Operation: Support an Obscure Pro - TDU 2015 - Boris Vallée

For those starting to prep for the TDU, you may recall every year there is a bit of a movement for the fans to get behind one of the lesser known riders, one of the domestiques, who will be riding in support of their nominated GC/KOM/sprinter(s).

Well, I'd like to make a nomination for one such rider this year. His name is Boris Vallée and he's a 21 year old neo-pro riding for Lotto Soudal, making his first trip to Australia.

I don't know him - but as it turns out, I do know his brother. I met him last year when I was in The Netherlands, and went riding in search of the Liege-Bastion-Liege start/finish line (which as it turns out, is in... Liege). Along the way I tagged on to a bunch ride and although their English was about as good as my Flemish, we worked out it was okay to tag along. It was a great ride which finished riding laps of their clubs outdoor velodrome, before being invited up to the club rooms to sample some Belgian beer. 

Faced with the choice of riding home after a Belgian beer or two, or being offered a lift by Boris's older brother Kevin, I chose the latter, and we've kept in touch since. So he's a rider I've got a small connection to, and he seems to tick all the boxes for this year's Operation: Support an Obscure Pro.

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Belgian beer, fsck! I'll support him. How do we show support? Drink more bb?

I have no idea, but it sounds reasonable, and I'm not prepared to die wondering.

Nice. Your way of picking works for me!

Seems a good choice to me. Love Belgium. And Belgian beer. 

I chatted with Kevin via email earlier in the week, and Boris should be in the country now, arriving early for some team training and acclimatisation.

He's on the Twitter: @BorisValle3 - send him a welcome message, hashtag it #TDU too.

Great post Sir Ubu!  I'll be watching closely.

How much of a dead ringer for Peter Sagan is he??

Well, wrong coloured-kit, and I don't know him to wheelie but he can superman like the best of them:

...and now I think about it, I'm not sure Sagan ever won gold at the Junior Olympics either!:

I also tagged into a group of Belgium riders on the ride from Sault to Mt V. They could speak English and the first question was "where I was from?" The first statement was "you Australians also love beer". We talked about beer and fun times all the way to Chalet Reynard.

I am rooting for Boris! Thanks.

PS: Lotto should be an interesting team this year without the Gorilla. Although the course is not known for puncheurs, they have so many riders that can animate the race. Unless Boris is a young stud, he will certainly have his work cut out for him.

Me thinks Boris is on that nasty stuff, Southwark or West End.

 

He is currently 129th out of 131, 28:39 behind.

Well, you can't get much more obscure than that! One spot maybe, definitely not two - lanterne rouge is almost as good as a jersey.

I'd argue if he's that far down, he's been expertly doing his job as the domestique he's employed to be!

So there he was, supposed to be all obscure and the rest of it.

Then he goes and ruins it all with a podium on the final stage?!?!

Well with a result like that, we're going to have to start thinking about who our new O:SAOP 2016 might be...

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