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Monday, July 5, 2010

Sir Lancelot and the bikes of the round table

With our host nation knocked out of the World cup there are some very long faces at work -all except mine.
Don't get me wrong I am as Patriotic as the next man , but somehow I just don't 'get it' with football.

Some may accuse me of being a snob, trying to distance myself from some of our more traditional supporters.
The ones who would have difficulty spelling 'England' and who really believe that a guy called 'George' actually killed a dragon.
I guess I like my patriotic leanings to get behind sports with a more gladiatorial element to it, where beauty and brutality share the same table.
Having been brought up playing Rugby I soon realised the importance of 'giving blood'.
I remember it was way before my first visit to the official blood donor caravan, with the anticipation of Tea, biscuits and the smile of a pretty nurse.

With 'Rugby' broken limbs halted performance, not negotiated expenses or ruined perms.
Fortunately at that time I never owned a Road bike or had any knowledge, understanding or inclination to get into road cycling.
If I had I am sure I would never have drunk a Yard of ale or learned the words to vulgar rugby songs.
Being concerned about my apparent cheeriness one of my long faced colleagues asked me what sport I really liked to watch.
when I replied 'Tour cycling' he laughed.
For clarification he asked 'You mean you like to watch a load of guys ride from A to B in a series of races'
'That's precisely what I mean' I answered
Feeling for the poor chap I asked him to take a seat and tried to sell my new beloved product.
The Tour de france is gladiatorial and complex, there are alliances made and broken, there are conquests and sacrifices.
There is rich pageantry and symbolism.
There is blood....lots of it, sweat too ..........and for some tears.
It is all contested behind the most magnificent, moving backdrop of assorted terrains, elements and support.
There are Captains of Fortune, foot soldiers and supreme tacticians.
Then there is hype, scandal and spinning of a totally different type.
One of the more interesting sub plots is the battle between the current Champion Alberto Contador (perceived as unbeatable by many) and the Master himself Sir Lancelot with his knights of the radio shack team.
After being beaten by Contador last year Armstrong said of his pretender 'He has a lot to learn'. Somehow I believe that Lance wants to be teacher to.

After just the first days prologue which was less than ten miles there were so many talking points.
Lance Armstrong surprisingly beat all of his GC Contenders and fired a warning over the handle bars of the Astana Leader -Contador.
1-0 Armstrong.
Contador stating that he was disappointed with his performance.
His manager stupidly stating the Armstrong would not be able to match the Spaniard in the Mountains.
2-0 Armstrong (If that's what you think - Why say it? Especially after his leaders recent exploits in the Dauphine)
Alberto must be sick of the sight of the Radio shack jersey.
Whilst climbing the L'Alpe d'Huez in the Criterium du Dauphine he was shadowed by Armstrongs climbing scout Jani Brajkovic and dispite 6 energy sapping attempts he was unable to dislodge him.
If you take that into consideration I make that
3-0 to Armstrong.
Anyway as we all know, its a game of two halves, and its not all over till the fat lady sings.
She is not due on stage for a few weeks yet !!!!!!
With major crashes on the following two days and EVERY GC rider hitting the deck at least once, I think that I have found my new Gladitorial Sport and the only thing that I can really predict is compulsive viewing.

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