Former tennis phenom and current pop star Yannick Noah was a surprise attendee at the Tour de France route presentation yesterday in Paris. The French icon towered above the entire elite cycling peloton present and even offered to burp Bernard Hinault “like a baby” for the few bored members of the press in attendance.
Noah, whose presence was contractually required as part of his spokesperson gig for jersey supplier and major Tour de France sponsor, Le Coq Sportif, was rather surprised and bemused by the fact that anyone found relevance in the sport of cycling. Considering the vast majority of the French country used the month of July as an excuse to escape to Mediterranean coastal areas of Europe, “Tonton” Noah found the popularity of the Tour de France somewhat mystifying.
“It’s quite a spectacle to see our country invaded by Yanks, Brits, Norwegians, and those ridiculous Dutchies during July,” commented Noah, “I mean, the bicycle is great for getting groceries, but it doesn’t have the drama of Formula 1 racing or showcase the skills required in superior pursuits like tennis.”
When told that the Tour de France is one of the most popular televised sporting events on in the world, Noah was rather surprised but upon further reflection commented, “Well considering the fact that golf is considered a spectator sport for television, maybe cycling being popular isn’t much of a stretch.”
Noah offered his assessment of the Schleck brothers, Andy and Frank, based upon the recent viewing of their appearance on “Ushi & the Family” for Dutch TV channel RTL.
“One appears to walk funny, the other is the brother. They’re too skinny, and frankly, in the grand scheme of all things European, they are a minor irrelevance popular only in a country of 500,000 inhabitants [referring to Luxembourg],” declared the tennis legend.
When asked if he has ever ridden a bicycle, Noah smiling slyly, noted, “There are other, far more important pursuits when it comes to the term riding.”
Noah spent the remainder of the presentation in the rear anteroom catching up on his favorite cooking shows via Apple TV.