This three week cycle race is the most watched sporting event in the world!
There is so much to know about the competition!
Here are 10 things you might not know about the Tour de France…
1. The Tour de France doesn’t start in France…Embed from Getty Images
Sounds strange, doesn’t it?
The start of the course is known as the Grand Départ.
Since the 1950s it has typically taken place in a different town each year, and since the 1970s it has been common to award the Grand Départ to cities outside France in order to increase international viewers!
The 2023 race is starting in Spain!
2. The route length changes every yearEmbed from Getty Images
The race takes place over 23 days with only 2 days to rest!
The longest Tour de France in history was held in 1926, when the racers had to cycle 5,745 km!
Thats the equivalent of nearly 63 thousand football pitches!
3. You can win different prizes throughout the raceEmbed from Getty Images
Not only can you win the overrall race, but there are also prizes for those that come first each day, and for those who do really well in different terrain!
These are called jerseys. There are four up for grabs!
Yellow – This is for the person in first place by the end of the day!
Green – This jersey is known as the sprinters jersey. Racers can collect points during the race by winnign mini challenges. These all add up to see who wins the green jersey
Polka Dot – This jersey is for the person who can cycle up the mountains the quickest!
White – The white jersey is for the best rider under 25 years old who is near the front of the race every day!
4. The first race was actually a publicity stunt!Embed from Getty Images
The first Tour de France was held in 1903!
It was set up and sponsored by French sports paper L’Auto, which hoped a tough new endurance race around the country would capture the public’s attention and sell more newspapers.
It was a hit and is still going strong 120 years later!
5. There is a women’s race too!Embed from Getty Images
There have been attempts to create a women’s equivalent to the Tour de France. Although there was a competition between 1984 and 1989 it suffered from a lack of funding and popularity.
However, in 2022 a new competition was created, Tour de France Femmes!
It lasts 8 days and starts on the last day of the men’s race!
6. The race is very difficult and dangerousEmbed from Getty Images
Bike crashes are a common occurrence in the Tour de France, with riders often coming down hard during the race.
The riders are travelling at an average of 25mph, navigating tight turns which can lead to crashes!
Additionally, the terrain of the race course can be treacherous, with riders having to contend with rough roads and sometimes even cobblestones.
Members of the public are also lining the sides of the street to cheer the riders on. Sometimes these spectators disrupt the race and cause crashes!
7. They use more than 1 bike to complete the courseEmbed from Getty Images
It turns out that the Tour de France isn’t just a test of physical endurance for the riders; the Tour de France bikes suffer too.
Each rider has multiple bikes to choose from. This includes light weight ones that are better at climbing mountains and more aerodynamic ones that are better for sprinting!
And don’t forget the tyres!
During the three-week challenge, riders combined can wear out a total of 792 tires.
8. The athletes need a lot of energy to competeEmbed from Getty Images
123,900 is the average amount of calories each rider needs to consume over the course of the three weeks.
That is equivalent to 495 croissants, 152 full English breakfasts or 1,180 bananas!
9. It is a team sport… sort ofEmbed from Getty Images
There are 22 teams that race, each with 8 riders, and they all have to wear the same kit.
The team all help eachother to win each day.
Although a single rider will win the jersey, it is seen as a team success as they have had to ride together, using each other to protect them from the wind other cyclists.
10. The riders get very sweatyEmbed from Getty Images
The competitors are exercising for every day for nearly 3 weeks!
They get very sweaty, particularly when its sunny!
Cycling the entire course generates enough sweat to flush a toilet 39 times – gross but true!Add a comment