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Tour de France 2020: The Essential Guide

(Image credit: Bettini)

The world has changed dramatically since the route of the 2020 Tour de France was unveiled last October. The 3,470-kilometre route remains the same, but the global COVID-19 pandemic means that it will be a Tour de France like no other.

The race dates have changed from July to late August/September, and the riders' preparation and teams' selections have changed, leaving everyone fresh, on form and hungrier then ever to win during the short but intense rescheduled season. Everyone on the race will have to respect strict medical protocols to limit the risk of the COVID-19 virus emerging in the peloton and possibly stopping the whole race, but there is a real sense that the riders will race as if there's no tomorrow.

The number of COVID-19 cases in France has grown enormously in recent weeks, and could keep increasing over the next few weeks as the Tour de France rolls through the country, but organisers ASO, governing body the UCI, the French government and even the sponsor-dependent teams and riders seem convinced that the show must go on. It is ultimately their risk. If the race manages to reach Paris with a limited number of cases in the 'race bubble', the sport will have pulled off a high-stakes, calculated gamble. If something happens along the route and the race has to be cancelled, the damage to the sport could be irreparable.

The riders and teams will gather in Nice from Wednesday for the Grand Départ and undergo a final COVID-19 test. The start list is the strongest seen for years. Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas were not selected for Team Ineos, but that has only strengthened and united the South-American-rider-heavy squad created around 2019 winner Egan Bernal.

It will be fascinating to see 23-year-old Bernal battle with Jumbo-Visma duo Primoz Roglic and Tom Dumoulin. Victory could see the Colombian really begin a new era of team leadership at Ineos and a run at multiple Tour victories, while failing to defend his title could perhaps mark the start of the decline of Dave Brailsford's super team. The stakes are high.

A mountainous route

With a desire, and perhaps a design, to break Team Ineos' grip on the Tour de France, ASO have come up with an unconventional and mountainous route with just a 36km time trial on the penultimate stage up to La Planche des Belles Filles, no team time trial and a number of stages that seem to offer opportunities to attack and limit any sense of control.

La Planche des Belles Filles is close to Groupama-FDJ leader Thibaut Pinot's home in the Vosges mountains, and so could finally inspire a moment of French cycling glory before a final coronation in Paris – or another year of defeat and regret. Either way, there is likely to be emotions on show from Pinot's team manager Marc Madiot. Allez les gars!

The 21 stages of the 2020 route visit all five of France's mountain ranges and include 29 categorised climbs and five summit finishes. The COVID-19 protocols mean that crowds will be stopped from filling the roadside in the mountains, but the Alps, Pyrenees, Massif Central, Jura and Vosges will again reveal who is the strongest in the race.

There are no iconic ascents such as Alpe d'Huez or Mount Ventoux, but there are more minor climbs and testing finishes, forcing the overall contenders and teams to stay vigilant for the entire race.

This year's Tour de France offers the sprinters a chance to fight for the first yellow leader's jersey on Saturday on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, but they will then have to fight for every other opportunity along the route, perhaps in Privas, Lavaur and Poitiers, and then, of course, on the final stage on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

The first mountain finish comes as soon as stage 4 to Orcières-Merlette, with another testing finale on stage 6 to Mont Aigoual. Sadly, the two stages in the Pyrenees seem suited to breakaways, but cannot be taken lightly. The risk of crosswinds along the Atlantic coast on stage 10 to Ile de Ré will mean a restless first rest day, with the haul across the Massif Central also offering chances to attack.

The decisive mountain stages will be in the Alps, starting with stage 15 to the Grand Colombier. With two other climbs in the final 70km of the stage, and then the 17.4km haul to the hors-catégorie finish, the Grand Colombier will give a real indication of how the next five stages will unfold.

Stage 17 to Méribel is without doubt the 'queen stage' of the 2020 Tour de France, with the 2,304-metre-high finish also awarding the Henri Desgrange prize as the highest point of the race.

The Col de la Loze that leads up to and beyond the ski resort is a new addition to the race, and has only recently been surfaced. It’s long, at 21.5km, with an average gradient of 7.8 per cent. The first 17 kilometres climb steadily up to Méribel, while it is the final four kilometres, above 2,000m altitude, that will really hurt, with some sections even at 20 per cent on a narrow, straight strip up the mountainside.

Stage 18 has lower peaks but more climbing, with the beautiful Cormet de Roselend, the Col des Saisies and Col des Aravis before the Plateau de Glières. It is a perfect stage for long-range attacks, and the worst stage to have a bad day.

Depending on the time gaps after all the mountains, the 36.2km stage 20 time trial to La Planche des Belles Filles offers a final chance to shake up the general classification and perhaps snatch or lose the yellow jersey. It could be a perfect platform for Roglic or Dumoulin to overhaul Bernal or Pinot, or to see a totally unexpected rider emerge for the victory parade into Paris.

Team Ineos 'v' Jumbo-Visma not the only bout on fight card

The testing, nerve-racking route of this year's Tour de France, and all the COVID-19 complications, have influenced team selections more than ever, and will make predicting the outcome of each stage harder then ever. Time gaps amongst the top 10 are expected to be measured in minutes rather than seconds.

The 22 eight-rider squads include virtually all the best Grand Tour riders in the peloton, other than Froome and Thomas, with otherwise only Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) absent as they focus on the Giro d'Italia.

The first, most simple story line of the race, is the battle between Team Ineos and Jumbo-Visma. It could spark one of the biggest team battles ever seen in modern cycling as the Dutch 'killer wasps' take on the soulless 'built-for-purpose' SUV that the Team Ineos outfit has become after a decade of success in their former guise as Team Sky.

Tom Dumoulin and Primoz Roglic – pictured at the Critérium du Dauphiné – will combine for Jumbo-Visma in an attempt to derail the powerful Team Ineos train at the 2020 Tour de France

Tom Dumoulin and Primoz Roglic – pictured at the Critérium du Dauphiné – will combine for Jumbo-Visma in an attempt to derail the powerful Team Ineos train at the 2020 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

However, even before the start in Nice, the script has already changed and will surely change again in the next three weeks. The idea of three leaders combining from each team for an almighty battle has been thrown out of the window: Steven Kruijswijk is out of the Jumbo-Visma team after fracturing his shoulder, while Team Ineos opted to go all-in with Egan Bernal and select dedicated support riders instead of taking Thomas and Froome.

It means that Bernal is the only previous race winner in the 2020 Tour de France, and will have to count on Richard Carapaz, Andrey Amador and Pavel Sivakov to help him take on Roglic and Dumoulin.

Of course, Ineos versus Jumbo-Visma will not be the only bout on the fight card. Pinot left the Tour injured and in tears last year, but vowed to return. He blew his chances at the Critérium du Dauphiné, but is clearly on form, and could best placed to take advantage if Ineos and Jumbo-Visma focus on each other too much and allow their rivals to gain time.

All of France would love to see Deceuninck-QuickStep's Julian Alaphilippe repeat his exploits of 2019 and spend even more time in the yellow jersey. He seems to lack the swagger of last year, however, and reiterated he is only targeting stage victories, but could be an early race leader if he wins stage 2 to Nice or the first mountain finish at Orcières-Merlette on stage 4.

Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) has also promised to target stage victories after giving up on his Giro d'Italia ambitions, while Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) seems ready to join the highest French echelon and become a top-five contender. France has never had a better chance to end their 35-year draught.

Nairo Quintana has become an honorary Frenchman after his move to Arkéa-Samsic, and could help a French team win again. The 30-year-old Colombian climber was on fire before the lockdown, seemingly rediscovering the motivation and determination that was so obviously lacking in his final years at Movistar. Quintana has yet to find the same form after the lockdown, but this year's race route suits him better than ever before and offers him a real chance of overall victory.

If you prefer an underdog and outsider for a podium spot, there are plenty. Starting with Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), the ever-unpredictable, but always likeable, Mikel Landa (Bahrain McLaren), Critérium du Dauphiné winner Dani Martinez and his EF Pro Cycling teammates Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Higuita, Tour debutant Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) and even Bernal's Ineos understudy Pavel Sivakov.

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) is chasing his eighth green points jersey and will take on Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Elia Viviani (Cofidis) and new Italian national champion Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) in the sprint finishes.

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), Lotto Soudal's Philippe Gilbert, Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Lilian Calmejane (Total Direct Energie) are also all likely to be in the thick of the action at this year's Tour de France.

So, buckle up – it's going to be one hell of a race.

TOUR DE FRANCE 2020 TEAMS

AG2R La Mondiale (WorldTour)

  • Who? French team run by Vincent Lavenu, created in 1992 and based in the Alps.
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 18
  • Main man: Romain Bardet announced himself as the next great French hope with podium finishes in 2016 and 2017, but has since gone backwards at the Tour. He was meant to do the Giro this year, and is moving teams next year, so is looking to revitalise his career.

Arkéa-Samsic (ProTeam)

  • Who? Second-division French team based in Brittany, formerly known as Bretange-various things and Fortuneo-Oscaro.
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 0
  • Main man: Former Giro and Vuelta winner Nairo Quintana was the marquee signing for 2020 and was on fire before the pandemic struck. A three-time Tour podium finisher, he's set to contend for yellow once more.

Astana (WT)

  • Who? Kazakh team managed by ex-pro Alexandre Vinokourov and formerly home to Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong and Vincenzo Nibali.
  • Tour titles: 2
  • Stage wins: 12
  • Main man: Former Tour de l'Avenir winner Miguel Angel López has finished on the podium at the Giro and Vuelta and now finally makes his Tour de France debut. 

B&B Hotels-Vital Concept (PT)

  • Who? French second-division team set up by former rider Jérôme Pineau in 2018, making their Tour debut here
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 0
  • Main man: Diminutive sprinter Bryan Coquard came close to stage wins on the 2015 and 2016 Tours and finally makes his return after a three-year absence.

Bahrain McLaren (WT)

  • Who? The team founded by Prince Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and the Kingdom of Bahrain, who welcomed McLaren this year in a shake-up that saw Rod Ellingworth take over as manager.
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 2
  • Main man: After complicated spells at Astana, Sky, and Movistar, Mikel Landa finally has a clear leadership role, and the route suits the Spanish climber.

Bora-Hansgrohe (WT)

  • Who? German team, formerly known as NetApp, who stepped up to WorldTour level and bigger and better things with the signing of Peter Sagan in 2017.
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 6
  • Main man: Emanuel Buchmann rode to a breakthrough 4th place last year and leads the line with even higher hopes, while Peter Sagan will be out for an eighth green jersey.

CCC Team (WT)

  • Who? The Jim Ochowicz-run team that was formed in 2019 in a merger between the Polish CCC squad and the bones of the old BMC Racing set-up, and is now struggling to secure its future beyond this year.
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 6
  • Main man: Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin will go for stage wins, while Ilnur Zakarin will see what he can do in the mountains, and possibly also GC.

Cofidis (WT)

  • Who? Long-running French team who dropped to the second-division ranks in 2010 but have returned this year with bigger and brighter ambitions.
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 10
  • Main man: Guillaume Martin, the peloton's philosopher-in-chief, was 12th last year and, after a fine build-up, will hope he can crack the top 10. 

Deceuninck-QuickStep (WT)

Can Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Julian Alaphilippe repeat his 2019 Tour de France exploits, when he wore the yellow jersey for two weeks, or will he really 'only' chase stage victories?

Can Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Julian Alaphilippe repeat his 2019 Tour de France exploits, when he wore the yellow jersey for two weeks, or will he really 'only' chase stage victories? (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
  • Who? Patrick Lefevere's Belgian team, who have been prolific winners over the past few years.
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 39
  • Main man: Julian Alaphilippe became an international sensation when he took the yellow jersey deep into the final week last year, but insists he's only focused on stage wins. Sprinter Sam Bennett will be out for a first Tour stage win.

EF Pro Cycling (WT)

  • Who? American team, run by Jonathan Vaughters, that started out as Slipstream Sports in 2007, merged with Cannondale in 2014, and was saved in 2017 by EF, who now have them doing adventure rides as well as pro races.
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 8
  • Main man: Rigoberto Urán finished second in 2017 but it's Dauphiné winner Daniel Martínez and a third Colombian, Sergio Higuita, who could shine brightest in an eclectic line-up.  

Groupama-FDJ (WT)

  • Who? Marc Madiot's team, whose partnership with French state lottery company FDJ is the longest-running sponsorship in the sport, stretching back to 1997. 
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 13
  • Main man: Thibaut Pinot came so close last year but it ended in tears. France will believe. 

Team Ineos (WT)

  • Who? British team formerly known as Team Sky who have dominated the Tour with seven wins in the past eight editions.
  • Tour titles: 7
  • Stage wins: 17
  • Main man: The omissions of Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas leave 2019 champion Egan Bernal as the clear leader and the top favourite for many.

Israel Start-Up Nation (WT)

  • Who? Israeli team who took over the old Katusha team's WorldTour licence this year and have signed Chris Froome for next year. This is their first Tour. 
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 0
  • Main man: Dan Martin has three top-10 finishes to his name, while Guy Niv makes history by becoming the first Israeli to ride the Tour.

Jumbo-Visma (WT)

  • Who? Dutch team formerly known as Rabobank, who have since reinvented themselves and become a major threat to Ineos' dominance. 
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 57
  • Main man: 2019 Vuelta champion Primoz Roglic has been unstoppable since the season re-start, while 2017 Giro winner Tom Dumoulin adds another option in a very strong squad. 

Lotto Soudal (WT)

  • Who? Well-established Belgian team long sponsored by the Belgian lottery. Like QuickStep, success has come in Classics and sprints, rather than Grand Tour GC. 
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 38
  • Main man: Caleb Ewan won three stages on his Tour debut last year and is one of the top sprinters in the race.

Mitchelton-Scott (WT)

  • Who? Australian team set up in 2012 and funded by businessman Gerry Ryan.
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 7
  • Main man: Adam Yates finished a breakthrough 4th in 2016 but has struggled in the past couple of Tours, so approaches this one with no GC pressure. 

NTT Pro Cycling (WT)

  • Who? Formerly known as Dimension Data, and before that MTN-Qhubeka, the South African team now has a Japanese title sponsor and Danish influence as Bjarne Riis returned to the sport to manage the squad. 
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 7
  • Main man: Giacomo Nizzolo is enjoying an extended spell of form after numerous injury problems and it's wouldn't be a surprise to see him win a stage in the Italian champion's jersey.

Movistar Team (WT)

  • Who? An institution in cycling, the Spanish squad dates back to 1980. Previously been known as Reynolds, Banesto, and Caisse d'Epargne, they won five Tours with Miguel Indurain in the 1990s.
  • Tour titles: 7
  • Stage wins: 34
  • Main man: After the departures of Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa, young Spaniard Enric Mas leads the line alongside the veteran Alejandro Valverde.

Team Sunweb (WT)

  • Who? German-registered team, formerly sponsored by Argos, Shimano, and Giant, but still with a very Dutch feel.
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 16
  • Main man: The squad's best sprinter and GC riders are doing the Giro, but in France the up-and-coming Cees Bol will target the sprints while Classics specialist Tiesj Benoot will go for the medium mountains.

Total-Direct Energie (PT)

  • Who? Jean-René Bernaudeau's French team that began in 2000 and which, through various guises as Bonjours, Bouygues, Brioches, and Europcar, was home to French stars Thomas Voeckler and Sylvain Chavanel.
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 10
  • Main man: If he can recapture his best form, Lilian Calmejane is always a threat from a breakaway.

Trek-Segafredo (WT)

  • Who? American team with an Italian influence, which started out as Leopard Trek with the Schleck brothers in 2011.
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 5
  • Main man: Richie Porte and Bauke Mollema, both former top-six finishers, form a two-pronged approach. 

UAE Team Emirates (WT)

  • Who? Abu Dhabi-funded team that essentially rose from the ashes of the old Lampre set-up.
  • Tour titles: 0
  • Stage wins: 14
  • Main man: Tadej Pogacar is one of the young talents making waves in the sport. This is his Tour debut but after winning three stages and finishing third at last year's Vuelta, who knows?

TOUR DE FRANCE 2020 JERSEYS

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Yellow

Worn by the leader of the general classification, so the rider with the lowest net time. The maillot jaune is awarded to the overall race leader after each stage and the rider who takes it to Paris is crowned Tour de France champion. It's yellow because the newspaper that ran the race, L'Auto, was printed on yellow paper.

The classification is based on the time taken to complete the whole course, but there are bonus seconds on offer to encourage attacking racing. Bonuses of 10, 6, 4 seconds are awarded on the finish line to the top three riders on each stage, excluding time trials. Like last year, there will also be bonus seconds on offer on the top of certain climbs. 

All riders must finish within the time limit - a certain percentage (ranging from 3 to 20 per cent depending on the stage and average speed) of the stage winner's time each day in order to continue in the race. This is a perennial problem for sprinters when it comes to the high mountains.

Green

Worn by the leader of the points classification. Points are awarded at stage finishes and intermediate sprints (one per road stage), and while the sprinters are the main candidates, it's the more versatile among them - the ones who can compete on a variety of terrain and also get into breakaways - who have the best chance. Peter Sagan is one such rider and has won green in seven of the past eight Tours - that's every one he's finished.

Points are awarded to the first 15 riders at stage finishes or intermediate sprints, with different allocations depending on the nature of the stage.

  • Stages 1, 5, 7, 10, 11, 19, 21 (flat): 50-30-20-18-16-14-12-10-8-7-6-5-4-3-2 
  • Stages 2, 3, 4, 6, 12, 14, 16 (rolling/medium mountain): 30-25-22-19-17-15-13-11-9-7-6-5-4-3-2
  • Stages 8, 9, 13, 15, 17, 18, 20: (high mountain and ITT): 20-17-15-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
  • Intermediate sprints (one per road stage): 20-17-15-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1

Polka-dot

Worn by the leader of the mountains classification, or the 'king of the mountains'. Mountains points are on offer at the top of every classified climb, ranging from the hardest - 'hors catégorie' to the easiest - category 4.

  • Hors catégorie: 20-15-12-10-8-6-4-2
  • Category 1: 10-8-6-4-2-1
  • Category 2: 5-3-2-1
  • Category 3: 2-1
  • Category 4: 1

White

Worn by the the leader of the youth classification. A 'young rider' is anyone who was born after January 1, 1995, so anyone under 25 or who turned 25 in 2020. The jersey goes to the best placed on general classification.

Red dossard

Not a jersey but a special red number badge for the rider deemed, subjectively, the ‘most combative’ the previous day - usually the rider most active in the breakaway. At the end of the Tour, the super combatif prize is awarded to the most aggressive rider of the whole race, based on a combination of panel and public vote. 

Yellow dossard

Worn by members of the team leading the teams classification. This is calculated by adding together the times of each team's three best riders on every stage.

TOUR DE FRANCE 2020 STAGES

All times local – CET. All finish times according to the earliest predicted schedule. 

Stage 1 / Saturday August 29 / Nice - Nice, 156km / Start: 14:00, Finish 17:45

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 2 / Sunday August 30 / Nice - Nice, 186km / Start: 13:00, Finish 17:45

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 3 / Monday August 31 / Nice - Sisteron, 198km / Start: 12:10, Finish 17:00

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 4 / Tuesday September 1 / Sisteron - Orcières-Merlette, 160.5km / Start: 13:25, Finish 17:20

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 5 / Wednesday September 2 / Gap - Privas, 183km / Start: 13:10, Finish 17:15

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 6 / Thursday September 3 / Le Teil - Mont Aigoual, 191km / Start: 12:00, Finish 16:45

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 7 / Friday September 4 / Millau - Lavaur, 168km / Start: 13:25, Finish 17:15

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 8 / Saturday September 5 / Cazères-sur-Garonne - Loudenvielle, 141km / Start: 13:30, Finish 17:00

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 9 / Sunday September 6 / Pau - Laruns, 141km / Start: 12:15, Finish 16:15

(Image credit: ASO)

Rest day 1 / Monday September 7

Stage 10 / Tuesday September 8 / Île d'Oléran - Île de Ré, 168.5km / Start: 13:30, Finish 17:20

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 11 / Wednesday September 9 / Châtelaillon-Plage - Poitiers, 167.5km / Start: 13:25, Finish 17:15

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 12 / Thursday September 10 / Chauvigny - Sarran, 218km / Start: 11:50, Finish 16:55

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 13 / Friday September 11 / Châtel-Guyon - Puy Mary Cantal, 191.5km / Start: 11:50, Finish 16:45

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 14 / Saturday September 12 / Clermont-Ferrand - Lyon, 194km / Start: 13:05, Finish 17:45

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 15 / Sunday September 13 / Lyon - Grand Colombier, 174.5km / Start: 12:25, Finish 17:10

(Image credit: ASO)

Rest day 2 / Monday September 14

Stage 16 / Tuesday September 15 / La Tour-du-Pin - Villard-de-Lans, 164km / Start: 13:05, Finish 17:20

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 17 / Wednesday September 16 / Grenoble - Méribel Col de la Loze, 170km / Start: 12:15, Finish 17:05

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 18 / Thursday September 17 / Méribel - La Roche-sur-Foron, 175km / Start: 12:05, Finish 17:10

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 19 / Friday September 18 / Bourg-en-Bresse - Champagnole, 166.5km / Start: 13:30, Finish 17:25

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 20 / Saturday September 19 / Lure - La Planche des Belles Filles (ITT), 36.2km / Start: 13:00, Finish 18:05

(Image credit: ASO)

Stage 21 / Sunday September 20 / Mantes-la-Jolie - Paris Champs-Elysées, 122km / Start: 15:45, Finish 18:50

(Image credit: ASO)

HOW TO WATCH THE 2020 TOUR DE FRANCE

The Tour de France will be aired comprehensively across a number of networks, and will be aired live across Europe, Asia and Australia via Eurosport and on the Eurosport Player. You can sign up for a subscription to Eurosport Player for £6.99 / $9.26 for a month, £4.99 / $6.61 for a year-long monthly pass, or £39.99 / $52.99 for a 12-month pass.

The GCN Race Pass, available on the GCN app, is also airing the race in the UK and Australia. Access in the UK will set you back £39.99 for a year. There's also an option to pay for the Race Pass month-by-month, although the year pass is much better value.

British broadcaster ITV will also show show the race on their ITV4 channel. Welsh-language station S4C will have live coverage and highlights every day too.

FloBikes will show the race in Canada. Subscribing to FloBikes will set you back $30 per month or $150 for the year, and gives you access to watch most of the season's biggest races.

NBC Sports Gold stream the race, costing $54.99 for a year's subscription that includes a number of other major races.

The race will also be shown on various broadcasters around Europe, including Rai Sport in Italy, RTBF and Sporza in Belgium, and on France Sport in France. SBS will show the Tour in Australia.

If you live outside a broadcast zone or are on holiday outside your country and find that the live streams to be geo-restricted, you can get around this by getting access to them by simulating being back in your home country via a 'virtual private network', or VPN, for your laptop, tablet or mobile.

Our sister site TechRadar tested hundreds of VPNs and recommends the number-one VPN currently available as Express VPN. With ExpressVPN, you can watch on many devices at once including Smart TVs, Fire TV Stick, PC, Mac, iPhone, Android phone, iPads, tablets, etc.

Cyclingnews coverage

We will have full, live text coverage of every stage of the 2020 Tour de France, from the pre-race build-up to the post-race debrief, and every pedal stroke in between. 

Our stage reports will offer a comprehensive view of each stage, including a write-up of the action, full results, and a photo gallery.

Our reporters at the race will provide exclusive news stories, interviews, features and analysis, and we'll also have a regular podcast.

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