Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tour de France

If you've never watched much of the Tour de France, give it a try this year. I love the Tour for many reasons, one of which is that in 2004 I visited France for a week during the event. I was there when Lance Armstrong got his sixth consecutive Tour victory, a feat that no rider has ever accomplished in the event's 96 years history. (He went on to win his seventh in 2005).

Now Lance is back at it again. He has revitalized worldwide interest in a sport that has been plagued by cheaters and dopers. But more than the riders, there is complete beauty surrounding the three week race through Europe. Here are some of my favourites:

The artwork and beauty of the bicycles
The color in the kits that the riders wear
The small towns of France
The Alps and Pyrennes mountains
The bucolic farmlands and acres of sunflowers in the countryside
The breakaways
The crashes - just a little excitement
The spirit of the riders
The crazy fans
The commentator Phil Ligget
The awards on the podium
The final stage in Paris on the cobblestones of the Champs de Elysee

The Tour is confusing. There are awards give each day for the leader, the daily victor, the best mountain climber, the best sprinter, and the best young rider under 25 years of age - all are recognized by distinguished jerseys that the riders wear with pride the day following their victories. The teams also wear matching kit so they look like a team. Right now my favorite team kit is AG2R.

And Lance's bike is totally cool.

Watch it on Versus TV and you just might become a fan.

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Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.

Dreams That Have Come True