The Friday evening prior to the Grand Depart at Mont-Saint-Michel, we're in the Amritsar Indian restaurant in Kirkcaldy – Callum, Dave and I agree that Cav has won his last Tour de France stage, Kittel and Greipel will be the men, and that the 32 stage wins record of Merckx is safe – as is Hinault’s second spot on 28 stage wins. Mark will have to be happy with his 26 bouquets. Not for the first or last time, the little chap from the middle of the Irish Sea made us eat our words; "Cav can never win Milan-Sanremo..."
A thought from the Gent Six Day 2010: It would be easy to go native, work all the Sixes, get a job in a bike shop or with a little team for the summer, forget the "25" champs, the 'day job.' The Sixes are seductive, the rolling presentation, the music, the lights, the banter, the 'insider' chat, the gleaming bikes, the pretty girls, the total isolation from reality.
The press release said: “Spokes Racing Team: It was officially announced today by British Cycling that Kirkcaldy based Spokes Racing Team will host a round of the British National Junior (under 19) Road Race Series in 2015. It will be the first time in around 25 years that a Junior National race will be held in Scotland and a first for Fife."
On a dry morning with little wind and a temperature which varied from mild to chilly depending on how the clouds whirled into the Lomond Hills, 23 year-old Kyle Beattie (Cairngorm CC) took the Scottish Hill Climb Championship 2019 north with a 7 minutes 43 seconds ride; a margin of 12 seconds over Fife rider Robin Downie (Team Andrew Allan Architecture) who put a single second into bronze medalist, Tom Merry (Edinburgh University).
Men of the Tour, thus far ? Wiggins, definitely; Sagan, for sure; Greipel, yes - and, Michael Mørkøv. The Danish ex-World Madison Champion and six day star's stage one breakaway to grab the polka dot jersey and his defence of it for the first week was one of the talking points of the race.
Not content with taking all the available points on stage one, he joined the break on stages two and three to make the jersey his own until the stage to La Planche des Belles Filles where the 'bigs' decided to fight it out.
We caught up with him on the rest day at the team hotel in Mâcon.
The career of John Patston lasted three decades; he represented GB at The Worlds, was a multiple Division and National Champion and medallist, he won Star Trophy races, the Cycling Weekly Campagnolo ‘25’ Trophy series and in 1975 he notched-up 63 wins; 42 on the road and 21 against the watch. And despite being a bank manager, a pillar of the Establishment, his rebellious streak got him into trouble with the RTTC more than once, with the inevitable suspensions following.
Grant Ferguson is better known for his cyclo-cross and MTB activities but he took an excellent 13th place on GC in Australia’s oldest stage race – The Herald Sun Tour which was won in it’s 62nd year by Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEDGE. Ferguson was just one second behind Serge Pauwels (MTN) in 12th place and seven seconds away from former Italian Champion Franco Pellizotti (Androni) in ninth spot. The Peebles man stayed on ‘down under’ for some warm weather training but gave us a shout when he got back to his base in tropical ... Sheffield.
One more time over some incredible hills. One more chance for the Schlecks to take seconds away from Cadel. One more opportunity for them to sap the power from his legs to minimize the damage he does to them in tomorrow's TT. 100km, three categorized climbs, 2851m vertical ascent. This stage is not as huge as last night's, but being so short and sharp, there is still enormous potential for damage to be done.