1. The Race

Provincial Living - - Entertainment -

The Tour de France takes place over 21 days called “stages”. Dur­ing the first three weeks of July, about 150 su­per­heroes will cy­cle 3,344km. They’ll climb some se­ri­ously high moun­tain peaks, wind amid green val­leys, and pass through lots of cute vil­lages and fa­mous towns.

2. The Yel­low Jersey

The mail­lot je­une is the most cov­eted jersey in the sport of cy­cling. At the end of each stage, the cy­clist who cur­rently leads the race over­all is pre­sented with a yel­low jersey. To win this jersey in Paris is the ul­ti­mate cy­cling glory.

3. 2015 Po­ten­tial Yel­low Jersey Win­ners

This year’s odds-on favourite is Kenyan-born Chris Froome who won the Tour in 2013 but crashed out in the fifth stage last year. Two-time win­ner Spa­niard Al­berto Con­ta­dor also re­tired af­ter crash­ing in 2014, so they are both look­ing to make up for lost op­por­tu­ni­ties. Last year’s win­ner, Italy’s Vin­cenzo Nibali, will at­tempt to de­fend his ti­tle, but Columbian Nairo Quin­tana may well trump all three of them af­ter his amaz­ing win in the 2014 Giro d’Italia (Tour of Italy).

4. The Green Jersey

The mail­lot vert is awarded to the best sprinter. Sprint­ers have amaz­ing speed at the end of a flat stage, when they can zoom out of the pelo­ton (the large pack of cy­clists) at the last mo­ment. Riders are awarded green jersey points for gain­ing a place at the fin­ish line of each stage, and at the “in­ter­me­di­ate sprint” dur­ing the stage. The rider with the most points at the end of the Tour wins the green jersey com­pe­ti­tion.

Slo­vakian Peter Sa­gan has pulled on the green jersey in Paris for the past three years and is hot favourite to win it again in 2015. Ger­man Mar­cel Kit­tel, Nor­we­gian Alexan­der Kristoff and Bri­tain’s Mark Cavendish are also in with a chance.

Rather than rac­ing for their coun­try, cy­clists race for teams named af­ter their ma­jor spon­sors. Some teams, such as the Aus­tralian Orica GreenEDGE team, draw the ma­jor­ity of their riders from a par­tic­u­lar coun­try, while oth­ers are a very mixed bunch.

The Team Leader is usu­ally the team mem­ber with the best chance of win­ning the yel­low jersey. Other team mem­bers are picked to sup­port the leader on moun­tain climbs, chase down break­away groups, or as sprint­ers vy­ing for the green jersey and stage wins.

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