Besides its purely sporting dimensions in the domain of competitive cycling, an aspect of the Tour de France that thrills TV viewers is the opportunity of viewing helicopter footage of the fabulous architectural patrimony and landscapes of provincial France. Yesterday, for example, we saw splendid images of the ancient sanctuary on the hill of Vézelay, which was a departure point for pilgrims setting out for Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain.
The density and beauty of these treasures, seen from the sky, leave the viewer speechless. They remind us, if need be, that France is indeed a jewel of civilization. There is no doubt that this TV presentation of the splendors of the land is an essential ingredient in the mythical charm of the Tour de France.