The biggest race of the year is almost upon us. This is the one we’ve all been waiting for. Read on to find out how to keep up to date with and watch the Tour de France 2018 live from 7–29 July.
Chris Froome has firmly announced his attention to cement a record-equalling fifth win, but the technical course this year could favour a number of other riders including Tom Dumoulin, Richie Porte and Vincenzo Nibali.
Find out how to watch the action live, but also be sure to check back on BikeRadar regularly as we follow the Tour and bring you the latest updates on the bikes and gear from the world’s biggest race.
The 2018 Tour de France
The 2018 Tour de France starts on 7 July and will cover 3,329km of riding in 21 stages, ending in Paris on 29 July.
The 105th edition of the race will encompass six mountain stages, with three summit finishes (La Rosière, Alpe d’Huez, Saint-Lary-Soulan col du Portet), as well as an individual time trial, team time trial, eight flat stages for the sprinters and five hilly stages.
This year’s Grand Depart sees the Tour start in the Vendee region of France. After three stages riders head into Brittany, which can be very exposed to the winds. The race continues across the north of the country to Stage 9, which will take in 15 of the cobble sectors (21.7km) of the Paris-Roubaix race.
The teams then head to the mountains, with three days in the Alps, including the famous Alpe d’Huez climb on Stage 12 — which encompasses a huge 5,000m of climbing.
From the Alps, there are just a few flat stages before the riding ramps up into the Pyrenees, which will feature the shortest route of the last 30 years at 65km on Stage 17. However, that should see some competitive racing with more than half of the stage involving climbing, reflecting the event’s desire to create shorter but more intense and exciting stages.
On the other hand, Stage 19 will feature 200km of mountainous racing, with the Col du Tourmalet halfway through the race and a final descent down to Laruns.
The overall winner will likely be decided by the 31km time trial of Stage 20, which features a demanding 900 metres of climbing at 10.2 percent.
Finally, Stage 21 will see the peloton roll into Paris to conclude the 2018 Tour de France and crown its victor.
For more information about the race, our friends at Cyclingnews will be staying up to date with race reports, team news, course details and more. We will also be updating our Tour de France page regularly as we get the scoop on the latest bikes, gear and other juicy bits from this monumental event.
How can I watch the Tour de France 2018 live in the UK?
ITV4 will be screening daily live coverage and extended highlights each evening in the UK. However, the full details of its schedule are still to be announced.
Eurosport will also be covering the Tour de France 2018 live. The self-proclaimed ‘Home of Cycling’ has extended cycling coverage of other races too, so you’ll be able to watch La Vuelta at the end of August along with several other UCI World Tour events.
Amazon Prime subscribers can sign-up to Eurosport Player through Amazon Channels for £4.99 per month (with a 7-day free trial). Amazon Prime is £7.99 per month but can be accessed with a 30-day free trial.
If you want to access Eurosport Player direct it’s £6.99 per month or £39.99 a year, with a 7-day trial period.
Alternatively, if you want a bit more versatility, you might consider subscribing to the TVPlayer PLUS Lite package for just £5.99 per month, which gives you access to the Eurosport 1 and 2 channels along with several others (in case you ever get tired of cycling!).
How can I watch the Tour de France 2018 live in the US?
You can subscribe to the NBC Sports Gold package as a standalone online streaming service for a $49.99 subscription, which lasts until 10 June 2019. This will also get you access to a range of other cycling events throughout the subscription period.
FuboTV is also providing coverage of the race. By subscribing to its service you gain access to the NBCSN channel. You will have to subscribe to the basic FuboTV package for $44.99 per month, but FuboTV does pitch itself as a complete replacement for your current cable package.
The NBC Sport Gold package does appear to offer some additional versatility if you only want to watch cycling, with access to the app which provides coverage from the very beginning of every stage, live tracking and stats for riders and on-demand stage recaps and replays.
How can I watch the Tour de France 2018 live in Australia?
In Australia, the Tour de France is broadcast on SBS. You can also watch through the SBS online viewer here.
How can I follow the Tour de France 2018 if I can’t watch live coverage?
Cyclingnews will be providing live text updates during the course of the race. You can also follow the official Tour de France tracker here.
Eurosport, ITV, NBC and SBS will all have evening highlights of each day’s stage racing, too.
Tour de France 2018 schedule
Below are the key stage details and timings for the race and you can also visit the official Tour de France page for detailed summaries of the stages.