The Tour de France is cycling’s best-known stage race, taking place over three weeks every July (unless, of course, it’s a crazy year like 2020).
The elite peloton of cyclists will travel hundreds of kilometers and climb thousands of meters in altitude, traveling through different regions of France. But how long are they going to run, exactly?
The answer depends on the year and the metric you use to measure length. Honestly, if you’re trying to explain the Tour de France to a new fan, it can seem a little confusing. Here we take a look at all the different ways of looking at the length of the Tour de France.
How long does the Tour de France last on average?
The Tour de France generally lasts 23 days and is divided into 21 stages – hiking days – with a few days of rest spread throughout the event. Depending on the organization of the dates, however, some years it was run with only 20 stages, while other years had up to 25 stages, and the first two Tours ever held in the early 1900s were had only six stages.
Seriously, how long does the Tour de France last on average?
In general, the total mileage of the 21 combined stages tends to hover around 2,200 miles over the 21 race days, which averages out to around 100 race miles most days (via BikeRaceInfo.com).
Remember: America is one of the only places to use miles to measure. Distance can be tricky when it comes to the Tour de France as a lot of the race coverage comes from European outlets, so any time you see a number that looks pretty high it’s probably in kilometers. For ease of reference, in this article we use miles, but feel free to convert our miles to metrics with a simple Google search.
Does each step have the same duration?
Not at all! Tour de France stages vary enormously in length, so some days involve races over 180 miles long and others short, fast and furious 30-mile stages. Racing styles are also changing: some stages are individual time trials, others are team time trials and most are standard road races that take place with a mass start. (Here’s how the 2021 steps are broken down.)
What is the shortest stage of the Tour de France?
In 1988, it was the shortest race of the modern era, with the shortest time trial and flat stage, and the second shortest total distance in history at just 2,042 miles. The one-kilometer individual time trial of the 1988 Tour de France prologue is the shortest race ever run during the Tour, and it was won in 1 minute and 14 seconds by Guido Bontempi (and must have been incredibly painful). The 1988 race also contained the shortest flat stage, which was only 23.6 miles. This stage was won by Adri van der Poel in 46 minutes and 36 seconds. Devout cycling fans might recognize Adri as the father of the multi-time cyclo-cross world champion, road bike and mountain bike superstar Mathieu van der Poel.
What was the shortest Tour de France?
It depends on what you mean by the shortest! The second Tour de France ever run – in 1904 – lasted only six stages – but it covered 1,483 miles, so some stages lasted almost a full day. Over the past two decades, the Shortest Tour took place in 2002 and covered 2,035 miles over 20 stages.
What was the longest Tour de France?
This would be the 1926 Tour de France, which traveled 3,569 miles in an attempt to bypass the border of France … but just behind is the 1919 Tour de France, which also has the dubious honor of being the Tour de France the slowest. in miles per hour.
Despite being almost 200 miles shorter than the 1926 route, it was only a few hours faster in overall travel time for the winner. It also had the longest day-long stage – 265 miles – and it would have taken the winner almost 19 hours to complete it. That year’s Tour also had just 10 out of 69 starters, the smallest number of Tour finishers ever. Yes, 1919 was difficult.
What about elevation gain?
Remember that many stages in the Tour de France go up and down mountains, so not only are the riders competing for over 100 thousand days in the saddle, but they are climbing thousands of feet in the process. In 2020, one stage included 14,435 feet of ascent over a 118-mile course. It’s a half-Everest in one step.
How fast are the runners going?
In recent years, the average speed has hovered around 24.8 miles per hour (40 kilometers per hour), although it changes a bit from year to year depending on runners, elevation gain, temperature and length. steps. But it stays pretty close to that 25 MPH speed.
What is the problem for 2021?
The 2021 Tour de France begins on June 26 with a course of just over 2,100 miles. The shortest stage is 16 miles and the longest stage is 136 miles.
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