The Tour De France has been an indelible part of athletics since its inaugural race in 1903. The race, which goes on for weeks at a time and takes place over thousands of miles of terrain is frequently the world’s most-watched sporting event, surpassing the World Cup, Super Bowl and the Olympics.
The race has developed a rich history over its 116 years of existence. The competition has seen absurd and devious attempts at cheating, thrilling come from behind victories and inspiring feats of endurance. Below are some of the most eye-opening behind the scenes facts about the race meant to help you get a better handle on exactly what happens in France each year.
Just A Marketing Gimmick?
Today the Tour De France is seen as one of the most grueling and competitive sporting events an athlete can enter. The prize at the end is eternal glory and a whole lot of money. When the race began in 1903, however, the goal was marketing.
The competition was created by the French newspaper, L’Auto. Geo Lefevre, a writer for the paper, thought that holding the event could help the publisher sell more copies of the paper.