Le Tour de France

Le Tour de France starts today, probably one of the greatest endurance sports of all time and one that I have had to watch year on year (thanks Dad). But why is it the greatest, you may ask? The Tour spans over 23 consecutive days with 21 days of cycling and only 2 days of rest. Sounds brutal already right? Over those 21 days the cyclists will cover 3,540km, ouch. The longest stage covers 222.5km. The 21 stages include, mountain stages, medium mountain stages, flat stages (of which there are only 9) and two individual stages. Within the five mountain stages three of them finish at the top, the highest point of any stage is 2,642m! There are 22 teams altogether with 198 riders overall. Not all will make it to the end. Sounds pretty intense.
There are four main jerseys up for grabs within Le Tour. The one that is most widely recognised is the yellow jersey. This is currently worn by Chris Froome, who has won the Tour three times under Team Sky. This jersey is given to the best rider in the general ranking. The green jersey you might associate with Mark Cavendish, who I generally think is fantastic not only because of his athletic ability but his straight talking on camera. If you happen to watch the tour Cav is often rather amusing and will certainly tell you how it is. The green jersey is given to the best sprinter and the red polka dot jersey often referred to as the King of the Mountains jersey is of course given to the best climber. The green and polka dot jersey are currently worn by riders from the same team, Tinkoff. Lastly we have the white jersey for the best young rider (under 25) which British Adam Yates is in (despite riding for an Australian team).
The end of the tour will finish in France’s capital, Paris by the Champs-Elysees. It’s such an iconic end to the tour and so great to watch. During the tour there are 10-12 million roadside spectators expected. 65% of these are males and only 35% are female (wah). There is surely no surprise that 80% of these spectators are French considering it’s mainly held in France. If you want to watch it here in the UK itv4 will be playing it live, with hightlights at 7pm each night. Even if cycling isn’t your thing I would really recommend watching some of the highlights to see some of the most amazing athletes there are as such a grueling race. Or may be you like to see a good crash as I can 100% guarantee one of those (in no way am I hoping for people to get injured!!).
Tour de France 101 over and out. Good luck riders!
Tour route.PNG


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