The Tour of Britain has been Live on TV this past week and yesterday there was a magic moment during the Stage to Edinburgh.
You get the odd nutcase in the big Grand Tours of France and Spain who run along side the competitors shouting encouragement they grind up a mountain.
A local lad, Xander Graham, kept pace with the leading group of riders for a fair way along the route by cycling on the pavement. His efforts were rewarded by race rider Pascal Eenkhoorn with a water bottle.
It was a great moment to see.
There have been a few posts on this blog about my bike heroes. Only 6 have been chosen so far:
- Sheldon Brown the bike building oracle was the first on the list of heroes. He was a great inspiration, source of information and point of reference when I did my own build.
- Danny MacAskill has come a long way since he received my second nomination. The things that he can do on a bike still take your breath away.
- The come back kid, Mark Cavendish, has broken records in this year’s Tour de France and has always been a legend in my opinion.
- Mario Cipollini is a blast from the past. Bike Heroes #5 and #6 are more personal additions to the list. These last two inductees have with no links to competitive cycling. Nevertheless the latest bike hero is a true competitor. An olympic champion no less.
Beth Shriever take a bow – you are (BMX) bike hero #7.
Let’s face it. BMX racing is more fun to watch than archery.
BMX racing is more accessible to young people who want to try it out than Equestrian sports.
Despite a funding cut from UkSport and a double leg break in the lead up to the games, Beth Shriever won an Olympic gold in Tokyo after a thrilling final race. Her gold medal represents a better return for team GB than the entire rowing squad can muster.
This girl is a new sensation, yet she humbly points out that it was an achievement just to get to Tokyo in the first place.
Beth has had to self finance her training and travel to events through a crowdfunding website and working as a teaching assistant in a primary school for 2 days a week.
Meanwhile the lottery funding for the Olympic rowing team is £24.6 million
Equestrian team get £12.5 million from UkSport
Even Archery gets £1.1 million to fund the Olympic squad.
From what I can see Beth won her gold medal in spite of and not with the support from UkSport.
There are some other interesting totals in these funding figures
Well now, who would have believed it.
The post race interview says so much. Mark Cavendish is lost for words after his 31st win at the Tour de France.
The legend lives on.
And two days later Tour de France stage win #32 is chalked up. Again the break away is foiled and the sprinters battle out the finish. The man in green wins with apparent ease.
It looks like he is in love with cycling again and his smile says that all is well with the World.
This is a rider who is still winning stages of the World’s greatest 3 week cycle race at the age of 36. This is unprecedented. This simply should not be happening.
The next hurdle to over come is the Alps. Mountain stages just need to be completed within certain time limits, if he gives up or does not get to the finish line his Tour is over. With the help of his team mates he survives.
Back on the flat Cavendish is in his element. Stage 10 is a textbook finish. His team mates work together and go flat out to deliver the man in green almost to the finish line. Cavendish does the rest, making it look so easy. Win #33 is reached – just one away from the all time record.
This is getting tougher – but there is no stopping the Manx Missile. A hot day in the South of France is where he draws level with Eddy Merckx.
Heroes are people who inspire and make your jaw drop.
Mark Cavendish does that. He continues to win stages of major races the hard way (see the report below)
One can only admire his grit and determination to get to that finish line first. He still has time to raise his hand to show how many stage wins he has chalked up on this race so far.
You get some right tight-fisted people out there. Here is an example of how mean spirited people can be.
I have started to have a bit of a clear out. Not in the biological sense I may hasten to add, but a bit of a Spring clean of the shed and attic. Hence I have set up the following advert on e-bay:
Wheelset no longer needed after upgrade on a town/hybrid bike.
They still run ok and have not got many miles on the clock, but have the wear and tear from the potholes and bumps on today’s roads.
Good enough to have been kept as spares they are going out after a Spring clean the shed. They are too good to be binned, but too bulky to be kept as spares, as I am becoming a fair weather cyclist and now also have another bike.
NOTE – I AM OFFERING THESE FOR A CHARITY 100% SALE.
Rims: ETRTO 622×20 6061-T6 700c
Cassette: Shimano MF-TZ31 14-34T SUPER-LOW MegaRange
Hubs: Standard issue GIANT with Quick Release Skewers
Please note that these are collection only.
Now the bidding has been set to start at 1 pence and there is a big banner showing the charity logo for Red Nose Day saying that 100% of the proceeds of the sale go to the Red Nose Day appeal, yet one person out of the 11 people that have viewed these wheels so far has put it on their Watch list!
Whaaaaat? There is some tightwad out there somewhere who is waiting to jump in last minute and get a penny bargain? Listen up whoever you may be. They are a cheap pair of wheels and a good deal if you can get them for a few of quid, even if you just salvage them for spares. However that is not the point. Get into the spirit of the auction will you please!
What with the fantastic results that the British Olympic track cyclists achieved and Bradley Wiggins winning le Tour along with further Gold in the Olympic time trial, Mark Cavendish has faded away from the public gaze of late. To me he is still a “Bike Hero” nevertheless.
The stage win in the video came after huge effort from his team to drag him to a point where he could strike. This final sprint of his is truly heroic. Notice the guys at the front that Cavendish catches with about 50 metres to go just watch him go past, as they know that they have no answers to his raw pace.
The commentators clearly enjoyed watching the race reach its climax – “…and here comes the Missile!” shouts Phil Liggett.
The video might need watching a second time when one can focus on where Cavendish comes from.
Now I take my hat off to people who have brainwaves and act upon them. So well done to the folks at Revo.
This system enables cyclists to see and be seen. But not only do these lights have the potential to save lives, but they look amazing.
Now how cool is that? Read more about it at the link below