Weekly Wibble: Modern Life is Rubbish
Stuff and nonsense from the week in cycling. March 19: the dissatisfaction of sporting screen-flicking, memorable Milan-Sanremo finishes and Carlos Betancur's six-week makeover.
MODERN LIFE IS RUBBISH
Ride completed, bike cleaned, lunch done. It’s now Saturday afternoon. Time to settle down on the sofa for an amazing day of sport.
Oh. Italy v England in the Six Nations was an early kick-off. We’ve missed that, then. Never mind: France v Ireland is the big one, coming up later on.
In the meantime, Giles Peterson is killing it on 6 Music. Must keep that on nice and loud. But there’s a big south London derby on just down the road – Millwall v Charlton. Both teams are stuck in the mire of the Championship nether regions, but the Lions always beat the Addicks at home. Three points, surely. There’s probably radio commentary on one of the stations. What to do? With the back door open, any goals from the home team will send a wave of noise across the garden and into the kitchen, followed by a chorus of “No one likes us”. Okay, that’s sorted.
Bike racing. Must keep an eye on the bike racing. It’s a big day in the mountains at Tirreno. Could be some fireworks today from Contador. Quintana will have his work cut out.
Then there’s Paris-Nice, an intriguing, closely fought edition of the “race to the sun”. Rui Costa, Betancur, Stybar – this could go any way. Decision time…
Okay, so it’s Paris-Nice on the telly, Giles Peterson on the radio, door open in the unlikely event of Milllwall scoring and #Tirreno on the Twitter feed. All bases covered.
Almost forgot. There’s a live feed of the afternoon session from the Revolution Series at the Olympic velodrome. We have a team! In fact, we have newly-crowned madison world champion Albert Torres riding in a Rouleur jersey. Must watch that.
What an atmosphere! What a line-up! Pervis, Kenny, Trott, Clancy – they’re all here. Turn down the radio and soak up the crowd noise from the velodrome. No sound drifting across the garden from The Den. That’s ominous…
Balls. Missed the Tirreno finish. Looks like Bertie kicked ass, too. This race is shaping up nicely.
Turn the radio back up. Double balls. Just caught the closing bars of what sounded like a killer version of Pharrell Williams’s “Happy”. Who was it by? He didn’t say. Must track down the playlist later and listen again.
Onto the Rouleur Twitter feed. Lizzie Armitstead just landed a big win at the Ronde van Drenthe. Excellent, we have Lizzie in the new issue. Think of something witty and insightful to post. This could take a while…
Triple balls. Totally missed the end of Paris-Nice somehow. That fella Slagter looks pretty tasty.
Ach. The Revolution feed has gone down. Everything’s going pear-shaped.
Full time at the Den. Cock an ear towards the garden. Silence, save for a distant lawnmower. No three points for us, then. Best check the final score on the BBC website.
It’s five o’clock. Three hours have been totally wasted. Turn everything off, bar the television, and concentrate on the Stade de France.
* * *
There’s a company called Hiut Denim, started by the founders of Howies, whose motto is “Do one thing well”. As company philosophies go, it is spot on. And it’s a lesson for life, too.
The more we try and squeeze in to our time-pressured lives, the less satisfying it all becomes. If we are not multi-tasking, with hand-held gadgets relaying updates on anything and everything within seconds of the actual event, we feel we are missing out.
What we are actually missing out on is a real connection with any of it. Investing time and focussing solely on one task – much as we hope you do when reading Rouleur – pays dividends. The rest is just so much background noise.
Turn off, tune in, drop out.
CARLOS BETANCUR'S SIX-WEEK MAKEOVER
Ag2r La Mondiale boss Vincent Lavenu is rather taken by Betancur after his Paris-Nice win.
"When I'm off the bike, I like to enjoy life, and in Colombia we eat very well and I picked up a bit of weight. But when I get to Europe I'm very attentive and I focus 100 percent on the bike to do things well."
Carlos Betancur after finishing 111th, 45 minutes down on the race winner at the Tour de San Luis and reportedly six kilos off his ideal racing weight.
"I'm in good condition and you have to seize the moment."
Carlos Betancur after winning his second consecutive stage at Paris-Nice on the way to overall victory. What a difference six weeks makes.
2006 - The last time an Italian – but what an Italian, hair product-laden hoary national stereotype Filippo Pozzato - won Milan-Sanremo. It's the home country’s longest winning drought in La Classicissima since their 1954-1969 dry spell.
2009: "Haussler, Cavendish, Cavendish, Cavendish... Cavendish! Euhhh, photo finish!"
2004: Don't celebrate prematurely, you might just lose a Classic. Zabel knows, as Freire throws. (skip to 16.00 for the final kilometre)
1992: A white-knuckle descent of the Poggio allows Sean Kelly to catch Moreno Argentin and take his last big win. Thriller.
1982: Set to the background of floaty Italian period music, bespectacled breakaway Marc Gomez giant-kills on the Via Roma after Alain Bondue comes a cropper on the final descent.
March 12: Black on the Chaingang
March 5: Holding On
Feburary 26: True Racing Returns
February 19: Just Deserts?
Did this wibble make you wobble? Have you had afternoons also spent listlessly surfing many sports screens which leave you feeling empty too? Got a favourite MIlan-Sanremo finale? Get in touch @rouleurmagazine on Twitter or [email protected] by email.