Life is short, and the Tour De France is long.
Giels Smith, Sports Columnist
First held in 1903, the Tour De France is the world’s biggest and most prominent bicycle race, bringing together the very best cyclists from around the world for a gruelling, 21-stage, 23-day race across France.
Continental proudly sponsors the Tour De France as a main partner and stage winner presenter, awarding every Tour de France stage winner with an individual medal on the podium for this outstanding achievement. As many Tour De France cyclists have highlighted over the years: standing on the podium is a life-changing moment in their career that is never to be forgotten.
I think everyone lifts themselves that little bit extra for the Tour De France...
Chris Froome, four-time Tour De France winner
Competing in this tough race requires the right equipment –first and foremost the bicycle itself.
While today’s bikes are top-of-the-line and feature the latest innovations in technology and design, this was not always the case. In fact, the first bicycle to win the Tour De France back in 1903 was a simple a steel bicycle, with fixed gear, wooden rims, 32-38 mm tires, leather saddle and a handlebar that resembles some of today’s gravel models. As the Tour de France continued to grow, so did bicycle technology, including developments in brakes, gears and material, including moving away from steel to aluminium and then carbon fibre. Further innovations in design and aerodynamism enabled speed barriers to be broken.
Nowadays the bicycles used in the Tour De France are lightweight, streamlined and definitely built for speed, having a minimum weight limit of 6.8 kg, with no upper limit but potentially weighing as much as 10 kg.
One great example of a modern-day Tour De France bicycle is the Pinarello, which introduced a world first in 2022: a 3D printed frame designed for world champion rider Filippo Ganna and for his UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot. 3D printing enabled the introduction of new shapes and features that are impossible to replicate with existing carbon fibre techniques. Using this new method, Pinarello has created a unique aerodynamic shape and achieved an incredible level of stiffness for its bicycle.
Along with the very best in bicycles, the Tour showcases Continental tires at the yearly pinnacle of cycling racing in high-performance environments, including iconic mountains such as Alp d’Huez, Tourmalet, Mont Ventoux and Galibier. Indeed, several participating World Tour teams in the race place their trust in hand-made and German engineered Continental bicycle tires, including the Grand Prix 5000 S TR, which will be the most widely used tire in this year’s race.
The proven Grand Prix 5000 S TR Tubeless Ready is lighter, faster and has stronger sidewalls than its predecessors, setting a new standard in road tubeless ready technology. It features optimum ratios of weight to mileage and speed to comfort, as well as speed and puncture resistance, and offers proven race quality – key attributes for the unrelenting conditions the Tour De France puts riders and its bicycles through.
Our carcass construction is robust and impervious to damage and penetration by foreign bodies. The result: versatile, low weight and an attractive design. In addition, tires made using this technology can be used with or without an inner tube.
It’s all about how you mix it.
With our unique tread compound, which is produced only in Germany, we have revolutionised the sport of cycling. With the legendary BlackChili Compound we have come up with an answer to the eternal question of how to strike the best balance between grip and rolling resistance in cycling.
Regular test wins confirm measurable and noticeable advantages for the cyclist, established both in the laboratory and on the road. The latest polymers along with specially developed carbon black particles and filler materials guarantee unique performance.
The revolutionary approach in cycling. Embedded in the tire construction, Active Comfort Technology absorbs vibrations and smoothens your ride.
Lazer Grip: making you one with the road. The lasered micro profile structure expands over the tire’s shoulder, ensuring outstanding cornering.
The problem with being a Tour De France winner is you always have that feeling of disappointment if you don’t win it again...
Greg Lemond, three-time Tour De France winner