The greatest day in British cycling ever
Forgive me if my eye has been off the ball in the world of politics at the moment. The big, indeed overwhelming, sporting passion of my life has for nearly half a century been cycling and the UK is going through an extraordinary period.
The general public became aware of it for the first time with the amazing performances, under the eye of David Brailsford, of the British cycling squad at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Now, under Brailsford, a British rider could win what is the world’s biggest annual sporting event. Today Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome came in first and second in the big time trial at the Tour de France – a result which reinforced the former’s position in the overall classification and brought the latter into third place.
We can start to contemplate something I thought would never see in my life-time – a British winner. This is so sensational I can barely think of anything else.
France, by contrast, has not had a winner since 1985 – something that pains the French far more than the British concern about home player performances at Wimbledon.
I also feel pretty pleased because more than a year ago, after Wiggins had had to pull out of the 2011 race with a broken collar bone, I put Â£25 on him to win this year at 40/1. He’s now at 2/5.
qh1>Mike Smithson @MSmithsonPB