With just a few weeks to go before the start of the Grande Boucle on July 1, EFICIA’s teams set out to calculate the amount of energy produced by the riders.
What we know:
A study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences* estimates that a professional cyclist can produce around 400 watts of power, and therefore energy, over the course of an hour.
The Tour de France 2023 comprises 21 stages, over a total race distance of more than 3,500 kilometers. Assuming that each stage lasts around 4 hours, this means that the cyclists taking part in the Tour de France will pedal for a total of around 84 hours.
Using the above figures, the Eficia teams estimate that each cyclist** will then generate energy to the tune of around 33.6 kilowatts per hour during the Tour de France (400 W/h x 4 h/stage x 21 stages). And, assuming that the peloton comprises around 176 riders, the total amount of energy produced during the Tour de France 2023 amounts to around 5.9 megawatts hour (33.6 kWh/rider x 176 riders).
In other words, the Tour de France cyclists could produce the equivalent of what an electric car needs to travel 39,000 km (15 kWh/100km)!
*John Eric Goff, Professor of Physics, University of Lynchburg
**The power produced by cyclists depends on a number of factors, including their weight, physical condition, the difficulty of the route, weather conditions and so on. The figures given are therefore approximate estimates.