Guide to the 2013 Tour de France

Okay folks, this is it, the big one – La Grand Boucle, Le Tour – The Tour de France!

This is the one race everyone knows about – even non cyclists know about and follow the Tour de France, more simply called the Tour. It’s the race all riders want to ride and having a completed Tour on your CV is a mighty achievement.  Live TV coverage in many countries throughout the world as well as press from mainstream media means this really is the biggest bike race in the world and the largest annual sporting event on the planet.

The A Team

Tour de FranceEveryone here is on their A game with the best preparation, equipment and back up so to win at the Tour is very difficult and therefore very rewarding. Winning at the Tour can provide you with income for years to come so riders are all keen to arrive at the Tour with the best form possible.

2013 may be the 100th edition of the Tour but the race actually began in 1903 and with the exception of the two world wars, has run every year since. It was originally started to promote the daily sports paper L’Auto whose pages were yellow and this is why the leader’s jersey became yellow and is now the colour the race is synonymous with.

This year 198 riders in 22 teams will start the race but not last year’s winner Sir Bradley Wiggins, the first British rider to win the event, as he is recovering from injuries sustained in the Tour of Italy earlier in the season. Luckily for British fan, Wiggins’ teammate and second overall last year, Britain’s Chris Froom is the rider to beat and the favourite to take the race. Newly crowned British road race champion Mark Cavendish will be looking to add to his tally of stage wins which currently stands at a whopping 23.

Team Brit

Other Brits on the race are Chris Froome’s Team Sky team mates Ian Stannard and Olympic Gold medal winners Peter Kennaugh MBE and Geraint Thomas MBE.  David Millar is riding for the Garmin-Sharp team and for Irish fans his team mate Dan Martin is riding with Martin’s cousin Nicolas Roche (Team Saxo-Tinkoff), son of former Tour winner Stephen.

The race itself is a huge logistical operation with roads shut for many hours before and after the race. The riders are preceded by a publicity cavalcade several kilometres long giving out sponsor’s products along the route the race takes. It’s a massive party atmosphere wherever it goes with towns along the route stopping for the day with festivals and such. Away from the stage starts and finishes, the climbs are where you will see the most spectators. One of the most iconic climbs in cycling, Alpe d’Huez is climbed twice this year and many nations are claiming a hairpin on the mountain as their own so expect to see a lot of national flags and drunken people as they will have been there for days beforehand to get a good spot.

The race is made up of 21 stages, comprising two individual time trials, one team time trial, seven flat, five hilly and six mountainous stages, with four summit finishes.

Stage details

Stage 1 (Saturday, June 29)         Porto-Vecchio – Bastia                                                    213 km
Stage 2 (Sunday, June 30)            Bastia – Ajaccio                                                                  156 km
Stage 3 (Monday, July 1)               Ajaccio – Calvi                                                                    145.5 km
Stage 4 (Tuesday, July 2)               Nice       (team Time Trial)                                            25 km
Stage 5 (Wednesday, July 3)       Cagnes-sur-mer – Marseille                                     228.5 km
Stage 6 (Thursday, July 4)             Aix-en-Provence – Montpellier                               176.5 km
Stage 7 (Friday, July 5)                   Montpellier – Albi                                                            205.5 km
Stage 8 (Saturday, July 6)              Castres – Ax 3 Domaines                                             195 km
Stage 9 (Sunday, July 7)                 Saint-Girons – Bagnères-de-Bigorre                    168.5 km
Rest day 1 (Monday, July 8)         Saint-Nazaire, Loire-Atlantique
Stage 10 (Tuesday, July 9)            St-Gildas-des-Bois – Saint Malo                               197 km
Stage 11 (Wednesday, July 10)   Avranches – Mont-Saint-Michel                                33 km

(Individual Time Trial)

Stage 12 (Thursday, July 11)        Fougères – Tours                                                            218 km
Stage 13 (Friday, July 1)                 Tours – Saint-Amand-Montrond                              173 km
Stage 14 (Saturday, July 1)           Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule – Lyon                          191 km
Stage 15 (Sunday, July 14)            Givors – Mont Ventoux                                                 242.5 km
Rest day 2 (Monday, July 15)      Vaucluse province (Avignon, Orange)
Stage 16 (Tuesday, July 16)          Vaison-la-Romaine – Gap                                           168 km
Stage 17 (Wednesday, July 17)   Embrun – Chorges            (Individual Time Trial)      32 km
Stage 18 (Thursday, July 18)        Gap – l’Alpe d’Huez                                                        172.5 km
Stage 19 (Friday, July 19)               Bourg d’Oisans – Le Grand Bornand                      204.5 km
Stage 20 (Saturday, July 20)         Annecy – Annecy-Semnoz                                         125 km
Stage 21 (Sunday, July 21)            Versailles – Paris – Champs-Elysées                  133.5 km

TdF 2013 Route

 Classification leader jerseys

There are four jerseys for classification leaders at the Tour.

Yellow jersey (maillot jaune) – Leaders jersey

Given out each day to the general classification leader, ie the rider who has the lowest aggregate time.

Green jersey – Points (sprints) jersey

The best sprinter, the rider with the most points earned at stage finishes and at intermediate sprints.

Polka dot jersey – King of the Mountains jersey

The best climber, with points awarded at the top of each classified climb.

White jersey – Best young rider jersey

The best placed under 25 year old rider in the race.

Team classification leaders

Team classification: Yellow helmets – awarded to the team with the lowest aggregate time, taken from three best-placed riders

2012 Jersey Winners

Yellow –              Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Team SKY

Green –                Peter Sagan (Slovakia) Cannondale

Polka dot –        Thomas Voeckler (France) Europcar

White –                Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team

The teams

Team leaders and notable riders

Team Sky 2013

Sky (GBr)

1 Chris Froome (GBr)
3 Peter Kennaugh (GBr)
8 Ian Stannard (GBr)
9 Geraint Thomas (GBr)

Cannondale (Ita) Cannondale 2013

11 Peter Sagan (Svk)

Lotto-Belisol (Bel) Lotto-Bellisol 2013

21 Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel)
24 Andre Greipel (Ger)

BMC Racing (USA)

BMC Racing 2013

31 Cadel Evans (Aus)
34 Philippe Gilbert (Bel)

RadioShack-Leopard (Lux)RadioShack-Leopard 2013

41 Andy Schleck (Lux)
48 Jens Voigt (Ger)

Europcar (Fra)

Europcar 2013

51 Pierre Rolland (Fra)
59 Thomas Voeckler (Fra)

Astana (Kaz)

Astana 2013

61 Janez Brajkovic (Slo)

FDJ (Fra)

FDJ 2013

71 Thibaut Pinot (Fra)

Ag2r La Mondiale (Fra)Ag2r Mondiale 2013

81 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra)

Saxo-Tinkoff (Den)Saxo Tinkoff 2013

91 Alberto Contador (Spa)
97 Nicolas Roche (Irl)

Katusha (Rus)Katusha 2013

101 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa)

Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spa)Euskatel-Euskadi 2013

111 Igor Anton (Spa)

Movistar (Spa)Movistar 2013

121 Alejandro Valverde (Spa)

Cofidis (Fra)Cofidis

131 Rein Taaramae (Est)

Lampre-Merida (Ita)Lampre-Merida 2013

141 Damiano Cunego (Ita)

Omega Pharma-QuickStep (Bel)OmegaPharma-QuickStep

151 Mark Cavendish (GBr)
154 Tony Martin (Ger)

Belkin (Ned)Belkin 2013

161 Lars Boom (Ned)

Garmin-Sharp (USA)Garmin-Sharp 2013

Team manager: Charly Wegelius

171 Ryder Hesjedal (Can)
172 Jack Bauer (NZl)
175 Dan Martin (Irl)
176 David Millar (GBr)

Orica-GreenEdge (Aus)Orica-Greenedge 2013

181 Simon Gerrans (Aus)
188 Stuart O’Grady (Aus)

Argos-Shimano (Ned)Argos-Shimano 2013

191 John Degenkolb (Ger)

Vacansoleil-DCM (Ned)Vacancsoleil-DCM 2013

201 Wout Poels (Ned)
205 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned)

Sojasun (Fra)Sojasun 2013

211 Brice Feillu (Fra)

Stay tuned for our ‘What Have We Learned So Far’ posts in the coming days.

Maybe a bit of a manufacturers league update too.

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