5 DOWN The Dragon Ride
A mood of high dudgeon pervaded the sportive community this week after many Dragon Ride participants noticed they had been omitted from the official list of finishing times – and there was some surprise, to say the least, that the feed stations at Britain’s best-known mass-participation cycling event were handing out bags of crisps to carb-starved riders. Those aren’t the sort of cock-ups you want at the UK’s premier sportive, especially since it landed a big-name sponsor in the form of Wiggle and has been awarded “Golden Bike” status by the UCI for next year’s edition. But speaking as a former poster-boy for the Welsh hill-romp, this blog would like to put the criticisms and general moaning into some sort of perspective: responsibility for the timing chip problems – reportedly caused by mounting the race numbers too tightly – is ultimately down to the company contracted to provide the equipment, not the organisers, and the nutrition is certainly better than in 2007, when finishers were handed “gels” which actually turned out to be, er, sachets of lubricant. That experience really did leave a bad taste in the mouth. Quite literally.
4 DOWN Mark Cavendish
Being the wittiest tweeter in the peloton, Mark Cavendish naturally reacted with good humour after discovering on Tuesday that the water supply at his home in Tuscany had been mysteriously cut off. “Got squirrels living in my hair and mushrooms growing in my feet now,” he quipped, and later admitted he had used the lavatory before fully realising the consequences. That’s the sort of toilet-based humour this blog loves, but we can’t help thinking that there’s a more sinister side to Cav’s predicament. Because if you’ve seen Jean de Florette, you’ll know how they deal with outsiders in the more bucolic parts of the Continent: deprive them of water in the hope of driving them away. Somebody help the poor guy before it ends in tragedy!
3 UP Walker Savidge
It features two chaps thrusting their crotches while another seems delighted to be caught between them, so it’s no surprise that this snap of Taylor Phinney, Danny Summerhill and Walker Savidge has been bringing the LOLS this week following its appearance on yay cycling! and Cycleboredom. But the image is lifted above the usual level of homoerotic fratboy tomfoolery by the expression on Savidge’s face. Just look at him on the right: the quiet dignity, the stoical acceptance that the photo might resurface, say, three years after the event, but those who snigger at it will never, ever be able to take away his sense of self-worth. Or maybe he just didn’t realise where Phinney and Summerhill had their hands. Actually, it’s probably the latter, isn’t it?
2 DOWN Cycling websites
A Tour de France star jets in to Britain, sets a record in an area of the capital known to amateur cyclists throughout the UK, and not one cycling website which doesn’t have a print equivalent bothers to report it. Strange, but true. In fact, The DYNAMITE! Files’ site stats reveal that a few inquisitive souls googling for information about the intriguing event ended up here – so for them, here’s this week’s news about…
1 UP David Millar
You know how it is – your autobiography is about to be published, so your agenda includes a swanky book launch, a round of interviews, and mercilessly crushing the fragile egos of every competitive amateur cyclist in London, Surrey and beyond by doing the fastest-ever lap of Richmond Park on your very first visit. Damn you, David Millar! Setting off at 7:23am on Sunday as part of a clandestine time trial he had organised for his Velo Club Rocacorba buddies, the Commonwealth champ completed an anticlockwise circuit of the hallowed 6.7-mile loop in 13min 35secs, giving him an average speed of 29.595mph. And the BBC’s footage of the event, which was removed on Thursday after the Royal Parks complained, featured a post-ride interview with the great man wearing a natty beret. As they say, hat!