I'm not a great sports fan but I love to watch the Tour de France - not just for the fine looking cyclists but the for the scenery. I love France and it has been our holiday destination for many years now. Being near to a spot where the Tour was passing one year we set off in midday scorching heat to walk for about 1.5k to get to the passing spot nearest to us. Waiting patiently, the forward cars and bikes could be heard approaching, and then the cyclists. Whizz, whizz, whizz, and in 30 seconds it was all over! Of course we cheered them on and clapped our hands sore but the reality of the speed with which it was over and the effort of getting to the place all seemed a bit of an anti-climax. Like several things in life, the realisation came that it was better on telly. There you can follow the peloton for the whole race, see the position of the teams, the yellow jersey and the dramas of bike changes etc.
Besides the excitement of the race, this years race start on Corsica is great. The scenery looks gorgeous and as we look over the bays it really seems to be a beautiful island. There is excellent live online coverage on The Guardian website http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/jun/30/tour-de-france-stage-two-live.
Today they have cycled 156k from Bastia to Ajaccio and the Tour must have been great for increasing tourism to the island as will the television coverage. Day 4 sees the cyclists arrive in Nice for the time trail and then from Cagnes sur Mer to Marseille, Aix-en-Provence to Montpelier and then onto Albi before two days of mountain stages. For lovers of the South of France this is a great chance to see huge swathes of the Cote D'Azure, Provence and onto Languedoc-Roussillon.
For details of the full route go to http://www.letour.fr/le-tour/2013/us/