Tour de France: and the real star of the show is … France

Monsieur Salut writes: it’s early July so that means, after an exhilarating Women’s World Cup (can we please sign Rose Lavelle and Janine Beckie?), it’s Wimbledon and the Tour de France.

A while back, we had a series about ‘another team I like’ which evolved into ‘my other sporting passion’. Before petering out, it produced one or two decent entries (and some some intriguing promises of entries, not in the end fulfilled).

Watching French TV as the peloton was winding its way through the lush Marne countryside reminded me of Pete Sixsmith‘s splendid piece about why he loved this competition. Martin Emmerson, when not commentating for BBC Newcastle on Durham County Cricket Club, is another fan. Here, from 2010, is how Sixer saw it then …

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Summer Gold: Leeds and Dales star in Tour de France’s grand depart

We’re doing our best, as promised, with Brazil 2014. But as we await more Sunderland-related news and talking points, let’s look back at some priceless, timeless gems that have appeared on these pages and deserve another airing. Cue a new series. Pete Sixsmith‘s powerfully lyrical description of the Tour de France first appeared when the last World Cup had just finished. As the peleton prepares for the Yorkshire Grand Depart making the simple journey from Leeds to Harrogate a 190km epic through the Dales, here it is again complete with a wonderful image from the first race in 1903 …

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Ryan Noble sprints clear of the peloton as Paris fetes Bradley Wiggins

Sixer by Jake

Pete Sixsmith has long drooled over the Tour de France. Another Salut! Sunderland split: whereas Monsieur Salut accepts that the race passes through breathtaking scenery, and takes his beret off to Wiggo’s superb achievement and excellent French, the event itself leaves him cold. We both agree on the quality of Ryan Noble’s exciting winner in South Korea but only Sixer would have thought to link the two …

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Another team I like: (2) the Tour de France (teams)

tourdeImage: Le Rouleur Lent

When I lived in Paris, part of the finale of the Tour de France took place in the street five floors beneath my front window. It left me cold. All it meant was that it was a lot harder to get around. Pete Sixsmith begs to differ, and just loves those scrawny, “Steroids .. me?” beanpoles and their pelotons. Not strictly speaking “another team”, but it seems to fit the spirit of the series ….

The team have taken off for Portugal without me. Had they gone a week later, I would have been sitting in the sun in the Algarve, sipping a glass of Sagres and deciding which members of the crustacean family I would be devouring.

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