The Virtual Tour de France returns for the final two stages this weekend, with live coverage of the men’s and women’s races to be broadcast worldwide.
The Virtual Tour, being held for the first time after the regular race was postponed until late-August, is a six-stage race, with men’s and women’s events run over the same courses.
The race will also showcase two new online Zwift worlds developed specifically for the Virtual Tour. Stages one and two took place in Watopia, while stages three and four moved to a new map showcasing the best of France, and this weekend riders will take on Zwift’s versions of Mont Ventoux and Paris.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Virtual Tour de France, including the stages, start times, TV coverage, classifications and start list.
Virtual Tour de France stages
Race heads to the mountains and Champs-Élysées
The final weekend of racing (18-19 July) will once again be set in the new France map, introduced at last weekend’s stage three and four races, with the Queen Stage, featuring a virtual replica of Mont Ventoux (named Mont Ven-Top in Zwift), though the Virtual Tour will finish at Chalet Reynard, short of the iconic summit.
The sixth stage will then move to a new Paris map and a course modelled on the Tour’s traditional finish.
The Champs-Élysées route will see riders circle the Arc de Triomphe six times – but will the Virtual Tour finish with the bunch sprint that has come to characterise the final stage of the regular race?
- Saturday 4 July, stage one: Nice, 36.4 km (4 x 9.1km, hilly stage)
- Sunday 5 July, stage two: Nice, 29.5 km (682m of ascent, mountain stage)
- Saturday 11 July, stage three: north-east France, 48km (flat stage)
- Sunday 12 July, stage four: south-west France, 45.8 km (2 x 22.9km laps, hilly stage)
Saturday 18 July, stage five: Mont Ven-Top, 22.9km (finish at Chalet-Reynard, mountain stage
Sunday 19 July, stage six: Paris, Champs-Élysées, 42.8km (six laps of the circuit, flat stage)
Virtual Tour de France stage start times
The Virtual Tour de France will take place over three consecutive weekends (4-5, 11-12 and 18-19 July), with one women’s and one men’s stage per day. Each stage is expected to be around an hour long. The start times for stage three onwards are as follows.
How to watch the Virtual Tour de France
The final stage of the Virtual Tour de France will take place on a virtual replica of the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Zwift
The Virtual Tour de France will be streamed online via the Zwift website and television broadcasters worldwide.
Europe (Eurosport & GCN)
Denmark (TV2 Sport)
Norway (TV2 Sport/TV2 Sumo)
Belgium Walloon (RTBF – digital)
Belgium Flemish (VRT één)
Netherlands (NOS – digital)
Spain (Teledeporte or digital)
USA (NBC Sports Gold)
Sub-Saharan Africa (Supersport)
Japan (J Sports)
Asia/Pac (Eurosport Asia & GCN)
New Zealand (SKY Sport)
How to watch the Virtual Tour de France on Eurosport
If you want to watch the Virtual Tour de France on Eurosport in the UK, you have five options: Eurosport Player, Sky, Virgin Media, BT and through Amazon Prime.
Eurosport Player is the broadcaster’s app and streaming service. You can currently save 50 per cent on an annual pass, bringing the cost down from £39.99 to £19.99.
Meanwhile, Eurosport 1 and 2 are available on Sky’s Ultimate TV package, costing £29 a month for the first 18 months (for a limited time only).
Virgin Media and BT also offer Eurosport as part of TV subscription packages, while Eurosport Player is available as an add-on to an Amazon Prime subscription.
Virtual Tour de France classifications
Virtual leaders’ jerseys will be up for grabs on each stage. Zwift
The Virtual Tour de France features five classifications: the general classification, points classification, climbing classification, best young rider classification and team classification. A Twitter poll conducted on each stage also determines the three most aggressive riders of the day.
Unlike the regular Tour de France, each classification is based on points accumulated by each team (not individual riders), allowing squads to swap riders between stages.
The team leading each classification will be able to nominate a rider to wear the corresponding leader’s jersey on the following stage.
Virtual Tour de France classifications. Zwift
Virtual Tour de France start list
The women’s peloton is made up of 16 teams, while the men’s bunch features 23 teams.
A maximum of four riders are allowed to start each stage per team. Of the six stages taking place, men’s teams can select an individual rider to compete in a maximum of three races, while women’s teams can select a female rider to compete in a maximum of four races.
The start lists have been confirmed for stages five and six.