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Tour de Trivia

Did you know…?

  • The first Tour de France was held in 1903.


  • The Tour was originated to increase sales of L'Auto, a French newspaper.


  • The Tour was originally an individual competitive event, with cyclists strictly prohibited from working as a team.


  • The first death of a competitor during the Tour de France occurred in 1910. Three other cyclists have died while competing in the Tour since then.


  • With the exception of a 4-year suspension during World War I and a 7-year suspension during World War II, the Tour has been held every year since 1903.


  • In 1969, Eddy Merckx won the King of the Mountains, the points competition, and the GC. He is the only cyclist in the history of the Tour de France to win all three Tour competitions in the same year.


  • The record for the most Tour de France stage wins is held by Eddy Merckx, who won 34.


  • The fastest stage win in the Tour was turned in by the Discovery Channel team in 2005. Team Discovery completed the 67.5 km (41.9 mi) team time-trial with an average speed of 57.32 kmh (35.62 mph).


  • The Tour de France is the world's most-viewed annual sports event.


  • The Tour’s first photo-finish was in 1955.


  • To help avoid dangerous mass sprints to the finish line, all riders in a group of finishers are credited with the same time as the lead rider.


  • If a rider crashes within the final 3 kilometers of a stage with a flat finish, he is awarded the same time as the group he was riding in at the time of the crash.


  • The national teams from France and Belgium have won the most Team Classifications, with 10 wins apiece.


  • The youngest Tour de France winner was Henri Cornet, who was 19 when he won in 1904.


  • The oldest Tour winner was Firmin Lambot, who won in 1922 at the age of 36.


  • The 2011 Tour de France will mark the 81st year of the Tour’s publicity caravan—a parade of colorfully decorated vehicles sponsored by advertisers. Approximately 16 million gifts have been distributed by publicity caravan participants over the years.


  • According to a survey of Tour spectators, 39% come primarily to see the publicity caravan that precedes the Tour.




 

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