Grand Tour (cycling)

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In road cycling, the Grand Tour is the name given to the three major national tours Tour de France , Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España . All three competitions will be held as stage races over three weeks. In addition to the eponymous countries France , Italy and Spain , stages and prologues are often held in third countries.

The tours

Tour de France

Front page of L'Auto on July 19, 1903 - announcement of the first Tour de France

The Tour de France has been held since 1903 as the first of the three major national tours . The stage race was organized by the sports newspaper L'Auto ; the newspaper's editor-in-chief, Henri Desgrange , was the tour's director until his death in 1940. The idea of ​​holding such a stage race was based on the idea of ​​making the bicycle popular with the population - also in the countryside - through daily reporting, increasing newspaper sales and acquiring advertisements from the bicycle industry. The newspaper's largest shareholders were prominent figures from the industry, such as Édouard Michelin and Adolphe Clément . At the same time, the race led to rural areas where some people had never seen a bike or were not yet convinced of its usefulness.

The Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) has been the organizer of the stage race, which is held annually in July, since 1992 .

Giro d'Italia

The Tour of Italy was held for the first time in 1909, on the initiative of the publishers and employees of Gazzetta dello Sport , the bicycle manufacturer Bianchi and the Touring Club . Models were the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia automobilistico Automobile, which had also been organized by the Gazzetta in 1901 .

The cycling Giro has been held annually in May since then (except in times of war). Since the Gazzetta is printed on pink paper, the overall leader of the Giro wears a jersey of the same color .

Vuelta a España

The Vuelta was held for the first time in 1935 and has been held annually since 1955. Within three weeks, it leads across Spain in alternating routes . After the tour of Spain initially traditionally took place in spring, its date was moved to September in the mid-1990s .

See also


Individual evidence

  1. Dries Vanysacker: Koersend door de eeuw en Italiaanse Belgian geschiedenis. The Italo-Belgian connectie in en rond het wielerpeloton . Acco, Leuven / Den Haag 2009, ISBN 978-90-334-7361-6 , pp. 69 .