Tour de France: FAQs




How long is the 2020 Tour de France?

The Tour de France’s 109th edition covers a total distance of 3328 kilometers (2068 miles), making it the second-longest of the three Grand Tours in 2022, after the Giro d’Italia (3410.3 kilometers) (La Vuelta a Espana is the shortest at 3280.5km).

How long is each day of the Tour de France?

Nine flat stages, three hilly stages, seven mountain stages (including five summit finishes), two individual time trials, and two rest days make up the Tour de France. Every day, one stage is run, which spans around 225 kilometers and takes about five and a half hours to complete.

How do you win the Tour de France?

After 21 stages, the cyclist with the best overall time wins. Each day, a stage winner is determined by the first racer to cross the finish line.

How long is each race in Tour de France?

Each stage, or racing day, varies in length from 32 to 141 kilometers. The Tour’s itinerary varies from year to year, but certain iconic towns are always included.

Do Tour de France riders sleep?

On TV, you’ll frequently see them come to a halt en masse for a “nature break.” Then they’ll sleep at night because the phases are specified in length and they’ll all be staying in a hotel.

What was the longest Tour de France stage?

The longest Tour de France stage on record was the fifth stage in 1920, which was 482 kilometers (300 miles) long! Stages are currently averaging 175km / 109mi in length. Stage 3 is the longest this year, measuring 198 kilometers / 123 miles

What is a peloton?

The peloton, sometimes known as the “pack” or “bunch,” is the largest group of cyclists on the route. A rider consumes 30% less energy when riding in a group than when riding alone. A following peloton usually has the upper hand over a smaller escape group.

How many hours a day do Tour de France riders ride?

Feeding the world’s best riders during a Grand Tour is no easy task, with riders spending up to six hours a day on the bike with little time for recovery and only two rest days over the course of the event. “To fuel the journey riders need to consume an average of 5,000-plus calories per stage,” says one rider.

Are females allowed in the Tour de France?

The 2022 Tour de France Femmes, a widely anticipated new stage race for professional women, was announced at the event. From 2014 through 2021, the eight-day Tour de France Femmes will replace the single-day La Course by le Tour de France, which was conducted in various sites across France.

What is an echelon?

When the peloton is buffeted from the side, the riders form smaller angled formations to take advantage of each other’s draught. Echelons form a formation similar to that of flying geese, however the size of each echelon is regulated by the width of the road. In crosswinds, smart riders can employ echelons to put distance between themselves and their opponents.

What is a domestique?

A rider who puts his personal objectives aside in order to help his teammate. A domestique rides into the wind to protect his team leader, as well as carrying extra water bottles and snacks. If the leader suffers a puncture, the domestique has the option of abandoning his wheel or bicycle and waiting for the leader to rejoin the peloton.

What is the gruppetto?

During mountain stages, a group of riders forms towards the back of the race. They only ride fast enough to make the cutoff time for the day, which is based on a percentage of the winner’s time. Sprinters, wounded or sick cyclists, and riders wanting to conserve energy for the next day are frequently found in the gruppetto.

What is the purpose of the Publicity / PR caravan?

The PR caravan, a two-hour-before-the-race display of sponsor-emblazoned cars and floats, runs the entire route, handing away millions of souvenirs and sweets to the supporters along the way.

What is the fastest time for the Tour de France?

Rohan Dennis’ stage 1 of the 2015 Tour de France in Utrecht is the fastest time trial, with an average speed of 55.446 km/h (34.5 mph). In a team time-trial, the 2013 Orica GreenEDGE team won the quickest stage. At 57.7 km/h, they completed the 25 km time trial (35.85 mph).

How hard is Tour de France?

The Tour de France is often regarded as one of the world’s most arduous and tough sporting events. Cyclists strain their bodies to the limit for 21 stages over 23 days, day after day, after day, after day.

What is the race caravan?

The peloton is preceded and followed by a long line of team vehicles, broadcast and photographer motorcycles, and race official cars. Riders will return to team trucks for food, clothing, or mechanical assistance, and then slowly exit the vehicles to rejoin the peloton.

What is the broom wagon?

The vehicle that follows the Tour and “picks up” riders who drop out during a stage.

How do cyclists pee whilst racing the Tour de France?

Some cyclists prefer not to urinate on the bike, while others seek assistance in the form of a teammate pushing them from behind so they can maintain momentum while pedalling.

What is hors catégorie?

Climbs in the Tour de France are divided into categories based on their length, steepness, and location throughout the stage. The simplest is Category 4, which is usually less than 2 kilometers long. The most difficult climbs are referred to as “Hors Catégorie,” or “beyond categorization.” A climb is sometimes given this designation because of its vertical elevation rise or because it ends at the top.

How do professional female cyclists pee during a race?

Because many women’s races are under 5 hours, we normally pee 8 times right before the race and can hold it until the end if necessary. Other times, a rider will stop to potty and then get in the car to assist them in getting back. At least not on purpose, no woman pees herself while riding!

Can anyone ride the Tour de France?

Although the event is primarily for amateurs, it is available to anybody who is 18 years or older on race day. (Younger riders may enter with permission from their parents.) It is marketed to ‘amateurs,’ yet it also attracts potential and former professionals. It’s been ridden by Greg LeMond, Raymond Poulidor, and Miguel Induráin.

How fast do they go downhill in Tour de France?

To say the obvious, Tour de France riders are in excellent physical condition. They’re nearly twice as fit as the average non-Tour rider of the same age group who’s in fair to good form, according to the gold standard of cardiovascular fitness, V02 max (or how much oxygen your body can utilize per minute).

How fast do cyclist go in Tour de France?

The champion of the tour has averaged roughly 25 miles per hour (40 kilometers per hour) over the last few years–but that is throughout the entire tour. Everything is averaged at 25 mph, including uphill, downhill, time trial, and flatland. Weirdly, they’re a little speedier than we are. Quite a bit.

How much weight do Tour de France riders lose?

Van der Stelt explains that in the event of an emergency, the maximum weight loss would be 0.5kg. Though calorie burn and consumption vary by person, she claims the riders consume up to 8,000 calories a day – “taking on 10% extra every day, just in case,” she says, which can lead to weight gain.

What do Tour de France riders eat during race?

Riders may eat carbohydrate snacks such as bananas or protein bars while travelling. They’ll refuel with a mix of homemade rice cakes and tailored items like snacks and gels during the race.

What is Autobus?

Every stage of the Tour de France has a time limit, and on mountainous days, the autobus forms as non-climbers from all teams fight together to finish within the cut-off. The grupetto is another name for it.

What is Bidon?

A bidon is an abandoned water bottle, and many roadside fans will try to gather them as mementoes.

What is Breakaway?

During a stage, a small group of riders (or an individual) surge away from the main bunch.

What is bunch spirit?

Flatter stages usually end in a bunch sprint, which is a high-octane, hell-for-leather contest for stage honours between the peloton’s fastest sprinters.

Despite the fact that the race comes at the finish line in a group sprint, the stage win is decided by the sprinters and their lead-out riders.

What is Combativity award?

According to the race commissaires, this prize is given to the most aggressive rider each day.

The combativity award honors the rider who enlivened the stage by forming a breakaway, attacking frequently, or staying out in front of the pack for an extended period of time. The winner can be easily spotted the next day thanks to their red race numbers. At the conclusion of the race, an overall combativity medal is granted.

What is Feed zone?

Lunchtime. Every stage has its own feed zone, when riders slow down to collect musettes (small bags containing food and drinks) from their team soigneurs.

What is Flamme rouge?

A red air bridge marks the one-kilometer mark, beneath which a red kite flies.

What is General Classification?

After each stage, the riders’ finishing times are tallied. The riders are sorted by their total time, plus or minus any bonuses or penalties, in the general classification.
The famed yellow jersey is worn by the cyclist who has completed the race in the least amount of time.

What is Grand Départ?

The ‘Big Beginning.’ Riders will begin the Grand Départ in Copenhagen this year 2022.

What is Grand Tour?

The Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta a Espana are cycling’s three most prestigious stage events, each lasting three weeks.

What is Intermediate sprint?​

Each stage has an intermediate sprint with points and prize money for the first riders across it, in addition to the finish line.

What is King of the Mountains?

The mountains classification, one of the Tour de France’s secondary prizes, ranks the first riders over each of the race’s classified climbs.
The more difficult the climb, the more points are available for that climb. The King of the Mountains, who wears the polka-dot jersey, is the leader in the mountains classification.

What is Lanterne rouge?

The lanterne rouge is the final rider on the general classification, named after the red light attached on the back of a train.

What is Maillot jaune/yellow jersey?

The general classification leader wears the distinctive yellow jersey, or maillot jaune. Last year, the yellow jersey was won by Tadej Pogaar (UAE Team Emirates).

What is Maillot vert/green jersey?

The leader in the points classification is awarded the green shirt. Peter Sagan has won the sprinters’ classification seven times, owing to the fact that more points are available on flatter stages.

What is Maillot a pois/polka-dot jersey?

The leader of the mountains classification is awarded this characteristic white jersey with red polka-dots.

What is Maillot blanc/white jersey?​

The highest-placed young rider in the general classification wears the white jersey. This year’s youth classification is open to any riders born on or after January 1, 1996.

What is Musette?

A tiny cloth shoulder bag containing a rider’s food and extra bidons that is distributed in the feed zone.

What is Parcours?​

The race’s ‘course,’ or the route it will take.

What is Points classification?

Points are awarded to the top finishers in each stage and intermediate sprint, based on their position. These points are combined together to generate a points classification, with the green jersey worn by the leader.

What is Team time trial?​

This year, there will be no team time trial. The time of a team is determined when the fifth rider crosses the finish line.

What is Time trial?

Individual time trials will be held on stages 5 and 20 of this year’s Tour de France, totalling 58 kilometres between them – the most kilometres against the clock since 2013.

Riders set off on specialised time trial bikes in reverse general classification order with the goal of finishing the stage in the shortest time.

Individual time trials, termed the “race of truth,” can cause significant shifts in overall classification. A time trial will be held on the Tour’s penultimate stage, as it was last year, and it might determine who wears the yellow jersey on the final day and rides into Paris as the victor.

What is a Rouleur?

A rouleur is an all-rounder and often one of the hardest riders in the peloton, capable of excelling on a variety of terrains and making a superb domestique.

What is a Soigneur?​

The soigneur is the unsung hero of a team’s backroom staff, in charge of looking after cyclists off the bike and handing out musettes, bidons, and extra layers of clothing during the race.

What is Sprinter?

On the flatter stages, sprinters battle it out with their peloton counterparts, capable of remarkable bursts of acceleration over short distances.

What is a Sprint Train?​

Before a group sprint, sprint trains form, with teammates offering a wheel for their sprinter to follow through the pandemonium.

The lead-out guy will be at the rear of the train, with the team’s sprinter on his wheel, ready to dash for the finish as soon as possible.

What is a Team Classification?

The team classification system assigns a score to each team based on the total time of their top three finishers on each stage. Yellow helmets are sometimes worn by team classification leaders to help them stand out in the peloton.

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