EXACTLY 50 years ago this week legendary cyclist Shay Elliott became the first Irishman to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.
With the Tour celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, journalist Paul Kimmage recalls those heady days in his first video diary for Independent.ie as he heads to Corsica to cover the start of the marathon event.
Kimmage, who was one of the few journalists to challenge the notorious Lance Armstrong in his pomp, will bring his unique insight and pugnacious style to the diary which will appear every day on the site.
“Shay had nothing but sweet memories of the day he won the yellow jersey but found it amusing they played God Save the Queen for him,” says Kimmage, who himself rode the Tour as a professional cyclist.
With two Irishmen, Dan Martin and Nicolas Roche, riding in this year’s Tour, Kimmage will bring all the news from the Irish camps, plus behind-the-scenes analysis and colour.
Don’t forget you can also read Kimmage’s new in-depth column in the Sunday Independent every week of the Tour, which starts on Saturday on the French island before heading back to the mainland.
“It’s a particularly mountainous course this year and will suit the climbers. I’m expecting a pretty hard-fought race,” says Kimmage.
“I’m looking forward to this year because it’s the chance for the sport to start again after the troubles with the Lance Armstrong affair.”
Visit www.independent.ie/kimmage for the daily video diary and news related to the Tour. You can also read Nicolas Roche’s regular diary in the Irish Independent, where the Dubliner lets us into the secrets of the peleton.