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9,000 training miles since January! Strava reveals what it takes to prepare for the Tour de France

Racers have typically climbed the equivalent of Mount Everest 20 times this year and burned calories equal to 4,500 French macarons

Strava has published data revealing that pro cyclists preparing for the Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift have typically covered 9,300 miles (15,000km) in training since January and gained over 180,000 metres in elevation. With Mount Everest standing at 8,849m, that’s the equivalent of over 20 times up the world’s tallest mountain.

[Pic: ASO/Pauline Ballet]

The pro riders who have ridden furthest so far this year have covered over 10,500 miles (nearly 17,000km).

Strava says that pro cyclists have on average recorded over 400 hours on the bike so far this year. However, riders spending the longest time in the saddle have clocked nearly 600 hours. Some are doing over 30 hours on the bike each week as the Tour approaches, covering over 620 miles (1,000km).

Strava says that it has derived these statistics from the training logged between January and June by 36 cyclists riding in either the Tour de France or Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. This analysis only includes training rides tracked on Strava.

Riders training for the two races have on average burned over 350,000 calories since the start of January.

“This is comparable to burning the calories [from] over 4,500 French macarons or 1,500 croissants,” says Strava.

The pro cyclists have collectively been given 10m Kudos (thumbs-ups from fellow Strava users) for their training efforts.

Strava has looked at distance and elevation data and identified UK segments that provide a similar challenge to ones found in stages of the 2022 Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. These include:

Tour de France/Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift segment

UK equivalent segment

Stage 12 (TdF) – Alpe d'Huez (TdF) Official 100 Climbs No69 Bleach-na-ba (Scottish Highlands)
Stage 18 (TdF) – Hautacam (TdF) ​​Visit Centre to the top of Ben
(Ben Nevis)
Stage 1 – Place de la Concorde > Arc de Triomphe (TdFF) The Mall (Central London)
Stage 7 – Grand Ballon (TdFF) Cadair: Bridge to Summit (Snowdonia)
Stage 7 / Stage 8 – La super Blanche des Belles Filles (TdF / TdFF) OFFICIAL 100ClimbNo186 Great Dun Fell (Cumbria)

The Tour de France starts in Copenhagen, Denmark, this Friday. It runs until 24th July and covers 2,068 miles (3,328km).

The first edition of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift starts on 24th July and runs until 31st July. The eight stages cover a total distance of 639 miles (1,029km). This is the first year of a three-year partnership between Strava and the Tour de France and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.

You can follow the race using the Tour de France and Tour de France avec Zwift race hub inside the Strava app.

“Following along provides access to stories of the peloton through their daily activity, breakdowns of key segments, uploads from each stage, and insights into unique athlete experiences,” says Strava.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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