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Will the Tour de France continue to be Brit dominated?


Can Chris Froome keep peddling out consistent success in the Tour, for a third consecutive year and for the fourth time overall?

Created in 1903, over the course of the past century the Tour de France has become one of the most famous and beloved annual sporting events in the world. A multiple stage bicycle race, the Tour de France is traditionally held in the month of July each year, and is the oldest and generally considered to be the most prestigious of the three three-week-long grand tours; the other two of which being Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana. The number of teams usually varies between 20 to 22, with nine riders within each team.

The first race in 1903 was initially planned out meticulously. It was intended to be a fivestage race, beginning in Paris and finishing in Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux and Nantes, before returning to Paris. Stages of the race were organised to go through the night and finish the following afternoon. However, too daunting and expensive did these propositions prove to be for the riders, so the event’s arrangements were changed whereby the length of the race was cut to nineteen days, the dates were changed to cover the first nineteen days of July, and a daily allowance was offered to those who averaged at least 20 km/h on each of the stages. These early amendments made the sporting event much more accessible across the world, to both prospective participants and spectators alike, and that was what allowed it to flourish into the global exhibition it is today.

The route the Tour de France riders must take changes each year, including the departing spot (the Grande Depart), whilst the format remains the same, with the inclusion of time trials, the passage through the mountain chains of the Pyrenees and the Alps, and finishing on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. This year’s course has already seen the riders set off from Dusseldorf, Germany, although the Grande Depart was originally planned to be in London for this year.

The winner of the first race was Maurice Garin, a Frenchman. In fact, French riders went on to champion the sporting event for another five consecutive years, until a Luxembourger, Francois Faber, won in 1909. Sir Bradley Wiggins was the first Brit to ever win the Tour de France, and that was in 2012. Chris Froome, another Brit, and the current defending champion, won in 2013 (also the 100th Tour de France), 2015 and 2016, and is one of only a few participants to have ever won the event three times or more. Having won the last two titles, Chris Froome is indeed favourite to win this year too. Although born and brought-up in Nairobi, Kenya, Froome represents Britain due to both his parents being British, and also represents Team Sky with the Tour.

As well as the beloved yellow jersey, last year saw winner Froome taking home €450,000, and we’re sure that this year’s Tour de France will be just as impressive with all it has to offer.

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