Wednesday, May 22, 2024

World Road Championships 2011 – Day 1


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World Road Championships 2011
We’re off to the Worlds.

Food poisoning; it’s no fun. Vik and I were meant to fly to the Beauvais last Wednesday, take in the Championship of Flanders, the GP Isbergues, a handful of kermises then meet up with Hamish Haynes, Dan Patten, James Spragg – ‘our boys,’ no chance. I was so weak I couldn’t leave the house – on a positive note, my North Face jacket fits me again. Phase two of the adventure was to meet Kris in Belgium on Monday then drive up to Copenhagen for the World Road Championships 2011.

Instead I booked a flight to Amsterdam for Monday evening – I decided to watch the U23 TT on Eurosport on Monday afternoon to try and forget that I still felt grim.

Michael Hutchinson was co-commentating; strangely he didn’t mention the time him and Stuart Dangerfield rode the GP des Nations.

Durbridge was hot favourite but had Hepburn not tasted the tar then I think it would have been close between the two Aussies for the rainbow bands.

Quaade, the Dane who was second, reminded me of Bert Grabsch – pure brute strength and zero style.

Time to get to the airport, damn the expense, get a cab.

‘Airport please, driver, ta.’ Ah, nice clean cab. Says he:

“Are you a Porty boy? What d’ye think o’ them allowing bikes back on that prom? It’s a nightmare! Imagine what it’ll be like wi’ the bairns in the summer!”

Maybe I should have got the bus…

Find the lounge, settle down quietly with my “Rough Guide to Copenhagen.” That’s better.


“You’ll form two lines and queue in an orderly fashion, or this plane disnae board. End of!”

Those budget airlines girls really go the extra mile to make you feel welcome.

Avoid eye contact when I give her my boarding pass, I don’t want ‘refused travel.’

On the plane, great, not too crowded, and there’s The Independent, let’s see what it has to say about the Tour of Britain.

Well, that didn’t take long – zilch!

That race is really staking it’s place on the British sporting landscape.

However, Alasdair Fotheringham conveys Rod Ellingworth’s words of wisdom to us regarding Copenhagen; ‘we could win all of the four main medals.”

Obviously the U23 TT isn’t one of the ‘main medals,’ then ?

The time trial? Tony Martin.

The road race? I don’t see it being Cav; if he’d headed straight to a training camp from the Vuelta, taking a couple of HTC (or Sky) henchmen with him and been banging in five or six hours each day with a chef and mechanic there to keep them right, then ‘yes.’

But he’s not had the focus, too many places, too many ‘tweets.’

I was talking to Zak Dempster the other week, the word he kept using was ‘desperate‘ – ‘you have to be desperate to win!’

Tony Martin for the tt; Gilbert, Visconti, Hushovd, the Vacansoleil Dutchmen – they’re all desperate.

Cav, well, we’ll see…