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The Tour de FranceA Cultural History$
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Christopher Thompson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520256309

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520256309.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

La Grande Boucle

La Grande Boucle

Cycling, Progress, and Modernity

One La Grande Boucle
The Tour de France

Christopher S. Thompson

University of California Press

This chapter discusses the convergence of inventions, institutions, interest groups, and motivations that led to the birth of cycling in the late nineteenth century, setting the stage for the Tour de France's creation in the early twentieth. It evaluates the race's evolution as an athletic competition, a commercial enterprise, and a media event, and is based upon two often-contested concepts, modernity and progress, which play a central role in the narratives examined in the following chapters.

Keywords:   inventions, institutions, interest groups, motivations, nineteenth century, twentieth century, modernity, progress

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