The much-anticipated Tour de France is back and this year it’s taking place in Normandy. The 2016 edition of the multiple stage bicycle race started on July 2nd from the foot of the iconic Mont-Saint-Michel. Find out the latest on the Tour de France 2016 here.
Stage 1: Mont-Saint Michel to Utah Beach
The 188km stretch was fairly flat, granting riders with the opportunity to go for a sprint finish. On Saturday July 2nd 2016, Mark Cavendish did just that. The British professional road racing cyclist produced an extraordinary sprint that claimed his 27th Tour de France stage win.
Cavendish then went on to wear the yellow jersey for the first time in his career due to this victory at Utah Beach.
Stage 2: Saint-Lo to Cherbourg-en-Cotentin
The riders left Saint-Lo for a 182km stint to the Cherbourg-en-Cotentin suburb, La Glacerie. Slovak professional road bicycle racer, Peter Sagan, took the yellow jersey for the first time just a day after Cavendish, as he achieved his fifth Tour stage win of his career.
As you can imagine this moment was particularly momentous for Sagan, who always seems to finish in second place. Sagan beat French road cyclist and cyclocross racer Julian Alaphilippe in an uphill sprint.
Stage 3: Granville to Angers
Stage 3 was a long, southerly ride from Granville to Angers. The 222km distance was virtually flat yet the average speed was just 33kph, which is practically a snooze fest for the Tour de France riders!
Unfortunately for Andre Greipel, there was brief confusion at the end of this stage about who won. Greipel celebrated before Cavendish was awarded winner after the photo finish was examined, which clearly showed that Cavendish had defeated Greipel.
Stage 4: Saumur to Limoges
This is the longest stage of the tour at 237.5km. The stage finishes in Limoges, hometown of Tour de France legend Raymond Poulidor and a city that is extremely sport-friendly.
However, before the riders see Limoges, they’ll have a short climb to tackle with 8km remaining. The final uphill sprint will be well worth a watch, particularly as Cavendish will want to move second on the all-time list of most Tour stage wins. If he wins stage 4 then he’ll have an impressive 29 wins under his belt.
The Remaining Stages
Stage 5 will kick off from Limoges tomorrow and riders will head to ski resort Le Lioran on a 216km route, the first mountain stage of the Tour De France 2016. The rest of the stages are as follows:
Stage 6: Arpajon-sur-Cere to Montauban
Stage 7: L'Isle-Jourdain to Lac de Payolle
Stage 8: Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon
Stage 9: Vielha Val d'Aran to Andorre Arcalis
Stage 10: Escaldes-Engordany to Revel
Stage 11: Carcassonne to Montpellier
Stage 12: Montpellier to Mont Ventoux
Stage 13: Bourg-Saint-Andeol to La Caverne du Pont-D'Arc
Stage 14: Montelimar to Villars-les-Dombes Parc des Oiseaux
Stage 15: Bourg-en-Bresse to Culoz
Stage 16: Moirans-en-Montagne to Berne
Stage 17: Berne to Finhaut-Emosson
Stage 18: Individual time trial, Sallanches to Megeve
Stage 19: Albertville to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc
Stage 20: Megeve to Morzine
Stage 21: Chantilly to Paris
The 21 stages between Mont-Saint Michel and Paris will cover a total distance of 3,519 kilometres; now that’s impressive. How many km can you cover on a bike? Be sure to use a Strava route planner to find out. Don’t worry if you need to stop, even the Tour de France riders have a rest day before the stage 10 start.
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