Road Cycling

Tour de France Top Speed | Riders Hit a Huge 130kph / 81mph on Stage Nine of Le Tour

So the Tour de France top speed is higher than the speed limit on the motorway...

What’s the best part of cycling? Going downhill! Obviously. We’re not saying that the odd-ascent can’t be enjoyable, but it’s the views at the top and the promise of the slope swapping around that often gives you – or give us anyway – the will to push on up.

Chris Froome hit the nail on the head recently when he raced to a spectacular descent victory on stage eight of the Tour de France, stating after: “I felt like a kid again, just trying to ride my bike as fast as I could.” And that’s it. At the end of the day, the reason we ride our bikes is for it’s fun.

Now, you might think that the Tour de France would be a place slightly void of fun – what with the brutal Tour de France crashes, the likes of Alberto Contador’s crash, and Chris Froome punching a Tour de France spectator on that same stage eight to get him out of the way – but alas, as long as there are downhills there is always going to be fun. And man, do they tackle those downhills fast.

IAM Cycling sprinter Leigh Howard blew a lot of minds in the cycling community when he showed that at one point during stage nine of the race he was riding at a full 122.7kph. The Australian was chasing the pack back after a full-bike replacement, tweeting that he was “#shittingmyself” later on as he smashed 75mph on a road bike.

But Howard’s crazy effort wasn’t even the Tour de France top speed on stage nine of the Tour. Below are a few stats to remember for next time your friends ask ‘what is the top speed in the Tour de France?’

Jeremy Roy later showed that he had managed to set a high speed of 127kph/79mph on the descent of the Cote de la Comella, while Marcus Burghardt of BMC took the bragging rights managing to aero-tuck his way to 130.7kph/81.2mph.

Just stop and consider that for a moment. Seriously. These three guys all broke the British speed limit for driving on a motorway, while riding a road bike. Think how terrifying that would be if you were in the saddle. You’d feel less stable than the British government and faster than Boris Johnson running away after the Brexit vote.

Seriously though, if Burghardt had been going that speed on the motorway in a car he probably would’ve been pulled over by the police, so needless to say the riders all broke the speed limit of the local French mountain roads. We somehow don’t think they’ll be getting any fines.

If you consider then that the German road cyclist finished 31 minutes down on stage winner Tom Dumoulin and Jeremy Roy only seven minutes quicker though, it certainly puts into perspective how difficult it must be to actually win a stage of the Tour de France 2016.

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