Who knew? Watching a Tour de France mountain stage is a journey of community, of freebies, of nonsense, of joyous merriment

Chris Marshall-Bell drove past the thousands of fans on Luz Ardiden on stage 18 of the Tour de France and then watched the final kilometres from the roadside. He realised what he knew all along.

Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty)

Do you know that joy you get, that unfettered delight, when you walk into a Tesco Express at night, tired and weary and starving from a day of no food, and find the whoopsie aisle offering a sandwich, a pie, a wrap, a meal deal at 80 percent of its original price?

The feeling of securing a bargain, as if somehow you deserved it, you earned it. It’s a glorious emotion of pure happiness. Something so simple, so minor, so unimportant, yet simultaneously so important.

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