El Diablo gets a better view by sitting on Lisa's Mum's shoulders
Lisa's Mum has been hiding in my hand luggage since I got to Europe, and now is the time to dust her off and get her back in action. It's not that she was intentionally hiding; it's just that the summer wardrobe that she'd packed for Italy had consisted solely of bikinis and coconut oil and up until now it's been too cold to leave the apartment. But now that Summer is here (a bold statement, given that we are on day #4 of sunshine and have only just stopped building the Ark), so is Lisa's Mum.
It is less than a week until the Tour de France, and Mum is already getting her Le Tour fantasy tipping team in order and has pitched her tent on the Col du Tourmalet. She is also currently interviewing for the position of Lance Armstrong's new girlfriend. Applicants must be one or more of the following: (a) supermodel; (b) rock star; (c) blonde; (d) willing to wait on the side of roads for indefinite periods during race season. Ability to flash dazzling smile and withstand constant references to Texas an advantage. (Cyclists, career women and ladies over 5ft4 need not apply)
Mum has received lots of fan mail asking for her tips for Le Tour. This has come as no surprise to her; after all, she is practically a member of the SBS commentary team (tbc) and is internationally recognised as Alphington's (postcode: 3078) foremost authority on all things cycling. So here, it is, Mum's top tips for the 2010 TdF:
- Brad Wiggins, Britain's Great White Hope, will issue a press release at the start of stage 17, warning the British public that despite hundreds of newspaper clippings to the contrary, he may in fact not win the Tour. Wiggins will explain that, whilst the ₤40m budget of Team Sky does buy a lot of skinsuits, no amount of money can ever teach an Englishman how to survive in 30deg weather for 23 days straight
- Team Garmin will issue a press release immediately following Wiggins', in which the phrases 'sucked in Sky' and 'we didn't want you anyway, you pasty white Brit' feature prominently
- The suspicion surrounding motorized doping will build after Fabian Cancellara is spotted filling up his bike at a petrol station before the prologue
- A chink in Contador's armour is exposed when the Spaniard suffers a severe allergic reaction to the cobblestones in stage 3. At least, that's what he claims the epi-pen in his back pocket is for. Contador will be relying on Oscar Pereiro to be his faithful domestique on the pavé, but will discover too late that Pereiro only agreed to be on his team because Contador is the only rider who calls him Oscar and not 'that guy who sort of won the Tour in 2006'
- Mark Cavendish will win the sprint stages graciously, smile adoringly at the media and afterwards attribute all his successes to teammate André Griepel whom, Cav explains, insisted on giving Cav his place as HTC-Columbia's team sprinter, no matter how hard Cav tried to convince him otherwise*
- Lance Armstrong will not win, but will use the Tour as a platform to launch his new fragrance, restaurant franchise and music video. The release of the music video will be delayed until after the Tour as edtors scramble to dub over the bit about him winning the Tour 8 times
- The Tour organisers will introduce a new classification, the maillot vieux, awarded to the highest placed GC rider who is also a qualified pensioner. It will be a closely-fought battle between top contendors Armstrong (38), Robbie McEwen (38) and Jens Voigt (38), although Hincapie (37) will be in with a strong chance on the basis of his first name being George. Yaroslav Popovych may not look young on paper, but after 30 years of living in Ukraine his complexion more than qualifies him as an outside chance
Stay tuned for more top tips from Lisa's Mum... right now she is off to find the SBS team hotel (left off the email list AGAIN, one would almost think it was deliberate)