With little over a week until the start of the 2011 Tour de France, Cyclingnews has picked ten tweeting riders to follow during July. Here’s our pick of the bunch.
1. Mark Cavendish (@MarkCavendish)
A first green jersey for the world’s fastest sprinter is the goal but his challenge will be hampered by a tricky first week where three stages finish on significant lumps that may knock him out of contention. As well as providing thrills on the bike, Cavendish is never far from controversy and he’s bound to upset someone.
Typical Tweet: Stupid comment of the year goes to Andre Greipel. To me: "why the fuck you drop the wheel in front on the climb?" #nowweknowwhostartstheshit
2. Fabian Cancellara (@f_cancellara)
Cancellara’s first objectives of the season – the Classics – are behind him and now he goes into domestique de luxe mode for the Schleck brothers’ GC aims. Expect to see him towing the rest of the Leopard Trek team in his wake in the team time trial. He speaks most European languages but his English tweets are a good laugh.
Typical Tweet: Fast start,following, crazy downhill in rain(fu...cold), Uphill really steep (to much) downhill(stupid crazy)small roads,finish,thats my day
3. Andy Schleck (@andy_schleck)
Second to Contador at the Tour twice, can Schleck make it third time lucky? Recent performances at the Tour de Suisse suggest he is either below par or has become a master bluffer. He’s not a prolific tweeter, but when he does it’s usually to say thanks, which probably makes middle-aged housewives swoon. Everything’s ‘nice’ too.
Typical tweet: Thanks to all the nice b day wishes thanks to the @leopardtrek for the nice surprise in the bus
4. Cadel Evans (@CadelOfficial)
The 34-year-old Australian looks more settled than ever at BMC Racing and it’s shown in his results: overall wins at Tirreno Adriatico and the Tour of Romandie and second at the Criterium du Dauphine. The Australian’s Twitter stream is surprisingly candid for someone who’s fairly guarded in person.
Typical tweet: Another tough day here at Dauphine; Sky/Wiggins, Astana/Vino, BMC/KK-Micky-Steve-Manolo all v. good. Evans v. average...
5. David Zabriskie (@dzabriskie)
Garmin-Cervelo hasn’t named their team, but it’s unlikely the new US TT champion will be left off the roster given the importance of the team time trial. He’s got his own brand of chamois cream and he’s a vegan. He’s got a sense of the absurd too and the Tour should provide Zabriskie with plenty of material.
Typical tweet: Attn. World leaders...if you are experiencing a drought may I suggest putting a bike race on...it’s a good way to get some precipitation.
6. Richie Porte (@richie_porte)
It’s the Tasmanian’s debut Tour and you need to go back more than a year to the 2010 Giro where he came seventh to see why the 26 year-old has finally got the nod from team manager, Bjarne Riis. He’s had a quiet year so far but finished a very impressive fourth in the Giro’s final time trial. His Twitter stream does a nice line in self-deprecating humour.
Typical tweet: Officially I'm going to the Tour. Officially I'm a happy little vegemite!
7. Bradley Wiggins (@bradwiggins)
He was first at the Critérium du Dauphiné and says he is in a far better frame of mind than he was a year ago. He’s renowned for saying it like it is and his Twitter feed will be good value
Typical tweet: Thanks for all the messages of support everyone including the not so nice ones. Remember opinions are like arseholes, everyone has got one
8. Geraint Thomas (@GeraintThomas86)
He was Sky’s sliver of good news at last year’s Tour, wearing the white jersey in the first week and finishing second on stage three over the cobbles of northern France. He was a key support figure for Wiggins at the Critérium du Dauphiné and will be crucial in the team time trial.
Typical tweet: Eddie did an extra half hour on the turbo today to keep me company. Now if that's not team spirit I don't know what is...
9. Alberto Contador (@albertocontador)
If the Giro hasn’t taken too much out of him, it’s difficult to see beyond Contador taking his fourth Tour this year, but we’ll have to wait until August to find out if the last two count.
Typical Tweet: Today I have seen Grenoble's TT & is very hard,after19stages..Uff!Ah,yesterday was an entertained day between the Galibier and Alpe d'Huez;)
10. Brent Bookwalter (@brentbookwalter)
He had a solid Tour de France debut and will be key bottle carrier in the BMC team again this year. Teams are often forced to stay in threadbare hotels and Bookwalter’s propensity to describe his accommodation should make his Twitter feed part race description part travelogue.
Typical tweet: Our hotel for today is weird. This begins to explain it... http://yfrog.com/h21jxaqj