British Tour de France winner? Time to wear the yellow again!

When Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France in 2012 I rode round the UK countryside like I had won the race myself. And it inspired one of my personal favourite posts on idonotdespair.com “On Sunday I shall wear yellow”.

Kevin mayne

It is one of favourites because I had so much fun writing it and I was on a euphoric high of fandom. Back in the summer of 2012 not so many people read my blog, but it did get a link in the weekly CTC newsletter so it was probably my record number of views at the time, therefore I was even more chuffed. And any excuse to listen to the wonderful Jenny Joseph poem I plagiarised is a good one.

I may even have gone a bit over the top around the same time when I took on the mad Norwegian football commentator challenge.

Then in 2013 Chris Froome became the second British winner so I could don the yellow again, this time to ride out with my new Belgian cycling club which caused some smiles.

It is almost inconceivable that since 2012 there have been 3 British winners of the tour after 100 years of occasional flurries and few stage wins.

So on Sunday I feel I have no choice – it is out with the faded CTC yellow top again to celebrate Froome’s victory. A bit smug perhaps in the land of Eddie Merckx, the poor old Belgians haven’t had too much joy in the tour of late although Greg van Avermaet and Serge Pauwels gave them some good moments and the Belgian teams Lotto and Etixx have won a lot of stages.

But Sunday will be our day. On Sunday I shall wear yellow. Now I wonder if Cavendish can do something special on the Champs?

Tour de France in Belgium 2015 – unforgettable moments

Gallery

This gallery contains 12 photos.

It is now four days since I cycled to Huy to watch the Tour de France stage finish at the summit of the legendary Muy de Huy. In the way of these things the excitement of the Tour has rolled … Continue reading

Long day. Tour de France viewing at Mur de Huy, and back!

Photo Kevin Mayne Photo Kevin Mayne Photo Kevin MayneThat’s a long hard day under our belts. or rather our wheels.

160 km for me and nearer 200km for Thomas and we got to see an amazing, eventful stage that ended in Huy

There will not be much blogging tonight. It has been a 2 beer ride, and I don’t say that very often with Belgian beer on offer.

So that’s it – most important job of the week done. Fantasy Tour de France Team submitted

There may be lawns to mow, bikes to ride and repair, dog to walk, emails to send.

But the week before the Tour de France the annual challenge has been issued and only one task matters. Building a Tour de France team to beat my brothers and my son.

This is a great way of bringing some extra entertainment to our watching, even if we really want the British riders to do well we can add some spice by hoping for a daily win. Not that I need any incentive, it looks like the most exciting Tour in years.

So here, unveiled for the first time is this year’s I Do Not Despair roster over on www.velogames.com , our chosen platform.

fantasy velogames

On Monday I will be reporting in from the top of the Muy de Huy as the race goes for an exciting stage finish at the top of the climb used for the annual Fleche Wallonne classic race in the spring time. With temperatures over 30 degrees at the moment it might be a long hot ride down there, but I have had this day in my diary all year, so I’m going, cooked or not.

Not much prospect of a Belgian winner on the Mur as Philippe Gilbert is injured, but apparently they are expecting over 100,000 spectators to this little town for the finish in this ampitheatre of sport.

Part 2 of my guest post for DiscoveringBelgium.com “New Year’s Revolutions: The Best of Belgian Cycling for 2015”

Part 2 of my guest post for Denzil Walton’s www.discoveringbelgium.com has been published today.

Last week it was all about places for you to ride.

This week its “Watching cycling with the Belgians – beer, frites and the most passionate fans in the world” 

I have suggested some of the best cycling to watch this year including the Six Days of Ghent, the great settings for cyclocross races and  of course the road classics.

An extra bonus for 2015 is the Tour de France which comes to Wallonia in July.

www.dicoveringbelgium.com

For links to my own accounts of visiting the various races mentioned click the tabs at the bottom of the page.

Thanks again Denzil for the opportunity to spread the word and for the great ideas on your blog.

 

Grand halls, parks and sculpture of South Yorkshire in autumn’s glory

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This gallery contains 15 photos.

We have just returned from a weekend in South Yorkshire which was looking stunning in autumn sunshine. Not quite Peak District, not quite Yorkshire Dales, the hills and valleys west of Barnsley around Penistone are just as stunningly beautiful for … Continue reading

On Sunday we will wear yellow – again!

Yellow hatOne year ago I promised I would wear yellow on my Sunday bike ride to celebrate the first ever British winner of the Tour de France.

I think it is time to dust off the colours again, this time to celebrate Chris Froome which is going to make it an extraordinary double for those of us who have endured years of cycling starvation. My Belgian club probably won’t even register the colour change, but I will know.

I cannot bring myself to celebrate the fact that he carries the brand of the loathsome Murdoch empire but I can’t help but enjoy yet another three weeks of wheeled chess on the roads.

Two more good reasons too – firstly family bragging rights in the in Fantasy Tour de France competition – sorry boys, eat my shorts! Maillot Jaune pour moi.

Fantasy Tour de France

Finally even if Froome was not riding under the British flag (Belgian TV will only call him “the white Kenyan”) I think his win is cause for celebration among another special group of cyclists. Let’s hear it for the nodding donkeys, the people whose style doesn’t leave the purists humming, the upright, those of us who cannot bend like a hairpin and lie sleekly over our handlebars.

Not for us the smooth style of Wiggins or the low frontal area of Cavendish, the silky descending of Nibali.

I was prepared to take Dan Martin as our hero for the year, but let’s face it, Chris Froome is for us.

Bring out your yellow on Sunday and celebrate.

L'Equipe headline page Froome