Unique in sport is the bicycle race that takes possession of France each year; it lasts three weeks, covers nearly 3,000 miles and combines all the noisy, lurid features of a patriotic extravaganza, a Mardi Gras and a kaleidoscopic television supercommercial. Below and on the following six pages Artist Jean-Jacques Sempé portrays moments of drama and comedy on the Tour. Beginning on page 68, Writer Jack Olsen views it through amused—and amazed—American eyes

FIVE ILLUSTRATIONSJEAN-JACQUES SEMPÉ