The international highway cycle race of Le Tour de France this year is held already for the 99th time. By convention it takes place in the middle of the summer – in July – and involves the strongest representatives of this sport. Professional cyclists who are broken into teams participate in the race, and calculation of the points gathered in the multi-day competition is conducted both in personal, and in team events.
The first competition "Tour de France" was organized in 1903 as the advertizing draft of the Parisian newspaper L'Auto. The journalist of this Gueo Lefebvre edition, and the main organizer of the cycle race – the editor and the cofounder of the newspaper Henri Degrange was the author of the idea. The new competition was the answer to the similar course of the competitors sponsoring two similar cycle tours. "Tour de France" in the first year brought to organizers huge success – only the number of constant subscribers of the edition duringduring the race increased by two and a half times. Such boom of sales occurred then during the cycle race of each next year and reached the maximum in the summer of one of the last pre-war years – 1933. Then in day the organizers sold on average in 854 thousand copies of the newspaper.
After World War II the journalists of L'Auto created the new sports newspaper L'Equipe which by today became one of the leading daily national editions. It is included into media holding Editions Philippe Amaury, one of divisions of they are Amaury Sport Organisation – is engaged the organizations of various large sports meets, including also the well-known Paris-Dakar rally marathon. The Society Tour De France branch is engaged in annual holding road cycling which received the unofficial name "Big Loop" in this division of holding.
The modern cycle multi-day race of "Tour de France" consists of "prolog" and twenty stages, on each of which is taken away on one day of competitions. This year the competition will begin on June 30 and except the French territory will pass across Belgium and Switzerland. Total length of stages - 3479 km. Except the winner in team and personal events will be defined also the best among young people – up to 25 years – racers, the leader of mountain stages and the best sprinter of the cycle multi-day race.