The Tour de France is the second stage of the three cycling’s ‘Grand Tours, and derives from a newspaper publicity stunt in 1903. It was a mass advertising campaign for anyone who wanted to promote and sponsor a team in order to sell their wares they sold such as bicycle equipment, telephones, shoes, and innumerable other items. Even though sponsors play as an important component for the financial aspects, over the passing years, the Tour grew into more than a sales tool. It is, simply, the greatest athletic test in the world.
Preparation is being made for its first stage to begin Saturday July 5th and finishing on Sunday July 27th 2014. The recent first leg Grand Tour was the Giro d’Italia which was completed on June 1st.
The Tour de France race commenced over one hundred times with the first official tour raced in 1909. The Yellow Jersey (maillot jaune) plays an important part of this cycling endurance competition. Being the wearer of coveted yellow jersey is based on the lowest cumulative time for the race, and overall average decides the current race leader for each stage. Many participants can wear the yellow jersey during the race, but the ultimate goal is to be the last cyclist to don it, thus being the designated winner.
Historical archives indicate that the yellow jersey first debuted in 1919, although it is argued that it may have appeared prior but never recorded. The bright color was adopted to visually separate the leading rider from the rest of the group. All spectators would easily identify the race leader.
For the on-start of the next year’s race, it is customary for the champion of the previous Tour de France to wear the yellow jersey until stage one’s competition is achieved. However, if the titleholder decides not to return for the tour, the first yellow jersey is presented at the final of stage one to whoever is leading.
Since 1987, those leading in each classification, a presentation ceremony by the sponsor of the yellow jersey, the French banking giant, Credit Lyonnais (aka LCL) takes place. The sponsor not only awards the yellow jersey, but also gives the leader the bank’s mascot of a toy lion at the end of each stage.
It is a great honor with plenty of prestige for any professional cyclists to don the yellow jersey, even for just one day.