Tour de France 2014 - the first race

Team Sky's Chris Froome (front right) rides alongside Richie Porte

Team Sky's Chris Froome (front right) rides alongside Richie Porte - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Tour de France 2014 marks 111 years since the first race took place and it features 200 riders from across the world, each of them riding expensive, tailor made high performance bikes.

They wear helmets and jerseys specially designed to give maximum performance. The riders are also accompanied by support teams throughout the race, with regular stops in betweenist 21 stages.

It is worth remembering that the 60 riders who took part in the first Tour de France, which began on July 1, 1903, did so on unpaved roads and without any helmets.

They covered vast swathes of land, riding through the night by moonlight and many abandoned the race so that by the end of the first stage, 23 riders had given up.

Other facts on the first Tour de France

? The sixth and final stage began on July 18 in Nantes

? The winner, 32-year-old Maurice Garin, crossed the finish line in Lyon. He won by only one minute and spent more than 95 hours in the saddle.He was wearing a green arm band to signify his position as race leader. The yellow jersey was adopted in 1919

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? Only 21 riders completed the race

? There were only six stages to the race, compared with today’s 21

? There were no support vehicles, so many riders carried spare tyres and tubes in case of a puncture.

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