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.
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
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
1 individual mountain time-trial stage
2 rest days
|Tour de France Stages|
|1||Aug 29||Nice to Nice||170kms/106miles||Hilly|
|2||Aug 30||Nice to Nice||190kms/118miles||Medium mountain stage|
|3||Aug 31||Nice to Sisteron||198kms/123miles||Hilly|
|4||Sep 1||Sisteron to Orcières-Merlette||157kms/98miles||Hilly|
|5||Sep 2||Gap to Privas||183kms/11emiles||Flat|
|6||Sep 3||Le Teil to Mont Aigoul||191kms/119miles||Hilly|
|7||Sep 4||Millau to Lavour||168kms/104miles||Flat|
|8||Sep 5||Cazères to Loudenvielle||140kms/87miles||Mountain stage|
|9||Sep 6||Pau to Laruns||154kms/96miles||Mountain stage|
|Sep 7||Charente-Maritime||0||Rest day|
|10||Sep 8||Ȋle d’Oléron to Ȋle de Ré||170kms/106miles||Flat stage|
|11||Sep 9||Chatelaillon-Plage to Poitiers||167kms/104miles||Flat stage|
|12||Sep 10||Chauvigny to Sarran||218kms/135miles||Hilly stage|
|13||Sep 11||Châtel-Guyon to Puy Mary/td>||191kms/119miles||Medium mountain stage|
|14||Sep 12||Clermont Ferrand to Lyon||197kms/122miles||Flat stage|
|15||Sep 13||Lyon to Grand Colombier||175kms/109miles||Mountain stage|
|Sep 14||Isère||0||Rest day|
|16||Sep 15||La Tour-du-Pin to Villard-de-Lans||164kms/102miles||Mountain stage|
|17||Sep 16||Grenoble to Mèribel||168kms/104miles||Mountain stage|
|18||Sep 17||Mèribel to La-Roche-sur-Foron||168kms/104miles||Mountain stage|
|19||Sep 18||Bourg-en-Bresse to Champagnole||160kms/99miles||Mountain stage|
|20||Sep 19||Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles||36kms/22miles||Mountain time trial|
|21||Sep 20||Mantes-la-Jolie to Paris (Champs-Élysée)||122kms/76miles||Flat stage|
There are nine 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 with three former winners: defending champion Egan Bernal, and British cyclists Geraint Thomas (winner 2018) and four-time winner Chris Froome. This might be a problem!
Other strong contenders include Jumbo-Visma’s Steven Kruijswijk, third overall in 2019; and 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
These are the teams so far in alphabetical order. I’ll finalise them before the race.
AG2R La Mondiale (France): Romain Bardet; François Bidard; Mikael Cherel; Benoît Cosnefroy; Tony Gallopin; Anthony Gougeard; Pierre Latour; Oliver Naesen; Aurélien Paret-Peintre; Nans Peters; Clement Venturini; Alexis Vuillermoz
Arkèa-Samsic (France): Winner Anacona;Warren Barguil; Maxime Bouet; Anthony Delaplace; Thibaut Guernalec; Romain Hardy; Kevin Ledanois; Lukasz Owsian; Dayer Quintana; Nairo Quintana; Clement Russo; Diego Rosa; Connor Swift
Astana Pro Team (Kazakhstan): Miguel Ángel Lόpez; Alexey Lutsenko
Bahrain–McLaren (Bahrein): Pello Bilbao; Eros Cappechi; Damiano Caruso; Mark Cavendish; Sonny Colbrelli; Ivan Garcia Cortina; Marco Haller; Heinrich Haussler; Mikel Landa; Matej Mohoric; Wout Poels; Dylan Teuns; Rafael Valls
B&B Hotels – Vital Concept p/b KTM (France): Frederik Backaert; Cyril Barthe; Maxime Chevalier; BryanCoquard; Jens Debusschere; Cyril Gauthier; Quentin Pacher; Pierre Rolland; Sebastian Schönberger.
Bora–Hansgrohe (Germany): Emanuel Buchmann; Felix Großschartner; Gregor Mühlberger; Lennard Kämna; Daniel Oss; Lukas Pöstlberger; Peter Sagan; Max Schachmann
CCC Team (Poland): Greg Van Avermaet
Cofidis (France): Jésus Herrada; Christophe Laporte; Guillaume Martin; Elia Viviani
Deceuninck – Quick-Step (Belgium): Julian Alaphilippe; Sam Bennett; Dries Devenyns; Bob Jungels
EF Pro Cycling (USA): Sergio Higuita; Rigoberto Urán
Groupama–FDJ (France): Stefan Küng; Thibaut Pinot
Ineos (Great Britain): Andrey Amador; Dylan Van Baarle; Egan Bernal; Jonathan Castroviejo; Chris Froome; Tao Geoghegan Hart; Michal Kwiatkowski; Luke Rowe; Geraint Thomas; Pavel Sivakov
Israel Start-Up Nation (Israel): Dan Martin
Lotto-Soudal (Belgium): Jasper De Buyst; Steff Cras; John Degenkolb; Caleb Ewan; Thomas De Gendt; Philippe Gilbert; Roger Kluge; Tim Wellens
Mitchelton–Scott (Australia): Esteban Chaves; Adam Yates;
Movistar (Spain): Enric Mas; Alejandro Valverde
NTT Pro Cycling (South Africa): Victor Campenaerts
Jumbo – Visma (Netherlands): Wout Van Aert; George Bennett; Tom Dumoulin; Robert Gesink; Sepp Kuss; Steven Kruijswijk; Tony Martin; Primož Roglič
Sunweb (Germany): Søren Kragh Andersen; Nikias Arndt; Tiesj Benoot; Cees Bol; Marc Hirschi; Joris Nieuwenhuis; Nicholas Roche; Jasha Sütterlin
Trek–Segafredo (USA): Niklas Eg; Kenny Ellisonde; Alex Kirsch; Bauke Mollema; Mads Pedersen; Richie Porte; Toms Skujins; Jasper Stuyven; Dylan Theuns
UAE Team Emirates (United Arab Emirates): Fabio Aru; Sven Erik Bystrøm; David De La Cruz; Davide Formolo; Alexander Kristoff; Marco Marcato; Jan Polanc; Tadej Pogačar
Total Direct Energie (France): Lillian Calmejane
Fun Facts about the Tour de France
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.
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:
Chris Froome (UK) 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017
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
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.
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.
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.