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July 25, 2004

Tour trivia take 1

Guardian Unlimited Sport | Fotheringham's Tour de France Trivia

Enough with the racing news. Here are a few items from William Fotheringham's list of Tour minutiae:

· Maddest fan of the race 1: an inhabitant of the Walloon village of Aywaille spent two years building a triumphal arch for the riders to pass through. It was made of 84,000 toilet rolls.

· Maddest fan of the race 2: choose from those dressed as aliens (complete with silver-foil spaceship) on the stage to Gueret; pink fluffy pigs at Plateau de Beille; a mad monk in Besançon; an angel who appeared for all the last week; Spider-Man, who turned up in the Alps; pantomime cows with syringes in the Pyrenees; and a Pope. And we won't talk of the devil.


· Cycling slang includes numerous terms for doping: "mess up the soup", "pissing violet", "having a magic suitcase", "not riding on mineral water", "loading the cannon" or "boiling the saucepan over" and "salting the mustard" and, in a reference to the eyes dilating when amphetamine is used, "lighting the headlights". Most recently, amateur cyclists have talked of "dining chez Virenque", a reference to the seven-times mountains winner banned after the Festina scandal.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 25, 2004 in About the Tour | Permalink


What other unique terms like "schmengee" emanate from the tour?

Posted by: Mark at Aug 21, 2004 9:49:03 AM

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