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Tour de France By the Numbers

By Brian Fleming/Adam Marsal

An event the magnitude of the Tour de France is going to put up some serious logistical numbers. So let’s have a look at how a bike race that some 12 million people watch live along the road (64% of them men, 36% women; 80% from France, 20% from other countries) breaks down.

For starters, there are 22 teams of 9 riders each, for a total of 192 riders. Each team comes with 4 coaches, 4 mechanics, 2 hospitality staff members, 1 director of cycling, 1 transportation and booking manager, 1 osteopath, 1 communications manager, 1 doctor, 1 chef, and 5 caretakers. Across 22 teams, that’s 1,056 people, including riders.

Tour de France 2015 - 1st stage

Add to that another 300 race support staff, 100 staff from ASO (race organiser Amaury Sport Organisation), 15 members of the race jury, 300 temporary staff, 10 race doctors, 5 nurses, 48 members of the Republican Guard motorcycle division, 13 permanent Tour police officers, 1,000 General Council agents, and 4 podium girls and you’re looking at 2,836 people travelling with the tour every day.

And that doesn’t even include media partners, journalists and TV crews, the advertising caravan, and service providers. Add these and you have over 4,500 following the Tour. In addition, France mobilizes some 14,000 gendarmes and 9,000 police officers for the race.

When it comes to materiel, the numbers get truly staggering. Start with 1,400 bikes, then add some 3,000 wheels and 5,000 tyres, 792 cycling suits, 8,400 food bags and 66,000 water bottles. Now top this off with 1,550 beds reserved every day for the organization and the teams, 7 ambulances, 2 medical cars, 1 motorcycle, 1 radiology truck, plus the official Red Car and the convey starts to look like an army. And this doesn’t include media cars and helicopters!

And what does all this bring the riders? Well, the rider strong enough to take first place wins EUR 550,000, with the total prize money coming to EUR 4 million. Keep these numbers in mind as you follow the Tour.