Tour de France

The Tour de France is an annual multiple-stage race held primarily in France. It is made up of 21 stages over 23 days (two are rest days).


In 1903, the Tour de France began as a rivalry between two French sports newspapers: Le Vélo and L’Auto. A L’Auto Journalist proposed the multi-stage race as a way to sell more copies. The six-stage event over 18 days was won by Frenchman Maurice Garin and is still the biggest cycling race.

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Tour de France 2021

The Tour de France normally starts in July, but the 2021 Tour de France has been brought forward to accommodate the Tokyo Olympic Games. It started on June 26 as a result.


The five key stages are:

  • Wednesday 30 June – stage 5: Changé to Laval Espace Mayenne (27km, individual time trial)
  • Wednesday 7 July – stage 11: Sorgues to Malaucène (199km)
  • Sunday 11 July – stage 15: Céret to Andorre-La-Vieille (191km)
  • Wednesday 14 July – stage 17: Muret to Col du Portet (178km, summit finish)
  • Thursday 15 July – stage 18: Pau to Luz Ardiden (130km, summit finish)
The most Tour de France wins

The Tour de France is now in its 107th edition. The following riders have won the Tour de France five times:


  • Jacques Anquetil (1957, 1961 - 1964)
  • Eddy Merckx (1969 - 1972, 1974)
  • Bernard Hinault (1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1985)
  • Miguel Indurain (1991 - 1995)


Merckx is considered the greatest cyclist of all time. He won the 1969 combination classification, combativity award, points competitions and the Tour overall, and the King of the Mountains jersey in his first appearance.


Jean Robic won the Tour in 1947 despite not earning the yellow jersey.

Wearing the yellow jersey

There are several classifications based on a range of criteria.


  • The general classification (GC) ranks riders according to their overall time. The leader of the GC wears the yellow jerseyThe rider with the fastest overall time at the end of the race is the Tour de France winner.
  • The mountains classification is based on points accumulated on the Tour's classified ascents. The leader of this classification wears the polka-dot jersey.
  • The points classification is for sprinters, and points are awarded for the top finishers on each stage and intermediate sprints.

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RELATED IDEAS

  • The Tour de France is a multi-stage, international cycle race, taking place every year in France and surrounding areas.
  • The first tournament was created by reporter and cyclist Henri Desgrange in 1903.
  • The 107th Tour de France took place in Aug-Sept 2020, and this year, it began on June 26, to continue till July 18, 2021.
  • The race includes 21 stages and covers over 3k kilometres this year.
  • France has won this tournament 36 times, and American born Lance Armstrong won it seven times.
“Le Grande Boucle”
  • Also known as “Le Grande Boucle” or “Le Tour”, Tour de France is the world’s largest annual sporting event. 
  • It’s a cycling competition that is held in France every year (sometimes neighboring countries) and takes place in 21 stages with a course that covers approximately 3,500 kilometers.
  • Cyclists from around the world gather in France to compete for the chance win the prestigious Tour de France trophy and a cash prize of €450,000 (just over $500,000).
  • This is a sport that garners 3.5 billion television viewers, and over 12 million spectators annually. It’s a thrilling sport and is completely free to attend.
How Tour de France riders relieve themselves

In the first five to ten minutes of a race, riders pull to the side of the road, pull their shorts down just like you would underwear and do their business. During this neutral rollout, there's lots of time to catch back on to the peloton.


Once the pace picks up, it's easier to wait for a lull in the race when a big part of the peloton pulls to the side of the road. But, they also pee off the bike while riding.



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