Characters of the Peloton – The Quiet One

Part One of a mini series by Girl With The Marco Pantani Tattoo

Since the Tour lost two riders in *that* controversial incident on Stage 4, the peloton has been down two of its biggest characters.  I went on a mission to find out who could step up to the mark since the loss of…well, Mark. And Peter.

The Quiet One, Alberto Contador

If you’re not social media savvy you might be forgiven for wondering why I’ve picked ‘Bertie’ (as Contador is affectionately called online) as one of my characters of the peloton. An extraordinary rider, Contador’s post-race interviews tended – until recently – to be in rapid-fire Spanish, with a focus on the day’s tactics and tomorrow’s hopes. You’ll not catch Alberto indulging in a victory jig as he crosses the finish line like Sagan, and, perhaps due to his perceived seriousness, he is never asked the more off-the-wall questions that some of his peers attract.

Yet behind his steely exterior and ridiculously high pain threshold, Alberto Contador is an animal lover with a cheeky sense of humour, which is definitely being showcased now that he’s confident to conduct interviews in English.

Matt Stephens of Global Cycling Network (GCN) has a particularly good rapport with the Spanish rider; check out the YouTube video below to see Bertie lightheartedly mock the former British pro during an interview conducted on a training ride with Alberto’s previous Tinkoff team.

A quick glimpse at Contador’s Instagram feed tells you many things about his interests outside of cycling. I first discovered his love of animals when he posted an amusing photo of his dog wearing the red leaders’ jersey from the Vuelta, amusingly captioned in Spanish ‘I don’t know what was harder, winning the Vuelta or getting the jersey on my dog’.

Contador’s social media is full of photographs of him and his dog, aptly named Tour, as well as various other dogs and friendly animals that he’s come across on his travels. Invariably there’s a sweetly amusing caption to go with each photo. One of my favourite videos on Contador’s Instagram shows him cycling round his apartment with Tour following. It makes me smile that we get to see this side of him.

Don’t forget to visit Bertie’s Instagram page for amusing photographs of food, funny faces and furry friends much like these…

Photos courtesy of Alberto Contador, Instagram, Video thanks to GCN.

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