UK edition of the official Tour de France Map

Detail - Tour De France Official Map 2019When you’re as passionate about maps as we are at Dennis Maps every project is fascinating, and we work hard to make sure each detail is correct and perfectly finished.

And then once in a while a job comes up that perfectly matches a personal interest of one of the team. Only last month, Christian Coates, one of our CTP Operators, featured here on the blog talking about his hobby of road cycling.

This month we can reveal that we printed the UK edition of the official road map of the Tour de France, which was for sale with the event’s official guide.

Perhaps a little faster and longer than Christian’s usual rides, the race is France’s greatest sporting event, and we were delighted to be selected to produce this colourful map.

The Tour de France Road Map

Front Cover - Tour De France Official Road MapThe front cover of the Tour de France map shows the dramatic setting of the Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg in the Alsace, built on top of a peak negotiated by the cyclists in Stage 5 of the Tour.

The route is shown in bright yellow. From the start – Le Grand Départ – in Brussels on Saturday 6 July, it progressed mainly through the east of France. The traditional sprint finish on the Champs-Élysées in Paris was on Sunday 28 July.

Two sections are shown in larger scale, a road map of Brussels, and the area around Pau, the most western part of the race.

Two keys can be found in the bottom left hand corner of the Tour de France map. One shows the symbols used along the route of the race to illustrate where each stage starts and finishes. Also illustrated are the types of stage along the way, and the transfers where riders are transported to begin the next stage in another location.

The other key relates to the geography of France, its roads, borders (national and départment) and inhabited areas.

The race took place over three weeks and covered 3480 kilometres (2162 miles). It included seven flat, five hilly, and seven mountain stages. Five of the mountain stages had mountain-top finishes, three more than 2000m above sea level. No wonder it was dubbed ‘the highest race in history’.

There was also one individual time-trial stage, one team time-trial…and only two rest days!

Tour de France History

The first Tour de France took place in 1903 as a way of increasing sales of sports newspaper L’Auto. The paper’s chief cycling journalist suggested organising a six-day race all around France, and it generated so much interest that circulation of the paper doubled. It has been held every year ever since, with the exception of the two World Wars.

The rider in the yellow jersey - Greg van AvermaetThe famous yellow jersey was introduced in 1919, the colour chosen because that was the shade of paper L’Auto was printed on. The yellow jersey is awarded after each stage to the overall leader of the race, and is presented to the rider with the shortest overall time at the end of the race. The colour has now become synonymous with the race and is used on its logo and throughout the promotional material.

Cycling fans consider the 2019 race as one of the most eventful and unpredictable they can remember. From hailstones, landslides, and the tearful exit of a rider to the humour of Sir Bradley Wiggins’ commentary from the back of a motorbike, it was an unforgettable three weeks.

The winner was Egan Bernal, the first Colombian to win the race, who at only 22 surely has a brilliant career ahead of him. His teammate and the defending champion, Welshman Geraint Thomas, described him as a phenomenal athlete, ‘born to go uphill fast’.

An attribute no doubt appreciated by Christian as he tackles the more modest hills of his favourite rides around Somerset and Wiltshire!

Yellow Jersey cyclist photo by Árni Svanur Daníelsson on Unsplash

 

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