One of my favourite sporting events, the Tour de France, starts today with a very glamorous first stage in Monaco. It's a strange route this year though, as the north of France seems to have been totally overlooked!
Le Tour is the world's greatest cycle race although in recent years it's been dominated by controversy due to doping. Unfortunately we have to accept that this will always be around, and they're fighting a losing battle, but there are also "clean" cyclists who are working hard to improve the image of the event and I can only hope that they are the ones who triumph this year.
This year's Tour is overshadowed by the return of seven-times winner Lance Armstrong. Let me say that - putting aside his inspirational battle against cancer - I've never been a fan of this cyclist. I never liked his race tactics during his winning-years and I wasn't happy to hear about his comeback. Whether it's a successful one remains to be seen: his return will probably overshadow everything else and I can understand if many of the riders will feel a bit put out by the 'return of the king' anyway I'm hoping for a good, clean, competitive race by all involved.
The real star of the Tour, for me, is France itself. Even if you're not a cycling fan, watch the race and just fall in love with the beautiful scenery. Another bonus this year is that the Tour visits Barcelona, which should also be an amazing stage.
There's lots of good cycling stuff on the internet - check out cycling blogger Blazin' Saddles for example, for all the gossip at http://twitter.com/saddleblaze