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It is time for the most anticipated cycling event of the year, and fans from all over the world will be looking forward to seeing that polka-dot, ‘King of the Mountains’ shirt again. Obviously, I am talking about the Tour de France, the most famous cycling race in the world!
When Is the Tour de France?
The 2018 Tour de France runs from Saturday, July 7 until Sunday, July 29. It is the 105th Tour de France and will involve 21 stages, over a massive 3,329 kilometers.
This year’s race will consist of eight flat stages, five hilly stages, six mountain stages (including three altitude finishes) and one individual time-trials stages.
Where Will the Stages Take Place?
This year’s race will span a whopping 36 French counties, and will pop briefly into Spain. However, none of the stages will start or finish outside of France this year. One stage, from Arras to Roubaix, will include a 21.7 km journey over cobbled roads. With that in mind, it is probably just as well that you will be able to watch it from your sofa!
On that front, there is good news too! This year will be the most televised Tour de France ever, with every single stage – from beginning to end – being aired on television (and online). There are a total of 38 official broadcasters that will be televising the competition, with each assigned an exclusive territory. This is great news for folks in the UK because stages will be shown on ITV. However, US Cycling enthusiasts will have to sign up and pay for NBC Sports in order to watch. Many of the official broadcasters of the tournament are actually pay TV sites.
For people who live outside of the UK and Europe, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) will be needed to overcome those pesky geo-restrictions and save you the cost of having to subscribe to the TV service that has the rights to broadcast the race in your area..
If betting odds are anything to go by, the favorites for this year’s Tour de France are:
- Chris Froome (Team Sky)
- Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb)
- Richie Porte (BMC Racing)
- Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
- Mikel Landa (Team Sky)
How to Watch the Tour de France
If you want to watch the entirety of this year’s Tour de France online for free (from outside of the UK and Europe) you will need a Virtual Private Network.
Living outside of the UK and Europe means that you will be lucky to get anything but a few highlights each day. Luckily, with a VPN you can pretend to be in the UK and enjoy its ITV4 coverage. For those who prefer to watch the race on Eurosport, a VPN will permit you to quickly connect to a server on the continent to gain access.
What Is a VPN for Cycling?
A VPN is an online service that allows people to pretend to be in a different country. By connecting to a VPN server in the UK, anybody can access the ITV Hub online player. However, keep in mind that you’re not really supposed to unblock geographically-restricted feeds.
That’s why we strongly recommend a reliable VPN that provides strongly implemented OpenVPN encryption. With strong VPN encryption enabled, nobody will be able to see what you’re doing online. That will give you the privacy and security to do as you please online without fear of being caught.
All of the VPNs for sports recommended in our guide provide fast, reliable, and trusted VPN services that are perfect for watching the Tour de France.
Free Live Stream on ITV4
UK TV broadcaster ITV has the rights to broadcast this year’s US Tour de France. It will be showing all of the races live. As ITV4 is free to watch online (on the ITV Hub), we consider it by far the best way to unblock the Tour de France with a VPN.
In addition, we strongly recommend ExpressVPN for watching ITV4 coverage of the race. ExpressVPN has everything you need to enjoy the cycling in HD quality without fear of lagging or buffering.
Unblock Eurosport Coverage of Tour De France
If for some reason you prefer to watch the Tour de France on Eurosport, you can follow the steps below. Just connect to a server in Europe instead of the UK. Doing so will allow you to access the online Eurosport streams. However, as it may be necessary to pay a fee for Eurosport, we recommend sticking to ITV4.
How to Unblock the Tour de France Online: Step-by-step Guide
- Select one of the streaming options above (for most people, ITV4 is the best option).
- Choose from our list of the top recommended VPNs for streaming sports, or go directly to ExpressVPN (the best VPN for the Tour de France).
- Download and install the VPN software from your VPN’s website (remember to get the right version for your device).
- Connect to a VPN server in the UK (or Europe for Eurosport).
- Head over to your chosen streaming option.
- Start streaming the 2018 Tour de France.
Unblock Tour de France: Conclusion
For those who love cycling, the Tour de France is the most exciting race of the year. The famous yellow shirt that is worn by the race leader is sorely missed throughout the year, and the return of the race is hotly anticipated. In 2018, there will be more and better coverage of all the stages than ever before. For that reason, a VPN that provides fast enough speeds to watch the race uninterrupted in HD is essential.
ExpressVPN is by far the best, but any of our best VPNs for Sports will do the job brilliantly. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop us a message.
Title image credit: MA PHOTOGRAPY/Shutterstock.com