Currently run by the Amaury Sport Organisation, Le Tour de France is amongst the three Grand Tours along with the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana; though it’s the oldest and the most prestigious of all. The first edition of this event was staged in 1903 and won by Maurice Garin of France. This year Vincenzo Nibali from Italy was the winner.
A cancer survivor, Lance Edward Armstrong is one of the persons who are associated with this race. He was classified as having won the Tour for a record seven consecutive times, until he was stripped of all these titles and banned from competitive cycling for life, for doping offences. These sanctions were imposed on him by the Union Cycliste International in 2012, based upon the reports of United States Anti-Doping Agency. There are many such Cyclists who have won this race and also faced such actions.
This event usually is organised in the month of July. It roughly spans over 23 days and has around 21 stages, a distance of around 3,500 kilometres is covered during the race. The race is mostly based in mainland France but may enter other countries as well during its course; the race though always ends on the Champs Elysees in Paris (since 1975). There are usually 20 to 23 teams every year, with nine members each. The winner is decided by compounding the timings of all the rounds. The one with the lowest aggregate wins the coveted Yellow Jersey (“Maillot Jaune”).
This year’s race started form Leeds, United Kingdom; had nine flat, five hilly, 6 mountain and one individual time-trial stage. Vincenzo Nibali of Astana Pro team claimed the Yellow Jersey after clocking 89h 59’ 06” at the end of the race. The twenty-one day event was led by him for eighteen days.
The Green Jersey was won by Peter Sagan, for leading in the point’s competition. Whereas the Polka – Dot Jersey went to Rafal Majka for leading in the mountain events of the tour, the jersey signifies the King of the Mountains title.
Image source: http://www.southperthrouleurs.com.au
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