Tour de France

Tour de France is an annual bicycle race held in France and surrounding countries. The tour, first staged in 1903, covers more than 3,600 km (2,200 miles) over three weeks. It is regarded as the most prestigious of the three Grand Tours of cycling.

The Tour de France is broken up into day-long stages, called stages. Individual times of each stage are totaled to determine the overall winner of the race. The rider with the lowest total after the completion of each stage wears the yellow jersey.

The three weeks of the tour usually include two rest days, sometimes used to transport riders from a finish in one town to the start in another. The lack of substantial rest prompted the New York Times statement that "Tour de France is arguably the most physiologically demanding of athletic events." The effort was compared to "running a marathon several days a week for nearly three weeks", while the total elevation of the climbs was compared to "climbing three Everests."

Lance Armstrong is the only racer to have one the tour seven times, and he won all races consecutively. The next most successful racers all have five wins: Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, and Miguel Indurain.

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