How Le Tour deals with graffiti penises
TWO men drive around the roads of the Tour de France - painting over penises daubed on the course.
The pair of hi-viz-clad workers have a van, a giant tub of white paint, a roller and a route map of the three-week event.
They are trying to prevent TV cameras picking up on the wrong kind of French 'Coq', rather than the one that adorns the Le Coq Sportif logos of the Yellow Jersey.
Remarkably, phallic graffiti can be quite easily turned into an owl, a butterfly or even a bike with a bit of artistic license.
And that is the job of the two men who clean up the roadsides, as revealed by Dutch broadcaster NOS.
Much of the road paint is reserved for writing 'Allez Pinot' or 'Allez Alaphilippe' after the two French darlings of this year's race.
And defending champion Geraint Thomas gets plenty of mentions on the tarmac too, most of it favourable.
Image-conscious Tour de France organisers ASO are worried the wrong kind of helmets can affect the race's commercial value with sponsors.
The race has ten official sponsors and various "suppliers" who are all happy to slap their corporate logos on the race's various vehicles - all generating cash for the slick-run operation.
It is not the first time fans have been crude on the roadsides this year.
One fan was palmed on the backside by a cyclist after he and his friends mooned the entire peloton as it rode past.