Tour de France 2007

In honor of the Tour de France 2007, which is going on right now and is full of controversy (many riders have been accused of doping and thrown out of the race), I learned 10 new things about the cycling race:
1. The first man to win the Tour de France was, fittingly, a Frenchman: Maurice Garin in 1903.
2. The prologue and the first two stages take place in England and Belgium.
3. A polka-dot "king of the mountain" jersey is awarded to the cyclist who reaches the top of mountains the quickest.
4. The media have declared the "death" of the Tour de France this year, because several riders have been removed from the competition based on suspicion of drug use, while others shown positive were not removed.
5. The Live Tracker uses Google Maps technology to track the progress of the race.
6. No one really knows why the color yellow was picked for the most prestigious jersey.
7. Fans lining the course try to snag water bottles as the cyclists toss them when they are done.
8. L'étape du Tour is an event where amateur cyclists ride over the same course the professionals do. It is held during the Tour de France.
9. The "peloton" is the French word used to refer to the pack of riders.
10. L'avenue des Champs-Elysées rounds out the Tour, and it is especially challenging because it is cobbled.


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