Why Are There Less and Less U.S. Riders on the Tour?

Out of 176 riders, only 5 Americans were on the starting line of the Tour de France this year. The U.K., Poland, and Denmark each had as many riders. By comparison, Belgium had 19 riders and France 35.

The United States never really recovered from the Lance Armstrong scandal, writes New York Times reporter Ian Austen. On the Tour, his name is as unspoken “as Lord Voldemort’s is within the world of Harry Potter.”

Suspended for doping and stripped of his 7 consecutive victories, Armstrong eclipsed the triumph of Greg LeMond. The latter defeated race favorite and French hero Bernard Hinault and became the first American to win the Tour de France in 1986.

There are now fewer American riders on the Tour and, as a result, fewer fans. “During the peak years of American dominance, American flags could be seen all along the race route,” writes the New York Times. “Only four were visible in the three stages leading up to Monday’s rest day — plus one Confederate flag.”

Read more at The New York Times

  • Il existe, tout de même, aux USA, plein de mordus du Tour, des fanas comme toute ma famille qui se lèvent dès 4h du matin pour capter le Tour en direct. Nous partons en France, aussi, avec nos bécanes et nous affrontons les plus beaux cols des Pyrénées, des Alpes et du Vercors. Mais nous n’arborons pas le fanion ricain parce que nous avons honte de “Trompe” et nous nous souvenons de la guerre qu Viet Nam. C’est pas toujours facile d’étaler l’amour de son pays… Mais ne vous trompez pas : le vélo se pratique chez nous et on adore visiter la France pour en faire. Merci.

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