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 for a Kraftwerk album called Techno Pop, which was re-titled Electric Café and released in 1983. "Tour De France" was left off the tracklist but released as a single. The following year, after being included on the soundtrack to the film Breakin', the song 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.
The sleeve of the "Tour de France" single was adapted from a 1953 Hungarian postage stamp.