Tour de France: Toughest Bike Race Ever


The 100th edition of the Tour de France is rolling along nicely, and definitely being closely followed by cycling fans around the world.  In this guest post by Joe Jamieson, he imagines what it would be like to actually train and compete in the world’s toughest sporting event.


Tour de France: Toughest Bike Race Ever

By Joe Jamieson

So you want to race in the Tour de France? Perhaps it’s time to re-think! This 100 year old road bicycle tour is one of the most grueling competitions in the world. You can’t just be a great cyclist to compete, you have to be world-class.

History of the Tour de France

The race was first held in 1903 to increase sales of the magazine L’Auto. Since then it has blossomed into one of the most important sporting events in the world. Every year the Tour de France attracts millions of spectators and millions of dollars in sponsors and advertising.  It doesn’t hurt to have a sturdy pair of mountain bike shoes, either.

Currently the race consists of 21 stages held over the course of 23 days. The majority of the race is located in France with some sections extending to surrounding countries. The total distance covered by the race is around 2,000 miles. It is a team race with around 20 teams, nine riders each. At the end of the tour there is a winning team, and an individual champion is crowned as well.

Preparing and Training for the Tour de France

For those who are truly serious about even finishing the Tour de France, there is a need for absolute to preparation. This is not a spare time endeavor, and only the most professional cyclists should apply. If said professionals are not independently wealthy, they need to find sponsors to support them. What kind of money are we talking about? For some of the top teams, up to £650,000 has been spent just on aerodynamic testing of bicycle designs.

This race is as serious as it gets, and some have even died on the race course. Imagine ripping down a mountain at over 60 mph on two tyres barely one inch thick. These guys certainly must have bullet-proof life insurance policies (if you fancy yourself as a Tour de France rider, get a fantasy quote!).

The training for the tour involves the most advanced physical exercise techniques in existence. There are team trainers, nutritionists, doctors and many other persons involved in getting each racer in top condition. The race involves days where riders spend all day in the Pyrenees and French Alps mountain ranges. These are among the most difficult road race courses on the planet. An adequate level of fitness can only be reached by a very small percentage of human beings with a top notch team backing them up.

Proper Nutrition

Again, given the huge investment in the race, the nutrition of the racers has reached the level of complex science. Top sports nutritionists like Barbara Lewin, a sports nutritionist who owns plan every bite of food that is taken by the athletes. Exact amounts of carbohydrates, protein, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals are calculated and administered carefully. Special nutritional supplements are also implemented based on scientific research and the experience of the riders. The competitors are also followed closely by doctors who monitor the riders’ weight and vital statistics.

Mind Games

Obviously, such an intense preparation and race course can take its toll mentally. Only the most fit, both physically and mentally, can even begin to think of just finishing the tour. Most teams carry a team psychologist to help handle stress. The wisest team coaches also know how to vary training routines so that riders don’t get stale. Time for relaxation and recreation are vital.

In the end though, it is up to each rider. In this competition you must be on the bike for hours on end climbing up huge mountains. Under actual race conditions these climbs can be excruciating. Also, the fans can come into very close contact with the riders. Picture riding for four hours up a steep mountain and then some crazy fan appears yelling at you and slapping you on the back. Only extremely strong people with a will of iron can reach the top of these climbs. Those that reach the podium number a few among billions.

The Hardware

The bicycles used in the tour are the fruit of many decades of craftsmanship and development. High-tech metals and carbon fiber are used to shape bike tubes. Light weight and durability are essential and this means the bikes are expensive with some costing up to £10,000. This is for a piece of metal and rubber that weighs less than 20 pounds.

The clothing is pretty straightforward with lycra being the rule for jerseys and shorts.  A lightweight composite helmet and top of the line sports lenses are used also. Finally, the shoes are specially fitted with cleats that might be made of carbon material for light weight and strength.


The Tour de France is held every July. Professional cyclists who are truly serious about entering usually have at least a three year plan. Is the Tour de France the toughest bike race ever? Yes.



Enjoy Your Ride
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9 Responses to “ Tour de France: Toughest Bike Race Ever ”

  1. Tejar on December 27, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    Tejar is Pakistan’s top e-commerce store that deals in genuine and reliable consumer goods belonging to numerous brands and product categories.

  2. Muhajir on November 15, 2020 at 2:46 am

    Looking forward to watch the race live and very excited.

  3. asicgel on May 31, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    you can also use asic gel 5 solution instead of any mountain bike shoes they are also really helpful for bikers.

  4. happy new year 2020 on January 1, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Exact amounts of carbohydrates, protein, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals are calculated and administered carefully

  5. jamali on November 22, 2019 at 8:29 am

    thanks for shearing this sir you are great

  6. yousaf on November 22, 2019 at 8:29 am

    very good sir you done great job

  7. blouch on November 22, 2019 at 8:26 am

    thanks for shearing sir

  8. musharraf on November 22, 2019 at 8:25 am

    Top sports nutritionists like Barbara a sports nutritionist

  9. high low tops on March 31, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    Hey very nice blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Superb .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally?
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