Facts about Tour de France

10 facts
about Tour de France
you have to know

Tour de France the biggest cycling race in the world. Lately dominated by Chris Froom (UK) but Tour de France has a much longer history. What do you know about it? Molto Cycling summerizes great facts about Tour de France you should know.

The Tour de France is an annual multiple stage bicycle race primarily held in France. Like the other Grand Tours (the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España), it consists of 21 stages over a little more than 3 weeks. 3 weeks of pain and tactics on flat stages and climbs like L'Alpe d'Huez. We present 10 facts about Tour de France in our Infographics and more details below.

The first race

Tour de France

The first Tour de France race was held 1903.The race was organized to increase sales for the newspaper L'Auto. Commercial, as today, from the first start. 

Reporting from the race in hard conditions, almost equally hard for the journalists as for the cyclist. The first winner of Tour de France was Maurice Garin after riding a total distance of 2 428 km and 94h 33' 14".

Most victories

Starting 1903 we have many winners to celibrate. The first winner is as said above Maurice Garin. Most victories is hold by Jacques Anquetil (FRA), Eddy Merckx (BEL), Bernard Hinault (FRA), Miguel Indurain (ESP) who all have 5 victories. Amazing. The first non Europe and was the American Greg LeMond in 1986. LeMond missed out in 1987 and 1988, but returned in 1989 to win the Tour by finishing eight seconds ahead of Laurent Fignon, the smallest winning margin in the Tour's history. 

Which country have the most wins then? France is the top nation with 23 Tour victories. Belgium is next with 10, Spain and Italy have 7. Vive la France. But it was many years since a French man was the total winner the last day on Champs-Élysées in Paris. Last French victory was 1985 when Bernard Hinault was on the podium 1st place.

Yellow, Green and Polka dot

The general classification is the most important classification, the one by which the winner of the Tour de France is determined. Did you know that the winner of the first Tour de France wore a green armband. After the second Tour de France, the rules were changed, and the general classification was no longer calculated by time, but by points. This points system was kept until 1912, after which it changed back into the time classification. There is doubt over when the yellow jersey began.

The points classification is a secondary competition in the Tour de France, which started in 1953. The leader is indicated by a green jersey. Points are given for high finishes in a stage and for winning intermediate sprints, and these are recorded in a points classification.

The mountains classification is a secondary competition in the Tour de France, that started in 1933. It is given to the rider that gains the most points for reaching mountain summits first. The leader of the classification is named the King of the Mountains, and since 1975 wears the polka dot jersey, a white jersey with red polka dots. 

Long history with a'lot of stories

This is some facts about Tour de France, one of the worlds largest sport events. We hope you have had new learnings and inspiration to follow Tour de France and to fight on the roads struggling to keep up with your friends och actually be the winner wearing the Yellow jersey. 

King of the Mountain cap

Click to see more about this and other caps.