The International Bike Race

July 4, 2009 at 7:28 am | Posted in Sports | Leave a comment

It may be called the Tour de France, but the international bike race that sets off today is not limited to a ride through France. Cyclists push off from a starting point in the principality of Monaco; from there, the route also passes through Spain, Andorra, Switzerland and Italy, with most of it running through France. The first Tour de France was run in 1903: 60 riders rode 2,428 km (1509 mi) in six stages. Only ten riders finished the race. This year, some 180 bikers will begin the 3,445 km (2,141 mi) route, through 21 stages, finishing on July 26. The record-holding winner of seven consecutive Tours de France (1999-2005), Lance Armstrong, has announced he will be participating again this year after a three-year retirement. He will be riding for the Astana team.

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