The route de France has long been known as the most brutal race in the cycling calendar, which is why it is always so impressive to see multiple winners. This coming year oddsmakers like novibet.co.uk aren’t able to decide between Chris Froome and Egan Bernal, both of whom have won it before, Froome grabbing the yellow jersey 3 times. So what is it about this race which makes it so brutal? And how are these cyclists able to win successive races despite the incredible hard nature of the race? Let’s take a look.
One thing which this race is most famous for is the brutal, energy-depleting, blood pumping, muscle tiring climbs which the riders have to ascend. The Mount Ventoux, for example, is a 21km climb with an elevation gain of 1,610m and in the last 2 years, riders have had to climb it twice on their race to victory. This is just one of 4 incredibly steep climbs which the riders have to navigate during the race, and when you consider the heat conditions as well, it is a wonder that any of them even make it to the top.
As we just mentioned, the heat is also a critical factor in why this race is just so hard. Compared to the World Race Champs in Dubai, the temperature is of course not that bad, but when you are continually racing in 30-degree heat, it is going to take its toll. This heat doesn’t just sap the energy out of a rider, they must also be careful from a health perspective, ensuring that they are taking on enough fluids and salt, to replace what the body is losing.
All races are severe and require mental strength but none like the TDF. Throughout those hot days and those monster climbs the body will be screaming to stop and take a break, and the riders must always push through these barriers. Without the strongest desire to win these riders simply wouldn’t make it to the finish line, let alone win, and given that each rider has this level of mental strength, it increases the competition and therefore the overall difficulty of winning.
The Number of Miles
Those racing in the TDF will ride around 110 miles per day, every single day, the shortest day, in fact, is a ride of 100 miles. While these are elite-level athletes who have trained hard to be able to do this, clocking in so many miles when there are other battles like heat and climbing to go through, is what makes this race in particular one of the most difficult and most brutal on the racing calendar. To win one Tour de France is an incredible achievement, but to do as some have and win multiple races merely is spellbinding and why these are the greatest athletes in the world.