In case you weren’t playing attention, Michelton Scott seem to taken the mantle of being the best cycling team in the world. The last couple of weeks have been spectacular for the men’s and women’s teams.
First a brief tangent…Allez Alaphillipe…put Team Ineos in their pace. How good would it be for world cycling for a Frenchman to win the Tour since Benard Hinault in 1985? Allez Alaphillipe, Allez Alaphillipe , Allez Alaphillipe.
First let us start with the Men’s team competing in this year’s Tour De France. Up front, its clear that by stage 13, Michelton Scott’s Plan A win the TDF 2019 with Adam Yates wasn’t working. So recasting the team’s strategy to Plan B stage hunting, was probably something of gamble. However much to every Australian cycling fan’s delight its worked a treat. Here’s how its worked so far:
How it happened
9: Saint-Étienne > Brioude
Daryl Impey launched a late attack on the final climb and storm into Brioude with just Tiesj Benoot(Soudal-Lotto) left to out sprint.
12: Toulouse > Bagnères-de-Bigorre
Simon Yates sprinted to his debut Tour de France victory on stage 12 to give the team their second win of the race.
15: Limoux > Foix Prat d’Albis
Simon Yates won his second stage win, attacking from the breakaway on a day the general classification received a significant shake-up.
17: Pont du Gard > Gap
Matteo Trentin soloed to his first Tour de France victory in five years and the team’s fourth of the race on stage 17 into Gap.
…and if that wasn’t enough, the Michelton Scott women’s team cleaned up at the Giro Rosa in Italy. For a second year the women’s thrashed its rivals in the biggest race in women’s cycling, finishing first and third overall. Team leader, Annemiek van Vleuten, defended her title by quickly amassing an unassailable lead in the mountains, while Australian teammate Amanda Spratt took a late opportunity to fight her way onto the prestigious overall podium of the ten-day Giro Rosa.
So there so have it, Michelton Scott, arguably the best sporting team in Australia and with claim to being the best team in international cycling.
MMT and Mrs. MMT, the team’s Directeur Sportive, have been frantically preparing and then adjusting to the arrival of the team’s newest member, a baby girl. Born in late June, R.R arrived at a civil time in the early evening, weighing 3.3kg, R.R is joy to behold.
R.R is a project rider who be placed in the women’s branch of Team MMT. The only problem being now that the women’s branch of Team MMT out numbers the men’s branch by 3 to 1. Not only that, they are all red heads. MMT wonders what the team grupetto will be like in a few years time.
MMT purchased a small girl’s bike, for the original ninja ginger, A.J. a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, the last few week’s weather in Melbourne have bordered on apocalyptic. So there have been few still sunny days to introduce A.J. to joys of riding a bike. This remains a work in progress.
Speaking of works in progress, hopefully when MMT gets back to work, next week he’ll be able to take a more serious approach to this blog. In the meantime, MMT will continue to enjoy the liesurely afternoon viewing of 2019 Tour de France stage replays. Go Richie Porte…its your year.
MMT’s mind is doing a mean impersonation of a cement mixer, rolling over and over the gunk of his employer’s latest corporate restructure. Worst still the wind has been blowing its proverbial’s off, providing shiver inducing head winds on MMT’s normal ride routes. MMT is so sick of both these things. So in amongst the hype of new ways of sacking people, ahem, the Tour de France concluded.
And what a race it was. MMT can remember reading a book about the history of the TDF, where Henri Desgrange described his ideal TDF as a race where only one cyclist finished and was declared the winner. Fortunately this year’s race didn’t come close to that apocalyptic standard. However, of the 198 starters, only 167 finished. The chaos of Stage 9 alone, resulted in 11 rouleurs either DNF or outside the time cut-off.
Chris Froome cemented his reputation of being the greatest drug free cyclist post world war II. But for MMT, the stand out performer was Australia’ s own Michael Matthews, the 2017 winner of the Green Jersey. Rather have MMT wax on lyrically about, the man they call Bling here’s a plagiarised copy of what that great cycling tome, Melbourne’s Sun Herald had to say.
MMT can’t really improve that. Except to say ‘chapeau’.