I like to speak of the Tour de France as the French landscape program. I watch the cycling, not because I care about the cycling but because I like to see the landscapes, the castles, the panoramas, and more. It’s a way of getting travel ideas. Of course I do sometimes like watching the cycling. I liked watching Alaphilipe two years ago as he went towards winning, but not quite the tour de France. I like to watch the echapées that can last for 100 or more kilometres. I like to watch as they go through beautiful landscapes, as they climb on steep gradients as if they were nothing. I also like to be inspired for my own bike rides and progression.
I usually wach the Tour De France by starting On France 3 and then moving on to France 2. They like for part of the race to be on France 3, the regional French TV channel, before going to France 2, the national channel. In so doing you can watch most of the races. You don’t always get the start of the race but you can spend several hours a day watching the Tour.
Today the weather is rainy, and the camera lenses are sometimes covered in rain. The helicopter’s camera is covered in rain. In another shot, you could see rain being lifted by the motorbike’s rear tyre as they ride up the Alps today. On other days you see them cycling in high temperatures with fields of sunflowers or others around them.
Aside from the landscapes and the cycling you also get some historical context for the locations. They speak about why the region is significant at different points in time. I learn about architectural terms and interesting monuments.
I saw that Le Monde, a french newspaper they have a guide to when to have a siesta without missing the interesting moments. It’s easy to fall asleep as you watch the Tour De France, as it is three or four hours of viewing several days a week for weeks. You can’t help but fall asleep.
You have some beautiful climbs followed by fast descents. You would never descend like them because we have to deal with traffic, and we don’t have a motorbike in front of us to scare animals out of the way.
When living in the US, my husband would avidly watch the Tour de France because it was a way for him to see France and French landscapes from so far away. He loves cycling as well, so that helped, but I’ve noticed that he watches the Tour much less avidly now that we’re back in Europe and he gets a decent (well, pre-COVID, anyway) dose of France paysages on a regular basis. He still tunes in to see how things are going, but it’s much less a glued-to-the-screen gazing onto France rolling past the cameras than it was back in the day. 🙂