The Tour de France is starting from tomorrow. Watching the race every morning for three weeks is one thing I look forward to every summer. I also find that it provides some neat opportunities for science, health and physical education lessons. I have some resources here to teach and learn about the Tour de France.What does Tour de France jersey mean?
The yellow jersey is worn by the overall leader of the race. The goal will be to wear it at the end of the race in Paris. Riders competing for this jersey are often referred to as competing for the general classification. This year’s add-on favorites include Tadej Pogakar, Primoz Roglich and Ben O’Connor. My hope is that Geraint Thomas has made a good run at GC this year (he won in 2018 and has a great podcast).
The green jersey, also known as the point jersey, is usually won by riders who are not ready for climbing speed, but faster than everyone else on flat ground. Although Mark Cavendish won this jersey last year, this year’s favorite is Van Art. Peter Sagan has won the jersey seven times and is back to try again.
Polka dot jersey is known as the king jersey of the mountains. It won by getting the most points for the fastest climb in the mountains and hills. The riders who have won it are usually the ones who are great at climbing, but for some reason are not competitive enough to win the general classification. There are many riders who have a chance to win it depending on the team and personal goals. Thibaut Pinot, Roman Bardet and Nairo Quintana are the names to watch for this competition.
The white jersey is an award for the best young rider (under 25). The last three white jerseys were won by riders who also won the yellow jersey.
How fast is the Tour de France rider?
The science of cycling and cycling
There is a lot of physics involved in casual bike riding and racing. Here is a selection of videos that explain the physics of cycling
The first time you ride an experienced cyclist’s pack you will feel the power of drafting. In addition to their incredible fitness and bike handling skills, drafting the Tour de France helps cyclists move faster. The video below explains how drafting works.
Minute Physics offers two videos about the physics of cycling. How will the bike be up? We learn how bikes stay straight, how design and weight affect balance, and why it’s harder to balance in contrast to the bike. The counterintuitive physics of turning the bike explains how we turn the bike.
Diet of the Tour de France racer
I’ve been working on my bike for a few long days over the years including a double century and in the end I’ve always felt like I could eat something in sight. Because I burned thousands of calories. But even then I couldn’t burn the 6,000-8,000 + calories that a typical Tour de France racer burns every day.
What does it feel like to eat and look like a professional cyclist? Joshua Robinson of the Wall Street Journal sets out to discover it in his 6,000-calorie challenge. Watch the video below to see how he did it. Pay attention to the professional cyclist at the 2:40 mark in the video for a comment about the Energy Gel as it surprises you and forces you to reconsider whether you need expensive “Sports Energy” products for a typical hourly workout on the weekend.
If you want to learn more about the science of nutrition for cyclists, check out this video featuring Team Nutritionist for the professional cycling team at EF Education First.
How much do professional cyclists earn?