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The Best of Cycling Le Tour De France

Updated on September 26, 2011

The tour de France was first run in the early 1900s. One hundred plus years and this world famous bicycle race is still the most famous. The tour de France runs for 23 days in the month of July, normally hundreds of cyclist pedal there way across France for a chance at glory. The race itself is over thirty five hundred kilometers or twenty three hundred miles which test strength determination and endurance.

The Tour de France consists of 21 separate scored stages across France. The winner is determined at the end of the race with the total combined time over all 21 stages. Usually during the race the current leader at the time wears a special yellow jersey. The stages are designed to go from one town to another. The course itself is designed to cover the majority of France and in some years it has been known to go through parts of neighboring countries as well like Switzerland and Spain.

2009 tour De France Route
2009 tour De France Route

There are three big bike races each year along with the Tour De France the Giro d’ltalia and the Vuelta are the most prestige’s ones. The tour De France is the most prestigious of the three in stage racing and is also the longest of the three races. Unlike the other two large bicycle races the Tour de France is a common household name and because of this is world renown. Most people that are not even involved in cycling know of the Tour De France. Even the name of the sponsor of the Tour de France the UCI World Cycling Championship is familiar only to cycling enthusiast.

The cycling world normally enters races as part of a team. The same is true for the Tour De France the tour usually enters a combination of 15-25 teams each with about 9 riders. The cycling world is very competitive at this point and historically the only way to compete in the tour De France is by invitation only. The invitees are handpicked out of all the professional teams that are currently competing. Only the best will be chosen for this exciting occasion. In the last few years the Tour De France has tried something new. They have established a point system that looks at the number of UCI points to determine the teams that will be entered automatically. In the process the also reserve a number of slots for individuals that are part of large teams or French teams that are not able to race based on their individual team results.

When the teams enter the Tour de France they are usually known by the name of there sponsors that sponsor them. For Example, the famous tour de France winner Lance Armstrong was originally on the UPS team but then next year was switched to the Discovery channel team. Along the race route there is a pit crew incase the riders need water or if a bike tire goes flat.

In the recent 2009 Tour de France it started in early July in Brest, Brittany. The race as it has traditionally ended in Champs Elysees in Paris France near the end of July. This year’s race consisted of a varying degree of about 9 flat stages, 4 mountain stages and 6 medium mountain stages and at least 2-3 individual time trial stages throughout the race.

 

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