Words by David Gordon
Twitter exploded today during the Team time Trial (TTT) at the Tour de France. But, not because of Orica GreenEdge’s stunning victory earning them the yellow jersey. The tight-knit Twitter cycling community quickly shifted focus to support Ted King of Cannondale Pro Cycling Team. Who’s Ted King?
For those of you who don’t follow the pro peloton, you may not be familiar with @iamtedking. He describes himself as “a bike racer who does some other stuff too.” The “other stuff”, is what makes Ted King loved by so many. The lone American on an Italian pro team. The cyclo-cross racer. The maple syrup lover. The writer. The downright good guy who fought like hell to race the Tour de France for the first time this year. His dream of riding the Tour became more difficult than he’d ever imagine after separating his shoulder during the final kilometers of the 213km stage 1, from Porto-Vecchio to Bastia.
He fought through the pain during stages 2 and 3, helping his teammate Peter Sagan earn the green jersey, before meeting what would be his final match at the Tour — the 25km TTT in Nice. The rules state that you must finish within 25-percent of the winning time. Unfortunately for King, and his loyal fan base, this meant he missed the time cut by seven seconds…SEVEN SECONDS.
His power files show that he averaged 28.2mph for 25km. For those of you who take to the road, you know this is no small feat.
Photo credit: @michellecound
By my count, I’m at 32:24. I’m honestly not sure where 32:32 is from. pic.twitter.com/bebYFMBL0e
— Ted King (@iamtedking) July 2, 2013
While scrolling through my Twitter feed, it seemed like all 22,000+ of his followers disagreed with the judges decision to end his first Tour de France. Hashtags popped up rallying to keep him in — #TedWatch #LetTedRide #WeareTedKing #TdWTF. In fact, #LetTedRide was trending at one point. Tweets from Taylor Phinney, Adam Meyerson, Dave Towle and many cycling media went viral:
— Taylor Phinney (@taylorphinney) July 2, 2013
— Adam Myerson (@AdamMyerson) July 2, 2013
— peloton magazine (@pelotonmagazine) July 2, 2013
Peloton Magazine (at the time of writing the article, this had been RTd 1,027 times)
Don’t make me pour my maple syrup on the ground, TDF. Tedwatch.
— nyvelocity (@nyvelocity) July 2, 2013
— Dave Towle (@davedtowle) July 3, 2013
Dave Towle, announcer
Tonight, #WeareallTedKing. LET TED RACE!