100 year old (cycling) drought comes to an end!

It has been said that in the virtual absence of doping this year, the Tour de France has been much less exciting and much more moderately paced……..even predictable at times. Well, for those who insist on holding up the ‘drug-enhanced’ editions of the Tour as desirable markers for the future, they are going to be very disappointed (we hope) in the years to come.

The 2012 Tour gave us a dose of reality in the world of road racing. We saw nearly 200 riders competing against each other on a level playing field (excuse the terrible metaphor), and what we got was a veritable feast of genuine human endeavour struggling for the crown, and doing so with immense regard for each other, and visible camaraderie amongst the peloton.

Bradley Wiggins was hailed by the world to be the right man to inherit the crown from Cadel Evans. Chris Froome more than deserved the place of second on the podium, and Mark Cavendish was definitely still king of the sprinters, despite not racing for the green jersey this year.

After only its 3rd Tour de France as a team, Sky look set to have an astonishing future. Bring on the Olympics in 6 days time………! I’ll be at the roadside for both the men’s and women’s road races, just to catch a fleeting glimpse of the people who made cycling history.


About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on July 22, 2012, in Aspects of Britain, Cycling UK and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. “Mark Cavendish was definitely still king of the sprinters, despite not racing for the green jersey this year”. What!? Does this statement have any basis other than patriotism? I think not. In discounting Sagan and Greipel, you do a disservice to the sport and to a new reality, i.e. that there are other talents out there.

    • Interesting observation. I can’t deny a sense of patriotism, but the numbers do speak for themselves. If you study Cav’s stats over the last 4 years (not least his record number of stage wins for any sprinter in the history of the TDF) he is still the world’s fastest finisher. Greipel and Sagan are barely in contention. Going for the green jersey can be a strategic choice, which it was this time, and has been in the past.

  2. Congratulations on an amazing tour. Unlike the commenter above me, I applaud a sense of patriotism with the tour, especially when your nation has not won. Kudos to Wiggins and Cavendish. Well done to Team Sky and the UK. You have cause to celebrate.

    I’m one of the few who truly enjoyed the tour. My patriotism was invested with Tejay van Garderen, who finally broke out and could be a contender in years to come. There were many others who will also be exciting to watch in the years to come, especially Sagan and Froome.

    Vive la Tour!

    • I think if Tejay had been given free rein, he might have rattled the leaders’ cages much more than he did. He is a danger man of the future, without a doubt.

  3. Frank,
    I am doing a little “tour” myself and am kicking off my “Downhill but fighting back” Tour from Edinburgh with a Aug. 2 arrival from the colonies. Scottish Isles, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria and bit of Italy…Wish I were going to circle through your neighborhood but will stay a bit west and north around the British Isles….

    Congratulations are in order for Wiggins, Cavendish and entire British cycle establishment! Well done. Might I witness a few SKY kits on roads while in Scotland?

    • Yes, Joe, watch out for the Sky kits……they are already in evidence everywhere. Pity they are black…..!
      Sounds like a great tour of of the “old world”. Might we get to read about it?

      • Frank, please “knock me up” (think that is an old Irish colloquialism for beating on one’s door) at my email address and we can discuss possible journal of my rambles.

      • What would be your preferred medium: blog, facebook, twitter, other………?

      • Frank, you should have access to my email since I must use it to comment on your blog entries. Seems that might be a better way and get off the public blog arena….

  4. Very exciting tour. While Wiggins was a foregone conclusion early on, the riders did not fail to put on a great show! Wish I could be there with you Frank – cheering the racers on as they live their dreams! Be sure to watch the women race – HUGE cheers for Clara Hughes – an astonishing woman who has inspired so many future athletes and does so much for charity! (I know she is Canadian, and not English – but it wasn’t all that long ago that we were a colony!!!)
    Lucky you to be so close – would love to be there! Have a great time. Share pictures!

    • Thanks Anita. Living in Europe gives us access to so many wonderful things. The Olympic road races will be exciting. The Box Hill circuit of the course is going to provide a lot of drama. To get myself into the mood, I will cycle the 90 miles down to the route, and cycle back home again. ………but at a slower pace, of course!

  5. peter staples

    What I don’t understand is how can any of those guys stand a chance in the Olympics… surely they will be too smashed from the demands of the Tour de France, just a few days before … ?! …

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