La Grande Boucle

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The Tour De France, also commonly known as La Grande Boucle (which means the big loop) is the most famous cycling stage race and the largest open-air sports event in the world. It has been held every year since 1903 with the exception of the two world wars. Over a 3-week period, the top 2% of elite cycling professionals participate in a gruelling test of endurance and skill that covers more than 3500 km through France, including the Pyrenees and Alps. An estimated 3.5 billion people from over 200 countries watch the event on TV. 

The event is a sporting circus of media, roadside spectators, and top-tier cycling teams from around the world. The event consists of cyclists from multiple disciplines competing simultaneously. The overall leader, the quickest rider wears the yellow jersey. Green is for the sprinter with the most points in that category. The polka dot jersey is for the climbers, and finally, the white jersey is for the best-placed young rider under 23 years.

The Tour is a national icon, with a dedicated police escort and media helicopters. The final stage is battled out on the wide boulevards of the Champ Elysees, which is usually the stage of glory for sprinters.

This commemorative poster depicts the Tour’s long and storied history. Over the past century, the sport has evolved greatly as new technologies have been adopted into the realm of professional cycling. The various disciplines such as time trailing, racing against the clock, sprinters, and climbers are all depicted. Cycling legend is the lone rider to have won the most stages in history, with 34 stages.

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