Back in the days before Freeview, the spur for us to buy an On Digital receiver for our TV was Channel 4 dropping their coverage of the Tour de france. over the years I, along with the rest of the Tree family, had become increasingly drawn into the famous cycle race. And the only way of being able to follow the race was to watch Eurosport. A few years later, ITV4 came to the rescue, and subsequent years have seen July booked as TdF month.
However, the good folk at ITV have not left it at that. As well as increasing and improving coverage of the Tour of Britain, this year we have been treated to daily live and highlight coverage of one of the other Grand Tours – La Vuelta a Espana. Whilst it is clear that far fewer resources have been directed at this coverage that at the bigger cousin across the border, it has been delightful to follow – especially as the British Sky team have been running second and third in the race with Bradley Wiggins and the, to me hitherto, unrecognised Chris Froome. Like this year’s TdF, the final stages have been wonderfully exciting, with mere seconds splitting the top two riders. I am really looking forward to tomorrow’s final stage in Madrid.
So a huge thank you to the team at ITV4 for their commitment in promoting a sport which has a growing following in this country. With the Tour of Britain also beginning tomorrow, it is going to be a great end to the season. Thanks, and keep it up for next year.