The Tour De France has attracted millions of followers and sponsors alike. Its early beginning were a rough start both economically and logistically. Its ultimate rise to fame was carefully planned, orchestrated and made to fit the desire of success. Through the trials and tribulations of such magnitude, the Tour De France has succeeded in maintaining a pace far above any other.
Creation of the Tour De France– The Tour De France was originally pitched by “Géo Lefèvre” who pitched it to “Desgrange”(1). As a means to coming out ahead of a rival, Geo Lefevre pitched the idea to put out a race that was done through the streets of France and longer than any other race in history. Desgrange tagged the name to the race in seeking an understanding of what it was that Geo Lefevre was trying to get at.
Who has Won The Most Tour De France’s– Not so surprising the most races has been won by a Frenchman named “Bernard Hinault”. His energy and will catapulted him to four wins with his first being in 1978. It is not surprising since the French have the greatest advantage in practicing and running parts of the courses throughout the year. They do not have to practice on simulators or guess the uneven areas of roadway.
Who is the most disgraced Racer– Without question, Lance Armstrong is the current disgraced start of the racing sport. However, if one were to really look into his claims of various forms of cheating, it would be traced back to the first and second years of the race in 1903-1904. In the second year of the race, the first four racers to cross the finish line, including Maurice Garin, prior first place winner(2)were disqualified for some degree of cheating. Perhaps if they had started enacting the rules of the race early on, others in the future would have thought carefully about cheating.
Sponsors of The Tour De France – Over the years, the sport had attracted the biggest sponsors, especially after Lance Armstrong had rallied to win. With his decline came the turn face of many of the biggest sponsors. These companies were looking to distance themselves and their brand from a sport that was in tatters.
The Tour De France may have over a hundred and ten years of racing under its belt, but the shame and questions over the last ten years have put into question not only the reputation of the sport but also the feasibility of the racers to endure the course, expectations as well as the changing views. It’s history is filled with promise and will take a few years to bring back the glory it once relished in.
- 1- http://www.bikeraceinfo.com/tdf/tdf%20history/tdfhistory1900.html
- 2- http://www.theguardian.com/sport/picture/2013/jul/19/maurice-garin-tour-de-france-photograph