On Top Of The World
Go back 3 or 4 years and one could argue that the UK was not really on the biking world map. Sure, Steve Peat was pretty special (and still is), but then along came the 2008 Olympics where Great Britain not only medalled in virtually every event at the velodrome, but took clean sheets in many. Sir Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins, Jason Kenny, Victoria Pendleton and Wendy Houvenaghel to name but a few of the world dominating squad.. They claimed 14 medals, 8 of them gold! At the same games Nicole Smith took gold in the Women’s Road Race. World number one BMX rider Shanaze Rreade fell at the Olympics, but still retains her status. Then in April 2009 Danny McAskill exploded onto the scene with his Inspired Bicycles Youtube viral video which has now seen over 27 million hits! That was the same year that the legendary Steve Peat finally took the World Championships to add to his 3 World Cup Downhill titles and 17 individual legs. In September 2010 Gee Atherton took the UCI Downhill World Cup. But none of these riders can compare with the exposure that a certain Mark Cavendish has garnered for himself in the last four years on the biggest stage of all. With an incredible 20 stage wins to his name, and a Green Jersey to boot, he is on course to become the most successful rider in the history of Le Tour in three years time if he can keep it up! And now we’ve got this guy: Danny Hart. Danny laid down one of the all-time greatest downhill MTB runs at the recent UCI World Championships in Champery, Switzerland – matched only by the brilliantly biased commentary from the UK presenters. “How does he sit down with balls that big?”. You really, really must watch this clip. Just to top it off, a few days ago, Sam Pilgrim took the honours at this amazing looking MTB Freeride event in Nuremburg. Oh, and last weekend Alastair Brownlee won the Men’s Triathlon World Champs (with his brother in second!) and Helen Jenkinson won the Women’s event.. And I am sure I have missed off plenty… How would Bradley Wiggins have fared in the Tour if he hadn’t broken his collar bone?
All pretty impressive stuff.