One year, it’ll happen.
You’ll be slumped on your settee with one eye on the Sunday papers, and one on the TV coverage, as the final day procession of the Tour de France around Paris plays out.
The commentary team will be muffled by the sounds of summer; neighbours mowing lawns, kids screeching and hollering, and drunken adults burning sausages on an ill-tended barbecue.
And then the pitch will change.
You’ll jump, startled by the sounds of sporting drama and crisis, and as your eyes flick to the TV screen, there it is.
The wearer of the Yellow Jersey has hit the Tarmac, he’s injured, and he doesn’t look like he’ll be re-mounting his bike any time soon.
He’s fifty kilometres short. His (plastic) glass of champagne shattered across the tarmac as if placed there by a cunning TV director for maximum metaphorical impact.
The rest of the riders don’t know what to do.
They coast, and chat, and wave arms questioningly. They know it’s not done to attack the Yellow Jersey on the final day, but he’s on the ground and not keen on re-mounting his bike.
Should they freewheel until his broken bones heal, and let him catch back up, they wonder?
How long would that take…four weeks…six?
‘I’m not sure that’s practical,’ they’re thinking.
But what has happened is clear, as is what must be done, and it takes a clear-headed no-nonsense rider – probably an Aussie – to say: “look lads, this race is ON again!”
And three weeks of cat-and-mouse come down to a fifty-kilometre dash around Paris, because there’s a Yellow Jersey to race for.
One year it’ll happen. The law of averages says so.
Fortunately, for Chis Froome and Team Sky, that year was not 2017.
Froome stayed upright. His bones remained unbroken. The champagne was duly quaffed. Dylan Groenewegen won the stage and catapulted himself towards sprinting royalty. And we’re all done with this whole shebang for another year.
Now…can we PLEASE have a French winner next year?
Law of averages ‘n’ all that.
(Image: Sasai Icco via Flickr CC)