The life of the professional cyclist can be labourious. How better to relax and unwind than by tripping the light fantastic with someone special?
Peter and Katarina Sagan’s, ahem, affectionate tribute to Grease (see below), reprising the roles of John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, has set a new standard for the peloton. Twitter must be considered passé now the pasodoble falls within the remit of the professional pedaller.
Partner selection, however, is critical. Sagan has the advantage of a willing spouse, but the WorldTour’s singletons may have to look to their team-mates for assistance.
Let’s get ready to rumba.
The Pasodoble (Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde)
Outtakes seen by 1 of Telefonica’s ill-fated “Dancing with the Movistars” pilot for Spanish television offer an insight into life at Abarca Sports. Quintana insists on leading, frustrating his more experienced partner. Despite a late rally, the judges award the highest score to rival pairing, Chris Froome and Richie Porte, who overcome a seemingly chronic height difference.
The Locomotion (Christian Knees and Team Sky)
A rare moment in the spotlight for Team Sky workhorse Christian Knees, who leads his team-mates in a line around the dance floor for several hours, before finally collapsing at the bar, exhausted, as the evening is about to begin in earnest. Calls for a new routine go unheeded by choreographer Dave Brailsford: the locomotion is the only dance he knows.
The Salsa (Laura Trott and Jason Kenny)
Midnight at the Cali velodrome, and when the racing stops, the Salsa begins. Trott is light and lithe, but relentlessly competitive, spoiling the night for other couples. Kenny, by contrast, is reluctant, but powerful, and perpetually at risk of launching his partner into orbit with his powerful lifts, or setting her on a journey to the centre of the earth by spinning her into a typhoon-like pirouette.
The Mashed Potato (Carlos Betancur)
A solo performance from the Colombian, whose appetite seems insatiable (for the dance, we mean).
The Quickstep (Tom Boonen and Niki Terpstra)
What should be a seamless union, given the talent involved, swiftly descends into shambles, to the chagrin of famously demanding choreographer Patrick Lefevere. Both dancers insist on leading, preventing them from hitting full stride, and allowing others to walk away from Ghent’s famous Nieuwsblad ballroom with a perfect ten.
STAT’S THE WAY, UH HUH, UH HUH
500 – points awarded by the UCI’s new World Rankings for winning the Amstel Gold Race
400 – points awarded by the UCI’s new World Rankings for winning La Flèche Wallonne
2 – classifications for 2016 (UCI World Ranking and UCI WorldTour Ranking)
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