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2022 Tour de France: an American Guide

For most of the month of July, cyclists from all around the world will compete at the 2022 Tour de France. Since it has been some time since Lance Armstrong “won” his last Tour de France, the sport has seen a bit of a decline in American popularity. However, the following guide should help if you want to learn more about the 2022 Tour de France!

Understanding the Race

To fully understand the race, it is necessary to know that is takes place over 24 days, stretching from July 1 to July 24. The racers compete in individual stages with their total time from all races being added together to determine the winners.

Like every other year in recent memory, the 2022 Tour de France will have 21 stages with 3 rest/travel days. This year, the race started in Denmark for 3 days before making its way to France for the majority of the race. The race will once again end under the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

The Ways to Win

In the Tour de France, there are a few ways to win. These events are broken down into groups called “classifications." In the race, you can win the overall race, as the best mountain climber, as the best sprinter and with the best time under the age of 26.

The General Classification – The Yellow Jersey

The ultimate winner of the Tour de France is the winner of the General Classification. This goes to the cyclist who completes the 21 stages (races) with the fastest time. The leader in the General Classification is distinguished with the famous yellow jersey.

The favorite for the yellow jersey during the 2022 Tour de France will be two-time defending champion Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia.

The King of the Mountains – Polka Dot Jersey

The next winner of the 2022 Tour de France will be the cyclist who performs the best in the mountains of France and Denmark. This jersey is determined by who is the person who has accumulated the most points by reaching the top of the designated mountains. Mountains are given certain categories designating their difficulty with 1 being hard and 4 being easier. The toughest of the tough are categorized as beyond category and are worth the most points.

Depending on the height and slope of the mountain, points are awarded to a certain number of riders who cross the peak of the mountain. Those who cross first will earn the most points. These accumulation of points will eventually determine the King of the Mountains.

The Points Classification – The Green Jersey

Like the mountains, being the fastest rider to sprint in certain stretches will result in points towards being the fastest sprinter. Some of the sprints are at the finish line of the individual stage while others occur during different parts of the event.

The 2022 Tour de France had a bit of controversy when defending champ, Mark Cavendish was not selected by his team to compete at the race.

The Youth Classification – The White Jersey

The white jersey is very similar to the yellow jersey as it is given to the cyclist with the fastest time; however, it does differ that to win the white jersey a cyclist must be under the age of 26.

Like the last two years, the still just 23 year old Tadej Pogacar is the favorite for this jersey at the 2022 Tour de France.

Teams and Terms

The Importance of Teams

While individual cyclists will eventually win the different classifications, their teams will also be competing. Teams or riders will roster specific cyclists that will compete in the different classifications. Other riders on the team will work to help their fellow teammates compete by blocking the wind and helping to maintain a certain tempo.

The Terms of the 2022 Tour de France

Stage – single day races making up the Tour de France

The Peloton – The largest group of riders cycling together (this is where the company got its name!)

The Breakaway – An individual or small group of riders that are in front of the Peloton

Time Trials – A specific stage where riders compete one and are timed one at a time

Attack – When a rider or group of riders usually from the same team work to breakaway

Blow Up – When a rider has over exerted and is falling back from their current pace at a fast rate

Feed Zones – designated areas in the race where teams can give food and drinks to their cyclists

Off-the-Back – a rider that has fallen out of the Peloton

Let us know in the comments below of any questions you have for the 2022 Tour de France and we will do our best to get you an answer!

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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