Ever wonder why some things get started? I do. . .all the time. As I was perusing the list of choices for today's post, I came across an entry that sent me off looking for information and verification.The Tour de France.
My husband loves to bicycle. He's nowhere near the class of Lance Armstrong, but he enjoys getting out and the exercise he gets from riding. He also likes watching the Tour de France every year. Me? Well, as long as I know who won, I'm happy - and I don't have to watch it all the way through.
It all started out with a feud. (So, what else is new? Right?) Two sports newspapers battling for supremacy in France. LeVelo
was the original publication. A rival, LeAuto-velo
, was founded by a disgruntled advertiser. When LeAuto
was forced to drop the "velo
" at the end of it's name in response to a suit by LeVelo
, the owner thought it might be their death knell, so he came up with a gimmick that would continue to present day.This Day in History: On Jan. 19, _____, L'Auto announced "the greatest cycling trial in the entire world. A race more than a month long: Paris to Lyon to Marseille to Toulouse to Bordeaux to Nantes to Paris," and the Tour de France was born.
The early history of the Tour was one of intense rivalry, cheating, and many accusations of foul behavior and interference by fans along the route. It took time, but eventually, it became THE bicycle race to participate in and win in order to gain international acclaim. Although, in the early years, anyone could enter and pay the entry fee, now it is by invitation only.