Disconnect Netflix, Canal Plus or Amazon Prime. Wait a bit before throwing yourself on Season 3 of "Casa de Papel". The real series of summer is the Tour de France. And the next four episodes are breathtaking: a Pyrenean triptych with six first category climbs plus the mythical Tourmalet pass on Saturday, where the Tour has only completed its finish line twice in its history. Plus a complicated time trial around Pau on Friday. What happiness in Bearn.
To say that last year, the Great Loop had sometimes the rhythm of an episode of Maigret of the 1970s. The seizure of the English team, Sky, become Ineos, had stifled the suspense. And one of the few beautiful stages had taken place, a long Sunday of dust, in Roubaix some July 15. No luck for the ratings, it was just before the final of the Blues in Russia …
The test is again exciting
But this year it's champagne on every floor. And not only because it is in Epernay that Julian Alaphilippe took the yellow jersey. The audiences of France Télévisions are excellent. At the roadside, the public is back with its procession of smiles, coolers on camping tables, hideous hats and happy children under the eyes of grandparents moved to transmit the culture of the Tour. The test is again exciting even if we do not swear that in the end, it will not be English jerseys that will raise their arms in front of the Arc de Triomphe.
And we can already thank some French. The republic of July was a little prince, Julian 1st. Alaphilippe dreams of keeping his yellow tunic until Pau. Iconoclast cyclist who remains accessible, he has all good for ten days. Thibaut Pinot, despite the failed scene of the border in Albi, keeps warm his dreams of podium. Even better, but it seems that we must not say it. Let us also add Romain Bardet, as vexed as rarely to have read and heard that he had already lost the Tour and who gives appointment to everyone in the third week in the Alps.
Without forgetting the organizers, writers of a complicated course to wish. "It went beyond our expectations, admits Thierry Gouvenou, the technical director of the Tour. And as the bodies are tired, it should explode in all directions. The misfortune of the legs will make the happiness of the eyes.