Tour De France: 100 Years Of Excellence

4423 words - 18 pages

It was an unforgiving 95 degrees Fahrenheit in eastern France last week. Rain had fallen nearly every day of the week prior to Stage 16, Wednesday, July 21, making for a very steamy road up the face of one of the most unforgiving mountain rides a cyclist can make in the course of his or her riding career. Nearly one million people lined the narrow mountain road leading to the peak of L'Alpe D'Huez to watch a one man, Lance Armstrong, in the time trial of his life. This seemingly immortal man had survived cancer to make this climb his top achievement leading him to victory five times previously. Could Lance pull off an unprecedented sixth win? He rehearsed this scene time after time over the course of the previous year in preparation for such a time as this. That preparation paid off. He climbed this mountain in exactly 61 seconds faster than any of his nearly 200 competitors. One million people in a less than 20 mile stretch of road all to watch a bicycle race. But this was no normal race, this was, after all, The Tour de France. Considered to be the most physically unremitting sporting event known to man, this mere bicycle race has a history richer than many nations in and of themselves. Over a hundred years ago, in a turbulent, at best, France, two men found their way into a personal disagreement. The results of which, over a century later would still draw spectators by the thousands to the hillsides of France for what would become the greatest continuing nationalist and sporting spectacle of that country.

The best place to start a story of such grand a scale is at the very beginning. The year was 1893. France had just imposed a tax on a relatively new transportation device, the bicycle. Millions of citizens were eagerly paying it in order to "own the new freedom machine." (Fife, 15) Suffice it to say, production of bicycles boomed and manufacturers suddenly found themselves in a more modern day marketing frenzy. Who had the best product? How do we get it out to the public? One man had what he thought was the answer. Comte Dion owned one of these bicycle factories. He chose a popular sports magazine, Le Vélo, to do all his advertising. A man by the name of Pierre Giffard owned the magazine. It seemed a good marriage, the sports paper about cycling advertising the locally made bicycles. All of this was to change, however. Giffard disenfranchised himself with his sponsors by charging too much for his ad space. To make matters worse, a court case in France had split the country down the center, and on opposite sides were Dion and Giffard.

A few years earlier a Jewish French soldier, Alfred Dreyfus, had been accused of selling military secrets to the Germans. The trial set France on fire so to speak. Everyone had an opinion of the alleged Jewish spy. The more conservative, starched Catholics pegged Dreyfus guilty as charged before the trial ever began. He did manage to have his fair share of supporters...

Find Another Essay On Tour de France: 100 Years of Excellence

100 years since Treaty of Shimonoseki Asia's first independent republic

784 words - 3 pages The date 17 April 1995 marked the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Shimonoseki, in which China ceded its sovereignty over Taiwan in perpetuity. The Treaty was signed in April 1895, at the end of the Sino-Japanese War of 1894, in which the modernized Japanese imperial army defeated the antiquated Chinese Ching dynasty...

England and France: The War of a Hundred Years

1633 words - 7 pages In the time of knights and kings, known as the Middle Ages, one of the only ways to acquire power was through the social standing of one's family. Of course, if you were to have siblings there would be some contest over who acquires what in the event of the passing of a family member. This kind of argument is the base for which The Hundreds Years' War began, with the death of the French king Charles IV in 1328. Edward III, duke of Guyenne and the...

The Supernatural in the Works of Marie De France

1260 words - 5 pages In Yönec and Bisclavret by Marie De France, the element of the supernatural is used to emphasize virtue. Those who embrace the supernatural are portrayed as worthy and morally upright, while those who are repulsed by the supernatural are portrayed as evil and immoral. In Bisclavret, the lord's supernatural situation draws attention to the virtues of love and loyalty. In Yönec, Muldumarec's shape-shifting abilities are used to emphasize the...

The Lais of Marie de France and Quickly-Budding Love

714 words - 3 pages Boom! The door flies open and a handsome knight runs into the room and yells, “Come my lady we must go now, for he is on his way”. The lady jumps to her feet and says “My love whom is on their way?” he responds, “your husband is on the way and he has heard of our romance”. The couple joins hands and quickly runs through the castle hoping that they are not seen. Suddenly the king jumps from a dark shadow, stops the couple in a sudden halt, and...

The Long View of 100 Years: The Centennial Celebration of Longview, Texas

3059 words - 12 pages In Russia, Krushchev and his officials were celebrating the hundredth anniversary of Vladimir Lenin's birth. Troops were being stationed across New England to prevent violence as the Black Panthers were holding a supposedly peaceful May Day demonstration in New Haven, Connecticut. At Kent State University in Ohio, students were up in arms after the National Guard had used tear gas and guns to break up a student rally at the center of campus....

Great Moments in the First 100 Years of the Catholic Church

2215 words - 9 pages - "Great Moments in the First 100 Years of the Church"Qu 1) The early Church faced many perplexing theological questions and concerns, for example, explaining the "personhood" of Jesus, liturgical norms and practice etc. What theological concerns of the early Church remain theologically relevant in the area of contemporary Religious Education?On Pentecost Sunday in approximately 33AD, the Holy Spirit came upon Mary, the apostles...

100 years of flight

1250 words - 5 pages The history of flight begins as early as the Greek Gods. The experiments and attempts to fly were unsuccessful until the early 1900s, where two brothers, Orville and Wilbert Wright, designed a glider that was finally a success. It took them years to research the works of others who experimented with flight.By 1900 they carefully started designing their first full-sized aircraft, which was at first to be used as a kite and controlled...

Feminism, Anti-feminism and Adultery in the Lais of Marie De France

2112 words - 8 pages In the middle ages knights in every kingdom were expected to follow basic rules set forth by the code of chivalry. According to this code a knight was supposed to show all of the following characteristics; prowess, justice, loyalty, defense, courage, faith, humility, largesse, nobility and franchise. If a man showed these characteristics he was said to be a good "chevalier," a French word for knight (Burgess 1). Marie De France, one of the...

Arising of Magic Realism Through Allusions to the Bible and Tragedians of the Greeks and Romans in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 100 Years of Solitude

1368 words - 5 pages Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, is a novel often associated with magic realism. Throughout the novel, the idea of magic realism is promoted through intertext examples of The Bible. Magic realism is defined as an artistic style in which magical elements or irrational scenarios appear in an otherwise realistic or "normal" setting. The many intertextual examples throughout the work are alluded from outside...

The Change in Status and Position of Jews in Russia, France and Germany in the Years 1880-1920

2224 words - 9 pages The Change in Status and Position of Jews in Russia, France and Germany in the Years 1880-1920 Throughout history Jews have been persecuted. I am going to write about how their status and position changed from 1880 to 1920 in the countries France, Russia and Germany. Anti-Semitism, the persecution of Jews, was introduced centuries before the year 1880. In Ancient times Jews were used as slaves by the Egyptian's, the...

Why the play "The Importance of Being Earnest" is still packing theaters today, even though it is over 100 years old.

1165 words - 5 pages "The Importance of Being Earnest" has been playing to packed audiences for over a hundred years. Why do you think it has remained so popular?"The Importance of Being Earnest" was first performed in 1895. The year marked the beginning of Oscar Wilde's "disgrace". Lord Alfred Douglas's father, the Marquis of Queensbury, began his...

Similar Essays

Tour De France Drug Abuse Essay

4682 words - 19 pages The question of drug use among athletes in what was previously considered by the unknowing public to be a rather pristine sport, cycling, is important in that it will affect all future Tours and will place them and the athletes under scrutiny. To begin with, in Europe until the 1998 scandal occurred, despite a few exceptions, cycling was considered a drug free sport. The 1998 drug scandal tarnished the Tour de France and the reputation and image...

100 Years War, France And England

2174 words - 9 pages The definition of the Golden Rule is that those with the gold make the rules. Inother words, those with the gold have the power as well as those with the power have thegold. History books will discuss the general reasons for war such as freedom fromadversity or freedom from religion. But the real issue for any war is the thirst for powerand control; and the means to finance them are the economic...

100 Years Of Capitalism. Essay

590 words - 2 pages 100 Years of CapitalismIn the past 100 years we have had many advancements in all areas of our society. The way people live has changed drastically just in this past century. Technology in particular has advanced more in these last 100 years then all previous time combined. Efficiency keeps being pushed to the maximum in all areas of production. These modern changes have truly altered the way in which a human lives and is shaping how...

Lais Of Marie De France Essay

1933 words - 8 pages Throughout the Lais of Marie de France there are several themes presented as central to the various stories. Some of these themes are present in all of the lais. One such example is that of courtly love and it’s implications. Courtly love being one of the more prominent themes in all of medieval literature, it is fittingly manifested in all of the lais as well. Another theme present in two of the lais is isolation. The theme of isolation plays...