If there's one thing that never ceases to amaze me about the Tour de France, it's the amount of money that's invested in it by various teams, sponsors and the French in general. Take for example the photo below provided by @Maxdelincel.
At first thought you'd think that the photo in question is of a shed with BMC Racing painted onto it. If you look closer however, it's quickly evident that the monster of an object is in fact a humongous bus that's been designed with only one thought in mind: Getting a BMC Racing rider across the line first at any of the major races in the UCI Road Racing Calender.
But as most sportspeople know, buses and training facilities aren't anywhere near as valuable as the minds of the people that use them.
When you really think about it, events such as the Tour De France are essentially a representation of life unfolding in all of it's glory. For a three week period, it showcases all of what we are, all of what we have been and all of what we can be in the future. For a cyclist, it is one of the few events that can define the rest of a person's life both on and off the bike. By grabbing courage by the throat and throwing it towards your own inner-wolves with the right psychological training, tests of endurance like the Tour de France show how you can accomplish the unthinkable even when the entire world feels to be against you.
One primary example would be Stage 19 of the 2011 Tour de France. After having a catastrophic bike failure early in what turned out to be a very mountainous stage, Cadel Evans shredded the competition by using the power of self-confidence and the ability to think tactically on his feet along with the rest of his team and support staff.
(More after the jump)