Grand Tours are the world’s most famous cycling races: the Tour, the Giro and the Vuelta.
The “Tour de France” is clearly the most important and oldest. It was first organized in 1903 by the L’Auto newspaper (nowadays, “L’Équipe”). The first edition, scheduled for the 31st May, had to be postponed until the 1st July, because there were not enough riders. In the end, on the 1st July 1903, 60 cyclists met at the Start. After 18 days, only 21 of the participants finished the race. The winner was Maurice Garin, a French construction worker, finishing three hours ahead of the second place.
The first Giro took place in 1909, it was organized by the “Gazzeta dello Sport”. The pages of this newspaper were pink, hence the pink T-shirt of the leader of the Italian race.
The Vuelta a España is the third Grand Tour. Its first edition was held on the 25th April 1935. It was organized by the newspaper Informaciones. The winner was Gustav Deloor, a Belgian rider. From 1937 to 1940 the race was stopped for the Spanish Civil War. It came back in 1941, and for the first time a Spanish cyclist won it: Julián Berrendero.
Grand Tours are multiple stage races. The players decide in advance the number of stages. If there are as many stages as players, each of them can decide the shape and length of one stage.
The number of boxes for each stage will be decided by the players, there is a minimum of 60, and no limit for the maximum: curved or straight cards which are no longer in play can be added to the final stretch. When playing a closed circuit, it is possible to play as many laps as desired.
It is important to record the position attained by each player in every stage and the total result when playing multiple stage races. A pdf file Ranking Template can be downloaded. This ranking system fosters team play: points are given to the three best teams and to the three best riders on each stage. It can even award bonus sprints. The main goal is to promote team play, so that the players do not focus only on their leaders, but try to get a good ranking for their other two riders as well.