I return with a virtual radio show mixing my love of music and the greatest cycling show on earth. What a Tour De France! What an awe inspiring show of strength on two wheels. What will the possibilities be for the Olympics in London? For the hiatus between the two competitions here are my humble suggestions of music to keep you going:
Having just watched a history making Tour 2012 is there any better song to motivate you on to two wheels than Tour De France by Kraftwerk? At least since the band unleashed their homage to the greatest cycling race in the world in 1983 - the year Frenchman Laurent Fignon took the yellow jersey for the first time. It'll be its 30th anniversary as the Tour celebrates its 100th next year.
Slugabed has just come up with the perfect soundtrack for those searingly steep mountains the peloton just eats up on its journey round France. Let's hope it has the same effect for Box Hill - the steep bit in the London Olympic Road Race. Mountains Come Out Of The Sky remixed by Lapalux would perfectly pace you up the Tourmalet or Box Hill or whichever top category climb you face.
In contrast to American rappers' perennial obsession with guns, drugs and women of questionable morals theres something reassuringly Canadian about Abdominal's Pedal Pusher. Charting his rise from humble cycle courier to hip hop star, it's his ode to his favourite pastime and is uncompromisingly passionate. I can't wait for more British bands to find musical inspiration in two wheels especially now we have our very own lanky side burned Tour De France winner. More on him in a moment. More tunes first.
Imagine turning yourself inside out to finish the 3,500 km of the Tour but now you don't get to celebrate. You don't get to rest those mountain weary muscles that take a pounding in the saddle day after day. You have an Olympic goal too. You have to go and train. Again. So my money is on DJ Kentaro's new album Contrast to get you fired up. Pull on your shoes, get the bike on the track, get set, off you go! By track four North South East West you'll be flying. Try as hard as you can for the next twenty minutes because track eight Lapis Lazuli is great for bringing your pace back down. Raving brilliant hardcore DnB from Japan guaranteed to keep you going when you are willing yourself to train and your muscles are screaming slow but the inner coach is shouting go.
Musically motivating in every possible way is The Mynabirds Generals.This beat pounding percussive beauty is a motivating call to arms. This is the song to help you achieve whatever it is you have to; saddling up in the wooden clad Velodrome in Stratford or just getting yourself and the family to the Olympic Park, simply getting into and out of work or nothing at all TwentyTwelve related - Mynabirds is your woman.
Tashaki Miyaki's Best Friend must be THE cool down track. I love this laid back lilting lethargic track. But it doesn't drag me down with its pace, there's a very sweet sentiment underlying it. That of someone to lean on. Putting me in mind of the hug Chris Froome bestowed on Bradley after his first stage win. Or the bear hug Mark Cavendish shared with Wiggo en route to the podiums behind the Champs Élysées. Best Friend is just a great song.
The Walkmen are about to release The Love You Love from their amazing album Heaven. But I think the opening track to this 6th career best album takes some beating. We Can't Be Beat is The Walkmen at sedentary pace but blistering with emotion and winning hearts with their opening gambit. My bit of positive musical mental attitude for the ensuing few weeks.
And to wind up nicely, there's a great return from Dinosaur Jr in Watch The Corners. J Mascis in positive frame of mind remarked of this project "I wasn't as worried...I just did what I felt would sound good" albeit admitting this song is "written from the perspective of a vampire". J Mascis remains in fine voice alongside Lou Barlow and Murph back this summer with Watch The Corners as the new single just preceding their new album I Bet On Sky.
Which would have been a prudent choice given Team Sky's dominant performance in France this year.
Having listened to the whole of Bradley Wiggins press conference after he bossed the time trial last week I was left in no doubt this had been a man on a mission. On a mission to achieve big but stay grounded. Such an incredible sporting achievement. Still such a humble bloke.
And I had to question my emotions as the 2012 Tour De France unfolded. It's quite unexpected as a Brit watching sport to have your hopes actually fulfilled. Your sporting dreams realised. Perhaps that says more about my own sporting attempts than the nation's. But we're so used to the expectation, and hoping against all hope that somehow we'll win when the signs are there that we're not quite up to scratch. A football team falling at the quarter finals. A tennis player braving it through to the final only to be denied at the last hurdle. A sprint relay team dropping the baton on the way round. It's not universal but as a country we're kind of used to sporting disappointment. And to have someone take the yellow jersey so early in the Tour and command all the way through the mountains to the Champs Élysées is truly spectacular. I ran out of superlatives on the radio trying to articulate what he has just done.
A truly worthy champion and yellow jersey winner. Finally.
And a statement of intent from the British men's cycling team. The four riders of five present in the Tour winning at least one stage each. Unbelievable really. Now they get only a week to grab a moments respite where they can before the Olympics. And we get time to let the enormity of their achievement settle in and listen to a few tunes whilst hoping they might pull off something truly super human on home tarmac.