The Tour de France is an annual men’s multiple stage bicycle race primarily held in France, while also occasionally passing through nearby countries. Like the other Grand Tours (the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España), it consists of 21 day-long stages over the course of 23 days. It has been described as “the world’s most prestigious and most difficult bicycle race.”
The race was first organized in 1903 to increase sales for the newspaper L’Auto and is currently run by the Amaury Sport Organisation. The race has been held annually since its first edition in 1903 except when it was stopped for the two World Wars. As the Tour gained prominence and popularity, the race was lengthened and its reach began to extend around the globe. Participation expanded from a primarily French field, as riders from all over the world began to participate in the race each year. The Tour is a UCI World Tour event, which means that the teams that compete in the race are mostly UCI WorldTeams, with the exception of the teams that the organizers invite. It has become “the world’s biggest annual sporting event.” A women’s Tour de France was held under different names between 1984 and 2009. Since 2014, the La Course by Le Tour de France is held for women in a one- or two-day format during the men’s race.
Traditionally, the race is held primarily in the month of July. While the route changes each year, the format of the race stays the same with the appearance of time trials, the passage through the mountain chains of the Pyrenees and the Alps, and the finish on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. The modern editions of the Tour de France consist of 21 day-long segments (stages) over a 23-day period and cover around 3,500 kilometres (2,200 mi). The race alternates between clockwise and counterclockwise circuits of France.
Head to the south of France to experience a unique cycle race, the Paris-Nice Challenge, under the same conditions as professional cyclists: the same route, the same distance… 124 km, of which 2,300 metres of uphill riding! Be the trailblazer on roads open to traffic (but under the best possible safety conditions) in an idyllic setting, with an unbeatable view of the Mediterranean sea. Perhaps you have always dreamed of racing like a professional cyclist? This is your chance – it’s now or never!
Positive gradient (m)
The 2022 Paris-Roubaix Challenge takes place on Saturday 9 April 2022. Ride most of the Paris – Roubaix route including all of the cobbles. The professionals will tackle the same roads the day after on Sunday 10 April 2022.
THE LEGEND OF THE HELL OF THE NORTH
Like the Paris-Nice Challenge and the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Challenge, the Paris-Roubaix Challenge offers amateur cyclists the possibility of getting as close as possible to a legendary professional race: Paris-Roubaix.
24 hours before the professionals, amateurs from around the world will have the opportunity to measure themselves against the legend of the Hell of the North with its mythical cobbled sections like the “Carrefour de l’Arbre” or the “Trouée d’Arenberg”.
There are three increasingly difficult routes on offer, on roads which are open to traffic but secured by numerous volunteers and motorcyclists. There is a legendary race for everyone, covering distances from 70km to 172km.
A SPORTING CHALLENGE AND A HUMAN ADVENTURE
You’ll have to tackle the most legendary cobbled sections in the world on your own. But the real spirit of the Paris-Roubaix Challenge is to take up the challenge with friends and to cross the finish line at the velodrome in Roubaix together. The shared experience can continue the next day as you cheer on the best cyclists in the world, fighting it out to ensure their name goes down among the winners of Paris-Roubaix.