7 Tour de France Facts
Le Tour is well and truly underway, with ups, downs, collisons and sprint finishes! The men of Tribesports are showing Bradley Wiggins their support with the Burns Like Bradley Challenge and lots of takers for the Get on your bike everyday of Le Tour Challenge too.
So here are some fun facts for you to amaze your friends with:
1. The average rider will go through 3 chains - think about how long yours has lasted! In the 2010 Tour, Andy Schleck suffered severely for his chain going at a crucial moment; Alberto Contador was close on his heels and stole the win in the final climb causing controversy as race etiquette decrees that when the lead rider is stopped due to injury or mechanical issues the race waits for him.
2. Between 1969 and 1975, Eddie Merckx won an astounding 34 stages of the Tour de France, winning the entire Tour 5 times and is generally accepted to be the most successful cyclist of all time. In 1974 he won the triple crown; Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and the World Championships. He has better sideburns than Wiggins and hair that Cav would kill for too!
3. Albert Bourlon holds the record for the longest solo break away, in 1947 he took a 253km lead!
4. In 1989 only 8 seconds separated winner Greg LeMond from second place Laurent Fignon, over the course of 3285km the two riders were never more than 53 seconds apart!
LeMond went on to win again the following year but there has never been such a closely pitted race!
5. In the 1920s riders would wear woollen jerseys and the Tour leaders lit up cigarettes on route:
In 2002 Mario Cipollini also enjoys a toke (times haven't changed too much then!):
6. In 2003, mountain biker Dave Watson showed the Tour how to have some fun in the mountains! A slightly sloppy landing put him in the hospital with a separated shoulder, sore back and neck and some pretty impressive bruises, this picture was definitely worth it though!
7. Lance Armstrong. 7 times winner. Holds the record for the fastest average speed of 40.276kph. LAD.
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