Nearly 200 cyclists roll out of Porto-Vecchio on the French island of Corsica Saturday for the first stage of this year's Tour de France, now in its 101st year. From its early days as newspaper promotional event to today's international spectacle, the Tour has undergone many changes. British sports journalist Richard Moore documented the evolution of the race in his book "Tour de France 100: A Photographic History of the World's Greatest Race." Here are a few of the ways the race both changed and remained the same.
In 1903, the first tour consisted of six grueling stages across France with each day averaging more than 250 miles. The race began before dawn, sometimes midnight for the grueling mountain stages. Upon reaching the summit of the Col D'Aubisque in 1910 (the sixth of seven mountains that day), racer Octave Lapize famously yelled "assassins" at race officials. Today's Tour runs 21 stages and two rest days over 2,087 miles. Each summer, tour organizers lay down smooth new asphalt along the way. "The Tour is a rolling road improvement program," Moore said.