Close run thing

I finally got around to taking my beloved BMC I down to my LBS (Local Bike Shop) to have the set up changed to that of my beloved BMC II. I also splashed out on a new saddle, as the old one was looking kinda sad after close on 30,000km. I had suffered a puncture while out riding this morning thanks to a tack which had left a large hole in my rear tyre and deflated the inner tube.

The hole was so big that there was absolutely no point in replacing the inner tube without first replacing the tyre. I would only have been setting myself up for multiple punctures.  Of course, I cannot possibly have mismatched tyres. So both back and front tyres had to be changed. However, nothing will go to waste. All the rejected bits and bobs went straight into the Burkina Faso box.

We rode back home and, after a shower, I slipped into my favourite lounge wear,the Qatari Airways freebie jimjams, and settled down to watch Stage 5 of the Santos Tour Down Under, 131km to Willunga. We only caught the last 5 kilometers which ended with a sprint finish among the small leading pack , won by Movistar’s Francisco Ventoso ahead of in-form Michael Matthews and Matt Goss. Cameron Meyer, a world champion on the track and Australian time-trial champion, remains in the leader’s ochre jersey and is poised to take his first stage race in Gamin-Cervelo’s colours.

Euskatel’s Gorka Azagirri, whom we’d last seen winning  in the Basque country, took a bit of a flier but was reeled in just before the line. He’s animated a number of stages and races in Australia and I’ll be keeping a look out for him this year.

Meanwhile my beloved football team were hosting Man “Money’s no Object” City at Villa Park. I was praying that we would not suffer the fickle finger of fate from the returning players (Gareth Barry and James Milner). Furthermore, I was hoping for some sign that £18m spent on Darren Bent had been a wise investment on the part of Houllier.

We won 1-0, after Bent had scored on his debut in the 18th minute. A spirited display, particularly by the back 4 and the first clean sheet for months. Let’s hope that this is a turning point in our season.

After last week’s 2-0 home defeat by Lille, OGCN are  hosting Olympique Lyonnais tomorrow evening in the French League Cup where, frankly, anything could happen.

We’ll be watching the match on the television after (I hope) having successfully defended our Regional Championship. Like the Departmental Championship, which we narrowly lost this season, competition will be fiercest from two clubs which, unlike us, are chock full of veterans (maximum point scorers). M Le President has rallied the troops and I’ll be there to chivy everyone as, unfortunately, he’ll be working.

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3 thoughts on “Close run thing

  1. It was a good stage. Fool that I am, I stayed up to watch it live and was treated to some enterprising attacks on the two ascents of Old Willunga Hill. Good to see young Jack Bobridge up at the front (even if he was only sitting tight in case he was needed to support Meyer at the end). I suspect Meyer has now done enough to win the overall, a he can rely on Farrar and Dean to act as spoilers on the intermediate sprints tomorrow.

    I’ve only glimpsed the Villa result, but before the game I was joking to some fellow Arsenal fans that you stood no chance on paper and therefore were bound to win 1-0 with Bent scoring off his backside. I wasn’t that far off in the end …

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  2. OK Tim, you’ve been rumbled. I’ve often wondered how you manage to craft such great posts, sometimes two in a day, while holding down a senior role and being a great Dad to those two “cute as buttons” boys. Now I know, you don’t sleep.

    Entertaining racing today and delighted Meyer hung onto his ochre jersey.

    Thanks for your positive thoughts on my boys, could you manage it most week ends?

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  3. Guilty as charged. I certainly don’t sleep as much as I used to, that’s for sure!

    In the end, having been a bit disappointed by the lack of variety in the early stages, the TDU turned out rather well. The chess game between Garmin and HTC on the final stage was fascinating to watch unfold, and Sky played it perfectly by keeping their powder dry until the very end – a fantastic result for Ben Swift. Also, it was lovely to see O’Grady get a couple more moments in the limelight in two of the breaks – he has been a terrific servant to the sport, and has become a great all-rounder and team man in his latter years.

    I think Villa will be absolutely fine now. The other teams around you show no sign of improving, and with Charlie Adam handing in a transfer request I can see Blackpool sliding back rapidly. Even Bolton, who are currently in freefall, could find themselves in trouble, especially if they continue to defend as poorly as they did last night.

    Much though I think Bent is overvalued at (up to) £24m, he will always score goals, which is what matters most. I expect Houllier will get the best out of him.

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