• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 5:01am

Tour de France

The Tour de France (French pronunciation: [tuʁ də fʁɑ̃s]) is an annual bicycle race held in France and nearby countries. First staged in 1903, the race covers more than 3,600 kilometres (2,200 mi) and lasts three weeks. As the best known and most prestigious of cycling's three "Grand Tours", the Tour de France attracts riders and teams from around the world. The race is broken into day-long segments, called stages. Individual times to finish each stage are aggregated to determine the overall winner at the end of the race. The rider with the lowest aggregate time at the end of each day wears the leader's yellow jersey on the next day of racing. The course changes every year, but the race has always finished in Paris. Since 1975, the climax of the final stage has been along the Champs-Élysées

Climb every mountain

Clockwise from top left: a cycling enthusiast follows the Tour de France course; tourists camp beside a giant French flag near the summit of Grand Colombier; fans prepare for the La Chambre leg of the race to begin; eventual winner Briton Bradley Wiggings.

The Tour de France is an exhausting thriller of a ride that demands enormous dedication and stamina - and that's just from the spectators. Text and pictures by Tim Pile.

Friday, 31 August, 2012, 5:38pm

China’s Ji Cheng assumes a special place in Tour de France history

Ji  Cheng rides alone as he passes the Arc de Triomphe in the final stage of the Tour. Photo: AP

Chinese rider Ji Cheng said he wants to get away from cycling for a while after completing the Tour de France.

Ji was a visible member of the peloton over the last three weeks, relishing his role as the “breakaway killer” for his Giant-Shimano team.

28 Jul 2014 - 4:22pm

Stuart O'Grady faces loss of Olympic medals

Stuart O'Grady of Australia. Photo: EPA

O'Grady, who retired this week, told a newspaper he had used the banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO) before the notorious 1998 Tour.

26 Jul 2013 - 1:11am

Focused Froome targets multiple Tour victories

Chris Froome waves from the podium after completing the final stage into Paris to claim overall victory in the Tour de France. Photo: Reuters

One down for Tour de France winner Chris Froome. How many more to go? Having crushed the opposition at the 100th Tour, the British rider is looking ahead.

23 Jul 2013 - 6:29am

Chris Froome's battle to the top in cycling world

Britain's Chris Froome, wearing the yellow jersey, rides ahead of his teammate, Australia's Richie Porte, during Saturday's stage that saw him seal his first Tour de France victory. Photo: AFP

The stage confirmed the dominance Froome has maintained in professional cycling all year. He has won all but one of the stage races he has entered and three stages at this Tour.

22 Jul 2013 - 10:19am

Stunning Tour de France cycling debut for Colombian Nairo Quintana

Nairo Quintana. Photo: AFP

Quintana's stage win on Saturday moved him up to second overall at five minutes three seconds behind Chris Froome, but also helped secure the King of the Mountains' polka dot jersey as well as the white jersey for the best young rider.

22 Jul 2013 - 3:36am

Cycling's self-appointed watchdogs seek doping clues from a distance

Chris Froome is seen at the doping control following the 12th stage. Some have questioned whether his performances can be natural. Photo: EPA

As riders in the Tour de France churned their way up the towering Alpe d'Huez on Thursday, not once but twice, Ross Tucker watched on television in South Africa 5,500 miles away, laptop and stopwatch at the ready, looking for clues to the Tour's perennial question: Are any of the riders doping?

21 Jul 2013 - 5:43am

Chris Froome team shows data to end doping claims

Tour leader Chris Froome insists he is riding clean. Photo: AP

The team of Tour de France leader Chris Froome has released his performance data from six races, including this Tour, to a French newspaper as it seeks to dispel suspicions of doping. At the request of Team Sky, sports daily L'Equipe did not publish the information it said included data showing how much power Froome generated and his climbing times from 18 ascents.

19 Jul 2013 - 4:14am

Froome leaves Contador in shade with late push

Chris Froome celebrates on the podium after winning the 32km 17th stage of the Tour de France between Embrun and Chorges. Photo: AFP

Chris Froome continued his march towards a maiden Tour de France title when he beat fierce rival Alberto Contador by nine seconds to win the 17th stage, a 32km time trial yesterday.

18 Jul 2013 - 4:43am

Costa cruises as Froome fumes at Contador

Rui Costa celebrates as he crosses the finish line. Photo: AP

Portugal's Rui Costa broke away alone on the second-category climb near the end of the 168km stage from Vaison-la-Romaine and stayed ahead down the tricky descent into Gap to win by 42 seconds.

17 Jul 2013 - 3:55am

French is no longer the lingua franca

Chris Froome

Among the talents that Chris Froome has brought to the Tour de France this year - climbing strength, time-trial prowess, a cool head - little has grabbed the attention of his French hosts more than his skill with their language.

17 Jul 2013 - 4:16am

Tour leader Froome fights to lift shadow of Armstrong

Cyclist Chris Froome. Photo: AP

Tour de France leader Chris Froome has hit out at critics who believe he could be following in the footsteps of shamed drugs cheat Lance Armstrong after his stunning win on Mont Ventoux.

16 Jul 2013 - 4:50am

Italy's Matteo Trentin wins 14th stage of Tour de France cycling race

Matteo Trentin celebrates his Tour stage win. Photo: EPA

Omega-Pharma's Matteo Trentin handed Italy its maiden win of the 100th Tour de France when he beat Michael Albasini and Andrew Talansky in a sprint finish at the end of an entertaining 14th stage. Britain's yellow-jersey holder Chris Froome, of Team Sky, came over the finish line with the main peloton and his chief rivals just over seven minutes adrift.

14 Jul 2013 - 4:42am

White Lion the pride of Africa

David Kinjah (in yellow jersey) and members of the Safari Simbaz team are rooting for former teammate Chris Froome to win the Tour de France. Photo: Reuters

As Chris Froome races up France's snow-capped mountains in a series of lung-busting Tour de France climbs, one man in a far away Kenyan village hopes a win for the "thin boy" he introduced to road cycling can transform the sport's popularity in Kenya.

14 Jul 2013 - 4:42am

A week to forget for Cavendish's Tour de France campaign

Mark Cavendish during the 12th stage of the Tour. Photo: Reuters

Mark Cavendish had hoped the second week of the Tour de France might see him climb back into contention for the green jersey, but instead it has proved to be a week to forget. The sprint star was blamed by other riders - but not by race officials - for a crash that brought down Dutchman Tom Veelers in Saint-Malo on Tuesday and then had urine thrown at him by a spectator during Wednesday's time trial to Mont Saint-Michel.

13 Jul 2013 - 5:08am

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