As imagined by me, currently at home on the Isle of Man in the rain.
I think I’ve been pretty good this year so here’s my list. After all, I’ve been pretty conspicuous in the rainbow jersey, you’d have soon noticed if I wasn’t behaving myself.
Obviously the 14 victories I notched up, the best haul by the rainbow jersey wearer since Tom Boonen in 2006, speak for themselves. I also think I put in a great shift in the Tour de France riding in support of Wiggo’s bid for GC glory – when was the last time you saw the reigning World Champion work as a domestique for the teamleader, hauling water bottles and raincapes round over the mountains? And despite the team being set up to support the yellow jersey, I still managed to get three stage wins. Get in.
That’s me, in case you’re confusing me with any other British cycling superstars.
I do acknowledge that I was a bit hacked off about the Olympics, and probably wasn’t at my most diplomatic in the interviews afterwards, but honestly, Santa, if you’d had your tactics deliberately stymied by all the other teams like that you’d be fuming. And frankly I’d like to see you try even one lap of Box Hill and then be at your media trained best. So please, give me a break.
But Santa I feel we’re on the same page. We’re both very fast, for starters. At your peak, I’ve heard that you travel at 10,703,437.5 km/hr, or about 1,800 miles per second, in order to travel the 510,000,000km around the world in 32 hours across time zones on Christmas Eve. Now I don’t go quite as fast as that, but I’m not far off, and to be honest I’d bet you’d slow down considerably if you had to fly in a bunch sprint like I do. My skill is in finding the gaps, whereas you’d be rubbish at that. But still that speed is something we’ve got in common, so hopefully you can spare a few presents from one fast operator to another.
- A few selection boxes, for starters. I’ve worked really hard to keep my weight down so I can get over those moutains more easily, but if you can’t have a bit of a blowout at Christmas when can you. If there’s any left over I’ll give them to Tom Boonen.
- A Christmas card from Tom Boonen promising to concentrate on the Classics. Now obviously I’m confident that the Manx Missile is faster than Tornado Tom, but I’ve already spent a season in a team with mixed priorities and competing leadership claims, and I’m not going there again.
- Now I’ve moved to Omega Pharma Quickstep the one thing I really want is amazing team support and a supersonic leadout train. I think I might miss Bernie Eisel, who’s staying at Sky, but hopefully with the likes of Peter and Martin Velits, Bert Grabsch and Tony Martin we should be in pretty good shape.
- A nice watch catalogue. As you may know I like to recognise my teammates’ efforts by buying them gifts. I bought so many watches at HTC and Sky that at times the team bus resembled the duty free jewellery section at Geneva airport. I’m planning on buying a lot more watches so a bit of inspiration would be nice, and something to flick through on the plane back from the island.
- It’s been a pretty torrid time for the sport that I love, so I’m asking for clean opposition and a scandal free year. You might need to police this one quite carefully Santa because the Tour de France route this year looks vicious.
- The original film of that godawful shampoo advert I did.
- Finally, cycling’s a sport of pretty fine margins – sometimes things go my way, sometimes they don’t. I’m OK with that. All I’m asking for is a bit of luck to stay safe for the season.
I’ve heard that in the past certain riders used to send a request for ‘yellow jersey in the Tour de France‘ and then leave you a few vials of EPO and a mince pie on Christmas Eve. Well I’m not going to do that – although you can have some Manx Knobs and a bottle of Lucozade – if you can just deliver the above then I’ll take care of the results.
Merry Christmas everyone.