Y3 – Day 199 – TDF

As we enter Stage 17 on Wednesday, the Tour de France is delivering on drama, hilarity, French country roads, great quotes, crashes, weather, unbelievable climbs up the Pyrenees and Alps and even worse – dangerous descents, sprint favorites, French Chateaus, Cathedrals and Roman aqueducts, state of the art bridges with the peloton (the main group) racing in single file atop deep crevasses, yesterdays Twitter feed from the riders ticker taping at the bottom of the screen, poor sportsmanship, comebacks, fabulous reporting by the Americans and British we have come to know year after year, great human interest back stories and interviews and an all around amazing 21 stages (for a total of 23 days of viewing with 2 days of rest) of the most important, the first and oldest of the Grand Bicycle Tours!!!

The helicopter cameras capture the bird’s eye views, motorcycle cameramen ride on the back of two seaters engaging us with close-ups and occasionally we watch Go Pro action on the front and back of bikes.

The TDF ends on Sunday, the 26th with a casual, traditional, classic, beautiful ride into Paris and several turns around the Champs-Elysees. Later, a podium fanfare and celebration. A must see!

La Vuelta de Espana in Spain and El Giro d’Italia in Italy are the other “grand”(longer than ten days) tours or races held earlier in the year.

The winner of TDF 2013 and our living room favorite, Chris Froome of the Sky team is in the lead right now, wearing the coveted yellow jersey.

Watching professional cyclists do what they do with the back drop of European villages, contemporary cities and miles (or rather kilometers) of farmland, forests and mountain ranges, together, in the comfort of our home, has truly become a rather pleasant and even romantic pastime.

I do not think there is a tougher sport or a show of courageous, athletic abilities, with individual as well as calculated team tactics that I would even want to write about. Although, hockey comes close.

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