Tour de France: What Makes This Sport So Interesting and Exciting?

In 2019, the Tour de France adopted new regulations that reduced the number of riders on each team from nine to eight. The Tour’s director, Christian Prudhomme, defended the decision by pointing to safety concerns (fewer riders, therefore, a lower danger of accidents) and the competitiveness of the competition (fewer riders, therefore, fewer locked-in stages). The International Cycling Union (UCI) first suggested the modification in 2017, and other significant races like the Tour d’Italie (the Giro) and the Tour d’Espagne (the Vuelta) also adopted it.

What Do Commentators and Watchers Think About Tour De France?

Many commentators and watchers of the Tour de France claim that it was better “before” because there was more unpredictability, more spectacle, and fewer locked-in races. The compelling black-and-white visuals of the historic conflicts serve to drive home the point that cycling epics of the past were possible because technology had not yet supplanted the human element. The Tour de France was referred to as a “modern myth” by philosopher Roland Barthes, who associated it with the value of social norms established in the past.

Technology is sometimes blamed for detracting from the Tour de France, including radio headsets that convey instructions from team officials and components that assess riders’ power. Despite the Tour’s popularity progressively declining in recent years, a record-breaking 42.4 million people watched the 2021 edition. The last two editions of the race, which was won by Slovenian rider Tadej Pogacar, have been more exciting thanks to the addition of half-stages, time bonuses, new jerseys, intermediate sprints, and other strategies.

Higher Speeds!

To maintain continuity, research begins with the 1969 tour, when branded teams made a comeback and more than five decades of data. The race’s average speed has risen over the previous 50 years (it’s currently a little under 41 km/h), while the overall distance has reduced. The teams are more organized, the equipment is better, and the riders’ preparation is even more rigorous. The Tour de France’s declining dropout rate is evidence that team members are now more important than ever to the race’s success to the finish line.

To determine which quadrant the 2022 Tour will be in, it will be interesting to observe how it goes.