Cancellara leads the Tour de France

LONDON, July 7 (UPI) -- Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland finished 13 seconds ahead of Germany's Andreas Kloden Saturday, grabbing the first leg of the Tour de France cycling race.

The Tour de France begins Saturday

LONDON, July 6 (UPI) -- Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan is considered the favorite when the Tour de France cycling race starts Saturday in London. The 33-year-old Vinokourov finished third in 2003 and fifth in 2005.

Anti-doping pledge introduced by cyclists

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 19 (UPI) -- The International Cycling Union will ask riders sign to a declaration that they aren't using performance-enhancing drugs in this year's Tour de France. Cycling has been sullied by a series of admissions to doping in recent weeks by top riders, including 1

Cyclist Bjarne Riis admits to doping

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, May 25 (UPI) -- Danish cyclist Bjarne Riis admitted to illegal doping during his career, including during his 1996 Tour de France victory.

2 more German cyclists admit using EPO

BERLIN, May 24 (UPI) -- One of Germany's greatest cyclists admitted Thursday that he briefly used a banned blood boosting substance in the 1990s.

Landis fires manger over call to LeMond

MALIBU, Calif., May 18 (UPI) -- Tour de France winner Floyd Landis fired his business manager over a phone call made to Greg LeMond about LeMond being sexually abused as a child.

Landis disputing latest French tests

PARIS, April 23 (UPI) -- U.S. cyclist Floyd Landis is disputing French laboratory tests that allegedly found synthetic testosterone in samples taken during the 2006 Tour de France.

Former cycling champion Ullrich retires

HAMBURG, Germany, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- German cyclist Jan Ullrich, who won both the Tour de France and an Olympic road race, has officially announced he is retiring from the cycling world. While the 33-year-old said he would remain connected to the sport by working as a consultant, Ullrich tol

Lab may have mishandled Landis samples

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- The French lab that analyzed U.S. cyclist Floyd Landis' Tour de France urine samples may have allowed improper access to the samples, it was reported.

Tour of California skipped tests for EPO

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- The Tour of California has acknowledged that cyclists last year were not tested for the most commonly abused drug in the sport.

French postpone decision on Landis

PARIS, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- French sports authorities have granted a request by U.S. cyclist Floyd Landis to postpone any decision on banning him from racing there.

Cyclist Ullrich agrees to offer DNA sample

BERLIN, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- German cyclist and former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich has agreed to offer state prosecutors in his native land a DNA sample to end doping rumors. Germany's Deutsche Welle reports the former Tour de France winner's attorney, Johann Schwenn, confirmed

Landis asks anti-doping agency for delay

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. cyclist Floyd Landis has asked a French anti-doping agency to put off proceedings against him until his appeal of doping charges has been decided.

Belgian official sets anti-doping meet

BRUSSELS, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- The sports minister in the Belgian region of Flanders has called an international conference on drug use in cycling.

Sheryl Crow opens up about her past year

CHICAGO, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. singer Sheryl Crow, appearing on TV's "The Oprah Winfrey Show," talked about her fight with cancer and her very public personal life.
Page 27 of 48
Tour de France
Spaniard Alberto Contador celebrates on the podium after winning this year's Tour de France in Paris on July 25, 2010. Contador won his third Tour de France title in the last four years. UPI/David Silpa

The Tour de France (French pronunciation: ) 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 a yellow jersey. 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.

The tour typically has 21 days of racing and covers 3,200 kilometres (2,000 mi). The shortest Tour was in 1904 at 2,420 kilometres (1,500 mi), the longest in 1926 at 5,745 kilometres (3,570 mi). The three weeks usually include two rest days, sometimes used to transport riders from a finish in one town to the start in another. The race alternates between clockwise and anticlockwise circuits of France. The first anticlockwise circuit was in 1913. The New York Times said the "Tour de France is arguably the most physiologically demanding of athletic events." The effort was compared to "running a marathon several days a week for nearly three weeks", while the total elevation of the climbs was compared to "climbing three Everests."

The number of teams usually varies between 20 and 22, with nine riders in each. Entry is by invitation to teams chosen by the race organiser, the Amaury Sport Organisation. Team members help each other and are followed by managers and mechanics in cars.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tour de France."
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