It is known to be one of the hardest and longest races of all time, there are rumours that some cyclists don’t even stop for a quick break just for the sake of a good time score. Well, to get the idea of how hard it is, here’s a weird fact - over the course of the Tour de France, the cyclists will sweat enough to flush the toilet 39 times!
And this is not a race for everybody, no wonder in 1919 there were only 10 finishers at the end of the race!
The fastest average speed of a Tour de France is 25,7 mph (41,3 km/h) and it was set in 2005, while the fastest average speed in 1919 was only 14,9 mph (23,9 km/h) - talk about progress of cycling!
There are some rest days during the tours, but most cyclists don’t rest, since they have to ride out the lactic acid and keep their mind focused on the race, so a little 2 hour ride is the minimum they cover during their “rest”. In the early days there were actually 14 rest days, that have now been reduced to only 2. Earlier the races often lasted through the night, so the cyclists needed a rest day to recover.
And the race has always been very competitive, but the closest winning score has been 8 seconds between the 1st and the 2nd place cyclist by American cyclist Greg LeMond who won over French rider Laurent Fignon in 1989.
You may wonder - but why on Earth would anyone push themselves to their limit for 23 days straight? Well, did we tell you about the prize that is waiting for them at the end of the race?
A total of around 2.3 million euros (2.7 million dollars) will be awarded to the teams and riders, including 500,000 euros to the winner of the final individual general classification. But the winner of the tour usually follows an old tradition to always split the prize evenly with his team mates!
Not bad, right?
Still, if the prize won’t motivate you to participate yourself, you’ll probably want to join the rest of the 3,5 billion people around the world that are watching the race on television each year!
Stay tuned to get more interesting facts about the Tour de France, as we all are in the fresh memories of the race that took place just recently.
These might be some useful facts to learn about the history of the biggest cycling event ever!