14 things to know about the Tour de France 2016
Cycling enthusiasts, both riders and spectators alike, will be looking forward to the Tour de France 2016 getting underway on July 2. We reveal some fascinating facts and statistics about this world famous race.
1 The Tour de France runs from Saturday July 2 to Sunday July 24 and includes 21 stages and a total distance of 3,519km.
2 It is the 103rd Tour de France.
3 There will be nine flat stages, one hilly stage, nine mountain stages, including four hill summit finishes (Andorre Arcalis, Mont Ventoux, Finhaut-Emosson et Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc), two individual time trial stages and just two rest days.
[caption id="attachment_19073" align="aligncenter" width="650"]
Infamously tough Mt Ventoux.[/caption]
4 The Tour will not visit the UK this year (as it has done for the past two years) but it will journey outside of France to the neighbouring countries of Spain and Switzerland, as well as the Principality of Andorra.
5 The first stage starts from beautiful Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, north-western France. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is visited by more than three million people each year and the 188km stage will only add to these numbers as spectators flock to see the 2016 Tour start out. The first stage finishes at Utah Beach, one of the battlegrounds of the Allied D-Day invasion of Normandy in 1944.
[caption id="attachment_19071" align="aligncenter" width="543"]
British champ Chris Froome.[/caption]
6 The 2016 Tour looks set to be hugely competitive with British rider Chris Froome defending his title, plus other big names such as Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana reportedly concentrating on this one race.
7 The longest stage of the Tour de France 2016 is on day four when riders take on the 232km between Saumur and Limoges, in central France.
8 Stage nine heads into the Spanish Pyrenees and also the neighbouring principality of Andorra. The 184km leg with many hard climbs is likely to be very arduous for the riders.
You can ride some of the hills of the Pyrenees on a Macs Bike Road Cycling Catalonia
9 For the second time in four years, the Tour de France celebrates Bastille Day by staging day 12 on Mt Ventoux. The 185km ride from Montpellier finishes on the hairpin Mont Ventoux.
To find out what it’s like to ride one of the mountain passes, Mt Ventoux, you could book this self-guided cycling holiday in Provence
. You might also like to read more about cycling on Mont Ventoux
10 As it has since 1975, the Tour de France concludes with nine laps on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
11 The average calories burned during each stage is more than 5,000.
12 Riders will cycle, on average, 486,000 pedal revolutions over the whole race.
13 Do you know what the jersey colours represent?
Overall leader of the race.
Red polka dot:
Worn by the cyclist with the best accumulated time in the mountain segments.
Worn by the cyclist with the most sprinting points.
Worn by the best rider aged 25 and under.
14 The Tour de France is also known as Le Tour or La Grande Boucle (the large loop).
See Tour de France 2016