The last six weeks have seen a dip in The Wattmeister’s mileage due to jury service, chest infection, Christmas and other distractions. Once again he was overlooked for a place on the shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, despite seven Strava KOMs, three sprint victories at the Olympic Velopark and a career best finish in the End of Season Essex sportive.
It is at times like this that mental fortitude is required. In 1978, when TW was a younger man, and with overall victory almost assured in the Tour of Tristan da Cunha, there was a minor earthquake and the race had to be abandoned. Four years later, in The Nullabor Sprint over 1100 kms, The Wattmesiter had the misfortune to collide with the only gum tree on the entire route while holding a comfortable lead over Crocodile Dundee’s cousin, The Outback Kid.
In both cases, TW’s nomination for SPOTY would have been rubber stamped. In 1978, Steve Ovett was a worthy winner, but 1982 winner Daley Thompson was there for the taking.
With 2015 just a few days old, The Wattmeister is the epitome of focus. He has already eaten his last hot cross bun of the year, some three days earlier than ever before in his long (winded) and illustrious career. His immediate target this year is a strong showing in the Beast from the East 600 km audax in May, which plays to his strengths by traditionally ending in an uphill sprint finish.
Surely the SPOTY shortlist compilers will recognise his achievements this year?