Everything You Need to Know About the 2018 Tour de France

23 days. 176 riders. More than 2,000 miles of grueling terrain. The annual Tour de France kicks off this weekend and runs throughout the rest of July.
To give you an idea of just how grueling this competition is, a Tour de France cyclist will burn enough calories during a six-hour mountain stage to fuel an average person’s activity for two to four days. Two to four days!
One of the more unique facts about the Tour de France, besides that it’s the world’s pinnacle cycling competition, is that the course changes every year. This year, for the first time in more than 60 years, riders will bike over a section of mountainous, unpaved roads on the Plateau des Glières in the French Alps.
Another change this year is that teams will now consist of eight riders instead of the usual nine. An estimated 15 million spectators will line the course, cheering for their favorite riders. Don’t worry, if you’re not planning a trip across the pond, you can still catch the action on TV.
This year, most odds makers are naming reigning champion Chris Froome most likely to win the race. Froome, a British cyclist and four-time winner of the Tour de France, will be chasing his fifth crown in six years.
If you find yourself looking for ways to hit the open pavement, you’re in luck. The city of Madison is super passionate about making biking easy, accessible, and an integral part of the city. Check out this interactive map to find the nearest trails to you, or hit up one of BCycle’s many stations to rent a bicycle. Don’t know where to start? The Southwest Commuter Path goes right through campus, and if you take it west you’ll pass right by Mickie’s Dairy Bar. Post-ride milkshake anyone?

Another great way to get the sweat rolling and those legs moving are our Group Fitness cycling classes. This summer, classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30pm. Bring your A game (and a pair of athletic shoes) and we’ll provide the rest.
No matter if you’re a Tour de France pro or tuning in for the first time, this year’s race could be a great one to watch. Be sure to check out the action starting tomorrow and channel your inner biker around Madison this summer!