OF ALL MY HEROES, from those who fought on the battlefields, to those who elevated sport from the banal to the artistic, to those who wrote prose and poetry that attacked my sensibilities, perhaps the greatest of them is Christopher Hitchens. For me, he stands in a small elite group beside Marco Pantani, George Orwell, […]

Bangers and mash. Peaches and cream. Cucumber sandwiches and Wimbledon. And of course: Phil Liggett and the Tour de France. If you’re watching any race on TV other than the Tour de France, Paris-Roubaix, for example, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Tour of Flanders, or even the Giro, you’re not going to get Phil Liggett. He is not a […]

Game of Thrones is one of those rare TV shows over which even the most discerning viewers will vehemently disagree. For many, it is simply silly, poorly acted, and is populated by an unnecessary plethora of characters. For others, it is superb entertainment, and transcends the genre of fantasy to touch, at times, the quintessential […]

There is a feeling that every amateur cyclist will have experienced in their career at some point or another that I can best describe as a sense of morbid futility. It is the moment at which one realises that, for all intents and purposes, the end has come, the race is over, and that stopping […]

Were I Floyd Landis or Alberto Contador, and I picked up the 2013 Official Tour de France Programme, I would be seriously irate. I would have immediately noticed, in the ‘Roll of Honour’, that my name had been removed, along with the names of my other fellow pariah doper-winners, and that other names had replaced […]

One of the many iniquities of growing into fatherhood and middle years is a growing intolerance for anything resembling horror, even in the form of entertainment. To be fair, I have never enjoyed horror much, and barely got through reading Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven without a shudder. But in a broader sense, I have […]

Of all the iconic figures of ‘cool’ my personal favourite has to be Steve McQueen. The photo of him from the official poster of Bullitt, the cigarette hanging from his half-open mouth, the faraway stare, his shaggy mop of hair, the lines under his eyes – it all sort of blended into a concept of […]