Field shows road: Marseille, France is written by Stefan Slothuus
Cycling is a passion
Every now and then everyone needs to be inspired. Fortunately, there are endless possibilities for this. It can be interest in art, fashion or gastronomy. Ever since I was little, sports have always fascinated me - and especially cycling.
There is something inspiring about witnessing how physics, teamwork, tactics, and almost inhuman hard training and preparation go up into a higher entity when the finish line is crossed first. In that moment, I become almost happy on behalf of the triumphant - and thus inspired and confirmed that hard work pays off.
Tour de France is one of the world's biggest sporting events, and the TV producers really manage to produce spectacular images of France magnificent nature. The bike race itself can sometimes drown in an abundance of views from a helicopter perspective, where the country's distinctive diversity really comes into its own. While the TV pictures are definitely worth seeing, one of the best things about following cycling is that I can beat two birds with one stone by combining it with another great hobby: traveling.
Marseille: Colonizations and the Mafia
France the second largest city, Marseille, is one of the places the bike lane has led me to. First in 2007 for the Tour de France, where Michael Rasmussen was wearing the yellow jersey. Ten years later, I was also present, as the city, which is slightly larger than København, was shut down for the crucial single start in that year's edition of the Tour. Here was the start and finish in the middle of Marseille's big and proud football stadium, Stade Velodrome.
The route took the riders past historic palaces and museums, reminiscent of Marseille's role as the center of France's colonization in Africa, Middle East and Southeast Asia in the 19th century. Here you also get an impression of a city that was later ravaged by the organized crime of the French mafia, when the French colonial empire began to fall apart. Thank God it belongs to the past.
Fish soup and basil
Subsequently, the riders were led down to the popular and beautiful, old port. The area is in addition to many beautiful ships filled with cozy restaurants and cafes, where especially the famous and delicious fish soup, bouillabaisse, should be experienced. A good round of freshness mold fries can then also do the trick.
From here, the ascent rates rise to perhaps the city's perhaps most famous landmark: Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde. Although the trip up there is hard enough to get top athletes to breathe, it is without a doubt worth the effort. From the church on the highest point of the city you can enjoy the impressive view over the beautiful Mediterranean city.
In the summer of 2021, it is not necessary to travel far away as the Tour has Grand Départ i Denmark. There will be three stages leading the field across boats Zealand, Funen and Jutland. It will be indescribably big. Fortunately, large bicycle races are arranged in most parts of the world, so the possibilities are many. I look forward to the future journeys where the field shows the way.
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