I love July. It's the heart of summer. A time for sun and relaxation; family and fun; holidays and happiness - and nothing makes me happier then waking up at 5 a.m. almost everyday day of the month to watch the worlds greatest sporting event unfold live in front of my sleepy eyes.
Le Tour de France is without a doubt the greatest athletic spectacle in the world. I know, I know, it has a checkered past...and maybe a checkered today, but that is something that history will deal with. For now I revel in the beauty of the competition. Where day after day for three weeks the worlds greatest riders push themselves beyond the limits of their abilities on some of the planets most beautiful roads.
Most of these men have absolutely no chance of winning the race. They are there to support their team leaders, To sacrifice their personal gain so that their captain will hopefully end the month standing on the podium stage in the middle of the worlds most famous street. For a select few however, there will be an opportunity to seek the glory of a stage win. It will most likely come in the form of a breakaway with other little known domestiques that for some reason sticks because the leaders of the peloton have decided that there is no value in chasing them down.
This possibility of victory will cause a man to turn himself inside out to get to that line ahead of the others. Should he manage to pull off one single solitary victory in Le Tour, it will validate his entire career in one glorious moment. For some it may even validate their very existence, as most of these men are defined by their time spent on the bike.
This is my favorite part of Le Tour de France - the opportunity for an unknown rider to shock the world; to take their place at the top step of the podium for a day and cement their place in history as one of a select group of individuals who get to taste the fruits of victory and crystallize the memories that will sustain their dreams for decades to come. Vive le Tour!