How fantastic to see Mark Cavendish win a stage of the Tour de France. I must admit to feeling sorry for Vogondy, the French champion, who had been in the lead breakaway for about 200km and got swallowed less than 20m from the line. Apparently there is no place for sentimentality in bike (or any) racing.
I love the colours and the patterns the bikes make as they snake through the beautiful scenery and ancient villages. I love the etiquette and the customs that temper the competitiveness; the way a rider is allowed to lead through his village or on his birthday; the way it is considered unsporting to attack a leading rider delayed by mechanical breakdown or other misfortune, one who is eating in the feed zone or satisfying un besoin naturel.
The language of the tour is another highlight - yes, I know, it's French. I love the Kraftwerk song with it's completely mad lyrics. I love the terminology: flamme rouge; prologue; lanterne rouge; voiture balai; domestique; peloton; danseuse; musettes; etapes; grupetto; hors categorie - I could go on - it's all music to my ears And then there's the hum of the slick tyres on well-sealed roads; a sound I miss in New Zealand.
Him indoors, watches the tactics and notes who is cycling which gears. It's fun for everyone, and something to watch until the football season starts again.