The sporting week ahead (22/07/12)
Two champions will be crowned this afternoon. The Tour de France climaxes in Paris, with the entire British sporting public ready to acclaim Bradley Wiggins triumph in yellow. Mark Cavendish's winning the green jersey last year was quite a flag-planting, but this will be something else. A foreign winner at Lytham St Annes seems highly likely too. The Open culminates tonight; with no chance of Darren Clarke winning again, the Claret Jug looks like going abroad.
Local rivalry is one of the great nutrients of sport, and those worried there is not enough of it in this Olympic summer can take solace on Monday evening. Hull Kingston Rovers meet Hull FC in the Super League. KR are red and white from the east side of the river, FC wear black and white and come from the west.
The day after the scheduled end of the First Test, the domestic t20 competition returns for its quarter-finals. The weather has made it rather difficult to establish merit so far. Gloucestershire, who travel to Sussex, won only four of their 10 scheduled group games. Before then, Essex make the long journey to Somerset.
The second day of the t20 quarter-finals starts with the best team so far facing the best player. Yorkshire earned their home tie by winning seven of their eight playable games – more than anyone else. They will host Worcestershire, who have been inspired by the maverick Australian Phil Hughes. The man no longer deemed good enough for his country in any format has top-scored so far with 322 runs at an average of 80.50.
Just three-and-a-half weeks after England lost to Italy on penalties, tournament football is back. Stuart Pearce's thrown-togethers take on Senegal at Old Trafford. It is difficult to know what to expect but, given the coach, any flowery football can probably be discounted.
It is not sport in the conventional sense, but the Olympic opening ceremony will be examined and analysed like any athlete. Unlike a relay final, though, or a gold-medal match, the outcome is known in advance: literal-minded sneering at anything approaching public art.
Medal fever begins on day two: six days after the Champs-Elysées, Mark Cavendish will try to sprint down the Mall for road-race gold.
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