Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Tour De France 2011

Okay lets be honest here, I in previous years have always thought the Tour de France was about as interesting as a trip to the Post Museum, I was once again proved wrong and had my interest re sparked when I saw the tour going over the Pont St Nazarre. I became interested, mainly due to the fact that I also have cycled over this huge bridge, which happened to be one of the most amazing, but scary experiences of my cycle holiday in 2009. Following this stage I have been catching up with the Tour de France nearly everyday.

Now don’t think that I’m a hard core cyclist or fan of this sport, as far as I'm concerned the Tour is a thinly veiled international advertisement for the tourism industry of France, with the overhead helicopter hovering for minutes over every slightly significant town church, modern building of note, waterfall, cliff, mountain or even a pack of vultures. These important parts of the cycling competition are even sometimes accompanied by music. To be honest I actually enjoy these little Architectural detours into the sights of provincial French life and it does entice me to perhaps visit these regions. The one thing however that might be a big negative factor to the appeal to these regions are the people, once again the only thing letting the French down are the French themselves. 

Stepping right out onto the road, waving flags in the cyclists faces, taking their shirts off to swing them around,  and even on some of the uphill climbs running along the cyclists while shouting “encouragements” at them. Or even all of the above. All this is the typical behaviour of the average French cycling fan hungry for their 2 seconds of fame. Seriously the competition seems physically hard enough with out having to over come the mental challenge of resisting  the temptation of swinging your fist at a couple of these idiots.

While there have been many an annoying spectator nothing has been more dangerous this year than the media cars that are supposed to be reporting on the tour, who have twice crashed into the cyclists. Resulting in severe physical injury's.

This is unfortunately the second time this level of un-professionalism has been on display from the Media in this years Tour. With over 170 vehicles allowed to drive with the cyclists a greater level of caution and maybe a reduction in the amount of cars should be considered.

Unfortunately this year my impending holidays mean I wont be able to watch the competition finishing up on the Champs Elysée in Paris on the 24th of July and get my own 2 seconds of fame.

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