Whether you’re a cycling fan or not, the chances are you have stumbled across the Tour de France and some of the headlines it generates each year. It might be a quieter sport compared to football but that doesn’t mean the annual event doesn’t have its fair share of highs and lows. In fact, for cycling fans, a year without the Tour de France would be a very dull one – and when you look back at some of the highlights, headlines and controversy’s surrounding the sport it is easy to see why for many, it is still the highlight of the sporting calendar each year.
The Race to Win
Of course, each year there are people that hit the headlines before the event even starts for being a sure thing in terms of who is going to win and do well. However, much like other sports there are always some surprises along the way – and it is this that helps to keep the sporting event so exciting!
For example, in a recent interview with Betway Insider, Robbie McEwen talked about the fact that before this year’s Tour de France many people were talking about Primoz Roglic and how well he would likely do in the event. However, now that the event is underway it is actually his teammate Jonas Vingegaard that is considered one to watch and his consistent success and commitment to his team is helping him to come up front every time.
The Pressure to Do Well
Of course, a sporting event like this is going to have its fair share of competitiveness and people wanting to do well – and Robbie McEwen also talks about this pressure in his Betway Insider interview. It is this pressure that helps to make the event an exciting one for fans to watch at every stage of the race – “It’s not just the contenders in their best form, they pick a team of riders all in their best form. So, it gets very busy at the front of the race, everybody is trying to basically execute more or less the same plan.”
Of course, this pressure to do well has led to some mixed headlines in the past which McEwan also touches upon in this interview including the admission by his biggest rival Erik Zabel that he had taken performing enhancing drugs during his career. “Well, no wonder he was impossible to beat for six years” said McEwan, seemingly more unsurprised by the confession than cycling fans at the time.
The Highlight of the Sporting Calendar
We’re unlikely to see those types of headlines again, as the event is much more closely watched these days. However, that doesn’t make the event any less exciting. For example, this year alone fans have been thrilled to see Christophe Laporte sprite throughout the stage 19 part of the race to victory – an adrenaline filled stage by anyone’s stretch of the imagination; and one that helps to keep the Tour de France fixed firmly on the calendar of sporting fans each year.