23 Fun Facts You Didn't Know About the Tour de France
1. The Longest Tour1 of 24
2. Water Bottles2 of 24
There will be more than 42,000 water bottles used by teams in this year’s race.
3. Most Stages Won3 of 24
Photo Credit: AP Photo
The most stages won by a single rider at the Tour de France is 34 by Eddy Merckx.
4. TDF Nickname4 of 24
The nickname for the Tour de France is La Grande Boucle, which means the "big loop," and refers to the route taken around France.
5. Calories Burned5 of 24
The average cyclist will burn around 4,000 and 5,000 calories during each stage of the Tour. That’s 123,900 calories for the entire race, the equivalent of eating 252 McDonald’s double cheeseburgers.
6. Revolutions Per Minute6 of 24
The average number of pedal strokes during the three-week race is 486,000 (at 90 revolutions per minute).
7. Alcohol7 of 24
Until the 1960s, it was common for participants to drink alcohol during the race to numb the pain. Alcohol consumption was soon banned because it was considered a stimulant.
8. Sweat8 of 24
Over the course of a Tour de France route, cyclists will sweat enough to flush a toilet 39 times.
9. Spectators9 of 24
10. Least Number of Finishers10 of 24
11. Rest Days11 of 24
On the Tour’s rest days, most cyclists don’t rest. They ride for at least 2 hours to flush out lactic acid and keep their minds focused on racing.
12. Winning Margin12 of 24
13. Amateurs13 of 24
Five-time winner Bernard Hinault of France once said of the Tour de France, “An amateur should think long and hard before attempting one of these stages. Two would probably necessitate a visit to a doctor, and three would require a psychiatrist – any more and you should be checking if that person has written a will."
14. Total Prize Money14 of 24
The total prize money awarded for the entire race (stages, sprints, overall classification) is $4.3 million.
15. TDF on TV15 of 24
There are 3.5 billion people that watch the Tour de France on television around the world each year.
16. Tires16 of 24
The peloton uses 790 tires over the three-week race.
17. Number of Rest Days17 of 24
In the early years of the Tour de France, there were 14 rest days instead of two. Stages often ran into the night and cyclists needed the following day to recover.
18. Lead Water Bottles18 of 24
19. Days in Yellow19 of 24
20. Women's TDF20 of 24
Photo Credit: Epping Forest DC
On July 27th, women will race the last stage of the Tour de France separate from the men. Though a landmark event, it isn’t the first time women’s race has taken place. Between 1984 and 1989, the Tour Cycliste Feminine was an 18-stage race. The first winner was American Marianne Martin.