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Tour de France Is Special

You may not be interested in cycling at all, but you have probably heard of the Tour de France. That is the main cycling race in the world. The Tour de France is one of the three Grand Tours, a 21-stage cycling tour. Riders cover several thousand kilometers and go to the start almost every day. In more than three weeks they will have only two days of rest. Lots of adrenaline, lots of stamina, lots of bloody sweat only for the win. Another way of testing such emotions can be only on

      Yellow Jersey

As in the Giro d’Italia, the leaders wear jerseys of certain colors. In France, the overall leader races in the yellow jersey. The reason is the same as in the Giro. It is connected with the newspaper that organized the race at the beginning of the 20th century. In Italy, it was La Gazzetta Dello Sport, the pages of which are pink. In France, the newspaper L’Auto has yellow pages.

The famous yellow jersey first appeared on the Great Loop in 1919. Its first owner was the French racer, Eugene Christophe.

Tour de France Historical Notes

The Tour de France was created thanks to the fierce competition between two French newspapers at the end of the nineteenth century. Those were Le Velo and L’Auto. Sales of L’Auto were falling, and its investors demanded decisive action from the editors. In the center of Paris, in the office of the newspaper L’Auto, on November 20, 1902, a meeting of the editorial board was held. On the agenda was a discussion of proposals to increase the newspaper’s sales.

The last speaker was 26-year-old Geo Lefebvre, a journalist who has written about cycling. Lefebvre made a presentation in which he said that cycling has a positive effect on the popularity of newspapers and can increase their sales. He proposed a six-day race that would take place across all regions of France. In January 1903, L’Auto officially announced the creation of the Tour de France.

 Finish Line

The Tour de France traditionally ends in the very center of Paris, on the Champs Elysees. It wasn’t always like this, the first time a cycling marathon finished on the Champs Elysées was in 1975. The idea turned out to be so successful that it has not been abandoned for almost 50 years.

The last stage of the race is often called the “friendship stage”. But this name is only partially correct. Participants usually start in the vicinity of Paris. They do not drive at the highest speed, discussing the events of the past three weeks. Speeds pick up noticeably as the peloton reaches Paris and the finishing laps begin in the city center.

Rumor has it that soon the tradition will be abandoned. However, only for a year. It is said that in 2024 the Tour may not end in Paris. It’s all about the Summer Olympics, which will be held this summer in the capital of France.

The Most Unlucky Cycler

Frenchman Raymond Poulidor can be considered the most unlucky racer in history. He was the winner of the overall Tour de France eight times but never managed to win. He was always somewhere nearby, but he never tried on the yellow jersey, even for one stage.

Pulidor was insanely popular with fans, but his career fell in the era of two great racers. In the early 60s, Pulidor lost to Jacques Anquetil, and in the late 60s and early 70s, to Eddy Merckx.

Pulidor’s dream of a yellow jersey was fulfilled by his grandson, the Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel. In 2021, Mathieu won the second stage of the Tour de France and for a while took over the lead in the overall standings. It happened a year and a half after the death of Pulidor. Mathieu dedicated his victory and yellow jersey to the memory of his grandfather.

Tour de France is really fun. Give it a try

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