JOE marks your calendar for the sporting week ahead
Between the Tour de France, Wimbledon, GAA, the Lions and the Champions League (seriously) it’s another very busy week of sport.
If you happen to be off this week, or have access to a sneaky TV in the office, then this is a fantastic seven days for mid-afternoon sports watching.
It is the second week of Wimbledon so that means you should have high quality tennis action all day every day. Yes Federer, Nadal, Sharapova and a fair few other big names have bitten the dust (grass?) in the first week but there’s still lots to look forward to including Andy Murray’s attempt to win a first Wimbledon title and a wide open women's tournament.
But if the goings on at SW19 really don’t float your boat then maybe the 100th Tour de France will do it for you. It is simply the most spectacular event of the summer and the TV coverage of it is stunning to look it, even if you don’t know your bidons from your lantern rouge.
With Bradley Wiggins absent the field is wide open this year and two Irish riders, Dan Martin and Nicolas Roche, are also in the field to keep an eye on. The 100th race has a tortuous route but the first week is relatively gentle, so watch out for some big sprints featuring the likes of Mark Cavendish.
Away from the more niche worlds of tennis and cycling, the big beast of world sport, European football, is back. Hard as it is to believe tomorrow sees the Europa League and Champions League start, with St Pats and Drogheda in action this week. If you can, get down to Tallaght on Thursday to see the Drogs play Malmo.
Looking ahead to the weekend we have the greatest hurling back door game of all time, Tipp v Kilkenny, on Saturday evening and a rather tasty provincial final double header of Kerry v Cork in the Munster SFC and Galway v Dublin in the Leinster SHC on Sunday.
Oh yeah, and just in case you forgot, the third and final deciding Lions Test takes place at 11pm on Saturday morning in Sydney. With Sam Warburton out, it looks highly likely that Brian O’Driscoll will captain the side against Australia. After four losing tours, wouldn’t it be fantastic if the Leinster man was the skipper for a Test and series win on Saturday? What a way to finish his career that would be.
If you want to catch up with all the news even faster, you’ll want a serious broadband connection with speeds of up to 70mb, so check out the good lads at Magnet, who will be filling your fatpipe so that you never have to worry about being connected.