The Grand Départ Challenge

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It’s D-23 for the Yorkshire Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France, and what better way to get in the spirit for La Grande Boucle than a two wheeled challenge!

The folks over at Cycling Weekly, the UK’s best selling cycling magazine, are celebrating the tour by asking you to ride one hour for every edition of the world’s biggest bike race. That’s 101 hours of saddle time for each year of the tour for a chance to win some cool Tour de France themed prizes.

Time in the saddle is all that counts. It doesn’t matter if you ride fast and hard on tough terrain or take a casual cruise around the neighborhood. All that matters is the time you spend in the saddle. In short, riders of all capabilities are able to compete for the recognition and the bling.

If 101 hours sounds a bit much, smaller targets have been created to match your level of ability or time available. Everyone who hits target one will get in the prize draw, while anyone at target two and three will get further entries. The targets are:

• Target one: 34 hours (one for every day left until the Grand Depart)
• Target two: 68 hours (two for every day until the Grand Depart)
• Target three: 101 hours (one hour for every edition of the TdF)

To join in on the fun, just head over to Cycling Weekly’s web site at, and sign up. Then just upload all your rides between June 2 and July 6th. While there be sure to sign up for your RiTMO rating too…a what???

A RiTMO rating measures your performance on any route taking into account your speed along with route variables like distance, climbing, gradient etc. It’s way of comparing one ride with another. Your overall RiTMO rating is a rolling average of your best recent performances. It’s one simple number that tells you how you’re doing. Think of it like a golf handicap, if it’s going down, you’re getting better and if it’s going up, well, work harder. It’s a fun way to compare yourself with friends and pros.

So jump on that bike and get in some saddle time both before and during the tour…who knows, you may come out winning some unique swag.

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