This Saturday begins another epic Tour de France. The 95th Tour, it will be comprised of some 21 stages, cover 3,500 miles, including a mountain stage towards the end that will have those still in the race climbing nearly 15,000 vertical feet in a single day. Awesome!
Despite the all too numerous drug scandals the Tour has seen lately, it is still an amazing event to follow for an avid cyclist and sometime racer such as myself.
This is the only time in the year when I wish I had cable. So for those special stages, I’ll go to a local pub that broadcasts the stage and watch. For all those other stages, here is what I do.
A stage is typically over by around lunchtime here on the east coast. For lunch, I get comfortable and head on over to Velonews. Velonews has a daily live coverage report written by a couple of their reporters who give great commentary, basically giving a play-by-play (or is it pedal-by-pedal) report on the action in the peloton. I always jump right to the beginning of the reporting so as not to get any hints as to who won that day’s stage and spend the lunch hour reading through that day’s stage report.
I am not alone, by any means in this practice. The past couple of years the reporters have solicited emails from readers promising a prize for the most out of the way place. There have been people at sea, a researcher in the Antarctic, several soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and just about any other place you might imagine. This is a global event that I love being a small part of.
So consider yourself forewarned if I do not jump for that phone call during the lunchtime hour. It may be that I am just terribly involved in reading some exciting developments in the Tour.