How long is the Tour de France? Well, it's long. Approximately three weeks and 3,500 kilometers long. Featuring 21 stages over 23 days, it is the most prestigious cycling competition in the world and it's probably the only one anyone in America cares about.
The race was first organized in 1903 and is the oldest of the Grand Tours. It was followed by the Giro d'Italia and Veulta a España, but neither of those were even deemed important enough for Lance Armstrong to cheat in enough to make their Wikipedia pages so you tell me how important they are.
The worst way to get a feel for how long the Tour de France is would be to watch the HBO short film Tour de Pharamacy starring Andy Samberg, Orlando Bloom, Daveed Diggs and John Cena. The 41-minute mockumentary is hilarious and breezes by. It's nothing like the 2,200 mile slog through the actual French countryside. Here's the trailer. We really need more Lonely Island sports movies.
The 2023 edition of the Tour de France started in Bilbao, Spain on July 1st. Yeah, the first stage of the Tour de france started in Spain. And so did the second and third stages. Crazy huh? This year's race ends at Champs-Élysées, Paris on July 23rd.
Sorry to go back to this, but Lance Armstrong remains America's strongest tie to the Tour de France. He won seven straight Tours from 1998 to 2005. After his doping scandal, all his wins were revoked. After Armstrong retired, American Floyd Landis won. His win also disappeared. The only American to ever win the Tour de France and not fail a drug test was Greg LeMond who won three times between 1986 and 1990.
Other than that, Americans just like to have sports on television during the day, so if you want to watch the 2023 Tour de France, it's streaming on Peacock, with NBC and USA also airing some of the cycling during the competition. If you're lucky, you'll see something like this live as a fan with a sign caused a huge crash in 2021.
Tour de France fans are just built different. Men in women's bathing suits often run alongside the cyclists, like this guy in 2007 who dressed like Borat.
What an incredible sport.