Tour de France 2013: Google doodle gets in on cycling action to mark 100th event

29 Jun 2013

Cycling image from a past Tour de France. Credit:

Today the 100th Tour de France cycling contest will kick off its first stage on the island of Corsica, and Google is marking the occasion with an impressive doodle on its homepage. The Google logo has been transformed into an interactive cycling theme, with two cyclists in movement using part of the Google name for their pedal power.

Check out the doodle here.

Tour de France 2013 swings into action today, with the first leg kicking off in Porto-Vecchio / Bastia, Corsica, at 12.15pm (GMT+2).

There world has been ablaze with competitive sporting events this week – in Ireland, for instance, the Irish Open started on Thursday. Golfers such as Rory McIlroy are converging in Kildare, Ireland, for the tournament.

Then, across the pond, Wimbledon is attracting the tennis enthusiasts in their droves.

Head down under to Australia, and the Lions rugby team is currently in Melbourne.

But, back to cycling. Ireland has produced such cycling giants as Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche. And while competitive cycling is alive and well, there’s also a new trend emerging where people are taking to the roads to engage in group, leisure cycling – particularly at the weekends – in order to keep fit and to have some comraderie in light of the economic malaise that is effecting the country.

Leisure cyclists are also using their cycling power to take part in charity cycles to raise funds for charities such as cancer.

The cycling buzz is alive and well. There’s still a divide however, between drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Renowned Irish journalist Fintan O’Toole recently highlighted the issue in an article in The Irish Times when he ironically described cyclists as being the “spawn of the devil”. He was trying to emphasise the point that some cyclists take to the footpaths in Dublin, instead of using cycling lanes when there are such lanes available, and not caring enough about pedestrians.

But, one could also flip the coin to the other side. There has been some tragic deaths in Ireland in recent months, in particular. Now there’s a new online campaign  to lobby the Irish Government on bringing into law that motorists need to keep a distance of 1.5m from cyclists when passing them out.

It seems that there will always be a divide on the cycling front between motorists and cyclists, and not just in Ireland …

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic