100th Tour de France kicks off

Cyclists speed towards the finishline on the Champs Elysés  Photo: Malias Source: Flickr, creative commons licenced

Cyclists speed towards the finishline on the Champs Elysés Photo: Malias Source: Flickr, creative commons licenced

Tour de France is the unchallenged king of all the cycling races in the world. And this year´s race is the 100th Tour de France – the race has been held since 1903 – only skipping years during the WWI and WW2.

Le Tour de France is a 3-week long cycling race that consists of 21 stages – routes ranging roughly between 125 to 240 kilometers. Stages are located all over France – in varying geographical conditions, from steep climbs in the French Alps and Pyrenees mountain range to long stretches on the French Riviera. Usually Le Tour measures between 3 000 and 4 000 kilometers total.

During the past years the Tour has also stretched to neighboring Italy, but this year, to celebrate the 100th Tour, the rout will stay within French borders.

One speciality, too: They will start on the island of Corsica, take first 3 stages there and then move on to Nice on the mainland. From there the route will go on to Marseille, Montpellier, rise up towards the Pyrenees.

After few stages near the Spanish border, the cyclists will board a plane to Saint-Nazaire on the Atlantic coast – from there the Tour will continue to the towns called Saint-Malo and Le Mont Saint-Michel on the northern coast of France – only to start moving back south again!

From the north coast the route will take contestants all the way to Lyon and to the French Alps! After finishing the exhausting high-altitude stages at Annecy–Semnoz it´s time to fly again – and land at Versailles, near Paris, and take the final lap towards the finish line at Arc de Triomphe.

Athletes on the Tour are part of 22 teams from different corners of the world – from Australia, to Russia, Belgium, France and USA. Just to name a few.

In Europe Le Tour is widely anticipated and popular sports event – the villages on the route will see a huge flow of spectators gathering to see the cylists to speed by. The finish at the Arc de Triomphe is promised to be a real spectacle.

See LeTour.fr for exact information!

 
Check out the trailer for 2013 Tour de France: