The biggest spectator sporting event in the world is the Tour de France, her audience hails from 190 different countries, and is said to be 3.5 billion strong; the 114.4 million viewers audience of the Superbowl is positively dwarfed in comparison.
Following the British leg of the 2014 Tour de France, participation in British Cycling’s recreational programmes has increased by 64% - it is apparent that the Tour de France inspires her audience as well as entertaining them.
Taking the riders from Dusseldorf to Paris via stages that follow rivers, climb peaks of the Pyrenees and Alps, and cross the fatiguing rolling roads of the French flats – the Tour de France is a gruelling display of mental and physical strength. Not only are the athletes endurance experts to even attempt the course over a mere 21 days, but to complete it with one eye on the watch, raises their skill set even further.
In appreciation of the enormity of the challenge these time conscious men endure, The Watch Gallery have compiled a revealing infographic that shows the scale of this event, in current and historical terms.
Whether you are lucky enough to be one of the 12 million spectators that support the riders along the route, or an audience member in the comfort of your own home, the Tour de France’s appeal crosses all borders, religions and age groups. There is something to excite everyone: from the nail-biting time trials to the stunning scenery of the brutal mountain stages and the frequent crashes that can happen at any time.