Sleep deprivation is a horrible thing; cruel and unusual punishment for staying up to watch the Tour de France which they unreasonably conducted in Europe during daylight hours, even for yesterday's time trial (a 42km individual "sprint"). This morning much of the country is in awe at the achievement of Aussie Cadel Evans, first antipodean in the race's 108 year history to go to the final stage wearing the maillot jaune, the stage-winner's yellow jersey. It is the result of years of preparation and effort, a great team around him (BMC), battling setbacks of injury and then mechanical troubles at crucial points in Friday's mountain stage in the Alps, and as gutsy a sustained performance as you will see in any sport.
Now here's an odd thing. The Tour is the sole event in world sports where by tradition the competitors, and only they, have determined that the leader - since 1975 - at the second last stage, will remain the leader - and therefore overall winner - for that last stage into Paris, making that run in effect a triumphal ceremonial finale.
However, the race is technically not over yet. An unforeseen accident, illness, or even a stray dog, could conceivably wreck the show. Stay away, please, any stray dogs reading this blog. And here's to Cadel Evans, worthiest of Tour winners. Forget any Swedish golfers going into final rounds at 20-under. Forget English Test cricketers ahead of India in the 2000th test match. But you're allowed to keep an eye on Mark Webber in Formula One motor racing.
Go Aussies. What, me? One-eyed?