A Tour De France Like No Other

Julian Alaphilippe Can Win The Tour de France

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Cycling's Tour de France should have embarked from the Mediterranean city of Nice this weekend, but the two-month coronavirus delay will heighten the drama on a "unique edition", race organizer Christian Prudhomme has told AFP.

The breathtaking vistas, raucous pop-up campervan villages straddling mountain summit finishes and charming French chateaux will all still be on the menu for global television audiences, as will the party atmosphere for the millions of roadside fans when the race starts at the end of August.

While the French custom of kissing in greeting will be barred, and social distancing still practiced, the delay has shaken up the format adding a dose of the unknown to an already cut-throat three-week race.

Proof of the race's domestic popularity can be detected in the fact that France put a swift end to its rugby and football seasons, but the general and political will to go on with the cycling saw the Tour survive.

The epic 107th edition will now embark from Nice's celebrated Promenade des Anglais on August 29 and culminate with a dash around Paris' cobbled Champs Elysees on September 20.

"It will be as singular as it will be unique," Prudhomme promises of what was already a mouthwatering route through France's five mountain ranges.

"A Tour has never embarked so late in the year. It's still in summer, but outside the school holidays," says Prudhomme, who feels there may be fewer than the usually expected 12 million roadside fans.

"The heat should be less intense," he says of the sizzling temperatures that facilitate the roadside and hilltop carnival atmosphere in July.

"There will be more wind too," he says, adding to the chaos the crosswinds cause on the race through some of France's vast wheat plains, that will have long since been harvested.

"There will be fewer fans, but it will still be a party," he says.

Bernal, Froome or Thomas

The coronavirus has hit advertising and Prudhomme said that the publicity caravan which precedes the passage of the race, throwing goodies to crowds who gather not only for a fleeting glimpse of the peloton, but also the possibility of caps, shirts, sweets and other free promotional gifts, will be 40 percent smaller.

The season shake up has put even more focus on the Tour this year and every big gun in the armoury is being primed for Le Grande Boucle.

Team Ineos should line up with the last three winners in Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal as co-captains.

Defending champion Bernal is training in his homeland where he told local media he was out to win.

"If I'm in a position to win I won't sacrifice my chances," the 23-year-old Colombian said, reportedly sparking Froome's anger and reports he was about to switch teams.

This could all be a smoke and mirrors strategy to take the heat off Bernal, and Ineos' chief rival Jumbo has also named three co-captains.

Some would say that the fact the Tour will even be raced is a victory in itself and after the BBQs and beers across the five mountain ranges of the Alps, the Massif Central, the Pyrenees, the Jura and the Vosges the winner will emerge at the wonderfully named 'La Planche des Belles Filles' (bench of beautiful girls).

Back in October, Bernal's jaw dropped as the challenging route's finale was unveiled, while beside him four-time champion Froome let a smile slip, seeing the scene of his narrow 2012 triumph atop the steep summit which this year plays host to a penultimate day individual time-trial.

Whoever emerges from the sunflowers and the chateaux wearing the yellow jersey atop La Planche des Belles Filles, he will have won one of the most hotly anticipated Tours in its 107 year history.

Five Dark Horse Picks For Milano-Sanremo

Chasing The Pros: Sanremo Build-Up

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The second monument of 2020 arrives on the second weekend of the season's resumption. Milano-Sanremo, often known as the sprinter’s classic is much less straightforward than the nickname implies.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Russian Vlasov Wins French Mountain Challenge

Aleksandr Vlasov

Russian champion Aleksandr Vlasov of Astana won the Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge on Thursday following his third in last weekend's Route d'Occitanie.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

How To Watch: 2020 Criterium du Dauphine

Ineos Vs. Jumbo-Visma: Battle Of Tour Titans

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Here's how to watch the 2020 Criterium du Dauphine on FloBikes.

5 Milano-Sanremo Favorites: Van Aert Poised For Monument Success

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Wout van Aert opened up his 2020 2.0 account with a big win at Strade Bianche. The Belgian’s performance at Strade Bianche showed that he clearly came out of lockdown with a lot of strength and fortitude, but he has also shown signs of a return to sprinting form.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Jakobsen Seriously Hurt As Horror Crash Scars Tour Of Poland

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The first stage of the Tour of Poland ended in a horror crash on Wednesday which saw Dutch rider Fabio Jakobsen thrown over a barrier at 80km/h while others crumbled to the ground in a desperate attempt to avoid a pile-up.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Tour Champ Egan Bernal Wins Route d'Occitanie Overall

All Access: Warbasse's Sketchy Strade Bianche

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Defending Tour de France champion Egan Bernal secured the overall victory in the Route d'Occitanie on Tuesday, underlining his prowess ahead of cycling's most prestigious race which starts later this month.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Bernal Triumphs In Pre-Tour Mountain Test

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Team Ineos' defending Tour de France champion Egan Bernal marked out his territory on Monday climbing to a summit finish victory on stage three of the French Route d'Occitanie.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Tour de France Start From Copenhagen Delayed From 2021 To 2022

Kuss Eyes Explosive Tour Route

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

The planned start of the Tour de France from Copenhagen, scheduled for 2021, has been pushed back to 2022 to avoid an overlap of sporting events disrupted by Covid-19, the city's mayor said Monday.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Bernal & Froome Keep Pace As Colbrelli Wins Occitanie Second Stage

Chasing The Pros: Piazza del Campo Party

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Italian sprinter Sonny Colbrelli of the Bahrain-McLaren team won a bunch sprint on stage two of the four-day French Route d'Occitanie race on Sunday after a 174.5km run from Carcassonne to Cap Decouverte.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

How to Watch: 2020 Challenge du Mont Ventoux

2020-ventoux-provence.jpg

Here's how to watch the 2020 Challenge du Mont Ventoux on FloBikes.