Tuesday, March 2, 2010
The First Tour de France - 1903
Above is a link to a video that shows the early years of the Tour de France. The first Tour de France occurred in 1903. Geo Lefevre was a journalist for the L’Auto newspaper. He came up with the idea of a bike race to increase the circulation of the L’Auto newspaper. He decided to name the race Tour de France. The race started on the first of July with 60 riders. There were no teams in the race like there is today. Each rider was on their own without any sponsors too. If the rider’s bike broke, they had to fix it themselves. The conditions that the riders rode in were not very good as well. Dirt roads were used and riders had to ride during the night sometimes. The bikes weighed a lot and were not built very well. The first Tour de France did not have any mountain stages. Only 26 riders, out of the 60 who entered, were able to finish the six stages of the race. Maurice Garin ended up winning the first Tour de France. The race was a success for the newspaper company as their sales increased.