Whether you just want to impress your friends or just buff up on your Tour de France knowledge, La Redoute has you covered. We’ve picked out 10 facts that you probably don’t know about the greatest cycling race on earth!
1) The first tour took place in 1903 and only had 5 stages. The tour started in Paris, visiting Marseille, Lyon and Nantes before returning to the French capital. The event took place over a 5 week period.
2) The Second Tour de France was almost the last after a number of finishers were banned for cheating. That wasn’t the end of the problems, as supporters of cyclists would beat up rivals to stop them winning the tour!
Miguel Inurain. Image from Flickr/ta_do
3) But, it wasn’t the last. The third Tour took place over 11 stages, and in broad daylight to help stop the cheating.
4) The Yellow Jerseys originate from the tour organisers L’Auto. L’auto was a popular bi-monthly magazine and their pages were famously yellow, so they decided to give the race leader a yellow jersey in homage to their page colour!
5) While 2014 marks the tours 111th birthday, the 2014 race is the 101st in history. The race was called off during both of the World Wars.
6) Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain all hold the record for most trophies won. They’ve won the title 5 times.
Didi Senft. Image from Flickr/photoverulam
7) The Tour has its own devil! Didi Senft is a passionate cycling
fan, and for the past 20 years, he has made a name by popping up dressed in a devil costume. When you see his trident mark painted on the floor, watch out for his celebratory antics as the riders pass by.
8) Freddie Mercury was inspired by the Tour, and wrote the Bicycle Song after he was amazed by watching one of the stages.
9) The Grand Depart in Leeds isn’t the first time the Tour has started in the UK. In 2007, London hosted the start of the Tour de France.
10) Amazingly, it took Britain 109 years to win a Tour de France trophy! Bradley Wiggins takes that honour when he captured the hearts of the nation by riding to victory in 2012. Britain didn’t have to wait long for another champion. Chris Froome won it 12 months later.
Are you hosting a cycling party this summer? Follow our party guide to help you throw a great party!