Online platform Zwift will launch a virtual edition of the Tour de France in July. In total, 23 men’s teams and 17 professional women’s teams will come into action for three weekends over six stages, according to a press release.
The organization can count on top men like Chris Froome, Egan Bernal, Geraint Thomas and Greg Van Avermaet. Marianne Vos, Chloé Dygert-Owen, Kirsten Wild and Anna Van der Breggen are among the confirmed names for the women’s race. The Virtual Tour de France consists of six stages of about one hour.
The games start on Saturday July 4 with the first women’s stage, immediately followed by the men. The stages for both categories are held on identical courses and over the same distance. Both events will be shown in more than 130 countries.
In the Netherlands and Belgium, the virtual Tour de France can be followed via the NOS, VRT, RTBF and Eurosport. The riders and riders start with two stages on the volcanic fantasy island of Watopia. Watopia gets several visual additions for the Tour de France, inspired by Nice, this year the starting place of the real Tour de France.
The three subsequent rides will be held in the ‘French world‘ of Zwift, specially designed for the Virtual Tour de France. The fifth stage is marked as the queen stage, given the finish at Chalet Reynard, six kilometers below the actual summit of Mont Ventoux. The final stage finishes on the Champs-Élysées in central Paris.
“I can’t imagine the month of July without cycling,” said a proud Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France. “Thanks to the Virtual Tour de France, which is widely broadcast on TV, the champions and their fans will fill the void. The Virtual Tour de France uses technology for the passion for cycling. ”
As in the real Tour de France, the leader’s jerseys will be awarded to the leaders of the general, mountain, sprint and youth classification. There is also a team classification. All rankings are based on a points system and are team rankings. This means that teams can switch riders between stages.
All drivers are eligible to score points for their team in each of the respective categories. A team that leads in a specific classification has the freedom to nominate one rider to wear the iconic jersey for the next stage. In addition, after each stage, a prize will also be awarded for the most combative rider, sponsored by Antargaz.
Schedule of the Virtual Tour de France
● Saturday July 4, stage 1: Nice, 36.4 km (4x a local lap of 9.1 km, hilly stage)
● Sunday 5 July, stage 2: Nice, 29.5 km (682 meters of altitude, mountain stage)
● Saturday 11 July, stage 3: Northeast France, 48 km (flat stage)
● Sunday July 12, stage 4: South West France, 45.8 km (2x a local round of 22.9, hilly stage)
● Saturday July 18, stage 5: Mont Ventoux, 22.9 km (arrival at Chalet-Reynard, mountain stage)
● Sunday July 19, stage 6: Paris Champs-Elysées, 42.8 km (6x a local lap)
Competition for cycling enthusiasts
Zwift not only organizes a virtual competition for professional cyclists. L’Etape du Tour de France offers cycling enthusiasts the opportunity to experience a part of the Tour de France experience. This is possible by means of tour versions, held on the route of one of the mountain stages of the Tour de France.
Zwift has decided not to tinker with the Virtual l’Etape du Tour de France track, allowing participants to test themselves on the same roads as the professionals. They will be presented with three stages, which will be held during three weekends in July.
Driving schedule Virtual l’Etape du Tour de France
● July 4 and 5, Stage 1: Nice, 29.5 km (682 meters of altitude, mountain stage)
● 11 and 12 July, Stage 2: South West France, 45.8 km (2x a local lap of 22.9 km, hilly stage)
● July 18 and 19, stage 3: Mont Ventoux, (22.9 km, finish at the observatory)
Collecting for the good cause
Zwift and ASO hope to raise as much money as possible for charity with the Virtual Tour de France and the Virtual l’Etape du Tour de France. Both events are part of the umbrella Tour de France United, a charity initiative that will run until the end of the newly planned Tour de France in August.
Tour de France United collects money for the following charities: Emmaüs, Secours Populaire, Youth Fund for Sport and Culture, BiJeWa and Qhubek.