Category Archives: Cycling

History of the Tour de France

The Tour de France is one of the most renowned multiple stage bicycling race in the world that is usually held in France while some nearby countries are also associated for allowing the passes for the event. At present, the cycling event is organized by Amaury Sport Organisation. Since its origin in 1903, the race has been continuously held except the two gaps due to two World Wars With the passage of time, the Tour de France gained enough popularity and reputation and the race expands from the periphery of France to the global arena.

  • Origin of the Tour de France

This world famous cycling event was originated in 1903 due to the emergence of rivalry between two sports newspapers of France- Le Vélo, and L’Auto. Over the disagreement on the Dreyfus Affair, the new rival newspaper L’Auto was established against the most popular newspaper Le Vélo at that time. Now Henri Desgrange was appointed as the editor of newly established newspaper L’Auto. Henry was also recognized as a prominent cyclist who initiated to start the race with the intention to beat its rival newspaper. Henry sponsored the cycling event for the purpose of advertisement of their newspaper. In the first race of the Tour de France, the winner was Maurice Garin, a 32-year-old Frenchman who finished the race at 25.68 km/h. After the race, it was seen that the mission of L’Auto was completed as due to the race, the circulation of the newspaper was enhanced greatly.

  • History of the Race between 1904-1939

Due to the emerging passion and popularity of the race, the Tour de France was help in the next year 1904 although, there were much controversies and frauds associated with the first event. Gradually the race was expanded from 6 stages to 11 stages. From 1905, the cycling event was started to take place during the daylight in order to avoid any kind of cheating. Only during the World War I, the cycling race was being held continuously while the circulation of L’Auto reached up to 500,000 by 1923. During this phrase, Desgrange conducted several experiments for upgrading the race to superior standard and that’s why he changed the format over time. However, after Desgrange’s death on 16 August, 1949, the deputy of the race was handed over to Jacques Goddet. Then due to the World War II, the race was disrupted after 1939 to 1946.

  • History of the Race between 1947-1969

The Tour de France returned in 1947 while L’Équipe was entrusted with the responsibility of its organization. This time the format of this race was settled between 20 to 25 stages. In 1953, the Green Jersey ‘Points’ was introduced in the competition. Until 1961, the national teams were allowed to contest in the race where in 1962, the trade teams were introduced in the race to participate.

  • History of the Race between 1969-1988

During this era, a new commercial atmosphere was brought with the introduction of recruit sponsors. Moreover, in 1982, the Tour de France got its winners Sean Kelly of Ireland and Phil Anderson of Australia first time outside the Continental Europe heartlands. Gradually the global awareness of the race had been increasing.

  • History of the Race from 1988 to Present

When in 1988 Jean-Pierre Courcol was given the responsibility to organize the event, from 1993, the ownership was moved to Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) to look after the event. At present, this association is entrusted the task of organizing the cycling event.

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