Five months have passed since Rohan Dennis abandoned the Tour de France in mysterious circumstances, climbing off the bike seemingly without cause during stage 12, the day before the race’s major time trial.
It’s been nearly a week since the final lap of the Tour de France 2014 on the Champs-Élysées. There were the jersey pressos with the Arc de Triomphe forming a magnificent back drop.
Newly crowned Tour champion Vincenzo Nibali went home with a pride of podium lions in the Astana team bus. What a wonderful, exciting three weeks it’s been for Antipodean fans, but what now?
The party’s over. Withdrawal symptoms are kicking in. How will you cope without the Tour? No need to despair, here’s a guide to surviving the post Tour blues.
Catch up on sleep
Aussie sports fans have been spoiled for choice with major international sports events recently with Wimbledon, the FIFA World Cup and the Tour. Unless you had the foresight to have planned annual leave around your TV viewing schedule or have had the fortune to swing a later starting shift, I reckon there’s a few sleep deprived zombies shuffling around out there.
All that coffee will only get you so far, and something’s got to give, like sanity. Do yourself a favour, go and get some sleep. I’ll admit it’s not always easy dropping off before 2am but stick with it. Your sleep patterns will adjust. Eventually.
Be inspired by the Tour
Expand your knowledge of chateau, learn French, grab some travel brochures and start planning that holiday in France. Closer to home, why not decorate your kitchen with overpriced homewares with ‘Provence’ stencilled on them or build your own Yorkshire inspired dry stone wall. Why not try your hand at a cobblestone driveway?
You can incorporate the Tour in your life in so many positive ways.
Go ride a bike
I have to admit I hadn’t been out on the bike as much during the Tour as I’d have liked. I had a few other commitments and coupled with some foul Melbourne winter weather, the fitness regime went out the window.
The late nights in front of the box called for Tour snacks. Wine, pasteurised soft cheeses and the occasional Gabriel Gaté ‘Taste Le Tour’ recipe appeared to be mainstays of many a Tour fan’s musette bag but three weeks of this has to take a toll.
The weather’s looking a little brighter as we head into Spring, so why not get the bike out of the shed and get some fresh air and exercise? That’s the beauty of cycling. Apart from a bike, obviously, and a helmet you don’t need lots of specialised equipment, pay exorbitant fees, try and muster a team or need a special venue or playing field.
Any reasonably formed surface will do and it’s right outside your front door. So get out there, it’ll do you some good.
There’s more to cycling than the Tour
Abstinence not your thing? Hanging for a cycling fix? There’s a lot more to cycling than the Tour. The festival of sleep deprivation continued with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and there’s been plenty of men’s and women’s track, road and mountain action to feast on.
The Tour de Wallonie kicked off as the Tour de France finished, and if you can find good online streams there’s the Tour of Poland from 3 August, the Tour of Utah (4 August), ENECO Tour (11 August), Vuelta a Burgos (13 August), the Tour of Britain (7 September) just to name a few.
If you’re still craving another three weeks of late nights, there’s the final Grand Tour of the year the Vuelta a España to look forward to from 23 August, with the last eight stages live on SBS One from 6 September.
So go on, if it’s cycling you want there’s plenty out there. Knock yourself out.
Re-live the highlights of the Tour
If you’re really missing the Tour wait for the special DVD to come out and re-watch your favourite moments all year round. Plus don’t forget to catch up on all the post Tour analysis right here on The Roar.
And if you are after the most authoritative account of every stage of the Tour there’s always the very excellent lewrap.blogspot.com.au.
I hope these suggestions help you to cope with the post-Tour blues. And remember, it’s already less than a year until the next one.