Saturday, 31 March 2012

Why do they all wear blue?

In which our heroine makes a shocking confession - she can't always tell the buggers apart.

Why?  Why must they all wear blue and black and white?  Not all of them, obviously, but enough to cause me real confusion. 

Even I can spot a Movie-star (thanks be to the green helmet) or a Katoosha or a Lampray.  But there is a conversation which happens very often in our house, and it goes a little like this:

Looks up from magazine.  'Is that Tom Boonen?'
'In a Garmin kit?'
Is that a Garmin?  I thought it was a Quickstep.'
'It’s quite clearly a Garmin. Quickstep's are turquoise.'
Squints at telly.  'Is that not turquoise?'
'Shut up.'
'So is it Geraint?'
Sighs.  'SHUT UP.'

Now, if I can’t tell the Garmin PE kit from the Quickstep PE kit, and let’s be honest, they really are very different, I don’t stand a hope in hell with Garmin and Sky. And Saxobank, now that’s bloody blue too.
Now I'm not thick.  Not really thick anyway.  Ok, I'm a bit thick.  A bit thick and prone to watching the cycling while flicking through a magazine or messing around on twitter etc and possibly not paying the attention to it that I should be, given that I can't even tell them apart.  And I'm very prone to asking bloody stupid questions.  And I don't listen to the commentators (hmmm, commentators; that's another post entirely) if I can possibly avoid it, but who I have it on good authority will actually identify the riders correctly up to 25% of the time.  But, in my defence, it can be difficult to work out who the hell is who.  (or whom.  correct the grammer yourself if you feel like it, I'm never sure on who/whom).

They're going a bit quick, they've all got sunnies and lids on and the vast majority of them are rocking 3 days worth of stubble and deep tans.  There's blimming loads of 'em, and most of the time they don't even have the decency to go in single file (although sometimes they do on an uppy bit or a windy bit) to give a girl a fighting chance of working out which team they're on, let alone who they actually are.  The camera work on certain races is not always great, and as I think I've already pointed out, the ones in the blue kits all look the same to me.

There are some clues that I'm learning to spot.  Like the cyclists names in big letters on the sides of the Sky kit for example (which is genius.  why don't they all do that?).  Or the ones in National Champions kits.  There are some riders I find instantly physically identifiable, for example Andre Griepel or Cadel Evans.  And some I can spot by telltale giveaway marks, like Sorenson who climbs like Paula Radcliffe runs.  I guess I'll have to keep watching, and pay better attention, and hopefully at some point I'll be able to actually tell my Sagan from my Spartacus.

And in the meantime, I can always make myself flashcards from old copies of Cycling Weekly.  Or do some more Top Trumps cards...

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