Hard to believe it's that time of year again. School's out, summer's beginning, June is half over, and the best endurance athletes in the world are gearing up for the greatest sporting event in the world. Yes, I am biased. Yes, I'm a little bit crazy. But, no, I am not kidding. It's time for the 2009 Tour de France. We'll celebrate Independence Day on July 4 in America. In France, July 4 kicks off the first of 21 day-long stages that will take over 180 professional cyclists across more than 2,000 miles of terrain. The rider with the least accumulated time will don the Maillot Jaune, the Yellow Jersey, as the best of the best.
This year's Tour de France is a wide open race with lots of legitimate contenders, four past winners, and the returning presence of seven-time TdF winner Lance Armstrong. Over the next three weeks, I'll share what I'm reading and gleaning from professional cycling journals and news outlets to set up the race. After each stage, I'll share my own reflections and comments and updates. I hope to make a few more fans of the Tour de France out of this little mania of mine. If nothing else, it's an outlet for my own enthusiasm for the event. Stay tuned!