Every cycling fan’s favourite three weeks of the year
BMC's Cadel Evans of Australia, negotiates a curve during the fourth stage of the 64th Dauphine cycling race, a 53.6 kilometers individual time trial between Villie-Morgon and Bourg-en-Bresse, central France, Thursday, June 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
It’s tour time! Now begins every cycling fan’s favourite three weeks of the year. It’s being unbearably grumpy every morning and wide awake with excitement and anticipation in the evening.
It’s watching the cycling, watching the cyclists and watching the scenery. Fantasy teams are being finalised, fans are studying up on the stages and on the in-form riders.
Our new found love affair with cycling is about to reach its annual fever pitch that can only be due to le Tour.
Thanks to some great and desperately appreciated extended coverage of Paris-Roubaix, the Giro, the Tour of California and the Dauphine, every Tour fan has put in a great pre-season, sitting up all night and getting up early to watch the highlights has been the prefect preparation for three weeks of exciting viewing.
We have so much to cheer on this year with Cadel hoping to make it back to back, we have Orica GreenEdge hoping to snatch stage victories and we have a record-matching number of Australians lining up to do battle over the next three weeks.
There are so many questions in anticipation of this year’s race and so much excitement surrounding Cadel’s defence of his historic victory. Can Cadel fight off an inform Wiggins? Can Wiggins really dominate Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie, the Criterium du Dauphine and take the yellow jersey in Paris?
Will Cav complete the race or pull out to focus on the Olympics on his home soil?
Within the next three weeks all of these questions will be answered forever. The peloton is lining up. The race is about to begin and the thrill and exhilaration of the Tour de France is upon us once again.