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With the real-world Tour de France postponed until August 29 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional slot for Le Grand Boucle will instead be taken up by a virtual version of the biggest race on the calendar.
The Virtual Tour de France will be run on Zwift across three weekends during the Tour's original dates, starting on Saturday, July 4, and finishing on Sunday, July 19. New routes have been created especially for the event, with a circuit in Nice and the cobbled circuit of the Champs-Élysées both set to appear on the virtual platform.
A marquee mountain stage will also be included in the race – they'll all last around an hour and the peloton will be made up of teams of four riders.
There will be a plethora of big names at the race as 23 men's teams and 17 women's teams have signed up to take part. Only Movistar and UAE Team Emirates miss out from the men's WorldTour.
Tour de France winners Egan Bernal, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas will take part for Team Ineos, while Anna van der Breggen of Boels Dolmans and current time trial world champion Chloe Dygert Owen of TWENTY20 Pro Cycling are also competing.
Other riders already confirmed to be taking part include: Julian Alaphilippe, Greg Van Avermaet, Mathieu van der Poel, Nairo Quintana, Mads Pedersen, Romain Bardet, and Marianne Vos, Coryn Rivera, Marta Bastianelli, Lisa Brennauer, Kirsten Wild, Tiffany Cromwell, Lizzie Deignan.
They will be points-based team events, without individual classifications, but there will still be yellow, green, white, and polka-dot jerseys, worn by a nominated 'captain' from the team leading the GC, points, young rider, and mountains classifications, respectively.
The six stages will take place across the three weekends of the race, with 10 television channels covering 130 countries set to air the action.
Virtual Tour de France 20204 July 2020 - 19 July 2020 | Remote | NE
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Collaboration with indoor specialists pays off for Rally at Virtual Tour de France'We wouldn't have a fighting chance without Holden Comeau' says stage 3 winner Dal-Cin
Tanja Erath attributes Virtual Tour de France stage win to Zwift experience'It took me 30 to 35 races to finally figure out how to race them' says Zwift Academy winner
Egan Bernal to feature in Virtual Tour de France stage 3Matthews, Dygert Owen, Bastianelli among weekend's starters
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Virtual Tour de France stage 2 start listMen and women's teams for Zwift race
Virtual Tour de France stage 1 start listMen and women's teams for Zwift race
Virtual Tour de France: Exclusive stage-by-stage recon of Zwift's biggest ever raceA detailed look at the six stages, including two never-before-seen Zwift worlds