How Does Your Average Bike Speed Compare With Tour de France Pros?

How Does Your Average Bike Speed Compare With Tour de France Pros?

How does your average bike speed stack up with the fastest riders in the world?

Feb 1, 2017 by Alex Rees
How Does Your Average Bike Speed Compare With Tour de France Pros?

The Tour de France is the pinnacle when it comes to cycling competitions. It is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world and showcases some of the fittest athletes on the planet. The pure athleticism that is on display during this 21-day, 2,200-mile race is inspiring, enlivening, and these cyclists seem somewhat superhuman. 

You might be asking yourself, “So how fast are they even going?” Or, “How do I compare to these athletes?” Luckily for you, with today’s technology, various metrics can be tracked during these cycling competitions, so everyone can compare their statistics to those of the pros. As with any metric, the speeds at which the Tour de France pros cycle will vary, but there are averages that have been tracked for decades now. 

Here are a few of the average speeds for the professional cyclists that race in the Tour de France:

Average Speed on Flat Ground: 25-28 mph

The average speed for professional cyclists while traversing on flat terrain is 25-28 mph. The average amateur cyclist travels about 17-18 mph while on flat ground. For many pro athletes racing in the Tour de France, being able to maintain a fast speed on flat terrain allows them to simply stay competitive with the other athletes. It is in the climbing portions of the Tour de France that the best gain separation from the peloton. 

Average Cobblestone Speed: 22-24 mph

In every Tour de France, there is at least one section of cobblestone that the cyclists must ride through -- sometimes, though, this is replaced with a stretch of gravel pavement. The small grooves in the road and uneven terrain can be difficult to tread, but these athletes still average an impressive 22-24 mph.

Average Speed Climbing: 12.8 mph

In the 2019 Tour de France, the athletes averaged 12.8 mph while trudging through the infamous climbs of the race. These athletes are literally cycling up and through the Pyrenees and Alps during this phase of the Tour de France, making for some of the most memorable moments of the Tour.

Fastest Recorded Speed: 63.1 mph

The fastest recorded speed of the Tour de France came from German Nils Politt while descending Col de Vars during stage 18 of the race. This was the second of four climbs in the stage, and Politt was the first-ever rider to break the 100 km/hr barrier by traveling at a speed of 101.5 on this descent. 

2019 Winner’s Average Speed: 25.2 mph

The 2019 Tour de France winner, Egan Bernal of Colombia, averaged 25.2 mph. He is the first Latin American to ever win the Tour de France. At age 22, he is also the youngest Tour de France winner in modern racing history. He finished the 2,091.4 mile race in exactly 82 hours and 57 minutes.

While not every cyclist has aspirations of ever racing in the Tour de France, having these metrics is a fun way for everyday cyclists to compare themselves to the superhuman riders that conquer the most famous cycling race in the world.