Monday, 1 July 2013

Tour de France

The first ever Tour de France in 1903

 The first Tour de France took place this day 110 years ago. It ran from the 1st July 1903 – 19th July 1903. The race was invented to increase circulation of the newspaper L’Auto and to win fans from its competitor Le Vèlo. It was made up of six stages and was much longer than it is today. However, the route was mostly flat with just the one mountain. The cyclists did not have to complete all six stages but instead could pick the ones they wanted to do. 60 cyclists entered the first Tour de France. It was won by Maurice Garin after having completed the event circuit at an average speed of 25 km/h. He was rewarded with prize money of 6,075 francs.

The first ever Tour de France in 1903

The French cyclist who has won the most races won his first Tour de France in 1978. Hinault won the Tour four times (79, 81, 82 and 85).

Bernard Hinault

Eddy Merckx holds the record for most Tour de France stage wins (34 wins). Lance Armstrong held the title for most wins as overall leader (7 wins), but had them taken away as it was discovered that he had been using doping at the time. The next highest total number of wins - five - is shared between Miguel Indurain, Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault and Eddy Merckx.
Lance Armstrong

Doping is not a new occurrence. Early riders consumed alcohol and used ether, to dull the pain. Over the years they began to increase performance and the Union Cycliste Internationale and governments enacted policies to combat the practice.

The Tour de France has been held annually since its first edition in 1903 except for when it was stopped for the two World Wars. This year is the 100th Tour de France. 

Tour de France

Do you take part or organise your own cycling events? If so why not create an event page on EventElephant and allow attendees to register online. 

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