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Gino and Fausto
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Lance Armstrong's US Postal Service team is sponsored by the equivalent of the Royal Mail
Teams in the modern Tour are sponsored

Lack of French success - there was no home-grown winner between 1910 and 1930 - did not help the race's popularity.

Up until 1930 riders raced in teams sponsored by bike manufacturers.

These were replaced by national teams.

This sparked new interest in the race in France, with the public united behind a common national cause.

It was no coincidence that home riders won the first five Tours of the 1930's.

The publicity caravan, which lives on to this day, was also introduced in 1930.

Louison Bobet won three Tours in a row
Louison Bobet: French Tour hero

World War II broke out in 1939 and stopped the race again.

After the war the race was dominated by three great riders - two Italians and a Frenchman.

Italy's Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali had one of the great cycling rivalries of all time.

And they won the race three times between them in the 1940's and 50's.

French hero Louison Bobet was the first rider to win three races in a row from 1953 to 1955.

And another French hero was on the horizon - but he proved to be an unpopular champion.


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Introduction
Publicity stunt
Early days
Gino & Fausto
Jacques & Eddy
Bernard & Greg
Miguel & Lance



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