En 1910, pour la première fois dans l'histoire du Tour de France, les coureurs s'élançaient à l'assaut de la haute montagne. Redouté, le massif pyrénéen a fortement contribué à forger la légende de la Grand Boucle…
The early years of the Tour are full of heroics and all the protagonists are featured, from Lucien Petit Breton and Philippe Thijs, to Rene Vietto and Antonin Magne. After WW2 came the Italian revolution with the emergence of Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi, one of the greatest of them all. However, the Golden Age of the 50's saw the return of the French champions in Bobet, Walkowiak and Gaul as well as the inaugural win of Jacques Anquetil in 1957 who went on to complete the first ever five-timer. His battles with Raymond Poulidor are still talked about to this day. Then came Eddy Merckx, who trounced the opposition in his five victories. Merckx was followed by Luis Ocana, Bernard Thevenet and Lucien Van Impe before the next five-time winner emerged in Bernard Hinault, followed by Spanish legend Miguel Indurain who dominated the early 1990's with his five consecutive victories from 1991.
Following the retirement of Lance Armstrong in 2006 there was an opening for another rider to come through and stamp his authority on the Tour de France. Alberto Contador stepped forward to fill the void and record his first Tour victory in a year when drug scandals were rife, with Michael Rasmussen being sent home and the entire Astana team being disqualified. 2008 was all about the 'Manx Missile', Mark Cavendish, who emerged as one of the new stars of the Tour after recording four stage wins. 2009 was a good year for another British rider, Bradley Wiggins, who by finishing 4th became the highest placed Briton ever in the General Classification. Meanwhile, Contador triumphed on the Ventoux to guarantee his second Yellow Jersey while Cavendish enhanced his reputation as a world-class sprinter as he recorded six stage wins.
Take the pain out of learning a foreign language with the 'Easy French Reader' series! Each book comprises an original French short story, with the English translation placed next to the French text, so that you can translate the story as you read. All the stories are designed to increase your vocabulary and develop your language skills - a surefire way to improve your French in a matter of days!
A review of the 2013 Tour de France.
Coverage from the First Direct Arena in Leeds as this year's Tour de France teams make their first public appearance before Saturday's stage one Prologue. Hosted by Jill Douglas and Sebastien Piquet (the voice of the Tour de France).
The world's greatest bike race as seen from the air. "How beautiful France is, viewed from the air! France with its countryside and its cities. France with its magnificent monuments and its hidden treasures, its churches, and its old villages. The Tour de France was created in 1903 and popularised through the radio, but television without doubt was what gave it real prominence. Today, the spectacular scenery of the event is filmed using the latest camera technology, capturing the beauty of the surroundings in which the world s greatest bike race is set. In 1948 the first live outside broadcast took place, the arrival at the Parque des Princes filmed using simple fixed camera positions. Then cars were introduced, swiftly followed by mobile cameras and helicopters, which capture the wonderful pictures which we admire every July. Finally, the introduction of high definition in 2007 allowed superb quality pictures to be beamed around the world.