Cycling fans who are suffering withdrawal symptoms since the Tour de France finished only have a few days left to wait until they get their next Grand Tour fix, as La Vuelta a España kick-starts on 19th August in er, well…France! The three-week, 3,200km long race, sees the cyclists start in France for the first time ever before crossing the mountains of Andorra en route to the Tour’s home of Spain.
Sounds self-explanatory? It's racing a mountain bike right? Well, there is quite a bit to mountain bike racing and one of the great things about mtb racing is that it is very accessible to all levels from under 8's to super vets and is a great way to start off racing whatever your age or ability.
Over the course of the three-week Tour, the professional peloton will be racing for a number of jerseys. Inevitably, the best all-round rider wins the Yellow Jersey from Le Coq Sportif. All leader's jerseys are won by following the same concept and we talk you through the rules.
So you have in mind that the riders would stay in bed all day being fed and watered and massaged all day? This is what us, the average cyclists would do right? Surely this seems like the most obvious thing to do? Well, think again! Believe it or not the TDF riders actually go for a ride! Albeit a nice steady one.
Have you ever wondered how the riders get to ride in the most prestigious race in the world? How do they get in these races? Do you have to qualify? Do you have to win certain races? Do you have to apply to World Tour teams? Do you have to be a certain speed? How do you get into it?
It is hard to believe but The Tour de France isn't half as hard as it used to be when it first began in 1903. Riders would ride all day and all night, but, as you can imagine this faced major issues and so as time went on the Tour de France evolved making it what it is today and still proving to be the hardest bike race in the world. But what makes it so hard? What makes it different to any other race in the world?