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Lasting nigh 3 weeks and involving several hundred competitors, the Tour de French republic is one of the biggest sporting events across the globe — and in the world of cycling, information technology’southward definitely the biggest. This much-anticipated almanac race faced some setbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic, and while the globe hasn’t returned to normal yet, devoted cycling fans (and those of us who just love edge-of-our-seats competition) are eager for the big return slated for this summer.

In laurels of the Bout de France’due south grand 2021 re-entry to the sporting universe on Saturday, June 26, we’re taking a look at some fun facts that’ll get your anticipation building fifty-fifty more than. Plus, you’ll discover where and how yous can watch every minute of the race from the comfort of home — no cleats or helmet necessary.

Thousands of People Are Involved

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You might already know that a bevy of bicyclists participate in the race — 198 riders spread across 22 different teams compete each year. Merely the number of people involved in ensuring the race goes off without a hitch is much higher than the number of athletes participating. Organizers take logistics to the side by side level with team staff members, members of the race jury, thousands of security professionals and members of the media. If you include the spectators in that count, the numbers — pre-pandemic, at least — can run into the millions. From city to city along the race route, hundreds upon hundreds of people follow the action throughout the grade of the consequence. And organizers and support staff keep things running smoothly to the finish line.

Photograph Courtesy: Robert Deyrail/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

The offset Tour de France wasn’t held because a agglomeration of bicycling fans got together and thought it’d be a dandy idea to first a competition — at least non totally. Information technology was actually a promotional issue hosted with the intention of bringing more publicity to
L’Auto, a French newspaper that focused on reporting details about unlike sporting events. Although
L’Auto has since closed down, the parent company of its replacement,50’Equipe, continues to organize the Tour de France today.

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It’s Not Simply Large, but Also Long

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And it’s long in multiple means, too. The race itself takes place over the form of nearly a month, with 21 dissimilar day-long segments making up the bulk of the competition. The length of the course is also extensive, withal; it’southward typically over 2,000 miles long and can pass through multiple neighboring countries. It wasn’t even always this brusk, either — in 1926, the class encompassed a winding iii,570 miles and took a full month for riders to end.

Different Jerseys Mean Different Things

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As you watch the race, you’ll discover cyclists wearing the bright kits and bibs that represent their teams — but yous’ll also spot some fifty-fifty more unique colors and designs amongst the pack. One of these is a yellowish bailiwick of jersey, called the “maillot jaune,” that’s bestowed upon the racer who had the lowest cumulative ride time for the day. Other special jerseys include the green “maillot vert,” which is awarded to the rider with the nearly points, and the “maillot a pois” — a cherry and white polka-dotted jersey given to the cyclist who earns the most points during the areas of the course that take steep inclines to climb. The rider who wears the maillot a pois is affectionately known equally “the male monarch of the mountain.”

At that place Was Nearly Only One Tour de France

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The first Tour de France took place in 1903 – and that was almost the one and only iteration of the race. That’s because newspaper editor Henri Desgrange, who helped organize the initial tour, was so aghast at the comport non only of the fans simply also of the competitors in the 1903 race that he wanted to discontinue it despite its clear appeal. Boisterous crowds turned fierce, with spectators assaulting racers as they passed forth the form. The riders themselves found numerous ways to cheat, disqualifying themselves in the process. But the Tour de France was and so lauded — and it increased circulation of
L’Auto so extensively — that the organizers had no option but to continue hosting the upshot.

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The Race Has Its Own Linguistic communication

Soigneurs prepare to hand out musette bags with meals during stage 15 of the 2017 Bout de France. Photo Courtesy: Chris Graythen/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Bonking, anyone? As you’re watching the Tour de French republic, yous might hear commentators utilise some curious turns of phrase — and many of them will be unique to the race itself. Boost your bicycling know-how past learning what these terms hateful earlier catching 1 of the race segments:

  • Bonking:
    Cyclists don’t want to “bonk” during this race; it means they’ve run out of energy and are likewise wiped to continue.
  • Peloton:
    No, it’s non the fancy exercise bike you bought during the pandemic. In Tour de France context, a peloton is the main grouping of riders where most of the participants are cycling together.
  • Sag Carriage:
    If someone bonks, they may need the assistance of the sag wagon. This is a car that follows the pack of cyclists and picks upwardly those who become too fatigued or injured to continue riding.
  • Musket Bag:
    While it may sound like something you lot’d find at a Civil War battleground, a musket handbag is sort of like a bagged lunch — but it’due south packed with energy gels, water, sandwiches and other fuel for the cyclists. Information technology’s also called a “musette” or, sometimes, a “bonk bag.”
  • Lanterne Rouge:
    In French this term ways “reddish light,” and it refers to the cyclist who’s in the very concluding place in the race. Being in this position gets riders aplenty attention, and those who know they won’t win sometimes compete for this distinction instead.

Y’all Tin Picket the Activity at Home — Hither’s How

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At present that the race has returned to regularly scheduled programming in 2021 following its 2020 pandemic postponement, you might be eager to catch the three-week racing saga unfold from the comfort of home. Fortunately, y’all take the user-friendly choice to stream the bout alive on both NBC Sports and NBC’s Peacock streaming service.

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The race coverage on Peacock is only available through Peacock Premium, a paid tier of the service that costs $4.99 — a worthwhile investment if you’re a serious cycling fan who can’t wait to watch this Grand Tour. NBC Sports is attainable if y’all’re already paying for regular cable, just without that subscription y’all won’t exist able to stream the program online or lookout it on Telly unless you spring for Peacock.

Keep in mind that, if you’re not already a Peacock subscriber, y’all’ll receive a complimentary weeklong trial to improve assistance you lot make up one’s mind if the service is right for you. Y’all can use that to take hold of upwards on the race and make up one’s mind if you want to make the monthlong (or longer) investment.

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