Stage 1: Monaco Time Trial (15.5 km)
Time for the Tour de France again. As I have said before, I watch for the scenery rather than the men in shorts. This year I will be spending less time recording the minutiae of the race and trying to find just one or possibly two pictures each day of places I have found pretty, interesting or would like to add to my ‘must visit’ list. Mind you, this year will be very interesting with the return of seven times winner Lance Armstrong, who has come out of retirement. We will, of course, particularly be following the fortunes of our British riders: Mark Cavendish, winner of four stages last year, Bradley Wiggins, five times Olympic gold medalist (2004 & 2008) and David Millar from Scotland, British national road champion and time trial champion in 2007 and the only British rider to have worn all Tour de France jerseys. Cavendish is definitely a contender for the green points jersey so watch this space!
I have never been as far east as Monaco along the Mediterranean coast. A long time ago I got as far as Nice, but I would love to visit the principality if only to see how the other half live! Today there were some stunning aerial shots of the coast with houses and beaches packed in the fairly narrow strip of land that Monaco occupies with the mountains, which are mostly in France, towering just inland. I was particularly interested to see the impressive frontage of the Musée Océanographique, perched on the sea-ward side of a rock face, with the southern slopes of Mont Agel (1,109m/3,638ft peak is in France) as a backdrop.