Sunday, 22 July 2012

Tour De France 2012: The Last Supper.

Tomorrow is judgement day for British cycling champion Bradley Wiggins. He may have won two gold medals in the Beijing Olympics four years ago, and he may be competing at the London Olympics in a matter of weeks, but tomorrow, history may well be made.

In the 109 year history of the cycling competition, only four British competitors have been awarded the infamous Maillot Jaune, and yet none have won the tour outright. Bradley Wiggins has sported the yellow jersey since stage 7 a fortnight ago, and with a 3 minute advance on the rest of the riders, it looks set that tomorrow's finale on the streets of Paris could award him the overall prize.

Leaning over a crossbar since the tender age of 12, Wiggins deserves this accolade, not only for his efforts but also for the hilarious spectacle he makes in a yellow suit on a time trial, a look I affectionately call 'Big Bird On A Bike' for anyone who remembers Sesame Street.

For the first time this year and the past few years, ITV1 has broadcasted the coverage usually commanded by ITV4, and that feels to me like a great achievement, as the commentators suggest the 'Bradley Wiggins Effect' sweeps the mainstream channels.

Keep an ear out for the commentator's sarcastic remarks between each other, the extravagant hand gesticulations of the support car passengers, the over-zealous roadside spectators in Morphsuits, but unfortunately this final street stage won't contain the fantastic roadside art we've become accustomed to on countryside stages, such as fields harvested into perfect bike patterns, and even donkeys sporting the yellow, spotted and green jerseys.

Let's hope all British fingers will be crossed tomorrow, providing no accidents occur, the glory is at arms reach for the yellow peril, the sideburns, the British champion: Bradley Wiggins.

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