Sunday, 22 July 2012

'ere wiggo, 'ere wiggo, 'ere wiggo

Was there ever a more apt marriage of moronic English sporting chant and the affectionate diminutive of our latest sporting hero? Probably not. But that, along with cow bell, whistles and cheers, was pretty much all you could hear in the English enclave that was the exit of the hairpin at the top of the Champs Élysées today.

I'm not going to produce a blow by blow account of the weekend I've spent in Paris with t'eldest, and still less our day on the Champs today. Last time I was there/here was last September, celebrating my own personal and team achievement of riding from London to Paris in one piece without any terminal arguments, and today I was celebrating someone else's personal and team achievement of riding from Liege to Paris in one piece (pretty much anyway) without any terminal arguments. But then, we had to take our own pictures; today, there were hundreds, thousands of others doing it for them. And their arguments weren't about route finding or letting their drying pants drip on the bunk below (unless there's a Sky documentary exposé down the line), but who had the right to stand on top of a podium in Paris. Mr Froome will tell us there were no such arguments, but don't you just wish you were a fly on the wall of his and his girlfriend's room? And I mean that in a completely non-pervy way.

Talking of the Froomedog, as David Millar seems to have christened him, check this out (taken by aforementioned eldest) in case you missed it on Twitter:

So no, there'll be no dull narrative about our "I was there" story. You know where we were. It was fun. I had tears in my eyes at times - though slightly oddly, it was the publicity caravan that inspired that; the unalloyed joy of those on the back of the crazily swerving motorised water bottles and loaves of bread somehow captured the essence of the event even more than the racing itself.

Two last words. When the teams did their lap of honour, the British fans, who I feared were going to lapse into the kind of booze-fuelled partisanship of their footballing compatriots, heartily cheered all the teams, regardless of their nationality or levels of success. They added colour, atmosphere and laughter. Just for a day, we were the fans everybody liked.

And finally, I lapsed. I sold out. I thought I'd never do it. I bought some Sky merchandise...shame on me. But you know, when the greatest sporting show on earth (and I brook no argument on that, regardless of anything that might be happening dairn sairf next weekend for a bit), is won by an interesting and seemingly decent British fella, what can you do?

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