Site Columns By Christian
July 10, 2001 - 3:00 PM

Hello World!

The Tour de France has started again, and as every year, I'm making sure not to miss a minute of it.

I'm almost not interested in watching any other sport on television at all - I watch football during the European and World Championships and just to make sure I don't lose my Dutch citizenship I catch a couple of speedskating championships per year, but that's about it. But for the Tour, I follow all the stages, the extensive summaries in the evening, and the late-night interviews with the cyclists. I just can't get enough of it.

Part of the reason is that cycling is still such a charming sport. A great example of that came yesterday, as the Tour was about to go through the small Belgian home village of one of the riders, Paul van Hyfte. So about a kilometer before the village, we saw Van Hyfte make his way to the front, and ask Lance Armstrong and the other leaders if he could go ahead. Sure, they said, and so Van Hyfte was allowed to get about a minute ahead of the pack and be the first to go through his village. As he did, and the whole village went mad - screaming and shouting, while he was laughing and waving and generally making himself immortal in his home town. Of course, after the village all the other riders caught up with him again, but it was an amazingly beautiful moment that you won't see in many other professional sports.

And as I type this, Erik Zabel wins his second stage in three days, which is really good for me, as he's one of the riders I selected for the Fantasy Tour game I'm participating in. Maybe I'll even make it to the top-1000 now. Yes, I'm in over my head :).

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