This is the last image from this year’s edition of TDF in POW 2012. I like very much this image of the cyclists in the middle of the large groups of spectators on The Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris during the last stage of the competition. I think this image speaks volumes about the TDF phenomena. TDF is a special competition for few reasons:
1. It lasts around three weeks during every summer.
2. It is a complex sports and publicity mobile show which travels more than 3000 kilometers in various regions of France.
3. The access of the spectators is free on the roadside at few meters away from the athletes racing. This is unique among the sports competitions.
4. During the competition days there are thousands of people who run their bicycles on the official roads before and after the passing of the peloton. The number of people who ride their bicycles in other months than July, inspired by the official race is hundred of thousands. So, an immense number of humans are positively inspired by the competition to do things which helps them maintain a healthy lifestyle.
5. Despite all these positive effects, TDF is always burdened by big doping scandals. Sometimes you think that these are part of the marketing system, part of the one of the biggest sports show of the world.
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