2012 Tour de France is here; where to follow the bike race

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Pop the cork to celebrate and break off a chunk of baguette for extra carbs. The 99th edition of the Tour de France rolls out of Liege, Belgium, on Saturday for its three-week sufferfest that ends  in Paris on July 22.

2012 Tour de France

Most pundits are calling this a two-man bike race — Britain’s Bradley Wiggins (SKY) vs. Australia’s defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC).

Personally, I’d like to see the Giro d’Italia winner, Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) in the podium mix, mostly because he’s almost a neighbor as he hails from British Columbia. (Here’s a list of the favorites.)


NBCSports will be covering the last couple of hours of the Tour de France live daily, beginning at 8 a.m. (ET); that’s 5 a.m. on the Pacific Coast. The network is the descendant of Outdoor Life Network, which became OLN, which became Versus, which became VS., so you’ll find it at the same location on your TV dial as in previous years. (Link to Tour de France schedule)


The NBCSports.com website also is offering a web-streaming of the entire race for $29.99 for the entire race. You’ll also need a MapMyRide.com account to access the services, which also includes a Live GPS Tracking and the ability to track your favorite riders. This might all be helpful if you want to sneak a peek at work.

What I like to do if I can’t get to a TV, or convince the person with the remote to change the channel, is follow the live ticker on Cyclingnews.com or VeloNews.com. I augment that with the live coverage from the official Le Tour website that shows the relative positions of the stage breakaway and overall leaders. With those sources in front of me on my computer, then I just imagine what broadcasters Phil Liggett (“The elastic has snapped!”) or Paul Sherwen would be saying.

Another place to check is cyclingfans.com, which is constantly searching for live video and audio feeds of various bike races, including the Tour de France.

The best and most entertaining website for previewing the stages has to be CyclingtheAlps.com. Dennis has mashed Google maps, Google Earth and StreetViews to create stage-by-stage views of the daily routes.

The Streetviews and GoogleEarth flyovers get real interesting when the peloton moves into the Pyrenees and the Alps.

After the race, Steephill.tv has daily collections of photos, videos and results of that day’s stage.

In person

And, if you happen to be in Seattle, the Cascade Bicycle Club is presenting its annual Cyclefest Outdoor Cinema rebroadcast of a Tour de France stage on the big screen on July 19. The location has changed. This year it’s at the Seward Park Amphitheater, and starts at 5 p.m. so folks can enjoy local bike racing in the park before that rebroadcast that starts at dusk. There also are family activities.


Official information for the 2012 Tour de France:

  • 3,497 Km (2,168 miles)
  • 9 flat stages
  • 4 medium mountain stages – one with a summit finish
  • 5 mountain stages – two with a summit finish
  • 2 individual time-trial stages
  • 1 prologue
  • 2 rest days

Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2012/06/29/2012-tour-de-france-is-here-where-to-follow-the-bike-race/

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