On July 4, while the US is busy celebrating its Independence Day, three Americans will join 195 other top cyclists from around the world as they start the 102nd Tour de France in Utrecht, the Netherlands. About 2,000 miles later, those still in the race will reach Paris on July 26.
One rider will be declared champion and have his name written in the history books alongside some of the greatest athletes in all of sport, including Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, and Miguel Indurain, all of whom won the greatest bicycle race fives times.
The American with the best shot at winning this year’s race is Washington native Tejay van Garderen, but he’ll have to beat Colombia’s Nairo Quintana, Kenyan-born UK rider Chris Froome, Spain’s Alberto Contador, and defending champ Vincenzo Nibali of Italy. Florida’s Andrew Talansky could ride high up on the general classification as well.
Here are key numbers for this year’s Tour, the world’s largest annual sporting event:
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