Eurosport and Global Cycling Network (GCN) will combine forces to bring the first ever Virtual Tour de France to millions of cycling fans across Europe and Asia, available on any screen they choose to watch.
With cycling's most prestigious race shifted from its traditional July slot to August because of the coronavirus pandemic, Eurosport, GCN and Zwift together with Tour organisers Amaury Sport Organization, has helped fill the void.
Concluding on the original finish of the 2020 Tour de France, Eurosport and GCN will show all six hour-long stages featuring the best 23 professional men’s and 16 women’s teams over three consecutive weekends from 14:00 CET Saturday 4 July – Sunday 19 July. Hosted by Tour de France organizers ASO and virtual cycling platform Zwift, the event will be available live via Eurosport 1 in 64 markets* as well as live and on-demand via the Eurosport Player App and the GCN App.
🖥 Eurosport Player from 14:00 - http://bit.ly/2UADUY3
Fans will be able to see the biggest names in the sport, including recent Tour de France winners Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal, as well as Marianne Vos, Anna Van der Breggen and Chloé Dygert, race across unique virtual landscapes created by Zwift such as the iconic final stage of Paris’ Champs Élysées.
Building on a successful partnership that saw Eurosport and GCN screen the Zwift Tour for All exclusively across its full portfolio of channels and digital platforms, the Virtual Tour de France precedes an eagerly anticipated return to professional racing, beginning with the Classics and Strade Bianche on 1 August. Eurosport also recently announced its extension to show the Tour de France (29 August – 20 September 2020) exclusively in 38 markets and La Vuelta (20 October – 8 November 2020) exclusively in 50 markets through to 2025 with the Giro d’Italia also screened from 3 October – 25 October.
Stages one and two this weekend will be held on Zwift's fantasy volcanic island of Watopia, including visual additions inspired by Nice, the Grand Depart host city in August. Other stages include familiar French terrain including the fearsome Mont Ventoux on Stage 5 before the traditional finish on a virtual Champs-Elysees.
"I cannot imagine the month of July without cycling," said Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France said.
Thanks to the virtual Tour de France, which will be widely broadcast on TV, the champions and their fans will fill in the void left by the Tour de France, which will reunite with the public in Nice on 29 August.
The six hour-long stages offer equal opportunities for sprinters, climbers and all-rounders, and teams will battle for the traditional yellow, green and polka dot Tour de France jerseys through a points-based system.
Virtual Tour de France stages
Saturday 4th July: Stage 1: Nice, 36.4 km (4 x 9.1 km, hilly stage)
Sunday 5th July: Stage 2: Nice, 29.5 km (682 m of ascent, mountain stage)
Saturday 11th July: Stage 3: North-East France, 48 km (flat stage)
Sunday 12th July: Stage 4: South-West France, 45.8 km (2 x 22.9 km laps, hilly stage)
Saturday 18th July: Stage 5: Mont Ventoux, 22.9 km (finish at Chalet-Reynard, mountain stage)
Sunday 19th July: Stage 6: Paris Champs-Elysées, 42.8 km (6 laps of the circuit)
Alé BTC Ljubljana; Team Arkéa; Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team; CANYON//SRAM Racing; CCC-Liv Team; Ceratizit – WNT Pro Cycling; Drops; FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope; Lotto Soudal Ladies; Parkhotel Valkenburg; Rally Cycling; TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank; Trek-Segafredo Women; TWENTY20 Pro Cycling; Team Sunweb; Valcar Travel & Service
AG2R La Mondiale; Arkéa Samsic; Alpecin-Fenix; Astana Pro Team; B&B Hotels-Vital; Concept; Team Bahrain McLaren; Bora Hansgrohe; CCC Team; Team Cofidis; Circus-Wanty Gobert; Deceuninck – Quick-Step; EF Education First Pro Cycling; Groupama-FDJ; Israel Start-Up Nation; Team INEOS; Team Jumbo-Visma; Lotto-Soudal; Mitchelton-SCOTT; NTT Pro Cycling; Rally Cycling; Team Sunweb; TOTAL Direct Énergie; Trek-Segafredo
*Live in Europe and Asia with delayed coverage in the UK and Russia