What is Tour de France?
- Tour de France is the most famous cycling grand tour held annually.
- It is a multiple stage bicycle race primarily held in France, while also occasionally passing through nearby countries.
- Tour de France consists of 21 day-long segments (stages) over a 23-day period and covers around 3,500 kilometers.
- The number of teams varies between 20 and 22, with nine riders in each team.
The cycling Grand Tours
The Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España are cycling's most renowned, three-week-long Grand Tours. Tour de France is the oldest and is considered as the most prestigious of the three.
When and how did the race start?
- The tour was first organized in 1903 to increase sales of the magazine L'Auto.
- It has been held regularly since its first edition except during the two World Wars.
- The tour usually takes place in July. While the route changes every year, the format stays the same.
- The event is currently organized by Amaury Sport Organisation.
A race with five competitions
- The tour comprises of five competitions: the general classification, points classification, mountains classification, best young rider, and team classification.
- The rider that completes all the stages in the lowest time over three weeks comes top of the general classification and wins the Tour.
- The points and mountains classifications are won on points; the general, young rider and team classifications on time.
(Not) One Jersey to rule them all!
- While the winner of the tour dons the Yellow Jersey (maillot jaune), there are other jerseys specific to certain categories.
- Green Jersey (maillot vert) goes to the leader of the points classification.
- Polka-dot Jersey (maillot a pois) for most points won in the mountain sections of stages.
- White Jersey (maillot blanc) to the rider under 26 with the lowest overall time and so on.
Legends of Tour de France
- The legends of the Tour include five-times winners Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx and Jacques Anquetil, and the three-time winners Louison Bobet and Greg LeMond.
- Greg Lemond was the first non-European to win the Tour.
- Lance Armstrong was the most winning rider, having won seven times consecutively from 1999 to 2005, before being stripped of his titles in 2012 for doping.
First winner of the Tour
Maurice Garin was the winner of the inaugural Tour de France in 1903. He also won the second edition of the race in 1904 but was stripped of it for cheating.
2015 edition of Tour de France
- Tour de France 2015 was the 102nd edition of the Tour.
- It began in Utrecht, Netherlands on 4 July and ended with Champs-Élysées stage in Paris on 26 July 2015.
- The race covered a total distance of 3,360 kilometres,
- A total of 198 riders from 22 teams entered the race. 32 nations were represented in the race with majority of riders (41) from France.
Britain's Chris Froome wins Tour de France
- Kenya-born Brit Chris Froome won Le Tour de France for the second time on 26 July 2015; he had previously won in 2013.
- This made him the first British man to win it twice.
- Froome beat Colombia's Nairo Quintana to win the Yellow Jersey by 72 seconds.
- He was part of Team Sky which won three of the last four of cycling's showpiece races.
Chris Froome also wins Polka Jersey
Apart from winning the Yellow Jersey for winning the Tour, Chris Froome also won the Polka dot Jersey known as the 'King of the Mountains' Jersey which is given to the best-climber.