He wasn’t looking forward to Le Tour. But our columnist Colin Drury was won over in the end...
Is anyone else, I asked in an opinion column last week, looking forward to when the Tour de France goes back home across the Channel?
The answer, it seemed, was No. Resoundingly, no.
By Twitter, on Facebook, via email, the replies came in as fast Chris Froome on a downhill: don’t be such a killjoy, they said, don’t be such a muppet.
All the over-hype and media overload hadn’t dampened enthusiasm. The message was clear: this was blokes in Lycra pedaling really fast - and that was worth going and having a gander at.
“It’s not a propaganda parade like the Olympic torch,” noted one correspondent. “It’s a sports event and it means something. Go and enjoy it.”
It was good advice. And I wish I’d taken it. Certainly, it would have been better than sitting at home all weekend with the TV off and the curtains drawn.
Actually, that’s not quite what I did. On Saturday we walked into town and enjoyed the market and the crowds, and felt...blimey!...excitement.
Here were people on the streets. Here were businesses bustling. Here was a carnival atmosphere. Here, in short, was a city as it should be in summer.
On Sunday, prior commitments meant a last minute change of heart wasn’t possible and Jenkin Road would remain forever closed to me. But reading the reports - and there have been enough of them - makes me sorry I wasn’t there.
It looked so colourful and community-spirited. It looked terrific; only here an hour maybe, but what an hour. And now it’s gone back home to France.
Um...does anyone else wish it would come back soon?