Newcomers Guide to Tour de France

Bonjour! Are you ready to learn more about one of the most exciting sporting events in the world? Well, saddle up, we are about to take a ride through the Tour de France, or simply Le Tour!

For those of you who don’t know, the Tour de France is a multi-stage race called a Grand Tour and takes place in France (duh) every summer. It lasts for three weeks and covers over 3,400 km and is the most gruelling endurance race you can imagine. It is the climax of the cycling season for most cycling enthusiasts.

So, what makes the Tour de France so special? Well, for starters, it’s the oldest and most prestigious bicycle race in the world. It first started way back in 1903 and this year it will be the 110th time a winner is crowned at the finish on Champs-Élysées.

But the Tour isn’t just about tradition. It’s also about drama, excitement, and a whole lot of lycra. You see, the Tour de France isn’t just one race. It’s actually made up of 21 different stages, each with unique challenges and obstacles. I can highly recommend the newly released Netflix documentary about the race for those who are curious, it gives an insight into the importance of the team and all the work that goes on behind the scenes.

One day, the riders might be climbing up a steep mountain pass, like the legendary Mont Ventoux or Alpe d’Huez, a climb that would make most hearts explode from the effort. The next day, they could be zooming down a treacherous descent going above 100km/h, trying not to go off of a cliffside or crash. And then there’s the dreaded time trial, where each rider is racing against the clock to see who can go the fastest. 

But the real reason that people tune in to watch the Tour de France is for the epic battles between the riders, it’s like Game of Thrones on bikes. Each team has a leader, who is usually the best rider on the team. But just like in any good drama, there’s always someone trying to take the crown.

These battles can get pretty intense. There’s drafting, where riders try to save energy by riding in each other’s slipstreams. There’s attacking, where a rider tries to break away from the pack and gain an advantage, often in the mountains. And then there’s the sprint finishes on the flat, the riders are going full gas and it ends up in a chaotic battle between the teams on the finish line. 

And let’s not forget about the scenery. The Tour takes place in some of the most beautiful parts of France, from the rugged Pyrenees mountains to the rolling vineyards of Bordeaux. It’s like a three-week travel documentary on bikes. And the side of the roads are packed with fans from all over the world, they camp out along the tour for the opportunity to se a glimpse of the riders passing, sometimes getting a bit to close to the action when trying to run along the riders up a mountain.

So there you have it, folks. The Tour de France is a special race that has it all – tradition, drama, excitement and sometimes even french farmers protesting on the road. Even if you’re not a big cycling fan, it’s definitely worth tuning in to watch, even if it’s just to have something on the tv while taking a nap. Who knows, you might just catch the bug and become a cycling enthusiast yourself.

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