The 103rd edition of the Tour de France cycling race gets underway on Saturday. The first stage of the race sees the cyclists traverse a 188 km stretch from the scenic Mont-Saint-Michel to the Utah Beach in Normandy, France.
Defending champion Chris Froome is once again tipped to bag the yellow jersey, but competition from the likes of Nairo Quintana, Tejay van Garderen and Alberto Contador cannot just be overlooked. The Tour de France 2016 features a total of 198 riders from 22 teams and the entire 3500 km stretch comprises nine flat stages, nine mountain stages, one hilly stage and two individual time trials.
A total of 21 stages sees the riders travel the Alps, before setting off for a stage in Switzerland and ultimately the race culminating on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on July 24.
"The route this year is very much climber-based in terms of even the two time trials we have. One is straight uphill and the other one has two long climbs on it," said the 31-year-old Froome to BBC Sport. "Even though we have time trials, they're time trials where a climber will do well.
"Whoever's defending the yellow jersey, it will be tough, four days back-to-back like that," the Team Sky rider added.
Where to watch live
In India, the 21-day race will be LIVE on Ten Sports (7 pm IST), with the option of LIVE streaming on tensports.com
Viewers in the US can catch it on NBC. Live streaming: NBC Sports
Australia: TV: SBS.