AN ARMCHAIR GUIDE TO THE TOUR DE FRANCE 2021

A highlight on the calendar of many sports fans, the Tour de France is back again in 2021 for another year of great racing. Here is your guide to this year’s event.

What is the Tour de France?

An annual, men’s multiple stage cycling race, the Tour de France has grown in stature and legend since the first race in 1903. Usually consisting of 21 day long stages over 23 days, the race is certainly “the world’s most prestigious and most difficult bicycle race.”

When is the Tour de France?

This year’s race will start on 26 June in Brest, Brittany and conclude on 18 July in Paris.

Where is the race this year?

Starting on the western coast in Brittany, this year’s race will cut across the heart of France to Tignes on the east coast before heading south to Ceret then hugging the coast Luiz Ardiden before heading north to Paris.

Does the race only occur in France?

No, this year’s race will take place in France and the Principality of Andorra. In France, cyclists will visit 9 regions and 31 departments.

How many teams will compete?

Riders from twenty three teams will vie for the all important yellow jersey.

What are the different types of jerseys?

There are four key jerseys awards throughout the race:

Yellow jersey (maillot jaune ) – awarded at the end of each stage, the Yellow jersey is presented to the overall leader, who gets to wear it in the following stage. After each stage, officials calculate who has the fastest time across the entire race. Since it’s based on time and not points, the yellow won’t necessarily go to the given day’s stage winner.

Green jersey (maillot vert) – sometimes referred to as the ‘sprinter’s jersey’, the green jersey is awarded to the leader of the points classification. Riders can earn points at intermediate sprints throughout the race, usually during the mid-stage. Although, most points are won at the stage finish for the first 10-25 riders who cross. The number of points given can vary, depending on the day’s stage profile, for example, whether it’s flat or mountainous.

Polka dot jersey – awarded to the ‘King of the Mountain’. This jersey is presented to the leader of the mountains classification.

White jersey (maillot blanc) – awarded to the general classification leader who is 25 years or younger. In other words, it is presented to the best young rider who has the overall lowest time.

What is the prize money for this year’s event?

The Tour de France website confirms that ‘A total of around 2.3 million euros will be awarded to the teams and riders, including 500,000 euros to the winner of the final individual general classification”.

Has an Australian won the Tour de France?

Yes! Cadel Evans won the race in 2011 and became an instant sporting hero. Racing for the BMC Racing Team, Cadel won with a time of 86h 12′ 22″, beating the Schleck brothers (Andy and Frank) who came 2nd and 3rd.

Is the Tour usually held in just France?

The official Tour de France website states, “Travelling the world is an integral part of the Tour de France. However, with the one exception of Évian in 1926, it took until the 1950s for the Grande Boucle to start outside Paris and until 1954 for the peloton to begin its adventure outside France for the first time with a Grand Départ in Amsterdam.”

Where are the next Tour de France events?

Details of the 2022 and 2022 races have already been released. Copehagen, Denmark will host the start of the event in 2022 with the 2023 event kicking off in Pays Basque (Bilbao), Spain in 2023.

Read more about the Grand Departs here.

How many cities and towns has the race visited?

According to the official Tour de France website, “Since World War II, a total of 55 towns and cities have experienced the thrills of the final preparations and the arrival of the teams in dribs and drabs, giving each edition its own special flavour and feel.”

Where can I watch it?

The race is televised across a range of broadcasters throughout the world, you can find out more here. In Australia, you can tune in via SBS, SBS VICELAND. If you prefer, you can stream online via SBS On Demand and the SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker App. #couchpeleton

You can find the full viewing guide here.

Whether you’re a cycling nut, francophile, or something in between the Tour de France appeals to all. So, make sure to tune in this year. See you at the head of the Peloton!

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