How Does the Tour de France Work?

Wondering: How Does the Tour de France Work?

Tour de France is an annual men’s bicycle race that is primarily held in France. During the race, cyclists will be cycling in France while occasionally passing through border countries. Like other Grand Tours, Tour de France consists of 21 day-long stages over 23 days. Furthermore, it is referred to as the most prestigious bicycle race in the world.

The first Tour de France was first held in 1903 to help in enhancing the sale for the newspaper L’Auto. Nowadays, the race is held by Amaury Sport Organization. Tour de France has been held annually since 1903 except during the two World Wars when it had to be suspended. The race continued to be lengthened as it gained popularity.

How does the Tour de France work? This is a question most individuals tend to ask, especially the newbies. Therefore, in this article, I shall help you answer that question and other frequently asked questions on Tour de France.

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How does Tour de France work?

Tour de France features a total of 198 cyclists who are divided into 22 teams of nine individuals. Over the course of 21 days, cyclists will have covered approximately 3,500 kilometers of 2,200 miles.

Tour de France features 21 stages: nine flat stages, seven mountain stages, three hilly stages, two individual time trials, and a two-day rest. Each stage in Tour de France is performed in a single day. This means that a cyclist has to cover a distance of 225 kilometers per day.

Each stage takes approximately 5½ hours to finish. Furthermore, every stage on Tour de France has a winner, and a cyclist who completes several stages within the shortest time possible will win the overall title.

What are the rules of Tour de France?

Being the world’s most prestigious race, Tour de France also has some rules and regulations that each athlete must adhere to. Some of the rules used in Tour de France include;

  • Using or carrying a glass container is forbidden.
  • It is forbidden to make changes to any official items, including number plates or bibs.
  • It is forbidden to wear waterproof leaders other than those provided by the race organizers.
  • No accredited vehicle belonging to a team is fitted with a television at the front.
  • In case of a tie during general ranking, stage victories will be added up for every rider, followed by intermediate sprint victories. In case there is not a clear winner, an individual time ranking will be used.
  • Any competitor who utters an insult, commits an assault, threatens, or causes demonstration or delays will be penalized.
  • It is forbidden to wear corrective glasses or a rigid helmet to respect the public during the official proceeding at the finish and start.
  • In case a group of riders gets split into two due to level crossing closing, the group ahead will be stopped or slowed down, allowing the delayed cyclists to regain their place.
  • Spraying from a team’s car to a competitor is forbidden.

Do cyclists in Tour de France Pee Their Pants?

No, Tour de France cyclists do not pee their pants. As a Tour de France cyclist, you have to stop urinating. Therefore, the most common thing is that peloton often agrees at a particular time that will not affect the competition much. Anyone who feels like doing so should relieve themselves.

In cases where you are racing hard and have to pee but do not want to lose time, some riders choose to pee on themselves. This helps in saving a significant amount of time and maintaining your pace and position during the race.

However, you should note that cyclists do get fined by commissars when they urinate in public. Therefore, if you are not careful, you might end up being fined, as this is what happened to nine cyclists in Tour de France 2019. The cyclists incurred Ch. F 1900 in fines.

How challenging is Tour de France?

Tour de France is undoubtedly the most challenging Grand Tour bike race. To understand how challenging this race is, very few cyclists can perform well at trails and climbing simultaneously. Only a few make it and get to wear the yellow jersey of victory once they are through with the race in Paris, France.

How many hours do Tour de France cyclists ride?

Tour de France cyclists ride for approximately 5½ to 6 hours per day. During this time, cyclists have relatively little time to recover and a two-day rest over the entire race. Furthermore, feeding Tour de France cyclists is no joke.

Tour de France riders will have to consume approximately 5,000 or more calories in every stage to have the energy to complete the whole course. With that amount of energy, these greatest cyclists in the world can cover up to 225 km a day with the utmost ease.

What is the prize amount for Tour de France?

Since Tour de France is by far the biggest cycling competition globally, you expect the winning prize to be significantly high. Therefore, the prize amount for Tour de France is €2,293,000. This is undoubtedly an incredible prize worth fighting for, reflecting more on the Tour de France.

While the winning prize is significantly high, the road to it is also significantly challenging. You will encounter many challenges, and to have your hand on the prize amount, you will need to face these challenges with bravery.

Do Tour de France riders listen to music?

Experienced cyclists often listen to music using wireless headphones; however, this is not the case when racing. Tour de France riders only listen to music while training, and the earpiece they use while racing is used for communicating with the team director.

Final verdict

Tour de France is undoubtedly the most famous and prestigious race of the three Grand Tours (Tour de France, the Vuelta an España, and Giro d’Italia). It is due to this that the winning prize is significantly high. In addition to that, Tour de France is known to attract significantly high numbers of cyclists and fans.

With that said, I hope that you have found this article beneficial.

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