One of my favourite things is the Tour de France. I’m not well known for my love of sport but this is three weeks that I make every effort to watch. Partly because of the wonderful scenery flashing past but mostly because of the stories and the sheer effort, team work of the athletes themselves. Time and time again a stage winner will not accept that he won because he was so good, but because his team put in the effort through the previous days, and months of preparation. And I am staggered how many times you see a rider, up the road with a breakaway group, having a good day, literally putting on the breaks to come back to help out his team leader.
Most emotional moment so far, watching two Ineos Grenadiers come over the line, knowing that one of them would come first, the other second. And a young man with his career ahead of him allowing his teammate, who in all his long career of supporting had never won a stage, to win. By an inch or so, but to win all the same.
The whole race shouts out about team work, dedication, giving your all for someone else. Digging so deep you blow up on the road and disappear back through the peloton as if you had your breaks on, so someone else can cross the line ahead of you.
But best story is about Richie Porte’s wife, staying at home, giving birth to their second child because she knew he didn’t have too many more chances to cycle at that level. And through her love and dedication he will stand on the podium in Paris. Sometimes the biggest and perhaps the hardest sacrifice of all is letting someone go, to pursue a dream. A sip of champagne while breastfeeding surely won’t hurt just this once!