Until recently it was impossible to follow the Tour de France, but with Lance Armstrong's success American TV began to acknowledge the international appeal of Grand Tours. I'd been interested in the Tour long before I knew much about it, especially when Greg LeMond became known in the pages of "Sports Illustrated."
I can't dislike the Tour because of recent scandals, but I can hope that the cheating and related scandals become part of history and that today's riders rely on their training and effort rather than performance enhancing drugs (PED). For me, it isn't some kind of sports fantasy where I imagine climbing Alpe d’Huez. Neither I not most other people could do what riders do in the Tour even if we used PEDs! There was a time many, many years ago when I entertained the idea that I could play baseball on a relatively high level, but Vietnam got in the way and damaged knees would have ended that quest anyhow. For me The Tour is simply one of those sporting events that I like to watch.
Having both the Tour and the exceptional ending to The Open on the same weekend was outstanding. Sometimes the right person wins. Sometimes the way the event ends is special. Sometimes there is a particularly compelling moment. I am an inveterate jock who likes the passion and emotion of competition and on a personal level I find that challenging myself is more than enough nowadays. With the Tour out of the way I can use those several hours of daily viewing time to do other stuff . . . like personal challenges, maybe.