The local Gironins are a fairly dour lot but the Tour de France brought out the crowds, waving, cheering and generally enjoying the festive spirit and the commercial circus of one of the greatest races on earth.
Cycling has put Girona on the map for a very important market niche, pro and keen enthusiast cyclists from all over the world have come here to enjoy the variety of terrain, moderate climate and relaxed atmosphere between the Mediterranean and Pyrenees.
This phenomenon is almost entirely due to one person, Lance Armstrong, who based himself and his then team, US Postal, here in Girona for some 5 years. We now have two professional teams, Columbia and Garmin, calling Girona home for a part of the year with all their riders and support staff adding an international flavour and economic boost to the area.
Personally I would erect a monument to Lance in the main Plaça Catalunya but the next best thing is to host the Tour and let’s hope it re-enforces the position Girona has in the hearts and minds of many cyclists, past, present and future.