The Tour de Francis: Can an Amateur Tackle the World’s Greatest Cycling Race?

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.

via @Coudal

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Sci­ence Behind the Bike: Four Videos from the Open Uni­ver­si­ty on the Eve of the Tour de France

The 1910 Tour de France Revis­it­ed

Brus­sels Express: The Per­ils of Cycling in Europe’s Most Con­gest­ed City

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  • Greg Boss says:

    Great for Dan. I can’t even imag­ine what that would feel like accom­plish­ing some­thing like that, espe­cial­ly as an ama­teur. The men­tal endurance to make those stages, even on a pro­fes­sion­al lev­el, is so amaz­ing. Enjoyed this piece. Nice work.

    Greg at

  • keyword 1 says:

    One more issue is that video games are gen­er­al­ly seri­ous in nature with
    the main focus on find­ing out rather than enjoy­ment. Although, there’s an enter­tain­ment ele­ment to keep your chil­dren engaged, each and every game is fre­quent­ly designed to improve a spe­cif­ic set of skills or area, such as math­mat­i­cal or sci­en­tif­ic research. Thanks for your write-up.

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