Tuesday, 13 July 2004


It seems, to me anyway, that I've been blogging less about what I've been doing & thinking, and more about random other things that I've come across. While this wasn't my original intention, it doesn't worry me overly.

On Saturday I went with Jacques and Sophie to Dinan to catch a glimpse of Le Tour. I usually follow it in the same way that I follow soccer, basketball and, this year at least, Aussie Rules. That is to say, I read all the news articles, know all the names, and many of the stats, but don't actually watch much (usually for problems of accessibility - if I had the opportunity, I think I would spend a rather large proportion of my life watching sport).

Dinan, which I think I'd passed through once or twice with Didier, is a lovely little town, and they had brought out all the flags for the Tour. The people were out, too, lining the streets to catch a glimpse of the caravane or the riders, or both. The caravane, an hour-long stream of advertising and free junk attached to cars, trucks and other vehicles, set me thinking about the tradeoffs that sports make to bring in money. For example, the football doesn't feel quite so commercial, and yet I didn't have to pay to see the Tour. Its an interesting balance.

Anyway, after the caravane had passed, and we had collected 2 or 3 trinkets hurled at us, from vans whose sponsors' names escape me (now that's effective advertising), a couple of riders scooted past, to vast cheers from the crowd. We had positioned ourselves at the top of the day's only climb, in the hope that the speed would be less, and the combat more lively. As it was, they were probably doing 30-35km/h, hardly snail's pace, and they whisked past in only a moment. The peloton was a little better, 7 minutes later, but still presented only a few seconds of entertainment. Like anyone, I had the riders I wanted to see, but the sad truth is that the group is so tightly bunched, and passes so quickly, that its almost impossible to recognise anyone. I caught the green Jersey of O'Grady, but beyond that, no-one.

After the kerfuffle, we wandered through the streets, looked at the church, and had a crêpe and a café before heading home again.

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