I think a lot these days about the potentially impending zombie apocalypse.
Unfortunately it’s very easy to see parallels between revelations of lycra-clad egomaniacal dopers and a contagious, flesh-eating, rage-inciting virus spreading throughout unsuspecting societies.
But the dope-scourge and zombie-menace are not the same. Zombies are way easier to catch, and the gluttonous peoples they tend to befall invariably ‘had it coming’. That is not us Tour fans.
Today’s my birthday, which is usually around the eve of the tour. I’ve often celebrated it amid headlines revealing my heroes are drug cheats.
But this week? It seems what we don’t already know is hardly worth publishing. I look at the news feeds and I see questions of riders’ form, squabbles over teams’ leadership, route analysis: all real coverage.
We have some respite citizens. The zombies are backing away. We can put down the pump-action, drop the machete and go on with our lives. We can enjoy the Tour de France in peace and faith!
We have eleven Aussie riders anxiously pumping their tires up, not to mention our own home-grown team polishing its bus out on the driveway as we speak.
Our contingent ranges from Evans, a former winner and favorite to Dennis, a debuting 23-year-old prodigy.
There’s a yellow jersey for the first stage sprint winner, a team’s time trial, too many mountains to imagine and I don’t know what Corsica is but it’s going to be awesome!
The green contest is shaping up between the sports fastest man Cavendish and it’s fastest developer Sagan. Yellow is a ‘clash of the titans’. White awaits the next enigmatic upstart. The polka dots are ripe for the bravest challenger to claim. Cue fireworks!
Paranoid as we are in this post-outbreak landscape we still hear the undead moaning and shunting around in the background. As long as Rico, Armstrong and the French press still have twitter I guess we always will. These are vital rumblings that urge vigilance. Don’t lose heart. We beat the worst of it folks, refuel the chainsaw, we can take the em’.
My memories of Tours de France are like the images of idyllic pasts that apocalyptic survivor-characters invoke when they launch their often last stand against blood-lusting brain-consumers. In other words, the Tour is everything that is worth fighting for.
According to all indications, we are at the ticket box for not just the most epic but also the cleanest and fairest Tour de France we have ever witnessed. This is an exciting prospect. Grab your popcorn and choc tops, take your seats; I promise this will be a thriller.
Not all share my optimism for an untainted Tour just yet, and of course it would be fairly unprecedented in zombie terms. If zombie movies have taught me anything it is that when the onslaught is in remission, it’s a short-lived lull before some grotesque plot development sees our fates back on course for blood-splattered doom. If there is any dirty laundry left, we’ll see some of it in headlines this month.
Defy Hollywood wisdom. Throw caution to wind. This flick can have a happy ending. I’m going to enjoy our glorious sport’s pinnacle, now armed with its hard won awareness, purged of much vice, emerging with renewed trust.
If a resurgent-zombie assault of bad press hits before curtains, remember this one last thing Hollywood taught me. There is always a big enough weapon and even the most unlikely among us will prove, in a pinch, implausibly adept at wielding it. The undead still lurk. Don’t rest until the last of the ghouls are gone from our streets.
Bring it on, enjoy the cleanest Tour and let it remind you what we’re fighting for. Defy apathy; be impassioned to fight for the clean Tour de France.
SBS will broadcast all stages of the Tour de France live.