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Surviving Tour de France finishers to be invited to final stage in 2013

As the Tour de France marks its 100th edition, the race organisers ASO are inviting every rider who has ever finished a complete Tour to attend the final stage on the Champs-Élysées in 2013.

Out of the the 8,339 riders who have finished the Tour, 2,060 are alive today. L’Équipe reports that they are hoping atleast a quarter of them will be able to make the trip to Paris next July to take part of the ceremony.

The riders will be seated in a special tribune on the Place de la Concorde during the final stage of the Tour on July 21, which takes place in the evening, with the floodlit finish on the Champs-Élysées expected at 9.45pm.

The “giants” will also be presented to the public in the Tuileries Garden on the eve of the Tour’s entry into Paris, and ASO is expected to announce full details of the project in February.

France has the most surviving Tour finishers, with 491, followed by Italy (358), Spain (301) and Belgium (256), while a further 37 nations have had at least one Tour finisher.

The oldest surviving Tour finisher is 98-year-old Pierre Cogan. The Frenchman rode his first Tour in 1935, when he was just 21.—————————————————————————————————–

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