Definition of Tour de France

The Tour de France is the most famous biking race in the world. Taking place over 23 days and highly mountainous terrain, it is widely recognized as one of the toughest races in the world.

Tour de France is one of the most famous bicycle races in the world.It was originally founded in 1903 to help raise funds for the newspaper L'Auto. The paper was nowhere near as successful as their rival Le Velo, so they needed a way to even the playing field. Henri Desgrange was handed the charge of making this race successful. Little did he know just how much he would accomplish that goal.

There are a variety of victory conditions (called classifications) for the race. The general classification is what people most associate with victory, as they have the lowest average time over the course of the race. The mountains classification has points awarded to riders who get up various and challenging mountains the quickest. The person with the most points wins the jersey. There are other classifications such as points, young rider and team in order to give different riders different challenges.

The prize has varied over time, with francs being the original prize. In between 1976 and 1987, an apartment was offered to winners. Now the riders simply receive cash prizes based on their performances for the day.

The race primarily takes place in France, though it has started in other countries over time (post World War II). Belgium, the UK, the Netherlands and Spain are just a few of those starting countries.

This famous race is a big deal in both Europe as a whole and most certainly France. Millions of people line the route to see the cyclists pass. Art, songs and many different cultural inspirations have come from the race. It's a big deal and looks set to remain one for another century.