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How To Understand the Tour De France

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Written by Bill Hanks   

Understanding the Tour De France Categories and Scoring The Tour De France is cycling s major event, during the month of July. It became quite popular in the United States, when Lance Armstrong was winning seven straight titles. Then came all the allegations of doping by many of it's stars. It is still a very popular sport throughout the world. Besides a team and over champion, there are other major categories as well. This article explains those categories and how the scoring is done. 

The Race: There are six distinctive aspects of the over all race. There is 9 flat stages, 4 medium mountain stages, 5 major mountain stages, 2 individual time trials, 1 prologue and 2 rest days. Riders times remain the same if they finish in a group. Scoring is done by total times for individuals and teams. The time difference between between individuals and teams is kept track of to determine placement. The over all leader each day wears the yellow jersey until someone passes them by the over all best time. Losing a stage doesn't necessarily mean losing the yellow jersey. 

Over all Points: This is the green jersey. At the end of each stage points are assigned for first, second, third and so on. The rider with the most points gets to keep the green jersey until they fall behind a new leader with points. Many of these stages are determined by various sprints for points. These are usually on the flat stages. 

King of the Mountain: This jersey is the white with red spots. The competition gives points to the first to top designated hills and mountains. Just like the green jersey, the rider with the highest number of points gets to keep the jersey until they are passed up. The points differ for the degree of the climbs throughout the race. 

Best Rookie Rider: Riders under the age of 26 get to wear a solid white jersey. This jersey is determined just like the yellow jersey is by over all placement. 

Definitions: Some of the terminology for the race is the following. Breakaway: A rider or group of riders that tries to breakaway from the over all group of riders. Peloton; The main group of runners. Queen stage; the most demanding stage of the entire race. Sprinters; those riders that ride only for sprint points. Bonk; the rider hits the wall and gives up. Drafting; riding directly behind another rider to break the wind. Lead man; captain or best rider for the team. Feed & water zone; an area for refreshments. 

sources; www.letour.com

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