The sun's out. The mercury's rising. The scene is well and truly set for a huge summer of sport. Whether football, cricket, tennis or cycling is your thing, June kicks things off in fine form. Here are our picks from the sporting action coming to you on Virgin TV this month.
It's 2021, but EURO 2020 is finally set to begin this month after last summers postponement. It's been 24-years since EURO 96 and the birth of the famous "It's Coming Home", but with a host of matches (including the final) at Wembley and a few more at Hampden Park, along with the participation of England, Scotland and Wales in the final 24, this could be the year! You can enjoy the tournament across the BBC & ITV, with BBC also providing 4K UHD matches via the iPlayer service.
England go into the tournament in the unusual position of being among the favourites, and with Gareth Southgate already saying anything less than the semi finals will be a failure, can we expect a vintage summer from the Three Lions? The array of attacking talent is vast, can England go better than the semi-final stage they achieved in the 2018 World Cup? It's been 55 years since the 1966 World Cup win, can England add a second major international crown?
Wales captured hearts and minds on their way to a dream tournament at EURO 2016, with a Hal Robson-Kanu turn that every Welsh fan still wax lyrical about the icing on the cake in their 3-1 dismantling of Belgium en route to the semi-finals. Expectations last time out were just to give a good account and score a few goals, given what happened that summer in France, it's likely Wales' Red Wall of fans will be dreaming of another tournament to remember.
Scotland have to cast their eyes back a little further for their last summer of tournament football, they've been absent at this level since the 1998 World Cup in France and the Tartan Army will be savouring the opportunity to remind everybody of their capability on the big stage. Fans might fancy their chances of sneaking through a group that also contains England, Czech Republic and Croatia, with the game against England on the 18th likely to be one of the highlights of the tournament.
Fri 11th June – Sun 11th July. Matches are shown on either BBC or ITV, UHD coverage is available for BBC matches via the iPlayer. The final will be broadcast on both BBC and ITV
Is there a more traditional British summer sporting event than Wimbledon? Whether it be strawberries and cream (it is estimated that roughly 27 tons and 7,000 litres of cream are consumed at Wimbledon during the fortnight), or the hordes of fans perched in front of the big screen at Henman Hill/Murray Mount, this is a sporting event steeped in tradition. You can even expect the centre court roof to make its annual appearance as the British weather weaves its way into the narrative.
Wimbledon's return is significant this year, 2020's tournament was cancelled for the first time since World War Two. The reigning champions from 2019 are Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep. Can either defend their trophy, or will new stars reign supreme? The fortnight gets under way on Monday 28th June.
Mon 28th June – Sun 11th July. The action will air across the BBC
England have already kicked off their summer of cricket as the first of two test matches against New Zealand concluded last weekend. It was a memorable debut for New Zealand batter Devon Conway who became just the seventh player in history to make a double century on debut. Can England find a way to nullify his threat in the second test at Edgbaston, which begins on Thursday?
With the two sides ranked second and third in the world rankings, expect a high-quality series to kick start the cricketing summer.
Later in the month, attention turns to the short form of the game as England face Sri Lanka for three T20 matches.
England vs New Zealand – 2nd Test Thu 10th June – Mon 14th June, Sky Sports Cricket
England vs Sri Lanka – 1st T20 : Wed 23rd June, 2nd T20 : Thu 24th June, 3rd T20 : Sat 26th June, Sky Sports Cricket
Tour de France
The world’s most famous cycling road race begins this month as the world's best cyclists race across France’s terrain through 21 gruelling stages. This year’s route begins in Brest in the far northwest of the country on June 26th and, via the Alps, the Pyrenees and a brief stop in Andorra, finishes on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on July 18th.
Stage 11 on July 11th looks particularly challenging this year as the field take the ascent up the infamous Mont Ventoux, not once but twice, before a tricky descent down to the finish line.
Sat 26th June – Sun 18th July. All stages will be live on ITV4 and Eurosport
Use the comments to let us know how you'll be enjoying this month's sporting highlights on Virgin TV.