Facts About The Tour de France

Tour de France speak for more than a century to the imagination.Nails on the road to win a lady’s bike: an anthology of the most remarkable events.

The first Tour

Tradition says that the first Tour de France began on Wednesday, July 1, 1903 at the inn Réveil Matin in Montgeron, a suburb of Paris, under the watchful eye of Henri Desgrange, the man who is considered the founder of the Tour. But the official story is not true, because in reality Desgrange was not present at the start.He had so little confidence in the adventure which he puts on the first Tour de France left to his assistant Géo Lefèvre that the idea had come up with. And in Reveil Matin showed sixty drivers who are only a short while to register. As it did on the road, the real start was six hundred meters away.


The first tours were hit hard by hooliganism and cheating. Rival supporter groups had free rein. It rained punctures by nails and pieces of glass scattered on the road. In Saint-Etienne were fans of local hero Alfred Faure ready to string all of his opponents on the blade. Fear dressed riders and painted their bikes, so they were unrecognizable.Since the steps were so long, there was also ?? night drive. Riders left in the dark hallway ?? branded by car or simply intervened. After the Tour 1904 was the first four riders, including the winner Maurice Garin, removed from the final standings. It was found that they had taken the train route.

By a hair

The smallest ever margin by which the Tour was won, was eight seconds to Greg LeMond beat Laurent Fignon in 1989. But in 1932, the difference between the winner and the runner up is even lower: only three seconds! Leducq was lucky that could be earned on each leg, bonus minutes: four for the stage winner, two for second and one for number three. He won six stages and captured a total of 31 minutes. Stöpel was stabbing at seven, leaving him in the final standings a seemingly large backlog of 24 minutes and three seconds had the Leducq. But without bonuses he would have won by a hair after the Tour.


The prewar Tours arranged by equipment failure may determine. Eugene Christophe lost in 1919 in the penultimate stage the yellow jersey when his front fork broke. Victor Fontan hit by bad luck in 1929 in yellow along the doors in a village in the Pyrenees and were living in a normal cycle hire him to continue the journey. He gave before the finish exhausted. The year before, Nicolas Frantz had more luck. When his broken bicycle brought him in trouble, the championship leaders passed a two-wheeler business. On a small ladies bike, complete with headlights and fenders, Luxemburger put in the tradition of the hunt. With success, as he limited damage and won the Tour.


The first week of the centenary Tour took place around the Mediterranean, where in 1910 lamented the first of four victims were Tour. The French cyclist Adolphe Hélière drowned the rest day with a swim in the sea in Nice. He was convicted of a jellyfish sting and subsequent heart attack. Francisco Cepeda was in 1935 the first not survive a crash during a tour scene. The Spaniard died in hospital from the effects of a skull fracture, suffered three days earlier in a fall in the gorge of the Galibier. The last two are more famous Dead Tour: Tom Simpson collapsed in 1967 in the Mont Ventoux and Fabio Casartelli crashed fatally in 1995 at Portet d’?? Aspet.


Centenary Tour had only ninety time trial kilometers, much less than before. The first race against the clock in the Tour was as long and was won in 1934 by Antonin Magne after ?? mornings a ride was finished in line. The longest individual time trial was held in 1947. Raymond Impanis won by 139 km and nearly four hours in Saint-Brieuc. In the late seventies and early eighties, every tour there were five or six time trials; 1979 even seven. Among them were the team time trial, the longest of 153 km was won in 1978 in Caen with TI-Raleigh formation of Knetemann, Cooper and Lubberding. That year, the total number of time trial kilometers 342, an extreme record.


Dogs that interfere tour of all time. Already in the first Tour in 1903 was Hippolyte AUCOUTURIER, one of the favorites, giving up after a dog he was overthrown in 1910 and took a collision with a dog series leader François Faber final victory. In 2007, although there were two incidents in a Tour for: Marcus Burghardt attacked a Labrador and Sandy Casar and Frederik Willems appeared at an intersection beast. Three years ago, David Millar on Brouwers after cutting a dog in the pack running. The most famous victim of a dog’s Joaquim Agostinho who twice finished third in the Tour: he died in 1984 after a fatal crash in the Tour of Algarve.


Already in 1928, eight years before the first Dutch team would attend, took them Australians took part in the Tour.In 1950, the first Africans in the Tour. Two of them, the Algerian Marcel Molines and Abd-el-Kader Zaaf, the name of the oppressive thirteenth stage from Perpignan to Nîmes a big lead. Along Zaaf was a spectator a bottle, which he drank greedily. There appeared to be in the wine. The alcohol hit him with a sledgehammer and driving Zaaf came to a stop under a plane tree, where he fell asleep. When he woke up a while later, the crowd helped him back in the saddle. Zaaf instinctively began to fall, but he drove the wrong way to face the peloton. Molines won the trip, Zaaf was Tour legend.

Thirteen Minutes

Albi place in the centenary Tour in the Dutch Tour history, forever associated with the name Daan de Groot. The tall, blond Amsterdam debuted in 1955 at the age of 22 in the Tour. In the thirteenth stage of Millau to Albi, held in the heat, De Groot started at a hundred and fifty kilometers from the finish to escape a monster. In the final phase, he heard the broadcaster that he ?? treize ?? minute lead had. De Groot, who did not speak French so well thought ??tres ?? to hear. He drove like a man possessed, therefore, to end in Albi, where his margin came in at more than twenty minutes. Daan de Groot was done so quickly that the Dutch radio missed his post.

The Eagle of Toledo

The legendary Spanish climber Federico Bahamontes, alias ?? Eagle of Toledo ??, debuted in 1954 in the Tour. Since then, the story is about him that he is on top of a mountain stopped and waited for his pursuers as he ate an ice cream. Too good to be true? No, it really happened, so confirm several contemporary sources, including Bahamontes himself. On the Col de Romeyère broke a spoke in his wheel while keeping his bicycle headlight. He fell, so he was on top of the wheel can be replaced to connect back to the flock. But the equipment truck could not pass the large group and Bahamontes had to wait long for their new wheels. As long as he bought an ice cream at an ice cream man to pass the time.


Pyrenees was in 1910 for the first time in the Tour. In 1926 they formed the scene of the most heroic stage in Tour history. In the tenth ride, over a distance of more than three hundred kilometers from the Bayonne to Luchon, the riders were overtaken by a violent storm with heavy rain turned the roads to mud flows. The Belgian Lucien Buysse, alias ?? ?? Rock, won the go was after more than seventeen hours. Fear Bears “?? late evening quest down in the mountains to find some missing drivers. They were found in crevices, caves, tunnels and huts, where they sought shelter from the weather. Of the 76 riders made it there 22 did not finish.

Undaunted Oermens

In Brittany the Tour always provides a tribute to Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx for the best Tour rider of all time. The anecdotes about Hinault are many. The 1981 Tour bet he kicked a water bottle bite and swallowed the lid on. Riders who saw it, could not believe his eyes. Hinault was a fearless prehistoric man who could do anything: he won 28 stages, including twenty attempts, mass sprint on the Champs-Elysées and the ascent of the Alpe d’Huez??. In 1985, he won his fifth tour with a broken nose sustained in a crash. He feared even outside of the package. As a rookie in 1978, he led a massive strike and riders at the end of his career he dried protesting port workers kicking and hitting the road.

Brotherly Kärlek

During his five-year reign on the Tour Miguel Indurain win any road stage. From 1991 to 1995 large Spaniard laid the foundation for his last victories each in the time trials. He won ten races against the clock, including in 1993 around the Lac de Madine. About 171. And the last time also ended an Indurain: Prudencio, his younger brother, who just fell within the deadline. Was it perhaps no coincidence that Miguel Indurain in the final stages of the trial suddenly bad luck turned, stopped and got another bike from his coach that ran behind him? The delay cost him a few seconds. Only seconds needed Prudencio, unlike his brother, he literally drove home.


The French riders today in the shadow of the foreign top players. In earlier times it was triggered fanatical home crowd to help their countrymen a hand. The Belgian Sylvère Maes in 1937 as opposed to fleeing the yellow home, after the Frenchman Roger Lapébie won the Tour. Maes was heading pelted with stones and tomatoes and he saw the trees in a railroad crossing in front of him go down, and there were no trains nearby. Thirteen years later, Gino Bartali same. He was attacked in the mountains of the French fans, frustrated by the Italian force majeure and then left the Tour. To the anger of the Tour organization, which was hastily planned to stage Italy scrapped.

Smart Winner

The peloton crossed the line and still win the race? Leo van Vliet did it in 1979. Westlander TI-Raleigh team was not only the strongest, but also the smartest in the seventh stage. He was just ahead hit with two Frenchmen, Christian Levavasseur and Christian Poirier. In case had Deauville are no shorts. Van Vliet countered an attack by Levavasseur and turned first to the last bend in the platoon when he suddenly saw before him. He joined the tail of the group and held Levavasseur behind. While the peloton began the final round, Leo van Vliet raised his arms in the air and celebrated his first and only stage victory in the Tour.

Doping Demonstration

On Tuesday, June 28, 1966, the first doping in the Tour de France. Raymond Poulidor in Bordeaux was the first rider tested. The year before, the use of performance enhancing drugs are punishable in France. The next day the riders put a part of the scene to Bayonne on foot. The protest was led by Jacques Anquetil. The five-time Tour winner felt that he and his colleagues?? s had the right to treat themselves ???? they wanted. ,, With Vittel no one comes to the mountains, ???? his legendary statement. Anquetil made during an interview with a French newspaper with his pants to show how many holes had caused the doping injects into his buttocks.

Coppi Som Turist

On Wednesday, July 22, 1953 saw Louison Bobet, on the way to his first Tour victory in a flash a familiar face in the crowd on the Col d ?? Izoard. It was none other than Fausto Coppi, the Italian Champions Tour last year with a great show of power was in his hands. The organization had at the time the price for the number two doubles, so there is still an interesting fight would occur; Coppi was a different order. In 1953 the hit?? Il Campionissimo?? Tour after a hard Giro over. Instead, he visited with his new love Giulia at his side, France as a tourist. Together encouraged Bobet on Izoard. A month later, Fausto Coppi champions impressive world. He would never ride the Tour.

Red Lantern

Tours in 1939, 1948 and 1980 had a remarkable line: After each step, the song was last in the standings each taken off course. In 1976, this was not the case and therefore Aad van den Hoek was given the opportunity for a brilliant drop. The rider of the TI-Raleigh was four days before the final end and that he wanted to stay, because the red lantern bearer was a welcome guest in the lucrative criterion for the Tour. His only remaining rival???? José Luis Uribezubia. When the Spaniard in the unit Tulle suddenly dropped out of the squad, so that he would lose time, also left Van den Hoek will group. He hid under a bridge and came out again after Uribezubia passed. Who won???? He is the red lantern.

The Dutch

Gerrie Knetemann, Jan Raas and Joop Zoetemelk the Dutch rider with the individual stage victories in the Tour: Ten.Really just Knetemann play, when he won eleven stages. In 1979 he continued his fellow breakaway Sergio Parsani for the trip to Dijon. The victory, however, was taken from him, because Amsterdam’s old bricklayer would have ridden after his attack from the peloton a little behind a car. Knetemann got ten seconds penalty and was back to second place. Advocate for the TI-Raleigh world felt robbed, but revenge was sweet. Two days later, he escaped again and defeated Auxerre in his flight mate Giovanni Battaglin in the sprint. This time, he got the victory scene indeed.

One Million Dollars

Greg LeMond ended in 1984 and sixth in the stage to Alpe d’Huez ??. The 23-year-old American, on his way to third place in the overall standings behind Fignon and Hinault, was considered to be a super talent and did not miss Bernard Tapie. The French businessman had begun his own cycling team, La Vie Claire. After Hinault he wanted LeMond tempted by a switch. Therefore Tapie sent?? night after the scene a female motorcyclist to Lemonds hotel. They asked surprised riders to take the back seat, and she led him through the streets of the Alpine Village to Tapie. The US received an offer of one million dollars for three seasons; it meant the introduction of big money in cycling. In 1985, Greg LeMond rode with La Vie Claire.

Never in Yellow

During the Tour anywhere in the leader’s jersey away and still win the final standings? It happened twice in the history of the Tour de France. Jean Robic jumped in 1947 in final stage thanks to a stunning coup in Cote de Bonsecours Rouen from third to first place. Only after the arrival in Paris, he first got the yellow around the shoulders. The same thing happened in 1968. Mr Janssen Dutchman defeated in the finals paced championship leader Herman Van Springel, thus winning the Tour where he never actually drove the yellow jersey; The only drawback with a victory in the extreme. Robic and Janssen contributed a tour or once the yellow: Robic one day in 1953 and Janssen one day in 1966.

No Ninth Victory

Three riders have won the Tour in the same eight steps: Charles Pelissier in 1930, Eddy Merckx in 1970 and 1974, Freddy Maertens in 1976. Pelissier, Mark Cavendish thirties, could also have been the absolute record of nine stage wins. After his stage win in Bordeaux accused the Italian Alfredo Binda Frenchman, however, that he had him in the sprint on his jersey pulled, as Pelissier was disqualified. In addition to eight times he finished first in the Tour also seven times a second. ?? ?? Charlot, as his nickname, was known as a beautiful, charming and vain. He introduced the white socks in the peloton. That turned him on dozens of marriage proposals, he had to answer by ?? his wife.

Bicycle Buried In The Garden

The first Tour after World War II in 1947 experienced a grand finale. Two days before the end René Vietto, which for several weeks had raised the standings, the sample trial of 139 kilometers from the yellow ridden by French Italian Pierre Brambilla. With a lead of almost three minutes on Jean Robic Brambilla started last flat stage from Caen to Paris. He saw himself already late winner until he Rouen was surprised by an attack of Robic. Brambilla lost thirteen minutes and Tour. The next day, Monday, July 21, 1947, invited the first rider on the final day victory in the Tour lost journalists for a brief ceremony in their home. Dismayed and disappointed Pierre Brambilla buried his bike in the garden.