One of the cycling’s Grand Tours, the Tour de France 2017 is all set to kick-off from 1st July 2017 in Duesseldorf, Germany. The 2017 edition of the Tour de France is the 104th running of the event.
The German city of Dusseldorf hosts the opening individual time trial and the start of stage two, which finishes in Liege, Belgium. The race will conclude with the Champs-Élysées stage in Paris on 23 July 2017. A total of 198 riders from 22 teams will enter the race.
The Tour de France is one of the most demanding events in the history of sports. The cycling event lasts nearly a month and pushes its participants to the limits of mental and physical endurance. The total distance of the race is 3,540 kilometres and is divided into 21 stages.
DSPORT will telecast the tour highlights on the day after the each stage event.
Here are some facts you need to know before the biggest cycling event starts. Have a look:
- Whooping Prize amount: The total pot of prize money handed out at this year’s Tour is worth €2,280,950 and while the eventual winner takes the lion’s share, there are plenty of other ways of earning a few extra euros.
- Champions to look for: Twelve national champions are expected to start the Tour de France in Düsseldorf: Sergio Henao, Oliver Naesen, Jesus Herrada, Fabio Aru, Arnaud Démare, IgnatasKonovalovas, Marcus Burghardt, Stephen Cummings, ReinardtJanse van Rensburg, ZdenekStybar, Juraj Sagan, and RamonSinkeldam.
- The Tour de France doesn’t actually start in France: The event finishes on July 23 in Paris, but when things kick off, it’ll be in Düsseldorf, Germany, with an individual time trial stage. Stage 2 takes the cyclists to Belgium, while part of Stage 3 is in Luxembourg before the race hits Vittel, France, on July 4.
- A new set of rule form UCI: The Union Cycliste Internationale made few changes in the rules, which will try to reduce the “stress and risk” for riders during the bunch of sprint stages in the Tour de France. The UCI wants to try and reduce the number of crashes that occur when the riders “sprint” at the finale of stages during the race.
- Instead of having a one-second gap between groups of riders in the stages, the new rule will have a three-second gap, which the UCI says will “retain the integrity of the sprint and the stage’’.
- Chris Froome, everybody’s favorite: After winning in 2016, British cyclist Chris Froome (pictured, left) is being looked at as one of the favorites, but he enters the Tour de France in the midst of a tough season. Froome hasn’t had a win yet this season entering the race—his first winless Tour run-up in five years. Will Froome complete his third straight win and a fourth victory in five years? Will get to know this shortly!
- Expect the unexpected:With Chris Froome and Richie Porte at the top, there are plenty of cyclists behind them that could make a run at the event. Nairo Quintana has won multiple times this season (and finished third in the Tour de France in 2016), while riders like Alberto Contador, JakobFuglsang, and Romain Bardet, who finished second in 2016, all could challenge for the title.
- Total number of teams participating: A total of 198 riders from 22 nine-man teams will set off on the 21-stage race. Also there will be 18 UCI WorldTeams making the cut, including Team Sky, AG2R La Mondiale, Orica–Scott, Movistar Team, and Team Sunweb. The race has four UCI Professional Continental teams as wild cards, including Cofidis, Direct Énergie, Fortuneo–Vital Concept, and Wanty–GroupeGobert. The race will take in four countries and will feature two individual time trials, nine flat, five hilly and five mountainous stages.
- Ultimate test of endurance: Tour de France course is challenging and could be particularly difficult for cyclists as they navigate the 21 stages for 2,200 miles. There are some tough, mountainous stages, and five different stages measure out to more than 130 miles. But at the end the joy of wearing the Yellow Jersey is unexplainable!
Tour de France Stages and Schedule
- Stage one, Saturday July 1: Düsseldorf, individual time trial, 14km
- Stage two, Sunday July 2: Düsseldorf – Liège, 203.5km
- Stage three, Monday July 3: Verviers – Longwy, 212.5km
- Stage four, Tuesday July 4: Mondorf-les-Bains – Vittel 207.5km
- Stage five, Wednesday July 5: Vittel – La Planche des Belles Filles, 160.5km
- Stage six, Thursday July 6: Vesoul – Troyes, 216km
- Stage seven, Friday July 7: Troyes – Nuits-Saint-Georges, 213.5km
- Stage eight, Saturday July 8: Dole – Station des Rousses, 187.5km
- Stage nine, Sunday July 9: Nantua – Chambéry, 181.5km
- Rest day, Monday July 10
- Stage 10, Sunday July 11: Périgueux – Bergerac, 178km
- Stage 11, Sunday July 12:Eymet – Pau, 203.5km
- Stage 12, Sunday July 13: Pau – Peyragudes, 214.5km
- Stage 13, Sunday July 14: Saint-Girons – Foix, 100km
- Stage 14, Sunday July 15: Blagnac – Rodez, 181.5km
- Stage 15, Sunday July 16: Laissac-Sévéracl’Église – Le Puy-en-Velay, 189.5km
- Rest day, Monday July 17
- Stage 16, Tuesday July 18: Le Puy-en-Velay – Romans-sur-Isère, 165km
- Stage 17, Wednesday July 19: La Mure – Serre-Chevalier, 183km
- Stage 18, Thursday July 20: Briançon – Izoard, 179.5km
- Stage 19, Friday July 21: Embrun – Salon-de-Provence, 222.5km
- Stage 20, Saturday July 22: Marseille, individual time trial, 22.5km
- Stage 21, Sunday July 23: Montgeron – Paris Champs-Élysées, 103km