Every year around this time, a lot of possibly crazy people on bikes, hit the French – and this year British – tarmac for the month long Tour de France. The worlds greatest and best known cycle race is back for another year to wow spectators roadside and on television around the world. The race officially kicks off on July 5 in Leeds, so if you're wanting to follow along we've some great iPhone and iPad apps to help you out!
Tour de France 2014 - The official mobile game
To ride out your own Tour de France on your iPhone or iPad, look no further than the official mobile game. Take on the role of Team Director with one objective; leading the team to victory and getting the Yellow Jersey as you hit the Champs-Elysee in Paris. The graphics are once again disappointing – the game looked basically the same in 2013, too – but it's an official title so it's worth a look for that authentic experience.
Every major sporting event today deserves a good, official mobile app, and the 2014 Tour de France is no exception. If you want to keep up to date with quite literally all the action, then look no further. The live action view is pretty spectacular too, with a full spectrum of coverage including timings, current standings, splits between the leaders and the Peloton, a map showing the climbs and downhill sections of the stage, and a live text commentary of what's happening. Add in highlight videos and photos and what you have is probably the single best way to keep in touch with all the action from the race on your iOS device.
The 2014 edition of this app has seen its design refined slightly, a new cartographic system and further optimizations to better the experience for this years race.
An unofficial app for keeping up with Le Tour from the folks at CyclingNews, updated for the 2014 running. It's a little more basic on the eye than the official app, but still contains much of the same information. Instead of having their own, proprietary map of the stages, Tour Tracker hooks into Apple Maps on your iOS device, and overlays key parts of the stages as well as the location of the lead riders and the Peloton. There's also a nice social feed tracker following all the teams Twitter accounts, and there's some really great roadside views in there. Best of all, it's completely free, so definitely worth a look.
This one's perfect for watching the action televised live on your iOS device. Eurosport is one of the official broadcasters of the Tour de France, and as such you can watch every stage unfold live via the Eurosport Player app. While it's a free download, it does require a monthly subscription to use, which in the UK is a pretty reasonable £2.99. The great thing about Eurosport is that they also broadcast a ton of other sports, so for that subscription you actually get quite a lot of viewing. It may however be limited by region, so do bear that in mind.
If the Tour de France inspires you to put on the lycra and get into the saddle yourself then you can do a lot worse than track your activities with the Runtastic Road Biking app. With features like live tracking, offline maps and the ability to hook into external hardware like heart rate sensors, it's a fantastic app to map your ride and track your fitness as you go.
The lite version – linked below – is free while the Pro version will set you back $4.99