Going For Gold

Bradley Wiggins on the blocks before the bell in his record breaking hour cycle ride

21st Century knight in Art Deco helmet

It’s not long now you know. The full unedited padded crotch Lycra fest of the Tour de France begins on July 4th in Utrecht. These guys are my absolute heroes. They battle in the spirit of ancient knights on the slopes of mountains. They leave their skin skidded on the pitiless tarmac and gravel of 60 mph descents. The sprinters pound in stampedes of branded head-down buffaloes never forgetting to point out the logo of the guys who bought their shirt as they cross the line. Yes – it’s all a big show biz commerce orgy but what the hell? The pain  is real. The scars and bruises weep and sting through the nights in stark shared hotel rooms. Keep up or fail. There are no hiding places. Racing cyclists are the modern day ballet dancers in a Degas masterpiece.

Exhausted dancers behind the scenes in a Degas painting

The stretch and the groan – the muscular truth of poetry

I’ve begun my own preparation. I’ve got out my indoor turbo trainer and studied all the TV schedules. I know, I know I’m a glamorous perfumed lady Eroticon of the purple passion but you can’t beat a spinning session with Mike Michels to bring out the cadence kitten in a woman. Let me tell you now that Passion Patrol 3 will feature a sweating woman in a spinning class. Dudes – if you want authenticity, you gotta grind it to find it. Well, at least you’ve gotta get out of breath a bit.

Poster for the Art Deco film Rocketeer

Inspiration for cyclists

My other preparation was to head for the Olympic Park in London to be in the presence of a real royal knight of the realm. I was there at the moment when Sir Bradley Wiggins broke the record for how far a man could cycle in one hour. I was in the Mexican wave and shouting “Wiggo”. Even the weight of his gold hat and shoes didn’t hold him back. I must confess that as I saw him hurtling around the track my mind flashed to the 1991 film “The Rocketeer”. Man, there’s no bizness like fizz bizness.

And today sees the first stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour Of Britain cycle race. The first running of this event was a great success last year. This year we may well see a British winner in the shape of Lizzie Armitstead. If you’re reading this in the UK or can get ITV4 don’t miss the evening highlight show. And then you can switch to BBC 3 to see the England women’s football team play Columbia. All you’ll need then is a few cans of beer and a domestic Adonis to fix you a sandwich. Seriously though, I think the guys are starting to sit up and notice.

Last year I produced an audio book by Les Woodland all about the Tour de France. It was a real labour of love. If you wanna wise up – it’s all in here. To mark this year’s gruelling tour I’m giving away three free audio versions of the book:

CLICK HERE to enter.

Emma Thinx: Alchemy validated. It takes a lot of steel to get a piece of gold.