There is only one big cycling news story today.. Even if Tony Martin somehow manages to muck up the Men’s ITT over at the World’s in Ponferrada, the screaming headline of le jour is that Giant Shimano – home of one Marcel Kittel – is teaming up with a turbo-charged German shampoo company next year and will be known as Giant Alpecin. It truly is a match made in Hair Heaven.
Hair got me into cycling. I know it sounds ridiculous – the leap from barnet(1) to bicycle is not an easy one to imagine – but it’s true. The ponytails of firstly Robert Millar and then, and more importantly, Laurent Fignon bewitched me more than any lofty mountain pass or low-profile time trial machine. Who were these sportsmen who exhibited such flair with their hair? It is said that the aero disadvantage of Fignon’s follicle affectation cost him the 1989 Tour, which he lost to the tousled golden locks of the American Greg Lemond by just eight seconds, but (and I realise that it would have been scant consolation to the distraught Frenchman) it won my undying admiration.
Fignon and on and on.