This song was written about the Tour De France, a famous French road race for professional cyclists. Kraftwerk members Florian Schneider and Ralf Hutter are obsessed with bicycles, calling themselves the Radsportegruppe Schneider (Schneider Cycling Club).
The melody appears to be borrowed from part of the opening section of German composer Paul Hindemith's 1936 "Sonata For Flute And Piano."
The track was originally recorded with the intention of being included on Kraftwerk's Techno Pop album. However the project was never completed and the song was released as a single. The following year after being included on the soundtrack to the film Breakdance, the track was re-released this time reaching #23 in the UK.
In Britain this was used by Channel 4 as their theme music for their coverage of Tour De France.
Ex-Kraftwerk member Karl Bartos claimed Florian Schneider and Ralf Hutter's obsession with cycling was one of the factors that prompted him to quit the band.
Suggestion credit: Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above
The sleeve of the "Tour de France" single was adapted from a 1953 Hungarian postage stamp.
Chris from Germany Kraftwerk were ahead of their time and had a lot of good songs before they released Tour De France in 1983. They intended to release Techno Pop in 1983 and they had still made videos and promotions. There were also ads in music magazines. However many problems and such things caused the band to not release the album. The songs were recycled for their 1986 album Electric Cafe. Tour De France is awesome and really catchy. In 1983 they had a lot of competition with synth pop bands but they were still good and innovative. The Francoise Kevorkian remix of the song is one of the best.
The song was released in 1983 and had minor success but it was a household name among the breakdance scene and so the song was rereleased in the 1980s.