The Tour de France is a fierce and arduous challenge of a biker’s persistence, a test of the power of the will. It is a three-week 3,500 km (2,175mile) race in the form of over 21 stages; nine of which take place in the mountains. However, in some ways the current race is much more bearable than the original Tours. During the early 20th century, bikers rode the dirt trails of France into the night-time on fixed-gear bikes, avoiding walls of people, blockades of traffic and even sharp objects positioned in the road by avid fans of other cyclists. In between the stages, teams gorged on banquets and alcoholic beverages and before climbs, they smoked cigarettes like chimneys.
The Tour was the concoction of a man named Henri Desgrange. He was a French magazine editor who initiated the event in the year of 1903 with 60 riders in an attempt at boosting circulation of his fledgling paper L’Auto. The bid was definitely successful, as Tour coverage caused the explosion of Desgrange’s magazine, and the Tour grew in popularity, becoming more prominent than the magazine editor could have ever dreamed. Fans filled the roads to catch glimpses of the riders close up. Come the 1920’s, the Tour de France was an extremely popular phenomenon with more than a hundred racers from different parts of Europe. The athletic contention escalated, growing more and more intense, until now the Tour is one of, if not the, most popular and vigorously contended sporting events on the planet.
Although we don’t sell a specific Tour de France jersey, you can feel that you’re a part of French cycling tradition by donning our France Team Jersey or our beautiful new Tour Eiffel de Paris jersey.