Tour Xtra

Other Tour de France Trivia

Victims in the Tour de France peloton

1910 – Adolphe Helière

1935 – Francisco Cepeda


1967 – Tom Simpson





1995 – Fabio Casartelli

Dove into the sea on a rest day and drowned.

Broke his scull due to a fall. Was taken to hospital where he died three days later.

Fell off his bike during the climb of Mont Ventoux. Got help to get on his bike and rode another 300 meters. Then fell again and fainted. Doctors gave him oxygen and he was taken to hospital. Died several hours later. Probable reason: the combination of the heat, alcohol and amphetamines.

Fell while descending the Portet d’Aspet. Hit a stone with his head. His heart stopped three times in a helicopter on the way to the hospital, where he died two hours later.

Strikes in the Tour de France

1905 – Fans protest



1966 – Riders against doping tests



1968 – Journalists against Lévitan




1978 – Riders against work times


1982 – Workers seek attention



1987 – Photographers strike




1998 – Riders against police raids




2003 – Some minor strikes


2008 Unclear strike

Nails were thrown on the streets where the peloton had to pass, probably as a reaction to Maurice Garin’s disqualification in 1904.

The first doping tests were ‘welcomed’ with a riders’ protest. They felt like their freedom as professional riders had been attacked.

As a reaction to Lévitan’s statements that journalists abused their profession by breaking down the Tour (with critical articles), journalists blocked the road and let only the riders pass through a narrow path.

Unsatisfied with the start of a stage as early as 7.35 am, the riders decided to take it slow and not race.

The employees of a steel factory in Denain feared to lose their jobs if the factory would close down. The planned TTT was cancelled.

Feeling like their working conditions (not allowed near the riders, unlike the direction’s guests) were below standards, photographs decided not to take any pictures of the Tour for one day.

As a reaction to the inhumane police actions against members of the TVM team, the peloton decided that the Tour could as well stop if French Justice would go on like that.

Some minor cases of protesting groups took place in 2003, without many troubles for the Tour caravan.

Curiously, a group of strikers blocked the road, but their message was unclear. The race was not very much influenced by this incident. At the stage victory ceremony the same day, a striker climbed the podium, but was pushed away by ASO’s Bernard Hinault.

Foreign Tour de France starts

1954 – Amsterdam (Ned)

1958 – Brussel / Bruxelles (Bel)

1965 – Köln (FRG)

1973 – Scheveningen (Ned)

1975 – Charleroi (Bel)

1978 – Leiden (Ned)

1980 – Frankfurt am Main (FRG)

1982 – Basel (Sui)

1987 – West Berlin (FRG)

1989 – Luxembourg (Lux)

1992 – San Sebastián / Donostia (Esp)

1996 – ’s-Hertogenbosch (Ned)

1998 – Dublin (Irl)

2002 – Luxembourg (Lux)

2004 – Liège (Bel)

2007 London (Eng)

2009 Monaco (Mon)

2010 Rotterdam (Ned)

2012 Liège (Bel)

Tour de France Directors




















Initiator of the Tour de France. Had to quit during the 1936 Tour because of an illness.

Took over in 1936. From 1961-1985 together with Lévitan. Looked more at the sportive side of the Tour. Retired by own will in 1985.

Started dual direction with Goddet in 1961. More the financial/business man, unlike Goddet. Fired because of financial mismanagement in the 1980s.

Interim director in 1987. Fired because of too many solo actions, like his secret plans for a 1992 Tour start in Montréal, Canada.

Naquet-Radiguet’s brother-in-law. Fired because of his lack of action in the Delgado/Theunisse doping affair.

Simplified the Tour de France: reduced the number of classifications and sponsors. Wanted to let the sportive aspects prevail above the commercial and seems to have succeeded. Also fights a hard battle against doping. Known for his extraordinary team selections.

Started a war against the UCI by ignoring the ProTour rules. As a result, the Tour was not a UCI race in 2008. UCI and ASO came to terms again in early 2009.

Henri Desgrange


Jacques Goddet



Félix Lévitan






Xavier Louy


Jean-Marie Leblanc





Christian Prudhomme