What's Cool In Road Cycling

Worlds06: It’s All About The Fans

Fans make a race special. They add the colour, the spice. They make you laugh, shake your head and sometimes their dedication amazes you. It’s not fair to grade them, travelling down from Finland deserves as much of a mention as nicking life-size Tom Boonen cut-outs from your local supermarket in Gent then taking them to Austria.

Rather, let’s look at the different approaches:

Seriously, these fans ripped off a life-size cut-out of Tommeke and lugged it down to Austria with them. Mmmmm, how about that three foot long chunk of carbo goodness Tom?

Belgium: High-profile ‘Total Boonen’ verging on pagan idolatry.

Tom Boonen…so hot right now…Tom Boonen.

Only three things matter in life: Belgium, Beer (Duvel), and Boonen.

It seemed like the entire population of Belgium migrated to Salzburg to see Tommeke go for his second World title.

No boundaries; the red, yellow and black jester hats say it all really.

Italy: In the main, pretty reserved at Salzburg, maybe a reaction to the excesses of mad flat-landers from the North.

Norway: Surprisingly well-represented. Big on flags and life-size banners.

Finland: Not many, but well organised, tee-shirts with their boy’s picture and flags.

Slovenia: Reserved, but you wouldn’t mess with them dudes; especially since they were banging-down Carlsberg at 8.00 am.

Cyril Dessel had his own fan contingent – they were hoping for some magic a la Le Tour de France in July – no dice.

Kazakhstan: A decent presence, good flag-count and we particularly liked the lovelies who wore the team strips over their derrieres.

Brittany: Reserved, but aint that a cool flag?

The Germans were out in abundance, but looked a bit dejected after their man, Zabel, had been pipped on the line for the umpteenth time.

Of course the Austrians were abundantly plentiful – along with their catching flag.

Luxembourg: That boy Sckleck is popular.

Holland: Even the efforts of the Tommekes pale when compared to the orange-men (and women). In a word – nuts!

Most enterprising fans of the day? The ones with the sofa on the side-walk at the start of the finishing straight.

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