Last Updated on June 4, 2023 by Emmanuel
The Tour de France comprises twenty-one stages that last three weeks for around 3,500 kilometers, where racers compete for the yellow jersey.
Some Stages involve flat courses that favor sprinters, while others are hilly with short or long climbs requiring riders’ muscular endurance.
So, this article discusses the eight things to know about the Tour De France stages to help you understand this iconic event better.
Table of Contents
Where does Tour de France start?
The Tour de France can start anywhere in France or surrounding countries depending on the organizers and changes yearly.
It depends on the organizers and perhaps on the commercial interests, which are essential to the sustainability of the race.
Let’s compare the Tour de France 2021 and 2022 by briefly examining their main stages and routes.
1. The Tour de France 2021 stages and routes.
This Tour started in Brussels, the European Union capital city, where Eddy Merckx sealed his first victory in 1969.
After two stages in Belgium, the Tour continued in France, and the cyclist faced different challenges.
The route in the north of France was from Reims, the Champagne region, to Nancy for the fourth stage.
Other stages saw the cyclists go through the Vosges, one of the French’s least-cycled mountain areas.
Riders also warmed their legs in Alsace before climbing the Côte des Trois- and the Planche of beautiful girls.
As usual, this edition of the Tour de France ended in Paris, and Egan Bernal was the first Columbian to win it.
2. The stages and routes of the Tour de France 2022.
The 2022 tour was more international than the previous ones because it went through four countries, starting in Denmark.
After three racing days in this country, the fourth stage continued in Dunkirk, France’s northern city.
The particularity of Dunkirk City is its flat and gently hilly land making it easier for the cyclist to compete.
After then, some stages went through Switzerland and Belgium and continued through France.
Most stages in France, barring the last, passed in hilly and steep areas, including the Ardennes and the Planche des Belles Filles.
Cyclists also faced the traditional challenges of the Alps before the Rhone Valley, the west hills up to Saint Etienne, etc.
The Tour de France has no unique starting point because the organizers change them yearly.
The changes allow spectators and fans from different regions of France and other European countries to see their favorite teams and cyclists live.
Why do Tour de France stages start late in the day?
Riders spend a day cycling as fast as possible while facing various dangers.
Racers must rest and prepare for the next day’s competition at the end of each stage.
Besides, it is difficult for team managers to find accommodation near the stage departure points.
It results in riders sometimes traveling long distances from the hotels to the stage start.
When riders arrive at that place, they must warm up before they start the stage.
Why do stages of the Tour de France have neutralized starts?
- Neutral starts enable riders to warm up and prepare before starting the race.
- These parades are also essential for spectators and fans to contemplate their preferred teams and riders.
- Given that riders are too many, the lack of neutral starts can favor those in front who can take advantage to escape quickly to the detriment of others.
- Their lack can also make the back riders spend more energy catching the breakaways from the beginning, which is unfair.
In summary, the neutral starts enable all participants to ride at roughly the same speed before taking off.
They also enable the supporting staff’s vehicles to prepare for following their cyclists and assist them on time.
You can also check why many consider the Tour de France their favorite global sporting event.
Who won the Tour De France without winning a stage?
You can consult the table below to learn about riders who won the Tour De France without winning a stage, which many find unbelievable, but it happened.
|2017||Chriss Froome||Great Britain|
|1990||Greg Lemond||The United States|
Why is the last stage of the Tour de France ceremonial?
The 21st stage of the TdF comprises the loops around Paris to the Champs Elysées.
During this last stage, riders don’t dispute the top place because the winner is known from the previous one.
The last TdF stage is also short, and it can be challenging for the riders to fill in the gap time between them.
It has always been like that, as this stage allows the riders to show up in Paris through several laps around the Champs Elysees.
You will notice the breakaways, but it is primarily a way for the riders to celebrate their happiness to finish the race.
At this stage, the yellow jersey wearer drinks champagne and poses with his teammates as part of the celebration, which is lovely to watch.
How are Tour de France bikes better than basic bikes?
Unlike what many might think, riders use similar bikes on the Tour de France and other like other road bikes for the following reasons:
- Teams remove the quality grease between plates and rollers in these bikes’ chains.
- To make the chain suitable for the race, they soak them in melted paraffin, making them unusable in the long run.
- These bikes are specifically designed for racing rides, not versatile or rugged.
Therefore, the bikes used in the TdF and other popular racing events suit that purpose.
They excel for racing events but are not versatile for other use you may wish.
That’s what this is discussing, eight things to know about the Tour de France stages can tell; we hope it is worth it.
That’s what we can say about the eight things you should know about the Tour de France stages; hoping that this information is valuable.
Many globally like this world-famous cycling race, and understanding each stage’s ins and outs enable you to appreciate it more.