In honor of the the anniversary of the renowned cycling competition
On July 1, 1903, the first Tour de France commenced in a Parisian suburb with five dozen competitors originating from France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Belgium. The brainchild of a struggling bi-monthly sports-based publication called L'Auto, the Tour de France was created with the intention of raising viewership and funding for upcoming issues. Bikers raced across over 1,500 miles of sometimes uncharted terrain in hopes of securing the championship title and a healthy 20,000 franc prize.
Today, the Tour de France encompasses over 2,000 miles and has three times the amount of riders. The event will be broadcast in nearly 200 countries, with billions of global spectators watching both at home and on the sidelines each year. The 2019 competition will begin in Brussels on July 6, and culminate over three weeks later in Paris on July 28. Here, CR revisits archival images of the landscapes, competitors, and spectators over the course of the event's 115 year-old history.