I’ve posted about Geraint Thomas before, as far back as 2011. I remember discussing his first tour with colleagues in the staffroom at the time; he was riding for Barloworld and came second to last (lanterne rose?). There was something joyous about this young Cardiff tyro lining up with the big boys for a smash-fest round France, instead of the Gower. It might have been the same year Wiggins had a doomed 280 mile breakaway. I’m not sure.
One of the highlights of my cycling experience is being in the same race as him in 2014, at the British National Championships. I think I kept the deficit over an absurdly hilly course to a meagre 7 or so minutes. Still, it’s a long time to wait. Ergo, I was quite excited to see him win the stage yesterday. He’s always got something interesting to say and lacks the pretentiousness of some other riders. I guess if it was a popularity contest he’d win, hands down.
Today I’ve been working, and only slightly distracted by the Eurosport coverage of a flat hurtle through the German steppes. However, I made the mistake of clicking on the different moto-cams available in multiscreen. It was a bit like opening Pandora’s box. The ability to flick between 5 different moto-cams is quite awe-inspiring. It provides an unvarnished glimpse of the race unfolding in real-time, liberated from the narrative of the commentator, and subject to the vagaries and whims of the moto driver and cameraman. In short, when they stop to use the portaloo, the feed stays with them. When someone yells out as the peloton passes “Allez Pierre”, you hear it. The Tour suddenly becomes a real-time documentary. It’s an absolute time-sink. It also allows you to see the scale of the crowds and the event as you flick between the perspectives. Nice to see Cummings in his lovely new jersey too.
Finally, after years of writing this blog to a massed audience of 3 readers; it appears as if a solitary post about touring has led to an explosion of interest. I may need to revise my readership figures up by as much as 25%. Touring more popular than testing: who’da thunk it.