Tour de France 2020 updated September 20th.

The world’s greatest cycling race, the Tour de France 2020, takes place this year in August, not the traditional June/July months due to Covid-19. It’s the 107th race.

Founded in 1903 by Henri Desgrange, the editor of L’Auto newspaper, it’s the third biggest sporting event in the world after the Olympic Games and the FiFa World Cup.

This year the race has proved quite a different one. With the change of date comes a change of weather, which is good as this summer has been punishingly hot.

Covid-19 took its toll of riders, as a few of them tested positive and withdrew before the start of the race. Some teams are being tested during the race so there could be more changes.

The course has changed with some steep and difficult mountain climbs right at the beginning of the race. In the past they have come after several days racing.

There’s an age change as well. Many more young riders are now proving champions. In the past it’s been reckoned that riders reached their best from 25 years on. It all makes for some very exciting racing.

Next stages

Saturday September 12th, the Tour remains in the Auvergne. It goes from Clermont Ferrand go Lyon, then on Sunday 13th from Lyon to Grand Colombier.
Then on Monday 14th there is a rest day in Isère in south east France. On Tuesday the tour starts off again, still in tackling some of the challenging parks and mountains in the department.
Isère is celebrating this weekend with some great events, including free entertainment at the Domaine de Vizille on Sunday.

Latest drop-outs from the Tour de France

Here’s a quick update on the major drop outs.

Stage 1

Lotto-Soudal’s John Degenkolb was ejected from the Tour after a crash and a huge helping race for Ewan Caleb to get the latter back on track. He finished outside the time limit on day 1.

Stage 2

Philippe Gilbert (Lotto-Soudal) did not start stage 2 as he crashed on day one when heavy rain led to many crashes and broke his knee cap.
Rafael Valls (Bahrain-McLaren) also did not start stage 2 due to a broken femur.

Stage 3

Anthony Perez (Cofidis) crashed into his own team car and broke his collarbone and two ribs.

Stage 8

Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) had a knee injury.
Diego Rosa (Arkéa-Samsic) broke his collar bone in a crash.
Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie) retired but it is not known why. William Bonnet (Groupama-FDJ) had suffered an injury on stage one and couldn’t continue.

Stage 9

Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) did not finish because of physical problem but it’s not know what that was.
Steff Cras (Lotto-Soudal) did not finish due to an injury on stage one.
At stage 10 Domenico Pozzovivo (NTT Pro Cycling) did not start after a crash on stage one.
Sam Bewley (Mitchelton-Scott) crashed and did not finish.

Stage 11

Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) did not start after a crash on stage 10. Ion Izagirre Astana crashed and did not finish.
Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) retired due to illness.

Stage 12

Ilnur Zakarin (CCC Team) did not finish after injuries from a crash in stage 11.

Stage 13

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) did not finish after a crash.

Stage 14

Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) did not start after a crash on stage 13..

Pierre Latour (Ag2r La Mondiale) did not finish stage 14.

Stage 15

Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling) had a crash and did not finish.

Stage 16

David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) did not finish.
Jérôme Cousin (Total Direct Energie) was outside the time limit.

Stage 17

Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadier) pulls out before the start in a shock departure.

Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott) did not finish.

Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) did not start.

Jens Desbuscherre (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) outside time limit.

Stage 18

André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) did not finish.

Stage 19

Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) did not finish after being stung in the mouth by a bee.

Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos Grenadiers) did not start.

Michael Gogl (NTT Pro Cycling) did not start.

Chris Froome in yellow jersey in front with spectators cheering him on (very close) and motoc cyclists behind with headlights blazing
Chris Froome in the 2016 Tour de France (which he won) Photo: Konstantin Kleine CC BY-SA 4.0

The Tour de France attracts over 12 million spectators in a typical year’s race and 3.5 million TV viewers on a typical day’s coverage in 190 countries.

I’ve included the teams (so far) and at the end a few fun facts to impress your friends (unless they are real fans in which case you’ll be left behind!)

The Tour de France 2020 Route

Tour de France map 2020 showing route from Nice to Paris around France
Tour de France Map 2020

The 2020 Tour de France start (proudly named the Grand Départ) starts on Saturday, August 29 in Nice, with 176 riders taking part. It’s the second time Nice has hosted the start, the first was the 1981 Tour de France.  It ends in Paris on Sunday September 20. The Tour de France is gruelling, exciting and as dramatic.

Tour de France 2020 Stages

The Tour is made up of 23 stages and covers a total distance of 3470kms/2156miles. The 21 stages are made up of
8 flat stages
4 hill stages
8 mountain stages over 5 of France’s 7 great mountain ranges including the challenging peaks in the Massif Central in the Auvergne
1 individual mountain time-trial stage
2 rest days

Tour de France Stages
StageDateRouteDistanceStage Type
1Aug 29Nice to Nice170kms/106milesHilly
2Aug 30Nice to Nice190kms/118milesMedium mountain stage
3Aug 31Nice to Sisteron198kms/123milesHilly
4Sep 1Sisteron to Orcières-Merlette157kms/98milesHilly
5Sep 2Gap to Privas183kms/114milesFlat
6Sep 3Le Teil to Mont Aigoul191kms/119milesHilly
7Sep 4Millau to Lavour168kms/104milesFlat
8Sep 5Cazères to Loudenvielle140kms/87milesMountain stage
9Sep 6Pau to Laruns154kms/96milesMountain stage
Sep 7Charente-Maritime0Rest day
10Sep 8Ȋle d’Oléron to Ȋle de Ré170kms/106milesFlat stage
11Sep 9Chatelaillon-Plage to Poitiers167kms/104milesFlat stage
12Sep 10Chauvigny to Sarran218kms/135milesHilly stage
13Sep 11Châtel-Guyon to Puy Mary191kms/119milesMedium mountain stage
14Sep 12Clermont Ferrand to Lyon197kms/122milesFlat stage
15Sep 13Lyon to Grand Colombier175kms/109milesMountain stage
Sep 14Isère0Rest day
16Sep 15La Tour-du-Pin to Villard-de-Lans164kms/102milesMountain stage
17Sep 16Grenoble to Mèribel168kms/104milesMountain stage
18Sep 17Mèribel to La-Roche-sur-Foron168kms/104milesMountain stage
19Sep 18Bourg-en-Bresse to Champagnole160kms/99milesMountain stage
20Sep 19Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles36kms/22milesMountain time trial
21Sep 20Mantes-la-Jolie to Paris (Champs-Élysée)122kms/76milesFlat stage

The Teams

Tour de France 2018 with cyclist riding towards camera and man on right with Welsh flag
Tour de France 2018 with a Welsh flag waver. Must be Geraint Thomas coming up! Photo: Peter Edmonson CC BY-SA 2.0

There are eight riders in each team. Of the 22 teams, 6 are from France; 2 from the USA, 2 from Belgium, 2 from Germany. All the other countries are fielding one team: Australia, Bahrein, Great Britain, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland and United Arab Emirates.

Top cyclists in this year’s teams include Team Ineos. Originally the team chose three former winners: defending champion Egan Bernal, and British cyclists Geraint Thomas (winner 2018) and four-time winner Chris Froome. But the team dropped Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome in a surprise move, leaving support riders dedicated to getting Egan Bernal past the winning post.

Other strong contenders include sprinters Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal), Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Julian Alaphilippe of Deceuninck-Quick-Step who was last year’s most exciting rider, and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale). Two brothers, Dayer and the more famous Nairo Quintana are both riding for the Arkéa–Samsic team.

Tour de France Teams 2020

Cyclist lined up en masse for departure from Aix en Provence Tur de France 2013
2013 tour de France departure from Aix en Provence Photo: Okki CC BY-SA 2.5

These are the teams in alphabetical order. Leaders/favourites are in bold. Nationality is in parentheses after every name.

AG2r La Mondiale (France): Romain Bardet (FRA); Mikael Cherel (FRA); Benoît Cosnefroy (FRA); Pierre Latour (FRA); Oliver Naesen (BEL); Nans Peters (FRA); Clément Venturini (FRA); Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA)

Arkèa-Samsic (France): Nairo Quintana (COL);Winner Anacona (COL);Warren Barguil (FRA); Maxime Bouet (FRA); Dayer Quintana (COL); Diego Rosa (ITA); Clement Russo (FRA); Connor Swift (GBR)

Astana Pro Team (Kazakhstan): Miguel Ángel Lόpez (COL); Hugo Houle; Omar Fraille (ESP); Gorka Izagirre (ESP); Ion Izagirre (ESP); Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ); Luis León Sanchez (ESP); Harold Tejada (COL)

Bahrain–McLaren (Bahrain): Mikel Landa (SP); Pello Bilbao (SP); Damiano Caruso (ITA); Sonny Colbrelli (ITA); Marco Haller (AUT); Matej Mohoric (SVN); Wout Poels (NED); Rafael Valls (SP)

B&B Hotels – Vital Concept p/b KTM (France): Bryan Coquard (FRA); Cyril Barthe (FRA); Maxime Chevalier (FRA); Jens Debusschere (GER); Cyril Gauthier (FRA); Quentin Pacher (FRA); Kévin Reza (FRA); Pierre Rolland (FRA)

Bora–Hansgrohe (Germany): Peter Sagan (SVK); Emanuel Buchmann (GER); Felix Großschartner (AUT); Gregor Mühlberger (AUT); Lennard Kämna (GER); Daniel Oss (ITA); Lukas Pöstlberger (AUT)

CCC Team (Poland): Alessandro De Marchi (ITA); Simon Geschke (GER); Jan Hirt (CZE); Jonas Koch (GER); Michael Schär (SUI); Matteo Trentin (ITA); Greg Van Avermaet (BEL); Ilnur Zakarin (RUS)

Cofidis (France): Elia Viviani (ITA); Simone Consonni (ITA); Nicolas Edet (FRA); Jésus Herrada (SPA); Christophe Laporte (FRA); Guillaume Martin (FRA); Anthony Perez (FRA); Pierre-Luc Périchon (FRA)

Deceuninck – Quick-Step (Belgium): Julian Alaphilippe (FRA); Kasper Asgreen (DEN); Sam Bennett (IRE); Tim Declercq (BEL); Dries Devenyns (BEL); Bob Jungels (LUX); Michael Morkov (DEN); Zdenek Stybar (CZE)

EF Pro Cycling (USA): Rigoberto Urán (COL); Alberto Bettiol (ITA); Hugh Carthy (GBR); Sergio Higuita (COL); Jens Keukeleire (BEL); Daniel Felipe Martinez (COL); Neilson Powless (USA); Tejay Van Garderen (USA)

Groupama–FDJ (France): Thibaut Pinot (FRA); William Bonnet (FRA); David Gaudu (FRA); Stefan Küng (SUI); Matthieu Ladagnous (FRA); Valentin Madouas (FRA); Rudy Molard (FRA); Sebastien Reichenbach (SUI)

Israel Start-Up Nation (Israel): Dan Martin (IRL); André Greipel (GER); Ben Hermans (BEL); Hugo Hofstetter (FRA); Krists Neilands (LTV); Guy Niv (ISR); Nils Politt (GER); Tom Van Asbroeck (BEL)

Jumbo – Visma (Netherlands): Tom Dumoulin (NED);George Bennett (NZL); Amund Grøndahl Jansen (DEN); Robert Gesink (NED); Tony Martin (GER); Sepp Kuss (USA); Primož Roglič (SVN); Wout Van Aert (BEL)

Lotto-Soudal (Belgium): Steff Cras (BEL); Jasper De Buyst (BEL); John Degenkolb (GER); Caleb Ewan (AUS); Frederik Frison (BEL); Thomas De Gendt (BEL); Philippe Gilbert (BEL); Roger Kluge (GER)

Mitchelton–Scott (Australia): Adam Yates (GBR); Jack Bauer (NZL); Sam Bewley (NZL); Esteban Chaves (COL); Daryl Impey (RSA); Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN);  Luka Mezgec (SVN); Mikel Nieve (SPA)

Movistar (Spain): Enric Mas (ESP); Dario Cataldo (ITA); Imanol Erviti (ESP); Nelson Oliveria (POR); José Joaquin Rojas (ESP); Marc Soler (ESP); Alejandro Valverde (ESP); Carlos Verona (ESP)

NTT Pro Cycling (South Africa): Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA); Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR); Ryan Gibbons RSA); Michael Gogl (AUT); Roman Kreuziger (CZE); Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA); Michael Valgren (DEN); Max Walscheid (GER)

Team Ineos Grenadiers (Great Britain): Egan Bernal (COL); Andrey Amador (CRC); Richard Carapaz (ECU); Jonathan Castroviejo (SP); Michal Kwiatkowski (POL); Luke Rowe (GBR); Pavel Sivakov (RUS); Dylan Van Baarle (NED)

Team Sunweb (Germany): Søren Kragh Andersen (DEN); Nikias Arndt (GER); Tiesj Benoot; Cees Bol (NED); Marc Hirschi (SUI); Joris Nieuwenhuis (NED); Casper Pedersen (DEN); Nicholas Roche (IRL)

Trek–Segafredo (USA): Bauke Mollema (NED); Richie Porte (AUS); Niklas Eg (DEN); Kenny Ellisonde (FRA); Mads Pedersen (DEN); Toms Skujins (LTV); Jasper Stuyven (BEL); Dylan Theuns (BEL)

Total Direct Energie (France): Lillian Calmejane (FRA); Niccolò Bonifazio (ITA); Mathieu Burgaudeau (FRA); Jérôme Cousin (FRA); Fabien Grellier (FRA); Romain Sicard (FRA); Geoffrey Soupe (FRA); Anthony Turgis (FRA)

UAE Team Emirates (United Arab Emirates): Tadej Pogačar (SVN); Fabio Aru (ITA); David De La Cruz (SPA); Davide Formolo (ITA); Alexander Kristoff (NOR); Vegard Stake Laengen (NOR); Marco Marcato (ITA); Jan Polanc (SVN)

Fun Facts about the Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish cycling in the Tour de France 2012; Wiggins in yellow jersey with huge pelathon behind them
Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish in Tour de France 2012 Photo: Josh Hallett CC BY-SA-2.0

The youngest rider is Maxime Chevalier from B&B Hotels – Vital Concept p/b KTM  at 21 years old. The oldest rider is Alejandro Valverde – Movistar at 41 years old.   

Previous winners:

2019 Egan Bernal
2018 Geraint Thomas
2017 Chris Froome
2016 Chris Froome
2015 Chris Froome
2014 Vincenzo Nibali
2013 Chris Froome
2012 Bradley Wiggins
2011 Cadel Evans
2010 Andy Schleck

Four riders have managed to win the Tour five times:
Jacques Anquetil (France) 1957, 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1964
Eddy Merckx (Belgium) 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1974
Bernard Hinault (France) 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1985
Miguel Induráin (Spain) 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995

Chris Froome (UK) has won the Tour four times: 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017

Three riders have won three times:
Philippe Thys (Belgium) 1913, 1914, 1920
Louison Bobet (France), 1953, 1054, 1955
Greg Lemond (USA) 1986, 1989, 1990

The record number of wins ever was seven by Lance Armstrong of the United States (1999-2005). But after being found guilty of doping by the USADA in 2012, he was stripped of all of these titles.

Other disqualifications after the winner has been caught out:
In 1904 the winner was stripped of his title after it was discovered that he had caught a train for part of the event
In 2006 Floyd Landis of the United States was found to have raised testosterone levels
In 2010 Alberto Contador was stripped of the win after investigations into his drug use.

How do riders in the Tour de France pee? This seems to be a popular question which makes sense. A cyclist can just stop to pee, if possible making sure they are fairly far to the front.
More popular is the leader (rider in the yellow jersey) deciding where a pee spot will be, preferably in a remote part of the race. The TV cameras do not film them and riders are not allowed to take advantage of this to improve their position. Sounds very fair to me!

What the jerseys mean and prize money

A total of around 2.3 million Euros will be awarded overall, including €500,000 to the overall winner of each individual classification.

Julian Alaphilippe in 2019 Tour de France picture of him head on leading group of around 7 cyclists. He is in yellow jersey
Julian Alaphilippe in 2019 Photo: Chabe01 CC BY-SA 4.0

The Yellow Jersey (maillot jaune) is the overall winner of the race up to that point, awarded after each stage.
The Green Jersey is for the best sprinter. Points are awarded at the finish of each stage, and for an intermediate sprint in all normal stages.
The Red Polka Dot Jersey is for the best climber. Points are awarded at the summit of each hill and mountain and at altitude finishes.
The White Jersey is the best young rider (for riders who are no more than 25 years old in the year of the race).
The Red and White Stripe Jersey is for the most aggressive rider which is awarded at the end of each stage by cycling specialists.

Here’s the official website for the Tour de France 2020
Cycling News has exellent up-to-date information on the Tour de France 2020 (and is good on cycling generally)

Major events in August in France
Major events in September in France

More geographic information about France:

More about the regions of France
More about the mountains of France

The race passes through Isère in south east France starting with a rest day on September 14th.

Here’s a quick guide to Isère which has information on the route.
And some of the national parks and mountains that the Tour de France will pass through is here.