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Tour de France: explained in charts

By Deepali Kank

The Tour de France, an iconic, multiple-stage bicycle race, is a yearly spectacle that captivates cycling enthusiasts worldwide. Renowned for its prestige and demanding nature, this historic event traces its roots back to 1903, when it was conceived by the French newspaper L’Auto to boost its circulation. Today, it stands as a symbol of both cycling excellence and French cultural heritage.

How many kilometers are covered annually?

The Tour de France covers a challenging distance each year, typically ranging from 3,500 to 3,600 kilometers (2,175 to 2,237 miles) over a three-week period. The race consists of individual stages, including time trials and mountain stages, with varying distances. The start and finish locations change annually, showcasing different regions of France and occasionally other countries. The total distance covered in the Tour de France can vary from year to year, depending on the route chosen by the race organizers.

The chart reveals a noticeable decreasing trend in the distance traveled over time. This trend signifies a deliberate shift in the race’s format, reflecting changes in race strategies and considerations for the physical well-being of the cyclists.

Which countries have produced the most tour de france winners?

French cyclists initially dominated the race, with notable champions like Maurice Garin and Lucien Petit-Breton. In the post-war era, riders such as Louison Bobet and Jacques Anquetil continued French success. Anquetil became the first five-time winner, followed by the legendary Eddy Merckx. Bernard Hinault, known as “The Badger,” achieved five victories as well.

In 2023, defending champion Jonas Vingegaard from Denmark won the general classification for the second year in a row.

Is every stage an equal opportunity?

The Tour de France typically consists of 21 stages. However, it is important to note that the exact number of stages can vary from year to year as the organizers of the race occasionally make changes to the route. Each stage presents a different terrain and challenge for the riders, including flat stages, mountain stages, individual time trials, and team time trials. These stages are spread over a period of three weeks, with rest days interspersed between some of the stages to allow the riders some recovery time.

There are 3 main stages in the race i.e., Flat, Mountain and Hilly.

In the above chart, the winners who have completed the stages with maximum distance in each terrain are highlighted.

How many start the race, and who makes it to the end?

The chart shows that the number of starters and finishers has increased over time, while the number of runners who did not finish the race has decreased. This suggests that the race has become more popular over time. In 2023, there were 176 participants, of which 150 finished the race.

The Tour de France has become deeply ingrained in French culture and has a significant economic impact on the regions it visits. It is a celebrated event that draws passionate fans from around the world.

source: Maven Tour de France Challenge | Maven Analytics

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