The Tour de France revels in its own history... split into several clear stories - the story of who will win a stage and the races for the yellow, green, polka dot and white jerseys, all split into 21 stages (or indeed, chapters)... the Tour de France is the only major sporting event that demonstrates such complete cohesion between event and brand.
Ever since I was a schoolboy on work experience at my local newspaper, the Basingstoke Gazette, I'd dreamed of being a journalist and editor of a national newspaper. The world has changed a lot since those days and newspapers aren't what they once were. But one thing that has remained constant; being a great leader is one of the most valuable things any boss can be to his or her staff. So when I saw Dave Brailsford after the London leg of Le Tour I made sure I grabbed him for some advice. 'What makes a good leader?' I asked. After taking a moment to congratulate me on my promotion he paused, looked at me and said: 'Be authentic'. It was that simple.
Back in the days when Londoners started to look more presentable - a dozen years ago, maybe? - I used to loved writing stories on high-speed grooming that involved, say, having a blow-dry, a manicure and a pedicure all at the same time and within half an hour. It was a bit like going through a beauty-car-wash, but heck, it was effective, swift and looks-enhancing.
Sorry to burst the bubble a little, but Le Tour is a damp squib from a spectator's view... For the first time in our lives we had come to a sporting event, seen nothing but sunburnt backs and hotdog stalls, and left not knowing the result... And, we forget to ask as Nicole Cooke perceptively did last week, where are the women?
I spent the three days 'tour chasing' and I am confident that this triumphant spectacle can leave a lasting legacy if we let it... until now the next generation of cyclists has been "let down" by a lack of safe roads... now we just need to see the representative Government investment to ensure this passion has a deep and lasting impact.