Tour Xtra

The Yellow Jersey explained

List of Tour winners 1903-2011


The Green Jersey explained

List of winners 1953-2011


The Polka Dot Jersey explained

List of winners 1933-2011


The White Jersey explained

(including list of winners 1975-2011)


General Team Classification

List of winners 1903-2011


Combativity Classification & Intermediate Sprints Classification

(including lists of winners)


Other Classifications & Awards

(including lists of winners)


Time trials in the Tour de France


Rider records:

Most Tour de France starts per rider

Most podium finishes in the Tour de France

Most stage wins per rider in the Tour de France

Longest solo rides in the Tour de France

Fastest stages in the Tour de France


Tour de France records:

Longest,  shortest & fastest Tours

Longest stages in the Tour de France

Cities that hosted most stage finishes in the Tour de France

Giro & Tour & Vuelta in one year


Other Tour de France trivia:

Tour de France victims

Strikes in the Tour de France

Foreign Tour starts

Tour de France Directors

About the Tour de France

The Tour de France is the biggest annual sport event in the world. It is organised every year since 1903, with some exceptions during the two World Wars. France has a couple of things to be proud of: the Eiffel Tower, the TGV, the Notre Dame, Napoleon, the Venus of Milo, the Arc de Triomphe, the Bastille, the Mont Saint Michel, the Eurotunnel to Great Britain and: the Tour de France.


In 1903, plans were made by Henri Desgrange, director and chief editor of the L’Auto newspaper, to organise a cycling Tour through France. The plans found their origin in the battle between French sport newspapers around the beginning of the twentieth century. Not less than thirteen of the sort competed with eachother to be the biggest. The biggest was Le Vélo, which benefited of the sudden rise in popularity of the cycling sport. On October 16, 1900, Desgrange founded a new paper: L’Auto-Vélo. Le Vélo reacted by taking Desgrange to court, where they demanded him to reduce the name to L’Auto.


Le Vélo succeeded, but its director lost his sympathy amongst the public due to his political attitudes in the Alfred Dreyfus-case (Dreyfus had been found guilty of high-treason in 1894, but was later exonerated of the crime). Meanwhile, Desgrange tried to give Le Vélo the definitive knock-out and made plans to organise the first Tour de France - an immense task for the riders those days. The plans were worked out by Géo Lefèvre and the first Tour was announced in a small article on the front page of L’Auto, on January 19, 1903. The reactions were mostly enthusiastic: sponsors offered prizes immediately and the Tour became a success. The number of copies of L’Auto (now L’Equipe) increased from 30,000 to 65,000 per day...


Nowadays, the Tour de France is part of the organisation called Société du Tour de France, which has 42 fulltime employees and is part of the Amaury Sport Organisation. During the actual Tour, another 200 people are hired. The Société organises other road races too: Tour of Qatar (for men and women), Tour of Oman, Paris–Nice, Critérium International, Paris–Roubaix (for elite and espoirs), Flèche Wallonne (men/women), Liège–Bastogne–Liège, Tour de Picardie, Classique des Alpes (juniors), Dauphiné Libéré, Tour de l‘Avenir and Paris–Tours (elite/espoirs). The organisation also holds a share in the Tour of California and the Vuelta a España.


For Desgrange’s successors as Tour director, see Other Tour de France trivia.

Xtra Index