• Country

A Difficult Friendship

By We Love Cycling

Joan of Arc against Henry the Sixth, Napoleon against Wellington, Churchill against de Gaulle.  Anglo-Franco relationships have certainly had no love lost over the years.

Times are changing, but even the Concorde project or the La Manche tunnel were not the ideal foundation to start a great relationship on.

Nowadays, the best solution seems to share a cycling race. Ask the average Briton about the Tour and they will explode with excitement: “We are a cycling nation and the Tour is the best!” Dozens of volunteers in every Tour city are trying their best to make the race go smoothly and thousands of spectators are lining the track, often with English and French flags painted on their faces.

(Photo: WeLoveCycling.com)

Hundreds of these great fans are even following the professionals and riding behind the peloton. The British Bobbies are cooperating with the French Gendarmes every day and believe it or not, now and then you can even hear an English word from the French visitors here. There is plenty of proof that the Tour breaks down barriers between nations.

Text: Jan Hanzlík