Monday, 1 September 2008

Oh joy the Tour of Britain is here

Sometimes you mishear what's said to you, Your mind is on something else and you don't just get the wrong end of the stick, you get the wrong end of the tree. Today someone said something about 'buying ethically' I thought they'd said buying mythically and had visions of going into the local supermarket and asking for a Dragon stake and half a kilo of Griffin burgers.

Sometimes you misread something, you glance at a few lines and read something else, may be you see something you don't want to be true and you change it in you mind to lovely wholesome good news.

Sometimes no matter how much you want something to read differently it stubbornly remains the same, no matter how many times you read it.

I keep reading that Rock racing are going to ride the Tour of Britain, I keep reading that LPR (or team LPR as we now know them) are bringing Di Luca over, I keep wishing I've got some weird form of word blindness that prevents me seeing things the way they are, but alas, it's not to be.

I can only assume that when the sponsors of the sport asked the organisers of the ToB to go and get some teams signed up, 'Go and get some teams that represent the noble values of our sport, pick some squads with great ex champions, champions the kids can look up to' The organisers misheard and thought the instruction was 'Go and get a couple of squads with unrepentant ex dopers in 'em' 'Best if you can get some comedy figures as well, we all like a laugh.'

And so we have Rock Racing and LPR lining up in London, imagine the joy the average Grub Street Sports editor will have if one of the Tyler Hamilton twins wins a stage, if Di Luca makes a successful break and gets the yellow jersey. Imagine the successful PR resulting from Cav's unstoppable Tour de France and the Olympic successes getting oh so slightly tainted as they have to dig out two yellow jerseys for the Hamilton boys if he comes home ahead of the field.

Is there really such a shortage of teams willing to ride the ToB that we are reduced to Rock Racing and LPR? Now I've got nothing against Rock and LPR, I mean good luck to them if they want to sign up unrepentant ex dopers, I have no say in their recruitment policies and if their team management think the publicity from having ex dopers riding for them out weighs any negative feed back that's all fine and dandy with me. My gripe is with the organisers of the ToB, have they somehow missed the general mood that is sweeping the sport? Has the wind of change that is a blowing through the sport not reached the dank recesses of their offices? (Well OK they might well have very nice offices, and I do apologise to their interior designers if they have). Why pick teams with ex dopers in them when there are plenty of others who I'm sure would welcome a ride?

Ah, I hear you ask (and yes I am bugging your house / office / park bench) what of the so called Mr David Millar? Well Millar did indeed stray from the path of righteousness, but and it is indeed a BIG but, he had the thingamajigs to hold his hand up, take his ban and come back on the light side (as opposed to the dark side, you see I'm making a differentiation between good and bad here, not commenting on toast). The Hamilton boys on the other hand continue to point the finger at each other and until one of them actually confesses they remain a comedy act above and beyond VDBs dog.

Last year the fans at Le Tour booed the Chicken whilst resplendent in yellow and escorted by a Mexican band he climbed the mountains of the Alps, this year they booed the Vulture or the griffin or what ever his name is as he stepped out of the team caravan to have his collar felt.

Wonder if there will be similar performances on the roads of the UK this year?

I often muse about Mr Mark Cav, the Manx Missile, the Cannonball, he is indeed a great, great rider and as Yoda would say 'Do no wrong, can he', He must have been gutted and double gutted at missing out at the O's, but he came back in Ireland picking up three straight wins and is now of to the land of his sponsor to rack up a few more, brilliant stuff. (Although there is a bizarre thread on the Cycling weekly web site that slags him off for not trying to win the Tour of Lombardy ! - It's this sort of bollocks that gets me even more pissed off than the imitate arrival of the Hamilton twins). Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the Great Cav. The great Cav and his accent, listen to an interview conducted in Europe (that's mainland Europe) and he sounds generally North Western, with a bit of Scouse thrown in, but the closer he get to home the more full on Scouser he becomes and by the time he gets to Ireland it's all curly perm and calm down calm down – brilliant stuff. Should you ever be in need of a subject for a Phd you could do a lot worse than a study of the ever changing accents of British cyclists as they ply their trade across the fair continent of Europe.


No comments: