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VOTD Breakdown: Etixx-Quick Step, Winning #OURWAY

Today Tony Martin won the stage with a late attack that also put him in the yellow jersey. Needless to say, this set off some reactions among his Etixx-Quick Step teammates and coaches. And because internet, EQS have gone ahead and spliced it into two minutes of YouTube Magic.

Le staff d'Etixx-QuickStep éclate de joie dans... by divertissonsnous

[Update!] re-embedded after YouTube version taken down...

Let's break it down!

Scene 1 (0:02-0:09) -- Davide Bramati drives the car and says stuff in some combination of Italian and English, or maybe Dutch. I'm guessing the guy in the back is a mechanic, because that's where they sit, and if he is then he's Belgian, because hiring a non-Belgian mechanic is somewhere on the Quick Step to-do list between "build roster around climbers" and "quit the sport entirely."

Bramati is starting to get excited, but you can't tell from the scowl that's building up on his face. Cycling is a cruel sport, as Bramati knows all too well having raced for 17 years as a pro. Why is he even in this car? Why didn't he go home after his cycling career ended and get a job in a bank in Milan? He's not sure. Except he is. Because cycling is a deliciously cruel sport.

The stress is getting to the mechanic, who buries his face in his hands. Or maybe it's just that, after five hours of not really understanding what Bramati is saying, he just can't take it anymore.

Scene 2 (0:10-0:13) -- Brian Holm mans the mic while Wilfried Peeters drives. Holm is getting very excited by reports of Martin attacking, but he's Danish. He screams on the inside.

Scene 3 (0:14-0:21) -- Something is happening now. How can you tell? Not by the stream of Italian coming from Bramati. No, it's the eyebrows. Belgians communicate on a whole different level. The eyebrows arch in direct proportion to the effectiveness of the attack. This is a convincing move, they say, and like Martin himself, the eyebrows go next into tempo mode. This thing needs to stick all the way to the line.

Scene 4 (0:22-0:28) -- Not satisfied with race radio, Peeters takes to his smartphone to watch the video feed of Martin on the attack. This is fine, because inattentively driving a car in the heat of a major bike race is not that dangerous.

Scene 5 (0:28-1:06) -- Video coverage rotates from Car 2 (Bramati) to Car 1 (Peeters) to the team bus, as the spectre of glorious victory starts to cast its shadow over the team. Only Bramati, unable to contain his Latin soul, is willing to utter a single word as the tension mounts. He's on his third language, at least, when "ALLEZ TONY!" comes bursting forth.

Scene 6 (1:07-1:24) -- The experience of stage victory enters the high-pitched squealing phase, proving once again that inside the soul of every cyclist or bike mechanic is a teenaged, female Beatles fan circa 1962.

Scene 7 (1:25-1:31) -- Holm is now screaming at the top of his internal lungs, a sound audible to all Danish viewers. Peeters completely forgets that he is in control of a car. But it's fine, because nothing ever comes of reckless driving at a bike race.

Scene 8 (1:32-end) -- Basically, everyone has now lost their freaking shit. The mechanic can no longer speak. Holm breaks out in a wild, ecstatic handshake. Peeters is savoring victory by driving the car again, in the hope of surviving all the way to the team dinner. Bramati has ditched all inferior languages and is just screaming "Si! Si!" at everyone in earshot, including the EQS riders still on the course. There's Mark Renshaw, who gets a "JAAA!" as confirmation of the day's success. There's Matteo Trentin, whose bike just won the stage without him. And finally World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski, who knows better than to accept a full-on handshake from an excited Italian driving a car.

A smile creeps across Holm's face, demonstrating just how much time he's spent with Italians since leaving Denmark years ago. This one might last a while.


This is an actual hashtag, by the way, and can be found in all of the team's Tweets. It ranks below #OurPerfectWedding and OurBlues, whatever that is, but above #ourlastnight, which is about music and clowns, apparently.

Seriously, great job to all, especially Tony Martin, and congrats!