With the 2012 Tour de France ready to kickoff in the beautiful country of Belgium on Saturday, June 30, the excitement over the 99th annual event is through the roof.
What makes the Tour de France great?
Hardcore and causal cycling fans are excited for this year’s wild race.
With over 2000 miles of racing (2161.75 to be exact), this annual cycling tour runs through and over every type of surface and landscape imaginable.
Even if you aren’t a diehard fan of the sport, you must watch portions of this race to understand the true magnitude of what these men are going to accomplish.
Where: Starts in the Belgian city of Liège—end at Champs-Elysées in Paris
When: Saturday, June 30—Sunday, July 22
Watch: NBC, NBC Sports Network
For the complete stage-by-stage breakdown, check out the official slideshow!
NBC Sports Group's 2012 Tour de France Television Schedule
Saturday, June 30
Prologue: Liege to Liege, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Sunday, July 1
Stage 1: Liege to Seraing, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Recap show, 4 p.m., NBC
Monday, July 2
Stage 2: Vise to Tournai, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Tuesday, July 3
Stage 3: Orchies to Boulogne-sur-mer, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Wednesday, July 4
Stage 4: Abbeville to Rouen, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Thursday, July 5
Stage 5: Rouen to Saint-Quentin, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Friday, July 6
Stage 6: Epernay to Metz, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Saturday, July 7
Stage 7: Tomblaine to La Planche des Belles Filles, 8 a.m., NBC
Sunday, July 8
Stage 8: Belfort to Porrentruy, 8 a.m., NBC
Monday, July 9
Stage 9: Arc-et-Senans to Bescancon, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Wednesday, July 11
Stage 10: Macon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Thursday, July 12
Stage 11: Albertville to La Toussuire-Les Sybelles, 7 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Friday, July 13
Stage 12: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Annonay Davezieux, 6:30 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Saturday, July 14
Stage 13: Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to Le Cap d'Adge, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Sunday, July 15
Stage 14: Limoux to Foix, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Monday, July 16
Stage 15: Samatan to Pau, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Wednesday, July 18
Stage 16: Pau to Bagneres-de-Luchon, 6:30 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Thursday, July 19
Stage 17: Bagneres-de-Luchon to Peyragudes, 7:30 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Friday, July 20
Stage 18: Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Saturday, July 21
Stage 19: Bonneval to Chartres, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Sunday, July 22
Stage 20: Rambouillet to Paris Champs-Elysees, 8 a.m., NBC Sports Network
Recap show, 1 p.m., NBC
*Note: All times ET
*For more, visit NBC Sports
With weather being a possible issue throughout the event and no real lock to win, this year’s Tour de France will be one of the most exciting in recent memory.
Despite the fact that this is one of the most competitive fields in history, there is little doubting that the favorite coming into event is the defending 2011 winner Cadel Evans. While he isn't a lock to win, he has what it takes to steal the show again.
Lance Armstrong was the last man to win back-to-back titles in 2006, but Evans has the unique combination of power and speed that will help him conquer both the flat and mountain stages of this year’s event.
If Evans can stay out of trouble during the race, there is little doubt that he will be in serious contention to wear the illustrious Yellow Jacket when all 20 stages are completed..
Predicted Winner: Cadel Evans