Vive le tour! The 105th Tour de France will kick off so find out how to watch every second of the world’s biggest cycling event, who’s the fave to win and more!
The 2018 Tour de France runs from July 7 to July 29. 21 stages. 3,329 kilometers. 176 riders. Add them all together and you have the biggest bike race in the world: the Tour de France. The 105th running of Le Tour will kick off from Noirmoutier-en-l’Île on July 7 at 4:40 AM ET. From there, the best in the cycling world will compete for nearly a month, winding up at Champs-Élysées in Paris.
NBC and NBCSN will cover the Tour de France in the U.S. The networks will broadcast all 21 stages of the Tour de France, showing highlights. NBC Sports Gold will live stream every stage from start to finish with its “Cycling Pass,” but NBC Sports will have a record 365-plus hours of live, primetime and encore coverage.
Chris Froome is a favorite to win… With four Tour de France titles under his belt, Chris Froome, 33, could tie Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, and Miguel Indurain for the most Tour de France wins in this post-Lance Armstrong world, per Deadspin. Chris won the Vuelta a España in Sept. 2017 but was tagged with a drug test violation afterwards. Uh-oh. As he was appealing the results, he won the Giro d’Italia. Chris was cleared of all charges, though some are still suspicious of Team Sky’s star. He enters the race as the favorite, but at 33, he might be over the hill when it comes to getting the bike over the hill.
…but some think the course will stop him. Chris only won the 2017 race by 54 seconds, and the early stages of the 2018 race will be along the Atlantic, providing punishing rainy and windy conditions. Stage 9 will be on “jagged, cobbled sectors,” which should be torture. Then, there are the mountains. The lack of big flat time trials” is “an obvious attempt to make things harder for Froome, who is a fantastic rider against the clock,” per Deadspin, meaning that Le Tour might be up for grabs.
So, who might win besides him? Nairo Quintana, the runner up in 2013 and 2015, is expected to make a splash. 2014 tour winner Vincenzo Nibali and a pair of Chris’s former teammates — Richie Porte and Mikel Landa – are all worth watching. There’s also Peter Sagan, and Michael Matthews, as the former was supposed to take over the cycling world before a 2014 crash — which broke his leg — derailed that dream. It’s hard to say which means this year’s race might actually be intriguing to watch.
Full Schedule / Course, per Cycling Stage
Stage 1: July 7 at Noirmoutier-en-l’Île – Fontenay-le-Comte (201.0 km/flat)
Stage 2: July 8 at Mouilleron-Saint-Germain – La-Roche-sur-Yon (182.5 km/flat)
Stage 3: July 9 at Cholet – Cholet (35.5 km/TTT)
Stage 4: July 10 at La Baule – Sarzeau (195.0 km/ flat)
Stage 5: July 11 at Lorient – Quimper (204.5 km/hills)
Stage 6: July 12 at Brest – Mûr-de-Bretagne (181.0 km/hills)
Stage 7: July 13 at Fougères – Chartres (231.0 km/flat)
Stage 8: July 14 at Dreux – Amiens (181.0 km/flat)
Stage 9: July 15 at Arras – Roubaix (156.5 km/cobbles)
July 16: Rest day
Stage 10: July 17 at Annecy – Le Grand-Bornand (158.5 km/mountains
Stage 11: July 18 at Albertville – La Rosière (108.5 km/mountains
Stage 12: July 19 at Bourg-Saint-Maurice – Alpe d’Huez (175.5 km/mountains
Stage 13: July 20 at Bourg d’Oisans – Valence (169.5 km/flat
Stage 14: July 21 at Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux – Mende (88.0 km/hilly after flat start)
Stage 15: July 22 at Millau – Carcassonne (181.5 km/hilly)
July 23: Rest day
Stage 16: July 24 at Carcassonne – Bagnères-de-Luchon (218.0 km/mountains, flat start)
Stage 17: July 25 at Bagnères-de-Luchon – Col du Portet (65.0 km/mountains)
Stage 18: July 26 at Trie-sur-Baïse – Pau (171.0 km/flat)
Stage 19: July 27 at Lourdes – Laruns (200.5 km/mountains)
Stage 20: July 28 at Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle – Espelette (31.0 km/ITT/hills)
Stage 21: July 29 at Houilles – Champs-Élysées (Paris) (116.0 km/flat)