Many years ago [i don’t remember when] I started watching Le Tour de France. Sitting up late nights in front of the TV, I was mesmerized by miles and miles of green and yellow country side and the quaint French villages dotted along the path.
Some nights the tour was mostly flatlands and only broken by an occasional hypnotic field of never ending lavender, blurring into a purple haze as the bikes sped by. Other nights contained dramatic hillside views climbing high into the mountain ranges not far from the Spanish border. And some nights charmed me with Historic Churches, ancient Villas and glorious Chateaus, or simple country farmhouses popping up to greet the riders.
So you see, my interest lay solely in viewing France, not the race itself. Then along came Lance Armstrong, fighting back from cheating cancer, and from that point on, I must admit, I occasionally took some interest in the racing. [I hope this will be the year for aussie cyclist ‘Cadel Evans’].
But mostly, this annual event will always be a mini vacation, taken from the comfort of my lounge. A sleepy vacation in the wee hours of the night, noted by a blue hazy light flickering across the room and eyelids drooping from want of sleep.
This is my chance to dream of travel, and a simpler life surrounded by the beauty of the countryside. Thank you SBS for bringing me these dreams, year after year!
I guess I should include a rider or two!!
Seeing we are starting at the beginning, so should the images. Here are some images from the very early years of this annual event. Starting with ‘Maurice-Francois Garin’ who won the Inaugural Race held in 1903.
I hope you too will enjoy ‘Le Tour de France’ this year
21 days of beautiful, glorious French Countryside. Along the way I will bring you a post or two to celebrate the various regions of each Stage. The first Stage this year commences in Monaco. Home of the late ‘Princess Grace’, the Monte Carlo Grand Prix and beautiful cliff-side vistas.
Please come back and join me for my own version of ‘Le Tour’
IMAGES: Vintage B&W Le Tour riders: http://www.letour.fr/ , Other colour pics: google image search