Wednesday, 11 April 2012
I hope that some of you out there have been able to catch at least a few events from the World Track Cycling Championships held in Australia over the last week. Having recently switched to a Sky TV package - cycling is a predominant feature on both Eurosport channels - and when it is broadcast in HD on a big screen there is a definite 'wow' factor. The BBC broadcast the highlights last Sunday which was a good way of seeing all the key moments. I find track racing exciting - the tactics combined with the explosive speed and 'to the wire' finishes is an exhilarating amalgamation.
Sir Chris Hoy, so long the leading protagonist at these events looks to be nearing the end of his reign as a world champion - he seemed easily beaten in the sprint events. That said I don't think anyone would write him off and with the Olympics looming he could be tapering his preparation entirely towards a fitting swansong to an illustrious cycling career. Certainly the team selectors now have something of a quandary - Hoy the reigning Olympic champ, so long at the forefront, a hero and a world-wide acknowledged ambassador for cycling versus Jason Kenny - the young turk, upcoming (for the past three or four years!) maybe a little immature for the big event? - but consistently racing faster than Sir Chris?? - We'll have to wait for the outcome.
I've suggested to Gary that he and I should have a go at riding on the track. Our cycling club has an annual trip to the Manchester Velodrome where you can hire a track bike and ride around the banked arena and get a feel for it. I suspect it's much harder than it looks on TV.
I've grabbed a couple of photos off the web to add to this blog - I really like the look of track cyclists in photographs - there's an elegance and refinement about the way they hold their position.
Also on Eurosport I've been enjoying watching the Spring Classics - Milan - San Remo, The Tour of Flanders and, last Sunday, the Paris - Roubaix, The hell of the North - with long stretches of racing at incredible speed over medieval cobblestones!! - Well done to Tom Boonen for winning the event for the fourth time in his career.