Tour de France

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Tour de France Premier professional road cycling race in Europe. Raced over three weeks from the end of June, it travels across all types of terrain in a series of timed stages. It mostly circles France, occasionally venturing into neighbouring countries, and ends in Paris. The first Tour was in 1903.

Year

Winner

Country

1989

Greg Le Mond

USA

1990

Greg Le Mond

USA

1991

Miguel Induráin

Spain

1992

Miguel Induráin

Spain

1993

Miguel Induráin

Spain

1994

Miguel Induráin

Spain

1995

Miguel Induráin

Spain

1996

Bjarne Riis

Denmark

1997

Jan Ullrich

Germany

1998

Marco Pantini

Italy

1999

Lance Armstrong

USA

2000

Lance Armstrong

USA

2001

Lance Armstrong

USA

2002

Lance Armstrong

USA

2003

Lance Armstrong

USA


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Tour de France

The Tour de France bicycle race is the world's largest annual sporting event, having been run every year since 1903 except for periods during the two World Wars. With a live television audience of 900 million viewers in 163 countries in 1998, its popularity is surpassed only by the World Cup and the Olympics. Unfolding during a three-week period every July, it covers approximately 2,500 miles and is divided into daily segments that traverse France by various routes. The race pits some 21 teams of riders against mountainous segments in the Alps and Pyrenees and flat segments in Brittany and Normandy, culminating with a spectacular symbolic finish on the Champs-Elysées in Paris. Individual riders also compete against each other in time trials. The overall leader earns the right to wear an illustrious yellow jersey. Victories by American Greg Lemond in 1986, 1989, and 1990 enhanced the event's popularity profile in the United States.

—Neal Baker

Further Reading:

Abt, Samuel. Tour de France: Three Weeks to Glory. San Francisco, Bicycle Books, 1991.

Brunel, Philippe. An Intimate Portrait of the Tour De France: Masters and Slaves of the Road, second edition. Denver, Bounpane Publications, 1996.

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Tour de France a French race for professional cyclists held annually since 1903, covering approximately 4,800 km (3,000 miles) of roads in about three weeks, renowned for its mountain stages. The overall leader after each stage wears the famous yellow leader's jersey.