The 2015 Tour de France starts this Saturday, but today (July 1) marks the 112th anniversary of the first Tour de France. Back then the race consisted of six stages over 19 days and it covered 1,509 miles. The race was mostly on flat land back then, not the mountainous terrain that so often makes or breaks a cyclists Tour chances today.
Indeed, the first Tour de France seems much, much more chill than today's grueling journey. Winner Maurice Garin took the winner's sash (the famous yellow jersey, itself yellow because the newspaper that sponsored the race was printed on yellow paper, was not introduced until the 1919 edition of the race) with a time of 94 hours, 33 minutes, and 14 seconds. We dug up some photos from the first Tour de France; Garin looked pretty happy at the time.
Garin won the next year's race as well, but was disqualified when it was discovered he cheated by using cars and trains. Say what you want about Lance Armstrong, the man stayed on his bike.
Everybody just seemed to be enjoying themselves, riding their bikes around in the summer time. No big deal.
Just think of the memes that would have existed if memes existed back then!
It does not get more French than a Frenchman smoking a cigarette after winning the Tour de France. Garin's bike is still around, too!
The Tour de France: pretty chill, especially considering it was started as a weird offshoot of the Dreyfuss Affair!
See more photos from the event in a video like this one.
David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on Fusion.net—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: firstname.lastname@example.org