Quarantine and self isolation during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic can take an emotional toll on the strongest of personalities, and every once in a while a person needs to let go of it all and have some fun.
Former rider Bas Tietema provided such an opportunity for the professional cyclists who have put their seasons on hold, creating a video parody of Queen's 'We Will Rock You' that had even world champions clamouring for a chance to appear.
"Annemiek van Vleuten heard from a teammate that we wanted to make a video, so she texted me this morning if it was still possible to join," Tietema told Cyclingnews by text today.
"That’s the best way; riders see that we don’t ask much of them, but we can make cool content of them. Next to that the sports public gets more an idea who they are off the bike and that’s something really positive."
In a video that lasts just over two minutes, riders from around the globe add to the beat of the '70s hit by the British band as they pass the tune to the next rider. Aside from Van Vleuten, the video includes Remco Evenepoel, Sven and Thibau Nys, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, Kirsten Wild, Tadej Pogačar, Nathan Haas, Chantal Blaak, Michael Matthews, Tiesj Benoot and many, many more.
"So first we made a TikTok with Evenepoel, Thibau Nys and more, but riders were so enthusiastic that we decided to do the whole song," Tietema said.
"Some riders I know personally from my time as rider of the BMC Devo team. Some riders helped me to get other teammates convinced. But I think they all understand that this is a way how you can keep the sport popular in a wider range. See for example riders as [Mathieu van der Poel] and [Peter] Sagan, kids love to see wheelies, fun on the bike and lots of attacks."
Tietema said a project that started with just three riders ended with nearly 100 wanting to participate. The video is posted on Tietema's Tour de Tietema YouTube channel, a project he started during last year's Tour de France. The series caught on in Belgium and Holland, so he continued the project this year.
"The plans of 2020 were to go to the Olympics, European Football and Tour de France to make the same type of content in the sport," he said. "As the situation changed with the coronavirus we wanted to make the same type of content, but from home."