By book's end, your child knows the basic rules of the race and its stages, has an understanding of terms such as "drafting" (the strategy of riding closely behind other cyclists to reduce drag), and appreciates the role of teams in supporting their fastest riders.
He's also learned fun facts, including the reason why a French rider usually wins the stage of the race that coincides with Bastille Day, and how grueling the 2,235-mile ride can be as it climbs through treacherous terrain and spills into countrysides. For example, he learns that at the end of a tour, racers sometimes have to breathe as hard as if they were still pedaling to get enough oxygen back in their bodies or that they can lose the equivalent of 15 cups of water from their bodies each day.
Each July hundreds of thousands of fans head to France to watch its great annual bike race. But unless they’ve planned carefully, they’ll arrive to find full hotels, blocked routes, overpriced food, chaotic roads, and endless frustration as they try to get close to the race they’ve come to see.
Graham Watson’s Tour de France Travel Guide provides the ultimate insider’s access from one of the Tour’s most experienced old hands. In his 31 years of following and photographing the race, Watson has mastered the Tour’s daily challenges—where to eat, where to sleep, how to get around, how to see and photograph the race, and most of all, how to enjoy the greatest show on two wheels.
- The yellow jersey is worn by the individual race leader.
- The green jersey represents the race's best sprinter (through a points system*).
- The polka dot jersey designates the race's finest climber.
- The white jersey is worn by the highest-ranked rider in the overall competition age 25 or younger.