Tour de France the Facts


Originally published in 2013, ahead of the Yorkshire Grand Depart 2014 – facts correct at the time of publication.

  • The Tour de France is the world’s largest annual sporting event
  • It starts at the end of June/beginning of July and lasts 3 weeks
  • The entire race covers approximately 3,500 kms
  • The Grand Départ is the opening of the race of the Tour de France
  • The Grand Départ is regularly held outside of France – in 2012 it was hosted by Belgium
  • A worldwide television audience of 3.5billion people watch the Tour de France annually
  • Over 188 countries around the world broadcast the Tour de France
  • 121 different television channels across the world show the race every year
  • There are 4,700 hours of TV coverage annually
  • The last hour of every stage is broadcast live across western Europe
  • 2,000 journalists representing dozens of nationalities attend the Tour every year
  • 1,200 hotel rooms are reserved each night for the teams, staff, press and tour personnel
  • The Tour de France attracts 12 million spectators along the route in a typical year’s race
  • On average spectators travel 130km to see a stage of Le Tour
  • They spend on average six hours at a time at the roadside
  • 30% of those spectators are women
  • The last time the Tour visited England was in 2007 when it raced from London to Kent
  • 2 million people turned out over two days
  • It’s estimated it brought £88m to the south-east economy
  • It generated £35m worth of media coverage for the area
  • Yorkshire’s Brian Robinson was the first Brit to win stage of Tour de France in 1958
  • Bradley Wiggins became the first British rider to win the Tour de France in 2012, this was followed up by a second British winner, Chris Froome, in 2013.
  • On Monday 7 July, 2014 Stage 3 took riders from Cambridge to Essex with a finish on The Mall in London.