Cycling: And No French Aftertaste

Outside magazine, May 1995


Cycling: And No French Aftertaste
By Alan Cote


Funny how the Tour DuPont sneaks up on you. On the seventh of this month, 126 of the world's finest cyclists will finish wending their way through Appalachia in the seventh running of this country's premier cycling race. OK, we admit that as a social event, it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi--but nevertheless it's big-time bike racing nearly at its best. Better yet, it happens right here, under our noses. Herewith a quick comparison of our Tour and theirs.

TOUR DE FRANCE
The Origins: Organized in 1903 by cycling patriarch Henri Desgrange
The Faces in the Crowd: 20 million spectators, including uppity aristocrats and the just-as-uppity baguette-eating masses
The Spoils of Victory: $440,000, the prestigious yellow jersey, and, traditionally, an audience with the president of your country
The Shower of Media Attention: Occasional network coverage on weekends and nightly half-hour spots on ESPN

TOUR DUPONT
The Origins: Started in 1989 by casino patriarch Donald Trump and originally called, naturally, the Tour de Trump
The Faces in the Crowd: 2.5 million spectators, including a large percentage of the East Coast's bicycle-shop employees
The Spoils of Victory: $40,000, a 14-karat gold ring designed by a local artist, and a handshake from the mayor of Greensboro, North Carolina
The Shower of Media Attention: Nightly half-hour spots on ESPN and ESPN2

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