To brighten up the race-free days during the corona period, a whole series of virtual competitions were set up. For example, we previously saw a virtual Tour of Flanders and a virtual Giro. From July it will be possible to start racing again, but the Tour still jumps on the virtual cart.
Tour organizer ASO works together with the online training and racing platform Zwift. The riders will not race for three weeks, but three weekends in a row. 23 men’s teams and 16 women’s teams will participate. Former winners Egan Bernal, Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome pledged, as did Greg Van Avermaet, Julian Alaphilippe, Richie Porte, Mathieu van der Poel, Nairo Quintana and world champion Mads Pedersen.
The participants will complete six stages of about an hour. The women drive first, followed immediately by the men. The matches will be broadcast in 130 countries. Stage five, on Saturday July 18, will be the queen stage, arriving at Chalet Reynard on Mont Ventoux. The final stage is about the Champs-Élysées, arriving at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Virtual leader’s jerseys will also be distributed.
The proceeds from this virtual round will go to five charities. The “real” Tour de France starts on August 29 in Nice.