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How to Watch the Tour de France

Watching the Tour de France isn’t as simple as it sounds—here are a few tips to help you appreciate cycling’s greatest race.


  • Step 1: Get up and watch Find when the race is broadcast live and on what channel. Remember, it takes place in Europe, so you’ll be up at the crack of dawn or earlier in America.
  • Step 2: Cheer for a team Pick a team or rider to cheer for; having even a small emotional stake in the outcome will make watching more fun.
  • Step 3: Learn the stages Learn the different types of stages: flat, hill, time trial and team time trial.
  • TIP: Flat stages are long and favor sprinters, hill stages are mountainous and favor climbers. Time trials have individuals race the clock, while team time trials have entire teams facing off against time.
  • Step 4: Keep track of stages Keep track of what stage the race is in. There are 20 total.
  • Step 5: Learn the jersey colors Learn the special jersey colors and what they mean.
  • TIP: The yellow jersey is for the overall time leader, and the green jersey is for the specific points leader – a rider gets points for high finishes in stages. The polka dot jersey is for the rider with the most points in mountain stages, and the white jersey is for the best young rider.
  • Step 6: Learn the team structures Learn the team structures. Typically, a team has a captain or a leader, and other racers, or domestiques, who try to help him win the overall race.
  • Step 7: Observe the rider strengths Observe which riders in a team are best suited to specific stages: some riders are sprint specialists, while others thrive on mountains and slopes.
  • TIP: Usually the captain of a team is both proficient in time trails and mountain climbing.
  • Step 8: Watch the domestiques Watch the domestiques of a team for their tactics. They usually protect and shield their captain on sprint stages and break his wind on mountain stages.
  • Step 9: Watch and enjoy Watch and enjoy the race. There are many changing tactics that racers use, from chasing down competing teams to conserving energy for demanding stages.
  • Step 10: See who wins See who wins. The champion is the person who completes the tour with the lowest overall time.
  • FACT: The first Tour de France was held in 1903.

You Will Need

  • A television
  • Cable or a satellite dish
  • Your favorite rideru2019s jersey (optional) (optional) (optional) (optional) (optional)
  • Road bike (optional) (optional) (optional) (optional) (optional)

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