Infobytes.tv has published an illustrated animation about the history of Tour de France with amusing trivia. The graphics are well-executed, reflecting the popular infographics trend at the moment. The animation is narrated in English, with heavy French accent. But we find it very charming.
Le Tour competition was suggested by a young cycling journalist to his editor to boost the circulation of the daily sports newspaper, L’Auto. The cheating history at the tour began since the race had started. After the second tour in 1904, night riding was dropped because judges couldn’t see the cheating acts done by riders. The team jerseys are not random design. The colours are supposed to indicated a rider’s position and ranking within his team. Breakaway leaders are vulnerable to “cracking” under pressure while they are battling the race alone. So the domestiques are crucial to motivate their leaders to carry on.
Tour de France is the toughest of all the major sports. Participants could burn up to 7000 calories per stage. The average person burns around 2000 calories. The heart of Le Tour winner Miguel Indurain is believed to be 50% bigger than average. His resting heart rate is 28 BPM, unlike 60-90 BPM for an average person.