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Just how did this silliness get started? We name the guilty men

Break out the pitchforks and fire up the flaming torches! Twitter’s Angry Brigade is mobilising against the Tour de France selfie and their latest target is a young woman with the Twitter handle @zodoyle who yesterday morning posted this:

The idea that she could just have been perhaps exaggerating a smidgeon about “nearly dying”, or that the optics of mobile phone cameras often give a very misleading view, doesn’t seem to have occurred to the Angry Brigade, who responded by calling Zoe “idiotic and completely selfish”, “Stupido” and “moron”.

Demonstrating that the Angry Brigade can be just as dumb as those they complain about one commented: “too bad she didn't vet [sic] clipped by a rider.” That wouldn’t have caused exactly the kind of pile-up you’re worried about, now would it?

This morning Zoe replied to her critics:

Since the riders behind her don't seem unduly alarmed or to be taking evasive action, we see no reason not to believe her, but doubtless this will just make the Angry Brigade even more cross.

You might be wondering how this whole #TDFselfie craze got started. A scroll back through the top tweets for the hashtag reveals this horrifying image:

Yes, that’s Welcome to Yorkshire’s Gary Verity and Tour de France head honch Christian Prudhomme kicking off the craze in Leeds just a few days ago. They’re probably pretty well defended against the pitchforks and flaming torches of social media, though. Far easier to pick on someone you’ve never met from behind your keyboard.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.