Ryan Noble sprints clear of the peloton as Paris fetes Bradley Wiggins

Sixer by Jake

Pete Sixsmith has long drooled over the Tour de France. Another Salut! Sunderland split: whereas Monsieur Salut accepts that the race passes through breathtaking scenery, and takes his beret off to Wiggo’s superb achievement and excellent French, the event itself leaves him cold. We both agree on the quality of Ryan Noble’s exciting winner in South Korea but only Sixer would have thought to link the two …

The quality of the clip wasn’t great, but there was no mistaking the quality of Ryan Noble’s winning goal against Groningen. For those who have not seen it, take a look and revel in the pace, skill and accuracy that this young man shows as he slots the winner past a helpless Dutch keeper to give us third place in the Peace Cup.

It is reminiscent of a number of goals he scored for the reserves last season. His pace and willingness to run at defenders is an attribute rarely seen in a red and white striped shirt, whether it is manufactured by Adidas, Asics or Hummel.

He is very much a Marco style player, although the legs are more thick branches than the tree trunks that Marco possessed. Like Marco, he can destroy a defender over a short distance with his speed and strength.

One of my abiding memories of Gabbs is the way he tore past a disbelieving Sergei Baltacha before slotting the ball in the Ipswich net. Baltacha, a former USSR international, was open mouthed in disbelief as this force of nature swept past him.

See the Ryan Noble goal – and the four others in Sunderland v FC Groningen at this link. https://safc.blog/2012/07/peace-of-mind-in-south-korea-as-sunderland-pull-off-late-win/

Bruce and O’Neill have been patient with Noble. They have sent him out on loan and have rarely used him in the first team. His form with the reserves dipped a little, although he finished the season well at Hartlepool. Poolie friends of mine are very, very keen to see him in a blue and white striped shirt next season – but that goal, and the one he helped set up for Fraizer Campbell to level the stores, may mean that he spends his time with his parent club.

He looks to have filled out over the summer. He was rather slender and some thought that he may never be able to cope with the hurly-burly of the Premier League. They could still be right:;on the other hand, we may have the chance to hail a new hero come August.

We did have the chance to hail a new national hero yesterday afternoon as Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France. If there were an award for “Greatest Sporting Event Of The Year” the Tour would walk it. It has everything: drama, excitement, speed, a man who dresses up as the devil and, to cap all that, it has now been won by a Briton and a pretty cool Briton at that.

Wiggins rode brilliantly, backed up by a superb team who gave him 100 per cent support throughout. There were three defining moments for me. Firstly, when he ordered the peloton (just about my favourite all time word – only apparatchik is better) to slow down to allow Cadel Evans to catch up after some git had thrown tacks on the road leading to multiple punctures and appeals for plastic bowls and repair kits.

Bradley Wiggins leads the Tour de FranceImage: Robert King

Secondly, he destroyed the field in the penultimate stage with a magnificent time trial which strengthened his hold on the Yellow Jersey and thirdly, in an earlier stage he rode in with the Italian, Vincenzo Nibali who had criticised him for lacking respect for the Tour. As they crossed the line, he put his hand on the Nibali’s shoulder thereby diffusing a potential feud and showing that he had the utmost respect for the greatest annual event in sport.

Hopefully, Ryan Noble will progress to the top of his profession as effectively as Wiggins has in his. He has a long way to go, but maybe that goal in a meaningless pre-season friendly could take him out of the peloton and into the leading bunch. We shall see.

Long before we knew about Bradley Wiggins’s twin passions of cycling and guitar, Pete Sixsmith was singing the praises of the Tour de France. Catch his earlier article, from a short-lived series about ‘other sports/teams I quite like’, at this link: https://safc.blog/2010/07/another-team-i-like-2-the-tour-de-france-teams/

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5 thoughts on “Ryan Noble sprints clear of the peloton as Paris fetes Bradley Wiggins”

  1. Not to take anything away from Wiggins, a sportsman in the old sense of the word, but I think he was a little bit lucky that Ryder Hesjedal was taken down in a crash (not of his own making) in the early stages and unable to continue in the Tour.

  2. Wiggins has gone down brilliantly throughout with the French press, not least because of his command of the language – always an advantage here, as Ellen MacArthur always found – but also because he seems a decent guy with a dry sense of humour.

    The Tour de France is revered by the French, as you’d expect, but not without reservations. To give you an idea of how the event is seen, I briefly mentioned Wiggins when I bumped into a French friend this morning and his first question was. “Do you think he’s he clean?” No reason to suspect he isn’t, of course, but you can hardly blame my mate Georges le Poisonnier for asking?

  3. I think it’s superb. Nothing but respect for the lad and his achievement. Wares me out watching it and as an active sports person (to an extent) I think it’s great. And it’s great for Britain/England.

    I just feel that listing it with the greatest achievements of all time is a little flawed as it’s an event that somebody has to win, and somebody indeed does win, every year.

  4. I think that for Wiggins it is a truly great achievement, because he has won a “clean” tour. There are huge suspicions over Armstrong’s wins and a full investigation is taking place.
    The fact that he is sponsored by the Murdoch Corporation is galling for an old leftie like me, but that’s the way things are. Wiggins is a fine sportsman and seems to be a good person. We should appreciate the fact that we have one of the worlds finest sportspersons in our midst.

  5. It would be easy to be cynical about the defending for Nobles goal, a known quantity may not have been given the luxury of diving in like that. That’s harsh though and as someone who lived in Ryan’s neighbourhood Millfield for years, I’m chuffed for him. Though on a much lower scale (obviously) it was reminiscent of Owen v Argentina in 98; proof that an unknown quantity can be a huge benefit.

    Big season for him you feel and while O’Neill has been quick to praise him, I can’t help thin that this 433 system will be employed with the acquiring of a target man (Fletcher) a necessity. It is these reasons I don’t think there’s a thing in the Defoe nonsense and it’s gonna be hard to see where Noble fits in. He’ll be 21 soon (I think) and when you compare that to the treatment Connor gets from some angles at 19 years old, it highlights its harshness.

    On the Tour de France, I find it amusing some are labelling it as the greatest sporting achievement of all time. I’m not sure how winning an event which is pretty much a level playing field despite its heavy demands, and where you were clearly a contender can be labelled as that. Didn’t Lance Armstrong battle cancer and then win the same event? Sky Sports are outdoing their own high standards with the use of superlatives on this one. Its enough to make you think that the company had something to do with sponsoring the team that Wiggins rides for…….ahhhhhh!!

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