HOME

TheInfoList




The Tour de France () is an annual men's multiple-stage
bicycle race Cycle sport is Competition, competitive physical activity using bicycles. There are several categories of bicycle racing including road bicycle racing, cyclo-cross, mountain bike racing, track cycling, BMX, and cycle speedway. Non-racing ...
primarily held in France, while also occasionally passing through nearby countries. Like the other
Grand Tours In road bicycle racing, a Grand Tour is one of the three major European professional cycling stage (bicycle race), stage races: Giro d'Italia, Tour de France, and Vuelta a España. Collectively they are termed the ''Grand Tours'', and all three r ...
(the
Giro d'Italia The Giro d'Italia (; en, Tour of Italy; also known as the Giro) is an annual stage race, multiple-stage bicycle racing, bicycle race primarily held in Italy, while also starting in, or passing through, other countries. The first race was organiz ...
and the Vuelta a España), it consists of 21 stages, each a day long, over the course of 23 days. The race was first organized in
1903 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modification of th ...
to increase sales for the newspaper '' L'Auto'' and is currently run by the
Amaury Sport Organisation The Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) is part of the France, French media group, EPA (Éditions Philippe Amaury). It organises sporting events including the Tour de France, Vuelta a España and Paris–Nice professional road bicycle racing, cycle ro ...
. The race has been held annually since its first edition in 1903 except when it was stopped for the two
World Wars A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newsp ...
. As the Tour gained prominence and popularity, the race was lengthened and its reach began to extend around the globe. Participation expanded from a primarily French field as more riders from all over the world began to participate in the race each year. The Tour is a
UCI World Tour The UCI WorldTour (2009–2010: ''UCI World Ranking'') is the premier men's elite road cycling Road cycling is the most widespread form of cycling Cycling, also called bicycling or biking, is the use of bicycle File:Campana clá ...
event, which means that the teams that compete in the race are mostly
UCI WorldTeam A UCI WorldTeam (2015–present), previously UCI ProTeam (2005–2014), is the term used by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to name a cycling team of the highest category in professional road bicycle racing, road cycling, the UCI World Tour ...
s, with the exception of the teams that the organizers invite. It has become "the world's biggest annual sporting event." A women's Tour de France was held under different names between 1984 and 2009. Since 2014, the
La Course by Le Tour de France La Course by Le Tour de France was an elite List of women's road bicycle races, women's professional road bicycle race held in France. First held in 2014 as a one-day race on the Champs-Élysées stage in the Tour de France, Champs-Élysées in P ...
is held for women in a one- or two-day format during the men's race. Traditionally, the bulk of race is held in the month of July, with the only exception to this since the conclusion of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
being the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic A pandemic (from , , "all" and , , "local people" the 'crowd') is an of an that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple or worldwide, affecting a substantial numbe ...

COVID-19 pandemic
, delaying the race in 2020 to August 29, 2020. While the route changes each year, the format of the race stays the same, including the appearance of time trials, the passage through the mountain chains of the
Pyrenees The Pyrenees (; es, Pirineos ; french: Pyrénées ; ca, Pirineus ; eu, Pirinioak ; oc, Pirenèus ; an, Pirineus) is a mountain range straddling the border of France and Spain. It extends nearly from its union with the Cantabrian Mountains to ...

Pyrenees
and the
Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest and most extensive mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt ...

Alps
, and the finish on the
Champs-Élysées The Avenue des Champs-Élysées (, , ) is an avenue Avenue or Avenues may refer to: Roads * Avenue (landscape), traditionally a straight path or road with a line of trees, in the shifted sense a tree line itself, or some of boulevards (also wit ...
in
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
. The modern editions of the Tour de France consist of 21 day-long segments (stages) over a 23-day period and cover around . The race alternates between clockwise and counterclockwise circuits of France. There are usually between 20 and 22 teams, with eight riders in each. All of the stages are timed to the finish; the riders' times are compounded with their previous stage times. The rider with the lowest cumulative finishing times is the leader of the race and wears the yellow jersey. While the
general classification The general classification (or the GC) in road bicycle racing Road bicycle racing is the cycle sport discipline of road cycling, held on Road surface, paved roads. Road racing is the most popular professional sport, professional form of bicycle ra ...
garners the most attention, there are other contests held within the Tour: the
points classification The points classification is a secondary award category in road bicycle racing. Points are given for high finishes and, in some cases, for winning sprints at certain places along the route, most often called ''intermediate sprints''. The points cl ...
for the sprinters, the
mountains classification The King of the Mountains (KoM) is an award given to the best climbing specialist in a men's road bicycle racing, cycling road race; in List of women's road bicycle races, women's cycle racing, Queen of the Mountains (QoM) is used. While the tit ...
for the climbers,
young rider classification Young rider classification (french: classement général des jeunes) is a cycling jersey competition in multi-day stage race events, such as the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and many others, which awards the current leader by overall time for rider ...
for riders under the age of 26, and the team classification, based on the first three finishers from each team on each stage. Achieving a stage win also provides prestige, often accomplished by a team's
sprint Sprint may refer to: Aerospace *Spring WS202 Sprint The Spring WS202 Sprint was a Canadian homebuilt aircraft that was designed and produced by William J. Spring of Burlington, Ontario, introduced in 1996. The aircraft was supplied in the fo ...
specialist or a rider taking part in a breakaway.


History


Origins

The Tour de France was created in 1903. The roots of the Tour de France trace back to the emergence of two rival sports newspapers in the country. On one hand was ''
Le Vélo ''Le Vélo'' was the leading French sports newspaper from its inception on 1 December 1892 until it ceased publication in 1904. Mixing sports reporting with news and political comment, it achieved a circulation of 80,000 copies a day. Its use of s ...
'', the first and the largest daily sports newspaper in France, which sold 80,000 copies a day; on the other was '' L'Auto'', which had been set up by journalists and businesspeople including Comte
Jules-Albert de Dion Marquis A marquess (; french: marquis ), es, marqués, pt, marquês. is a nobleman Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy ...
,
Adolphe Clément ''Adolphe'' is a classic French novel by Benjamin Constant Henri-Benjamin Constant de Rebecque (; 25 October 1767 – 8 December 1830), or simply Benjamin Constant, was a Swiss-French political activist and writer on political theory and relig ...
, and Édouard Michelin in 1899. The rival paper emerged following disagreements over the
Dreyfus Affair The Dreyfus affair (french: l'affaire Dreyfus, ) was a political scandal that divided the Third French Republic The French Third Republic (french: Troisième République, sometimes written as ) was the system of government adopted in His ...
, a
cause célèbre A cause célèbre (,''Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged'', 12th Edition, 2014. S.v. "cause célèbre". Retrieved November 30, 2018 from https://www.thefreedictionary.com/cause+c%c3%a9l%c3%a8bre ,''Random House Kernerman We ...
(in which the ' anti-Dreyfusard' de Dion was implicated) that divided France at the end of the 19th century over the innocence of
Alfred Dreyfus Alfred Dreyfus ( , also , ; 9 October 1859 – 12 July 1935) was a French artillery officer of Jewish ancestry whose trial and conviction in 1894 on charges of treason Treason is the crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful ...
, a French army officer convicted—though later exonerated—of selling military secrets to the Germans.De Dion, Clément and Michelin were particularly concerned with ''Le Vélo''—which reported more than cycling—because its financial backer was one of their commercial rivals, the Darracq company. De Dion believed ''Le Vélo'' gave Darracq too much attention and him too little. De Dion was a gentlemanly but outspoken man who already wrote columns for ''
Le Figaro ''Le Figaro'' () is a French daily morning newspaper A newspaper is a periodical Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of Serial (publishing), serial published, publications tha ...

Le Figaro
'', ''Le Matin'' and others. He was also rich and could afford to indulge his whims, which included founding ''Le Nain Jaune'' (the yellow gnome), a publication that "...answers no particular need."
The new newspaper appointed
Henri Desgrange Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 – 16 August 1940) was a French cycle sport, bicycle racer and Sports journalism, sports journalist. He set twelve world track cycling records, including the hour record of on 11 May 1893. He was the first orga ...

Henri Desgrange
as the editor. He was a prominent cyclist and owner with Victor Goddet of the
velodrome A velodrome is an arena for track cycling Track cycling is a bicycle racing of the Tour de France postage stamp depicting Gustav-Adolf Schur, 1960 climbing up "The Gap" to Omeo, Victoria, Omeo Image:Borgå rund.jpg, OP Grand Prix, a ...

velodrome
at the
Parc des Princes The Parc des Princes () is an all-seater stadium, all-seater Association football, football stadium in Paris, France, in the south-west of the French capital, inside the 16th arrondissement of Paris, 16th arrondissement, near the Stade Jean-Bou ...

Parc des Princes
. De Dion knew him through his cycling reputation, through the books and cycling articles that he had written, and through press articles he had written for the Clément tyre company. ''L'Auto'' was not the success its backers wanted. Stagnating sales lower than the rival it was intended to surpass led to a crisis meeting on 20 November 1902 on the middle floor of ''L'Autos office at 10 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, Paris. The last to speak was the most junior there, the chief cycling journalist, a 26-year-old named Géo Lefèvre. Desgrange had poached him from Giffard's paper. Lefèvre suggested a six-day race of the sort popular on the track but all around France. Long-distance cycle races were a popular means to sell more newspapers, but nothing of the length that Lefèvre suggested had been attempted.Desgrange had first attempted to copy and outdo races run by his rival. In 1901 he revived the Paris-Brest event after a decade's absence. Giffard was the first to suggest a race that lasted several days, new to cycling but established practice in car racing. Unlike other cycle races, it would also be run largely without pacers. If it succeeded, it would help ''L'Auto'' match its rival and perhaps put it out of business. It could, as Desgrange said, "nail Giffard's beak shut." Desgrange and Lefèvre discussed it after lunch. Desgrange was doubtful, but the paper's financial director, Victor Goddet, was enthusiastic. He handed Desgrange the keys to the company safe and said: " Take whatever you need." ''L'Auto'' announced the race on 19 January 1903.


The first Tour de France (1903)

The first Tour de France was staged in 1903. The plan was a five-stage race from 31 May to 5 July, starting in Paris and stopping in Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, and Nantes before returning to Paris. Toulouse was added later to break the long haul across
southern France Southern France, also known as the South of France or colloquially in French as , is a defined geographical area consisting of the regions of France France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République fr ...
from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Stages would go through the night and finish next afternoon, with rest days before riders set off again. But this proved too daunting and the costs too great for most and only 15 competitors had entered. Desgrange had never been wholly convinced and he came close to dropping the idea. Instead, he cut the length to 19 days, changed the dates to 1 to 19 July, and offered a daily allowance to those who averaged at least on all the stages, equivalent to what a rider would have expected to earn each day had he worked in a factory. He also cut the entry fee from 20 to 10 francs and set the first prize at 12,000 francs and the prize for each day's winner at 3,000 francs. The winner would thereby win six times what most workers earned in a year. That attracted between 60 and 80 entrants – the higher number may have included serious inquiries and some who dropped out – among them not just professionals but amateurs, some unemployed, and some simply adventurous. Desgrange seems not to have forgotten the
Dreyfus Affair The Dreyfus affair (french: l'affaire Dreyfus, ) was a political scandal that divided the Third French Republic The French Third Republic (french: Troisième République, sometimes written as ) was the system of government adopted in His ...
that launched his race and raised the passions of his backers. He announced his new race on 1 July 1903 by citing the writer
Émile Zola Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola (, also , ; 2 April 184029 September 1902) was a French novelist, journalist, playwright, the best-known practitioner of the literary school of Naturalism (literature), naturalism, and an important contributo ...

Émile Zola
, whose open letter ''
J'Accuse…! "''J'Accuse...!''" (; "I Accuse...!") is an open letter An open letter is a letter Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or ...
'' led to Dreyfus's acquittal, establishing the florid style he used henceforth. The first Tour de France started almost outside the Café Reveil-Matin at the junction of the Melun and Corbeil roads in the village of
Montgeron Montgeron () is a Commune of France, commune in the southeastern suburbs of Paris, France. It is northeast part of the Departments of France, Department of Essonne. It is located from the Kilometre zero#France, center of Paris. At 2 p.m. on Flo ...
. It was waved away by the starter, Georges Abran, at 3:16 p.m. on 1 July 1903. ''L'Auto'' hadn't featured the race on its front page that morning.L'Auto preferred to concentrate on the Coupe Gordon-Bennett car race, even though it wasn't to start for another 48 hours. The choice reflects not only that the Tour de France was an unknown quantity – only after the first race had finished did it establish a reputation – but it hints at Desgrange's uncertainty. His position as editor depended on raising sales. That would happen if the Tour succeeded. But the paper and his employers would lose a lot of money if it didn't. Desgrange preferred to keep a distance. He didn't drop the flag at the start and he didn't follow the riders. Reporting was left to Lefèvre, whose idea it had been, who followed the race by bike and by train. Desgrange showed a personal interest in his race only when it looked a success. Among the competitors were the eventual winner,
Maurice Garin Maurice-François Garin (; 3 March 1871 – 19 February 1957) was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** It ...
, his well-built rival
Hippolyte Aucouturier Hippolyte Aucouturier (17 October 1876 – 22 April 1944) was a French professional road bicycle racer. Aucouturier, a professional between 1900 and 1908, won two stages at the 1903 Tour de France, first Tour de France in 1903 and won three ...
, the German favourite Josef Fischer, and a collection of adventurers, including one competing as "Samson".The use of false and often colourful names was not unusual. It reflected not only the daring of the enterprise but the slight scandal still associated with riding bicycle races, enough that some preferred to use a false name. The first city-to-city race, from Paris to Rouen, included many made-up names or simply initials. The first woman to finish had entered as "Miss America", despite not being American. Many riders dropped out of the race after completing the initial stages, as the physical effort the tour required was just too much. Only a mere 24 entrants remained at the end of the fourth stage. The race finished on the edge of Paris at Ville d'Avray, outside the Restaurant du Père Auto, before a ceremonial ride into Paris and several laps of the Parc des Princes. Garin dominated the race, winning the first and last two stages, at . The last rider, Millocheau, finished 64h 47m 22s behind him. ''L'Auto'''s mission was accomplished, as circulation of the publication doubled throughout the race, making the race something much larger than Desgrange had ever hoped for.


1904–1939

Such was the passion that the first Tour created in spectators and riders that Desgrange said the
1904 Tour de France The 1904 Tour de France was the second Tour de France, held from 2 to 24 July. With a route similar to its previous edition, 1903 Tour de France winner Maurice Garin seemed to have repeated his win by a small margin over Lucien Pothier, while Hi ...
would be the last. Cheating was rife, and riders were beaten up by rival fans as they neared the top of the col de la République, sometimes called the col du Grand Bois, outside St-Étienne. The leading riders, including the winner Maurice Garin, were disqualified, though it took the Union Vélocipèdique de France until 30 November to make the decision. McGann says the UVF waited so long "...well aware of the passions aroused by the race." Desgrange's opinion of the fighting and cheating showed in the headline of his reaction in ''L'Auto'': THE END. Desgrange's despair did not last. By the following spring, he was planning another Tour—longer, at 11 stages rather than 6—and this time all in daylight to make any cheating more obvious. Stages in 1905 began between 3 am and 7:30 am. The race captured the imagination. ''L'Auto's'' circulation swelled from 25,000 to 65,000; by 1908, it was a quarter of a million. The Tour returned after its suspension during
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
and continued to grow, with circulation of ''L'Auto'' reaching 500,000 by 1923. The record claimed by Desgrange was 854,000 during the 1933 Tour. ''Le Vélo'', meanwhile, went out of business in 1904. Desgrange and his Tour invented bicycle stage racing. Desgrange experimented with different ways of judging the winner. Initially he used total accumulated time (as used in the modern Tour de France) but from 1906 to 1912 by points for placings each day.The formula in 1905 was a combination of both time and points. Riders had points deducted for each five minutes lost. Desgrange saw problems in judging both by time and by points. By time, a rider coping with a mechanical problem—which the rules insisted he repair alone—could lose so much time that it cost him the race. Equally, riders could finish so separated that time gained or lost on one or two days could decide the whole race. Judging the race by points removed over-influential time differences but discouraged competitors from riding hard. It made no difference whether they finished fast or slow or separated by seconds or hours, so they were inclined to ride together at a relaxed pace until close to the line, only then disputing the final placings that would give them points. The format changed over time. The Tour originally ran around the perimeter of France. Cycling was an endurance sport, and the organisers realised the sales they would achieve by creating supermen of the competitors. Night riding was dropped after the second Tour in 1904, when there had been persistent cheating when judges could not see riders. That reduced the daily and overall distance, but the emphasis remained on endurance. Desgrange said his ideal race would be so hard that only one rider would make it to Paris. The first mountain stages (in the
Pyrenees The Pyrenees (; es, Pirineos ; french: Pyrénées ; ca, Pirineus ; eu, Pirinioak ; oc, Pirenèus ; an, Pirineus) is a mountain range straddling the border of France and Spain. It extends nearly from its union with the Cantabrian Mountains to ...

Pyrenees
) appeared in
1910 Events January * January 10 Events Pre-1600 *49 BC __NOTOC__ Year 49 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Lentulus and Marcellus (or, less frequently, year 705 ...
. Early tours had long multi-day stages, with the format settling on 15 stages from
1910 Events January * January 10 Events Pre-1600 *49 BC __NOTOC__ Year 49 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Lentulus and Marcellus (or, less frequently, year 705 ...
until
1924 Events January * January 10 Events Pre-1600 *49 BC __NOTOC__ Year 49 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Lentulus and Marcellus (or, less frequently, year 7 ...
. After this, stages were gradually shortened, such that by 1936 there were as many as three stages in a single day. Desgrange initially preferred to see the Tour as a race of individuals. The first Tours were open to whoever wanted to compete. Most riders were in teams that looked after them. The private entrants were called ''touriste-routiers—''tourists of the road—from 1923 and were allowed to take part provided they make no demands on the organisers. Some of the Tour's most colourful characters have been touriste-routiers. One finished each day's race and then performed acrobatic tricks in the street to raise the price of a hotel. Until 1925, Desgrange forbade team members from pacing each other. The
1927 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modification of the ...
and
1928 Events January * January – British bacteriologist Frederick Griffith reports the results of Griffith's experiment, indirectly proving the existence of DNA. * January 1 ** Estonia changes its currency from the Estonian mark, mark to t ...
Tours, however, consisted mainly of team time-trials, an unsuccessful experiment which sought to avoid a proliferation of sprint finishes on flat stages. Desgrange was a traditionalist with equipment. Until
1930 Events January * January 6 Events Pre-1600 *1066 1066 (Roman numerals, MLXVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. Events By place England * January 5 – Edward the Confessor dies after ...
, he demanded that riders mend their bicycles without help and that they use the same bicycle from start to end. Exchanging a damaged bicycle for another was allowed only in
1923 Events January * January 1 – The Grouping: All major British railway companies are grouped into four larger companies, under terms of the Railways Act 1921. * January 1–January 7, 7 – Rosewood massacre: In a violent, racially mot ...
. Desgrange stood against the use of multiple gears, and for many years insisted riders use wooden rims, fearing the heat of braking while coming down mountains would melt the glue that held the tires on metal rims (however, they were finally allowed in
1937 Events January * January – February – The Ohio River flood of 1937 takes place, leaving 1 million people homeless and 385 people dead. * January 1 – Anastasio Somoza García becomes President of Nicaragua. * January 11 – Th ...
). By the end of the 1920s, Desgrange believed he could not beat what he believed were the underhand tactics of bike factories. When in
1929 This year marked the end of a period known in American history as the Roaring Twenties The Roaring Twenties, sometimes stylized as the Roarin' 20s, refers to the decade of the 1920s in Western world, Western society and Western culture. ...
the
Alcyon The Alcyon was a France, French bicycle, automobile and motorcycle manufacturer between 1903 and 1954. Origins Alcyon originated from about 1890 when Edmond Gentil started the manufacture of bicycles in Neuilly, Seine. In 1902, this was complem ...

Alcyon
team contrived to get
Maurice De Waele Maurice De Waele (; 27 December 1896 – 14 February 1952) was a Belgium, Belgian professional road bicycle racer. De Waele placed 2nd in the 1927 Tour de France, 1927 Tour, an hour and fifty eight minutes Nicolas Frantz and 3rd in 1928 Tour ...

Maurice De Waele
to win even though he was sick, he said, "My race has been won by a corpse". In
1930 Events January * January 6 Events Pre-1600 *1066 1066 (Roman numerals, MLXVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. Events By place England * January 5 – Edward the Confessor dies after ...
, Desgrange again attempted to take control of the Tour from teams, insisting competitors enter in national teams rather than trade teams and that competitors ride plain yellow bicycles that he would provide, without a maker's name. There was no place for individuals in the post-1930s teams, and so Desgrange created regional teams, generally from France, to take in riders who would not otherwise have qualified. The original touriste-routiers mostly disappeared, but some were absorbed into regional teams. In 1936, Desgrange had a prostate operation. At the time, two operations were needed; the Tour de France was due to fall between them. Desgrange persuaded his surgeon to let him follow the race. The second day proved too much, and, in a fever at , he retired to his château at Beauvallon. Desgrange died at home on the Mediterranean coast on 16 August 1940. The race was taken over by his deputy,
Jacques Goddet Jacques Goddet Memorial at Tourmalet Jacques Goddet (Paris, 21 June 1905 – Paris, 15 December 2000) was a France, French sports journalist and director of the Tour de France road cycling race from 1936 to 1986. His father, Victor Goddet, was c ...

Jacques Goddet
. The Tour was again disrupted by War after 1939, and did not return until
1947 It was the first year of the Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc, which began following World W ...
.


1947–1969

In 1944, ''L'Auto'' was closed—its doors nailed shut—and its belongings, including the Tour, sequestrated by the state for publishing articles too close to the Germans.Libération, France, 4 July 2003. Rights to the Tour were therefore owned by the government. Jacques Goddet was allowed to publish another daily sports paper, ''L'Équipe'', but there was a rival candidate to run the Tour: a consortium of ''Sports'' and ''Miroir Sprint''. Each organised a candidate race. ''L'Équipe'' and ''Le Parisien Libéré'' had La Course du Tour de France, while ''Sports'' and ''Miroir Sprint'' had La Ronde de France. Both were five stages, the longest the government would allow because of shortages. ''L'Équipe'''s race was better organised and appealed more to the public because it featured national teams that had been successful before the war, when French cycling was at a high. ''L'Équipe'' was given the right to organise the
1947 Tour de France The 1947 Tour de France was the 34th edition of the Tour de France, taking place from 25 June to 20 July. The total race distance was 21 stages over . It was the first Tour since 1939 Tour de France, 1939, having been cancelled during World War I ...
. However, ''L'Équipes finances were never sound, and Goddet accepted an advance by Émilion Amaury, who had supported his bid to run the postwar Tour. Amaury was a newspaper magnate whose sole condition was that his sports editor, Félix Lévitan, should join Goddet for the Tour. The two worked together—with Goddet running the sporting side, and Lévitan the financial. On the Tour's return, the format of the race settled on between 20–25 stages. Most stages would last one day, but the scheduling of 'split' stages continued well into the 1980s.
1953 Events January * January 1 – American country music singer-songwriter Hank Williams Death of Hank Williams, dies in his car age 29 from alcohol abuse and drug problems, following an undiagnosed case of Spina bifida, spina bifida occu ...
saw the introduction of the
Green Jersey In road bicycle racing (e.g. Grand Tour (cycling), Grand Tour stage races) the green jersey is a Cycling jersey, distinctive racing jersey worn by the most consistent highest finisher in the competition. While the overall race leader in the Tou ...
'Points' competition. National teams contested the Tour until
1961 As ''MAD Magazine'' pointed out on its cover for the March 1961 issue, this was the first "upside-up" year — i.e., one in which the numerals that form the year look the same as when the numerals are rotated upside down, a strobogrammatic num ...
. The teams were of different sizes. Some nations had more than one team, and some were mixed in with others to make up the number. National teams caught the public imagination but had a snag: that riders might normally have been in rival trade teams the rest of the season. The loyalty of riders was sometimes questionable, within and between teams. Sponsors were always unhappy about releasing their riders into anonymity for the biggest race of the year, as riders in national teams wore the colours of their country and a small cloth panel on their chest that named the team for which they normally rode. The situation became critical at the start of the 1960s. Sales of bicycles had fallen, and bicycle factories were closing. There was a risk, the trade said, that the industry would die if factories were not allowed the publicity of the Tour de France. The Tour returned to trade teams in 1962. In the same year, Émilion Amaury, owner of ''le Parisien Libéré'', became financially involved in the Tour. He made Félix Lévitan co-organizer of the Tour, and it was decided that Levitan would focus on the financial issues, while
Jacques Goddet Jacques Goddet Memorial at Tourmalet Jacques Goddet (Paris, 21 June 1905 – Paris, 15 December 2000) was a France, French sports journalist and director of the Tour de France road cycling race from 1936 to 1986. His father, Victor Goddet, was c ...

Jacques Goddet
was put in charge of sporting issues. The Tour de France was meant for professional cyclists, but in 1961 the organisation started the
Tour de l'Avenir Tour or Tours may refer to: Travel * Tourism Tourism is travel Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical location In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") i ...
, the amateur version. Doping had become a serious problem, culminating in the death of Tom Simpson in
1967 Events January * January 1 – Canada begins a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, Confederation, featuring the Expo 67 World's Fair. * January 4 – The Doors release their début album ''The Doors ( ...
, after which riders went on strike, although the organisers suspected sponsors provoked them. The
Union Cycliste Internationale The ''Union Cycliste Internationale'' (UCI; ; en, International Cycling Union) is the world Sport governing body, governing body for sports Cycle sport, cycling and oversees international competitive cycling events. The UCI is based in Aigle, A ...
introduced limits to daily and overall distances, imposed rest days, and tests were introduced for riders. It was then impossible to follow the frontiers, and the Tour increasingly zig-zagged across the country, sometimes with unconnected days' races linked by train, while still maintaining some sort of loop. The Tour returned to national teams for 1967 and
1968 The year was highlighted by protests and other unrests that occurred worldwide. Events January * January 5 Events Pre-1600 *1477 – Battle of Nancy: Charles the Bold is defeated and killed in a conflict with René II, Duke of L ...
as "an experiment". The Tour returned to trade teams in
1969 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modification of th ...
with a suggestion that national teams could come back every few years, but this has not happened since.


1969–1987

In the early 1970s, the race was dominated by
Eddy Merckx Édouard Louis Joseph, Baron Merckx (, ; born 17 June 1945), better known as Eddy Merckx, is a Belgian former professional road and track bicycle racer who is among the most successful male riders in the history of competitive cycling. His vic ...

Eddy Merckx
, who won the
General Classification The general classification (or the GC) in road bicycle racing Road bicycle racing is the cycle sport discipline of road cycling, held on Road surface, paved roads. Road racing is the most popular professional sport, professional form of bicycle ra ...
five times, the
Mountains Classification The King of the Mountains (KoM) is an award given to the best climbing specialist in a men's road bicycle racing, cycling road race; in List of women's road bicycle races, women's cycle racing, Queen of the Mountains (QoM) is used. While the tit ...
twice, the
Points Classification The points classification is a secondary award category in road bicycle racing. Points are given for high finishes and, in some cases, for winning sprints at certain places along the route, most often called ''intermediate sprints''. The points cl ...
three times, and posted a still-standing record of 34 stage victories. Merckx's dominating style earned him the nickname "The Cannibal". In
1969 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modification of th ...
, he already had a commanding lead when he launched a long-distance solo attack in the mountains which none of the other elite riders could answer, resulting in an eventual winning margin of nearly eighteen minutes. In
1973 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day m ...
he did not win because he did not enter the Tour and his winning streak only truly came to an end when he finished 2nd to
Bernard Thevenet Bernard (''Bernhard'') is a French language, French and West Germanic masculine given name. The name is attested from at least the 9th century. West Germanic ''Bernhard'' is composed from the two elements ''bern'' "bear" and ''hard'' "brave, hard ...
in
1975 It was also declared the ''International Women's Year'' by the United Nations and the European Architectural Heritage Year by the Council of Europe. Events January * January – The Altair 8800, an early microcomputer, appears on the cover ...
. During this era, race director Felix Lévitan began to recruit additional sponsors, sometimes accepting prizes in kind if he could not get cash. In
1975 It was also declared the ''International Women's Year'' by the United Nations and the European Architectural Heritage Year by the Council of Europe. Events January * January – The Altair 8800, an early microcomputer, appears on the cover ...
, the polka-dot jersey was introduced for the winner of the
Mountains Classification The King of the Mountains (KoM) is an award given to the best climbing specialist in a men's road bicycle racing, cycling road race; in List of women's road bicycle races, women's cycle racing, Queen of the Mountains (QoM) is used. While the tit ...
. This same year Levitan also introduced the finish of the Tour at the Avenue des
Champs-Élysées The Avenue des Champs-Élysées (, , ) is an avenue Avenue or Avenues may refer to: Roads * Avenue (landscape), traditionally a straight path or road with a line of trees, in the shifted sense a tree line itself, or some of boulevards (also wit ...

Champs-Élysées
. Since then, this stage has been largely ceremonial and is generally only contested as a prestigious sprinters' stage. (See 'Notable Stages' below for examples of non-ceremonial finishes to this stage.) Occasionally, a rider will be given the honor of leading the rest of the
peloton In a road bicycle race Road bicycle racing is the cycle sport Cycle sport is competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the ...

peloton
onto the circuit finish in their final Tour, as was the case for
Jens Voigt Jens Voigt (; born 17 September 1971) is a German former professional road bicycle racer and, upon retirement, became a cycling sports broadcast commentator. During his cycling career, Voigt raced for several teams, the last one being UCI ProTe ...

Jens Voigt
and
Sylvain Chavanel Sylvain Chavanel''Procycling'', UK, November 2008 (born 30 June 1979) is a French former professional road bicycle racer, who rode professionally between 2000 and 2018 for the , , and two spells with the / team. His brother Sébastien Chavanel ...

Sylvain Chavanel
, among others. From the late 1970s and into the early 1980s, the Tour was dominated by Frenchman
Bernard Hinault Bernard Hinault (; born 14 November 1954) is a French former professional cycling, cyclist. With 147 professional victories, including five in the Tour de France, he is often named among the greatest cyclists of all time. Hinault started cycli ...
, who would become the third rider to win five times. Hinault was defeated by
Joop Zoetemelk Hendrik Gerardus Joseph "Joop" Zoetemelk (; born 3 December 1946) is a Dutch former professional racing cycle sport, cyclist. He started and finished the Tour de France records and statistics, Tour de France 16 times, which were both records when ...

Joop Zoetemelk
in
1980 Events January * January 4 Events Pre-1600 *46 BC – Julius Caesar fights Titus Labienus in the Battle of Ruspina. *871 – Battle of Reading (871), Battle of Reading: Æthelred of Wessex and his brother Alfred the Great, Alf ...
when he withdrew, and by his own teammate
Greg LeMond Gregory James LeMond (born June 26, 1961) is an American former professional Road bicycle racing, road racing cyclist, entrepreneur, and anti-doping advocate. A two-time winner of the UCI Road World Championships – Men's road race, Road Race ...
in
1986 The year 1986 was designated as the International Year of Peace by the United Nations. Events January * January 1 **In Northern Ireland, during The Troubles, police officers James McCandless (39) and Michael Williams (24) are killed by a Pr ...
, but he was in contention during both of these Tours. Only once in his Tour de France career was he soundly defeated, and this was by
Laurent Fignon Laurent Patrick Fignon (; 12 August 1960 – 31 August 2010) was a French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, ...
in
1984 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day m ...
. The 1987 edition was more uncertain than past editions, as previous winners Hinault and Zoetemelk had retired, LeMond was absent, and Fignon was suffering from a lingering injury. As such, the race was highly competitive, and the lead changed hands eight times before
Stephen Roche Stephen Roche (; born 28 November 1959) is an Irish people, Irish former professional road racing cyclist. In a 13-year professional career, he peaked in 1987, becoming the second of only two cyclists to win the Triple Crown of Cycling, Triple ...

Stephen Roche
won. When Roche won the World Championship later in the season, he became only the second rider (after Merckx) to win cycling's Triple Crown, which meant winning the
Giro d'Italia The Giro d'Italia (; en, Tour of Italy; also known as the Giro) is an annual stage race, multiple-stage bicycle racing, bicycle race primarily held in Italy, while also starting in, or passing through, other countries. The first race was organiz ...
, the Tour and the Road World Cycling Championship in one calendar year. Levitan helped drive an internationalization of the Tour de France, and cycling in general. Roche was the first winner from Ireland; however, in the years leading up to his victory, cyclists from numerous other countries began joining the ranks of the peloton. In
1982 Events January * January 1 - In Peninsular Malaysia, time is switched for 30 minutes, to match Time in Malaysia, the time in use in East Malaysia, to become UTC+8 (GMT+8.00). Singapore follows after that. *January 1 - Eddie Murphy makes his ...
, Sean Kelly of Ireland (points) and Phil Anderson of Australia (young rider) became the first winners of any Tour classifications from outside cycling's
Continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', lite ...

Continental Europe
heartlands, while Lévitan was influential in facilitating the participation in the 1983 Tour by amateur riders from the
Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' ...
and Colombia. In 1984, for the first time, the Société du Tour de France organized the Tour de France Féminin, a version for women. It was run in the same weeks as the men's version, and it was won by Marianne Martin. In the 1986 race, Greg LeMond of the United States became the first non-European winner. While the global awareness and popularity of the Tour grew during this time, its finances became stretched. Goddet and Lévitan continued to clash over the running of the race. Lévitan launched the Tour of America as a precursor to his plans to take the Tour de France to the US. The Tour of America lost a lot of money, and it appeared to have been cross-financed by the Tour de France. In the years before 1987, Lévitan's position had always been protected by Émilien Amaury, the then owner of ASO, but Émilien Amaury would soon retire and leave son
Philippe Amaury Philippe Amaury (6 March 1940 – 23 May 2006) was a French media tycoon, and the son of publisher Émilien Amaury. Éditions Philippe Amaury (EPA), the company he founded, publishes ''Le Parisien, ''a local newspaper in Paris, as well as the nati ...
responsible. When Lévitan arrived at his office on 17 March 1987, he found that his doors were locked and he was fired. The organisation of the 1987 Tour de France was taken over by Jean-François Naquet-Radiguet. He was not successful in acquiring more funds, and was fired within one year.


Since 1988

Months before the start of the 1988 Tour, director Jean-François Naquet-Radiguet was replaced by Xavier Louy. In 1988, the Tour was organised by Jean-Pierre Courcol, the director of ''L'Équipe'', then in 1989 by Jean-Pierre Carenso and then by
Jean-Marie Leblanc Jean-Marie Leblanc (born 27 July 1944, in Nueil-sur-Argent, now Nueil-les-Aubiers, Deux-Sèvres) is a French people, French retired professional road bicycle racer who was general director of the Tour de France from 1989 Tour de France, 1989 to 20 ...

Jean-Marie Leblanc
, who in 1989 had been race director. The former television presenter
Christian Prudhomme Christian Prudhomme (born 11 November 1960) is a French journalist and general director of the Tour de France since 2007 Tour de France, 2007. Pre-Tour career Born in Paris, Prudhomme studied at the École supérieure de journalisme, ESJ school ...
—he commentated on the Tour among other events—replaced Leblanc in 2007, having been assistant director for three years. In 1993 ownership of ''L'Équipe'' moved to the
Amaury Group The name Amaury (from Old French ''Amalric'') may refer to: People Surname *Philippe Amaury (1940–2006), French publishing tycoon Given name *Amaury Duval (1760–1838), French writer *Amaury-Duval (1808–1885), French painter *Amauri Carvalh ...
, which formed
Amaury Sport Organisation The Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) is part of the France, French media group, EPA (Éditions Philippe Amaury). It organises sporting events including the Tour de France, Vuelta a España and Paris–Nice professional road bicycle racing, cycle ro ...
(ASO) to oversee its sports operations, although the Tour itself is operated by its subsidiary the Société du Tour de France. 1988 onward was arguably the beginning of what can be referred to as the doping era, as a new drug which drug tests were not able to detect began being used known as
erythropoietin Erythropoietin (; EPO), also known as erythropoetin, haematopoietin, or haemopoietin, is a glycoprotein Glycoproteins are protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of f ...

erythropoietin
(EPO).
Pedro Delgado Pedro Delgado Robledo (; born April 15, 1960), also known as Perico (), is a Spain, Spanish former professional road bicycle racer. He won the 1988 Tour de France, as well as the Vuelta a España in 1985 Vuelta a España, 1985 and 1989 Vuelta a ...
won the
1988 Tour de France The 1988 Tour de France was the 75th edition of the Tour de France, taking place from 4 to 24 July. It consisted of 22 stages over . The race was won by Pedro Delgado with the top three positions at the end of the race being occupied by specialis ...
by a considerable margin, and in
1989 1989 was a turning point in political history because a wave of revolutions swept the Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist state A social ...
and
1990 Important events of 1990 include the Reunification of Germany German reunification (german: link=no, Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of ...
Lemond returned from injury and won back-to-back Tours, with the 1989 edition still standing as the closest two-way battle in TDF history, with Lemond claiming an 8-second victory on the final time trial to best Laurent Fignon. The early 1990s was dominated by Spaniard
Miguel Indurain Miguel is a given name and surname, the Portuguese and Spanish form of the Hebrew name Michael Michael is a masculine given name derived from the Hebrew phrase ''mī kāʼēl'', 'Who slike-El', in Aramaic: ܡܝܟܐܝܠ (''Mīkhāʼēl'' ). The t ...

Miguel Indurain
, who became such an exceptional time-trialist that it didn't even matter that many top-level riders were experimenting with EPO. He won the time trials by such dominating margins that virtually nobody could compete with him, and as a result he became the first rider to win five Tours in a row. The influx of more international riders continued through this period, as in
1996 1996 was designated as: * International Year for the Eradication of Poverty Events January * January 3 Events Pre-1600 * 69 – The Roman legions on the Rhine refuse to declare their allegiance to Galba Galba (; born Servius Sulpi ...
and
1997 1997 was designated as: * International Year for the Culture of Peace Events January * January 11 Events Pre-1600 *532 – Nika riots in Constantinople: A quarrel between supporters of different Chariot racing, chariot teams—th ...
the race was won for the first time by a rider from Denmark,
Bjarne Riis Bjarne Lykkegård Riis (; born 3 April 1964), nicknamed ''The Eagle from Herning'' ( da, Ørnen fra Herning), is a Denmark, Danish former professional road bicycle racer who placed first in the 1996 Tour de France. For many years he was the owner ...

Bjarne Riis
, and a German rider called
Jan Ullrich Jan Ullrich (; born 2 December 1973) is a German former professional road bicycle racer A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two Location (geography), places that has been Pavement (material), paved or otherwise improved ...

Jan Ullrich
, respectively. During the
1998 Tour de France The 1998 Tour de France was the 85th edition of the Tour de France, one of cycling's Grand Tour (cycling), Grand Tours. The race was composed of 21 stages and a prologue. It started on 11 July in Ireland before taking an anti-clockwise route t ...
, a doping scandal known as the
Festina Affair #REDIRECTFestina affair#REDIRECTFestina affair The Festina affair was a series of Doping (sport), doping scandals within the sport of professional cycling that occurred during and after the 1998 Tour de France. The affair began when a large haul ...
shook the sport to its core when it became apparent that there was systematic doping going on in the sport. Numerous riders and a handful of teams were either thrown out of the race, or left of their own free will, and in the end
Marco Pantani Marco Pantani (; 13 January 1970 – 14 February 2004) was an Italian road racing cyclist, widely regarded among the greatest, if not the greatest, climbing specialist in the history of the sport by measures of his legacy, credits from other ri ...

Marco Pantani
survived to win his lone Tour in a decimated main field. The
1999 Tour de France The 1999 Tour de France was a stage race, multiple stage bicycle racing, bicycle race held from 3 to 25 July, and the 86th edition of the Tour de France. It has no overall winner—although American cyclist Lance Armstrong originally won the even ...
was billed as the ‘Tour of Renewal’ as the sport tried to clean up its image following the doping fiasco of the previous year. Initially it seemed to be a
Cinderella "Cinderella", or "The Little Glass Slipper", is a Folklore, folk tale with thousands of variants throughout the world.Dundes, Alan. Cinderella, a Casebook. Madison, Wis: University of Wisconsin Press, 1988. The protagonist is a young woman livi ...
-type story when
cancer Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumor A benign tumor is a mass of cells Cell most often refers to: * Cell (biolo ...

cancer
survivor
Lance Armstrong Lance Edward Armstrong ('' né'' Gunderson; born September 18, 1971) is an American former professional road racing cyclist Road bicycle racing is the cycle sport discipline of road cycling, held on Road surface, paved roads. Road racing is t ...

Lance Armstrong
stole the show on
Sestriere Sestriere (/ses'trjɛre/) ( oc, Sestrieras, pms, Ël Sestrier, french: Sestrières) is a ski resort in Piedmont, Italy, a ''comune'' (municipality) of the Metropolitan City of Turin. It is situated in Val Susa, from the France, French border. It ...

Sestriere
and kept on riding to the first of his astonishing seven consecutive Tour de France victories; however, in retrospect, 1999 was just the beginning of the doping problem getting much, much worse. Following Armstrong's retirement in
2005 2005 was designated as the International Year for Sport and Physical Education and the International Year of MicrocreditImage:YOmicrocredit2005.jpg, right International Year of Microcredit is a special event of the United Nations which took pl ...
, the
2006 2006 was designated as the International Year of Deserts and Desertification and the International Asperger syndrome, Asperger's Year. Events January * January 1 – Russia cuts the shipment of natural gas to Ukraine over a Russia–U ...
edition saw his former teammate
Floyd Landis Floyd Landis (born October 14, 1975) is an American former professional road racing cyclist. He finished first at the 2006 Tour de France, and would have been the third non-European winner in the event's history, but was disqualified after testin ...
finally get the chance he worked so hard for with a stunning and improbable solo breakaway on Stage 17 in which he set himself up to win the Tour in the final time trial, which he then did. Not long after the Tour was over, however, Landis was accused of doping and had his Tour win revoked. Over the next few years, a new star in
Alberto Contador Alberto Contador Velasco (; born 6 December 1982) is a Spanish former professional cyclist. He is one of the most successful riders of his era, winning the Tour de France twice (2007 2007 was designated as the International Heliophysical ...

Alberto Contador
came onto the scene; however, during the
2007 2007 was designated as the International Heliophysical YearImage:IHY logo.png, 200px, right The International Heliophysical Year is a United Nations, UN-sponsored scientifically driven international program of scientific collaboration to unde ...
edition, a veteran Danish rider, Michael Rasmussen, was in the Maillot Jaune late in the Tour, in position to win, when his own team sacked him for a possible doping infraction; this allowed the rising star Contador to ride mistake-free for the remaining stages to win his first.2008 Tour de France , 2008 saw a Tour where so many riders were doping that, when it went ten days without a single doping incident, it became news. It was during this Tour that a UCI official was quoted as saying, "These guys are crazy, and the sooner they start learning, the better." Roger Legeay, a Directeur Sportif for one of the teams noted how riders were secretly and anonymously buying doping products on the internet. Like Greg LeMond at the beginning of the EPO era, 2008 winner Carlos Sastre was a rider who went his entire career without a single doping incident and between approximately 1994 and 2011 this was the only Tour to have a winner with a clear biological passport. 2009 saw the 2009 Tour de France, return of Lance Armstrong and, strangely, after Contador was able to defeat his teammate, Der er et yndigt land, the Danish National Anthem was mistakenly played. No Danish rider was in contention in 2009, and Rasmussen, the only Danish rider capable of winning the Tour during this era, was not even in the race. Another rider absent was Floyd Landis, who had asked Armstrong to get him back on a team to ride the Tour once more, but Armstrong refused because Landis was a convicted doper. Landis joined UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling (men's team), OUCH, an American continental team, and not long after this initiated contact with USADA to discuss Armstrong. In 2011 Tour de France, 2011, Cadel Evans became the first Australian to win the Tour after coming up just short several times in the previous few editions. Very early in his career while making the transition from mountain biking to pro cycling, Evans met with Armstrong's doctor Michele Ferrari one time, but he never again had professional contact with him. The 2012 Tour de France was won by the first British rider to ever win the Tour, Bradley Wiggins, while finishing on the podium just behind him was Chris Froome, who along with Contador became the next big stars to attempt to contest the giants of Jacques Anquetil, Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault, Indurain and Armstrong. Overshadowing the entire sport at this time, however, was the Lance Armstrong doping case, which finally revealed much of the truth about doping in cycling. As a result, the UCI decided that each of Armstrong's seven wins would be revoked. This decision cleared the names of many people, including lesser-known riders, reporters, team medical staff, and even the wife of a rider who had their reputations tarnished or had been forced from the sport by challenging the Armstrong machine. Much of this only became possible after Floyd Landis came forward to USADA. Also around this time, an investigation by the French government into doping in cycling revealed that way back during the 1998 Tour, close to 90% of the riders who were tested, retroactively tested positive for EPO. The end result of these doping scandals being that in the case of Landis in 2006, and Contador in 2010, new winners were declared in Oscar Pereiro and Andy Schleck, respectively; however, in the case of the seven Tours revoked from Armstrong, there was no alternate winner named, as much of Armstrong's competition was just as guilty as he was, and the sport at this point was trying to set the right example for the future generation of riders. The generation from the mid-2010s and beyond seems to be competing on a level playing field without having to make the decision so many riders of the previous generation had to make: to give in and start doping to be competitive, or give up on their dreams. In 2014 Tour de France, 2014, Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali won in one of the most convincing fashions seen in years, making him only the second Italian rider to win the race since the 1960s. Beginning in 2012, and only being interrupted by Nibali's performance in 2014, Ineos Grenadiers, Team Sky would dominate the peloton for years in an extended manner not seen since US Postal, Armstrong at US Postal. Froome would win three tours in a row, followed by the first person born in the British Isles to win in Geraint Thomas (Wiggins was born in Belgium and Froome was born in Kenya) followed by the first Colombian to win the Tour in Egan Bernal. It wasn't until 2020 Tour de France, 2020 that it became clear that this streak would be broken when the pace set by Team Jumbo-Visma riders Wout Van Aert, Van Aert, Sepp Kuss, Kuss, Primoz Roglic, Roglič and Tom Dumoulin broke their GC favourite in defending champ Egan Bernal on stage 15, he would quit the race soon thereafter. Their string of victories was officially broken by Tadej Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates after an impressive effort on the final Individual Time Trial that made him the second rider from Slovenia to wear the Yellow Jersey after Primož Roglič that same year, and the first to win it. Pogačar also became the first rider since Eddy Merckx in 1972 Tour de France, 1972 to win three jerseys in a single Tour. The 2020 Tour was postponed to commence on 29 August, following the French government's extension of a ban on mass gatherings after the COVID-19 pandemic in France, COVID-19 outbreak. This was the first time since the end of World War II that the Tour de France was not held in the month of July. Pogačar repeated his overall victory in 2021 Tour de France, 2021. He also won the mountains and young rider classifications again; thus winning three distinctive jerseys in consecutive years. This victory made him the youngest rider to achieve two Tour victories. In the local towns and cities that the Tour visits for stage starts and finishes, it is a spectacle that usually shuts these towns down for the day, resulting in a very festive atmosphere, and these events usually require months of planning and preparation. ASO employs around 70 people full-time, in an office facing—but not connected to—''L'Équipe'' in the Issy-les-Moulineaux area of outer western Paris. That number expands to about 220 during the race itself, not including the 500-odd contractors employed to move barriers, erect stages, signpost the route, and other work. ASO now also operates several other major bike races throughout the year.


Classifications

The oldest and main competition in the Tour de France is known as the "general classification", for which the yellow jersey is awarded; the winner of this is said to have won the race. A few riders from each team aim to win overall, but there are three further competitions to draw riders of all specialties: points, mountains, and a classification for young riders with general classification aspirations. The leader of each of the aforementioned classifications wears a distinctive jersey, with riders leading multiple classifications wearing the jersey of the most prestigious that he leads. In addition to these four classifications, there are several minor and discontinued classifications that are competed for during the race.


General classification

The oldest and most sought-after classification in the Tour de France is the general classification. All of the stages are timed to the finish. The riders' times are compounded with their previous stage times; so the rider with the lowest aggregate time is the leader of the race. The leader is determined after each stage's conclusion: he gains the privilege to wear the yellow jersey, presented on a podium in the stage's finishing town, for the next stage. If a rider is leading more than one classification that awards a jersey, he wears the yellow one, since the general classification is the most important one in the race. Between 1905 Tour de France, 1905 and 1912 Tour de France, 1912 inclusive, in response to concerns about rider cheating in the 1904 Tour de France, 1904 race, the general classification was awarded according to a point-based system based on their placings in each stage, and the rider with the lowest total of points after the Tour's conclusion was the winner. The leader in the 1903 Tour de France, first Tour de France was awarded a green armband. The yellow jersey (the color was chosen as the newspaper that created the Tour, '' L'Auto'', was printed on yellow paper), was added to the race in the 1919 edition and it has since become a symbol of the Tour de France. The first rider to wear the yellow jersey was Eugène Christophe. Riders usually try to make the extra effort to keep the jersey for as long as possible in order to get more publicity for the team and its sponsors.
Eddy Merckx Édouard Louis Joseph, Baron Merckx (, ; born 17 June 1945), better known as Eddy Merckx, is a Belgian former professional road and track bicycle racer who is among the most successful male riders in the history of competitive cycling. His vic ...

Eddy Merckx
wore the yellow jersey for 96 stages, which is more than any other rider in the history of the Tour. Four riders have won the general classification five times in their career: Jacques Anquetil,
Eddy Merckx Édouard Louis Joseph, Baron Merckx (, ; born 17 June 1945), better known as Eddy Merckx, is a Belgian former professional road and track bicycle racer who is among the most successful male riders in the history of competitive cycling. His vic ...

Eddy Merckx
,
Bernard Hinault Bernard Hinault (; born 14 November 1954) is a French former professional cycling, cyclist. With 147 professional victories, including five in the Tour de France, he is often named among the greatest cyclists of all time. Hinault started cycli ...
, and
Miguel Indurain Miguel is a given name and surname, the Portuguese and Spanish form of the Hebrew name Michael Michael is a masculine given name derived from the Hebrew phrase ''mī kāʼēl'', 'Who slike-El', in Aramaic: ܡܝܟܐܝܠ (''Mīkhāʼēl'' ). The t ...

Miguel Indurain
.


Mountains classification

The mountains classification is the second-oldest jersey awarding classification in the Tour de France. The mountains classification was added to the Tour de France in the 1933 Tour de France, 1933 edition and was first won by Vicente Trueba. Prizes for the classification were first awarded in 1934 Tour de France, 1934. During stages of the race containing climbs, points are awarded to the first riders to reach the top of each categorized climb, with points available for up to the first 10 riders, depending on the classification of the climb. Climbs are classified according to the steepness and length of that particular hill, with more points available for harder climbs. The classification was preceded by the ''meilleur grimpeur'' ( en, best climber) which was awarded by the organising newspaper ''l'Auto'' to a cyclist who completed each race. The classification awarded no jersey to the leader until the 1975 Tour de France, when the organizers decided to award a distinctive white jersey with red dots to the leader. The climbers' jersey is worn by the rider who, at the start of each stage, has the largest number of climbing points. If a rider leads two or more of classifications, the climbers' jersey is worn by the rider in second, or third, place in that contest. At the end of the Tour, the rider holding the most climbing points wins the classification. Some riders may race with the aim of winning this particular competition, while others who gain points early on may shift their focus to the classification during the race. The Tour has five categories for ranking the mountains the race covers. The scale ranges from category 4, the easiest, to hors catégorie, the hardest. During his career Richard Virenque won the mountains classification a record seven times. The point distribution for the mountains in the 2019 event was: * Points awarded are doubled for HC climbs over 2000m of altitude.


Points classification

The points classification is the third oldest of the currently awarded jersey classifications. It was introduced in the 1953 Tour de France and was first won by Fritz Schär. The classification was added to draw the participation of the sprinters as well as celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Tour. Points are given to the first 15 riders to finish a stage, with an additional set of points given to the first 15 riders to cross a pre-determined 'sprint' point during the route of each stage. The point classification leader green jersey is worn by the rider who at the start of each stage, has the greatest number of points. In the first years, the cyclist received penalty points for not finishing with a high place, so the cyclist with the fewest points was awarded the green jersey. From 1959 on, the system was changed so the cyclists were awarded points for high place finishes (with first place getting the most points, and lower placings getting successively fewer points), so the cyclist with the most points was awarded the green jersey. The number of points awarded varies depending on the type of stage, with flat stages awarding the most points at the finish and time trials and high mountain stages awarding the fewest points at the finish. This increases the likelihood of a sprinter winning the points classification, though other riders can be competitive for the classification if they have a sufficient number of high-place finishes. The winner of the classification is the rider with the most points at the end of the Tour. In case of a tie, the leader is determined by the number of stage wins, then the number of intermediate sprint victories, and finally, the rider's standing in the general classification. The classification has been won a record seven times by Peter Sagan. The first year the points classification was used it was sponsored by La Belle Jardinière, a lawn mower producer, and the jersey was made green. In
1968 The year was highlighted by protests and other unrests that occurred worldwide. Events January * January 5 Events Pre-1600 *1477 – Battle of Nancy: Charles the Bold is defeated and killed in a conflict with René II, Duke of L ...
the jersey was changed to red to please the sponsor. However, the color was changed back the following year. For almost 25 years the classification was sponsored by Pari Mutuel Urbain, a state betting company. However they announced in November 2014 that they would not be continuing their sponsorship, and in March 2015 it was revealed that the green jersey would now be sponsored by Czech car manufacturer Škoda Auto, Škoda. As of 2015 Tour de France, 2015, the points awarded are:


Young rider classification

The leader of the classification is determined the same way as the general classification, with the riders' times being added up after each stage and the eligible rider with lowest aggregate time is dubbed the leader. The Young rider classification is restricted to the riders that are under the age of 26. Originally the classification was restricted to neo-professionals – riders that are in their first three years of professional racing – until 1983 Tour de France, 1983. In 1983, the organizers made it so that only first time riders were eligible for the classification. In 1987 Tour de France, 1987, the organizers changed the rules of the classification to what they are today. This classification was added to the Tour de France in the 1975 Tour de France, 1975 edition, with Francesco Moser being the first to win the classification after placing seventh overall. The Tour de France awards a white jersey to the leader of the classification, although this was not done between 1989 and 2000. Six riders have won both the young rider classification and the general classification in the same year:
Laurent Fignon Laurent Patrick Fignon (; 12 August 1960 – 31 August 2010) was a French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, ...
(1983),
Jan Ullrich Jan Ullrich (; born 2 December 1973) is a German former professional road bicycle racer A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two Location (geography), places that has been Pavement (material), paved or otherwise improved ...

Jan Ullrich
(
1997 1997 was designated as: * International Year for the Culture of Peace Events January * January 11 Events Pre-1600 *532 – Nika riots in Constantinople: A quarrel between supporters of different Chariot racing, chariot teams—th ...
),
Alberto Contador Alberto Contador Velasco (; born 6 December 1982) is a Spanish former professional cyclist. He is one of the most successful riders of his era, winning the Tour de France twice (2007 2007 was designated as the International Heliophysical ...

Alberto Contador
(
2007 2007 was designated as the International Heliophysical YearImage:IHY logo.png, 200px, right The International Heliophysical Year is a United Nations, UN-sponsored scientifically driven international program of scientific collaboration to unde ...
), Andy Schleck (2010 Tour de France, 2010), Egan Bernal (2019 Tour de France, 2019) and Tadej Pogačar (2020 Tour de France, 2020, 2021 Tour de France, 2021). Two riders have won the young rider classification three times in their respective careers: Jan Ullrich and Andy Schleck. As of 2015 Jersey sponsor is Optician company Krys, replacing Škoda who moved to the Green Jersey.


Minor classifications and prizes

The ''Combativity award in the Tour de France, prix de la combativité'' goes to the rider who most animates the day, usually by trying to break clear of the field. The most combative rider wears a number printed white-on-red instead of black-on-white next day. An award goes to the most aggressive rider throughout the Tour. Already in 1908 a sort of combativity award was offered, when ''Sports Populaires'' and ''L'Education Physique'' created ''Le Prix du Courage'', 100 francs and a silver gilt medal for "the rider having finished the course, even if unplaced, who is particularly distinguished for the energy he has used." The modern competition started in 1958. In 1959, a Super Combativity award for the most combative cyclist of the Tour was awarded. It was initially not awarded every year, but since 1981 it has been given annually. Eddy Merckx has the most wins (4) for the overall award. The team classification is assessed by adding the time of each team's best three riders each day. The competition does not have its own jersey but since 2006 the leading team has worn numbers printed black-on-yellow. Until 1990, the leading team would wear yellow caps. As of 2012, the riders of the leading team wear yellow helmets. During the era of national teams, France and Belgium won 10 times each. From 1973 up to 1988, there was also a team classification based on points (stage classification); members of the leading team would wear green caps.


Historical classifications

There has been an Intermediate sprints classification in the Tour de France, intermediate sprints classification, which from 1984 awarded a red jersey for points awarded to the first three to pass intermediate points during the stage. These sprints also scored points towards the points classification and bonuses towards the general classification. The intermediate sprints classification with its red jersey was abolished in 1989, but the intermediate sprints have remained, offering points for the points classification and, until 2007, time bonuses for the general classification. From 1968 there was a Combination classification in the Tour de France, combination classification, scored on a points system based on standings in the general, points and mountains classifications. The design was originally white, then a patchwork with areas resembling each individual jersey design. This was also abolished in 1989.


Lanterne rouge

The rider who has taken most time is called the ''lanterne rouge'' (''red lantern, as in the red light at the back of a vehicle so it can be seen in the dark'') and in past years sometimes carried a small red light beneath his saddle. Such was sympathy that he could command higher fees in the races that previously followed the Tour. In 1939 and 1948 the organisers excluded the last rider every day, to encourage more competitive racing.Jacques Goddet said in his autobiography that teams were using the rule to eliminate rivals. A rider in last position knew he would be disqualified at the end of the stage. If he dropped out before or during the stage, another competitor became the last and he would leave the race as well. That weakened a rival team, which now had fewer helpers.


Prizes

Prize money has always been awarded. From 20,000 French franc, francs the first year, prize money has increased each year, although from 1976 to 1987 the first prize was an apartment offered by a race sponsor. The first prize in 1988 was a car, a studio-apartment, a work of art, and 500,000 francs in cash. Prizes only in cash returned in 1990. Prizes and bonuses are awarded for daily placings and final placings at the end of the race. In 2009, the winner received 450,000 €, while each of the 21 stage winners won 8,000 € (10,000 € for the team time-trial stage). The winners of the points classification and mountains classification each win 25,000 €, the young rider competition and the combativity prize 20,000 €; the winner of the team classification (calculated by adding the cumulative times of the best three riders in each team) receives 50 000 €. The Souvenir Henri Desgrange, in memory of the founder of the Tour, is awarded to the first rider over the Col du Galibier where his monument stands, or to the first rider over the highest col in the Tour. A similar award, the Souvenir Jacques Goddet, is made at the summit of the Col du Tourmalet, at the memorial to
Jacques Goddet Jacques Goddet Memorial at Tourmalet Jacques Goddet (Paris, 21 June 1905 – Paris, 15 December 2000) was a France, French sports journalist and director of the Tour de France road cycling race from 1936 to 1986. His father, Victor Goddet, was c ...

Jacques Goddet
, Desgrange's successor.


Stages

The modern tour typically has 21 stages, one per day.


Mass-start stages

The Tour directors categorise Mass start, mass-start stages into 'flat', 'hilly', or 'mountain'. This affects the points awarded in the sprint classification, whether the 3 kilometer rule is operational, and the permitted disqualification time in which riders must finish (which is the winners' time plus a pre-determined percentage of that time). Time bonuses of 10, 6, and 4 seconds are awarded to the first three finishers, though this was not done from 2008 to 2014. Bonuses were previously also awarded to winners of intermediate sprints.


Time trials

The first time trial in the Tour was between La Roche-sur-Yon and Nantes (80 km) in 1934. The first stage in modern Tours is often a short trial, a ''prologue'', to decide who wears yellow on the opening day. The first prologue was in 1967. The 1988 event, at La Baule, was called "la préface". There are usually two or three time trials. The final time trial has sometimes been the final stage, more recently often the penultimate stage.


Notable stages

Since 1975 the race has finished with Champs-Élysées stage in the Tour de France, laps of the Champs-Élysées. As the peloton arrives in downtown Paris the French Air Force does a three-jet flyover with the three colors of the French flag in smoke behind them. This stage rarely challenges the leader because it is flat and the leader usually has too much time in hand to be denied. In modern times, there tends to be a gentlemen's agreement: while the points classification is still contended if possible, the overall classification is not fought over; because of this, it is not uncommon for the ''de facto'' winner of the overall classification to ride into Paris holding a glass of champagne. The only time the Maillot Jaune was attacked in a manner that lasted all the way through the end of this stage was during the 1979 Tour de France. In 1987,
Pedro Delgado Pedro Delgado Robledo (; born April 15, 1960), also known as Perico (), is a Spain, Spanish former professional road bicycle racer. He won the 1988 Tour de France, as well as the Vuelta a España in 1985 Vuelta a España, 1985 and 1989 Vuelta a ...
vowed to attack during the stage to challenge the 40-second lead held by
Stephen Roche Stephen Roche (; born 28 November 1959) is an Irish people, Irish former professional road racing cyclist. In a 13-year professional career, he peaked in 1987, becoming the second of only two cyclists to win the Triple Crown of Cycling, Triple ...

Stephen Roche
. He was unsuccessful and he and Roche finished in the peloton. In 2005, controversy arose when Alexander Vinokourov (sportsman), Alexander Vinokourov attacked and won the stage, in the process taking fifth place overall from Levi Leipheimer. This attack was not a threat to the overall lead, but was a long-shot at the Podium standings, as Vinokourov was about five minutes behind third place. In 1989 the last stage was a time trial.
Greg LeMond Gregory James LeMond (born June 26, 1961) is an American former professional Road bicycle racing, road racing cyclist, entrepreneur, and anti-doping advocate. A two-time winner of the UCI Road World Championships – Men's road race, Road Race ...
overtook
Laurent Fignon Laurent Patrick Fignon (; 12 August 1960 – 31 August 2010) was a French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, ...
to win by eight seconds, the closest margin in the Tour's history. The climb of Alpe d'Huez has become one of the more noted mountain stages. During the 2004 Tour de France it was the scene of a mountain time trial on the 16th stage. Riders complained of abusive spectators who threatened their progress up the climb. On this stage it is not uncommon for a low end estimate of the spectators in attendance to number 300,000. During a famous head to head battle between Anquetil and Raymond Poulidor on Puy de Dôme it was estimated that at least a half a million people were on hand. Mont Ventoux#Tour de France, Mont Ventoux is often claimed to be the hardest in the Tour because of the harsh conditions. Another notable mountain stage frequently featured climbs the Col du Tourmalet#Tour de France, Col du Tourmalet, the most visited mountain in the history of the Tour. Col du Galibier is the most visited mountain in the Alps. The 2011 Tour de France stage to Galibier marked the 100th anniversary of the mountain in the Tour and also boasted the highest finish altitude ever: . Some mountain stages have become memorable because of the weather. An example is a stage in 1996 Tour de France from Val-d'Isère to
Sestriere Sestriere (/ses'trjɛre/) ( oc, Sestrieras, pms, Ël Sestrier, french: Sestrières) is a ski resort in Piedmont, Italy, a ''comune'' (municipality) of the Metropolitan City of Turin. It is situated in Val Susa, from the France, French border. It ...

Sestriere
. A snowstorm at the start area led to a shortening of the stage from to just . During the 2019 Tour de France multiple landslides and hail storms forced two critical mountain stages to be considerably shortened. Authorities made every effort to plow the road and make the course safe, but the volume of hail, mud and debris proved too much. To host a stage start or finish brings prestige and business to a town. The prologue and first stage (List of Tour de France Grands Départs, Grand Départ) are particularly prestigious. The race may start with a prologue (too short to go between towns) in which case the start of the next day's racing, which would be considered stage 1, usually in the same town. In 2007 director
Christian Prudhomme Christian Prudhomme (born 11 November 1960) is a French journalist and general director of the Tour de France since 2007 Tour de France, 2007. Pre-Tour career Born in Paris, Prudhomme studied at the École supérieure de journalisme, ESJ school ...
said that "in general, for a period of five years we have the Tour start outside France three times and within France twice."


Advertising caravan

With the switch to the use of national teams in 1930, the costs of accommodating riders fell to the organizers instead of the sponsors and Henri Desgrange raised the money by allowing advertisers to precede the race. The procession of often colourfully decorated trucks and cars became known as the publicity caravan. It formalised an existing situation, companies having started to follow the race. The first to sign to precede the Tour was the chocolate company, Menier Chocolate, Menier, one of those who had followed the race. Its head of publicity, Paul Thévenin, had first put the idea to Desgrange. It paid 50,000 francs. Preceding the race was more attractive to advertisers because spectators gathered by the road long before the race or could be attracted from their houses. Advertisers following the race found that many who had watched the race had already gone home. Menier handed out tons of chocolate in that first year of preceding the race, as well as 500,000 policemen's hats printed with the company's name. The success led to the caravan's existence being formalised the following year. The caravan was at its height between 1930 and the mid-1960s, before television and especially television advertising was established in France. Advertisers competed to attract public attention. Motorcycle acrobats performed for the Cinzano apéritif company and a toothpaste maker, and an accordionist, Yvette Horner, became one of the most popular sights as she performed on the roof of a Citroën Traction Avant. The modern Tour restricts the excesses to which advertisers are allowed to go but at first anything was allowed. The writer Pierre BostPierre Bost was a journalist and playwright known for the prolific film and stage scripts he wrote in the 1940s. He died in 1975. lamented: "This caravan of 60 gaudy trucks singing across the countryside the virtues of an apéritif, a make of underpants or a dustbin is a shameful spectacle. It bellows, it plays ugly music, it's sad, it's ugly, it smells of vulgarity and money." Advertisers pay the Société du Tour de France approximately €150,000 to place three vehicles in the caravan.Le Tour Guide, France, 2000 Some have more. On top of that come the more considerable costs of the commercial samples that are thrown to the crowd and the cost of accommodating the drivers and the staff—frequently students—who throw them. The number of items has been estimated at 11 million, each person in the procession giving out 3,000 to 5,000 items a day. A bank, GAN, gave out 170,000 caps, 80,000 badges, 60,000 plastic bags, and 535,000 copies of its race newspaper in 1994. Together, they weighed . The vehicles also have to be decorated on the morning of each stage and, because they must return to ordinary highway standards, disassembled after each stage. Numbers vary but there are normally around 250 vehicles each year. Their order on the road is established by contract, the leading vehicles belonging to the largest sponsors. The procession sets off two hours before the start and then regroups to precede the riders by an hour and a half. It spreads and takes 40 minutes to pass at between and . Vehicles travel in groups of five. Their position is logged by GPS and from an aircraft and organised on the road by the caravan director—Jean-Pierre LachaudJean-Pierre Lachaud joined the Tour de France caravan in 1983 to distribute publicity for Crédit Lyonnais, the bank that sponsors the yellow jersey. The experience led to his starting his own company, Newsport, which now administers the caravan for the Société du Tour de France—an assistant, three motorcyclists, two radio technicians, and a breakdown and medical crew. Six motorcyclists from the Garde Républicaine, the élite of the gendarmerie, ride with them.GAN Spécial Tour de France, 1994


Politics

The first three Tours from 1903 to 1905 stayed within France. The 1906 race went into Alsace-Lorraine, territory annexed by the German Empire in 1871 after the Franco-Prussian War. Passage was secured through a meeting at Metz between Desgrange's collaborator, Alphonse Steinès, and the German governor. No teams from Italy, Germany, or Spain rode in 1939 because of tensions preceding the Second World War (after German assistance to Nationalist faction (Spanish Civil War), the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War it was widely expected Spain would join Germany in a European war, though this did not come to pass). Henri Desgrange planned a Tour for 1940, after war had started but before France had been invaded. The route, approved by military authorities, included a route along the Maginot Line.The Bicycle, UK, 8 July 1943, p6 Teams would have been drawn from military units in France, including the British, who would have been organised by a journalist, Bill Mills. Then the Germans invaded and the race was not held again until 1947 (see Tour de France during the Second World War). The first German team after the war was in 1960, although individual Germans had ridden in mixed teams. The Tour has since started in Germany four times: in Cologne in 1965, in Frankfurt in 1980, in West Berlin on the city's 750th anniversary in 1987, and in Düsseldorf in 2017. Plans to enter German Democratic Republic, East Germany in 1987 were abandoned.


Corsica

Prior to 2013, the Tour de France had visited every region of Metropolitan France except Corsica. Jean-Marie Leblanc, when he was organiser, said the island had never asked for a stage start there. It would be difficult to find accommodation for 4,000 people, he said.L'Équipe Magazine, France, 23 October 2004 The spokesman of the Corsican nationalist party Party of the Corsican Nation, François Alfonsi, said: "The organisers must be afraid of terrorist attacks. If they are really thinking of a possible terrorist action, they are wrong. Our movement, which is nationalist and in favour of self-government, would be delighted if the Tour came to Corsica." The opening three stages of the 2013 Tour de France were held on Corsica as part of the celebrations for the 100th edition of the race.


The start and finish of the Tour

Most stages are in mainland France, although since the mid-1950s it has become common to visit nearby countries: Andorra, Belgium, Germany (and the former West Germany), Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom have all hosted stages or part of a stage. Since 1975 the finish has been on the
Champs-Élysées The Avenue des Champs-Élysées (, , ) is an avenue Avenue or Avenues may refer to: Roads * Avenue (landscape), traditionally a straight path or road with a line of trees, in the shifted sense a tree line itself, or some of boulevards (also wit ...

Champs-Élysées
in Paris; from 1903 to 1967 the race finished at the
Parc des Princes The Parc des Princes () is an all-seater stadium, all-seater Association football, football stadium in Paris, France, in the south-west of the French capital, inside the 16th arrondissement of Paris, 16th arrondissement, near the Stade Jean-Bou ...

Parc des Princes
stadium in western Paris and from 1968 to 1974 at the Vélodrome de Vincennes, Piste Municipale south of the capital. Félix Levitan, race organizer in the 1980s, was keen to host stages in the United States, but these proposals have never been developed.


Starts abroad

The following editions of the Tour started, or are planned to start, outside France: * 1954 Tour de France, 1954: Amsterdam, Netherlands * 1958 Tour de France, 1958: Brussels, Belgium * 1965 Tour de France, 1965: Cologne, West Germany *
1973 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day m ...
: The Hague, Netherlands *
1975 It was also declared the ''International Women's Year'' by the United Nations and the European Architectural Heritage Year by the Council of Europe. Events January * January – The Altair 8800, an early microcomputer, appears on the cover ...
: Charleroi, Belgium * 1978 Tour de France, 1978: Leiden, Netherlands *
1980 Events January * January 4 Events Pre-1600 *46 BC – Julius Caesar fights Titus Labienus in the Battle of Ruspina. *871 – Battle of Reading (871), Battle of Reading: Æthelred of Wessex and his brother Alfred the Great, Alf ...
: Frankfurt, West Germany *
1982 Events January * January 1 - In Peninsular Malaysia, time is switched for 30 minutes, to match Time in Malaysia, the time in use in East Malaysia, to become UTC+8 (GMT+8.00). Singapore follows after that. *January 1 - Eddie Murphy makes his ...
: Basel, Switzerland * 1987 Tour de France, 1987: West Berlin *
1989 1989 was a turning point in political history because a wave of revolutions swept the Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist state A social ...
: Luxembourg City, Luxembourg * 1992 Tour de France, 1992: San Sebastián, Spain *
1996 1996 was designated as: * International Year for the Eradication of Poverty Events January * January 3 Events Pre-1600 * 69 – The Roman legions on the Rhine refuse to declare their allegiance to Galba Galba (; born Servius Sulpi ...
: 's-Hertogenbosch, Den Bosch, Netherlands * 1998 Tour de France, 1998: Dublin, Ireland * 2002 Tour de France, 2002: Luxembourg City, Luxembourg * 2004 Tour de France, 2004: Liège, Belgium *
2007 2007 was designated as the International Heliophysical YearImage:IHY logo.png, 200px, right The International Heliophysical Year is a United Nations, UN-sponsored scientifically driven international program of scientific collaboration to unde ...
: London, United Kingdom * 2009 Tour de France, 2009: Monte Carlo, Monaco * 2010 Tour de France, 2010: Rotterdam, Netherlands * 2012 Tour de France, 2012: Liège, Belgium * 2014 Tour de France, 2014: Leeds, United Kingdom * 2015 Tour de France, 2015: Utrecht, Netherlands * 2017 Tour de France, 2017: Düsseldorf, Germany * 2019 Tour de France, 2019: Brussels, Belgium * 2022 Tour de France, 2022: Copenhagen, Denmark * 2023 Tour de France, 2023: Bilbao, Spain


Broadcasting

The Tour was first followed only by journalists from ''L'Auto'', the organisers. The race was founded to increase sales of a floundering newspaper and its editor, Desgrange, saw no reason to allow rival publications to profit. The first time papers other than ''L'Auto'' were allowed was 1921, when 15 press cars were allowed for regional and foreign reporters. The Tour was shown first on cinema newsreels a day or more after the event. The first live radio broadcast was in 1929, when Jean Antoine and Alex Virot of the newspaper ''L'Intransigeant'' broadcast for Radio Cité. They used telephone lines. In 1932 they broadcast the sound of riders crossing the col d'Aubisque in the Pyrenees on 12 July, using a recording machine and transmitting the sound later. The first television pictures were shown a day after a stage. The national TV channel used two 16mm cameras, a Jeep, and a motorbike. Film was flown or taken by train to Paris, where it was edited and then shown the following day. The first live broadcast, and the second of any sport in France, was the finish at the
Parc des Princes The Parc des Princes () is an all-seater stadium, all-seater Association football, football stadium in Paris, France, in the south-west of the French capital, inside the 16th arrondissement of Paris, 16th arrondissement, near the Stade Jean-Bou ...

Parc des Princes
in Paris on 25 July 1948. Rik Van Steenbergen of Belgium led in the bunch after a stage of from Nancy, France, Nancy. The first live coverage from the side of the road was from the Aubisque on 8 July 1958. Proposals to cover the whole race were abandoned in 1962 after objections from regional newspapers whose editors feared the competition. The dispute was settled, but not in time for the race, and the first complete coverage was the following year in 1963. In 1958 the first mountain climbs were broadcast live on television for the first time, and in 1959 helicopters were first used for the television coverage. The leading television commentator in France was a former rider, Robert Chapatte. At first he was the only commentator. He was joined in following seasons by an analyst for the mountain stages and by a commentator following the competitors by motorcycle. Broadcasting in France was largely a state monopoly until 1982, when the Socialist Party (France), socialist president François Mitterrand allowed private broadcasters and privatised the leading television channel. Competition between channels raised the broadcasting fees paid to the organisers from 1.5 per cent of the race budget in 1960 to more than a third by the end of the century. Broadcasting time also increased as channels competed to secure the rights. The two largest channels to stay in public ownership, Antenne 2 and FR3, combined to offer more coverage than its private rival, TF1. The two stations, renamed France 2 and France 3, still hold the domestic rights and provide pictures for broadcasters around the world. The stations use a staff of 300 with four helicopters, two aircraft, two motorcycles, 35 other vehicles including trucks, and 20 podium cameras.A podium camera is not one focused on the winner's podium but a full-scale camera on a mount, or podium. French aviation company Hélicoptères de France (HdF) has provided aerial filming services for the Tour since 1999. HdF operates Eurocopter Eurocopter AS355 Écureuil 2, AS355 Écureuil 2 and Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil, AS350 Écureuil helicopters for this purpose, and the pilots undergo training along the course for six months before the race. Domestic television covers the most important stages of the Tour, such as those in the mountains, from mid-morning until early evening. Coverage typically starts with a survey of the day's route, interviews along the road, discussions of the difficulties and tactics ahead, and a 30-minute archive feature. The biggest stages are shown live from start to end, followed by interviews with riders and others and features such an edited version of the stage seen from beside a team manager following and advising riders from his car. Radio covers the race in updates throughout the day, particularly on the national news channel, France Info, and some stations provide continuous commentary on long wave. The 1979 Tour was the first to be broadcast in the United States. In the United Kingdom, ITV Sport, ITV obtained the Sports broadcasting contracts in the United Kingdom, rights to the Tour de France in 2002, replacing Channel 4 as the UK terrestrial broadcaster. The coverage is shown on ITV4, having aired in previous years on ITV2 and ITV3. Initially, live coverage was only broadcast at the weekend but since the 2010 Tour de France, ITV4 has broadcast daily live coverage of every stage except the final which is shown on ITV (TV channel), ITV, ITV4 have the nightly highlights show. On February 1, 2011, Sports broadcasting contracts in Canada, Canada's The Sports Network, TSN announced that they had acquired the rights to the Tour de France in a "multi-year" deal, which ultimately lasted for three years; the rights were acquired by Sportsnet in 2014. The combination of unprecedented rigorous doping controls and almost no positive tests helped restore fans' confidence in the 2009 Tour de France. This led directly to an increase in global popularity of the event. The most watched stage of 2009 was stage 20, from Montélimar to Mont Ventoux in Provence, with a global total audience of 44 million, making it the 12th most watched sporting event in the world in 2009.


Culture

The Tour is an important cultural event for fans in Europe. Millions line the route, some having camped for a week to get the best view. Crowds flanking the course are reminiscent of the community festivals that are part of another form of cycle racing in a different country – the Isle of Man TT. The Tour de France appealed from the start not just for the distance and its demands but because it played to a wish for national unity, a call to what Maurice Barrès called the France "of earth and deaths" or what Georges Vigarello called "the image of a France united by its earth." The image had been started by the 1877 travel/school book ''Le Tour de la France par deux enfants''.A school book written by Augustine Tuillerie, Augustine Fouillée under the name G. Bruno and published in 1877, it sold six million by 1900, seven million by 1914 and 8,400,000 by 1976. It was used in schools until the 1950s and is still available. It told of two boys, André and Julien, who "in a thick September fog left the town of Phalsbourg in Lorraine (region), Lorraine to see France at a time when few people had gone far beyond their nearest town." The book sold six million copies by the time of the first Tour de France, the biggest selling book of 19th-century France (other than the Bible). It stimulated a national interest in France, making it "visible and alive", as its preface said. There had already been a car race called the Tour de France but it was the publicity behind the cycling race, and Desgrange's drive to educate and improve the population, that inspired the French to know more of their country. The academic historians Jean-Luc Boeuf and Yves Léonard say most people in France had little idea of the shape of their country until ''L'Auto'' began publishing maps of the race.


Arts

The Tour has inspired several popular songs in France, notably ''P'tit gars du Tour'' (1932), ''Les Tours de France'' (1936) and ''Faire le Tour de France'' (1950). German electronic group Kraftwerk composed "Tour de France (song), Tour de France" in 1983 – described as a minimalistic "melding of man and machine"Chris Jones
Kraftwerk, Tour De France Soundtracks
, ''BBC'', 4 August 2003
 – and produced an album, ''Tour de France Soundtracks'' in 2003, the centenary of the Tour. The Tour and its first Italian winner, Ottavio Bottecchia, are mentioned at the end of Ernest Hemingway's ''The Sun Also Rises''. In films, the Tour was background for ''Five Red Tulips'' (1949) by Jean Stelli, in which five riders are murdered. A burlesque in 1967, ''Les Cracks'' by Alex Joffé, with Bourvil et Monique Tarbès, also featured it. Footage of the 1970 Tour de France is shown in Jorgen Leth's experimental short ''Eddy Merckx in the Vicinity of a Cup of Coffee''. Patrick Le Gall made ''Chacun son Tour'' (1996). The comedy, ''Le Vélo de Ghislain Lambert'' (2001), featured the Tour of 1974. In 2005, three films chronicled a team. The German ''Höllentour'', translated as ''Hell on Wheels (2004 film), Hell on Wheels'', recorded 2003 from the perspective of Team Columbia, Team Telekom. The film was directed by Pepe Danquart, who won an Academy Award for live-action short film in 1993 for ''Black Rider'' (''Schwarzfahrer''). The Danish film ''Overcoming'' by Tómas Gislason recorded the 2004 Tour from the perspective of Team CSC. ''Wired to Win'' chronicles Française des Jeux (cycling team), Française des Jeux riders Baden Cooke and Jimmy Caspar in 2003. By following their quest for the points classification, won by Cooke, the film looks at the working of the brain. The film, made for IMAX theaters, appeared in December 2005. It was directed by Bayley Silleck, who was nominated for an Academy Award for documentary short subject in 1996 for ''Cosmic Voyage''. A fan, Scott Coady, followed the 2000 Tour with a handheld video camera to make ''The Tour Baby!'' which raised $160,000 to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and made a 2005 sequel, ''Tour Baby Deux!'' ''Vive Le Tour'' by Louis Malle is an 18-minute short of 1962. The 1965 Tour was filmed by Claude Lelouch in ''Pour un Maillot Jaune''. This 30-minute documentary has no narration and relies on sights and sounds of the Tour. In fiction, the 2003 animated feature ''Les Triplettes de Belleville'' (''The Triplets of Belleville'') ties into the Tour de France.


Post-Tour criteriums

After the Tour de France there are criteriums in the Netherlands and Belgium. These races are public spectacles where thousands of people can see their heroes from the Tour de France race. The budget of a criterium is over 100,000 Euro, with most of the money going to the riders. Jersey winners or big-name riders earn between 20 and 60 thousand euros per race in start money.


Doping

Allegations of Doping in sport, doping have plagued the Tour almost since 1903. Early riders consumed ethanol, alcohol and used diethyl ether, ether, to dull the pain. Over the years they began to increase performance and the
Union Cycliste Internationale The ''Union Cycliste Internationale'' (UCI; ; en, International Cycling Union) is the world Sport governing body, governing body for sports Cycle sport, cycling and oversees international competitive cycling events. The UCI is based in Aigle, A ...
and governments enacted policies to combat the practice. In 1924, Henri Pélissier and his brother Charles Pélissier, Charles told the journalist Albert Londres they used strychnine, cocaine, chloroform, aspirin, "horse ointment" and other drugs. The story was published in ''Le Petit Parisien'' under the title ''Les Forçats de la Route'' ('The Convicts of the Road') On 13 July 1967, British cyclist Tom Simpson died climbing Mont Ventoux after taking amphetamine. In 1998, the "Tour of Shame", Willy Voet, soigneur for the Festina (cycling team), Festina team, was arrested with
erythropoietin Erythropoietin (; EPO), also known as erythropoetin, haematopoietin, or haemopoietin, is a glycoprotein Glycoproteins are protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of f ...

erythropoietin
(EPO), growth hormones, Testosterone (medication), testosterone and amphetamine. Police raided team hotels and found products in the possession of the cycling team TVM (cycling team), TVM. Riders went on strike. After mediation by director
Jean-Marie Leblanc Jean-Marie Leblanc (born 27 July 1944, in Nueil-sur-Argent, now Nueil-les-Aubiers, Deux-Sèvres) is a French people, French retired professional road bicycle racer who was general director of the Tour de France from 1989 Tour de France, 1989 to 20 ...

Jean-Marie Leblanc
, police limited their tactics and riders continued. Some riders had dropped out and only 96 finished the race. It became clear in a trial that management and health officials of the Festina team had organised the doping. Further measures were introduced by race organisers and the Union Cycliste Internationale, UCI, including more frequent testing and tests for blood doping (blood transfusion, transfusions and erythropoietin, EPO use). This would lead the UCI to becoming a particularly interested party in an International Olympic Committee initiative, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), created in 1999. In 2002, the wife of Raimondas Rumšas, third in the 2002 Tour de France, was arrested after erythropoietin, EPO and anabolic steroids were found in her car. Rumšas, who had not failed a test, was not penalised. In 2004, Philippe Gaumont said doping was endemic to his Cofidis team. Fellow Cofidis rider David Millar confessed to erythropoietin, EPO after his home was raided. In the same year, Jesus Manzano, a rider with the Kelme team, alleged he had been forced by his team to use banned substances. From 1999 to 2005, seven successive tours were declared as having been won by
Lance Armstrong Lance Edward Armstrong ('' né'' Gunderson; born September 18, 1971) is an American former professional road racing cyclist Road bicycle racing is the cycle sport discipline of road cycling, held on Road surface, paved roads. Road racing is t ...

Lance Armstrong
. In August 2005, one month after Armstrong's seventh apparent victory, ''L'Équipe'' published documents it said showed Armstrong had used EPO in the 1999 race. At the same Tour, Armstrong's urine showed traces of a glucocorticosteroid hormone, although below the positive threshold. He said he had used skin cream containing triamcinolone to treat saddle sores. Armstrong said he had received permission from the UCI to use this cream. History of Lance Armstrong doping allegations, Further allegations ultimately culminated in the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) disqualifying him from all his victories since 1 August 1998, including his seven consecutive Tour de France victories, and a lifetime ban from competing in professional sports. The ASO declined to name any other rider as winner in Armstrong's stead in those years. The 2006 Tour de France, 2006 Tour had been plagued by the Operación Puerto doping case before it began. Favourites such as
Jan Ullrich Jan Ullrich (; born 2 December 1973) is a German former professional road bicycle racer A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two Location (geography), places that has been Pavement (material), paved or otherwise improved ...

Jan Ullrich
and Ivan Basso were banned by their teams a day before the start. Seventeen riders were implicated. American rider
Floyd Landis Floyd Landis (born October 14, 1975) is an American former professional road racing cyclist. He finished first at the 2006 Tour de France, and would have been the third non-European winner in the event's history, but was disqualified after testin ...
, who finished the Tour as holder of the overall lead, had tested positive for Testosterone (medication), testosterone after he won stage 17, but this was not confirmed until some two weeks after the race finished. On 30 June 2008 Landis lost his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and Óscar Pereiro was named as winner. On 24 May 2007, Erik Zabel admitted using EPO during the first week of the 1996 Tour, when he won the points classification. Following his plea that other cyclists admit to drugs, former winner
Bjarne Riis Bjarne Lykkegård Riis (; born 3 April 1964), nicknamed ''The Eagle from Herning'' ( da, Ørnen fra Herning), is a Denmark, Danish former professional road bicycle racer who placed first in the 1996 Tour de France. For many years he was the owner ...

Bjarne Riis
admitted in Copenhagen on 25 May 2007 that he used EPO regularly from 1993 to 1998, including when he won the 1996 Tour. His admission meant the top three in 1996 were all linked to doping, two admitting cheating. On 24 July 2007 Alexander Vinokourov tested positive for a blood transfusion (blood doping) after winning a time trial, prompting his Astana team to pull out and police to raid the team's hotel. The next day Cristian Moreni tested positive for Testosterone (medication), testosterone. His Cofidis team pulled out. The same day, leader Michael Rasmussen (cyclist), Michael Rasmussen was removed for "violating internal team rules" by missing random tests on 9 May and 28 June. Rasmussen claimed to have been in Mexico. The Italian journalist Davide Cassani told Danish television he had seen Rasmussen in Italy. The alleged lying prompted Rasmussen's firing by Rabobank. On 11 July 2008 Manuel Beltrán tested positive for EPO after the first stage. On 17 July 2008, Riccardo Riccò tested positive for Methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta, continuous erythropoiesis receptor activator, a variant of EPO, after the fourth stage. In October 2008, it was revealed that Riccò's teammate and 2008 Tour de France, Stage 1 to Stage 11#Stage 10, Stage 10 winner Leonardo Piepoli, as well as Stefan Schumacher – who won both time trials – and Bernhard Kohl – third on general classification and King of the Mountains – had tested positive. After winning the 2010 Tour de France, it was announced that
Alberto Contador Alberto Contador Velasco (; born 6 December 1982) is a Spanish former professional cyclist. He is one of the most successful riders of his era, winning the Tour de France twice (2007 2007 was designated as the International Heliophysical ...

Alberto Contador
had tested positive for low levels of clenbuterol on 21 July rest day. On 26 January 2011, the RFEC, Spanish Cycling Federation proposed a 1-year ban but reversed its ruling on 15 February and cleared Contador to race. Despite a pending appeal by the Union Cycliste Internationale, UCI, Contador finished fifth overall in the 2011 Tour de France, but in February 2012, Contador was suspended and stripped of his 2010 victory. During the 2012 Tour, the 3rd placed rider from 2011, Fränk Schleck, tested positive for the banned diuretic Xipamide and was immediately disqualified from the Tour. In October 2012, the United States Anti-Doping Agency released a report on doping by the U.S. Postal Service cycling team, implicating, amongst others, Armstrong. The report contained affidavits from riders including Frankie Andreu, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie,
Floyd Landis Floyd Landis (born October 14, 1975) is an American former professional road racing cyclist. He finished first at the 2006 Tour de France, and would have been the third non-European winner in the event's history, but was disqualified after testin ...
, Levi Leipheimer, and others describing widespread use of Erythropoietin (EPO), blood transfusion, testosterone, and other banned practices in several Tours. In October 2012 the UCI acted upon this report, formally stripping Armstrong of all titles since 1 August 1998, including all seven Tour victories, and announced that his Tour wins would not be reallocated to other riders. While no Tour winner has been convicted, or even seriously accused of doping in order to win the Tour in the past decade, due to the previous era, questions frequently arise when a strong performance exceeds expectations. While four time champion Froome has been involved in a doping case, it is out of an abundance of caution that modern riders are kept under a microscope with bike inspections to check for "mechanical doping"as well as Biological passport, Biological Passports as officials try not to have a repeat of EPO with 'H7379 Haemoglobin Human'. Despite initially beginning as an operation to investigate the winter sport of Nordic Skiing Operation Aderlass is of particular interest to this sport because it involved people formerly and presently involved in cycling. Including the since vacated 2008 podium finisher Bernhard Kohl, who made accusations that a team doctor instructed riders how to dope, which prompted further investigation into this matter by authorities.


Deaths

Cyclists who have died during the Tour de France: * 1910: French racer Adolphe Hélière drowned at the French Riviera during a rest day. * 1935: Spanish racer Francisco Cepeda (cyclist), Francisco Cepeda plunged down a ravine on the Col du Galibier. * 1967: 13 July, Stage 13: Tom Simpson died of heart failure during the ascent of Mont Ventoux. Amphetamines were found in Simpson's jersey and blood. * 1995: 18 July, Stage 15: Fabio Casartelli crashed at while descending the Col de Portet d'Aspet. Another seven fatal accidents have occurred: * 1934: A motorcyclist giving a demonstration in the velodrome of La Roche Sur Yon, to entertain the crowd before the cyclists arrived, died after he crashed at high speed. * 1957: 14 July: Motorcycle rider Rene Wagner and passenger Alex Virot, a journalist for Radio Luxembourg, went off a mountain road in the Spanish Pyrenees. * 1958: An official, Constant Wouters, died from injuries received after sprinter André Darrigade collided with him at the
Parc des Princes The Parc des Princes () is an all-seater stadium, all-seater Association football, football stadium in Paris, France, in the south-west of the French capital, inside the 16th arrondissement of Paris, 16th arrondissement, near the Stade Jean-Bou ...

Parc des Princes
. * 1964: Nine people died when a supply van hit a bridge in the Dordogne region, resulting in the highest tour-related death toll. * 2000: A 12-year-old from Ginasservis, known as Phillippe, was hit by a car in the Tour de France publicity caravan. * 2002: A seven-year-old boy, Melvin Pompele, died near Retjons after running in front of the caravan. * 2009: 18 July, Stage 14: A spectator in her 60s was struck and killed by a police motorcycle while crossing a road along the route near Wittelsheim.


Records and statistics

One rider has been King of the Mountains, won the combination classification, combativity award, the points competition, and the Tour in the same year—
Eddy Merckx Édouard Louis Joseph, Baron Merckx (, ; born 17 June 1945), better known as Eddy Merckx, is a Belgian former professional road and track bicycle racer who is among the most successful male riders in the history of competitive cycling. His vic ...

Eddy Merckx
in 1969, which was also the first year he participated. 1970 Tour de France, The following year he came close to repeating the feat, but was five points behind the winner in the points classification. The only other rider to come close to this achievement is Bernard Hinault in 1979 Tour de France, 1979, who won the overall and points competitions and placed second in the mountains classification. Twice the Tour was won by a racer who never wore the yellow jersey until the race was over. In 1947, Jean Robic overturned a three-minute deficit on the final stage into Paris. In 1968, Jan Janssen of the Netherlands secured his win in the individual time trial on the last day. The Tour has been won three times by racers who led the general classification on the first stage and holding the lead all the way to Paris.
Maurice Garin Maurice-François Garin (; 3 March 1871 – 19 February 1957) was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** It ...
did it during the Tour's first edition, 1903; he repeated the feat the next year, but the results were nullified by the officials as a response to widespread cheating. Ottavio Bottecchia completed a GC start-to-finish sweep in 1924. And in 1928, Nicolas Frantz held the GC for the entire race, and at the end, the podium consisted solely of members of his racing team. While no one has equalled this feat since 1928, four times a racer has taken over the GC lead on the second stage and carried that lead all the way to Paris. It is worth noting that Jacques Anquetil predicted he would wear the yellow jersey as leader of the general classification from start to finish in 1961, which he did. That year, the first day had two stages, the first part from Rouen to Versailles and the second part from Versailles to Versailles. André Darrigade wore the yellow jersey after winning the opening stage but Anquetil was in yellow at the end of the day after the time trial. The most appearances have been by
Sylvain Chavanel Sylvain Chavanel''Procycling'', UK, November 2008 (born 30 June 1979) is a French former professional road bicycle racer, who rode professionally between 2000 and 2018 for the , , and two spells with the / team. His brother Sébastien Chavanel ...

Sylvain Chavanel
, who rode his 18th and final Tour in 2018. Prior to Chavenel's final Tour, he shared the record with George Hincapie with 17. In light of Hincapie's suspension for use of performance-enhancing drugs, before which he held the mark for most consecutive finishes with sixteen, having completed all but his very first,
Joop Zoetemelk Hendrik Gerardus Joseph "Joop" Zoetemelk (; born 3 December 1946) is a Dutch former professional racing cycle sport, cyclist. He started and finished the Tour de France records and statistics, Tour de France 16 times, which were both records when ...

Joop Zoetemelk
and Chavanel share the record for the most finishes at 16, with Zoetemelk having completed all 16 of the Tours that he started. Of these 16 Tours Zoetemelk came in the top five 11 times, a record, finished second 6 times, a record, and won the 1980 Tour de France. In the early years of the Tour, cyclists rode individually, and were sometimes forbidden to ride together. This led to large gaps between the winner and the number two. Since the cyclists now tend to stay together in a
peloton In a road bicycle race Road bicycle racing is the cycle sport Cycle sport is competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the ...

peloton
, the margins of the winner have become smaller, as the difference usually originates from time trials, breakaways or on mountain top finishes, or from being left behind the peloton. The smallest margins between the winner and the second placed cyclists at the end of the Tour is 8 seconds between winner
Greg LeMond Gregory James LeMond (born June 26, 1961) is an American former professional Road bicycle racing, road racing cyclist, entrepreneur, and anti-doping advocate. A two-time winner of the UCI Road World Championships – Men's road race, Road Race ...
and
Laurent Fignon Laurent Patrick Fignon (; 12 August 1960 – 31 August 2010) was a French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, ...
in
1989 1989 was a turning point in political history because a wave of revolutions swept the Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist state A social ...
. The largest margin, by comparison, remains that of the first Tour in 1903: 2h 49m 45s between Maurice Garin and Lucien Pothier. The most podium places by a single rider is eight by Raymond Poulidor, followed by Bernard Hinault and Joop Zoetemelk with seven. Poulidor never finished in 1st place and neither Hinault nor Zoetemelk ever finished in 3rd place. Three riders have won 8 stages in a single year: Charles Pélissier (
1930 Events January * January 6 Events Pre-1600 *1066 1066 (Roman numerals, MLXVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. Events By place England * January 5 – Edward the Confessor dies after ...
),
Eddy Merckx Édouard Louis Joseph, Baron Merckx (, ; born 17 June 1945), better known as Eddy Merckx, is a Belgian former professional road and track bicycle racer who is among the most successful male riders in the history of competitive cycling. His vic ...

Eddy Merckx
(1970 Tour de France, 1970, 1974 Tour de France, 1974), and Freddy Maertens (1976 Tour de France, 1976). Mark Cavendish has the most mass finish stage wins with 33 as of stage 10 in 2021, ahead of André Darrigade and André Leducq with 22, François Faber with 19, and Eddy Merckx with 18. The youngest Tour de France stage winner is Fabio Battesini, who was 19 when he won one stage in the 1931 Tour de France. The fastest massed-start stage was in 1999 from Laval to Blois (), won by Mario Cipollini at . The fastest time-trial is Rohan Dennis's 2015 Tour de France, Stage 1 to Stage 11#Stage 1, stage 1 of the 2015 Tour de France in Utrecht, won at an average of . The fastest stage win was by the 2013 Orica GreenEDGE team in a team time-trial. It completed the in Nice (stage 5) at . The longest successful post-war breakaway by a single rider was by Albert Bourlon in the
1947 Tour de France The 1947 Tour de France was the 34th edition of the Tour de France, taking place from 25 June to 20 July. The total race distance was 21 stages over . It was the first Tour since 1939 Tour de France, 1939, having been cancelled during World War I ...
. In the Carcassone–Luchon stage, he stayed away for .Tour 09, Procycling (UK) summer 2009 It was one of seven breakaways longer than , the last being Thierry Marie's escape in 1991. Bourlon finished 16 m 30s ahead. This is one of the biggest time gaps but not the greatest. That record belongs to José-Luis Viejo, who beat the peloton by just over 23:00 and the second place rider by 22 m 50s in the Montgenèvre-Manosque stage in 1976. He was the fourth and most recent rider to win a stage by more than 20 minutes. Between 1920 and 1985, Jules Deloffre (1885–1963) was the record holder for the number of participations in the Tour de France, and even sole holder of this record until 1966, with the fourteenth participation of André Darrigade.


Record winners

Four riders have won five times: Jacques Anquetil (FRA),
Eddy Merckx Édouard Louis Joseph, Baron Merckx (, ; born 17 June 1945), better known as Eddy Merckx, is a Belgian former professional road and track bicycle racer who is among the most successful male riders in the history of competitive cycling. His vic ...

Eddy Merckx
(BEL),
Bernard Hinault Bernard Hinault (; born 14 November 1954) is a French former professional cycling, cyclist. With 147 professional victories, including five in the Tour de France, he is often named among the greatest cyclists of all time. Hinault started cycli ...
(FRA), and
Miguel Indurain Miguel is a given name and surname, the Portuguese and Spanish form of the Hebrew name Michael Michael is a masculine given name derived from the Hebrew phrase ''mī kāʼēl'', 'Who slike-El', in Aramaic: ܡܝܟܐܝܠ (''Mīkhāʼēl'' ). The t ...

Miguel Indurain
(ESP). Indurain achieved the mark with a record five consecutive wins.


Notes


References


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* * * *


External links

* * {{DEFAULTSORT:Tour De France Tour de France, Cycle races in France Grand Tour (cycling) Recurring sporting events established in 1903 UCI ProTour races UCI World Tour races 1903 establishments in France Annual sporting events in France July sporting events Summer events in France Challenge Desgrange-Colombo races Super Prestige Pernod races