It would be churlish, despite our off-road proclivities, to ignore the start of the main event in the cycling world, the Tour de France. Cycling is a broad church and the fact that it starts in the UK, from London with the Prologue on Saturday (7th July) and then the first stage through to Canterbury this Sunday (8th July) makes it all the more pertinent.
Now, I’ll freely admit to an astonishing level of ignorance when it comes to road racing and the Tour de France in particular. Really, I don’t know a thing beyond a handful of the winners names over the years. Occasionally I feel the dark side calling and wonder what riding a road bike would be like but other than that, nothing.
But this year I’ve resolved to try and change that. After all, a whole month of bikes on the telly can’t be bad. I listened this morning to an interview on the radio about the fitness of the riders where it was suggested that their aerobic ability was something like three or four times greater than an averagely fit bloke of the same age. That doesn’t come easily, and sneers about the inevitable drugs aside (note, not inevitable sneers about drugs) you have to give these guys respect.
I’m curious about it, so I’m going to be watching and trying to understand. I have no idea who will win, I don’t know of any riders or team. I’m coming to it cold and I hope it will be fascinating.
There’s plenty of information out there on the web about the Tour de France and many blogs with varying degrees of expertise will be covering it. Hopefully I’ll unearth a few and link to them over the next month but for the meantime, here’s some official linkage: