Peloton during the 2018 Tour de France in Valence, France
© Justin Setterfield/Getty Image
Flower pedals. Racers pushing past sunflowers in the 2018 Tour de France
Cyclists have been competing in this prestigious, multi-stage race since 1903. The route is changed every year but always includes a mix of terrains and elevations, mostly in France. Originally conceived as a promotion for a newspaper, the Tour is now a worldwide sporting event that draws billions of viewers each year, making it more popular than the Super Bowl. Here, competitors are biking alongside the sunflowers of southern France that are in full bloom during the race each year. This scenic image is a foil to the gruelling duration of the race, which covers more than 3,200 kilometres over a 23-day span. Although athletes are organised into teams, the individual who completes the strenuous course in the overall shortest amount of time wins and gets a cash prize often shared with teammates. This year’s race starts in Belgium and will pedal past the iconic sunflowers around stage 16 before coming to a stop in Paris.