By Lee Dover
Here’s a turn up for the books – the Brits are doing OK in sport this year. A handful of the country’s tennis stars have dodged defeat in the first-round of Wimbledon, England’s cricket stars are hitting cricket balls for sixes for fun and there is plenty of optimism heading into London 2012.
Really, as long as it does not involve kicking any kind of ball – be it rugby or football – the Brits are on song. With this in mind, there is plenty of promise heading into the Tour de France.
The biggest event on two wheels of the year, the 2012 edition of the race is dominated by one name – Bradley Wiggins.
Paddy Power make the former Olympic pursuit champion the favourite to don the famous yellow jersey come July 22nd, making him the first British competitor to do so in its 109-year history.
Hey, we are not the only ones who feel that Wiggins is in with a shot. The man himself has stated in his blog for The Guardian: “As the Tour de France draws near I’m having similar feelings to those I remember from before the Beijing Olympics. I really feel this could be my year. It’s simply the way I’ve felt all season, and that’s how it was in 2008.”
It surely will not be easy for the Brit to make history in the Tour de France, not with so many cyclists biting at his heels as they hope to taste victory themselves.
Yes, the greatest sporting event on the planet has put the entire world on notice, including one Mr Cancellara.
The Swiss man has already noted: “Winning the Tour is a dream. But it is not a goal. That is the difference.”
Interesting words indeed, and made all the more intriguing as British sprint ace Mark Cavendish has echoed his Swiss competitor’s views.
“I was always winning four, five, six stages of the Tour de France. I don’t think that’s going to be possible this year,” he explained. “Not just the fact that we’re going for the yellow jersey with the team and the team is not built around me but I’m gearing towards the Olympics.”
You know what they say though, one man’s loss is another man’s gain, and there are plenty of men in the Tour de France field just waiting for their opportunity to pounce.