Tour de France: By the numbers

Tour de France

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Tour de France

Upwards of 4,500 people, including 198 riders, make up the moving city that is the Tour de France. Photo by Graham Watson

On July 5 (next Saturday), 198 riders from 22 teams will roll away from the start line in Leeds in the United Kingdom, signaling the beginning of the 101st edition of the Tour de France. Over the next three weeks, the planet’s best bike racers will face a daunting 2,277-mile trek that tackles the rolling hills of Yorkshire, crosses the rough cobblestone roads in northern France and Belgium, ascends the towering French Alps and Spanish Pyrenees, and finally spins into Paris for the finish. But Le Tour is much more than just those courageous riders. Indeed, it’s a massive mobile city with myriad moving parts. Here’s a look at some of the numbers that make up the world’s most important bike race. (All figures provided by the Amaury Sport Organization, parent company of the Tour de France.)

The People

198 racers on 22 teams (9 each)
300 team support staff
100 race organization staff
15 race officials
47 motorcycle police officers
280 temporary staff
10 emergency doctors, 1 nurse
2,000 journalists
4,500 total people on race (organizers, teams, media, publicity caravan, protocol)

The Course

21 stages (2 rest days)
3,664 kilometers
(2,277 miles)
4 countries visited (United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Spain)
662 municipalities visited

The Audience

3.5 billion viewers in 190 countries (in 2013)
12 million roadside spectators from 38 countries (in 2013)

The Publicity Caravan

170 vehicles (carrying 600 people)
12km length of caravan
14 million objects handed out by all those people from all those vehicles

The Night

1,450 hotel beds reserved every day for the organizers, teams, and support staff

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the / staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.

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