On your mark…get set…go! And the bike race begins. This is not a typical bicycle race; it’s the Tour de France! Celebrating their 100th year anniversary, the world’s greatest cycling race began Saturday, June 29th and will end on Sunday, July 21st. This race is expected to pull approximately 15 million spectators to watch bike riders compete for a win.
Tour de France is an annual bicycle race mainly hosted in France but occasionally making passes throughout nearby countries. There are a total of 21 stages: 7 flat stages, 5 hilly stages, 6 mountain stages (with 4 summit finishes), 2 individual time trial stages, 1 team time trial stage and 2 rest days. This route will finish with a total distance of 3,404 kilometers.
The bicycle race was first organized in 1903. Originally, Tour de France was done to increase the paper sales for a magazine called L’Auto which till this day is ran by the Amaury Sports Organization. After the first year of Tour de France, it has been held annually except during World War I and II. Not only has this bicycle race gained prominence but it has also gained popularity around the world. Riders from around the world come to France to participate in the race every year.
The number of teams for Tour de France ranges between 20 and 22 holding nine riders in each team. During the three weeks of racing, there are many objectives, missions, and qualities for each rider. Colorful, unique jerseys are worn to show off their classification. The yellow jersey is worn by the leader of the general individual time classification, the white jersey is worn by the best young rider, under 25, in the general individual time classification, the red polka dot jersey is worn by the best climber and the green jersey is worn by the leader of the point’s classification.
Next year, the Tour de France will be returning yet again. Thinking about competing? Make sure you are equipped with all the right gear including brakes, chains and sprockets so that you can finish your race on top!