Saturday, 19 July 2008

Tour de France – “like a chicken with its head off”

It’s been quite a week for sports and drug cheats, what with the Dwayne Chambers court case and the usual shenanigans of the Tour de France. This is the first year I’ve followed a Tour compulsively and I had a preconception that there would be evictions more regularly than on Big Brother. For the first few days there was nothing and there was a feeling that the big campaign to kick out the drug-cheats had won the day. Since then there’s been a handful of disgraced riders caught out and the smug air has been replaced by an air of resignation. The papers across the Channel are reading the last-rites, with the French national, Liberation declaring “As a sport, cycling is dead. As a spectacle it is still running - like a chicken with its head off”. A wonderful analogy, but surely over the top. The news of each disqualification has left me totally unaffected, partly it’s what I was expecting. I suppose my lack of concern is the fact that I haven’t followed it until this year. I haven’t spent my time building up any feelings for any of the riders, I haven't invested my soul into their worship, and therefore haven’t felt cheated when they’ve been caught. Who knows! Anyway, on a positive note – what a guy Mark Cavendish is. Not lacking in confidence he’s stressed for weeks that he’s the fastest guy in the world, and after winning a record breaking four sprint finishes already, who can argue with him. He must be getting tired of kissing those tall, leggy babes on the winners podium. Life can be such a bitch!

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