Virtual Tour de France This Weekend

The world’s first Virtual Tour de France will be held on Zwift beginning this weekend for both Men & Women over six stages and riders are competing for charity instead of a prize purse.

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Virtual Tour de France This Weekend

The world’s first Virtual Tour de France will be held on Zwift beginning this weekend for both Men & Women over six stages and riders are competing for charity instead of a prize purse.

Two new maps built specifically for the virtual TdF. According to Zwift, “The French map takes inspiration from the country and should evoke strong connections with the country as Zwifters pass through vineyards, over Roman aqueducts, and through sunflower fields. The new map also plays host to a virtual replica of Mont Ventoux. Zwift’s Mont Ven-Top, meaning snowy peak in gallic, is a punishing climb that is sure to test the legs of any rider.”

The final stage of the Tour de France will see Zwifters be able to ride around the famed Arc de Triomphe, navigate around the Place de la Concorde and sprint down the cobbled Champs-Élysées just like the best sprinters of the Tour de France. The pros will be racing on Saturday and Sunday for three consecutive weekends beginning July 4th. In contrast to the TdF’s grueling 21-day schedule of long daily events, the virtual TdF races are meant to “deliver the best virtual racing experience for both competitors and viewers,” so each stage is only about an hour long.

Every stage is designed to mimic iconic portions of La Grande Boucle. Here is the schedule as we know it

– Saturday 4th July, Stage 1: Nice, 36.4 km
– Sunday 5th July, Stage 2: Nice, 29.5 km

– Saturday 11th July, Stage 3: North-East France, 48 km
– Sunday 12th July, Stage 4: South-West France, 45.8 km

– Saturday 18th July, Stage 5: Mont Ventoux, 14.9 km
– Sunday 19th July, Stage 6: Paris Champs-Elysées, 42.8 km

The virtual TdF is planned to deliver equal coverage and competition for both men’s and women’s teams. The women will kick off the virtual TdF by racing first on July 4th, followed immediately by the men. Men’s and women’s stages will be held on identical courses over the same distances, and both events will receive equal broadcast coverage.

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The world’s top cycling teams will be lining up to battle it out in the virtual TdF. For each stage, teams will select four riders to compete. Riders can be rotated in and out for different stages, so we will certainly see a variety of top pros taking parts on routes that best suite their strengths.

Men’s Teams
AG2R La Mondiale
Arkéa Samsic
Astana Pro Team
B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
Team Bahrain McLaren
Bora Hansgrohe
CCC Team
Team Cofidis
Circus-Wanty Gobert
Deceuninck – Quick-Step
EF Education First Pro Cycling
Israel Start-Up Nation
Team Jumbo-Visma
NTT Pro Cycling
Rally Cycling
Team Sunweb
TOTAL Direct Énergie

Women’s Teams
Alé BTC Ljubljana
Team Arkéa
Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team
CCC-Liv Team
Ceratizit – WNT Pro Cycling
FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
Lotto Soudal Ladies
Parkhotel Valkenburg
Rally Cycling
TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank
Trek-Segafredo Women
TWENTY20 Pro Cycling
Team Sunweb
Valcar Travel & Service

Confirmed riders include the past three winners of the TdF (Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Egan Bernal) plus Greg Van Avermaet and other top pros for the men’s race. Marianne Vos, Chloé Dygert Owen, Kirsten Wild, and Anna Van der Breggen are among the big names confirmed for the women’s race.

In an interesting twist, no male riders are allowed to race more than 3 stages in total and no female riders are allowed to race more than 4 stages total, making it even more of a team event since no single rider will be able to dominate the series.

Jersey Competitions
There are multiple classifications or competitions happening concurrently during and across all stages. The virtual TdF will be similar, but competition will be entirely points-based. During each stage, riders will score points on specific climbs, sprints, and across the finish line. These points will be totaled on a team basis and used to designate a leading team in each classification:

– Best Sprinter classification
– Best Climber classification
– General Classification (yellow jersey):

The teams leading each of these classifications will choose one rider on the day to wear the classification’s leader jersey.

Highlights will be available on Zwift’s YouTube channel after each stage.

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