The Tour de France always ends in Paris, but getting there turns out to be a new set of adventures and surprises every year. This year seems to have brought more challenges, disappointments and opportunities than usual.
First created in 1903, the Tour de France is cycling’s most prestigious Grand Tour event, and traverses a different route each year, throughout France and adjacent countries. This year’s route led from a starting point abroad in Leeds, United Kingdom and continues over 21 stages before reaching its finale in Paris on the Champs-Élysées.
Today, however, the auspicious race has only completed its 10th stage, with the cyclists racing from Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles, high in the foggy mountains of Eastern France that border France and Germany. Ending results today place Vincenzo Nibali of Italy in the coveted first place overall Yellow Jersey, which he’s held for most of the Tour, with French team AG2R Mondiale as the leading team. Gloriously for France, however, the Yellow jersey was worn for a single day, today, Bastille Day (the French 4th of July more or less), by a Frenchman, Tony Gallopin, who snatched it deliberately from Nibali’s shoulders yesterday in honor of the big French holiday, turning it back over at the end of a day of foggy, wet and steep mountain climbs.
It’s been years since the Tour has seen so much mayhem and madness in the first week. Day one saw the loss of the Manx Missile, British sprinter Mark Cavendish, a favorite to win many of the flat stages whose aggressive efforts at the finish resulted in a dislocated shoulder rather than a Yellow Jersey. Within a few days, Chris Froome, last year’s Yellow Jersey winner, was out with a broken hand and wrist. And today, former champion Alberto Contador sadly withdrew when a crash badly damaged his knee. Already, there are 18 withdrawals (almost 10% of starters!), whose crashes were a result of 5 days of unending rain, cold, fog, not to mention a muddy battle with 9 rounds of ancient cobblestones on day five.
The Tour de France is the foremost cycling race in the world, and part of a triad of Grand Tour races that include the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España. For 101 years the trifecta of road race cycling has been a historical competition that draws over 12 million spectators- more than other major world sporting events like the World Cup and the Summer Olympics!
For all this and more, we at Ecyclingstore celebrate the Tour de France and its home country with the Paris Men’s Cycling Jersey, a fashionable form-fitting piece of cycling wear that proudly bears “le tour Eiffel de Paris.” This jersey, in the spirit of cycling’s most famous location, is just what every cyclist needs, whether a Tour de France competitor soon to arrive on the Champs-Élysées in a few short days, or a fan watching from the comfort of their couch at home!