Five amazing Tour de France facts

1. The rider who has done the best during the mountain stages wears a polka-dot jersey because that is the pattern on the wrapping of Chocolat Poulain, the chocolate bar company that sponsored that particular jersey.

2. In its 111-year history, four riders have died during the Tour, including Adolphe Heliére who passed away while swimming during one of the designated rest days.

3. The fastest ever Tour was in 2005 when the average speed of the riders was 41.5 kph (25.8mph) over the 3592 km (2232 mile) race. That is only marginally slower than Usain Bolt’s top speed over 100m.

4. It is a huge television event. The Tour is broadcast on 121 TV channels in 188 countries, showing a total of 4,700 hours of footage.

5. Some of the more creative cheating in the race included riders catching trains, hitching lifts and swapping a water bottle for a bottle filled with lead to make a mountain descent faster.