A multi-stage bicycle race, typically lasting three weeks or more
Example usage: The Tour de France is the most famous grand tour.
Most used in: Europe, especially France and Italy.
Most used by: Professional and amateur cyclists.
Comedy Value: 3/10
What is a Grand Tour?
A Grand Tour is a type of multi-stage bicycle race, considered to be one of the most prestigious in the sport. It usually consists of three ‘weeks’ of racing, each lasting between two and three weeks, depending on the particular event. The three main Grand Tours are the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France, and the Vuelta a España.
The modern Grand Tours began in the late 19th century, and the first was the Tour de France. This was followed by the Giro d'Italia in 1909 and the Vuelta a España in 1935. Since then, the Grand Tours have become the most important events on the cycling calendar. They are the longest and most difficult races, often taking riders through the toughest terrain in Europe.
The Grand Tours attract some of the best cyclists in the world, and the competition is intense. The winners of each event are usually highly decorated, and many have gone on to become legends in the sport. The three-week races also attract huge crowds, and the atmosphere is often electric.
In recent years, the Grand Tours have become even more popular, with millions of viewers tuning in to watch the action. In 2020, the three races drew a total of over 30 million viewers, making them some of the most-watched sporting events in the world.
The Grand Tour: A Cycling Tradition Since the 18th Century
The term “Grand Tour” is synonymous with cycling today, but it has a much longer history than many realize. The term was first used in the 18th century, when wealthy European nobles would embark on a long journey to explore the continent. This journey was known as a “Grand Tour”, and was often used as an educational experience, where the wealthy traveler would explore different cultures, art and architecture.
The Grand Tour typically took place in Europe, and the most popular destinations were France, Italy, and Germany. The length of the tour could vary, but usually lasted for several months. A typical tour would include visits to the major cities of each country, as well as visits to smaller towns and villages.
The tradition of the Grand Tour has been carried on by cyclists today, who often use it as an opportunity to explore the continent and take in the sights. Grand Tour events are now held annually in many countries, and the tradition of the Grand Tour is still very much alive in the world of cycling.