Tour de France - Cycling Race
The best cyclists are racing for two-wheeled supremacy at the 2009 Tour de France. Read on for more on the world's most grueling bike race.
Tour de France - Long and Gruelling
The Tour de France bicycle race has 20 stages, covering over 2,200 miles (3,500 km) through four countries (Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Spain). Racers have to battle the summer heat, long climbs through the Alps and Pyrennes mountains and the taunting and teasing from spectators.
Tour de France - Dress Code
Dress, and particularly the jersey, has always been important during the history of the Tour de France. The leader of the race always wears a yellow jersey to show he is the rider to beat while the rider who is leading the mountain portion of the race always wears a red and white polka dot jersey
Tour de France - Code of Dishonor
When the Tour de France first started, cheating and poor sportsmanship were big parts of the race. Fans would throw nails in front of the cyclists they didn't like. Some riders tried to get an advantage by taking rides in cars or even trains - rather than riding their bicycle. And that is just one part of the story when it comes to cheating. Professional cycling and the Tour de France in particular has been hard hit with steroid scandals. The Tour's all-time winningest rider Lance Armstrong has been accussed many times of doping, although it's never been proven. And in 2006, American Floyd Landis won the race but later had his title stripped as a result of a failed blood test.
Tour de France - Changing Gears
Until 1937, racers at the Tour de France were not allowed to use bicycles with systems which allowed them to automatically change gears. Riders had to get off their bikes and turn their wheel around every time the road changed from uphill to downhill.
2006 Tour de France - Did You Know?
- For the first time since 1998, the Tour de France will be won by someone other than cycling great, Lance Armstrong. Armstrong won the Tour de France seven times in a row from 1999 - 2005, before retiring from competitive cycling.
- Several of the world's other top racers also won't be racing in the 2006 Tour de France after 56 riders were banned from the race for the suspected use of blood doping and other performance enhancing drugs.
- The favorite to win the 2009 Tour de France is Alberto Contador, of Astana Racing
- Contador is a teammate of Lance Armstrong, who came out of retirement to try and win one more Tour de France
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