Search

Tour de France Column by Toby Miles – Why I love ‘Le Tour’

PUBLISHED: 15:09 10 July 2018

Cycling columnist Toby Miles in competitive action on the continent

Cycling columnist Toby Miles in competitive action on the continent

Archant

Read Toby Miles’ Malliot Blanc Column as the 18-year-old aspiring professional cyclist explains why he loves the Tour de France.

Chris Froome of Team Sky rides to the stage during the team presentations in Place Napoleon, La Roche-Sur-Lyon, France. Picture: PAChris Froome of Team Sky rides to the stage during the team presentations in Place Napoleon, La Roche-Sur-Lyon, France. Picture: PA

Every year since becoming fascinated by pro cycling aged 13, I’ve watched from the start of the live broadcast of ‘the Tour’s’ first stage, intending to watch only the early exchanges, before returning later.

After the bouncy ITV4 intro music - which I’ll never tire of - blasts out for the first time and presenter Gary Imlach’s wry smile appears on screen, I’m already on the edge of my seat.

So there I sit, for hours, soaking up the newly released top-end kit, modelled by athletes in the form of their lives, as they fly towards the first drama of the race.

It’s a unique buzz around during the Tour - it’s all about the anticipation. The World Championships, the Giro, they’re hotly anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed, but the intensity for those three weeks in July is unbeatable.

It’s because there’s more on the line. The prestige of a win grows with every edition, it’s yellow jersey becomes more iconic. With 104 editions done, the Tour is a monster. It’s long history of being cycling’s main event mean it will never be overtaken.

Chris Froome passes through Avranches, Normandy (Pic: Dan Blumenau)Chris Froome passes through Avranches, Normandy (Pic: Dan Blumenau)

For all 176 riders at the start, this was the race they grew up knowing was The Big One. With unrivalled sponsor pressure, media attention and fan expectation, the atmosphere in the peloton is like nowhere else.

Those factors mean the racing often isn’t as entertaining as other races. Riders are more cautious and spend more time trying not to lose the race rather than win it.

But pure racing action is not why we love the Tour. Smaller races might have more pure action but the consequences aren’t massive.

A bold attack in the Tour can define a career. Every move must be calculated. So when a dramatic moment comes in France’s race, it’s monumentally exciting.

The anticipation for those moments is electric enough.

Quick Step Floors's Fernando Gaviria celebrates on the podium after taking the yellow jersey and winning stage one of the Tour de France. Picture: Pete Goding/PAQuick Step Floors's Fernando Gaviria celebrates on the podium after taking the yellow jersey and winning stage one of the Tour de France. Picture: Pete Goding/PA

My first book about cycling was the ‘Official Treasures of Le Tour de France,’ which I’d found in Oxfam.

I was blown away by the history on its pages and it was my bible until I’d studied it all. Through the unending literature about it, the Tour taught me how to love cycling.

The 2018 Tour is going to be a fascinating edition, with heavyweights galore lining up. Can Chris Froome do the double? Will the old guard of sprinters continue to be ousted by young guns like Fernando Gaviria?

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 16:00

The Argentinian is preparing his team for a crucial clash with PSV in the Champions League

Yesterday, 14:00

North Middlesex and Hampstead had players in the Timed Cricket and Limited Overs Cricket teams of the season

FA Women’s Championship: Tottenham Hotspur Ladies 8 Millwall Lionesses 0

Yesterday, 10:00

Saracens forward Billy Vunipola helped out at a training for youngsters with disabilities and gave out medals at the end of the session.

Mesut Ozil delivered a stunning performance during Arsenal’s 3-1 victory over Leicester City as Unai Emery’s side made it 10 wins on the bounce on Monday evening at the Emirates – with colleague Hector Bellerin hailing the German playmaker as ‘a born champion.’

A Mesut Ozil-inspired Arsenal beat Leicester City 3-1 at the Emirates on Monday evening, prompting the German to use a memorable phrase.

Arsenal beat Leicester City 3-1 at the Emirates after a Mesut Ozil masterclass helped beat Claude Puel’s Foxes to make it ten wins on the bounce for Unai Emery’s impressive side.

Arsenal hosted Leicester City at the Emirates on Monday evening. Read on for Layth Yousif’s PLAYER RATINGS

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now