Monday, July 20, 2009


You know it’s that time of year again when all you see on television is Lance Armstrong hanging out with one well-known actor or another. This famous 7-time winner is both the darling and the adversary of the cycling world and is clearly the showman of the sport. Be that as it may, he is one
among the nearly 200 riders invited to race Le Tour de France. Arguably, the most famous bicycle race in the world (and frankly the only one this writer even knows about), “Le Tour” is one of France’s largest spectacles and sources of national pride.

Needless to say, the ubiquitous amount of riders are all chasing their dream of winning the overall race. In the meantime, they are traveling across many terrains, clad in their various shades of spandex. However, each of them frantically pines to wear that singular yellow jersey, which the person holding the best time as of the previous day’s stage gets to wear. Bragging rights for this sole athlete, to be sure.

The century-old competition got its start in 1903. What started out as a five-day race now spans 23 days. The route changes annually, but inevitably racers will be climbing both mountains and spanning valleys alike. This year, Prince Albert offered his support at the commencement of the race in Monaco. The momentous finish line, however, never changes. Of course, the racers cross the finish line in dramatic fashion on the Champs Élysées in Paris crossing the symbolic threshold of Napolean’s Arc de Triomphe.

As a non-rider myself I find it curious how the announcers are able to fill so much time speaking about the race. What are they actually saying? I have envisioned it goes something like, “…and they are peddling over the mountains…and now they are peddling on flat land…and now they are peddling some more through the cities.” I mean, what more can truly be said?  Ah well, I suppose it doesn't really matter what the announcer is talking about as long as we get to watch a few sweaty men in tight shorts.

Whether you are interested in the race or if like me you simply want to see a plethora of cute men showing off their powerful legs, this may very well be the activity for you. So sport your baseball caps and sunblock and cheer from the sidelines or watch from the comforts of your own home, either way Le Tour is here to stay.

For more information, visit the Tour’s official website at Le Tour.

Thank you for reading and bonne journée!