If you had asked me what “Le Tour” was two years ago, the question would have been met with a blank stare. Tour de France (TDF)? Oh, right. That thing that Lance keeps winning? I think they ride bikes around the country? That sounds hard.
Between the film Chasing Legends and a live-in expert on the historic race, I’ve learned. I would now answer that question with a 10-minute spiel about the month of July, and how amazing it is to get coverage all day, every day, and how much I love Phil Liggett’s endearing commentary and how the riders are of a fitness level that most of us can’t comprehend – just, whoa.
This film explains the history and process of the Tour’s stages, traditions and elite riders in a unique documentary; you follow team Columbia-HTC (circa 2009) from Stage 1 to the final laps around the Champs-Elysee.
I may or may not credit this film with my teenage crushes on George Hincapie & Mark Cavendish. I completely credit it with the fact that I’d love to buy Jens Voigt a beer and hear every story he has to tell.
2. Fabian Cancellara – he’s my pick for the Prologue, and Individual Time Trial. Take one look at those legs and you won’t question a thing he does.
3. The Maillot Jaune (aka Yellow Jersey) – the overall lead rider wears this jersey as long as he holds the top spot. Sometimes they have it for days, sometimes just after winning a stage and inching ahead by seconds. The Maillot Jaune will jump from back-to-back throughout the three weeks of stages, uniquely donning that rider’s team sponsors, and whoever has that on knows they’ve earned it.
4. Fans Gone Wild – This sport’s fans take the crazy cake. They lose their minds as the Peloton rides by, waving their heads, hands and feet around like they aren’t attached. Most of us barely love something half as much as they love this race.
5. D’s Love for Le Tour: He’s been watching this race since his tween years – back in the day when the full race (all 20 stages) would come out on VHS, rather than stream live online or even on TV – and knows every rider, every year. He has spot-on race predictions, provides race history and commentary, and answers every ridiculous question of mine.
This guy knows Le Tour, lives for July and live coverage, and I love it.
Are you excited for TDF?? If you’re a fan, place your bets here!
Do you wonder what the heck I mean by 20 stages, Le Tour and the Maillot Jaune? Questions, welcomed! All explanations to come…