Sunday treat

We’ve been house bound by hurricane like winds and lashings of rain since yesterday afternoon. I woke early, thanks to the clocks going back an hour, and decided to give my beloved a treat. No, not that sort of treat! I nipped out for fresh bread, croissants (for him, not me) and the Sunday newspapers. It’s rare we have an opportunity to laze over breakfast and enjoy the newspapers on a Sunday morning.

I gave in to temptation after lunch and curled up on the sofa in my obligatory Sunday afternoon apparel (pyjamas), did the Sudoku in the Sunday Times and watched the  Moto GP from Estoril. The grid (1. Lorenzo, 2. Hayden and 3.Rossi) was based on practice times, courtesy of  yesterday’s qualification washout. Although it was dry today, it was very windy.

The early rounds focused on the tussle for first place between Rossi and his team mate Lorenzo. The former enjoyed the upper hand in the first half of the race but, after being overhauled and distanced, he finished 2nd, some 8 seconds down. Lorenzo recorded his 8th Moto GP win of the season.

In the second half of the race, attention turned to the three-way fight for 3rd between Hayden, Simoncelli and Dovizioso. As the line approached, Dovizioso  just pipped Simoncelli for the last place on the podium. Next up, next week end, is the final race of the season from Valencia where Rossi (now up to 3rd after Stoner’s DNF) may just nudge Pedrosa out of 2nd place in the championship. 

I will not bother elaborating on the bore draw between my beloved boys in claret and blue and their blue-nosed rivals nor OGCN’s 2-0 loss away at Auxerre. Both teams will require reinforcements in the January transfer window.

All’s well

Our youngsters

I’m pleased to report that our first AGM passed without a hitch. We had a suitably large number of local dignataries in attendance and, more importantly, a good turn out from our membership. It was also an opportunity to introduce our team of young riders who will be representing the club at races in France, Italy and Spain next year.

Gratifyingly, the club enjoyed its greatest number of successes ever on the road this past season and the club recognised this important step by presenting its Directeur Sportif with a magnificent trophy that was almost the same size as him. I also added to my ever growing collection of cups with two enormous trophies: one for cycling further and the other for turning up more often than any of the other female club members. Unfortunately,  there’s not a lot of competition. This is the third year in succession I’ve made a clean sweep of the trophies.

Despite the massive turn-out, there was sufficient for everyone at the “apero” afterwards.  Remember my motto “never knowingly under catered?” Prior to my departure for Australia, I had used the contents of my fridge to make a number of savoury cakes which I then popped into the freezer specifically for this event. These disappeared rapidly along with the pizza and pissaladiere. Clearly, my reputation as a cook is spreading as M le Maire made reference to my cakes in his closing speech, and afterwards was seen visibly enjoying them. This is important as we’re hoping for a greater subsidy in the coming season.

A number of our local professionals were unable to attend the AGM as one of their number was getting married today and they were all attending the wedding. More importantly, however, they have agreed to ride from time to time with our youngsters and give them the benefit of their experiences in the professional peloton. Another has agreed to be the team’s patron and we’ll be arranging a photo-shoot shortly. My beloved, now firmly established as the club’s resident photographer, will be wielding the camera lens. Indeed, he took some shots yesterday evening which I’ll add to the post as soon as he’s edited them.

This is a Bank Holiday week end in France and it looks as if we’ll be getting some typically British Bank Holiday weather ie rain. Fortunately, my beloved and I decided to brave the extremely windy conditions this morning to enjoy a ride along the coast. There’s a real autumnal feel in the air and the surrounding hills already have a dusting of snow. Rain is forecast for this evening, tomorrow and Monday. This will probably mean the cancellation of both tomorrow’s pointage at Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Monday’s club ride. Home trainer, here I come.

With the temperature dropping, it’s time for some winter warmers such as Cassoulet and Bigos. Of course, it’s going to be a bit of a challenge making both recipes according to my new regime but I’m becoming quite inventive within its strictures. No point in coming up with recipes that don’t taste as good, or almost as good, as the originals.

I’m now feeling much more myself, particularly after this morning’s ride. After 48hours without any solids, I managed a bowl of my delicious home-made vegetable soup yesterday evening and some cinnamon porridge this morning. I have yet to leap onto the scales to ascertain what, if any, effect this has had on my weight, but it had better be negative!

Respite

My training, and indeed my blogging, have been put aside for the visit of my parents. They were only here for a week, so it would have been churlish not to make the most of their visit. My aim was to give my Dad a bit of a break from caring 24/7 for my mother, who has Alzheimer’s. This was made easier in the first few days of their trip by the presence of my beloved thereby enabling us to visit Aix en Provence and Alassio.

Walking around these two towns has made me realise just how much my parents have slowed up, particularly in the last year or so. They shuffle along at a painfully slow rate and, as a consequence, are not good on cobbles, stairs or uneven pavements. In effect, “trips out” are just lunches in a different location.

Selecting things for my mother to eat is also fraught with difficulty. It’s best if we all eat the same, then she just copies us. But if you get her something different, she’s just as likely to eat it with her fingers or the incorrect cutlery. She seems to prefer my home cooking rather than eating in restaurants but that’s probably because we’re all eating the same dishes and I’ve prepared things I know she likes.

Sunday morning my beloved left for the States and I went for a quick ride to include the pointage which was fortunately only in the next town. I returned to find my parents had breakfasted, but my mother was resisting getting dressed. My Dad has the patience of a saint and, eventually, generally manages to coax her into doing most things. However, she can be very stubborn, a trait which is undiminished by her illness. There are certain things which she still seems to enjoy doing, such as helping me in the kitchen, but frankly it’s often hard to tell.

The last few days of their visit I tried to give my Dad a bit of peace and quiet to enjoy reading a book, something he struggles to do at home. Mum was quite happy to go out and about with me. Although my parents never discuss my Mum’s illness, she’s very adept at covering it up in company. Most people think she’s just a sweet old lady as she politely smiles and nods when they talk to her.

I hate to admit it but I was glad to see them depart on Wednesday. It’s very tiring looking after elderly parents and a pile of work has built up during the week, plus I was itching to get out on the bike. Unfortunately, I’ve been struck down by some bug which saw me projectile vomiting while out riding yesterday. I wasn’t able to keep anything down, not even water (good for the regime!) but feel much better after a good night’s sleep. Despite feeling lousy, I have managed to finish everything for today’s AGM.  My beloved is due back at lunchtime and, after getting him settled, I’m going off to the club to get everything organised for this evening. As it’s our first AGM, we want everything to go smoothly.

Only now have I had time to look at the routes of the Tour and Giro, both of which were recently published, the former with rather more fanfare than the latter. I’m always keen to learn the details of the route so that I can make any hotel bookings as far in advance as possible. That way I avoid ending up in some crummy, overpriced accommodation.

I’m definitely going to see the last week of the Tour in the Alps, starting with the stage into Gap and ending with the time trial in Grenoble. I’m still debating which stages to go and watch at the Giro. May’s usually a busy month here for sportifs at the week ends, so I’ll probably go and watch the mid-week stage into Rapallo. A trip to Cinque Terra is always a pleasure.

Postscript: Hotels booked in the Alps and Cinque Terra.

Divine intervention

Monday I had set aside for some time for me. Now given that I don’t have a full-time job you might think I have a lot of “me” time. Regrettably, that’s not the case. My beloved and my cycling club both consume vast amounts of my time. I went to the hairdressers in the morning, always an opportunity to relax. The salon is small and is never normally busy on a Monday, giving my hairdresser and I plenty of opportunity to catch up while she’s desperately trying to cover my grey hairs with blondish streaks.

I have what most people would consider a good head of hair. I would even go as far as to say that it’s one of my best bits. However, amazingly, I am follicly challenged by comparison with the rest of my family. My two sisters , who both have great heads of hair, and I probably spend the equivalent of a small African nation’s annual GDP at our chosen hairdressers. As far as we’re concerned, there’s nothing worse than a bad hair day.

My expenditure has declined sharply since moving to the South of France though I will concede I probably go to the most expensive hairdressers in Nice. However, I used to frequent an establishment in Mayfair where I once enjoyed a couple of very pleasant hours sitting next to and chatting with Camilla Parker Bowles. A woman with a real sense of humour and beautiful blue eyes. I estimate that my annual expenditure has now decreased by 60%.

To be fair, my hair spends most of its time hidden beneath my helmet. But, given that I generally tie it back, I don’t suffer too much from the dreaded “helmet hair”. Anyway my “me” time was cut short due to the demands of my beloved whom I had not anticipated would be at home. He left again this morning but will be returning at lunchtime tomorrow with my parents.

With this in mind, I needed to maximise my bike time today and had planned to ride with my coach. He rang at 09:30am to suggest an alternative rendez vous point for the ride, an extra 30 minutes up the road for me. But I didn’t mind, the sun was shining and I didn’t have to answer to anyone this morning.

We rode a circuit around Cap Ferrat doing interval exercises which enabled me to admire some beautiful and pricy real-estate although we had to take care dodging all the HGVs. On the way back, I left him in Nice and was forced, by those protesting against the raising of the retirement age, to take the cycle route home. I generally avoid this as it’s fraught with dangers: dogs, pedestrians, in-line skaters and cyclists unable to control their trajectory. But today, I had no choice.

Imagine my surprise when I came face to face with a car. Yes, that’s right, he was driving on the cycle path. I stopped dead centre, forcing him to momentarily halt before gunning his engine and generally trying to force me off the piste. Unbeknown to him, but not me, behind me were two policemen on bikes. I left him making his explanations to them. I foresee a big fine at the very least. I am a firm believer in fate: what goes around, comes around. Alas, not always that quickly.

Undeterred

It rained heavily overnight but, by the time we awoke on Sunday morning, the roads were starting to dry out. The sky looked menacing although rain wasn’t forecast until the afternoon. The club had a reasonable turnout  and, as we set off from our usual rdv point, I rode at the front, but still got dropped on the rise out of the Port of Nice.

The boys were riding at a goodly pace, presumably in the hope of outrunning the rain. It wasn’t looking good. I had lost sight of even the back markers before reaching Beaulieu su Mer. I usually manage to keep them in view until Cap d’Ail. I consoled myself by overtaking a bunch of riders from a neighbouring club. Clearly my form had declined, but not by that much. I got a second wind after Monaco and positively sprinted up Mont des Mules, overhauling more riders.

When I first started riding, I couldn’t overtake anyone. Slowly, I progressed. First, it was grannies on sit-up-and-beg bikes, motorised wheelchairs and the odd tourist on a mountain bike before I moved in on the octogenarians. Of course, I overtake far more on the flat, and particularly on the descents, than I ever do on ascents. So any scalp, when propelling myself heavenwards, is cherished.

The boys had only just departed when I arrived at the concentration. It looked as if the weather had ensured a limited turn out for both the pointage and the race. Having congratulated one of our members who’d won his age-group race that morning, I went to leave and the heavens opened. I decided to take the least line of resistance and head back home the way I had come.  

Everyone else must have elected to return via the Moyenne or Grande Corniches as I didn’t see another clubmate until I reached Nice. We rode along the Promenade des Anglais together until one by one they all turned off leaving me to ride into the headwind on my own. I caught up with my beloved at our usual watering hole, he’d been trying to warm himself up with a hot chocolate.

We rode home, stripped off our sodden kit and headed for the showers. After lunch, I donned my new Qatar Airways jimjams and curled up on the sofa with the Sunday newspapers  to watch the Moto GP from Phillip Island, Australia.

I’m not a motor racing fan though I could easily identify all the Formula 1 GP drivers and match them to their cars. However, I have become a fan of Moto GP. I initially starting watching it because it’s often on the television before the cycling. Now, I make a point of catching the races and, occasionally, even the qualifying. Mounted cameras on the bikes give you a taste of the action and make you really appreciate their fearless bike handling skills.

Like cyclists, they tend to be on the petite side and are similarly tough guys who readily hop back onto a bike after a spill at speeds of over 150km/hr or with their broken bones barely pinned back together. However, they earn a way lot more than cyclists. I seem to recall that Valentino Rossi ended up paying Euros 39 million in back taxes to the Italian authorities. No cyclists (Lance excepted) will earn even Euros 39 million anytime soon.

Hayden and the Doctor (Rossi, no 46)

This season’s Championship has already been won by Rossi’s Yamaha team mate, the Spaniard, Jorge Lorenzo. Yesterday, Casey Stoner won at a canter for the fourth consecutive time on home soil. If I recall correctly, he won the championship in 2007 and, despite the facial hair, still looks about 15 (he was 25 on Saturday). Yesterday, the real race interest centered around the tussle for third spot between Nicky Hayden (Champion in 2006) and 7-times  champion Valentino Rossi. The two will be team mates next year at Ducati. In case you’re interested, the Doctor prevailed and is lying 4th overall in the Championship, gunning for 3rd spot.

Unbowed and unbeaten

This morning M Le President, the Treasurer and I met with the club’s designated auditor. He’s a club member and is Treasurer of another club in the area. On behalf of the Town Hall, the supplier of most of our funds, he checks the club’s books on a regular basis. He spent 40 odd years working as an accounts clerk for a state industry and has decidedly archaic views on what constitutes good accounting practice.

In me, he has met his match. I don’t want him browbeating the Treasurer, she’s still on a steep learning curve and I don’t want her to be discouraged. So I have to take up cudgels on her behalf. This morning I took no prisoners and bludgeoned him. It was brutal but I didn’t want to waste the morning explaining the bleedin’ obvious.

As a consequence, I managed to spend a few pleasurable hours on the bike, riding one of my regular routes, exchanging greetings with other riders and generally enjoying the balmy weather. I got back just in time to watch the final 40km of the Tour of Lombardy. For me this is when the curtain falls on the cycling season and I turn my attention to football.

The race conditions were appalling: poor visibility and pouring rain. The peloton had already been whittled down to a handful as the leading group crested the  one  big climb of the day. On its descent, a combination of fallen leaves, poor road surface, narrow roads and plenty of surface water made the leaders cautious in the precarious conditions.  Although Nibali, usually an excellent descender, took a tumble on one of the corners.

Philippe Gilbert, everyone’s favourite for a back to back win after his mid-week triumph in the Tour of Piedmont,  built a lead on the descent which he consolidated once joined by Michele Scarponi. Even though  Euskaltel Euskadi and Caisse d’Epargne had two riders in the chasing group, it seemed as if the appalling weather conditions had robbed them of the will to organise the chase.

The two leaders increased their lead to over a minute with just 10kms remaining. They then rode shoulder to shoulder on the final ascent, eyeballing one another and occasionally brushing shoulders. Who was going to prove to be the stronger rider?

With 5km remaining, Phil Gil rode away from a tired Scarponi to solo to the third consecutive back-to-back win in this race (2005/6 Bettini, 2007/8 Cunego). Scarponi was 2nd and Pablo Lastras 3rd. My beloved had enjoyed a meaningful conversation with Gilbert in Melbourne Airport. He expressed his disappointment with the World Championships but said he was now focussed on winning the Tour of Lombardy and, while he would like a repeat win at Paris-Tours, felt that jet lag would mitigate against it. Omniscient or what?

It’s Day 3 of my new regime and far too early for boredom to have set in. It’s proving quite a culinary challenge but I’m falling back on a lot of Asian herbs and spices to counteract the blandness. I’m eating either oat or millet porridge flavoured with cinnamon for breakfast, steamed meat or fish for lunch with heaps of steamed or raw vegetables. My one piece of fruit per day forms my mid-afternoon snack and for dinner I’ve been enjoying mixed vegetable soup thickened with “pasta” made from protein rather than flour and water. No substitute for the real thing but in soup, it’s difficult to tell the difference. Fortunately, I’ve been too tired to dream about what I’m forgoing.

It will, however, be more of a challenge next week when my parents arrive. I’ll have to cook completely different meals for them. My father will be looking forward to something other than his own cooking, which is coming along in leaps and bounds. While, my mother will have to be tempted with things I know she enjoys eating, otherwise she won’t eat. When we eat out, I’ll either have oysters or fish and salad (no dressing) followed by an espresso. I will resist leaping on the scales until the end of the week

Forbidden pleasures

Today I had an appointment with a dietician. My cycling coach has decided that I’m not losing weight fast enough and drastic action is required. Prior to the meeting, I had to complete a very detailed questionnaire about my eating habits which she has now analysed. She immediately pinpointed my areas of “weakness”: dairy products, fruit and insufficient protein.

The upshot is that I have to weigh my food, eat lean protein at every meal, say goodbye forever to dairy produce, including cheese, eat only 1 piece of fruit a day and loads of vegetables. On days that I ride, I can have additional carbohydrates, but only at breakfast or lunch. Yes, this is going to be a bundle of laughs – not! However, if it’s the route to cycling faster, particularly uphill, I’m willing to give it a go.

I had an early start again this morning and have made serious inroads into the club accounts. I have discovered that the Treasurer has taken rather a nonchalant approach to analysing the payments. This has meant going back to most of the (beautifully filed) supporting documentation. In addition, M le President has been using a rather out of date distribution list so at least half the club is rather out of the loop. This probably explains the lacklustre response to the buffet: now cancelled.  

My beloved has again departed until Saturday evening, leaving me to enjoy the peace and quiet. We discovered yesterday that he has lost his replacement Oakley sunglasses. To be fair, these have lasted 18 months: something of a record. You may recall, the previous pair lasted only one month. My LBS promised that, if he lost the 2nd pair, I could have an even bigger discount on their replacement. I’ll pop in to see him tomorrow en route to the club to go over the accounts with M Le President.

I managed to fit in my run after the trip to the dietician and also spent time in the gym. I am now feeling quite virtuous and am looking forward to my steamed chicken breast (no skin) which I have marinated in lemon juice, ginger and garlic to go with a heap of steamed, green veggies. If I’m still feeling hungry, dessert will be a natural soy yoghurt. I suspect I will go to sleep dreaming of unpasteurized brie, oozing gently out of its chalky, creamy white skin, a crusty baguette and a glass of red wine. Of course, I can still eat bread. I can have 1 slice per day but since I can’t slather it in either butter or cheese, frankly what’s the point?

Early morning energizer

My beloved was delayed 3 hours. I picked him up at the airport and dropped him off home before going down to the club. The Treasurer had done a great job in my absence however she had been assisted by M le President who, sadly, didn’t follow the system I had put in place to track all the licence renewals. Men – plus ca change!

I now need to get stuck into finishing off the club’s year end accounts ready for the “auditor” on Saturday morning. Hopefully, this will not take as long as the interim check as I’ll want to fit in a ride before settling down to enjoy the Tour of Lombardy.

I’m still not quite on French time as I woke up again at 4 o’clock. Not wishing to disturb my beloved, who was snoring loudly enough to wake the entire block, I decamped to the office to finish preparing everything for the company’s accountants for the 3rd quarter. Of course, I could do a lot more of this stuff myself, but frankly the accountant does a great job for a very reasonable price, so why bother?

I’ve prepared my beloved a little treat for breakfast after which we’ll be going for a ride. I’ve made him cinnamon porridge with caramalised apples, not only delicious but low in calories and high in fibre. I make the caramel with dates rather than sugar. I find porridge at breakfast (made with water not milk) keeps me going all morning and, if necessary, well into the afternoon.

I should be running and not riding today, but I have so missed riding my bike over the past couple of weeks that I’m keen to profit from the great weather. If I’ve time, I might fit in a run tomorrow along with a trip to the gym. In fact, I may persist with the getting up really early, it’s amazing what I can achieve while my beloved’s asleep.

A girlfriend of mine is in Monaco this week end and she suggested getting together. Sunday’s ride takes us through Monaco so I proposed we meet for coffee. But it appears that she’s there on a hen-do and the alternative is a ride in a Ferrari. I quite understood. Coffee with me or a ride in a Testarossa – no competition.

Lady in red

Back home

Having chilled out at the hotel in Doha, when I boarded my flight early yesterday morning, I wasn’t feeling too tired. Cabin attendants outnumbered passengers in Club, so it was a really quiet flight back. I had already exhausted the small selection of films and programmes I wanted to see and decided to turn my attention to the audio section and specifically Q Magazine’s list of 100 all-time greatest hits.

It was only when I started listening that I realised 1) it was a great list though I did feel that a number of artistes were over-represented (Sex Pistols, Oasis, The Beatles) while a number were missing in action and 2) it gave clues as to the likely age of the selectors.  It also made me realise I would find it difficult to whittle down my list of favourites to 100, let alone the few required for Desert Island discs. Perhaps, that’s why I’ve never been asked!

The sun was rising and starting to shine as we landed in Milan. At that time of day the formalities were quickly dispensed with and, in no time at all, I was back in my beloved car. Tom II and I made our way out of the airport, more by luck than following any exit signs. I can imagine that many waste the first part of their return trip aimlessly circumnavigating the airport site before finally finding the one and only exit road.

My beloved had arrived at the airport by a rather circuitous route (par for the course) and I was keen not to repeat this. Fortunately, the many trips I’ve taken to the area in the past couple of years means I understand the geographic layout and quickly found the road to Alessandria. At all costs I wanted to avoid the roads leading to Milan, which would be heavily congested on a Monday morning.

I stopped to fill up the car and have a coffee. IMHO Italians make the best coffee. The Italian community in Melbourne make a mean coffee but seem obsessed with making pretty patterns in the froth. Guys, it’s all about the beans, not the look. Suitably revived, I resumed my journey revelling in the warm sunshine. As we neared Genoa the sky darkened and big fat rain drops plopped onto my windscreen, but I didn’t care. I was almost home.

Our speed dropped shortly after Genoa as there was a particularly strong cross-wind. Tom II, pretty much like me on the bike, bobs around in the wind, so I slipstreamed behind some HGVs. I popped into the shops for essential supplies, including L’Equipe before reaching home at midday. The post box was bulging and the messages were stacked up on the answering machine.

I slipped into my new jimjams (stylish, cream, soft cotton trimmed with maroon), courtesy of Qatar Airways, made myself a smoothie and devoured the sports news before tackling the backlog. Somewhere during all of this I fell asleep on the sofa. It was still raining, no ride for me. Instead, I did an hour’s one-legged interval training on the home trainer. I still went to bed at my usual time but woke up early enabling me to continue my attack on the backlog plus getting ready all the stuff I need this week for the club and for the company’s accountant. It’s stopped raining and I’m going for a quick ride before the possible return of my beloved.

Yes, my beloved is due to return at lunchtime today, however, it’s yet another General Strike in France. In any event, he’s going back to the UK tomorrow, so he may just have to stay there. This will throw him into a tailspin as he’s got a suitcase full of dirty clothes more suited to sunnier climes than London! Should I call my sister to warn her of his impending arrival?

Almost home

To kill a bit of time yesterday, and give my weary feet a bit of a rest, I watched “Eat Pray Love”. An undemanding film which will no doubt boost tourism to Rome, Indian Ashrams and Bali. If I was going to “find myself” none of these destinations would be on my list of must see/visit places.

I’m not an adventuresome traveller. When I was younger, my friends inter-railed around Europe, sleeping whenever and wherever. I, meanwhile, found gainful employment and then spent two weeks in a luxury hotel. To me “tent” has always been a 4-lettered word. I will only stay in places that have clean toilets, and hot and cold running water. Hence, certain continents are a definite”no go” as are many countries. Call me chicken, but I know what I like and what I don’t like.

I had to change flights at Doha. On the way out, there was a 2 hour wait, but on the way back it’s 19 hours. Not wishing to spend all that time cooped up in the admittedly swanky Qatar Airways lounge, I decided to venture into downtown Qatar. My only experience of the Middle East has been numerous, largely business, trips to Dubai and a plane change in Muscat. I have however seen bits of Qatar on the television during the Tour of Qatar. This is largely a sprint fest which provides some warm weather training for those not taking part in the Tour down Under, and is followed by the Tour of Oman.

Qatar looks like Dubai did 15 years ago and its oil and gas rich rulers have ambitious plans for the place with a significant amount of construction planned in the hopes of attracting the World Cup in 2022. However, from what I’ve seen, I couldn’t recommend it as a holiday destination.

I can’t wait to get home but while I’m hanging around in Doha I hope to be able to see the Commonwealth Men’s Road Race. I have been watching the Australians hoover up almost all of the track medals at the Commonwealth Games. I had thought that Pom bashing was a bit of a myth and certainly never encountered any of it while in Melbourne and Sydney. However, the press seemed to make a big deal out of Australia whupping Britain in the Commonwealth Games, as if we were the only other team in town. It’s clear that they take the Games far more seriously, having sent their A team in all disciplines: not so the English.

With any luck and a good internet connect, I may also be able to see Paris-Tours. Can PhilGil can make it three in a row ? He’s probably still feeling the effects of jetlag but then so will most of his main competitors: Freire, Pozzato, Breschel, Feillu. However, I think he’ll have a point to prove after the World’s. Tom Boonen who’s still recovering from the after effects of his knee surgery is unlikely to be in contention.

Postscript: That man Oscarito popped up to take it on the line from Angelo Furlan and Gert Steegmans, whose team mate Geoffroy Lequatre, having soloed from 8km out, was swamped 400m from the line.

Postpostscript: Australia make it 14 out of 15 golds on offer in the Commonwealth cycling with Allan Davis winning gold in the Men’s, ahead of Hayden Roulston and David Millar while Rachel Gilmore won the Ladies’.