Le Tour De France – Most Famous Race Of All Time

France has always had a love affair with bicycles and promotes bicycling in other parts of the world where outdoor activities aren’t very common due to a hot and humid climate. The first bicycle was invented by a German, although it was the French who started marketing bicycles. This love for bikes made them start Le Tour de France, which is the most famous and prestigious bicycle race in the world.

 

tour de france race

 

People from all over the world visit France to participate in the race. Getting the chance to race can be the highlight of any cyclist’s career and winning it would be the honor of their lives. This race is held annually in July and spans over the period of three weeks. It is among the most difficult bicycle races in the world.

The tour typically has 20-22 professional teams, each having 9 riders covering all of France, including some other European countries like Belgium, Italy, Spain and Germany. It dates back to 1903 when it was held for the first time and has cultural roots associated in the country. Since then, it is held every year except during World Wars.

Le Tour de France is held in multiple stages, with each stage having a start and stop in different cities and an assigned route length. Hundreds of people gather on the roads to witness this historical race and it is broadcasted all over the world. The race tests athletic endurance and stamina of cyclists, as it divided into different time trials which are stretched along either flat land or mountainous areas.

 

racing in the Alps

 

Very few cyclists are able to do well in both regions. The cyclist with the least cumulative time calculated each day, which is summed up at the end of the tour, wins the race. This year’s race started in Germany, but the race always ends in Paris. The next race in 2019 will start in Brussels, Belgium.

There are other jerseys associated with this race that are awarded to cyclists. Bonus points calculation is done, in which the first three winners have some time deducted from their overall time. This practice is held at many intervals throughout the race. The cyclist with the highest points comes out as a winner and is awarded a green jersey. The cyclists with the most points, while cycling over small hills and steep mountains, is termed as ‘King of Mountains’ and is given a polka-dotted jersey. Riders who are 25 years of age and under, with the lowest total times, are given a white jersey.

 

jersey colors

 

Riders come very well prepared for this race, usually bringing three different types of bicycles. They use one for time trials, one for flat road stages and one for mountain stages. These bicycles have to meet the standards of the International Cycling Union. All major bicycles manufacturers consider it an honor to present a customized bike to famous cyclists of the race and past winners.

The prize money at the end of Le Tour de France varies every year, but for 2017, the winner will receive a prize of 500,000 euros. There are many different colors that are worn to represent different achievements and awards. If you want to find out what they mean, you can visit read more HERE.