What is this race and why should I care about it?
Why, it’s only the 107th edition of the Tour de France, one of the three grand tours, the others being the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España.
Founded in 1903 by Henri Desgrange, editor of L’Auto newspaper, the Tour may not be the favourite stage race of the cycling cognoscenti but it is one that captures the imagination of the wider sporting public. As a result, the race is the biggest annual sporting event in the world with more live spectators than even the Olympic Games or Fifa World Cup.
When does the Tour de France start?
Just like the rest of the global sporting calendar, the Tour has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and has subsequently switched from its traditional slot in July to the end of the summer. This year’s race began in Nice, on Saturday August 29, 2020.
How long is this year’s Tour de France?
The total distance of the race is 3,470km — or 2,156 miles in old money. After setting off from Nice with two stages, including a tough second day which includes almost 3,700 metres of vertical climbing, there follows summit finishes on the Orcieres-Merlette and Mont Aigoual on stages five and six before the race heads towards the Pyrenees.