Could an amateur biker handle the rigors of the grueling Tour de France? Halfords, a UK sponsor of the 2012 Tour, and their ad firm, DLKW Lowe, decided to find out. The rider is Dan Francis, a 29 year old employee at a London pharmaceutical company. The bike, a $1500 rebadged Carrera Virago. The route, five classic stages from The Tour de France. And it's all documented in a 15-minute film playfully called The Tour de Francis.
The ride is grueling, yes. And it's only complicated by the unusual road conditions -- the snow blocking the roads in the Alps, cars littering the already treacherous roads in front of the Tuileries in Paris (where I happened to see Miguel Indurain win the Tour three times). How does Francis handle it? No spoilers here. We'll let you find out.