Farewell mon coeur, until next year...
My mother used to tell me there's a thin line between love and hate, the Tour de France embodies this saying for me, it is a tight rope upon which I wobble for three weeks.
There are a few reasons, unfinished business in one way, regret and under achievement in another, yet mostly good old fashioned unrequited love, an affair gone wrong, an unfinished book, that sort of thing. So to say I enjoy the three weeks would be an overstatement, I enjoyed it more when I was racing it, there's no doubt about that, and I'm reminded of it daily.
There is one person who keeps my spirits up and that's Ned Boulting, my co-commentator for ITV. He's like that annoyingly better person who always makes the most out of a bad situation, his glass is so full it's over flowing and topping up those half empty glasses surrounding it. I on the other hand quite like wallowing in my half empty glass and, left to my own devices, would drink the remainder and lay quite content on the glass bottom staring upwards.
Fortunately I'm not left to my own devices. I have no escape from Ned for three weeks during the Tour de France so I have no choice but to be affected by him: we stay in the same hotel, ride or run to 'work', sit next to each other and talk to each other for hours through headsets, share our lunch break, drive together to our next hotel, dine together, then go to sleep (our only point of separation) then start again when we wake up. In other words I am forced to endure his eternal optimism and curiosity. And less than 72hrs after the Tour has finished I can now look back and say we had a good time, mainly thanks to him making this little film (he is also a film maker amongst other things). It reminds me of the poem by Lord Tennyson:
"I hold it true, whate'er befall; I feel it when I sorrow most; 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never have loved at all."
Go and watch his theatre show this autumn, aptly called, Tour de Ned, find out more at nedboulting.com.