What a great summer for watching sports.
First the World Cup
and now the Tour de France.
Selling road bikes I have to blog about the Tour de France.
With everyone watching the World Cup this year though
I thought I better wait until after the Finals.
The Tour started on July 5th and goes through July 27th. Still plenty of chances to watch the excitement. One thing cool about the race in 2014 is that the race started in Northern England.
- First Tour de France was in 1903.
- 2014 is the 101st running of the tour. The race wasn't run during the two world wars
- Record number of wins was by Lance Armstrong with seven. The record book shows him with zero wins as all were taken away for doping.
- Four riders have won five times.
- In 1904 the leader was found to have caught a train for part of the event and had his win taken away.
- The overall leader(the rider with the lowest cumulative time) wears the yellow jersey.
- After 21 days and 2000 miles, the time between first and second place is sometimes mere seconds.
- Gearing systems were banned in the early races so some riders would use a flip-flop hub to change to another gear for steep hills.
- Early riders sometimes smoked during the race and instead of energy drinks, riders would share wine when riding.
- Early tour organizers designed the route to be as grueling as possible. One of the founders said: "The ideal Tour would be one in which only one rider survived the ordeal."
- Four cyclists have died during the tour. Three from crashes, one from heart failure.
- Freddie Mercury wrote Queen's "Bicycle" after watching a stage of the Tour de France in 1978.