Post-Tour blues

Monday, 25 July 2011

Tour de France crowds

If you’re missing the Tour de France already, imagine what it’s like for the riders. Maybe the last three weeks saw you adjust your routine around TV broadcasts, your reading habits changed and even colleagues at work might have talked cycling.

But for the last three weeks the riders in the bunch things were even more different. They awoke to find breakfast waiting for them. They emerged from their hotels to find people asking for autographs. They pedalled past an estimated 12 million people who waited to applaud them. They crossed the finish line to find journalists ready to interview them. They found team helpers on hand to feed them, provide fresh clothes and even give them a massage. It wasn’t easy but all they had to do was race.

Today they’ll make their way home. A few will find their lives change, Cadel Evans will be a far more recognisable figure, within France Thomas Voeckler and Pierre Rolland will be in demand. But for most the changes are more mundane. FDJ’s “Super Combative” rider Jérémy Roy writes in L’Equipe that:

from one day to the next the bubble bursts, you rediscover the routine of the ordinary person. Opening letters, paying bills, cooking, clearig the table, doing the washing, going shopping

From Super Combative to Super Dad, many will enjoy being home and can take satisfaction from finishing the world’s biggest bike race, from first to last everyone has something to be proud about. But it’s a change going from three weeks of being applauded to being a man-with-a-weird-suntan in the supermarket, with white eyes and stripes from the sunglasses and helmets. Just as fans of the race might have got used to the routines and action, many riders and team staff will feel at a bit of a loss today.

ros pennigton July 25, 2011 at 11:45 am

Never thought of it from their point of view! Interesting article!:) thankyou

Starr July 25, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Having done numerous 8-9 day stage races, I get that feeling every time.
It’s like the robotic order of your days are short-wired.
The “real” world comes back into focus.
And it’s again to daily disruptions.

Flashing Pedals July 25, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Riche Porte said it quite well, after his Giro d’Italia success of 2010.

Within a day or so of returning to his home, he was in a supermarket, using a mop & cleaning his kitchen.

Flashing Pedals July 25, 2011 at 12:56 pm

I would add, that the above post was not to suggest Riche works part time in a supermarket as a cleaner.

Carol Proctor July 25, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Keep a few recorded stages to get me through the post season. I think I am addicted to the excitement of watching the end results of all that training & dedication.

sinai July 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm

inner ring: give us the prize list and let us continue with our lives! (thanks for the blog and the competitions…)

IrishCarroll July 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Puts it all in perspective. I was thinking to myself this morning, “Wow. This is the first day this month that I don’t feel that anticipation of what the next stage will bring.” Couple that with living the dream and seeing the finale in person yesterday, today is a bit of a downer. I can’t even imagine how the riders feel.

Rooie July 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm

For me, it feels like coming home from vacation.

jkeltgv July 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Who is already thinking San Sebastian, Vuelta, Worlds and Lombardy?

Sheree July 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm

It’s a Monday, a rest day. It won’t really hit me until tomorrow afternoon.

CD July 25, 2011 at 3:11 pm

off-topic: you know what’s wrong with the UCI rankings. Cameron Meyer is the highest ranked Garmin rider. He’d be my 12th guess.

Flashing Pedals July 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm

I was also thinking how each of us, usually divides the season :

TDU
April Classics
Giro
Tour
Worlds
Lombardy

Those events generally define the year – Its a rapid downhill run once the tour is over…
After Lombardy, most spend time then working out how long till the TDU…..

Tom July 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I often wonder what sort of celebrating the riders get up to in Paris once its all over – do they hit the town in a major way? That might make an interesting article.

Dave Row July 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Today, the black dog has crossed the threshold of my thoughts. My Marmotte ride seems a lifetime ago, the tan is fading rapidly and the excitement of Le Tour will serve to remind me only how mundane the everyday grind really is.

Chapeau, Inrng, for the daily spin has been the aperitif to my TdF.

Mary Topping July 25, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Hey, great perspective from the riders’ view. Helps alleviate some of my own blues. But we move on to the next thing all too soon, don’t we, because we must, forgetting images (like Jeremy in Stage 13 tapping his heart as he crossed the line) that filled our minds and crowded out all else from “everyday” life. Well, maybe I haven’t forgotten that one. Thanks for your post.

Jennifer July 25, 2011 at 7:12 pm

I’ve decided since I paid for the online Versus complete TdF coverage, I am going to get every penny’s worth and rewatch each stage as background during the workday. Should help stave off the withdrawal a bit. They have them online until the end of August. In time for La Vuelta.

Andy Raff July 25, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Cyclocross is just around the corner…

Starr July 26, 2011 at 2:50 am

@ Tom,

Many riders will party a bit, but the lucrative Post Tour crits start in full force immediately. Gilbert just finished winning the Aalst crit on monday evening in Belgie. Followed by Sanchez and Basso for the podium spots. No rest for the weary.

I’m sure inrng is already printing his post Tour crit special edition as we speak

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