Tour de France live stream: how to watch the cycling for free

The mountains are calling! After a two-month delay, the Tour de France is back on. The iconic cycling race will see the world’s best cyclists take to their pedals in pursuit of glory. But what TV channel is the cycling on? And how can you catch every saddle-sore second? Here’s how to watch a 2020 Tour de France live stream for free.

British TV license holders can watch the Tour de France live and the highlights on the ITV4 Hub web player and ITV4 TV channel without paying a penny! If you’re UK citizen trying to view from abroad, then don’t forget to use a VPN to be able watch the free Tour de France coverage.

The Tour will also be shown for free live on a handful of Europe’s biggest broadcasters, including Rai Sport in Italy, France Sport in France, Sporza and RTBF in Belgium. So, no need to get a VPN if you’re in those destinations.

So far, the big news is that Mark Cavendish is out of the race, having not selected by the Bahrain McLaren team. The British sprinter has previously clocked up 30 Tour stage victories – just four short of Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 wins.

“I just don’t feel I’m ready this year for the Tour de France,” said Cavendish. Either way, it’s disappointing news for Cavendish fans – this is the second year in a row that the 35-year-old has missed the Tour. Will the Manxman grace another?

Meanwhile, Sir Bradley Wiggins has weighed in on Sir Dave Brailsford’s shock decision to leave Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome, with five yellow jerseys between them, out of Team Ineos:

“If Geraint had really wanted to go, I think Dave would have picked him,” Wiggins insists. “I think the decision would have lied more with G, I may be wrong.”

The Tour de France begins on 29th August in Nice and runs until 20th September with the troop about the Champs-Élysées. The event was originally scheduled to take place in June/July but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

One of the toughest sporting events in the world, the annual 21-stage race is famous for high-speed descents, brutal climbs and calamitous pile-ups. This year marks the 107th edition of the 2,156-mile event and the first time since the end of World War II that the race is not starting in July.

Cycling fans will be treated to 12 new sites and stage cities as a total of 176 elite riders from 22 teams battle it out for the biggest prizes in cycling.

Who will cruise to GC victory through the streets of Paris come September? Primoz Roglic? Egan Bernal? And can anyone stop Peter Sagan from picking up yet another green jersey?

Only time and lots of serious viewing will tell. So here’s how to watch the 2020 Tour de France live, from anywhere in the world – and in HD quality.

Watch the Tour de France for free from abroad using a VPN

We’ll look at the TV and live stream options for UK and USA-based cycling fans below, but even if you have subscribed to the relevant services, you won’t be able to use them when outside your own country. The service will know your location based on your IP address, and will automatically block your access.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps you get around this obstacle. A VPN creates a private connection between your device and the internet, such that the servers and services you’re accessing aren’t aware of what you’re doing. All the information passing back and forth is entirely encrypted.

There are many VPN providers out there, with some more reliable and safe than others. As a rule, we’d suggest a paid-for service such as ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

ExpressVPN three months free with a year-long plan
You can get three months free when you sign up to a year-long plan, bringing VPN access to smart devices including the Amazon Fire TV Stick, laptops, TVs and both Android and iOS mobiles and tablets. Express also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.View Deal

Once you’ve made your choice, all you need to do is sign in to your VPN service through whichever device you’d like to use to watch the match. When prompted to select a server, you need to pick one which is based in the country whose content you’d like to access. Then navigate to the relevant video streaming app or website and you’re in.

How to watch the Tour de France in the UK

Tour de France live stream: how to watch Le Tour live and for free

(Image credit: Tour de France / ASO Pauline Ballet)

ITV4 is showing live coverage of the Tour de France, plus daily highlights of each stage. You can watch on a TV, or online using the ITV Hub. It’s completely free provided you hold a TV license.

Want to watch in HD? Eurosport 1 TV channel and the Eurosport Player streaming service will broadcast every stage live and in HD, with highlights every evening. 

Subscribe to Eurosport Player and you can watch live coverage of the Tour – plus major cycling, tennis, snooker and darts events – in HD quality.  A monthly pass costs £6.99 per month, but you save big with the annual pass, which costs just £39.99 for the whole year.

The other option is to subscribe to Amazon Prime and sign up for a free 7-day Eurosport trial. After the trial ends, you can subscribe at the usual £6.99 per month.

How to watch the Tour de France in the US

Tour de France live stream: how to watch Le Tour live and for free

(Image credit: Wikipedia / Agence Rol – Bibliothèque nationale de France)

The Tour de France is being shown live online in the US on NBC Sports Gold, which will broacast every stage live, ad-free and on-demand.  Subscription to the NBC Gold Cycling Pass costs $54.99 per year. The race is also being shown daily on NBC Sports Network, which is available on most local cable and satellite packages.

NBC Sports Gold Cycling Pass $54.99 per year
Watch every single minute of the 2020 Tour de France live and ad-free. Enjoy interactive maps, exclusive live streams of alternative camera angles. You even get coverage of every major live cycling event through this year and into 2021. A no-brainer if you love cycling.View Deal

How to watch the Tour de France in France, Italy and Belgium 

The Tour will be shown live on a handful of Europe’s biggest broadcasters, including Rai Sport in Italy, France Sport in France, and Sporza and RTBF in Belgium.

How to watch the Tour de France in Canada

FloBikes, a platform dedicated to live streaming top cycling events, will show the action in Canada. A FloBikes subscription costs from $12.50 per month or $150 for the year, and includes the Le Tour, Giro d’Italia and a brace of other top races.

How to watch the Tour de France in Australia

Reside on the other side of the world? No problem! Aussies can watch every stage of the Tour live on the SBS and SBS Viceland channels, or catch a free live stream through SBS On Demand and the ŠKODA Tour Tracker App.

Tour de France 2020 stages and route

Tour de France live stream: how to watch Le Tour live and for free

(Image credit: Tour de France / ASO Alex Broadway)

Stage 1 – Saturday 29th August

Start: Nice Moyen Pays

Finish: Nice

Distance: 156km

Stage 2 – Sunday 30th August

Start: Nice Haut Pays

Finish: Nice

Distance: 187km

Stage 3 – Monday 31st August

Start: Nice

Finish: Sisteron

Distance: 198km

Stage 4Tuesday 1st September

Start: Sisteron

Finish: Orcieres-Merlette

Distance: 157km

Stage 5 – Wednesday 2nd September

Start: Gap

Finish: Privas

Distance: 183km

Stage 6 – Thursday 3rd September

Start: Le Teil

Finish: Mont Aigoual

Distance: 191km

Stage 7 – Friday 4th September

Start: Millau

Finish: Lavaur

Distance: 168km

Stage 8Saturday 5th September

Start: Cazeres-Sur-Garonne

Finish: Loudenvielle

Distance: 140km

Stage 9  – Sunday 6th September

Start: Pau

Finish: Laruns

Distance: 154km

Stage 10 – Tuesday 8th September

Start: Ile d’Oleron

Finish: Ile de re Saint-Martin

Distance: 170km

Stage 11  – Wednesday 9th September

Start: Catelaillon-Plage

Finish: Potiers

Distance: 167km

Stage 12 – Thursday 10th September

Start: Chauvigny

Finish: Sarran Correze

Distance: 218km

Stage 13Friday 11th September

Start: Chatel-Guyon

Finish: Puy Mary

Distance: 191km

Stage 14  – Saturday 12th September

Start: Clermont-Ferrand

Finish: Lyon

Distance: 197km

Stage 15Sunday 13 September

Start: Lyon

Finish: Grand Colombier

Distance: 175km

Stage 16Tuesday 15th September

Start: La Tour-du-Pin

Finish: Villard-de-Lans

Distance: 164km

Stage 17Wednesday 16th September

Start: Grenoble

Finish: Meribel Col de la Loze

Distance: 168km

Stage 18 – Thursday 17th September

Start: Meribel

Finish: La Roche-Sur-Foron

Stage 19 – Friday 18th September

Start: Bourg-en-Bresse

Finish: Champagnole

Distance: 160km

Stage 20 Saturday 19th September

Start: Lure

Finish: La Planche des Belles Filles

Distance: 36km

Stage 21Sunday 20th September

Start: Mantes-La-Jolie

Finish: Paris

Distance: 122km