Mid-South man first Tennessean to compete in Tour de France

COVINGTON, TN (WMC) - A West Tennessee man is making cycling history as one of just three Americans taking part in the Tour de France.

Nate Brown, 25, earned a polka-dot jersey in the race Monday, a huge achievement during just his first participation in the race. The polka dot is given to the cyclist dubbed 'King of the Mountains,' for gaining the most points for reaching mountain summits first.

For the next 20 days, Barbara and David Brown will spend most of their mornings keeping up with their son's progress.

"We're getting nothing done because that's all we're doing," Barbara said. "Because they start at what? Six? 6:30 a.m.? And we were up watching it until about 12 p.m."

Brown is no rookie in the cycling world, learning to ride a bike at the age of two. He grew up riding these backcountry roads just outside of Covington.

"The first time we bought him a bike with gears, he actually went out slipped and smashed his lip right in the front," David said.

There were some bumps and bruises along the way, but his father, the man who inspired him and shared his passion of cycling, was by his side.

With his father's help, he now wears a coveted Tour de France jersey.

"He is leading with they call the King of the Mountain jersey which is the polka dot jersey," David said. "So he right now is the best climber in the tour."

Twenty-one days of cycling, riding a total of 2,200 miles on a journey and a ride that begin right here in Tennessee.

"They kept saying he was from Colorado," Barbara said. "He's not he's not from Colorado, he was born in Colorado, but he's from Tennessee, so Tennessee should be proud. And he is the first Tennessean in the Tour de France."

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