Despite its name, the famous bike race The Tour de France does not always begin and end in France. Overt the past eight years, the race has commenced abroad five times. If some people have their way, the next race may begin in Prague.
Thierry Gouvenou, the race’s lead course designer, has confirmed that the capital of the Czech Republic could well attempt to host the race’s opener in the coming years.
Reports are that talks are ongoing between major parties, including the Skoda Auto, the race’s organizing agency, and the Czech Cycling Association.
But the honor won’t come cheap. The estimated expense to the city of Prague for the honor of hosting the opening of the race could reach millions of crowns. Recently the race kicked off in Brussels, and it’s slated to begin in Nice in 2020, and in Copenhagen in 2021, sources say.
The Tour began in 1903, with six stages, a distance of 2,428 kilometers, and an average speed of 25.679 KPH. Maurice Garin was the number 1 ranked rider that year, followed by Georges Pasquier and others.
2018’s Tour featured twenty-one stages, 3,349 kilometers, with riders clocking an average of 40,206 KPH. Chris Froome was the number-one ranked rider that year. In 2019, the Tour includes twenty-one stages over 3,366 kilometers.
The Czech Republic has never hosted any Grand Tour races but came close to hosting the comparable Giro d’Italia. But that year, 2017, the Girl started in Sardinia, and it kicked off in Israel the next year.
Cycling is popular worldwide, not only as a sport but as a hobby and a means of transportation.
According to the popular website Statista, over 12 percent of American men, women, and children cycled regularly. 2017 saw an increase to approximately 45 million riders. Four million of those riders are children, which means a whopping number of cyclists are adults and likely enthusiasts of the activity.
Cyclists work hard and get paid accordingly. Though some rider’s ear more depending on what national team they ride with (the UK, for example, earns more money for her cyclists), the average rider may exceed 10,000km in a given year, parceled out over roughly 80 racing days, But what do they earn for it?
Three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome earns a reported salary of approximately €4.77m per year. Fellow cyclist Alberto Contador brings in €4m wage, and their associate on spokes Vincenzo Nibali, who won the Tour in 2014, is said to bring in between €2.9m-€3m.
As with many roles in pro sports, salaries will increase with better performance. As a new rider, Froome would have pulled in about €95,000 upon signing with Team Sky. But he was likely earning just over €830,000 racing for Sir Bradley Wiggins.
Age can play a role, too; younger athletes can earn more than older riders because of their longevity and overall earning potential.
To put it into perspective, the average UK salary is just over €30,000.
So wherever the Tour de France begins this year or any other year, expect cycling to remain popular and competitive.