Our food writer looks forward to heeding the siren call of the French Alps to watch Le Tour – and cycle a stage herself – but not until 2021
This was going to be the summer when, after three decades of armchair spectating, I finally got to see the Tour de France in the sinewy flesh. We had planned to catch one of the mountain stages, and not just for the pleasure of sitting on a sun-warmed rock with a cold beer watching other people work. The siren call of the Alps themselves is an even stronger draw than seeing defending champion Egan Bernal and home favourite Thibaut Pinot doing battle before my very eyes.
It’s a landscape I can’t think of without a pang of longing so powerful it briefly sucks all the breath from me. Magnificent as they are draped in snow, the mountains are, for me, best in summer, when the freshness of the air hits you as you climb from the muggy valley floor, carrying with it the herbal perfume of the meadows and the gentle plink of cowbells below the looming peaks.