Summer Sunshine/Tour de France
47“It’s great to win here…It was not easy, and this victory has been a long time in coming, still, the team has consistently done its best and finally the work they were doing helped give me that little bit of extra confidence.” Gert Steegmans on finally getting a TdF stage win for the team
At least one stage win is great, but just one day pondering Le Tour is not nearly enough. It is the sun of our cycling universe – the phenomenon around which the world of professional cycling revolves and the epitome of what it takes to succeed as a road racer. Its finish is upon one of the twelve ray-like 48avenues that radiate from a Parisian star, Arc de Triomphe – a monument to fighters.
The golden event, raced this vibrant summer month requires a rising fitness that heats in the stages of its critical days and sets in colorful splendor upon a prestigious cityscape. The places of its great contests inspire awe and delight: Hautacam, Ventoux, Huez just as the villages it pass through invite visitation and recognition as the origin of some favored product: Bourdeaux wine, denim de Nimes, Limoges porcelain. These places welcome the pilgrimage of the peloton, and the riders race with vigor deserving of this greatest of cycling festivals.
Favoring climbers who can time trial or time trialists who can climb, TdF is also the quintessential example of team strength and sacrifice. Astral individual performances raise the competitive temperature as do many prize categories. Each year, the unexpected dawns upon the race via strategies or stage winners or smash-ups or smack-downs that nurture epic racing lore. The hero who conquers it must take a meta-view for surviving its duration and drama, while also managing its daily details.
Advanced experience often determines its winner via wise counsel, peak physiology, mature tactics and confident risks. Just as its champion must exhibit these things, so must this race. TdF is our race leader in pro cycling – let it remain worthy of our support, capable of setting tempo, leading at the front, relying on others for strong teamwork, and inspiring our spectators.
Prayer for Tour de France
“Because you have asked for this and haven’t grasped after a long life, or riches, or the doom of your enemies, but you have asked for the ability to lead and govern well, I’ll give you what you’ve asked for—I’m giving you a wise and mature heart.” 491 Kings 3:10
Vive Le Tour! Give its leaders wisdom while it matures as the star event of pro cycling. Let its yellow rays continue to warm and illuminate.
Ponder What does TdF inspire in me? Affirm I learn from the stellar aspects of this race. Watch the world’s best bike race!
48Google an aerial photo of Arc de Triomphe to see the meta-view of a sun’s eminence.
49The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson