I am OBSESSED with the Tour de France. My dad and I started watching it about 9 years ago together, and there's been no looking back. I don't mind July underways (when Hubby is gone with the boat), because it means I get to watch it everyday. It takes a hardcore fan to want to watch the 2-3 hours of it daily for 3 weeks.
I love the suspense. I love the tactics. I love watching the scenery. I love the attitudes. It's a team sport in which there is only one winner. Yes, Lance Armstrong won the Tour 7 times after battling cancer and has made a comeback this year. But, he had a team of 8 other men who rode for him to win. The tactics and support are team based. There aren't any other sports I know of in which men exert weeks of effort and risk serious injuries for someone else to get the glory.
Bicycling is called a gentleman's sport. There are unwritten rules of proper conduct. Yesterday's coverage featured 3 rules of the Tour which really can be applied to life in general.
1) Know who is in charge - Not only the leaders who have done it before, but those pesky things like cars which you will lose against.
2) Know when NOT to attack - Do not mess with things during feed zones (when they pass the lunches out WHILE they are riding past) for food is a serious thing. Don't chase your teammate down. Swallow your pride for the good of the group.
3)Respect the yellow (the overall leader wears yellow) - Do not be that guy that attacks when the leader has a flat or other unfortunate event. I remember when a spectator's bag got stuck on Lance's handlebars and pulled him down. Instead of taking advantage, everyone else slowed down and let him catch up. You want to win because you're the best not because of someone's bad luck.
While some people learned everything they needed to in kindergarten, I learn things from the Tour.