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The quiet indignity of the pro cyclist GIF

Gone are the days when professional cyclists were hired and fired for their abilities to merely do good things with their legs. Now cycling is…

Wednesday, Apr 20

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Gone are the days when professional cyclists were hired and fired for their abilities to merely do good things with their legs. Now cycling is a business – athletes are expected to be performers, brand spokespeople, media personalities, idols.

That means that you get things like Remco Evenepoel signing endorsement deals with Pizza Hut , personalised Peter Sagan showerheads , and all manner of KoOkInEsS on social media platforms.

Perhaps the most immediate tool at a cycling team’s marketing department’s disposal, however, is the humble GIF. Over the past few years, the cycling teams of the world have embraced these brief grabs of looped video are a vehicle to getting their brand out there. Now, many teams – especially the French and the Dutch ones, for whatever reason – have dedicated channels on the GIF goldmine, Giphy.

Which, in a roundabout way, brings us back to cyclists; how they are good at legs, and bad at arms. Giphy has a rich archive of GIFs demonstrating the bewilderment among pro cyclists when they’re asked to do things with their arms – as well as those that are totally happy to just go for it.

Here are 10 of my personal favourites. 10 cyclists, 10 GIFs

> Tom Scully’s three-phased shoulder shrug. It’s subtle, but there’s a lot to like in the Wreck It Ralph hands, the distinct phases of the shrug, the pleading look in the big Kiwi’s eyes. Especially the more you watch it.

2. The smile dying in Wout Van Aert. Wout […]

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