Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tour nostalgia

This afternoon, as I watched (on TV) the final ceremonial stage of the fabulous Tour de France parade on the Champs Elysées, I thought back to 1981 when I met up with Phil Anderson, who was the first Australian to wear the famous yellow jersey. At that time, I had the privilege of interviewing Phil and his mother Pamela, and my article was published in the Australian magazine People.

"When I ride the next Tour de France," Phil told me, "I plan to be the winner." This would not be the case. And Australia would have to wait three decades until victory, this afternoon.

Today, it would be good if my native land (Australia) could share with my adoptive land (France) the fabulous impact of this mythical sporting event, which is in fact a planetary cultural happening. For us, living in France, it's by far the greatest celebration of the summer season. It's a cycling championship, of course, but it's also, and above all, an active real-time celebration of the many marvels of a mystical Mediterranean (middle of the world) nation: France.

Cadel Evans is a quiet but great Australian sporting hero, who has always been in total control of his wonderful career.

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