Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Best Names in Cycling

Here is a list of some of my favourite cycling names. Some are apt, some are weird and some are worth a lot in Scrabble.

Eddy Merckx – Eddy’s surname is awesome. Out of its six letters it has five consonants (the Schlecks' name shares that characteristic too). If you could play it in Scrabble you’d be onto a good thing: 21 points right there!

Nice rack, Eddy

Lars Boom – Lars. And then Boom. How cool is that?
A Dutch friend tells me the surname is pronounced “bome” (as in “Rome” but with a B) and means “tree”. Personally, I prefer the erroneous English pronunciation. The fact that he’s a champion ‘crosser and time triallist seems fitting…BOOM!

Lars doing justice to his name

Dimitri Champion – This guy had a big name to live up to and live up to it he did; 2009 French road race champion. I don’t know how long ago people were able to choose their surnames but someone back in the Champion line had incredible foresight…or maybe they just figured the name would have to become apt eventually.
There’s also an Albert Champion who won Paris-Roubaix in 1899.

The French champion Champion

Joop Zoetemelk – The Dutch legend has a name I can’t pronounce but I like the look of it. I don’t know what it means either but it sounds dirty. What's more, not a bad earner in Scrabble either.

Joop 'stamped' his authority on some big races

Hippolyte Aucouturier – The two-time Paris-Roubaix winner has an incongruous-sounding first name; some sort of featherweight hippopotamus. He had a great mo’ too. And if my French doesn’t deceive me, his surname translates to ‘to the fashion designer’…I feel he doesn’t need any help with his style though.

Hippolyte on his way home from the fashion designer

Ryder Hesjedal - His name is Ryder and he's a...rider! Get it? That's all.

What is Ryder doing? Ryding!

Ronde van Vlaanderen – Not a racer but a race. I’d love to be able to speak Flemish. If any language oozes cycling it’s Flemish (I know, I know, it’s Belgian Dutch). Also known as the Tour of Flanders or simply the Ronde, it is one of the biggest races on the calender and a symbol of Northern Belgium.
I feel like van Vlaanderen should be a verb; to van Vlaanderen. Let's check out a few conjugations;

He van Vlaanderens (present simple third person singular)
We are van Vlaanderening (present continuous first person plural)
I van Vlaanderened (past simple first person singular)

I'm not sure what it might mean though...any thoughts?

The Koppenberg does its thing

Anyway, there are heaps of great names in cycling. Any you'd like to add?

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