Today, the most prestigious cycling race, Le Tour de France, kicks off in Leeds, England on 5 July 2014. Every year, it’s watched by audiences in 190 countries and attracts over 15 million spectators. This year, Tour de France participants will cycle through four countries to end in Paris on 27 July. A lot has changed since the first Tour de France in 1903. Back then Le Tour was counting only 6 stages and attracted 70 entrants. It was ridden during the night.
Here are some beautiful vintage photographs of Le Tour participants. Explore thousands of Tour de France related items through Europeana.