Sure we had our mandatory doping bust during the rest day of the Tour de France, but more importantly it will be known as the day Jens Voigt joined Twitter. Just hours before his Leopard-Trek teammates had hinted that they had in fact persuaded the very popular German rider to pick up his smartphone and unleash his thoughts 140 characters at a time. Then came his first tweet, “Hello world, here I am! Thanks to the boys of @leopardtrek!”
It was quickly followed up by, “omg this goes fast!!!!!already 1500followers,hope i can live up to everybodys expectations”.
Voigt’s comprehension of the English language, including nuances and using humor, has endeared him to English speakers. Yes, he does write a blog for Bicycling Magazine, that is undoubtedly edited for grammatical mistakes that even native English speakers might make. But Twitter peeled that facade away revealing his love of popular abbreviations, lack of capitalization and excessive use of exclamation points.
His tweets ended for the day with an update, “and just to let you know,i actually did really enjoy my restday,one day without pain and stress,and i am ready for the next stage!!!” In the span of three tweets he had gained 22,000 followers and made cycling history.
Another non-native speaking cyclist on Twitter that is popular with the tifosi is ex-time trial world champion Fabian Cancellara. While Voigt’s syntax is mostly correct and understandable, Cancellara’s borders on a new language named “Fabianese” by the kegels world champion @mmmaiko. Myself and others are hoping that Cancellara’s English doesn’t improve as his placement of nouns and adjectives in sentences are delightfully refreshing. Please. I beg of you on Twitter – don’t correct Fabian!
While we welcome a new pro cyclist to the ranks of Twitter, let us not forget those who paved the way for non-native English speakers. Here’s to Cancellara. May ride well. Must go bed now.