Easily the biggest race in cycling, the Tour de France manages to capture the attention of the world every July. The 3,500-kilometre (2,200-mile) race through the scenic French countryside has been an annual event since 1903. Among the tour's early all-time greats is Belgian legend Eddy Merckx, who won the race five times. Other great Tour de France champs include Spain's Miguel Indurain and French legends Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault.
For most North American cycling fans, the Tour de France race is most closely associated with Lance Armstrong, who won the Tour de France seven consecutive times, more than any other racer. Armstrong came out of retirement to compete in the 2009 Tour de France. He is competing for Team Astana alongside Spaniard Alberto Contador. Both Armstrong and Contador are among the favorites to take home the 2009 title. Although the event has been rocked by doping scandals in recent times, the Tour remains one of the world's marquee sporting events. To have your story included in the Tour de France channel, be sure to include the words 'Tour de France' in your tags.