In the bicycling world, July in France means the main event, the Tour De France. In the eyes of many, The Tour De France is the ultimate event. This year the Tour will go from July 5 to July 27. There has been controversy with the sport as in any major international event. In historical terms, the event takes place every July for the past 110 years.
Historical Facts About the Tour De France
- The Tour De France is 110 years old but there have only been 100 times that the event took place. During times of both world wars, the event did not take place.
- Originally, in 1903, the Tour De France began to promote France’s newspaper, L’Auto-Velo. A reporter and follower cyclist, Henri Desgrange was The Tour’s creator.
- The length of the Tour is 32,000 kilometers or 2,000 miles.
- The Tour takes 21 days or stages. There are two rest days for the cyclists.
- Considered a gentlemen’s sport, scheduled bathroom breaks are not part of a cyclist’s time, a physical necessity during the five-hour cycling per day.
Winners and Losers
- The controversial American, Lance Armstrong had won the most times of seven, but stripped of his wins in 2012 by The International Biking Union. The Union declared Lance’s consecutive win years from 1999 – 2005, due the doping scandal, as no winner events.
- The Tour cyclist with the most wins was Lance Armstrong until he had his titles wiped from winners, as was another American, Floyd Landis.
- France has had the most wins of the Tour with 36.
- The winner will earn 450,000 euro or $650,000.
International Spectator Draw
- Expecting to be 15 million people watching from the barricades along the route
- Approximately 3,000 hours of television coverage
What Jersey Colors Mean
- Yellow- The original sponsor, newspaper of France, L’Auto-Velo’s pages were yellow so the tour’s cyclists wore yellow. The lead cyclist now wears the color yellow.
- White- Worn by the best under 25 cyclist in the Tour
- Green- Worn by the cyclist with the highest points
- Red dots on white- The “King of the Mountain” is the cyclist with the best time on the mountainous areas of the Tour route.
This year’s 2014 Tour De France will start in Leeds, UK (Yorkshire) on Saturday July 5 and finish in Paris, France on Sunday July 27. The route, designed with scenic flat and high terrain areas, gives cyclists opportunity to show their cycling specialties.