Monday, July 7, 2008
Tour de France ... in England?
The Tour de France is a household name in sport, but few know the fascinating historical origins of the race, which stem from the tensions in France over the Dreyfus affair. Dreyfus was a French military man accused of providing secrets to the Germans. A popular sports newspaper called Le Velo maintained Dreyfus guilt while a major advertiser disagreed to the extent they started their own sports newspaper and sponsored an event to promote that new publication. Hence, in 1903 the Tour de France was born as an advertising promotion following a historical controversy.
Dreyfus was eventually exonerated.