As the summer heatwaves descend and fruity cider levels become so low in local supermarkets that the middle-class verge on the point of extinction, the sporting calendar rejoices in a partial break from football as Wimbledon and the Tour de France prepare to take center stage.
Andy Murray became the first men’s singles player since Fred Perry in 1935 to win double crowns at the All England Tennis and Lawns Club in 2016, after defeating Milos Raonic on Centre Court – but has been forced to pull out of his final warm-up game. The World No.1 remains one of the favourites – and if he loses everybody just says he’s Scottish anyway.
Cycling prepares to come out of the shadows for three weeks as the 104th edition of the Tour de France begins today, with a total of 198 riders across 22 teams preparing for 22 gruelling stages before the conclusion in Paris-Montegron on 23rd July.
The football season might be over, but pre-season is well underway. Local side Eastleigh have a quota of matches prepared against Football League opposition as Wimbledon, Sheffield United, Newport County and newly-promoted Portsmouth visit the Silverlake Stadium. Southampton, meanwhile, will travel to face Brentford at Griffin Park later in the month.
Chile and Germany will also dispute the Confederations Cup final on Sunday 2nd July after the latter recently claimed victory in the EURO U-21 stakes.
July also marks the annual visit of Formula 1 to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix. With Sebastian Vettel under further investigation after a controversial incident involving Lewis Hamilton in Azerbaijan. The British three-time World Champion could arrive in his home country atop the standings – particularly with a race in Austria first at the Red Bull Ring next weekend to heighten the tension. The racing month concludes with the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 30th.
Formula E will also conclude Season Three in July, with double-headers in Montreal (Canada) and New York to decide the championship title. Sebastian Buemi leads the way, but with World Endurance Championship commitments looks likely to miss the season finale, presenting Lucas di Grassi with an opportunity to steal the spoils.