We have been inundated with a flood of responses here at Heavy Metal Monday headquarters following the anti-beardo manifesto. Three comments on the blog, a staggering one guy yelling at me from across the street, his mudguards rattling in the breeze, and a guy from the Bicycle Victoria forums labelling my prose as "predictable claptrap".
Not only that but, today at work, I was forced to work for a good hour on a dynamo hub that wouldn't work. It was as if the bearded gods wanted me to suffer for my blasphemy.
With this in mind, and with the sound of coffee hand grinders receding into the distance, we can push on to other matters.
So the Tour is still ongoing, even though we know Wiggins is going to win. He is fortunate indeed that the only man who could possibly beat him this year is young Froome, also of team SKY. Froome has been Wiggin's main go to guy in the high mountain passes. Other than that brief moment where Froome seemed to forget himself, attacking and dropping his captain, he has loyally served the small ankle man to what will surely be a great victory. Here's the thing though. It must be awkward knowing that your lieutenant is a better bike racer than you.
This isn't the first time this has happened of course. In 1997, Team Mobile started the Tour with Riis as captain, and ended with Jan Ullrich as captain and winner of the Tour. So dominant was Ullrich's performance, that Riis just agreed to work for him. A few years ago, there were tensions between Contador and Armstrong, with a far more ambiguous ending. Armstrong got third, but clearly wasn't happy about it, and Contador was a smarmy bastard.
But this is the first time it's happened where I could think of a funny term for the phenomenon: namely, the Froome effect. The Froome effect essentially describes the awkward situation when you are beaten by someone who shouldn't be as good as you. Let's run through the jargon.
To Froome: Verb. To be in a position to beat the pants off of your team leader, knowing it, then doing it. We witnessed this on the mountain stage the other day when Froome took the stage win, blasting past both Wiggins and Evans. At the time, commentators said they let Froome have the victory. I disagree. That's a Froomin'.
To be Froomed: This is the situation where your team mate, who should be your underling, destroys you. "I got Froomed today" suggests that maybe you took your nephew out for his first bike ride, and he left you in your dust before you could even find your other Speedplay. I imagine the most vivid reaction I can think of when someone is being Froomed is from Wiggins himself. He's been dropping the C bomb a lot lately. Must be a bit frustrated? It all makes sense. That's a Froomin'.
Froomin': This is the term for an action in which you are in the process of leaving your captain for dead. Eg. "How you going Ullrich?" "Froomin". Note that, although the particulars of Ullrich's Froomin' happened well before Froome was around pro cycling, the label can be back dated. Froomin' is timeless.
Crusin' for a Froomin: This is perhaps the funniest term. This describes the situation where the particular individual meant to be in charge is carrying on, as my dad would have said, "like a two bob watch", ie. a dick. Perhaps they're arrogant, or just too cool for school, these people are just begging for someone to Froome the hell out of them. Perhaps the person who was crusin' for a froomin' the most, but who never got his comeuppance, was Lance Armstrong. Reason being: Hincapie's steerer kept snapping. You best believe that's a Froomin'.
In fact, perhaps the only person who can never undergo the Froome effect, is Cadel Evans. The reason for this is that his team is always shit.
Froome himself admits that this year has been tricky, and fully expects Team Sky to return the favour, should next years course be more mountainous. This suggests that Froome himself is uncomfortable in the Froome role. Rather, he would prefer to be Wiggin' it. Namely winning.
And, although I think Wiggins as been gracious toward his helpers, and is hardly crusin' for a Froomin', I reckon next year you will definitely see Froome Wiggin' the fuck out.
Froome on mates.