I will be honest and admit I am not an expert on the history of the Tour de France. But how many of us actually are? Well, anyways, I was curious about the race’s back-story, so I learned some facts about its history and will share this info.
Who Founded the Tour De France? (This may surprise you!)
A bicycle newspaper called L’Auto came up with the idea of the Tour de France.
What inspired the newspaper L’Auto to found the bicycle race?
L’Auto wanted to boost circulation of its new sports newspaper. The Tour de France was a way to boost its circulation.
When was the first Tour de France race?
The first race was held in 1903, and Maurice Gaurin won the race.
What was the original Tour de France route?
Back in 1903, there were six stages that took nineteen days to finish. The cities in France that the race went through were from Paris to Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bourdeaux, Nantes, and then back to Paris. The race distance was 1500 miles in total.
Why was the 1940 Tour de France cancelled?
WWII is the reason L’Auto cancelled the 1940 Tour de France. After Germany invaded Poland, Holland, Belgium and France, there was no Tour.
When did cyclists start doping to gain an edge during the physically grueling race?
It is thought that doping has always been a part of the Tour de France. Even as far back as 1903, it is believed the riders were doping. The doping was not as advanced then as it is today with Lance Armstrong; however, it is thought that cyclists used ether, cocaine and brandy and a host of other drugs to dull the pain the race caused.