Last week, we gave you the opportunity to test your knowledge about the Tour de France through a series of questions. Today, you can discover the answers to that quiz.
1/ In which year did the Tour first travel outside of France?
Correct answer: 1907. That year, the Tour passed through Metz, in the Alsace-Lorraine region, which was part of Germany at that time. A few days later, during the same race, the Tour also crossed into Switzerland.
2/ What is the name of the vehicle that travels behind the riders, and picks up those who can no longer continue in the race?
Correct answer: the sweep vehicle. This idea was the brainchild of Henri Desgrange, one of the race’s founders and the first organizer of the Tour de France.
3/ What is the smallest time gap ever recorded between the winner of a Tour and the runner-up at the finish line on the Champs-Elysées?
Correct answer: 8 seconds. In 1989, before the final stage, a 24.5km time trial between Versailles and Paris, Greg LeMond was 50 seconds behind France’s Laurent Fignon. After an incredible effort, the American managed to make up the time difference, and secured victory in the Tour de France by 8 seconds.
4/ Which rider holds the record for the most Tour de France appearances (17)?
Correct answer: George Hincapie. The American rider took part in his first Tour in 1996, but was forced to withdraw from the race during Stage 15. From 1999 to 2005, he acted as Lance Armstrong’s loyal lieutenant during his fellow countryman’s seven consecutive victories. At 39 years of age, the man they call “Big George” is now riding in his 17th Tour de France, and it probably won’t be his last!
5/ The Tour’s publicity caravan snakes across France each year, to the great delight of the young and not-so-young fans that come to watch the race. But in which year was it created?
Correct answer: 1930. Just over an hour in front of the riders, the Tour’s publicity caravan travels along the race route and hands out all kinds of products and objects to the public. The vehicles carry advertising logos and often feature crazy designs. The caravan was created in order to generate funds to finance the staging of the race.
6/ Which country has never hosted the Tour de France?
Correct answer: Austria. After Metz in 1907, the Tour de France has visited many neighboring countries. In 1914, the peloton rode through Geneva, but then had to wait until after the end of the Second World War for the next opportunity for the Tour to race abroad: Belgium and Luxembourg (1947), Italy (1948), Spain (1949) and also the Netherlands (1954), Great Britain (1974), Germany (1987), and even Ireland (1998) have all hosted the race.
7/ The Yellow Jersey is worn by the leader of the individual general classification. In which year did this famous jersey make its first appearance?
Correct answer: 1919. The color of the Yellow Jersey was chosen because it was the same color as the paper on which the L’Auto newspaper, the creator of the Tour de France, was printed. The jersey, which carries the signature of Henri Desgrange, was worn for the first time in the Tour de France by Eugène Christophe, at the start of the 11th stage in Grenoble, on July 19, 1919.
8/ Taking his place on the podium in Paris on 8 occasions (7 victories, 1 third place), Lance Armstrong jointly holds the record for the most top three finishes with…?
Correct answer: Raymond Poulidor. “The Eternal Second” really lived up to his nickname… Raymond Poulidor is one of the most famous French riders in the Tour’s history, but he never won the race, and nor did he ever wear the Yellow Jersey! However, he achieved a place on the podium on eight occasions (finishing second 3 times, and third 5 times) and his attacking style and cheerfulness made him a firm favorite with the public.
9/ How many times did German sprint specialist Erik Zabel win the Green Jersey?
Correct answer: 6 times. A world-class sprinter and the winner of numerous classics such as Milan-San Remo (4 times), Paris-Tours (3 times) and the Amstel Gold Race, Erik Zabel shone in particular on the roads of the Tour de France, clocking up 12 stage victories between 1995 and 2002, and 6 titles as the best sprinter. As the son of a bike rider himself, Erik is now the number one supporter of his own son, Rick, who turned professional this season.
10/ What shape is the trophy that the winner of the Tour de France receives at the end of the race?
Correct answer: A vase. The vase in question was designed by the famous porcelain factory in Sèvres on behalf of the President of France.