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A small dose of sporting magic

13th September 2017
Matt Freeman, TOB STAGE FOUR

A small dose of sporting magic

A few weeks ago, if you'd asked me to choose 'professional cycling' as a Mastermind specialist subject, I'd have been a bit stumped (if that cricketing term works on two wheels as well). I must've ridden into at least a dozen trees the first time I tried to ride a bike at Clumber Park, and that pretty much summed up my experience in the saddle ever since. As for watching the sport, I might've though a peloton was some sort of exotic bird. But all that started to change with the Tour of Britain's arrival in Mansfield.

If I'm honest, I didn't fully understand all the complexities of Stage 4 of the race, as it wound through Kirkby, Sutton and Bilsthorpe before heading to Newark. Talk of 'neutralised starts', 'Eisberg sprints' and 'kings of the mountain' was making my head spin - and I'm someone who likes to pride themselves on being on top of all sorts of sporting terminology. But after I saw thousands of you wave the riders off in Mansfield, and thousands more greet them in Newark hours later, I realised that hardly mattered. What made the day so special was that some truly world-class sportsmen - Olympic Gold Medallists, World Champions, Tour de France stars - weren't just making their way to our area, they were heading directly past our front doors. My aunty only had to step outside her home in Hucknall for five minutes to see some of British sport's biggest names pass right in front of her - when else would you get that opportunity?

The only problem with the day was that it was over so soon; fifteen minutes after the riders left Mansfield the team buses had gone, the heavens had opened, and you could hardly believe that such a festival of sport had been in front of you just moments ago. But, speaking to some of the people behind the scenes at the Tour, I know everyone was impressed with the welcome North Nottinghamshire gave to the cyclists - so maybe it won't be too long before we're welcoming them back.


Mansfield 103.2's Tour of Britain Coverage is sponsored by Rainworth Skoda. Click here for more coverage of the Tour, and click below for more of my blogs and shows.

Matt Freeman

Matt can be heard every weekday from 10am to 1pm and on midweek Sportsbeat specials.

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