The 5 Things You Need To Know About The Tour De France

Booze, castles and cycling with reckless abandonment = the recipe for the perfect spectator sport. 

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1. The average cyclist spends up to six hours a day on a bike and will burn 4,000 – 5,000 calories in each stage. By the end of the race they’ve burned the equivalent of 252 McDonald’s double cheeseburgers. The best diet was from the 1904 winner, Henri Cornet, who drank hot chocolate, champagne, tea and ate rice pudding as his food rations. CHAMPS ON A BIKE? AN AVERAGE SUNDAY FUNDAY


2. While the Peloton is what makes your thighs and buns burn during your home workout, in the Tour a peloton is the pack of lead riders grouped together. (Probably also makes the buns burn). Hopefully part of that peloton? The four cyclists from the U.S. that are in the race. Who won’t be? Chris Froome. The four-time winner is not racing this year after injuries sustained from a crash. WHAT GOES UP, MUST COME DOWN


3. Until the 1960s it was common for participants to drink alcohol to numb the pain. Despite its 'healing power,' alcohol was later banned because it's a stimulant. BOTTOMS UP


4. One of the crazier traditions of the Tour has nothing to do with the guys in the race. It has become an annual thing for mountain bikers to jump over the pack of riders during a stage of the race. Think Jackass meets big air. SAYONARA TEETH


5. To the riders, it’s not all about the Benjamins. After enduring 21 stages of 2,200 miles through two countries (Belgium and France) over 23 days with only two days of rest, the winner takes home a check for $560,620. (For comparison sake, the Wimbledon winners won $2.92 million). MIGHT WANT TO RAISE THAT HOURLY RATE

Want something a little more interactive or simply to relive what the Tour was like when drinking was allowed? Check out the Tour de Franzia - a drinking game that pays homage to the race with boxed wine.

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