Today is the first official stage of the Tour de France that covers a circular route in Belgium, beginning and ending in the city of Liège. After another day of riding in Belgium, the cyclists with head northwest towards Boulogne-sur-Mer in France.
So we are kicking back to watch the race on television, as we do every year….except one. In 2005, we were in Aix-en-Provence, when the tour passed very closely. Though we did not go out into the countryside to amass with the throngs of race watchers, we did see the Canal+ television equipment in Aix, the stopover point before the next day’s stage. It was Bernard Hinault, by the way, who won the most races for France in the Tour. He was a four-time victor in ’79, ’81, ’82 and ’85.
After making their way along the northern coast, the Tour will wander down through Champagne country to the Alps, then on to the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees. On their ascent to Paris, they will ride through the lovely city of Chartres.
It is always a joy to see the exceptional camera work of the television crews, who show us grueling mountain roads and quaint, crowd-filled villages cheering the riders on. Even if you are not a cycling fan, you would enjoy the scenic broadcasts.
Sports or no sports, have a delightful Sunday!
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