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It was glorious.
It was whimsical.
It was the whizbang moment required to snap us from our Saturday slumber during this hot and sweaty Vuelta a España.
Plucky Frenchman Clément Champoussin zigged and zagged his way across an agonizingly steep stretch of road, his mouth agape, his eyes laser focused on achieving his first ever victory in pro cycling. Then, as so much lactic acid built up in his legs that even viewers began to feel the burn, Champoussin crossed the line alone, still grimacing, to score an emphatic stage win.
— Bikeblz (@BikeBlz) September 4, 2021
And he did so after spending the entire day in the breakaway.
My best way to describe Champoussin’s winning attack is that it was the definitive YOLO (You Only Live Once) move of the 2021 WorldTour season. After being caught and dropped by the GC favorites, Champoussin clawed his way back on when they slowed down just 2km from the finish. Rather than catch his breath, he swerved around the group as if he was Vin Diesel in the latest Fast and Furious flick. He accelerated in what was undoubtedly a Hail Mary throw on 4th and long.
And it worked! Primož Roglič, Enric Mas, and Adam Yates just stared at each other, while up ahead, Champoussin grimaced and gritted his teeth and generally gave his best Jim Carey impersonation in that final kilometer. The pain was real, and so was the victory. And now, Clément Champloussin is a name that we’ll never forget.
As was the case with all things in 2021, this zany victory was best documented with pithy tweets, funny memes, and all manners of internet discourse. Come, let us bask in your amazing tweets.
— Belinda (@reallyspoketome) September 4, 2021
— Ian (@cyclingbetting) September 4, 2021
Lo mejor de #LaVuelta21 y de este etapón, mientras los "gallos" se miraban o atacaban 20 metros para pararse,llega este joven galo descosido y os dedica un HASTA LUEGO MARI CARMEN con la cara desencajada Super,Clément Champoussin!! pic.twitter.com/0Ok6Ee2qgj
— Sr Monóculo VanMorensen (@Astraco_88) September 4, 2021
Man this stage just keeps delivering! Champoussin where the hell did you come from? Biskarra doesn’t know the meaning of the word “quit”. And now Bardet? Hamilton! #couchpeloton pic.twitter.com/8NdbAXvLo5
— Ria H (Feed Zone Specialist) (@RiaHopkins13) September 4, 2021
— Le Gruppetto (@LeGruppetto) September 4, 2021
— Tyler Pineau (@pineau_tyler) September 4, 2021
Where in the world did Clément Champoussin appear from?!!?! #LaVuelta21
— Blaynos (@Blaynos14) September 4, 2021