TOUR DE FRANCE
- SWATHI RAMASWAMY
- UPDATED Sep 21, 2018
- 25 Views
Bicycles have always been the most convenient mode of transports for a peaceful stroll covering short distances. However, the Tour de France sweeps past these notions with its bicycle racing event halfway around the globe where competitors from all over the world take part. The race stretches all over France and a few other countries nearby and has 21 stages taking place over 3 weeks.
This grand race was originally a publicity event. It was first organised by the newspaper L’Auto in 1903 to counter the rising competition with its rival newspaper Le Velo. The first edition of this grand race started with a humble 15 competitors competing in 5 stages. With the growth of its media coverage and thus, popularity, Tour de France is now an UCI World Tour event which stretches half-way across the globe hosting about 20-21 teams with 9 riders each.
Held in July, Tour de France is one of the biggest and most celebrated cycling events not only in France but also the whole world. As mentioned earlier, the race has twenty one stages. Each stage covers a certain part of the 3540 km long route. The 2018 route details of each stage are as follows:
STAGE 1 (JULY 7, 2018)- 189 kms in Noirmoutier-En L’ile-Fontenay-Le Comte
STAGE 2 (JULY 8, 2018)- 183 kms in Mouilleron-Saint-Germain-La-Roche-Sur-Yon
STAGE 3 ( JULY 9, 2018)- 35 KMS in Cholet (TTT)
STAGE 4 (JULY 10, 2018)- 192 kms in La Baule-Sarzeau
STAGE 5 (JULY 11, 2018)- 203 kms in Lorient Quimper
STAGE 6 (JULY 12, 2018)- 181 kms in Brest- Mur de Bretagne Guerledan
STAGE 7 (JULY 13, 2018)- 231 kms in Fougeres-Chartres
STAGE 8 (JULY 14, 2018)- 181 kms in Deux- Amiens
STAGE 9 (JULY 15, 2018)- 154 KMS in Arras- Roubaix
Rest Day 1 (JULY 16, 2018)- Annecy
STAGE 10 (JULY 17, 2018)- 159 kms in Annecy-le Grand Bornand
STAGE 11 (JULY 18, 2018)- 108 kms in Albertville-la-Rosiere
STAGE 12 (JULY 19, 2018)- 175 kms in Bourg-Saint-Maurice-Alped’Huez
STAGE 13 (JULY 20, 2018)- 169 kms in Bourg d’Oisans Valence
STAGE 14 (JULY 21, 2018)- 187 kms in Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux-mende
STAGE 15 (JULY 22, 2018)- 181kms in Milau- Carcassonne
Rest Day 2 (JULY 23, 2018)- Carcassonne
STAGE 16 (JULY 24, 2018)- 218 kms in Noirmoutier-En L’ile-Fontenay-Le Comte
STAGE 17 (JULY 25, 2018)- 65 kms in bagneres-de-Luchon-Saint-Kary-Soulan (Col de Portet)
STAGE 18 (JULY 26, 2018)- 172 kms in Trie-sur-Baise-pau
STAGE 19 (JULY 27, 2018)- 200 kms in Lourdes-Laruns
STAGE 20 (JULY 28, 2018)- 31 kms in Saint-sur-Nivelle-Wspelette (ITT)
STAGE 21 (JULY 29, 2018)- 115kms in Hoilles Paris
After completing all the Twenty one stages, four winners are drawn out from the lot:
1. GENERAL CLASSIFICATION WINNER
This leader in the General classification is simply the winner of the race. The winners in each stage are given the yellow jersey. After the race is finished, their times are compounded and the one with the lowest time is declared the winner.
2. MOUNTAINS CLASSIFICATION
This Prize was introduced in 1933 and is given to the one who proves himself to be the quickest to climb mountains and hills and reach the top.
3. POINTS CLASSIFICATION
The point classification was introduced to honour the 50th edition of the Tour de France. Points are given to the first 15 riders to finish the race. In addition to that, points are also awarded to the riders to finish a certain mark embedded in the route. The points at the end of each stage are calculated and the rider with the highest points is given the Green Jersey.
Other than all these major awards there are a few minor ones too, like the Award for the Most Energetic Rider or the Awards for the Most Animated Rider and so on.
The Tour de France is not only mindless racing. It has helped in building unity and brotherhood through sportsman spirit amongst the various participating countries. One of another important contribution of the race is that it gave the world an idea of France’s geographical features and the true shape of the country through the maps that were being printed for the routes.
This race has also had its share in shaping the French culture. The lively spirit of the race has inspired many popular French songs Petit Gars du Tour in 1932, Les Tours de France in 1936 and Fraire le Tour de France in 1950. Apart from this, the backdrop of Tour de France has also appeared in many films and documentaries.
Though mainly a cycling event, Tour de France attracts tourists from all over the world. The race gets extensive media coverage all over the world. Therefore, many tourists, mostly cycling enthusiasts come to visit France during the Tour de France. However, even if you are not one, you can enjoy the colourful parades that take place before the race or just revel in the general merriment. If you are an ardent fan of the race then there is provision for you to camp alongside the routes to watch the race live.
Together with intense competition, new-found friendships and general merriment, the Tour de France is one of the most popular events hosted by France. Book your tickets to France early to avoid the unusual hike in the price due to increased demand from all over the world.