What is Le Tour de France?
It’s a big summer of sport! We’ve had the World Cup, Wimbledon and now there’s another massive sporting event starting this month - Le Tour de France!
Le Tour de France is the world’s biggest annual sporting event. It’s a giant bike ride that takes place in France every year where millions come to watch the top cyclists from across the world competing against each other.
The 200 riders have to cover over a whopping 2000 miles in just 23 days!
It’s broken down into 21 stages. The stages have different names depending on what type of race they are:
Prologue: This where each rider races against the clock in a short time trial. It’s usually about six miles long.
Flat: This is where the riders stick together in a big group for around 125 miles and then one of two things happens – either one rider will breakaway and claim victory or (what usually happens) there’ll be a massive sprint to the finish!
Individual time trial: This is every man against the clock. Time trials are like prologues but around 30 miles rather than 6.
Mountain: These are really tough – often the riders will have to climb a height of over 2000 metres in a day!
If you’ve watched the Tour before, you might have noticed some of the riders wearing different coloured jerseys.
The green jersey is given to the best sprinter, the polka dot jersey is giving to the best climber and the white jersey is given to the best young rider, under 25 years old.
But the jersey everyone wants in the famous yellow one! The rider wearing the yellow jersey is the overall race leader on total time since the start of the Tour.
In 2012, Britain’s Bradley Wiggins wore the yellow jersey for lots of the Tour and eventually won the competition overall!
However, it’s not all about individuals! The riders compete in teams who help each other out and support their strongest rider. This gives the team the best possible chance of winning the Tour!
Even though it’s called Le Tour de France, not all the racing takes place in France.
The first two days of racing are called the Grand Depart and are held in a different location every two years. This year, the Tour starts in Yorkshire and moves down the UK, later passing through London.
That means there’s a good chance for you to see it!
Are you excited for Le Tour de France? Let us know in the comments below.
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