Everyone has ridden a bicycle for fun and recreation and some people have even ridden a bicycle for exercise three or more times a week. However, there may not be bicycle riding fans that are familiar with the biggest bicycle race in the world called the Tour De France. The tour de France has much history behind it, including the fact that American cyclist, Lance Armstrong has won the Tour de France seven times. The fact that Lance Armstrong has won this race seven times is perhaps why sports analysts have called the Tour de France the Tour de Lance. Here are some more tidbits about the history of the Tour de France.
The modern day Tour de France starts in the beginning of July and lasts for three weeks. It is a grueling test of human endurance because the Tour de France runs about 2,175 miles that are ridden in 21 stages; nine of the 21 stages in the Tour de France take place over mountainous terrain. The history of the Tour de France began in 1903 with 60 riders and by the 1920s the Tour de France included more than 100 cyclists throughout Europe. Seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong is one of the biggest highlights in the history of the Tour de France; however this race has had its share of lowlights.
In 1967, British rider Tom Simpson died mid race after taking amphetamines which prompted the Tour de France to adopt drug testing. In addition, in 2007, American Floyd Landis became the first winner in Tour de France history to be stripped of the title due to charges that he used synthetic testosterone in 2006. Now all stage winners of this race are screened daily. However, the winners of the Tour de France are allowed to drink champagne.
Each year throughout the history of the Tour de France winners have been awarded money and the prestigious yellow jersey. Since Lance Armstrong has won the Tour de France 7 times he owns 7 yellows jerseys. However, the yellow jersey wasn’t always awarded in the history of the Tour de France; the winner of the first Tour de France was awarded a green armband. Moreover, the Tour de France colors have been yellow, green, and polka dots. The yellow jersey goes to the winner of the Tour de France, the green jersey goes to the runner up in the Tour de France, and the polka dot jersey goes to the rider that places third in the tour de France. The history of the Tour de France is a rich one and will become richer as the Tour de France continues year after year. Sorces: www.time.com, wikipedia.org