- CNTV English - CCTV News

Pigeons race for Tour de France top spot

07-01-2011 15:41 BJT

NANTES, France - Just days before cycling's elite gather to race in the gruelling Tour de France, pigeon fanciers are looking to promote their sport with a 13-stage race around the country.

The pigeons completed the fourth stage of their race on Thursday, eclipsing their cycling counterparts as they whizzed from town to town at speeds ranging from 40 km per hour (25 miles per hour) to 120 km/h, with favourable gusts.

"With this Tour de France, first and foremost we want people to get to know our sport," said Jose de Sousa, president of the French pigeon fanciers' federation, which boasts 800 clubs and 14,500 members.

The 2,000 km (1,242 mile) race started in the northern city of Lille on Sunday.

Pigeon racing originated in Belgium during the 19th century and a race winner is the bird with the highest velocity. The art of pigeon fancying has lost its broad appeal over the years, which has meant a fall in new racing generations.

"The aim is for next year to beat the speed record that was established this year and to include it in the record books," Sousa said.

The main cycling Tour kicks off on Saturday covering almost 3,500 km with its traditional finish on Paris' Champs Elysees and the speedy pigeons can dream of being part the bigger event in 2012.

"In the future, we plan to contact the organisers of the Tour de France to set up departures at the same time," Sousa said.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: China Daily

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program