Le Tour de France. The toughest bike race in the world. Twenty-one days of racing in 21 different places, 22 teams, 198 riders risking their various body parts 4-6 hours every day on the flat and in the Pyrenees and the Alps, averaging 23 – 54 kph (14.3-33.6 mph) depending on terrain, 3,535 km (2,196.55 miles) total, and just 2 rest days. For 3 weeks I will be watching online mesmerized by one of sports most breathtaking and grueling spectacles. I love it!
Like road running, road cycling is easily accessible by the fans. Take 33 seconds to watch what it is like for the riders being ‘cheered on’ by their fans.
Some quick tidbits:
- There will be 14 million goodies passed out by the publicity caravan to roadside spectators. Caravan vehicles have to be stripped down to street legal every single day before they can move to the next day’s stage.
- There will be an estimated 10-12 million spectators.
- 40,000 night beds reserved for those involved with the race.
- 2,000 journalists
- 660 cities crossed
Want to know more? Visit Cycling News’ Tour de France by the Numbers.
My children are already rolling their eyes and ‘Le Tour’ doesn’t start till tomorrow! Hmmm, actually in about 7 hours from now… 😀
I like to spread the cheer. If you live in the U.S. and would like an all access pass for online viewing (cost $29.99), go to NBC Sports here. Sometimes you can view for free on sites like Eurosport, but it’s limited to whatever coverage they have. Quite often you can watch in real-time, which isn’t bad if you’re an early riser. Two good places to look for links: Cycling Fans dot.com and Steephill TV.
Let ‘Le Tour’ begin! WOOT!