July is here. For many of us, that marks nearly the halfway point in summer while for others, that means the Tour de France is underway! 2018 marks the 105th edition of le Tour de France.
Kicking off on Saturday 7 July, the 176 riders – a change from previous years where nine riders per team were included – and 22 teams will depart on the 201km flat stage in Noirmoutier-en-l’Île, a small island off the Atlantic coast of France, for Fontenay-le-Comte.
Chris Froome (Team Sky) is seeking his fifth yellow jersey while Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) has his eyes on his second. There are also other contenders eager to wear their first yellow jersey, including Richie Porte (BMC Racing) – who crashed out in 2017, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale).
And, be sure to mark your calendars for Sunday 15 July, the ninth stage, as that is when the the Tour treks over the famed cobblestones. The riders will head out from Arras Citadelle, as they make their way to Roubaix where they will face a total of 21.7km of cobbles.
For a total of 21 stages with only two rest days, the Tour de France 2018 ends on Sunday 29 July on Paris’ Champs-Élysées. And, we are ready!
Read more at letour.fr.
NOTE – At the time of this publication, Froome is “blocked from signing in to Tour de France” over an unresolved drug appeal. Team Sky has appealed this decision by the Tour’s organizers with a court date set for this Tuesday, according to the Guardian.
UPDATE – Announced on Monday 2 July, the UCI has closed its case on Froome. He is now set to start the Tour on Saturday.