Experiencing the Tour de France, in our opinion, should be on the bucket list of all sports and travel enthusiasts. For those of you who need any further convincing, Aditya Gadre lays out five reasons to watch the Tour de France.
You’ll be watching the biggest cycling event in the world
This is about as big as it gets in the world of road cycling. More than 200 riders compete over 21 gruelling stages traversing over 2,000 Km of plains, mountains, cities, wind, sun and rain to win what is, most certainly, the most important cycle race in the world. There are other grand tours (Giro d’Italia and Vuelta d’Espana), but you could say this is the grandest – much like Wimbledon for Tennis Grand Slams or the Open Championship for Golf Majors
You’ll see the superstars of World Cycling in action
Being the biggest road cycling race in the world, naturally, the Tour de France attracts some of the biggest names in World Cycling – multiple Olympic Medallists (like Bradley Wiggins) and World Champions (like Mark Cavendish / Marcel Kittel) leave everything else and spend 3 weeks in France trying to win the Tour.
You’ll see the whole of France (and not just the touristy bits)
The tour typically starts in a foreign location and has about 18 stages which happen inside France. The route typically covers the entire country – the Pyrenees in the north to the Alps in the South and goes through several small villages and the lovely French countryside – which you would not normally see as a part of a standard visit to France
You’ll be at gorgeous venues for your entire trip
“Wait, if this is a road race, what do you mean by gorgeous venues?” you ask? Well the race takes place across the country and covers some amazing locations. You can soak in the natural beauty in the Col du Tourmalet and Col d’Aubisque in the Pyrenees, Modane and Pra-loup in the Alps, and places like Bergerac in the countryside. You can appreciate the urban / semi-urban beauties that are French towns and cities. Above all, you see the last stage in the architectural wonder that is Paris. As the last stage ends on the Champs Elysee, you can stand by the roadside with a view of either the Arc d’Triomphe or the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde while the cyclists slug it out.
You’ll have enough time to truly experience France in all its glory
As mentioned in point 3, the stages of the tour will take you all over France. Each stage lasts for a few hours, and once that is done, you can immerse yourselves in experiencing the vast variety of food, drink, music and culture all around you. You can try the wines from Bordeaux while in Bergerac or Perigueax, gorge on the goat cheeses while in the Pyrenees, learn to ski at Pra-Loup in the Alps, and, of course, catch some art and history and entertainment of every kind in Paris.
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