You can always tell when professional cycling season starts. There is an excitement in the air, my DVR is set to record (and often conflicting recording times with other family members’ shows) non-stop. I didn’t really watch a lot of professional cycling until the past few years. I was vaguely aware of the fact that there were a few big races every year. Besides the Tour de France, there was also some race in Spain (Vuelta de Espana) and some others. Last year I sat down to really watch them.
I started riding earlier last year than previous years (even in the cold of March), and after my rides I would come back, and relax watching the pros do it. I saw the teams really struggling with the one day classics, and then the graduation to the larger multi-stage races, and then the pinnacle of the Tour de France in the summer. By then I was riding so much that I missed a lot of the tour, but I got the turn by turn plays from my riding buddies.
This year will be the same. There is something magical about the one day classics. They really prove out the younger riders and are a showing grounds for names that are newer on the teams. But most importantly, the spring classics signal warmer weather. Old man winter is finally being pushed back to his hidey-hole and the days start getting longer. The ambient temperatures go from the 20s and 30s to the 40s and 50s. The thermals get put away and the race kits come out.
The start of the cycling season signifies more than just a professional sport, it signifies the beginning of something great.