Belfast Telegraph

For your thighs only as big Bob romps it

Billy on the Box

There's nothing I enjoy more on a Sunday afternoon than pulling on a pair of lycra shorts and settling down to watch sweaty men with massive thighs do their stuff.

In fairness, it came as a bit of a surprise to the staff in Dixons, so I packed up my stuff and went home to watch the World Cup cycling that BBC2 had wheeled out for us instead.

"Every sport has its spiritual home. Football – Wembley; Tennis – Wimbledon; Cricket – Lords and for Britain's most successful sport of recent times it's the boards of Manchester," announced Jonathan Edwards as I wondered how they were going to row around a velodrome or where Phil Taylor would chuck his darts.

Joining him at the 'performance epicentre of world cycling' was one of its 'most famous alumni' in the shape of Victoria Pendleton who was making the most of her Olympic legacy by looking as if she was at a youth club disco perching uncomfortably on a stool and being chatted up by the sporty but geeky one.

As is the BBC way, the events with successful British riders were the main focus, with highlights from the previous two days filling in the awkward silences between live races with Victoria bored at Jonathan offering to show her just how long he could jump, even in brogues.

But those pesky Germans ruin everything, as Robert Forstemann (pictured) trundled onto the track, or the 'original thunder thighs' as commentator Simon Brotherton referred to him.

His riding style was similar to the one used so well by Brian Jacks on Superstars as he powered to victory, Victoria pointing out that he was 'built for power, built for speed' thus disappointing those of us who were built more for comfort.

"Let's talk about something that I'm sure everybody at home has seen and you referred to tangentially – those thighs," said Jonathan, who was passing his vocabulary test in style.

"I know, they're huge, aren't they?" giggled Victoria. "I don't mean any offence but he almost looks like a caricature of a track cyclist," and Jonathan leapt in with a smooth follow-up.

"Chris Hoy has enormous thighs, but they're almost in proportion, these are like they're transplanted on from a rhinoceros," and by now Victoria was giggling like a schoolgirl who had just heard a rude word.

"I wonder how he gets trousers to fit, but that's the sensible person in me," she added, as Farah spotted a previously untapped market opening for their slacks to become all the rage.

Sadly British sprinter Matt Crampton, as Brotherton explained so often the bridesmaid to Hoy and Jason Kenny in the past didn't get a chance to race big Bob, as the Joe Corrigan of cycling lost to a man from Trinidad and Tobago in his semi-final. And to think they complain about how the lack of proper facilities meant that British competitors couldn't compete at the top level.

I may be mistaken, but I'm guessing they aren't tripping over velodromes in the West Indies, but even full of Lilt, he had no answer to Thunder thighs in the final.

Elsewhere there was drama as the wee motorbike used in the Keirin race ran out of petrol, co-commentator Rob Hayles risking a diplomatic incident by suggesting that the rider should be 'wearing a stripy jumper and a string of onions around his neck.'

Still, not as confused as Victoria who explained that in Japan the Keirin is big business and you can 'bet on it like racehorsing, errr, racehorse racing ... ' as Jonathan realised his thesaurus work had been a total waste of time.

It was apt then than the new golden girl of cycling Laura Trott won gold, while there was plenty of other British glory to cheer, although the success of Jonathan Mould from Wales and Ireland's Martyn Irvine seemed to confuse everyone, but I've checked and Newport and Newtownards are in the BBC catchment area so feel free to give them a bit more coverage and not just to the golden English girls or we'll fetch in a huge German rhino to stomp all over your velodrome.

Belfast Telegraph


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