Instead, the race is still on hold and we look forward to the return of the WorldTour competition.But Zwift offered another innovation to fill the race vacuum this season, by announcing the very first virtual Tour de France with rankings for men and women.
The new online event, which will take place over three weekends in July, will feature star runners including Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Egan Bernal, Marianne Vos and Chloé Dygert.
While 23 male and 17 female teams run over six stages, including a virtual recreation of Mont Ventoux and the iconic Champs Élysées in Paris, amateur runners will also be able to get involved thanks to the online participation event The Tour Stage.
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said: “I can’t imagine July without a bike.
“Thanks to the virtual Tour de France, which will be widely broadcast on television, the champions and their fans will fill the void left by the Tour de France, which will find the public in Nice on August 29. The Virtual Tour puts technology at the service of the passion and the cause of cycling for all. ”
The races will start on Saturday and Sunday (4-5 July), the two stages being defined on the Watopia card.
Stages three, four and five will take place on a new French map specially designed for this new event, while the fifth stage will be the Queen Stage while the runners will run at Chalet Reynard on Mont Ventoux.
Then at the sixth stage, the peloton will go to the Champs-Élysées to finish in front of the Arc de Triomphe.
Men and women will cover identical stages over the same distances and each race will receive the same broadcast coverage.
The riders will be awarded the famous yellow, green, polka dot and white jerseys while the best team in the general classification will also be crowned.
Each stage will also have a “Most aggressive rider” prize presented.
The race will also help raise funds for good causes, as the Tour de France United charity initiative will donate to Emmaüs, Secours Populaire, Jeugdfonds Sport et Cultuur, BiJeWa and Qhubeka.
Zwift CEO Eric Min said: “There is nothing greater than the Tour de France in cycling, so to say that I am excited would be an understatement.
“Since I was a boy, I would always be glued to the television for three weeks in July, so I feel incredibly privileged for Zwift to be able to host the first virtual edition of this year. Of course, we all look forward to the return of racing in August, but the good news is that there will always be races in July. The Virtual Tour of France will be a celebration of the event, which stars the stars of professional men and women, for the benefit of five major causes. Let’s not forget either, there is a great chance to participate in the virtual walks of the Etape du Tour de France! ”
>>> The story of the very first British team in the Tour de France
The Virtual L’Etape du Tour will take place over the same three weekends covering stages two and three, with 16 sessions spread over each weekend.
The stages of the Virtual Tour of France
- Saturday 4 July, stage 1: Nice, 36.4 km (4 x 9.1 km, hilly stage)
- Sunday July 5, stage 2: Nice, 29.5 km (682 m of elevation gain, mountain stage)
- Saturday July 11, stage 3: North-East of France, 48 km (flat stage)
- Sunday July 12, stage 4: South-West of France, 45.8 km (2 laps of 22.9 km, hilly stage)
- Saturday July 18, stage 5: Mont Ventoux, 22.9 km (arrival at Chalet-Reynard, mountain stage)
- Sunday July 19, stage 6: Paris Champs-Elysées, 42.8 km (6 laps of the circuit)
The stages of the Virtual Stage of the Tour de France
- July 4 and 5, stage 1: Nice, 29.5 km (682 m difference in altitude, mountain stage)
- July 11 and 12, stage 2: South-West of France, 45.8 km (2 laps of 22.9 km, hilly stage)
- July 18 and 19, stage 3: Mont Ventoux, (22.9 km, arrival at the observatory)
Alé BTC Ljubljana
Cycling team Boels-Dolmans
CANYON // SRAM Racing
Ceratizit – WNT Pro Cycling
FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
Lotto Soudal Ladies
TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank
TWENTY20 Pro Cycling
Valcar Travel & Service
AG2R The World
Astana Pro Team
B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
Team Bahrain McLaren
Deceuninck – Quick-Step
EF Education First Pro Cycling
Israel Start-Up Nation
The INEOS team
NTT Pro Cycling
TOTAL Direct Energy