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10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Tour de France

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On July 2, the 2016 edition of the Tour de France kicked off in Mont-Saint-Michel on Saturday. It will traditionally end in Paris on July 24th. With the popularity of this 103-year-old race only growing, we thought we would share some of the lesser known facts about the Tour de France with you.

Four different cyclists have won the tour five times.

That’s right. Four different cyclists have won the tour a total of five times each, excluding Lance Armstrong who held the record for the most wins (seven) until being stripped of them in 2012. Here’s a list of the ultimate champs:

  • Jacques Anquetil, France (1957 and 1961-64)
  • Eddy Merckx, Belgium (1969-1972 and 1974)
  • Bernard Hinault, France (1978-1979, 1981-1982 and 1985)
  • Miguel Indurain, Spain (1991-1995)

The longest route in Tour de France history was in 1926.

In the 1926 edition of the Tour de France, cyclists traversed 3,570 miles. The 2016 edition of the race will cover 2,186 miles.

The average rider consumes 123,900 calories for the entire race.

Over three weeks, riders will consume 123,900 calories each. As the popular comparison states, that is the same amount as 252 McDonald’s cheeseburgers or 619 Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnuts. The average person will consume around 52,500 calories in the same time frame.

Until the 1960s, participants drank alcohol during the race.

It was common for cyclists to drink to numb the pain during the race. After the 1960s, alcohol use was banned because it was considered to be a stimulant.

There were 14 rest days at one point in race history.

In the early years of the Tour de France, stages would last late into the night, causing cyclists to require the following day to rest and recover. This led to 14 days of rest, as opposed to the current two rest days.

The mountains were added to the route in 1910.

Prior to 1910, the Tour de France did not include the beautiful mountain ranges it does now. This was added to the route 7 years after the first race as an effort to expand the tour and make it more strenuous and monumental.

Greg LeMond was the first American rider to win.

In 1986, Greg LeMond won the Tour de France, making him the very first American cyclist to win the overall race.

Wahoo sponsors Team Sky in the Tour de France!

Wahoo is one of the sponsors of Team Sky, which has won three of the last four Tour de France Yellow Jerseys. This includes the 2015 edition, when team member Chris Froome rode to his second victory. Froome is the favorite for 2016 as well. We aren’t just their sponsor. Team Sky uses our KICKR smart trainers to help them go to yellow! Go Team Sky!

 

 

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