JD & I went down to London n Saturday to see the Prologue of the Tour de France. One of the things I miss most, living in England, is the attention for the Tour de France. When I was growing up, I would watch the Tour with my dad. There is a black & white picture of me in 1980, the year Dutchman Joop Zoetemelk won the Tour, my clenched fist in the air in a victory salute, holding my bicycle; a newspaper cut-out of a yellow jersey pinned to my chest as if I had just won the Tour. On Saturdays and Sundays we would position ourselves in front of the TV and watch the stages all day. Some times, my dad would take a day or afternoon off work to watch the most gruesome mountain stage of that Tour de France. When I went to University, I did the same, skipping lectures to watch TV.
Dutch TV will show the important stages live on TV from 11am. Regular coverage starts at 2pm every day, as does Radio Tour de France. 4/5 reporters live in the Tour, on the motorbikes, in between the riders.
Radio Tour de France is the sound of my summers, the sound of my youth. And it still is. I listen to the radio via the internet when the Tour is on. But it is not the same. I can not watch it much because British Eurosport is not included in my TV subscription. ITV shows highlights but only at 10pm!! By then, I will already know the winner and there will be no point in watching it anymore.
Hopefully the fantastic scenes in the streets of London and the massive crowds along the roadside on the way to Canterbury helped to create more interest in the sport here in Britain. Maybe even get some attention for it live on a public broadcaster!
Until then, I will just log on to Radio Tour de France and create my own summer.