One hundred years later, the inspiration continues.
The le Tour inspired professional road cyclist Lance Armstrong, who is best known for winning the Tour de France a record seven times, after surviving testicular cancer. Armstrong officially announced his retirement from racing in 2005, following his seventh le Tour win.
Three years later, Armstrong returned to the pedals for the 2009 Tour de France to "help raise awareness of the global cancer burden," he stated at the time.
"I commend him for coming back after being seven-time Tour de France champion," said Banner Graphic sports editor Caine Gardner.
Armstrong is currently competing in the 2010 Tour de France, where he is holding 23rd place in the 17th stage, and supposedly his last race.
"It's easy to go out on top," said Gardner. "To step down after being 'top dog' is always easier, I think."
"He should have stayed retired," said local cycle shop owner Larry Shinn. "It's obvious he isn't doping anymore," he joked.
The 38-year-old Texan has been fighting accusations of doping by disgraced cyclist Floyd Landis, who earlier this year admitted to doping during his career. Armstrong has never tested positive and denies the allegations.
"Until there is absolute proof, it's a guessing game," said Gardner.
The likely 2010 Tour de France winner is Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador, who was the 2007 champion with the Discovery Channel team. In second place after Thursday's 108-mile mountain stage, is Andy Schleck.
"I would like to see Schleck win it," said Shinn. "But, he is in second because his chain fell off and Contador moved ahead and will probably win."
A poll on the Tour de France Web site shows more than half of the 8,098 voters agree with Shinn -- Contador can keep his lead over Schleck and become the 2010 Tour de France champ.
Shinn, who recently moved his Covered Bridge Cyclery shop to the former Blue Door Café building on Indiana Street, said not many people come into the shop looking to purchase a bicycle because they were inspired by the Tour.
"It happened in Indianapolis," Shinn said of the shop where he previously worked.
Customers would come to the Indy shop and want to start cycling after watching the three-week race that covers the country of France. This event places its towns, countryside and, since 1910, its mountains in the spotlight.
"The scenery is a big part of why to watch it," said Shinn. "I also enjoy the funny commentary by Bob Roll, who was a former rider for the 7-Eleven team, but now rides a Harley Davidson."
If the Tour de France has inspired you to ride through the countryside and small towns of Putnam County, join one of Shinn's cycle groups. The next scheduled ride is at 6 p.m. July 28 beginning at Covered Bridge Cyclery. It will be 13 to 16 miles long and some hills are to be expected.
"Greencastle has excellent terrain to ride," said Shinn. "Everyone needs a bike."
The 97th annual Tour de France will come to an end on Sunday, after covering a total distance of 2,300 miles.