Cav: Champion of the World

26 09 2011

This years cycling World Championships have belonged to Great Britain.  Amazing rides in Copenhagen all week resulted in Emma Pooley taking a Bronze in the Womes Time Trial, with Bradley Wiggins taking a silver in the mens event.  A Gold medal in the Womens Under 23 road race for Lucy Garner and a Bronze for Andy Fenn in the Mens, with Elinor Barker picking up a Silver in the U23 TT.  If there hadn’t been a crash in the Womens road race, there would have been at least another medal there.

But top of the heap (in my opinion) was Mark Cavendish’s win in the mens Road Race.  Cav deserves a lot of the credit for his sprint, managing to find a way through a crowd at the only possible point he coud (200m from the line, rather than the 150m that he would have liked) and he will make a brilliant World Champion (taking over from another deserving winner Thor Hushovd).  The sprint doesn’t tell the whole story though as this was just the tail end of 266km of racing that was dominated by a successful Great Britain Squad.

The team nullified breakaway after breakaway,  with Vuelta hero Chris Froom and Steve Cummings taking massive turns in front, keeping the pace high limiting time for the riders up the road from the peloton.  Not satisfied with his Silver in the Time Trial, Bradley Wiggins then dragged the entire Peloton around half of the last lap in his wake.  The confusion on the last corner could have meant the end of the opportunity, but Ian Stannard managed to get Cave a hole to dart through and the rest as they say is history.

This week should make British cycling fans proud and as far as sporting achievements go, this should be right up there with the best of them (only once before has a British Cyclist won a World championship medal, Tom Simpson in 1965), so why was this not reported in the sports section on Sky News this moring, when lots of time was taken up by Robin Van Persie saying he was too busy to sign a new contract at Arsenal.  Changing topic slightly, I find Sky’s coverage of cycling to be pitiful, especially as they sponsor not only Team Sky, but also the Great Britain track cycling and Road Teams.  Cycling is no longer a minority sport, so it should get more coverage.  I know a lot of people will say that until a British rider wins the Tour de France, nobody will care, but the way things are going, nobody will know they have won it because it won’t be on any news.

Rant over.  Back on topic, the main reason I think that Cav will make a great world champion is because whenever he wins, he  doesn’t count it as his win, he counts it as a team win and is the first to thank the team that he knows he couldn’t win without.  Like him or loathe him he is a legend and now Champion of the World.