The Tour de France is the world’s biggest bike race and sees cyclists compete for the winner’s Yellow Jersey.

It lasts three weeks, with three rest days, and includes a variety of stages, from flat to mountainous days in the Alps and Pyrenees.

There are also individual time-trials, where each rider races individually against the clock.

The winner of the Yellow Jersey is the rider who completes all the stages in the shortest amount of time.

There are other classifications which riders will be racing for too including the points, king of the mountains and young rider categories. All of these are marked by special coloured jerseys.

The race will start with two stages in Yorkshire tomorrow and Sunday before Monday’s third stage between Cambridge and London, which will see the riders pass through Essex.

It will be the 20th occasion, the Tour has started away from France and the second time it has been to England.


The world's elite cyclists will be passing through Essex on Monday and here are the riders you need to know about - from the Britons to the main contenders.