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Fun Facts About Le Tour de France

The 98th Tour de France began July 2 and runs through July 24.

Debbie’s Daily Dose of Food for Thought

Many people around the world watch the Tour de France every year. Each rider is a dedicated, passionate bicyclist. Five-time Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx stressed the importance of relying on yourself when he said, "There are too many factors you have to take into account that you have no control over...The most important factor you can keep in your own hands is yourself. I always placed the greatest emphasis on that." Here are a few fun facts to know about Le Tour de France.

History

According to Bike Race Info, The Tour de France began in 1903 as a publicity stunt to end a “circulation war” between competing sports newspapers, L’Auto and Le Velo. Henri Desgrange, the editor of L’Auto, planned Le Tour and it was an instant success, increasing circulation and eventually causing the demise of Le Velo.

Route

The route is 3,430.5 kilometers, or 2,131.6 miles long, divided into 21 stages. Fifteen new stage towns have been added to this year’s route. Check here for more details and information about the route and length of each stage.

Today

Twenty-two teams of nine riders each are competing in Le Tour this year. Yesterday, Britain's Mark Cavendish won the fast stage and you can read more about it here.

Prizes

There are many prizes for Le Tour de France. The winner will receive 450,000 Euros, (roughly $604,805, depending on the exchange rate) plus more if the cyclist qualified to wear a green, yellow, polka dot or white jersey or wins in another category. Click here to learn more.

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