2013 is somewhat of a special year for the Tour de France, as it celebrates both its 100th edition and its 110-year anniversary. Since its inception, the race has brought great feats, gruelling competition, outstanding statistics and, of course, doping scandals.
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With post-race confessions becoming worryingly common it’s now known that drugs, in particular amphetamines, were widespread from early on. One example is Jean Malléjac who admitted he doped as a rider, telling reporters he just escaped death in 1955 when he collapsed on the road to Mont Ventoux.
Various doping tricks adopted by the riders to evade detections are revealed: – In 1978 Michel Pollentier attempted to provide a fake, clean urine sample but was immediately caught and excluded. – In 1998 Willy Voet, coach for the Festina team, was arrested for possession of hundreds of doses of doping products. The entire team was excluded from the race. – In 2013 the confessions of Lance Armstrong led to him being stripped of his seven titles and drew media attention from all over the world – Since Armstrong’s public admissions Jan Ullrich also confessed to doping and Laurent Jalabert was challenged on the basis of samples dating back to 1998.
Watch our interview with David Moncoutié : The majority of them were cheating…
Didi Senft is a German bike designer who is known for building the world’s biggest bike. He is now well known for his devil-disguised support of the Tour de France.
Photo cc simyo Deutschland
- Joop Zoetemelk, six finishes in 2nd place: 1970, 1971, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1982. He won the race in 1980.
- Jan Ullrich, five times runner-up: 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2003. He won the Tour in 1997.
- Raymond Poulidor, three times runner-up: 1964, 1965, 1974. He also holds the record of podiums, ranking eight times in the first three. .
almost 20 years old
Henri Cornet in 1904 after the disqualification of the first four riders.
36 years old
Firmin Lambot in 1922
50 years old
Henri Paret in 1904
Most visited city on the tour (except Paris)
The only region to have never held the race until 2013. The first three stages of the Tour 2013 will be held in Corsica.
Highest altitude reached:
The road between Bonnette-Restefond (entre Nice et Gap), (between Nice and Gap). The race passed the route in 1962, 1964, 1993 and 2008.
Col de la Bonette
Different climbs per mountain range
Alps & Alpes-Maritimes/Provence – 98
Pyrenees – 57
Massif Central – 26
Cévennes – 19
Vosges – 17
Forêt-Noire & Jura – 12
Total : 229
Highest finishing point
Col du Galibier, Alps (2011)
Most visited climbs
Individual Pyrenees hills have been visited more regularly than those in the Alps.
76 times, Tourmalet, 2,115m | 72 times,Aubisque, 1,709m | 71 times,Aspin, 1,489m
Col du Tourmalet – photo ccSoumei Baba
58 times Galibier, 2645m | 39 times Aravis, 1498m
37 times Col du Télégraphe, 1566m | 33 times Col d’Allos, de l’Izoard et de Vars
Col du Galibier- photo ccSoumei Baba
L’Alpe-d’Huez has been visited by the Tour just 26 times.
The hairpin turns of Alpes d’Huez – photo cc VerTdeTerre
Le Mont Ventoux, celebrated for its views but infamous for the death of Tom Simpson has been climbed by the riders 13 times.
Highest number of runners
1903, 1st Tour de France -> 60 riders entered, 21 finished
1928, the largest number of dropouts -> 162 riders entered, 41 finished
1986, the largest number of participants -> 210 riders entered, 132 finished
2012 -> 198 riders entered, 153 finished
2013 -> 198 riders entered
The largest number of tours by a participant
By Joop Zoetemelk (Netherlands)- between 1970 and 1986. He won the Tour in 1980.
By Eugène Christophe- first appearance in 1906 and the last in 1925 at the age of 40.
Most stage wins
By Eddy Merckx
Smallest gap/biggest gap (since 1947) between 1st and 2nd place
8 seconds between Greg LeMond and Laurent Fignon in 1989
28m17s between Fausto Coppi et Stan Ockers in 1952
Highest average speed
Team time trial – Discovery Channel, Tours-Blois (67,5 km)
Prologue – Chris Boardman, Lille-Euralille (7,2 km)
Individual time trial – Greg LeMond, Versaille-Paris (24,5 km) in 1989
Non time-trial – Mario Cipollini, Laval-Blois (164.5 km) in 1999
Albert Bourlon in 1947, Carcassonne-Luchon
Wins and yellow jerseys
7 by Lance Armstrong (1999-2005) disqualified and stripped of all 7 titles for doping
-by Jacques Anquetil (1957, 1961-1964), Eddy Merckx (1969-1972, 1974), Bernard Hinault (1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1974), Miguel Indurain (1991-1995)
Most days wearing the yellow jersey
By Eddy Merckx, followed by Bernard Hinault (79 days), Lance Armstrong (83 days), Miguel Indurain (60 days), Jacques Anquetil (52 days)