After a long and, at times, turbulent negotiation with A.S.O, Manual for Speed is proud to announce the introduction of the Most Animal Classification Jersey11A panel of experts—Eddie Merkcx, Vance Larmstrong, Marco Pantani, Mario Cippiloini, Roger De Vlaeminck and Sean Kelly—will award points on the basis of style, swagger, and grit. The Most Animal Jersey will be awarded at the end of the race. into the Tour de France. However, because the race is absurdly, fantastically and inconceivably long, we will be issuing points weekly, not daily. What follows is the 2016 Tour de France Week One Most Animal points ceremony.22Most Animal art by Steve Hockett.
DAN MARTIN: 6 pts
His relentless attacks never stuck, but that only made his endless attempts more impressive. He went for broke so many times, we’re surprised he had anything left in the bank to keep on trying.
JON IZAGUIRRE: 4 pts
He was clocked at 112km/h on the descent down into Morzine. That’s 69.6 miles an hour. The guy let his spirit animal shine.
MARCEL KITTEL: 3 pts
His wheel throw during the last stage was another great animal moment in TdF history.
JARLINSON PANTANO: 2 pts
Still unhappy with just one stage win, he gave it a try again on stage 20, out descending Nibali on a rainy day, earning a second place finish.
- Jarlinson Pantano: 9 points
- Chris Froome: 8 points
- Dan Martin: 6 points
- Jon Izaguirre: 4 points
- Marcel Kittel: 3 points
- Adam Yates: 3 points
- Horse & Dude: 3 points
- Alex Howes: 2 points
- The City of Bern: 1 points
- Vande Velde’s Beefy Nose Mole: 1 points
- Oleg Tinkov: 1 points
Congratulations Jarlinson Pantano!
Cycling animalness can be manifested in many ways. It can come out in a harsh explosion, in a series of decisions during a race, or even in something as subtle as a gesture. This year’s Tour de France saw several manifestations of riders who reached for that highest accomplishment and honor in the sport: the right to be crowned Most Animal. And they did so in many different ways. In the end, however, only one rider could take the prize home, and the honor had to go to Jarlinson Pantano.
The upbeat Colombian, who MFS spent many hours with at the 2013 Giro d’Italia and who MFS has seen many times since, let his animalness show so many times in this year’s Tour de France that we pretty much lost count. He got into many, many breaks, over many, many days. Not just the kind that French teams usually prefer (i.e. with the goal of getting TV time), but ones that were intended to win stages. Throughout the race, he he relentlessly tried to win stages, and thus was declared the most combative rider twice. He sprinted against the best in the world and out-descended the best descender in the world (in the rain no less) in the name of victory. He went for broke so many times that we’re pretty sure he’s created a figurative fitness vacuum around him that will envelop the 27 year old for months, if not years.
Pantano’s last name is the Spanish word for “swamp.” It would be tempting to name him the Swamp Thing of the Tour, or some other such thing. But we’ll abstain. Firstly, because DC Comics would probably sue us immediately, but also because it would be cheesy, and at any rate… the Swamp Thing was half-human half-plant.
Stinky Moments at the Tour de France
Memorializing the stinkiest moments in cycling history.
- The women’s La Course race is a criterium on the Champs-Élysées. If it were any other day, the race would be awesome—but because it happens the day that the men ride in after after completing one of the biggest sporting events in the world, it underscores how meh-inducing La Course is, and the insanely huge gap between male and female cycling. After years of existing, organizers still haven’t even allowed La Course to race over all or even part of the route of that final TdF stage, limiting the race to the laps around the Champs-Élysées.