To celebrate the launch of the this year's edition of cycling almanack The Road Book, we asked commentator and editor Ned Boutling to weigh in with his top five weird and wacky moments of the road season this year.
With the book chronicling the epic highs and lows of the season, brilliant first moments, history being made, and capturing the minute details we can so often overlook.
Here Boulting remembers the moments that gave him the biggest laughs, that highlight the fun and the joys of the sport.
Julian Alaphilippe’s crash at Strade Bianche
Of all his crashes, this one at Strade Binache was the greatest. It was a crash of three parts. A nine from me for artistic interpretation and a nine for technique. Hard to see how he’ll improve on it next year.
Pidcock and Wout van Aert’s Existential Crises
Both riders had days in the saddle where you could literally see how little they could be arsed with their allotted task.
For Wout van Aert, this came on stage five of the Tour de France, when he nearly managed to disappear under the wheels of a team car, before briefly looking like he was about to abandon.
In the case of Tom Pidcock, it happened in the pouring rain on stage one of the Tour of Britain. He dropped off the back, and then magically appeared at the front to finish fifth when he remembered what his job was.
Lorena Wiebes and someone else's baby
Lorena Wiebes Made history by standing on the podium in Paris in the first yellow jersey of the Tour de France Femmes. But equally, she became the first person ever to take someone else’s child onto the podium with her.
Simon Yates's utter lack of joy
Simon Yates’ interview after his Giro stage win was the least excited interview I have ever heard from a rider who has just won a race. He may as well have said, “Been there already done that so whatevs."
I was commentating at the race and couldn't help but roar with laughter.
Gazprom's team time trial
Perhaps the oddest was the day that Gazprom-RusVelo made up every single rider in the breakaway at the UAE Tour. This would turn out to be their last World Tour race participation - coming just days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
I don’t think I have ever been more uncomfortable in the commentary box than I was on that occasion.
Although this had potential it didn't end up being the weirdest podium of 2022 (they were caught and Mark Cavendish won the stage) - the oddest podium was Biniam Girmay prematurely ending his glorious Giro d'Italia by firing a champagne cork into his eye.
The Road book features essays from stars of the sport alongside infographics and team profiles to compliment the wealth of information and analysis on the professional road race scene from across the world this year. It includes exclusive essays from Lorena Wiebes, Matej Mohoric and Magnus Cort Nielsen.
Available at www.theroadbook.co.uk £50
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