Medievalists, particularly medievalists who can’t afford to travel, should watch the Tour de France. If possible, watch the morning broadcast with Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. The Tour is a long race with miles of beautiful landscape, so when the commentators aren’t remarking on strategies or crash coverage, they delve into the scenery. The Tour goes past cities, towns, castles, churches, trade routes, and battlefields of medieval importance. The commentators have done some research, so when the riders pass something important, they usually mention it. The information given is usually not so detailed that it could be used for research, but seeing the aerial footage is magnificent.
My recommendation for Tour de France viewing is this: multitask. Read a book, knit a sweater, get out the treadmill, or pick another activity to occupy your time until something important comes on. This way, one can easily see the Tour’s highlights while accomplishing work as well. Liggett and Sherwen are entertaining commentators, so while I really don’t care about cycling, I have enjoyed listening to them for 8 years now.
This year’s Tour de France starts on Saturday, June 30. Americans can view coverage on the NBC Sports Network, formerly OLN.