Who knew that Donald Trump was a cycling fan? Better known as a boxing promoter and golf lover, the US presidential candidate sponsored the 'Tour de Trump' back in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The first 10-stage race was held in May 1989, pedalling off from New York and finishing at Trump's hotel and casino in New Jersey. Competing in that inaugural event, which covered 837 miles, was American Greg LeMond who came second overall, before going on to win the Tour de France that July.
Watch the video to hear Trump announcing the race as a rival to the Tour de France! The idea for the event actually came from sports commentator John Tesh who had covered the Tour de France and thought a similar race would be good for America. Entrepreneur and fellow commentator Billy Packer got on board, and later convinced Trump to back the project.
LeMond, the three-time Tour de France champion, said: “The Tour de France will always be the Tour de France, but, it’s easy to see how the Tour de Trump could slot in as the world’s second-biggest race very soon.”
114 riders took part in the first race, which Sports Illustrated described as a "smashing success." The magazine went on to say: "If you could get past the name, the Tour de Trump, without losing your lunch, and if you could somehow divorce the sporting event from the excess baggage that went with it...what you had was a pretty nice bicycle race".
But despite its initial success, the Tour only lasted two years. Tragically, two of Trump's key executives and race promoters were killed in a helicopter crash in October '89. This was followed by an economic downturn which led to the race's demise. In 1991 the Tour de Trump was renamed the Tour DuPont after its new sponsor, when Donald Trump pulled out. The final edition of the race was in 1995 when DuPont finally withdrew sponsorship but not before Lance Armstrong had won two of the titles.