The Penitentiary Tour de France

by Tony Farrelly   June 10, 2009  

You've probably seen some of the many stories about the French prison service's interesting approach to putting criminals back on to the straight and narrow by getting them to ride it in a 20 stage version of the Tour de France complete with outriders, medical support (who knows there may even be drugs) and the obligatory inflatable plastic arch for stage starts and finished. Breakaways are banned in this gallic version of the chain gang that also echoes the famous description of Tour riders as convicts of the road.

Anyway, there's been loads of things written about it, but here's the most thoughtful piece I've seen Putting offenders behind handlebars by Adam Sage in The Times who was actually at the start of the ride today in France