The Virtual Tour de France will hit our screens this month as professional cyclists from around the world go head-to-head once again, albeit in very different circumstances to normal.
Top cyclists from around the world will take part in a landmark first ever Virtual Tour de France starting this weekend.
Indoor cycling and fitness app Zwift has organised the Tour and has high hopes to draw in cycling fans and enthusiasts to watch every moment live.
The app allows regular users to race each other but will now be utilised to pit some of the finest professional competitors against each other.
Check out the full Virtual Tour de France TV schedule to soak up all the action this month.
When is Virtual Tour de France?
The Virtual Tour begins on Saturday 4th July and will be set across three consecutive weekends.
There will be one stage per day, with six days in total, as the drama concludes on Sunday 19th July.
You can watch every stage from 2pm on each of the days.
Stages will be fairly short by comparison to the standard tour, but they will feature some iconic scenes.
The real-world Tour de France was originally scheduled to start on 27th June and run through July but it has been pushed back to 29th August.
What TV channel will the Virtual Tour de France be on?
The Virtual Tour de France won’t be on regular TV channels, but you can tune in to watch all of the action for free on Zwift.
Zwift has set up the Virtual Tour de France due to the lack of the real thing, and will offer all coverage for free on each day of the tour.
What is the route?
Start: Watopia’s Hilly Route – The Virtual TDF will kick off with four laps on the app’s signature course featuring (you guessed it…) hills and ascents throughout!
Finish: Champs Élysées – The event will come to a close on 19th July with a fast race through Paris with plenty of fireworks expected as riders go head-to-head.
Full Virtual Tour de France route
Stage 1 – Watopia’s Hilly Route
Date: Saturday 4th July
Some of the finest men and women in the cycling world will be pitted against each other in this hilly course.
It’s a varied course with a range of scenery and surfaces to negotiate before an entralling 300m flat sprint to finish off.
Stage 2 – Watopia’s Mountain Route
Date: Sunday 5th July
A fast start in this one very quickly turns tricky as the mountains come into view. Riders must climb for 5.8 miles at a 3.9 per cent gradient. And that’s not the worst of it.
The stage could be won or lost by how riders tackle the Radio Tower Climb. It’s just 0.7 miles… at 13.7 per cent gradient!
Stage 3 – R.G.V.
Date: Saturday 11th July
Specially created French maps will take centre stage for the rest of the Virtual Tour.
Speed is of the essence here with a number of sprints and dashes scattered throughout.
Stage 4 – Casse-Pattes
Date: Sunday 12th July
Similar to R.G.V., this course is a quick one with plenty of time in the flats.
The stage will draw to a close with an energy-sapping hill in the final third, particularly after a full weekend of racing, but riders will need to conserve some energy for the final dash.
Stage 5 – La Reine
Date: Saturday 18th July
There’s no time to waste on the flats, riders will be pushed onto bumpy roads in the opening miles of this one.
The course settles into a gradual ascent before finishing at the top.
Stage 6 – Champs Élysées
Date: Sunday 19th July
The iconic final stage will be recreated in the virtual world with short laps of the 4-mile circuit around the Arc de Triomphe.
You may not be able to travel to France right now, but this stage will make you feel like you’ve been there.