Today was a glorious day for two young men who are the future of cyling and English cricket respectively.
On the penultimate stage of the 100th Tour de France, the 23-year old Colombian wunderkind climber Nairo Quinata Rojas sprinted ahead in the final kilometer at Annecy to snatch both today’s mountain top stage win and to secure what will be second place when the Tour finishes tomorrow. Riding several minutes ahead of the main pack, along with Chris Froome and Purito Rodriguez, Quinata put his foot down and got himself 18 seconds ahead of Rodriguez who will finish the Tour in third. Froome, already having secured the overall victory in the Tour, was happy to let them fight it out.
My old favourite Alberto Contador, a two-time Tour winner and veteran at 30, started the day in second place, but finished almost three minutes down and fell into fourth place overall.
We are going to be watching Quintana for a decade ahead and, unless he has really bad luck, he will win one or more of the Grand Tours in the coming years. he is a very exciting prospect.
In the rather more sedate confines of Lord’s Cricket Ground, 22-year old Yorkshireman Joe Root, who looks like he should still be in high school, showed that he is genuinely the face of English cricket in the years to come by hitting a magnificent and unbeaten 178 as England thrashed Australia to within an inch of their lives on the third day of the second Ashes Test. A truly glorious knock, triumphantly marked by two huge 6s in the penultimate over of the day.
Root seems set to be England’s opener for a decade or more to come, and he’ll be well worth watching.