the gob while dashing along the barrier. Just ask Fabio Jakobsen, who tasted a mouthful at the Vuelta a San Juan last year. 

Not all cyclists have acted as favourably as Cavendish in the past. Sometimes, when people get in your face, the instinct is to bite back. When a fan ran alongside Chris Froome at the 2016 Tour, the Team Sky rider dealt him a swift left hook. 

Miguel Ángel López later did the same at the Giro d’Italia. On a steep climb towards the finish line, a spectator got in the Colombian’s way, and was met with two rapid-fire punches. López then scooped the man’s cap off his head and into the bushes for good measure. 

Still, as Cavendish showed, it’s not always negative. If you thought the Brit taking a selfie was impressive, though, wait until you see Peter Sagan signing a copy of his autobiography during a race. Now that’s some serious multi-tasking. 

Elsewhere on social media this week, Alison Jackson stuffs tater tots in her pocket, Lotte Kopecky skydives, and Luke Rowe commentates on a lousy round of golf. 

1. Un selfie por favor, Mark

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2. What's the difference between these two Cavs? One's often found in the grupetto, the other was made by Gepetto

3. Major McNulty, at your service

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4. When you've got a turbo session at 4pm, but you're painting the bathroom at 6pm

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5. A surreal tale, even by Alison Jackson's standards

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6. It's a double-helping of AJ this week. Here she is grooving out in an airplane bathroom

7. Come on, Tom. You could have at least wrapped it

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8. The Mini Eggs are out. Easter must be close

9. Some fans ask for selfies, others have more unusual requests 

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10. The secret to cyclo-cross success is simple. Make sure you're born in the Netherlands

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11. Here's one for the face plant fans among you

12. Lotte Kopecky gave both herself and her team bosses a scare in the UAE

13. It looks like we've finally found something Harrie Lavreysen can't do

14. Anyone...?

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15. There's a job in commentary waiting for Luke Rowe after his road career

16. It's only 22 degrees celsius in Dubai, and Pfeiffer Georgi is starting to doubt whether all the heat training was worth it

17. Helmet? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Race numbers? Um...

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18. And finally, a big congratulations to Sarah Gigante on her graduation!

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