Absent from my radar: The Tour de France
It was at about Stage 7 when Heather mentioned to me “I don’t care if we blog about the Tour. You can if you want to, but I’m not interested.” Of course, it must be considered. This is a cycling blog. The Tour de France is the biggest cycling event on our planet. Rich in history, it is a grueling race–certainly one of the best tests of endurance man has created.
I used to be glued to the television set each summer watching as much of the Tour as I could. Vacations were planned around the Tour. This was in Lance’s heyday, when cycling caught the eye of the general public. I admit was among them. The Tour, and Lance’s enormous achievements in that race, converted me into a bona fide cycling fan.
It’s not that doping was surprising, really. I guess any reasonable person could assume it was occuring on some level. The persistant testing of Armstrong made news on a regular basis. He never tested positive. But when other greats did, well, the shine of the Tour started to dull. When it became rampant, I became dismayed. Finally I stopped caring. Teams dissolved, players left the field, and who replaced them? I have no idea, because I had stopped watching.
Out of guarded wonder, I tuned into the Tour over the weekend. I only watched a few moments, that was all I really had time for. I picked up on the marketing campaign advertised on VS. titled “Take Back The Tour.” I admit it made me hope a little, and it reminded me of the passion and admiration I had for the competition that was the Tour de France.
Can cycling really take back the Tour? I think only time will tell. There are always new players on the field, and hopefully they can bring this race back for us who have lost faith in it. I really want to watch it with the same enthusiasm I once had for it. They are going to need a few years of clean races to get me glued to the set again. I’ll hand them the Elmer’s. The rest is up to them.