Tour de France: The oldest Grand Tour

Nowadays, there are some major races in which cyclists are always trying to participate! Those races are known as Grand Tours, and the Tour de France is one of those races. When talking about cycling history, this is something that people can’t miss. And now you’ll have the chance to know more about it. Ready everything about the oldest Grand Tour?

How did the Tour de France begin?

Something that we need to mention before actually speaking about the race, is the fact that the Tour de France is the oldest of the three Grand Cycling Tours. Everything started in 1903, a few years before the Giro d’Italia, making the tour the oldest race in this category.

Therefore, people can easily say that the Tour de France was the first race with stages in the world. It is true that before it took place there were some other races in which cyclists needed to race through long distances, but it was not split into stages.

But, thanks to the idea of Gèo Lefèvre things were about to change. He had the idea of holding a long race that was split into different stages, and that could take place in different parts of France.

So, once Gèo Lefèvre had the idea he approached the sports newspaper L’Auto where Henri Desgrange, the director back then, and they both started to work on what would become one of the most important races ever. 

It is fair to say that back then, things were a lot different. The first edition of the Tour de France took place in 1903, as we mentioned before, and there were six different stages. In that first edition, there were 60 cyclists from all over the world looking for first place. 

Tour de France

How has the Tour changed?

With almost 120 years of history, it is fair to say that some things need to change in order to make everything better. That’s exactly what has been happening with the Tour de France, a race that has become pretty important for cyclists, and for those who love cycling.

As we mentioned before, something that has changed a lot is the number of stages in the race. In the firsts editions, six stages were enough for the race, nowadays cyclists must go through 21 stages.

Different from the Giro d’Italia, the Tour does not change how many stages it has. The race will always have 21 stages without a prologue, and each stage is held on a different day.

Something that is pretty curious, at least for those who don’t know about it, is the fact that the race sometimes begins outside of France. Countries like Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Netherlands, among many others, have held the first stage of the tour.

Tour de France

Clasiffications in the Tour de France

Classifications are something that does not actually change a lot when talking about major races. The Tour de France has a way to measure performance in a pretty accurate way.

The race, like other Grand Tours, has four different classifications. Points, mountains, young riders, and the one that all the cyclists aim to win, the general classification.

Also, something that happens like in the Giro d’Italia is that cyclists will get a distinctive jersey if they become the winner of a classification. In case they win more than one, then they will wear the jersey from the most prestigious one.

How often does the Tour de France take place?

Like other Grand Tours, the Tour de France is held once per year. Like the other major races, the event has been held once per year since the firsts editions, and that’s something that hasn’t changed a lot.

Something important to mention, for those who want to know more about it, is when the Tour begins. The race, since a while ago, takes place during the months of June and July, there have been some changes, but the date is almost the same each year. The last race took place took place in August of 2020 due to COVID, and the winner was Tadej Pogacar

Are you enjoying the 2021 Tour de France?

We already told you everything that you should know about the Tour de France! The best thing is that you can go and enjoy this year’s edition as it will take place until July 18! Ready for what will come in this Tour edition?

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