After weeks of speculation, it’s official. The world’s first Virtual Tour de France will be held on Zwift, beginning this weekend.
What’s the same: you’ll see most of the same teams and riders, the race will be broadcast on traditional networks, and riders will be competing in July.
What’s new: all racing will be done on indoor trainers, there are only six stages, smaller team sizes and riders are competing for charity, not prize purses.
New Zwift Maps for the Tour de France
Zwift France Map
There are two new maps built specifically for the virtual Tour de France.
The French map takes inspiration from the country and should evoke strong connections with the country as Zwifters pass through vineyards, over Roman aqueducts, and through sunflower fields. The new map also plays host to a virtual replica of Mont Ventoux. Zwift’s Mont Ven-Top, meaning snowy peak in gallic, is a punishing climb that is sure to test the legs of any rider.
Zwift Paris Map
The Paris map is much smaller than the France map.
Taking in the finishing circuit we’ve all come to associate with the final stage of the Tour de France. Zwifters will be able to ride around the famed Arc de Triomphe, navigate around the Place de la Concorde and sprint down the cobbled Champs-Élysées just like the best sprinters of the Tour de France. Zwifters will be able to join events on the new maps during the Virtual Tour de France.
Zwift Virtual Tour de France Details
Now that we’ve got anticipation of new maps out of the way, lets get to the details on the Zwift Virtual Tour de France event itself.
- It’s a 6 stage event: Stages 1 & 2 are in Watopia, Stages 3, 4, 5, and 6 are in a new France virtual world
- The Stages are fictional: With the exception of Paris and Mt. Ventoux the terrain doesn’t align to a specific real-world course
- The race will take place over three weekends, starting this weekend (7/4/2020)
- There’s both a men’s and women’s race
- There are 23 men’s teams competing, and 16 women’s teams competing: All the major UCI WorldTour teams that would normally be at the Tour de France (men), and at the Giro Rosa (women)
- It’s a team race: A team can only have 4 riders per stage, and each individual rider can only compete in a maximum of three stages for the men, and four stages for the women
- There are jersey/team/GC winner categories: Ridersu can pick up a KOM jersey or a new rider jersey.
- The overall winner is points-based
- It’s being broadcast on TV
Zwift Virtual Tour de France Stage Details
The pros will be racing on Saturday and Sunday for the next three consecutive weekends beginning July 4th. Every stage is designed to mimic iconic portions of an IRL Tour de France. Here is the schedule:
- Saturday 4th July, Stage 1: Nice, 36.4 km (4 x 9.1 km, hilly stage) – Watopia Hilly Route
- Sunday 5th July, Stage 2: Nice, 29.5 km (682 m of ascent, mountain stage) – Watopia Mountain Route
- Saturday 11th July, Stage 3: North-East France, 48 km (2 x 24 km laps, flat stage) – France R.G.V. Route
- Sunday 12th July, Stage 4: South-West France, 45.8 km (2 x 22.9 km laps, hilly stage) – France Casse-Pattes Route
- Saturday 18th July, Stage 5: Mont Ventoux, 22.9 km (finish at Chalet-Reynard, mountain stage) – France Ven-Top Route
- Sunday 19th July, Stage 6: Paris Champs-Elysées, 42.8 km (6 laps of the circuit) – Paris Champs-Elysées Route
Zwift Virtual Tour de France Stage Profiles
Zwift Virtual Tour de France Men’s Teams
- AG2R La Mondiale
- Arkea Samsic
- Astana Pro Team
- B&B Hotels
- Vital Concept p/b KTM
- Bahrain McLaren
- Bora Hansgrohe
- Wanty Gobert
- EF Pro Cycling
- Groupama FDJ
- Israel Start-Up Nation
- Jumba Visma
- NTT Pro Cycling Team
- Rally Cycling
- Total Direct Energie
Zwift Virtual Tour de France Women’s Teams
- Ale BTC Ljubljana
- Boels Dolmans
- CANYON/SRAM Racing
- FDJ – Nouvelle Aquitaine – Futuroscope
- Lotto Soudal Ladies
- Parkhotel Valkenburg
- Rally Cycling
- TIBCO-SILICON Valley Bank
- Valcar-Travel & Service
Zwift Virtual Tour de France Jersey Competition
- GC Winner (Yellow Jersey): First 25 riders receive points at finish
- King/Queen of the Mountain (Polka Dot Jersey): First 10 riders on Stage 5 Ventoux finish, first 5 riders on Stage 2 Epic KOM finish, and first 3 riders on any other Category 3 climbs
- Sprint Jersey (Green Jersey): First 10 riders on intermediate and final finishes
- Young Rider (White Jersey): First 10 riders born after Jan 1st, 1995.
- Most Combative (No jersey): Based on a daily Twitter poll where the three most combative are put into a community poll
How to Watch the Zwift Virtual Tour de France
Here’s information on rough broadcast dates/times. Women go first, and the men follow an hour later:
Stage 1: July 4th @ ~15:00 CET / 06:00 US Pacific / 23:00 Australia AEST
Stage 2: July 5th @ ~15:00 CET / 06:00 US Pacific / 23:00 Australia AEST
Stage 3: July 11th @ ~14:45 CET / 05:45 US Pacific / 22:45 Australia AEST
Stage 4: July 12th @ ~14:45 CET / 05:45 US Pacific / 22:45 Australia AEST
Stage 5: July 18th @ ~14:50 CET / 05:50 US Pacific / 22:50 Australia AEST
Stage 6: July 19th @ ~14:45 CET / 05:45 US Pacific / 22:45 Australia AEST
These will be a live broadcast on Zwift.com, as well as via the following broadcasters:
Pan-Europe (incl UK): Eurosport & GCN
Denmark: TV2 Sport
Norway: TV2 Sport/TV2 Sumo
Belgium Walloon: RTBF
Belgium Flemish: VRT
Sub-Saharan Africa: Supersport
Japan: J Sports
New Zealand: SKY Sport
Pan-Asia-Pacific: EurosportAsia & GCN
Highlights will be available on Zwift’s YouTube channel after each stage.
The New Zwift French Worlds
The best news here may be the new worlds and routes for those of us who spend time on Zwift. There are two new worlds, not one. There’s the France Zwift World, and then there’s the Paris one. BOTH of these worlds will become part of the standard Zwift guest world rotation starting after the Virtual Tour de France.
Zwift France Routes
Casse-Pattes: 14.2mi /22.9km with 508ft/155m
Douce France: 14.9mi /24.0km with 436ft/ 133m
Petite Boucle: 37.8mi / 60.8km with 1,584ft / 483m
La Reine: 14.0mi / 22.5km with 3,953ft / 1,205m (finishes at Mont Ventoux midpoint, Chalet-Reynard)
R.G.V.: 14.9mi / 24.0km with 436ft /133m (Douce France in reverse)
Roule Ma Poule: 14.2mi /22.9km with 508ft / 155m (Casse-Patte in reverse)
Tire-Bouchon: 37.8mi / 60.8km with 1,584ft / 483m (Petite Boucle in reverse)
Ven-Top: 12.9mi / 20.8km with 5,049ft / 1,539m (Mt. Ventoux replica)
Zwift Paris Routes
Champs-Élysées: 4.1mi / 6.6km with 127ft / 39m
Lutece Express: 4.1mi / 6.6km with 127ft / 39m (Champs-Élysées in reverse)