- Tour de France is to bike racing as Masters is to golf and Wimbledon to tennis.
- The race consists of a few stages with a total distance of more than 2000 miles over a duration of 3 weeks.
- It is normally held in summer during the month of July.
- The Tour de France was started during the Industrial age when a sporting newspaper called, L’Auto-Vélo, offered a prize to anyone who could beat others in an attempt to cycle round the whole of France. It was a publicity stunt to sell more copies of the newspaper.
- The first race was held in 1903 with 60 riders.
- During World War I (1915-1918) and World War II (1940-1946), no Tours were held.
- A peloton describes a huge pack of riders that make up the main body of racers. The English word platoon is derived from peloton.
- A win is each stage is a major victory in itself. The leader of the peloton wears the famous yellow jersey.
- The first race in 1903 was won by Frenchman Maurice Garin after more than 93 hours of racing. He was 32 and was nicknamed the “Chimney Sweep”.
- One of the youngest winners was Henri Cornet of France. He was 20 when he won the race in 1904. He was actually fifth in position but everyone else ahead of him was disqualified.
- 5-time champions of the cycling race were Jacques Anquetil (1957, 1961?964) from France, Eddy Merckx (1969?972, 1974) from Belgium, Bernard Hinault (1978?979, 1981?982, 1985) from France and Miguel Indurain (1991-1995) from Spain.
- A 7-time champion is Lance Armstrong (1999 to 2005) from America.
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