Friday funnies: And the numpty of the week is…

You have to wonder at the particular brand of knuckle-headedness that governs cycling. This week, at the Giro d’Italia, there was a positive story to be had. Not the failed drug test kind of positive but a solid gold good news story. Worthy of a Chariots of Fire soundtrack. That good. The scene opens on…

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Earth to Lance Armstrong

Every parent knows the drill in the heat of battle with an errant toddler. You caution them, in the words of Supernanny, that their behaviour is ‘not esseptable’. They ignore you and continue on their infuriating way. You start counting out loud. Slowly. You warn them at two that if you get to three, there’ll…

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What’s the hurry, sport?

OK, I’ll admit I’m a late adopter. If there’s a new gadget on the market, I’ll get it about three years after everyone else. I’ll embrace a fashion trend just as the hipsters are sending it to the charity bins. And it’s taken this sports devotee twelve years to appreciate the merits of T20 cricket….

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When superheroes retire

In recent days, we’ve been shown a variety of ways to negotiate the twilight of a stellar sports career. I’m going to focus on three: the Fred Astaire for enduring grace and dignity, the Brian Meeker for reasons that shall become obvious and the Honey Boo Boo, for sheer search-and-destroy precociousness. The Fred Astaire: This…

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Reader’s request: Sunglasses recommended

For years, the nude hued frock has been a staple of the red carpet. But put a flesh-coloured panel on a chick’s cycling uniform and all hell breaks loose. OK, the clobber worn by the women of the Bogota Humana team for the Tour of Tuscany was a shocker. At first glimpse, the girls looked…

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Are you trying to kill me, sport?

I’m not silly. I know being an elite athlete is about the worst thing you can do to your body. Strange as it may seem, all that fitness really isn’t good for you. So I’ve opted for what I thought was a much safer pursuit as a couch potato. Over the years, I’ve swum world…

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Reinstating Armstrong a dopey idea

One of the more bizarre stories of the past few days is that 12 former Tour de France winners — just under half of the 25 still living — think Lance Armstrong should get his seven ‘titles’ back. Which is about as laughable as the Wolf of Wall St, Jordan Belfort, reinventing himself as an…

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The hard men of the peloton

With the World Cup over, all that’s left to be revealed is whether Holland’s Arjen Robben will be made an honorary Italian for his diving prowess or if Russia can blow more money in four years’ time than the $51 billion it spent on the Sochi Olympics. As the Brazilians bid farewell to the remaining…

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Selfies and the misnomer of spectator sport

A couple of months ago, German cyclist Marcel Kittel slumped exhausted to the road after winning the Dublin stage of the Giro d’Italia. As he sat on the ground grimacing, Irish cycling enthusiast David McCarthy jumped in with his camera. “Kittel collapsed after the line today so instead of giving him a hand up I…

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Please, please, can we ditch the podium kiss?

It’s a job hundreds of women apply for each year, the privilege of kissing a sweaty, pungent cyclist still dripping through his lycra after a long day in the saddle. Other perks include 12-hour days in all weather conditions, two-star accommodation with shared bathrooms and smiling at sponsors till your face aches. You’re not allowed…

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Le Tour: The unthinkable happens

A couple of weeks ago, when Andy Murray became the first Brit in living memory to reach a Wimbledon final, UK writer A.A. Gill pondered the alarming repercussions of the Scot actually winning. “The British have become supremely good at failing to win,” he wrote. “We joke about it. We are comfortable with it. We…

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