Imagine for a moment that you're Ivan Basso. If anyone's going to beat Lance Armstrong it's going to be you. And if you're going to do it at any point it's going to have to be on the toughest part of the toughest stage of the Tour. So there you are going up a 10% climb, already 5½ hours into the stage, straining every sinew, gritting your teeth so much they've actually fused together, just desperately trying to put some distance between yourself and Lance. And then you look over your shoulder and he's still bloody there, looking like he's out for a gentle ride in the country.
It's rest day on the Tour today before tomorrows last mountain stage. If Basso and/or Mickael Rasmussen are going to beat Armstrong, they're going to have to do something pretty bloody spectacular tomorrow. Londonist advice is to take a sicky if you haven't already booked the day off to watch it. And then to get yourself over to the Offside Bar & Gallery in Islington who are currently hosting a Lance Armstrong exhibition (running until 2nd August), and tomorrow will be having a special Tour De France day/evening.
Athletics comes to London on Friday when the London Grand Prix takes place at Crystal Palace. A lot of the world's top athletes will be taking part in preparation for next month's IAAF World Championships in Helsinki. Unfortunately all tickets have sold out for this one, but live coverage of the event will be on BBC's 1 and 2 from 6pm.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, it probably hasn't escaped your attention that: (A) the Ashes are not very far away, and (B) England actually do have a hope in hell of winning it this year.
Lord's host the first test starting on Thursday, and if you don't already know, you could probably guess that all tickets sold out weeks and weeks ago. But if you haven't got tickets, the series is being shown live on Channel 4. You have booked the time off work, haven't you?
Further down the Cricketing ladder, but no less exciting, this evening sees the Quarter-Finals of the Twenty20 Cup take place. Middlesex are away at Leicestershire, while Surrey take on Warwickshire at the Oval where tickets are still available. If you can't make it to either of these games, those lovely people at the BBC are giving you ball-by-ball coverage via Digital Radio and the internet.
Image is taken from the rather excellent grahamwatson.com.