I’m on hols at the moment. Tempted by warm air and Gallic cuisine, my cycling legs are looking forward to some steady spinning in the Loire. Courtesy of scheduled post magic, these pages will tick over in my absence. Sunday’s events however, have such potential to change the UK cycling landscape that I had to park my coffee and fire up the laptop.
So, in 177 words here’s why my hols needed interrupting.
With 3 out of the 7 available podium places going to Brits, the achievements of Team Sky, will put Wiggo’s, Froombe’s and Cavendish’s faces on the rear of every breakfast cereal, on the sides of buses, on cinematic adverts and on billboard posters all over Blighty. They will feature in countless magazines. Hello magazine will want to go to their houses. The Guardian will want to know what muesli they eat. Copies of cyclo-sport and Roleur will fly off the shelves like the latest kid’s toys at Christmas. In short, cycling is about to be launched into the public consciousness in a way that the UK has never seen. But the thing that makes this different from those of athletes in other sports, is that the bike is also a lifestyle choice. It’s a vehicle. It’s an alternative to the motor car that has been barely tolerated. On a sub-conscious level, respect for cyclists is likely to soar. This could do more for cycling than the mass construction of dedicated cycle lanes could ever hope to achieve.
On a sporting level, Wiggins’ feat – 6 Olympic medals to date, now first British TDF winner – is probably without parallel. On a cultural level the achievement has huge implications. Chapeau Team Sky and British cycling. Let the revolution begin.