Cycle Through Time: How the Tour de France Has Evolved Over the Years

Every year, over 51 million Americans ride their bicycles, which means this is the third most-popular outdoor activity in the nation!

While some people bike out of necessity (for commuting), others love doing it to see the scenery. But others would prefer to watch it on screen, such as when big races like the Tour de France are on.

The Tour de France is a race for the ages, which makes it worth learning about. Read on for a brief Tour de France history!

The Starting Line: Origins of the Tour de France and Its Early Years

The very first Tour de France happened on July 1, 1903. The race had six stages, starting and ending in Paris. Each stage was around 250 miles, and took the cyclists through cities like Lyon, Marseilles, and Toulouse.

The competitors only got one to three days to rest between stages. And even though there were no mountain passes, this 1,500-mile race was still pretty brutal.

For instance, it was a completely solo trip for the cyclists. They had to bring their own supplies and fix their bikes when they broke down.

Advancements in Cycling Technology: How Bikes and Gears Have Transformed the Race

We have years of ever-advancing technology to thank for shaping the modern Tour de France. For example, we have aerodynamic bikes with streamlined designs and materials like carbon fiber, which make climbs faster and more efficient.

Bikes also now have electronic shifting and disc brakes. The former allows for easier gear shifting, and the latter provides increased stopping power and consistent performance in various weather conditions.

As for the riders, they can utilize aerodynamic clothing made of moisture-wicking and cooling fabrics. Specialized clothing also have advanced padding, chamois, and temperature regulation technologies for better comfort.

The Route Less Traveled: Changes in the Tour de France Course Over Time

As time progressed, Tour de France changes made the race only more difficult. More stages were added to the Tour de France course, and today, it has 21 stages that span 2,200 miles. There are also mountain climbs and time trials.

The earlier races were held during the day and night, but the darkness covered cheating. So to curb this, the Tour de France only occurs during the daytime.

Iconic Moments and Legendary Cyclists: Memorable Highlights From the Tour de France

One iconic moment was when the first famed yellow jersey was given to Eugene Christophe on July 19, 1919. Another was when a spectator punched Eddy Merckx in the liver; although heavily injured, he was able to finish the race (vomiting at the line).

Lance Armstrong was known for having a record of seven straight wins in the Tour de France. However, they were disqualified in 2012. This leaves a four-way tie of five wins each between Jacques Antquetil, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain, and Eddy Merckx.

Bringing the Race to Bout Time Pub and Grub: Celebrating the Tour de France With Fellow Enthusiasts

Now that you know all about the Tour de France history, don’t you want to get in on the action? Here at Bout Time Pub and Grub, we’ve got more TVs than tables, so you and your buddies can chow down on great meals, drink cold beers, and cheer on the cyclists on the big screens.

So what are you waiting for? Find your nearest Bout Time Pub and Grub location!

March Madness Predictions

March Madness is almost upon us this year, and with it comes the always-popular brackets that will likely pop up in our social circles and workplace discussions. These brackets are good fun (and not a bad way to bring home some extra cash), so they’re well worth joining.

However, if you haven’t been keeping up with college basketball, you might not feel secure in making some strong guesses this year. If you’re trying to secure your March Madness predictions, it’s best to get up to date with who the current favorites are. 

What do you need to know? What’s the latest in college sports? Read on, and we’ll walk you through the basics.

Whom Not To Include In Your Bracket

Choosing an eventual March Madness winner is always challenging, even for those well-versed in basketball. That’s part of the fun of the tournament – you never know what might happen.

What’s a little easier to predict possibly is who might be out of the competition early on. There are certain teams where it’s obvious this is a building year, and they’re not well positioned for serious competition. 

This year, there are four that many sports analysts agree you likely won’t see progressing too far. That would be Utah State, LSU, Wake Forest, and Southern California. 

These teams have performed poorly over the past season, with LSU slipping out of the rankings most recently.

Again, you never can predict who might be able to pull off a comeback… but smart money says you won’t put your weight behind these teams this year. 

Predicted Winners and Powerhouses

Let’s look at four teams that many analysts feel strongly about. Recently, NCAA’s Andy Katz put his push behind Kansas, Houston, Purdue, and Alabama as his four favorites this spring. 

Houston and Purdue ranked number one in the AP Poll this season, though Purdue’s recent loss to Rutgers pushed the Cougars to the top spot. 

These teams all collectively have only lost once or twice this season.

They are clearly primed, ready, and gunning to go for gold this March. They are the teams you’ll want to tune in and watch closely after completing your bracket.

They could go all the way – keep an eye on our events page for fun opportunities to come cheer on your favorites. 

March Madness Predictions for 2023

If you’re looking to make a strong bracket for this year’s March Madness, you’ll want to be well-versed in the current standings of the college basketball leagues. The above information can help fill you in on what teams have performed well this season – and which haven’t. 

Remember, these are just predictions! No one knows for sure what will happen once the action begins. 

Need a perfect place to gather with friends and watch the game? Grab a seat at one of our tables – find a pub location near you