01 - 23 July 2017
As one third of the three week long Grand Tours, Tour de France is the oldest and generally considered the most prestigious of all three. Traditionally held in July, this race brings together teams from all over the world to compete in this world famous race. We’re really excited to be sponsoring this event and to be bringing people closer to the Tour de France action.
The race began in 1903 when the French magazine L’Auto wanted to increase it’s sales. Journalist Géo Lefèvre, pitched the idea for a near 2,500km race and thankfully his editor was bold enough to believe in the idea and to throw his backing behind the Tour de France.
And so it was that, on 1 July 1903, sixty pioneers set out on their bicycles from Montgeron. After six mammoth stages (Nantes - Paris, 471 km!), only 21 “routiers”, led by Maurice Garin, arrived at the end of this first epic.
Having provoked a mixture of astonishment and admiration, le Tour soon won over the sporting public and the roadside crowds swelled. The French people took to their hearts this unusual event which placed their towns, their countryside and, since 1910, even their mountains, in the spotlight.
21 stages over 22 days. Starting in Düsseldorf and finishing in the world famous Paris Champs-Élysées.
Click here to find out more about the l'Étape du Tour
France have won the most races with 36 victories. England have managed 4 wins, all in recent years.
Over the course of the roughly 3,500 kilometres Tour de France, a cyclist will sweat about 1.5 litres per hour totalling 130 litres for the entire race. That’s enough to flush a toilet 39 times. That’s a lot of sweat.
In the 20’s it was not uncommon for riders to share cigarettes while riding. Believe it or not, it was believed that smoking would help “open the lungs” before big climbs.
It turns out that the Tour de France isn’t just a test of physical endurance for the riders; the Tour de France bikes suffer too. During the three-week challenge, riders combined can wear out a total of 792 tires.
You might have noticed that there are lots of different coloured jerseys worn in the race. Here’s what they all mean:
Traditionally called the mallot jaune, the holder of the yellow jersey at the finish in Paris is crowned the overall winner of the Tour de France.
The winner of this jersey is known as the ‘King of the Mountains’ and it is awarded to the best climber in the race. The leader of the competition is given this to wear each day.
The riders who finish consistently high throughout the day are given a green jersey.
This is the young person version of the yellow jersey. This is awarded to the highest placed rider under 25.
Peloton: The main group of cyclists riding together during a stage. They travel in these packs for protection, mostly from the wind.
Flamme Rouge: The red flag that indicates that there is 1km left to go in the day’s stage.
Lanterne Rouge: The name given to the slowest rider
Musette: The riders’ lunchbox that is handed to them by a team employee. It’s a fabric bag full of energy bars, small cakes and sandwiches.
We’ll be there supporting all the riders with our fleet of support vehicles across all five of the stages; offering the riders both logistical support and technical support.
It never gets easier, you just go faster.
Greg LeMond, cyclist. 3-time winner of Tour de France.
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