Tour Down Under: ALLEZ VICHOT!

Quoi de what?

You’ve likely never heard of Arthur Vichot.  Me neither.  Sure, he rides for one of the few teams with a quasi-stylish kit, but that really has nothing to do with him.  So, why was he such a fan favourite at the Tour Down Under?

Not the work of the Chalkbot.

It seems that Australian cycling fans like to have fun.  According to various news reports, a group of fans decided to pick one unknown competitor in the TDU and make him a star.  After a little research, they settled on Vichot and went about transforming this 20-year-old water carrier into a cycling celebrity.

“Only two weeks ago the idea came up to create an Australian fan-club for an unknown rider who would be doing his first race here, who had never been to Australia before and doesn’t speak English,” said Alsbury [from the Port Adelaide Cycling Club]. “We went through the start list and we found Arthur on Facebook. That’s how we got to know that he came second at the U23 French championship. The club has grown from words of mouth.”

During his first training ride with local cyclists in Adelaide last week, Lance Armstrong was asked by Alsbury: “Do you know Vichot?” The seven-time winner of the Tour de France had never heard this name but he was told: “You’ll know him by the end the Tour Down Under.” That’s exactly what’s happened.

To his credit, Vichot is being a good sport.  “It is fun that this story occurs to me,” he noted in one interview.  I just might try and snag one of those Allez Vichot shirts.

Good on you, Australia.

EDITED TO ADD: Be sure to check out the Facebook page.  Lots of great pictures.


1 Response to “Tour Down Under: ALLEZ VICHOT!”

  1. 1 Lucky 29/01/2010 at 6:47 am

    Allez, Vichot!

    That’s awesome.

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