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Mark Cavendish makes history, Dylan Groenewegen’s bizarre (and stage-winning) aero beak, and the weirdest things we’ve ever seen at the Tour de France

On episode 81 of the Podcast, we rank the strangest, wackiest, and downright daftest things to grace the roads (and precipitous mountain tops) of cycling’s biggest race… and chat about a certain sprinter from the Isle of Man

We’re almost a week into the 2024 Tour de France, so to celebrate – and inspired by Dylan Groenewegen’s peculiar, Batman-inspired aero beak – in the latest episode of the Podcast, we decided to unbuckle the Grande Boucle and focus on the strangest, daftest, and most crazy things, both on and off the bike, that we’ve witnessed at cycling’s biggest race over the years.

Oh, and there was maybe a bit of chat about a certain Manx sprinter and the number 35…


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Mark Cavendish wins record 35th Tour de France stage, 2024 Tour de France, stage 5 (Zac Williams/

(Zac Williams/

On episode 81 of the Podcast, Tour devotees Ryan, Simon, and Dan – like groggy political commentators trying to make sense of a landslide general election at 6.30 in the morning – dissected arguably one of British cycling’s finest ever moments: Mark Cavendish’s history-making 35th Tour de France stage win.

> “The Tour de France is bigger than cycling. And we’ve done it”: Record-breaker Mark Cavendish’s greatest ever Tour de France stage wins

On Wednesday, at the end stage five of the 2024 Tour in Saint-Vulbas, the 39-year-old rolled back the clock with a stunning sprint – just days after slogging through the Italian heat on the Tour’s mountainous opening week – to beat heir-apparent Jasper Philipsen and secure his place in cycling immortality as the Tour’s outright stage win record holder.

The racing trio discussed their own reactions to Cav’s record-smashing sprint, reflect on the former world champion’s career, and ask: Where does No. 35 rank in the pantheon of the Manx Missile’s greatest victories? Where does Cavendish sit in the list of great British cyclists and sportspeople? And is No. 36 on the cards?

Dylan Groenewegen's aero beak, 2024 Tour de France stage three (Eurosport)

> Got the nose (and wallet) to sniff out a Tour de France stage win? Dylan Groenewegen’s bizarre Scicon Batman aero ‘beak’ finally available to buy… for just £300 – but why was it banned in the first place?

Away from the Cav-athon – and with the perfect timing of any well-planned podcast recording – we then turned our attentions to Dylan Groenewegen and his bizarre ‘aero beak’, just hours before the Dutch champion and his much-ridiculed tech powered to the stage win in Dijon.

After discussing the aesthetic pros and cons of Groenewegen’s Batman look, the reaction to it both online and from the UCI, and what it may mean for the future of glasses tech, we were then inspired to name some of the strangest things, tech-related or otherwise, we’ve ever spotted at the Tour.

While Dan seems to be still be in a state of shock when it comes to Specialized’s ‘aero balaclava’, and its debut at the 2022 Tour

Vlasoc snood Tour de France 2022 (GCN)

… Ryan attempted to get his head around Greg LeMond’s arguably useless Scott drop-in bars from the early 1990s…

Scott drop-in bars, Greg LeMond

… And Simon opted for the always-funny national anthem mistake game (Alberto Contador’s Danish rendition in Paris in 2009 being his personal favourite), and this high-stakes games of mountain-top chess from 2016:

I think I’ll stick to watching it from the road, thanks.

The Podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Amazon Music, and if you have an Alexa you can just tell it to play the Podcast. It’s also embedded further up the page, so you can just press play.

Ryan joined in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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