Le Tour 2018

The 2018 Route

THE TOUR spans three weeks – 21 days of riding, with two rest days. The daily stages last between five to seven hours, with some shorter time trial stages, where the riders leave a start hut individually and race the clock, instead of starting in a big bunch and racing each other. 176 riders will start in 2018, eight each in 22 trade teams. This is down from the nine-per-squad of previous years, as the UCI, which governs the sport, looks to make the racing safer and more interesting. If May’s Giro d’Italia was the litmus test, we are in for a cracking Tour, with the big teams less likely to totally dominate a rider short. There is even a crazy 69km stage, with a gazillion metres of climbing, that is so great a departure from Tour tradition, we wonder what Monsiuer Prudhomme (the organiser) was smoking when he proposed it.
We keep coming back, don’t we? Yet, we can’t quite work out why… so we put it to our faithful SuperSporters (South Africa has historically been the only country to broadcast every live minute of Le Tour, matched only by France) and have cobbled together a list of 21 reasons, one per stage, why the grandest sporting spectacle in the world still rocks.