Tour De France

This July, the legendary Tour de France once again rolls into action. Held annually, this multiple stage bicycle race winds its way across the nation (and occasionally into neighboring countries), taking in all types of terrain along the way. Read on to learn more about this iconic event.

Over a Century of Competition

The 2017 Tour De France will be the 104th edition of the race. Aside from breaks during the two World Wars, it has been held every year since the inaugural event in 1903. As the Tour gained prominence and popularity the race was lengthened further, and coverage began to extend around the globe. Initially most of the riders came from France. However as news of the contest spread, it was soon attracting participants from all over the world.

The Tour de France is the oldest and most prestigious of cycling’s big three events (the other two being the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España). Traditionally, the race is held in the month of July. While the route sees slight changes each year, the format stays the same. Individual and team time trials, dramatic passages through the mountains of the Pyrenees and the Alps, and the climatic finish on the Champs-Élysées in Paris are constant fixtures, all of which have contributed to the tour’s status as the most famous cycling event in the world.

Tour De France 1906

This historic image from 1906 shows cyclists competing in one of the earliest editions of the Tour De France.

Tour De France Race Format

Modern editions of the Tour de France consist of 21 day-long stages held over a 23-day period. The entire route covers around 3,500 kilometres (2,200 miles). Each year, the race alternates between clockwise and counterclockwise circuits of the country.

The number of teams competing usually varies between 20 and 22, with nine riders making up each team. Each stage is timed to the finish, and the riders’ times are aggregated with their previous stage times. The rider with the lowest overall time is the leader of the race, and gets to don the coveted yellow jersey. While this is the title which garners the most attention, there are several other contests held within the Tour. These include the points classification for sprinters, the mountain classification for climbers, the young rider classification for competitors under the age of 26, and the team classification for the fastest teams. Stage wins are also hotly contested, and fought for by a specialist sprinter on each team.

Bradley Wiggins 2012 Tour De France

Britain’s Bradley Wiggins sports the coveted yellow jersey at the 2012 Tour De France.

2017 Tour De France

This year, the Tour De France kicks off in Düsseldorf, Germany. Stage One takes the form of individual time trials. The following day, the riders head to Liége in Belgium, crossing over 200km in the first flat section of the epic course. The Tour then moves on through Luxembourg, arriving in France at Vittel and then winding south through the country, taking in many scenic locations along the way.

Tour De France

Several stages of the Tour De France include steep uphill climbs in the scenic mountainous regions of the Alps and the Pyrenees.

Below is a day-by-day breakdown of the route for this grueling event. With riders covering upwards of 200km per day over three weeks, the Tour De France is considered the ultimate challenge of fitness and ability for cyclists.

Date City Distance Format
Saturday 1 July ITT in Düsseldorf (Germany) 13.0 km Individual time trials
Sunday 2 July Düsseldorf (Germany) – Liége/Luik (Belgium) 202.0 km Flat
Monday 3 July Verviers (Belgium) – Longwy 212.5 km Finish uphill
Tuesday 4 July Mondorf les Bains (Luxembourg) – Vittel 207.5 km Flat
Wednesday 5 July Vittel – La Planche des Belles Filles 160.0 km Mountain finish
Thursday 6 July Vesoul – Troyes 216.0 km Flat
Friday 7 July Troyes – Nuits Saint Georges 214.0 km
Saturday 8 July Dole – Station des Rousses 187.0 km Mountains
Sunday 9 July Nantua – Chambéry 181.0 km Mountains
Monday 10 July Rest day in Dordogne
Tuesday 11 July Périgueux – Bergerac 178.0 km
Wednesday 12 July Eymet – Pau 202.0 km
Thursday 13 July Pau – Peyragudes 214.0 km Mountains
Friday 14 July Saint Girons – Foix 100.0 km Mountains
Saturday 15 July Blagnac – Rodez 181.0 km
Sunday 16 July Laissac Sévérac l’Église – Le Puy en Velay 189.0 km Hilly
Monday 17 July Rest day in Le Puy en Velay
Tuesday 18 July Le Puy en Velay – Romans sur Isère 165.0 km
Wednesday 19 July La Mure – Serre Chevalier 183.0 km Mountains
Thursday 20 July Briançon – Col d’Izoard 178.0 km Mountains
Friday 21 July Embrun – Salon de Provence 220.0 km Flat
Saturday 22 July ITT in Marseille 23.0 km Individual time trials
Sunday 23 July Montgeron – Paris 105.0 km Flat

Britain’s Chris Froome returns this year as defending champion, and will be looking to add a fourth title to his record. Victory would mean him emerging triumphant for three successive years, ensuring his legacy as the most successful competitor in more than 20 years.

Whoever takes the famous yellow jersey, cycling fanatics are guaranteed an enthralling three weeks of sport. The Tour De France takes place from 1 – 23 July, 2017. For further details on the build-up to the event, please visit the official website.

Jetex in France

Anyone wishing to arrange their own “Tour De France” by private jet can easily do so, thanks to our extensive network of facilities throughout the country. Jetex operates FBOs in a total of 17 locations around France.

These include AngoulêmeAnnecy Mont BlancAuxerreBourgesChâlonCherbourgDijon BourgogneLe HavreMarseilleNimes Camargue CévennesParisReimsTarbes Lourdes PyrénéesToulouse FrancazalTours Vale de LoireTroyes, and Vannes Golfe du Morbihan.

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Start organizing your trip to France today! Contact our team on +33 117 437 2522 or