Added by Gary Dunn on July 1, 2011
The Tour De France Race 2011, the 98th race, begins Saturday, featuring 22 international teams cycling a total of over 3,400km over 21 stages.
The Tour De France’s 21 stages vary in length and challenges. The first stage, starting on July 2, is 191km long – not far off the longest stage, stage 9, at 208km. Yet not all stages are long – the Tour’s shortest stage is stage 2 at just 23 km long.
The Tour de France is in it’s 98th race and has strong contenders including Spain’s Alberto Contador, a three time Tour de France winner; Luxemburger Andy Schleck finished in second place in the past two races, finishing just 39 seconds behind the winner.
Other contenders include Australia’s Cadel Evans who fractured his elbow early in last years race; Italian Ivan Bassso is expected to do well in this years race, yet all eyes are on the race’s third week in the French Alps. Dutchman Robert Gesink hopes to end the 31 year gap left behind by the last Dutch winner in 1980; and British Bradley Wiggins with a fourth place finish last year is also a contender.
Many broadcasters are making the race available online, including the US network NBC. Viewers who pay $29.95 will be able to follow the race’s action in HD.