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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.

15 comments

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dp24 [201 posts] 1 year ago
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This article seems rather churlish. Prudhomme and Verity weren't getting in the way of any riders or causing any danger. The majority of people would take the #TDFselfie idea in the spirit it was intended, but you will always get some people who can't help acting like fuckwits.

As we've just seen about 10 minutes ago, put a camera in the hands of some people and their brain seems to turn to mush.

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John Stevenson [250 posts] 1 year ago
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Nice to hear from a paid-up Brigader, dp24. The whooshing noise you can hear is the point going right over your head.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 1 year ago
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I was going to give her a nice reply, about the timing and how it looks like the Garmin rider is blowing her hair.

But I looked at her profile and it is all cars, clothes and Justin Bieber.....I'm not a hater, but she looks like a spoilt brat  24

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Argos74 [390 posts] 1 year ago
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Meh. A grown man using the word "s***ie" in public.

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dp24 [201 posts] 1 year ago
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John Stevenson wrote:

Nice to hear from a paid-up Brigader, dp24. The whooshing noise you can hear is the point going right over your head.

No, it really isn't. I haven't dished out personal abuse, on Twitter or elsewhere, to anyone taking these selfies, so your accusation is entirely inaccurate.

I am, however, happy to stand by my comment that anyone getting in the way of 200 cyclists approaching at 50km/h so that they can take a photograph - like the one who nearly took Diego Lopez out today - is a fuckwit.

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Albert Herring [7 posts] 1 year ago
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The bloke who Lopez nearly hit was not taking a selfie, as far as I could see, just a common or garden picture of the bunch. Amateur photographers are actually marginally less of a problem than they once were, since they are mostly looking at screens (which allows some peripheral vision of moving objects around you) rather than fixedly through viewfinders - and often through a lens that distorts distances and speeds of moving objects. The bloke in question was also a victim of a common crowd control problem on straight roads, where spectators tend to echelon into the road in order to look past the person "upstream" of them, and then step back at the last moment leaving the slow, dimwitted, distracted or wide-angle lensed a metre or two out in the road on their own. I've seen that happen in every country I've ever watched a bike race - it's certainly not a peculiarly British phenomenon.

Despite the hype, there did not seem to be an abnormal number of crashes for the opening days of the Tour. The main issue seems to have been purely one of numbers: Alpe d'Huez-sized crowds turning out on 4th-cat climbs, reducing the width of already narrow roads in places where a compact 200-rider bunch is likely to roll through together, leading to the back of the field grinding to a halt. The only way to deal with that is to restrict access in some way. The massive crowds in urban areas appeared to be no problem at all for the race.

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cub [86 posts] 1 year ago
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I'm a bitter b*stard who looks down on those who only come out for the best days of a sport or activity. Whether it's sunbathers coming into the fields where I walk my dog so I have to put it on a lead, where were they on those rainy winter days? Or some teenage girl getting a selfie of the tour so she can show how interesting she is, blocking my view of action.

Luckily most of the crowds at the top of Holme moss were cyclists and there was a really good atmosphere beforehand, I imagine most who drove there had to park at the bottom of the hill and couldn't be bothered to walk to the top.

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Leviathan [1928 posts] 1 year ago
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Are we going to see some selfies from inside the peloton next?

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JeevesBath [169 posts] 1 year ago
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Just don't get it....
"Oh, the world's largest bike race is coming past - I'd best turn around and face the other way!"
... and these people must have stood there for hours, in order to take a photo - of themselves.

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700c [889 posts] 1 year ago
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John Stevenson wrote:

Nice to hear from a paid-up Brigader, dp24. The whooshing noise you can hear is the point going right over your head.

More to the point, by publishing the twitter posts you're giving the 'angry brigade' ammunition and fuel for their fire. Even if the tenor of the article is to mock them..

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vanmildert [50 posts] 1 year ago
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Brilliant - made me laugh - totally agree!!

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davebinks [149 posts] 1 year ago
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Hey, Guys,
I travelled a long way today and waited hours at the roadside hours to watch the TdF come past.
And then, I turned my back on them as they came past, so I never actually saw them.

How cool is that eh?

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J90 [325 posts] 1 year ago
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cub wrote:

Luckily most of the crowds at the top of Holme moss were cyclists and there was a really good atmosphere beforehand, I imagine most who drove there had to park at the bottom of the hill and couldn't be bothered to walk to the top.

Yep, definitely. Ride up to the summit, have a little sprint for the KOM between your group and ride back down to find a decent spot. Also, anybody who was seen to be struggling up the climb got a lot of encouragement from everybody. Great banter too.

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WolfieSmith [1318 posts] 1 year ago
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No mention of that publicity seeking husband and wife team and his ginger brother who actually stopped the race to have their photo taken?  4

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farrell [1950 posts] 1 year ago
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MercuryOne wrote:

No mention of that publicity seeking husband and wife team and his ginger brother who actually stopped the race to have their photo taken?  4

Bloody Foreigners....

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