Here’s a downloadable calendar of the Tour de France for your electronic diary or phone with brief details of each stage. There’s also a look at the TV coverage ahead for July.
The format proves very popular, perhaps there’s a big demand to schedule work and social life around the crucial days? With this in mind each stage has a star rating, a subjective take on the stage’s importance to the race, whether drama or likely importance for the overall classification.
If you’re familiar with ical files, here’s the URL for the ics file:
Save the ics / iCal / iCalendar file and you can import it into your electronic diary. One or two clicks and it’s on your iPhone / Outlook etc. The default settings have alerts switched off but check your device to avoid nocturnal alarms.
Alternatively if you use Google then see calendar below and the +Google Calendar link on the bottom-right. Note this method can work with Android phones when the iCal file might not.
If you want more help on how to make use of this, see the inrng.com/calendar page which has the calendar for all the main men’s and women’s pro races in 2018 and a fuller explanation of how to put a calendar into Outlook, an iPhone, your diary etc.
Like last year all stages – and La Course – will be broadcast live from start to finish. Because of the FIFA World Cup the timing of the first week’s stages varies a lot to avoid clashing with the football.
It pays to be selective. Some stages will be fascinating to watch in full. Others won’t be and complaining it’s boring to watch three riders from wildcard invitee teams “animate” the stage by riding through-and-off for 180km before an inevitable sprint finish… is daft given we knew this would happen. Perhaps check in early to see if there’s a lively start and to use the TV coverage like you might with radio, as something on in the background.
France Télévisions will be filming and new for 2018 is the use of a high speed camera on a motorbike which will allow more slow motion shots with greater detail, hopefully sometimes able to catch a particular incident such as a look but going by previous productions also capable of providing some filler for the airtime. They also have two motorbikes with reporters, one in front of the peloton to go with the breakaway and one behind to note what’s happening at the back, like dropped riders and mechanicals and a new recruit here is Thomas Voeckler. The domestic coverage is good but otherwise you’ll find it at home on Eurosport, NBC, SBS, ITV or wherever you live with your usual commentary team.