It's July. And that means that it is The Tour de France. The Tour is a bigger event than the Super Bowl, the World Series, and probably the Olympics for our family. (And we follow all of those too.) We watch every stage for 3 weeks. If it is a good stage we'll watch it twice. When cable doesn't carry tv coverage, I will get up at 5 am, or 4 am, or 3 am (if it's an important mountain stage) to watch streaming coverage on the internet. We watch the recaps on the rest days. We play the fantasy cycling challenge. I won from our league last year. We follow other bike races too, but this is the grand daddy of them all. Some day I'll attend The Tour de France in person.
Two of my favorites: Lance Armstrong and Thor Hushovd
Cycling has a way of getting into your blood. The sport is absolutely fascinating! There are so many components and intricacies. It's a team sport with individual pursuits. Or and individual sport with team support. There are competitions within the competition. Sprinters, climbers, contenders for the general classification---I LOVE it! I especially love me a good sprint. (So sad that Tom Boonen isn't in The Tour this year.) And I admire the professional bike rider above any other professional athlete. Does any other sport require the dedication to workout 2-6 hours a day sun & heat, rain or snow & cold? Sometimes riding hundreds of miles? Or how about dragging their bodies over mountain peaks in the Alps or Pyrenees? These men have metabolisms resembling a hummingbird, and when racing a 3 week stage race will consume 7,000-9,000 calories a day and still look almost gauntly. They have amazing resilience, strength and dedication.
I am glad to see the popularity and understanding about the sport of cycling gaining in popularity in the USA. Yes, it gets a bad rap with doping scandals, but the sport and a majority of the riders are cleaner than any other professional sport and have better controls in place. That's all I'm going to say about that.
So I'm wearing my yellow LIVESTRONG bracelet and following every bit of cycling coverage I can get until July 25 when the race concludes on the Champs Elysees.