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Tour de France Resurfaced Image Showing Stars Consuming Now Banned Substance During Race Goes Viral

Published 07/03/2022, 11:30 AM EDT

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The Tour de France is one of the most grueling competitions in the sporting world. It is an annual men’s multi-stage cycling race held in France. The race has 21 stages, each of them a day-long, spread over 23 days. It is also one of the oldest running races, with the first edition held in 1903. Over the years, the race has seen a lot of changes, records, and controversies. One of the biggest controversies of the modern-day Tour de France came from Lance Armstrong.

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The American cyclist was stripped of all seven of his titles when he admitted to the use of banned substances. Interestingly, the things that are now banned were once the norm of the sport.


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Resurfaced image shows the use of a banned substance in Tour de France

With the invention of newer scientific research methods and discoveries being made, the effects of a product on the human body are being explored to their core. While some substances boost the internal workings of the body, others cause degradation. The only thing they have in common is most of them are banned from the Tour de France.

Items that boost the internal workings of a human body may provide cyclists with an unfair advantage over their rivals. Increased stamina levels can be a tremendous boost in an endurance sport. Certain substances can have a lethal effect on the body, making them a hazard to life.


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While all these substances are banned from the modern version of the sport, they once used to be broken for their consumption. The photo from 1927 shows cyclists riding along with one another, smoking and sharing cigarettes. We can only term the photo as ‘baffling’ in terms of the latest norms being followed. Smoking, even before the race, can lead to a cyclist getting banned from the competition.

The cyclists enjoyed steak and alcohol during the tours

In today’s time and age, fruits, bread, water, and energy drinks have become the usual diet for cyclists during a race. But there was a time when pro cyclists preferred having steak over the ‘boring’ foods.


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For example, George Pilkington-Mills, who was a long-distance specialist cyclist, was invited to a race in 1891. Per reports, he and three of his friends broke away from the race early and sat down to bowls of soup during the first break. As the race progressed, Mills did not want to waste much time, so he ate a mouthful of meat and a specially prepared stimulant. His pacers followed with bags of food, giving way to a cycling tradition. By 1903, the race leaders rarely stopped as they carried cheese and ham baguettes in bags.


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With newer times, a lot of regulations have been forced to ensure an even competition between the riders. Grueling as it may have been, the older versions of the race were oft a ‘picnic on two wheels’ for the riders.

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Written by:

Naman Gopal Srivastava


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Naman Gopal is a US Sports Writer at EssentiallySports. Naman is an Undergraduate in Journalism and Mass Communication, with a minor’s degree in Cinematography from the Maharashtra Institute of Technology. An ardent fan of basketball and soccer, Naman was once a national level soccer player himself.
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Edited by:

Vibhanshu Kumar