So, instead of flogging himself for thirty-odd minutes and trying to set the best time on a course eventually won by Big Tom Dumoulin, young Victor rolled down the ramp with his skinsuit unzipped and a message written on his chest, ‘Carlien daten?’ – which means ‘Carlien, will you go out with me?’
Carlien, you see, is a girl Victor fancies and hasn’t had the nerve to ask out yet. To the delight of #couchpeloton members around the world, we later learned that she said yes. It was a love story for the modern cycling age, perhaps the greatest romance ever to unfold in the middle of an ITT.
The UCI took a dim view of the young Belgian’s antics and fined him 100 Swiss francs for ‘damaging the image of the sport’. Which, as Scott O’Raw pointed out on Twitter, seems a little disproportionate given Movistar were fined just 50 francs for parking their car in the middle of a race.
Proportionality aside, the big question now is where does Campenova go from here? Will he have to win a GT stage before he can ask Carlien to move in with him? Will we see him cross the line at the World Championships with ‘please could you buy milk?’ daubed on his forehead. What will he write, and where on his person, if Carlien ever dumps him?
In an homage to Victor, I would like to take this opportunity to ask if anyone would like to go out with me? Not fussy, really. Must like bikes.