David Cameron taunts France over Team GB cycling dominance

Smug at nation's track and road victories

by Sarah Barth   August 10, 2012  

David Cameron (copyright World Economic Forum:Wikimedia Commons).jpg

You could accuse him of being rather smug. David Cameron has taunted the French about Great Britain's recent cycling victories in the Tour de France and Olympics.

After L'Equipe, a French newspaper, created an online poll asking readers whether they think Team GB cheated in the track cycling, and 70 per cent of respondents replied 'yes', it was time to say something.

When a French telelvision reporter put the allegations to the Prime Minister, enough was enough.

"It's driving the French mad; they can't bear it," Politics Home reported Cameron as saying. "Cycling — I was interviewed on French television yesterday and they virtually accused us of cheating. I think they found the union jacks on the Champs-Élysées a bit hard to take."

The Champs-Élysées reference, of course, evokes Wiggins's Tour de France win.

Cameron even told the French, who make Team GB's Mavic wheels, that they should know better.

"The French should know our secret because you make our wheels. … You know they're round. They go fast because they pedal hard," he said.

It'll be interesting to see what Francois Hollande comes up with in reposonse, but for now, let's hope some of that swagger translates to funding for grassroots cycling, so the dominance continues.

29 user comments

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Camera on a he should be known as thats all he is (a PR Merchant) is a C••T of the highest order.

It's a pity he doesn't spend more time attempting to put this country back together rather than trying to wind our neighbours up ... leave that to the red-tops.

Me, Myself and I

posted by phax71 [301 posts]
10th August 2012 - 8:51

5 Likes

It's also a pity that you didn't take a little more time over that first sentence.

nowasps's picture

posted by nowasps [256 posts]
10th August 2012 - 9:22

4 Likes

He said this on a R2 interview yesterday morning, I thought it was quite funny.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3328 posts]
10th August 2012 - 10:21

5 Likes

notfastenough wrote:
He said this on a R2 interview yesterday morning, I thought it was quite funny.

You must find Michael McIntyre absolutely hilarious then.

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [561 posts]
10th August 2012 - 10:27

5 Likes

No fan of Cameron, believe me, but in this case he's quite right. Bad losers. Simple.

posted by Fox [5 posts]
10th August 2012 - 10:51

5 Likes

All that public school and posh university education and he still isn't a gentleman.

Learn some manners, Toryboy!

posted by JohnS [198 posts]
10th August 2012 - 10:58

4 Likes

As much as I don't like Cameron, as long as all he is doing is responding to questions from the French media I don't have a problem as long as he keeps it light and in direct response.

I must say the headline on here does make it sound as though he has been crowing to the media just for personal gratification. Red Top journalism? Shocking!

posted by 1961BikiE [84 posts]
10th August 2012 - 11:02

5 Likes

Why does every picture of Cameron scream 'Look at my c*m face'?

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [412 posts]
10th August 2012 - 11:06

4 Likes

Did you read the comments on that L'Equipe piece? There were a good number of people saying it was good preparation that won the medals & anything else was sour grapes.

I hope (vainly?) that if the position were reversed we'd be as gracious.

posted by Mountainboy [74 posts]
10th August 2012 - 11:16

5 Likes

It screams "punch me", perhaps that's just me.

Poor show for L'Equipe to label us cheats using the old "well it's only what our readers think" ploy.

Come out and say it if you have the balls, otherwise STFU.

posted by moonbucket [55 posts]
10th August 2012 - 11:17

5 Likes

just like a tory .....

posted by Karbon Kev [680 posts]
10th August 2012 - 11:50

5 Likes

I hope the French remind him he hasn't even got the gumption to lock his bike up proper.

antonio

antonio's picture

posted by antonio [964 posts]
10th August 2012 - 12:33

4 Likes

Or his kids!

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3328 posts]
10th August 2012 - 13:12

4 Likes

zanf wrote:
notfastenough wrote:
He said this on a R2 interview yesterday morning, I thought it was quite funny.

You must find Michael McIntyre absolutely hilarious then.

Nice! I suppose I'm just weary of pre-canned and vetted replies that never really say anything at all.

And MM is an arse.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3328 posts]
10th August 2012 - 13:16

5 Likes

Despite my username, I'm not so familiar with L'Equipe's politics - I know it's mainly a sports paper. In _this_case_, I actually agree with Cameron - don't accuse us of cheating and hide behind your readers, that's the sort of tactic the Daily Mail would use.

posted by Pierre [81 posts]
10th August 2012 - 14:00

6 Likes

The man is a buffoon with no knowledge of anything outside whats printed in front of him by his assistant.

When the economy is completely up the swanny with no hope of it being brought under control by the muppets in Whitehall he goes and winds up one of the main countries we will have to rely on if it really goes tits up.

I hate him with a passion and i hope he gets piles Devil

Rant over, but we did kick the frenchie arses this year didn't we Big Grin

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2809 posts]
10th August 2012 - 14:50

5 Likes

"let's hope some of that swagger translates to funding for grassroots cycling"

From a man that on one hand dismisses sport from within the school time table yet on the other wishes to make school sports more competitive(as long as it is done for free and outside of the normal school hours), I wonder what more grass root funding would look like?

Death race commuting for cyclist.... oh sorry we already have that!

As for the french thing it is just idle banter a bit of fun at the expense of the french no doubt the boot will be on the other foot at sometime in future C'est la vie as they say

THE ONLY WAY IS BIKE

posted by lushmiester [156 posts]
10th August 2012 - 15:06

5 Likes

He is a contemptible, arrogant, nasty, privileged, smug tw@.
He is happy to bask in the reflected glory of our cyclists but was happy to abolish Cycling England within months of weazling into power.

posted by Some Fella [787 posts]
10th August 2012 - 15:09

4 Likes

Some Fella wrote:
He is a contemptible, arrogant, nasty, privileged, smug tw@.
He is happy to bask in the reflected glory of our cyclists but was happy to abolish Cycling England within months of weazling into power.

A big +1 to that.

Cycling England cost a pittance to run. Dumping it was not about cost saving but a clear indication of how cycling has for so long been considered "poor man's transport" in this country (and from a Tory/Clarkson/Parrish point of view should stay in the gutter where it belongs).

However, his comments are no surprise. Pathetic, jingoistic point-scoring against other countries is really no more than we can expect from opportunist ripoff merchants like him. No class whatsoever.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2001 posts]
10th August 2012 - 21:44

1 Like

Amazing, being "privileged" is somehow derogatory. Heaven forbid your ancestors work hard for your future! I'm off to spend my kids inheritance before Some Fella and his lot start pointing fingers, it's for your benefit son!!

posted by Nick T [817 posts]
11th August 2012 - 8:25

0 Likes

Wow some mild ribbing over a sporting event has been turned into a political rant over how this country is being run (Trolls 1 humans 0)

FATBEGGARONABIKE's picture

posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [594 posts]
11th August 2012 - 11:56

3 Likes

Nick T - in the current financial climate where the working / middle class are being hammered left right and centre its the "privileged few" of which Cameron and most of his cabinet cronies are who get away without having to worry about rising bills.

Remember the tax cut, announced by chummy osbourne, saved most of the cabinet in the region of £50k. Thats more than most families have to live on a year.

And working hard has nothing to do with it as proved by the conservatives.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2809 posts]
11th August 2012 - 11:57

0 Likes

I think you need to moderate some of these comments out; they're totally irrelevant.

posted by niico [2 posts]
11th August 2012 - 12:28

0 Likes

While I hate Cameron with a passion the French comments deserve a rebuke and his relatively mild ribbing was reasonable. The French accusations have absolutely no basis in fact and not even the slightest hint of evidence to back them up. Having just got back from watching the Mountain Biking and seeing Julie Bresset dominate the race we should, by their standards, start a discussion on whether or not she's on some performance enhancing products. But I hope that we don't and instead just salute a wonderful performance.

StevieG

posted by stevengoodfellow [42 posts]
11th August 2012 - 16:35

1 Like

niico wrote:
I think you need to moderate some of these comments out; they're totally irrelevant.

You might be right but it is a forum and if you read a lot of the articles you will find times when the route they end up taking bears no resemblance to the original story.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2809 posts]
11th August 2012 - 17:05

1 Like

I just love the remarks about how Tory scum are ruining this country etc! But let us remember it was Labour scum that got us to this position of debt in the first place!! Devil

Now in trench with tin hat on!!! Big Grin

But didn’t we do well in the cycling this year Big Grin

posted by sodit [70 posts]
11th August 2012 - 19:15

2 Likes

Nick T wrote:
Amazing, being "privileged" is somehow derogatory. Heaven forbid your ancestors work hard for your future!

Ha ha, love it! That's so arse-about-face.

No, the posh boys' ancestors paid (sometimes) a pittance for poor people to do the work while they reaped the benefits. North Wales's slate industry is a classic example - Penrhyn castle (like so many National Trust properties) was built with money from the desperately hard, short lives of slate quarrymen. Lord Penrhyn probably never did a day's work in his pampered life.

These days people entrust gamblers with our money, playing god by taking huge risks with it on the international commodity market, and screw the consequences. Dairy farmers in this country get paid less than the cost of making it while the supermarkets and big dairy suppliers like Arla and Muller grab the profit.

Often the problem can be less obvious but equally pernicious. While Apple acolytes mourn Steve Jobs as some kind of messiah they don't stop to think of the people making your iGadgets in Chinese factories. And pity the family stitching the Olympic athletes' Adidas gear. They don't really have a choice.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2001 posts]
11th August 2012 - 23:13

0 Likes

Union JACKS on the Champs-Élysées? Last time I checked it wasn't possible to sail a boat along there Thinking

Municipal Waste's picture

posted by Municipal Waste [190 posts]
12th August 2012 - 19:47

1 Like

Cameron would make a great pro cyclist, because every time he gets on a bike, he's followed by a huge fleet of support vehicles.

posted by wild man [283 posts]
13th August 2012 - 16:36

1 Like