Snoggable chaps in procycling commentary

September 14, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Posted in cycling | 6 Comments
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We’ve grown used to considering the ins and outs of bangability in pro cyclists. We’ve set up the spreadsheets, and laid down the criteria. Heated discussions take place on whether ballroom dancing ability enhances or diminishes bangability; the finer points of podium champagne spraying technique; and the delicate question of when to make ‘kaTUSHa’ jokes about arse-exposing rips in clothing. But while this focus on lycra is overdue and exciting, another set of men are increasingly taking our attention from the job in hand: the commentators. To acknowledge their expertise, quick thinking and ability to stand firm in the face of extreme weather conditions, we present the Most Snoggable Commentators on the Tour of Britain 2011. In reverse order:

3. Yanto Barker

Yanto’s the boy you had an enormous crush on at school. Remember? He was in the sixth form when you were in the fifth, and you used to crane your neck in assembly to get a look at him as he wandered in, tall and rangy, with his gaggle of slightly-less-cool mates. You assumed he was remote and off-hand, but then one of your friends found out he wrote poetry, and held a torch for a quiet girl in his class, who brushed off his advances while gazing soulfully into the distance from under her long fringe. Of course, you loved him even more for this. Eventually, once the whole school knew about your secret crush, he talked to you. You got on! You went to gigs together, and spent hours sitting on cold walls laughing about everything! Then he asked your best friend out. AND SHE SAID YES. Bitch.

Verdict: Most likely not to be what he appears.

2. Matt Rendell

Remember your history teacher? Or maybe your English teacher? The stern one who kept even the rowdiest boys in check, and still managed somehow to be cool? Maybe he was in a band in his spare time, or went on demos, or had an exotic girlfriend from a far-off place. He didn’t look much like the pop stars your friends were obsessing over, but you still wanted his approval. He turned you into a good student, although you were working hard for all the wrong reasons. You sought out long words to use in your essays, and composed cheeky-yet-well-informed comments to throw out in lessons, like you’d just thought of them. Every time he smiled at one of these, you were a bit further gone. Eventually he moved to Scotland, and you developed a crush on Yanto Barker instead. But every now and again, you’re listening to the cycling commentary, and you think ‘Bah! Hyperbole! Or is it litotes?’ And you think of him.

Verdict: Most likely not even to be aware of you.

1. Ned Boulting

Ned was your big brother’s best mate. They watched the footie together; they went fishing on their bikes at the weekend; he was round at your house for tea almost every week, sitting playing computer games in your brother’s room. But then one weekend, you went to a party, and Ned was there. And he’d had a haircut, and he was wearing trendy jeans and a shirt instead of one of his ancient t-shirts, and you thought, oh. Crikey. And you went over and said hallo, do you want some of this beer? And you had such a great conversation with him; he was bright, warm and funny and had lovely eyes, and, oh. How had you not seen? How stupid you’d been! How great that you’d realised in time! And then his girlfriend appeared. Ned went on to marry this girl, and have delightful kids with her, and you are still friends with him, and go to visit him, even though it breaks your heart.

Verdict: Most likely to be the One. Go and get him now, before it’s too late.

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6 Comments »

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  1. What about Boardman?

  2. Brilliant! I married a Ned in the end who introduced me to the Tour and the actual Ned in the first place. Am ever grateful! Great blog, thanks from a very new cyclist.

    • Oh, that’s such a lovely story! Thanks for that, and thanks for reading 🙂

  3. In fact, I did actually know Ned when we were at school, but it was his best mate I fancied/went out with/got dumped by/pined for ineffectually (come to think about it, they were a bit like an early version of him and Boardman). So I tended to regard Ned as the funny, kind and sympathetic mate, rather than the main attraction- never noticed the jeans at all…

    • Oh, that’s brilliant! Thank you so much for commenting: that’s absolutely made my day.


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