The Taming of the ITT
Outside, more rain. EDMONDSON, LOPEZ and EISEL.
EISEL. Ten things do I hate about you, ten mile test!
EDMONDSON Oh yes? I’ll fair wager thou cannot count as high as ten!
EISEL Come, come, you wasp; your wit’s too sharp for me!
Good Stannard! Hither, tell us of your ride!
An excellent illustration of your strength.
STANNARD. [Bows] I thank thee for thy grace fine gentlemen!
But knowest well I merely warm the seat
For our erstwhile Wiggo!
LOPEZ. What make you of the young men Yates and Bennett?
STANNARD. Tush! Tush! Fear boys with bugs!
What Hayman! Caughtst thou were this day by Dowsett!
HAYMAN No shame in that! Good Dowsett races well
And demonstrates his skill in 10 mile tests.
Come fellows, let me press upon you some advice
Strict measure your effort sole against yourself;
And do as adversaries do in law,
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
Now watch, the final stretch of road erupts
As man by man they grimacing arrive,
Bare seconds separated, yet each resides
Silent, within his own set world of pain.
LOPEZ. A curse upon this weather! Watch as we
Line up to test ourselves against the clock
And take a frozen turn around this park
For entertainment’s sake. Barbaric sport!
Feed us to these lions and have done!
EDMONSON. If only the competition were to rail bitterly
‘Gainst nature for all of half an hour!
Marry, what news of Wiggo?
HAYMAN. Still out upon the course. The bit clamped tight
Between his teeth. Mark this, he’ll win this day
Or die wi’ the effort of his travails!
STANNARD. If not to Wiggo, I’ll not budge an inch.
EDMONDSON And what of Ciolek, the last man upon the track?
HAYMAN. Good Ciolek knows well his strengths.
Like myself to Dowsett, no shame be there for him
To lose to Wiggo in manner such as this.
LOPEZ. The confirmations in!
Wiggo does drop below the twenty minute mark,
The only one to do so.
STANNARD. A win for Wiggo! Return to glorious form,
A gold jersey does he don in honour of his prize.
The day is done, a change in order have we seen.
So onwards now to Stoke, perchance to dream.