My name is Tim and I’m one of the founding members of VeloVoices. I’m the blog’s editor-in-chief, our resident stats and tactics analyst and I have a teensy-tiny man-crush on Mark Cavendish. When I’m not working on VeloVoices I have three kids and two other blogs to look after, so my natural state is one of sleep deprivation! Here are my ten wishes for 2013.
1. In common with many others, I’d like to see Pat McQuaid replaced as UCI president by someone credible who can be more than just a figurehead and who can operate effectively in the political minefield of international sports administration. I’m not sure who that person is, but it almost certainly isn’t a populist choice such as Greg LeMond or David Millar.
2. The 100th Tour de France to be a race worthy of both the occasion and the marvellous parcours which has been designed specifically for it. It’s up to the best riders in the world to give us a truly memorable spectacle now. I have every faith that they will.
3. Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan to duke it out in the final metres of Milan-San Remo. No surprise that I’d be backing Cav to win, but I think 2013 will be the year SuperSagan wins (at least) one of the big one-day races, having finished second, third, fourth and fifth in Classics last year. I wouldn’t bet against him pulling on the rainbow jersey either. But I’m really looking forward to some heavyweight battles in the sprints this year, with Argos-Shimano’s Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb snapping at the heels of Cav, Greipel, Sagan, Goss and co.
4. Andy Schleck to turn up to a race (a) without Frank [which, of course, may yet be enforced on him – Ed] and (b) with just a smidgen of Alberto Contador’s attacking flair, Mark Cavendish’s raging desire to win and Jens Voigt’s grit and determination. It is frankly ridiculous that he has a grand total of zero general classification victories on the road in stage races (having won the 2010 Tour retrospectively) – that’s one fewer than Cav, for God’s sake! I have no great love – indeed, no love at all – for Andy, but I hate to see great talent failing to live up to its potential. Schleck the Younger remains, quite categorically, a talent unfulfilled.
5. Much though I admire David Walsh and Paul Kimmage for fighting the good fight against Lance Armstrong and doping in general, I really do hope they stop being so bloody sanctimonious in dancing on his grave. Armstrong may have been their Watergate but I would hate them to be forever remembered solely for this one sorry tale. Let them go back to being simply great sporting journalists. They – and we – deserve better.
6. More riders joining Twitter. The world would be a poorer place without the honesty, humour and occasional outspokenness of the likes of Jens, Cav, Fabian and Kittel. And it brings the riders closer to us, the fans.
7. As my ‘home’ race, I want to see the Tour of Britain continue to build on its recent successes. It’s great to see our own national heroes such as Cav, Wiggo and 2012 winner Jonathan Tiernan-Locke performing at close quarters, but last year’s race also brought Samuel Sanchez and Ivan Basso to British shores. It’s all about the race continuing to build its reputation as a varied and challenging race, and continuing to attract bigger names. How cool would it be to see the Tour of Britain attain WorldTour status in the next few years?
8. A moment in the limelight for some of the riders who selflessly give everything in the service of others. Jens is an obvious example, but also the likes of Geraint Thomas, Bernie Eisel, Adam Hansen and Greg Henderson. Every faithful dog deserves to be thrown a bone every now and then.
9. Personally, to get to watch a race in the flesh, something I haven’t done for a few years now. That’s easier said than done given that I have three children aged five or under but cycling – as much as any and more than most – is a sport which is best experienced in person rather than watched on a TV.
10. No doping scandals. None. Zip. Nada. Well, I can wish, can’t I?
10 wishes for 2013