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7 Exciting Facts About the Tour de France, and Where to Stream the Race
Lasting nearly three weeks and involving several hundred competitors, the Tour de France is one of the biggest sporting events across the globe — and in the world of cycling, it’s definitely the biggest. This much-anticipated annual race faced some setbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic, and while the world hasn’t returned to normal yet, devoted cycling fans (and those of us who simply love edge-of-our-seats competition) are eager for the big return slated for this summer.
In honor of the Tour de France’s grand 2021 re-entry to the sporting universe on Saturday, June 26, we’re taking a look at some fun facts that’ll get your anticipation building even more. Plus, you’ll discover where and how you can watch every minute of the race from the comfort of home — no cleats or helmet necessary.
Thousands of People Are Involved
You might already know that a bevy of bicyclists participate in the race — 198 riders spread across 22 different teams compete each year. But the number of people involved in ensuring the race goes off without a hitch is much higher than the number of athletes participating. Organizers take logistics to the next level with team staff members, members of the race jury, thousands of security professionals and members of the media. If you include the spectators in that count, the numbers — pre-pandemic, at least — can run into the millions . From city to city along the race route, hundreds upon hundreds of people follow the action throughout the course of the event. And organizers and support staff keep things running smoothly to the finish line.
The Race Has a Surprising Connection to a Newspaper
The first Tour de France wasn’t held because a bunch of bicycling fans got together and thought it’d be a great idea to start a competition — at least not totally. It was actually a promotional event hosted with the intention of bringing more publicity to L’Auto , a French newspaper that focused on reporting details about different sporting events. Although L’Auto has since closed down, the parent company of its replacement, L’Equipe , continues to organize the Tour de France today.
It’s Not Just Big, but Also Long
And it’s long in multiple ways, too. The race itself takes place over the course of nearly a month, with 21 different day-long segments making up the bulk of the competition. The length of the course is also extensive, however; it’s typically over 2,000 miles long and can pass through multiple neighboring countries. It wasn’t even always this short, either — in 1926, the course encompassed a winding 3,570 miles and took a full month for riders to finish.
Different Jerseys Mean Different Things
As you watch the race, you’ll notice cyclists wearing the bright kits and bibs that represent their teams — but you’ll also spot some even more unique colors and designs among the pack. One of these is a yellow jersey, called the “maillot jaune,” that’s bestowed upon the racer who had the lowest cumulative ride time for the day. Other special jerseys include the green “maillot vert,” which is awarded to the rider with the most points, and the “maillot a pois” — a red and white polka-dotted jersey given to the cyclist who earns the most points during the areas of the course that have steep inclines to climb. The rider who wears the maillot a pois is affectionately known as “the king of the mountain.”
There Was Almost Only One Tour de France
The first Tour de France took place in 1903 – and that was almost the one and only iteration of the race. That’s because newspaper editor Henri Desgrange, who helped organize the initial tour, was so aghast at the conduct not only of the fans but also of the competitors in the 1903 race that he wanted to discontinue it despite its clear appeal. Boisterous crowds turned violent, with spectators assaulting racers as they passed along the course. The riders themselves found numerous ways to cheat, disqualifying themselves in the process. But the Tour de France was so lauded — and it increased circulation of L’Auto so extensively — that the organizers had no choice but to continue hosting the event.
The Race Has Its Own Language
Bonking, anyone? As you’re watching the Tour de France, you might hear commentators use some curious turns of phrase — and many of them will be unique to the race itself. Boost your bicycling know-how by learning what these terms mean before catching one of the race segments:
- Bonking: Cyclists don’t want to “bonk” during this race; it means they’ve run out of energy and are too wiped to continue.
- Peloton: No, it’s not the fancy exercise bike you bought during the pandemic. In Tour de France context, a peloton is the main group of riders where most of the participants are cycling together.
- Sag Wagon: If someone bonks, they may need the assistance of the sag wagon. This is a car that follows the pack of cyclists and picks up those who become too fatigued or injured to keep riding.
- Musket Bag: While it may sound like something you’d find at a Civil War battleground, a musket bag is sort of like a bagged lunch — but it’s packed with energy gels, water, sandwiches and other fuel for the cyclists. It’s also called a “musette” or, sometimes, a “bonk bag.”
- Lanterne Rouge: In French, this term means “red light,” and it refers to the cyclist who’s in the very last place in the race. Being in this position gets riders ample attention, and those who know they won’t win sometimes compete for this distinction instead.
You Can Watch the Action at Home — Here’s How
Now that the race has returned to regularly scheduled programming in 2021 following its 2020 pandemic postponement, you might be eager to catch the three-week racing saga unfold from the comfort of home. Fortunately, you have the convenient option to stream the tour live on both NBC Sports and NBC’s Peacock streaming service.
The race coverage on Peacock is only available through Peacock Premium, a paid tier of the service that costs $4.99 — a worthwhile investment if you’re a serious cycling fan who can’t wait to watch this Grand Tour. NBC Sports is accessible if you’re already paying for regular cable, but without that subscription you won’t be able to stream the program online or watch it on TV unless you spring for Peacock.
Keep in mind that, if you’re not already a Peacock subscriber, you’ll receive a free weeklong trial to better help you determine if the service is right for you. You can use that to catch up on the race and decide if you want to make the month-long (or longer) investment.
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Château Latour Grand Vin Pauillac (Premier Grand Cru Classé) 1987
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Chateau latour 1987.
Robert parker (86).
The 1987 Latour was made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, without any Cabernet Franc or Petit Verdot. The wine has a ruby color with some amber, and a promising bouquet of blackcurrants, spicy oak, and herbs. Medium-bodied, with more power and tannin than many wines of this vintage, it is one of the few 1987s that while ready to drink, can last for another 7-10 years.
Starting to lose a bit, but still delicious. Medium red color with an amber edge. Aromas of tobacco, cedar and berries, with hints of cigar box. Medium body, with light, silky tannins and a succulent, sweet fruit aftertaste.
Rene Gabriel (16)
Rene Gabriel rates this wine 16/20 points.
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1987 Château Latour Grand Vin
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Community tasting notes ( 14 ) avg score: 92.3 points.
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2/26/2022 - Stags Likes this wine: 92 Points
Bottle in perfect condition, decanted for 45 min. Despite the vintage, Latour performs very well as they normally do in lesser vintages. Still very powerful, layered, with pronounced black current fruit, tobacco, cigar box and wet forest floor. Perfectly balanced acidity backed up with velvety firm tannins.
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9/13/2021 - chbeaumont wrote: 86 Points
Weak rim, colour shows tell-tale age; rather scrawny bouquet, but interesting; palate fading, lumpen but provides some enjoyment. Lacks class or real substance. Meagre finish. (Decanted & served blind immediately). Drink up.
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1/17/2020 - PatrickO33 wrote: 90 Points
Top Shoulder. Quite mature already, tobacco, leather, and dark berries on the nose. On the palate, the berries are receding and giving way to tertiary flavors, wet forest floor, mushrooms. Texture is slender and sleek, almost thin. Probably best to drink up soon.
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1/4/2020 - LTTC Likes this wine: 92 Points
(SYP) Into neck. pnp. Classic aged Pauillac nose - forest floor, tobacco, spice and dark plum. Aromatic and tertiary. Medium bodied with good length and a grippy finish. 92-93
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11/28/2018 - Collector1855 wrote: 87 Points
Chateau Latour - 30 year vertical (1983-2010) tasted blind (Switzerland) : What can be said about the fantastic pair 1989/90 cannot be repeated for the measly 1987/88 duo. Both wines showed a lot of greenness in the nose plus meager palates and drying finish.
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- Vintage 1987
- Producer Château Latour
- Variety Red Bordeaux Blend
- Designation Grand Vin
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- Country France
- Region Bordeaux
- SubRegion Médoc
- Appellation Pauillac
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- UPC/EAN Code 263998504855 , 3700266223010 , 412950111823
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Château Latour 1987
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First growth Bordeaux.
Bottled at the Château.
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The 1987 Château Latour is a Bordeaux red wine from the Pauillac appellation.
Renowned historic property, Château Latour spreads over 90 ha, 47 of which are located around the castle.
Acquired by famous businessman François Pinault in 1993, he entrusted this first growth Bordeaux to Frédéric Engerer who carried his prestigious wines to the top of the most highly sought-after wines in the world.
Rare wine, the 1987 Château Latour is a collection wine for Bordeaux lovers.
First growth Bordeaux. Prestigious appellation. Bottled at the Château. Exceptional wine.
First growth Bordeaux. Saint-Emilion appellation. Bottled at the Château.
Saint-Julien appellation. Grand Cru Classé. Bottled at the Château.
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Chateau Latour, 1987 Red Wine
Pauillac 1er grand cru classe.
Bottle size: 75cl
The 1987 Latour was made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot, without any Cabernet Franc or Petit Verdot. The wine has a ruby color with some amber, and a promising bouquet of blackcurrants, spicy oak, and herbs. Medium-bodied, with more power and tannin than many wines of this vintage. *e- Robert Parker.com*
Excellent in original tissue
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Send your wine in a beautiful silk-lined, Dark Mocha Leather Effect gift box. The package includes tasting notes and a personal message (please enter your message in the comments box at the checkout). ***Please note this product is manufactured to fit a 75cl bottle (37.5cl bottle can be packaged inside this box).***
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CHATEAU LATOUR, 1987
La photo de la bouteille est indicative. Celle-ci est dans nos entrepôts. Ainsi le design et l’état de l’étiquette peuvent différer sans pour autant altérer la qualité du vin.
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L’histoire du Château Latour, classé Premier Grand Cru en 1855, commence au XIVème siècle avec la construction d’une Tour fortifiée pendant la guerre de cent ans. Jusqu’à la fin du 16ème siècle, Latour est une co-seigneurie dont certaines terres sont déjà dédiées à la culture de la vigne. Puis, au XVIIIème siècle, l’épopée viticole s'accélère lorsque le marquis Nicolas-Alexandre de Ségur, acquiert le Domaine. Il appartient depuis 1993 en majorité (93%) à François Pinault et à 7% aux héritiers de la famille de Ségur.
Château Latour est sorti du système d’allocation en primeur depuis le millésime 2012. Ainsi, la commercialisation des grands crus ne passe plus par la place de Bordeaux.
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