RICK JACKSON: How we love to beat the French on two wheels!

Another Brit could be about the dominate a sport which is far more popular around the world than it is in the UK.

Wednesday, 23rd May 2018, 9:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:43 am
Simon Yates competing in the Giro D'Italia

A sport where millions watch not only on TV and online, but on the side of the road as they pass.

Spectators can run alongside the sport’s major stars as they compete.

I’m talking about cycling. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Tour de France but the first of three Grand Tours is taking place in Italy and a Brit may win the Giro d’Italia for the first time ever, and it’s not Chris Froome.

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Simon Yates, who is just 25, has been in the leader’s pink jersey, the Maglia Rosa, for quite a while now.

He’s even put on a two minute 11 second lead over his rival, last year’s winner, Tom Dumoulin.

Simon is a fantastic mountain climber, he’s slight and powerful. Dumoulin is tall and even more powerful and excels in the time trial, where instead of in packs, they cycle a smaller route individually.

Now Simon has had to take time away from Tom by trying to power up the highest of mountain climbs quicker – and what a feat it’s been.

Cycling is a fantastic sport to watch – the tactics, the speed, the energy and the recovery. And this tour lasts three weeks!

Like cricket, there is much more to the sport than just hitting a ball or riding your bike as fast as you can.

Added to all that, the footage of the most beautiful parts of Italy have been stunning, as a helicopter follows the riders.

Simon and his twin brother Adam are very promising riders indeed as both have won the young riders’ trophies at the Tour de France and this is a coming of age for Simon.

Another bonus is that the French hate this situation as we are dominating a sport they love. In our country the highlights are only on Eurosport!

If you get a chance, watch some cycling. At the very least, you’ll see some beautiful scenery and hopefully a Brit winning something.

THE GUILT OF BEING A WORKING DAD

Parenting, although the best job in the world, can be the hardest, especially because it comes with a truck-load of guilt.

No one warns you about that, do they? Here’s a prime example.

I am in the dining room writing this column. The sun is shining, it’s a beautiful day. I really should be out and about entertaining my two-year-old daughter.

We should be on the beach or at the splash park. But I need to work, so she’s in the conservatory in front of me watching episode after episode of Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom. Guilt, guilt, guilt! That just scratches the surface.

The work/life balance is a tough one, but Holly looks happy and I’ve just finished – it’s playtime!

I DON’T MEAN TO BRAG, BUT...

A war of words has broken out on Twitter between breakfast television’s two rival male hosts.

Piers Morgan, the shrinking violet of ITV’s Good Morning Britain, is constantly trying to wind up the BBC’s blue-eyed boy, Dan Walker.

In an ego contest Piers wins hands down, but Dan wins with his adaptability.

He also hosts Match of the Day and does a spot of DIY and cleaning behind the scenes.

Piers is claiming ITV’s stolen 300,000 viewers in a year but the BBC show still has double the audience of ITV’s.

I think it’s rather uncouth bragging about your figures, besides, locally, neither has anywhere near as many listeners as I have on my radio show.

Oh, hang on, that makes me just as bad as them, doesn’t it?