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BBC BeSpoke, Giro d'Italia

11th May 2018

Chris Froome

Chris Froome, by Jaguar MENA, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

We're being treated to a daily Giro d'Italia podcast from BBC BeSpoke, for the duration of the race. The host is the BBC's sports writer Tom Fordyce, with cycling writer Jeremy Whittle the regular guest.

Fordyce pronounces 'Giro' with an extra-soft French 'g', rather than the correct Italian sound, which is like the 'j' of Jeremy. Some may cavil, but look at it this way: at least he's doing it in Foreign.

The ITV4 Boardman/Boulting/Millar podcast is my favourite, but I'll listen to any cycling broadcast, and the 2018 Giro promises competition, suspense, and intrigue.

The trouble is, the early editions of Giro BeSpoke haven't included much race coverage, or chat about any rider other than Chris Froome. Fordyce and Whittle form a sort of Lady Macbeth & Macbeth partnership, plotting to bring down the Kenyan-born Brit.

These are some of the episodes:

  • Clouds hang over Team Sky at Giro in Israel (3rd May)
  • Froome's bid for history off to a shaky start (4th May)
  • Is it time for Froome to panic? (8th May)
  • Froome's toothbrushing technique in doubt (9th May)
  • Is Froome's halitosis alienating his teammates? (10th May)

Ok, I may have made up the last two, but the others are genuine.

Tuesday's 'panic?' broadcast was typical of the content served up by the Chuckle Brothers. One loaded question after another from Barry teed up one snide remark after another from Paul.

The first 4 minutes of the 20 were devoted to mean-spirited remarks about the Sky leader; the Podcast Two then managed a minute and a half on a different subject, before returning to their topic of choice. 'From Froome's perspective, there's a horrible irony at work here, isn't there, because [bla bla bla].' They did discuss other riders, but every conversation came back to Chris Froome, and the impending crisis predicted for him by Hardy.

You'd think there were no other riders in the race, and nothing else happening. It's lazy and boring. What a load of rubbish.

Simon Yates is the Golden Boy as far as Morecombe and Wise are concerned. That's fine, I'm delighted that the Bury rider is doing so well. But Yates has had his own issues with asthma medication, having been suspended for 4 months in 2016 for unintentional doping, and it does seem hypocritical that that's never mentioned by Hale and Pace.

No doubt Simon Yates is in his 'being built up' phase. It's not the right time for him to be torn to shreds by Impartial Journalists. Some day, when the bandwagon rolls past our fearless Woodward and Bernstein, they'll jump on it. Gare à vous, when that day comes, Simon.

The endless bitching about Team Sky almost made me want to start a 'Bring Back OJ Borg' petition. At least that way we'd get the 'iconic' count back up to acceptable levels. But then I remembered that he's just as bad as Armstrong. (Armstrong & Miller, and yes, it is time to stop now).

Instead, it'll have to be a 'Bring Back Rob Hayles' campaign.

Save our wildlife - don't drive so fast

3rd July 2017

Brown hare, North Yorkshire

An otherwise delightful Sunday morning bike ride was blighted by the sight of too many fresh animal carcasses, the creatures killed by speeding cars. Could we change the law, or change our driving culture, and save our wildlife? Read about save our wildlife - don't drive so fast.

Inspiration from Dutch cycle infrastructure

20th September 2017

Bikes in Zandvoort

Bike lanes in the Netherlands are designed with thought and intelligence to create a joined-up, easily  usable network. I took a few photos of cycle infrastructure in Zandvoort, and I've added some comments about the intention of the planners. In the UK, we should pay particular attention to the way they give bike routes continuity, instead of making them give way to every side street.

Read about inspiration from Dutch cycle infrastructure.

Zandvoort bike lane Bike lane, ZandvoortBike lane at fork in road, Zandvoort

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