The Tour de France or the Le Tour de France is a multi-stage bicycle race held annually in France and other neighboring countries. Since the first time in 1903, this renowned sports event is organized every year by the Amaury Sports Organization. Primarily a French sports event, it has gained prominence through the years and has gained over participants across the world.
The Tour de France was held in 1903 for the first-time ever in an attempt to increase the sales of a magazine L’Auto, now owned by the Amaury Sports Organization. The race takes place every year without fail, except that it was canceled during the two world wars. The event is mainly held in the month of July.
Stages of the Race
The format of the race has stayed the same since more than 100 years of its inception, though the route of the race has changed over the years. Traditionally, the race went through the Pyrenees and the Alps mountains, and finished on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, France. Today, the Tour de France is a 23-day long event, which has 21 stages, covering a distance of around 3,500 km. The race is known to take place alternately on clockwise and anti-clockwise circuits of France.
With nine riders in each team, the number of teams is usually from 20 to 22.
The race is timed from the starting line up to the finishing line, where a rider's time is calculated on the basis of the time taken in all the stages. The winning yellow jersey is awarded to the rider with the lowest average time.
Alongside the main event, other contests also take place in the Tour, such as the mountains classification for climbers, young rider classification for riders under 26 years, or the team classification for the best teams.
Tour de France 2014
The 101th Tour de France that began on 5 July 2014 will continue till 27 July 2014. It consists of 21 stages and shall cover a total distance of 3,664 kilometers. The race consists of nine flat stages, five hill stages, six mountain stages with five altitude finishes, one individual time trial stage, and two rest days.
Leeds, West Yorkshire in the UK is the city, which marks as the starting point of the race, while Champs-Élysées in Paris is the finishing point. The initial three stages of the race took place in the United Kingdom. The third stage of the race was from Cambridge to London in the UK, after which the contest returned to France at Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, after taking a flight.
Though most of the race takes place in mainland France, this year the race will also go through Belgium and Spain. The fifth stage of the race took place from Ypres in Belgium to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, Northern France.
In the 20th stage of the Individual time trial (ITT), where the individual races lone 'against the clock' on a rolling or flat terrain, the race will take place from Bergerac to Périgueux. The 21st and the final stage of the contest will be from Évry to Champs-Élysées in Paris.
Last Updated on: November 6th, 2017
|List of Tour de France winners