So how lucky do you have to be to win Paris-Roubaix, or any bike race? Look at those cobbles, gasp at those crashes, and you could jump to the conclusion that you have to be pretty damn lucky, with the degree of good fortune depending on the degree of danger and the number of riders in the mix: more luck required for Paris-Roubaix or the Dengie Marshes, or any race ending with a bunch sprint; less luck for something hilly and decent surfaced where a strong rider will make a difference.
It is something of an annual rite at the end of the cycling spring. The three week Tours hove into view when the Giro d’Italia starts on the second weekend of May, and without fail doping scandals past and present bubble up to form a murky background during the build-up to the Tour de France, centerpiece of the cycling year. This year is the same, with a new twist: the Giro looks harder and more mountainous than ever, and the drugs issues are more worrying.
Let the cameras roll, and quickly. The news that British film maker Shane Meadows – of This England fame – is interested in the tale of Major Tom prompted headlines and made waves on Twitter, but that’s no surprise. The surprise is that it has not already happened. A few years ago one such project fell foul of that old villain, budgetary issues, but this time round, perhaps the involvement of a major figure such as Meadows will tip the balance or perhaps one of the other projects that are bubbling under may get the go-ahead. Let’s hope so.