The battle lines are drawn, the allegiances sworn. It's the breaking of a new dawn - will a champion be born?
At this time of the year it’s difficult to find things to write about. There’s no racing to provide interesting tales. The training is mostly steady and unexciting. It’s a time of year when everything can seem a bit flat. So I’ve decided to mix things up in this blog and shake myself out of this winter lethargy.
I have to admit to being a big fan of rap music. Even though most rap artists seem to be a little lazy and consider a simple beat repeated over and over again to be enough. It’s not really the beat that attracts me. Nor is the repeated references to guns and hos. I don’t have the anger that they do, as I’m not from the hood or the ghetto. But rap isn’t the exclusive domain of gangsters and hoodlums. They don’t own the copyright to the English language. Anyone can have a go.
What I like about rap music is the rhyme. The use of words. The flow of the verse. And so I’ve decided to have a go myself. Although I don’t have any musical ability, so there’s no music. This is just a simple poem. And like all rappers do, I’ve taken my inspiration from my personal experiences. And what I know best. Cycling. This piece is inspired by the Halfords Tour Series, the UK’s exciting new city centre series.
I’ve also tried to reference some of my team-mates and rivals from the UK pro cycling circuit. It shouldn’t be too hard for UK fans to work them out but I’ve still put the names at the bottom to help you out in case it’s all too cryptic for you. Hopefully it works as a rhyme even if you’re not familiar with any of the riders. Anyway that’s enough of a build up. Here it is. This is ‘The Crit’.
Seize the day. Don’t walk away.
This is a time to be serious, not a time for play.
Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep.
Their nerves start to jangle as they wait for the beep.
B of the bang. The fans start to stand.
To witness these young warriors. The best in the land.
Lap follows lap follows lap.
Like a knife through butter the pros move through the pack.
Those who are sheep follow. While the lions attack.
Tick follows tock follows tick.
Their faces show the pain as they turn up the wick.
Corner, straight. Corner, straight.
The trap is set. Will the prey take the bait.
Hors delai. No work no pay.
If you can’t stand the heat, then get out the way.
Too fast and too furious for even Vin Diesel.
More colourful than the greats, Kandinsky and Mirro painted on the easel.
The weak should stay at home. There’s no place for them here.
Darwin looks on with a smile. As bike replaces the Neanderthal’s spear.
Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Go! Go! Go!
As a bearded Namibian steals the show.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
The Clark Kent of Lancashire is back in the game.
In the tour of our homeland, a friendly dragon released fire from his breath.
For the pride of his nation, he battled to the death.
The wolf isn’t lone. He comes with a mate.
All eyes are upon her. It’s her job to look great.
Women cheer and gawp as the Dude does the Coen brothers proud.
Darkness is falling. The sun’s last gasps give in to the shroud.
Cameras follow the racing, like an all seeing eye.
With action hotter than a steak cooking on a braai.
Then as a Bogan from Bathurst goes for the win.
The Jack of clubs, fire fuelled, lets the maelstrom begin
The bell tolls. It’s nearly done.
The end is near. The war almost won.
The crowds cheer. The people roar.
It’s time to celebrate. The Condors soar.
The winner takes it all. The loser takes a fall.
The vanquished hide away. The victor stands tall.
With a clenched fist he punches the sky.
The euphoria takes over. The pain passes by.
Two hands held high in the air.
Only one rider feels joy. For the rest it’s despair.
It was fifty metres too short they moan to their mates.
Tell that to Peter as you pass through the gates.
One day you’ll be a man my son.
The bullets are loaded, now fire the gun.
In order of appearance;
Darren Lapthorne (Rapha Condor Sharp - 2011 Pegasus Racing), Dan Craven (Rapha Condor Sharp), Ian Wilkinson (Endura), Rob Partridge (Endura), Andy Tennant (Motorpoint - 2011 Rapha Condor Sharp), Lauren Bason (Tour Series/Tour of Britain Podium Girl), Kristian House (Rapha Condor Sharp), Dean Windsor (Rapha Condor Sharp), Jack Bauer (Endura).
Thanks for reading.