Tuesday, 3 July 2012

On the road to Sydney via Singapore . . . goodbye Europe

Five hours in London Heathrow Terminal 3. Thank goodness I have a live feed of stage 3 in the Tour de France. Anyhow I'm waiting to get on the a Singapore airlines flight to Sydney via Singapore.

Terminal 3 is looking much better these days. It used to be home to all the third world airlines. I once flew in here and saw a Nigeria Airlines flight being met by an absolute phalanx of police and security. I found out later that a huge drug bust had gone down. The Brits seem a little more subtle now days and the shopping concorse is full of the usual international brands . . . there's even a few smart mid market restaurants.

Heathrow of course is a testament to the amount of infrastructure cash that has gone into London since winning the Olympics for 2012. I believe Heathrow has been classed as the biggest civil engineering project in Europe for quite some time and it's starting to show. I avoided passport control today as we managed to have our bags checked through from Geneva directly from Swiss on to Singapore Airlines. I paid CHF 225 for extra baggae, but I consider that a bargain compared to what TNT quoted to courier our small 10kg sports bag to Sydney, which was CHF 375 plus extras.

Stage 3 of the TdF 2012 ends and again it's Peter Sagan of Liquigas. This guy is so strong it's amazing. He absolutely strolled over the line after taking on the peleton in the final step climb into the finish. This guy is going to win a lot more races in the next 10 years if he stays fit. It also reminds me that I'll have my new Cannondale Evo Supersix in Liquigas colors in the next two weeks.

I'm having mine built with a Campagnolo group set instead of the SRAM you see on Basso's bike.  My bike is is coming from Cicli Mattio in Piasco Italy, as did the pair of Sidi Ergo 3 Liquigas special edition shoes that I bought recently. I couldn't resist as the guys had them on sale at the time. 

I'm not sure they'll help me ride like Sagan, Nibali or Basso in Sydney, but you sure won't miss me coming down the road! Contact Giovanni if you are looking for Cannondale or Pinarello related stuff.

I don't know what to say about Europe as I get ready to depart. I saw that the Netherlands senate approved the changes to the ESM, I don't expect the same ease of change from either the German courts or lawmakers. Essentially we really don't know what Merkel promised at the recent summit (mark 17 I think?). The constitutional court there is not likely to be swayed as easily as the Dutch and we now wait with some trepidation for rulings as to what might be able to get through. Good luck with that!

I want to say something about lie-borgate. I learned at Geneva airport that Bob Diamond the Barclays CEO finally resigned. I had intended to write about why he needed to do this, but he must have sensed my disgust at his behavior in throwing the bank's chairman under the bus over the weekend. Clearly if the chairman had any balls he would have moved to sack Diamond himself first. In my mind the Chairman's job was and always will be the supervision of the management of the ban, rather than the running of the bank itself.  Diamond now has the opportunity to explain himself free of the encumbrances of his former position and fr the sake of the industry needs to make clear what happened and what central banks did and said in supervising the industry during the dark days following the collapse of Lehmans.  This can only get more interesting.

So, 30minutes until my ate opens and I'll be out of contact with lots of time to think for the next 11 hours or so. I'll try and write up my thoughts when I hit Singapore.


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