Welcome, John Lewis & Partners customers

Browse to find the right bike for you!

Summer's finally here in the UK! In the bike world that means only one thing: it’s time for the TdF race.  🙌

This year the event takes place from the 29th of June to the 21st of July

If you’re new to the world of yellow and green jerseys and time trials, we understand that it can seem confusing - so we’ve put together this guide for you!

Let's start with some basic info and a few fun facts:
Tour de France map 2024

Read on to learn all about the history of the Tour de France, what’s going on in this year’s race and what the different coloured jerseys mean:

Tour de France 2024 Route

The 2024 Tour de France route has been released, and it is sure to be a challenging one for the riders. The race will start in Florence, Italy, and will finish in Nice, France, after 21 stages.  

The 2024 Tour de France takes a unique route, starting in Florence, Italy, for the first time ever. The first week winds through Italy, with stages featuring rolling hills and a challenging mountain stage crossing into France.

After reaching France, the race tackles the iconic peaks of the Alps, including the highest point of the Tour - the 2802 meter Bonette Pass.

The route then transitions into flatter stages before a second mountain range, the Massif Central, throws down another challenge for the riders. The Tour concludes with a final stage along the French Riviera, finishing in Nice.

The route is challenging, but it is also fair, and it should make for a close race. 

Key points about the 2024 Tour de France route: 

  • Italian Start: The opening stages will traverse Italian terrain, featuring rolling hills and one significant mountain climb before crossing the border into France.
  • Alps Assault: The heart of the Tour tackles the legendary mountains of the Alps. Riders will battle gruelling climbs, including the highest point of the race - the 2802 meter Bonette Pass.
  • Massif Central Challenge: After flatter stages allow for some recovery, the race throws another mountain range, the Massif Central, at the peloton. This will be another test of endurance and climbing prowess for the riders.
  • Riviera Finale: The 2024 Tour concludes with a twist. Due to the Olympics being held in Paris, the traditional Champs-Elysees finish is replaced with a stage along the French Riviera, concluding in Nice. This final individual time trial could determine the overall winner.

Tour de France History: 100+ years ago 

1903 Tour de France

It was all started in 1903 by the French newspaper Le Monde as part of an advertising campaign that got a bit out of hand. Apart from a short break during the World Wars, the race has continued every year.

Believe it or not: Women only first got their own edition of the race in 2022. Fortunately it looks like the 8-stage Tour de France Femmes will continue, but it goes to show there is still a lot to do for women’s cycling.

Fun Fact: Back in the early days, riders weren’t allowed any form of support, so had to carry all of their own food and water. In one of the first editions, the winner was disqualified after he broke his forks and had to go to a local blacksmith to re-weld his frame. Although he did the welding himself, he was banned after it was discovered that the blacksmith’s son had operated the bellows for him!

The Modern Tour de France

riders in the Tour de France

In the modern era, the race is a team event. Riders on the same team help each other out to conserve energy and get the best time. Lots of different team tactics come into play, depending on the strengths of the individual cyclists and the route.  

The race consists of 21 stages. These can be anything from short distances that riders race one at a time (known as time trials), long stages of more than 200km, to epic races over the mountains of the Alps and Pyrenees.  

Riders can be on their bike for more than five hours a day and can burn up to 8000 calories in one stage. That’s a lot of bananas needed to refuel! 

What Do the Coloured Jerseys Mean?

Tour de France jerseys

Teams work to win one of four classifications:

  • The general classification
  • The young rider classification
  • The points classification
  • The mountains classification

A jersey is awarded to the winner of each classification on every stage of the race. 

Yellow Jersey

The overall competition is known as the General Classification. This is based on which rider has taken the least amount of time to finish each stage overall.

The leader of this category wears the most famous jersey, the Maillot Jaune or Yellow Jersey. The winner of this competition is generally the rider that is the best all-rounder, able to excel at climbing steep mountains as well as winning time-trials.  

Fun Fact: This colour is a throwback to the original Le Monde newspaper that was printed on yellow paper! 

White Jersey

There is also a prize for the best-placed rider that is under the age of 26. The leader in this competition wins the White Jersey. 

Fun Fact: Look out for this colour jersey, if you want to spot the Best Young Rider! 

Green Jersey

Points are awarded to the first 15 riders over the finish line. Bonus points are given during certain sprint sections en-route of each stage. The rider with the most points at the start of each stage gets to wear the green jersey.  

Polka-Dot Jersey

There is a special competition for the best climber, otherwise known as the King/Queen of the Mountains. Points are awarded to the first riders to make it to the top of certain climbs. The steeper and longer the climb, the more points are available!  

The rider with the most climbing points at the start of each stage gets to wear what is arguably the most fun jersey of them all - the red and white polka dot jersey! 

Fun Fact: Even though this one seems a little less serious 🤡 - it is a real honour to wear! 

Tour de France FAQs  

What are the most important factors for winning the Tour de France? 

The most important factors for winning the Tour de France are: 

  • Physical fitness: The riders need to be in top condition to be able to withstand the demands of this gruelling race. 

  • Mental strength: The riders need to be mentally strong to deal with the fatigue, pain, and pressure. 

  • Team support: The riders need to have a strong team to support them throughout the race. The team can provide the riders with food, water, and mechanical support, as well as moral support. 

In addition to these factors, the riders also need to have a good understanding of the route and the weather conditions.  

refer a friend image

How can I watch the Tour de France in the UK? 

The Tour de France is broadcast in the UK on ITV4. It is also broadcast on Eurosport for those that have Sky. You can watch the race on TV or the Eurosport website or app. 

What are the different types of stages in the Tour de France? 

The Tour de France is a long-distance race, and the stages are designed to test the riders in different ways. There are four main types of stages in the Tour de France: 

  • Flat stages: The riders go at high speeds on these stages, and the outcome is often decided by a sprint finish. 

  • Hilly stages: These stages feature some hills, but they are not as challenging as mountain stages. The riders need to be able to climb effectively on these stages.  

  • Mountain stages: These stages are the most challenging stages in the Tour de France. They feature long, steep climbs that test the riders' physical and mental strength. The outcome of mountain stages is often decided by a breakaway, where a group of riders rides away from the peloton. 

  • Individual time trials: These stages are held on closed roads, and the riders race against the clock.  

There are also a few other stages in the Tour de France, such as team time trials and short prologue stages. 

Who are the recent Tour de France winners? 

Here are the recent Tour de France winners for the last 5 years: 






Jonas Vingegaard




Jonas Vingegaard 




Tadej Pogačar 


UAE Team Emirates 


Tadej Pogačar 


UAE Team Emirates 


Egan Bernal

Colombia Ineos Grenadiers


Jonas Vingegaard is the most recent two-time Tour de France winner, having defended his title in 2023. He also became the first Danish rider to win the race since Bjarne Riis in 1996. 

Feeling Inspired?

Why not get check out our Frog bikes that come in special Tour de France yellow! Or check out or our kids road bike collection page if your child is curious about competitive cycling. 

You can also read our post on the 2021 Tour de France