For its entire history, the Tour de France has been an event steeped in heroism, intrigue and controversy. Valiant cyclists such as Coppi, Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault and Indurain have all become riders of legendary acclaim, while the likes of the Festina team and, of course, Lance Armstrong, all plummeted from grace when their organised doping inside the Tour was exposed.
Scandal and sensation aside, the real drama that unfolds on the roads, cobbles and mountains of Europe each July is what makes this event totally compelling. The attacks, breakaways, sprints and crashes all make for a stunning sporting spectacle unlike any other. Famed for being the most gruelling event on the planet, simply completing each stage of the Tour is a feat of superhuman strength and endurance, never mind finishing on the podium.
The makers of Procycling magazine span the decades, celebrating the pioneers, heroes and winners and examining the rogues and controversies in-depth. We also look ahead to what the future holds for this great race, starting with the hundredth Tour in 2013.
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