Tour de France
Most people know the Tour de France as the world’s premier road race for bicycles but the first Tour, held in 1899, was not for bikes but for cars. Nineteen cars lined up for the seven-day stage race that started in Paris and finished in Paris a week later after a loop through France. Until World War II, the race was held off and on and then, from 1951 to 1986, it was an annual fixture – rebranded as the Tour de France Automobile to avoid confusion with was is now the more famous bike race.
While the event and route length varied, a typical Tour de France Automobile covered between 5,000 and 6,500 kilometres over five days, including around 1,000 kilometres of timed special stages. Unfortunately, I will need more time to complete the entire route around France on my trip next year. So, the plan is to cover most of the route down the centre of France before heading east to Italy.
France has a lot to offer when it comes to driving roads and scenery. I look forward to getting off the main roads, seeing the incredible views and visiting some of the small towns of France.