The 107th Tour de France will start on the 29th of August in Nice and finish in Paris on the 20th of September. The three-week long event was originally scheduled to take place from June 27 to July 19 but was postponed because of the pandemic.

Short history of Tour the France

The Tour de France started in 1903 as an event to advertise newspaper. The first competition had only six flat stages. The Stages were extremely long with an average distance of over 400 km. The first year started with 60 cyclists, some already professionals other semi-professionals. Most of them were French (about 50). The first winner became frenchman Maurice Garin. Only 21 cyclists completed all six stages.

First few years all stages were mostly flat. To make the race more difficult, the first climb was introduced in 1905 - the Ballon d’Alsace. Riders were allowed to change their bikes at the start of the climb and at the summit. In these initial years all bikes had fixed-gears. With the bike change they had appropriate gearing for the climb and descent. With the success of the moutain stages, the organizers started to include iconic climbs in 1910: Aspin, Tourmalet and Aubisque.

With the rise of Tour popularity, the press requested to make leader more visible. And so in 1919 the Yellow jersey was born. The yellow color represented French newspaper L’Auto, the owner of the race.

In year 1934 organizers introduced new event - the individual time trial. It was 90 km long. The first ITT winner became Antonin Magne from France.

Since cycling is considered to be a extremely dangerous sport, where cyclists ride more than 3000km per event, only four cyclists have died during the Tour. The last one was 24 years old Italian Fabio Casartelli on stage 15 in 1995. He crashed into a concrete barrier during descent of Col de Portet d'Aspet at speed of over 80 km/h. He died from a massive head injury. In those days helmets were not mandatory, the rule was introduced only eight years later.

Record winners of Tour de France

Four riders have won the Tour five times: Jacques Anquetil (France), Eddy Merckx (Belgium), Bernard Hinault (France), and Miguel Indurain (Spain). Indurain is the only one who won five consecutive titles from 1991 until 1995.
Before the Lance Armstrong was strip of all his titles, he was a leader in this category with seven consecutive titles.

Last Tour de France winners

2019 Bernal Egan
2018 Thomas Geraint
2017 Froome Chris
2016 Froome Chris
2015 Froome Chris
2014 Nibali Vincenzo
2013 Froome Chris
2012 Wiggins Bradley
2011 Evans Cadel
2010 Schleck Andy

Major contenders for Yellow jersey

Primoz Roglic (30 years, Jumbo-Visma), Slovenia

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Best result TdF: Fourth in 2018
Grand Tours starts: 5 - TdF(2) | Giro(2) | Vuelta(1)
30 years old former ski jumper is this year in an impressive form. He all ready won national championship this year, confidently beating Tadej Pogacar in last climb on Krvavec. He showed impressive form in last race before the tour. He was victorious in the Tour de l’Ain, and lead the Critérium du Dauphiné before he crashed out on the penultimate day. He managed to finish the stage with all the favorites, but the consequences of the crash proved to be to severe to start the last stage. Before the crash he showed some spectacular stage finishes, beating all the closest competition for the Tour with ease. We can say that he was in the form of his life. He is the winner of last year's Vuelta a España, and was runner up in Giro di Italia 2019. He could have also won the Giro, but some poor team decisions and illness inside his team crushed his chances to win the race.
This year Jumbo-Visma team dominated in peleton, taking a clear advantage over Ineos. Even with pullout of one of most important teammates Steven Kruijswijk, due to the crash in the same stages as Primoz, the team still looks the strongest. Do not forget he is the strongest compared to the other favorites in time trial - he won eleven of them in his short professional career.

Egan Bernal (23 years, Ineos), Columbia

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Best result TDF: Winner in 2019
Grand Tours TdF: 2 - TdF(2)
Title defender Bernal won in the Route d’Occitanie, but the field was not impressive (withouth Jumbo-Visma and no EF Pro Cycling). He abandoned the Critérium du Dauphiné with back pain. The stages his finished, he showed some weaknesses that we are not used to see. Even more worrying, however, may be the form shown by his team at the Critérium du Dauphiné. If before the race team Ineos counted a lot on Froome and Geraint Thomas, they were a bit disappointed. They decided that both of them will not participate in this year's Tour the France. Although the team has many other very good riders (Kwiatkowski, Sivakov, Amador), this will still be a big deficit for the team. All eyes will now be on Richard Carapaz who won last year's Giro di Italia, and he was not initially planned for the race.

Thibaut Pinot (30 years, Groupama–FDJ), France

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Best result TdF: Third in 2014
Grand Tours starts: 12 - TdF(7) | Giro(2) | Vuelta(3)
All this issues that happend to Roglic and Bernal, puts some more sparks and hope for all the French fans and their favorite Tibot Pinot. Who can forget his bad luck in tour last year. He was in a very good position in the overall standings, and threatened the Egan Bernal title. But then in stage 19, just 2 stages before the end of the race, Frenchman was forced to quit the race in tears due to pain in his left leg. This bad luck motivated him even more during training for this year's race. He already showed very promising form on Critérium du Dauphiné, where he finished second, only 30 seconds behind the surprising winner Daniel Felipe Martinez.

Other contenders for Yellow jersey

Nairo Quintana (30 years, Arkéa–Samsic), Columbia

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Best result TdF: Second place 2013 and 2015
Grand Tours starts:14 - TdF(6) | Giro(2) | Vuelta(6)
Thirty-year-old Quintana show some decend form in last few races, despite a training crash in late June. He finished strong third in Tour de l'Ain just few seconds behind Roglic and Bernal. Quintana abandoned last stage of Dauphiné because he felt severe pain in the same knee, that was injured in a training crash. His decision to abandon has been a precaution ahead of the Tour, so how serious the knee issue is, is a bit of mistery. But in previous stages he had shown, that he can keep up with major tour contenders.

Mikel Landa (30 years, Bahrain McLaren), Spain

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Best result TdF: Fourth in 2017
Grand Tours starts: 13 - TdF(4) | Giro(5) | Vuelta(4)
He finished strong third in Andalucia in February, and second in Vuelta a Burgos in the beginning of August. But last appearence at Dauphiné did not end according to his wishes. He finished only 18th, almost 18 minutes behind the winner.

Tadej Pogacar (21 years, UAE Team Emirates), Slovenia

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Best result TdF: Debut in 2020
Grand Tours starts:1 - Vuelta
At only 21 years, he is young rider's success story. He already has impressive statistics for such a young rider, especially with podium finish in general classification in last Vuelta Espana. Who can forget his solo win in penultimate stage of Vuelta. He attacked 40 km before the finish on penultimate climb, and then also finished strongly on the last 10 km climb. The advantage of over a minute before the rest, won him third place in general classification. He started strongly this year with a win at the Vuelta a Andalucia and second place at the UAE Tour. After the season restarted he won national time trial championship few seconds ahead of Primoz Roglic. He also finished fourth at Dauphiné a few days ago. The main issue for him is lack of teammates who can help him on hard mountain stages, where he is usually left alone. Lack of expiriance should not be the problem and also rescheduled Tour to end of August suits him well. He occasionally finds it difficult to tolerate extreme heat.

Daniel Felipe Martínez (24 years, EF Pro Cycling), Columbia

Best result TdF: 36th in 2017
Grand Tours starts: 4 - TdF(1) | Giro(2) | Vuelta(1)
Winning the Dauphiné just before the Tour de France start will be a strong boost of confidence for a young Colombian cyclist. Ha also has four starts in grand tours with first appearance in Giro in 2016. But he was never a team leader, so this will be a totally new experience for him.

Tom Dumoulin (29 years, Jumbo-Visma), Netherlands

Best result TdF: second in 2018
Grand Tours starts: 11 - TdF(5) | Giro(4) | Vuelta(2)
Tom is starting this year as a new member of Jumbo-Visma team, transferring from Team Sunweb. His primary role will be to assist the team captain Roglic. But if there are sudden changes in the team, he can take on the role of captain himself. He showed decent form in last two preparation races, and he has been an excellent assistant for his captain.

Where to watch Tour de France

Tour de France 2020 stages

This year we will see eight mountain finishes, four mountain stages and uphill time trial on the penultimate day.
29 August - Stage 1: Nice - Nice, 156km | Flat
30 August - Stage 2: Nice - Nice, 187km | Hilly
31 August - Stage 3: Nice - Sisteron, 198km | Flat
1 September - Stage 4: Sisteron - Orcieres-Merlette, 157km | Mountain
2 September - Stage 5: Gap - Privas, 183km | Hilly
3 September - Stage 6: Le Teil - Mont Aigoual, 191km | Mountain
4 September - Stage 7: Millau - Lavaur, 168km | Hilly
5 September - Stage 8: Cazeres-sur-Garonne - Loudenvielle, 140km | Hilly
6 September - Stage 9: Pau - Laruns, 154km | Mountain
8 September - Stage 10: Ile d’Oleron - Ile de Re, 170km | Flat
9 September - Stage 11: Chatelaillon-Plagne - Poitiers, 167km | Flat
10 September - Stage 12: Chauvigny - Sarran, 218km | Hilly
11 September - Stage 13: Châtel - Guyon-Puy Mary, 191km | Mountain
12 September - Stage 14: Clermont Ferrand - Lyon, 197km | Flat
13 September - Stage 15: Lyon - Grand Colombier, 175km | Hilly
15 September - Stage 16: La Tour du Pin - Villard-de-Lans, 164km | Hilly
16 September - Stage 17: Grenoble - Meribel, 168km | Hilly
17 September - Stage 18: Meribel - La Roche-sur-Foron, 168km | Hilly
18 September - Stage 19: Bourg-en-Bresse - Champagnole, 160km | Hilly
19 September - Stage 20: Lure - La Planche des Belles Filles, 36km | Individual time trial
20 September - Stage 21: Mantes-la-Jolie - Paris, 122km | Flat

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