I've been feeling inexplicably unwell so I finished work early this afternoon and spent it lying on the couch watching the Tour de France...
• One of Britain's top cyclists from the 80s, Philippa York, has just publicly come out as trans
during the Tour. Apparently she had been avoiding public life for some years, but people in the know were aware that she'd transitioned. What's heartening is that the reception from the cycling world has, as far as I can tell, been extremely supportive. She's been guest commentating on ITV for a few stages now, and I haven't heard a single stumble over name or pronouns. Chapeau
, Philippa. It must have taken a lot of courage.
• David Millar gets so into the tactics. You get the feeling that he doesn't care so much who wins (or does a good job of covering it up, unlike Carlton Kirby, who has his crushes), but he gets passionately angry if he disagrees with a team's choices: "why are they doing that??!? It's ridiculous! What are they trying to achieve???"
Yet when Ned Boulting asked, he heartily and believably denied having any desire to be out on the mountain himself: "no, no, a thousand times no."
• I've managed to get my parents into watching the Tour. They're both backing Froome. What did I do to deserve this?
• As always, a special thanks is due to whoever at ITV does the end-of-show montages
. They are always superbly on point and they almost always choose great music. Today I owe them particular thanks for introducing me to the music of Jacqueline Taïeb, a French singer of Tunisian origin from the 60s.
Apart from being a great song, Bravo
just makes me think of the "Carlien Daten
?" saga. (Spoiler: after the date they "decided to just be friends.")
I don't get the feeling that Taïeb pities (or particularly respects) the hero, though perhaps I'm reading too much into it...
• ETA: What have I learned from the Orica Backstage Pass so far? That Esteban Chaves is reading a Danielle Steele novel and that (unrelatedly) Matt Hayman has had to explain to him what a "bromance" is.