Last Updated on April 22, 2023 by Emmanuel
Do you ask, “Why is the Tour de France regarded as a global sporting event?” This article helps you to learn better about this biggest cycling event.
Indeed, each Tour de France stage attracts over 25 million TV viewers from many countries globally.
The following sections provide essential information about this excellent cycling sport.
Table of Contents
What Is The Tour De France, And When Did It Start?
Henri Desgrange and George Lefèbre created the Tour de France in 1903 as an annual cycling event.
Henri was the editor of l’Auto journal, while George was a respected cycling and rugby reporter.
The 1903 Tour de France was organized in eight stages for a 405 km average distance per stage.
The competitors had no other choice than cycling days and nights to accomplish the stage, which was challenging.
Besides, it was the responsibility of the cyclists to repair their bikes because they were not organized in teams as it is today.
The winner was Maurice Garin, and the newspapers of the two organizers benefited enormously because of this Tour’s large audience.
Unfortunately, the subsequent Tour de France failed due to improper rules and organization.
Many riders cheated by sabotaging their colleagues’ bikes and boarding the trains to shorten the stages.
In 1905, the organizers set new rules and added new stages, including the Ballon d’Alsace as the first mountain stage.
They continued improving the Tour by adding new stages like the Pyrénées in 1910 and the Alps a year later.
The now organizer of the Tour de France is Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), which specializes in the top international sporting events.
Why Is The Tour De France A Global Sporting Event?
Many reasons explain why the Tour de France is a global sporting event, including the fact that it attracts the best cycling teams worldwide.
Each team aligns its best players yearly, hoping to win the prestigious yellow jersey.
Besides riders running for their teams for commercial purposes, they honor their countries.
Such diversity makes the Tour gain a large audience globally, and many people travel to France to watch it live.
Others watch this cycling race from their homes’ comfort because many TV channels worldwide broadcast it from beginning to end.
For instance, you can watch the Tour de France annually in the US on the NBC TV channel, which is unusual due to the slightest interest in cycling in this country.
Another reason the Tour de Frane is so popular is it often starts in other countries before continuing in France.
This organizer’s strategy makes millions of fans grab the Tour de France interest.
The fans gather along the roadside to see the Tour and encourage their teams.
Is The Tour De France The Toughest Sports Competition In The World?
The truth is the Tour de France is one of the world’s most challenging sporting events to overcome for every rider.
It comprises 21 stages for a total of over 3,000 km total distance, which is not a sea to drink, as the French say.
Each stage requires the riders to push their efforts to the limits, and things worsen when traveling the Pyrenees stages.
Most suffer from injury, fatigue, and pain, making it challenging to rest enough at night before resuming the race the next day.
However, remember they have voluntarily agreed to make this sport a profession and source of living.
They typically get a significant annual salary and feel honored when they arrive at the Champs Elysées, the most beautiful avenue in the world.
Riders can not all win the Tour or one of its prestigious jerseys, but their best wish is to participate in the race from beginning to end.
Moreover, behind each winner is a team of riders who all work for him for mutual success.
On the other hand, the Tour can not succeed without several participating teams.
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How Fast Do People Ride During The Tour de France?
There is no single answer to this question because the speed at which cyclists ride during the Tour de France depends on many factors.
- The peloton’s average speed is around 30 miles (48 km) an hour.
- Riders on the sprint finish can go fast as 43.5mph or 70km to win the stage.
- On climbs like the Pyrenees, the cyclists averagely ride 12 to 14 miles.
- The tour winners of the last years have used an average of 25 miles per hour all along the race (flatland, time trail, downhill, and uphill).
What Bikes Are Used On The Tour De France?
The bikes used on the Tour de France differ year by year, and we limit the scope of this question to the year 2022.
Twenty-two teams were part of this race, representing the most popular bike brands.
Among other brands were BMC, Cannondale, Canyon, Cervélo, Colnago, Cube, De Rosa, Factor, and Giant.
Other teams used Lapierre, Merida, Pinarello, Ridley, Scott, Specialized, Trek, and Wilier bikes.
There are many race bike manufacturers because the Tour de France allows them to promote their offerings.
For instance, Jonas Vingegaard, the winner of the Tour de France 2022, was using the Giant Propel Advanced SL road bike.
The wearer of the green jersey Tadel Pogacar had a new Colnago Prototipo bike, while others also had theirs.
The participating teams benefit significantly from such a wide range of bike brands because they get sponsorships from these manufacturers.
Most bikes used on the Tour de France and other popular cycling events are found in popular retailers’ online stores.
One of the best retailers in the US is Mike’s Bikes, one of the best in the US.
This company’s online store features BMC, Cannondale, Cervélo, Giant, Scott, and Specialized racing bikes.
Its other offering includes commuter, electric, mountain bikes, parts, and accessories.
Who Picks Up The Water Bottles Tossed From The Riders In The Tour De France?
The water bottles tossed by riders on the Tour de France can be picked by the people around who want to drink water.
Many participating teams also have millions of fans lining the roadsides, ready to pick up the water bottles tossed by their teams.
Most are happy to keep the bottles as souvenirs for the best moments enjoyed watching the Tour and the cyclists they like.
If fans don’t do it, other people will remove the bottles and deposit them in the right places.
How Do Tour De France Riders Relieve Themselves During The Race?
We have asked this question many times before becoming interested in road and mountain cycling.
Indeed, the cyclists in the Tour de France or other similar events spend hours in the saddle each day, making it challenging for them to pee.
You would also have noticed that they often drink a little water to stay hydrated throughout the race.
According to Ted Kind, a former professional rider, a cyclist can ask for a bathroom break and relieve himself on the side of the road.
In such a case, the peloton slows down until the cyclist catches it and starts picking up the pace again.
Why Aren’t There Any Women On The Tour de France?
The first French professional women’s racing equivalent to the Tour de France occurred in 1955.
Since then, there have been other women cycling events, but the organizers continued to change the names for their reasons.
They also faced many challenges, including trademarks, insufficient budgets, and limited media coverage.
In July 2022, the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) resumed the Tour de France for women in eight stages.
The race started in Paris and ended on the “Super Planche des Belles Filles,” for a 1,029 km distance.
Annemiek van Vleuten sealed the Tour de France for Women 2002 victory, and we wish her the best of luck in the following events.
That’s all we can say about why is the Tour de France regarded as a global sporting event.
We hope this information is helpful to you, and we will continue to help you learn about this best-world cycling race.
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