Judging Poetry #tdf133

After 4 years of keenly competing in the #tdf133 poetry competition I’m delighted to be providing a prize for the 2016 contest. #tdf133 involves writing a poem in 133 characters or less, in a tweet, to summarise each stage of the Tour de France.

You can see the whole range of entries by searching #tdf133 on Twitter.

The whole event (the poetry, not the Tour) is run by Rachel @TourDeCouch in Australia. It is hotly contested by Tour de France fans across the world, united by Twitter.

The poem that I have chosen as the winner of the inaugural Bells and Bikes #tdf133 prize is by @meowclank and is as follows. Congratulations to Meow. I’ll DM you for your address to send the prize of my book to!

This winning poem #imho was, of course, the outcome of Stage 12 on Mont Ventoux – a contentious stage where the TV motorbikes were brought to a halt in the crowds only for Richie Porte and Chris Froome to crash into them and end up on the tarmac. Froome’s bike cracked and with the density of the crowds his team car was unable to get to him with a replacement. He therefore ran a short way up the mountain, was offered a spare wheel (without a bike), was eventually given a spare bike which was the wrong size and was not fitted for his cleats, and finally he got his own replacement to make the line. Preliminary stage timings were over-ruled following judges debate. An interesting stage, in an interesting tour.

Other great submissions, which I shortlist for your delectation, are below. Some fine rhyming, some excellent Tour insights, some controversy and some awesome one line and two line verse.

And one of mine if I might be so bold. From Stage One…

Thanks to everyone who competed and thanks to @tourdecouch for coming up with the whole idea of a twitter poetry competition. Here’s to 2017! A bientot. Allez allez allez

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