Today at Hampton Court everyone, but everyone, has posed for their picture on the medalists’ thrones. We have had some terrific Olympic cycling action with Bradley Wiggins yesterday (left) and Lizzie Armitstead and Mark Cavendish whizzing past the palace at the weekend.
Earlier this year I had the great pleasure of having lunch with Mark Cavendish, last year’s world champion.
One of the questions I asked him was: ‘is it true that you shave your legs before a race?’
‘Yes!’ he said. His slightly weary tone signalled that I wasn’t the first person to ask. ‘But can you guess why?’
‘Is it because you think your legs look more attractive hairless, having been influenced, like so many people these days, by the regrettable encroachment of the aesthetic values of porn films onto mainstream grooming habits?’ I hazarded.
He gave me what can only be described as a funny look.
‘No one’s ever guessed that before’, he eventually conceded. ‘Most people think that it’s to make my legs more aerodynamic. But really it’s so that if I fall off and graze myself, my hairs don’t get into the wound and make it harder to heal’.