I well remember the 2001 duel on l'Alpe d'Huez between Lance Armstrong and Jan Ullrich when the American throw his German rival 'the look' when he charged ahead after feigning fatigue. But there was Tour de France sportsmanship, too. When Ullrich overshot the corner and went straight over the safety barriers on the descent of the Col du Peyresourde on Stage 13, Armstrong slowed down and waited for his opponent to recover.
That summer I was unemployed and had plenty of time to follow the Tour on television. Fifteen years later as a pensioner I am a man of leisure and need have no bad conscience about my afternoons spent viewing the contest on the roads and mountains of the country which looks from the air fully deserving of being termed 'la belle France'.
Tomorrow will be over for another year. Then in 2017 the Grand Départ will take place in Düsseldorf.
Allez les gars!