Over the cobbles, along the gravel, up the Alps - the challenges facing the riders in the 2018 Tour de France are unrelenting. And they're only just around the halfway mark! At least getting hold of a live stream is much easier, and we're here to tell you how you can keep up with all of this year's Tour de France via a free stream.
Tour de France 2018 - where and when
The Tour de France 2018 began on Saturday, July 7 and finishes on Sunday, July 29. Start times of the stages vary, with the first stage starting at 11.10am local time (10.10am BST, 5.10am ET, 2.10am PT, 7.10pm AEST).
Comprising 21 gruelling stages, the 3,329km race departs from Noirmoutier-en-l'Île and finishes at the iconic Champs-Elysees in Paris 22 days later.
As is ever the case, it's still really difficult to quite grasp who the favorites of the Tour de France at this relatively early stage. We've so far seen impressive performances from the likes of Greg Van Avermaet, Alejandro Valverde, local interest in Julian Alaphilippe and a British rider from Team Sky called...Geraint Thomas. But Chris Froome is still loitering with intent, with a fourth consecutive Tour in his sights.
There aren't many sporting events more evocative and iconic than the Tour De France. Even for non-cycling nuts, Le Tour is one of those transcendent sporting events that captures the hearts of general sports enthusiasts around the world. With exhilarating races that weave through stunning terrain, from the coast to the mountains and beyond, sporting spectacles don't get much better than Le Tour de France.
It may not be the longest, but the route for the the 2018 Tour looks to be one of the most testing in years, with tight, cobbled roads and coastal winds testing the riders before they even get to the gruelling stages of the Pyrenees and the Alps. Don't miss out on the drama of the Tour de France 2018 – scroll down to see where you can find a live stream of the race for free, wherever you are in the world.
Use a VPN to live stream the Tour de France 2018 from anywhere for FREE
If you don't have easy access to watch the Tour de France in your country but want to catch the coverage, the best way to watch it for free is to download and install a VPN. That way you can log in to a region that is broadcasting the tour. For those seeking English coverage, your best bet is to connect to UK servers and stream ITV4 via the ITV Hub. And it's really easy to do:
1. Download and install a VPN
We've tested all of the major VPN services and we rate ExpressVPN as the absolute best. It's compatible with all of your devices, supports most streaming services and ranks amongst the fastest. You can even install it on devices like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox and PlayStation. So for a one-stop shop, you can't go wrong with Express - but there are more fantastic VPN options out there as well:
The best 3 VPNs for streaming sports online
1. ExpressVPN: the best all-round VPN for streaming, comes with 30-day trial
2. IPVanish: claims to be the world's fastest VPN, it supports up to 10 devices per subscription
3. VyprVPN: blazing speeds make VyprVPN a great choice for 4K video
- Read more: The best VPN services 2018
2. Connect to the appropriate server location
Simply open the VPN app, hit 'choose location' and select the appropriate location to stream that country's feed. For a free live stream of coverage in English, change your server location to the UK.
3. Go to TVPlayer.com
TVPlayer is a reliable, robust, free and, crucially, legal live stream website that has all of the UK's free-to-air channels in one place. Make sure you head to TVPlayer.com for the Tour de France, then kick back and enjoy the live coverage.
How to live stream the Tour de France 2018 in the UK for free
As we mentioned, ITV4 will have live daily coverage of the 2018 Tour de France in the UK. The channel promises a total of 70 hours of live cycling over the course of the three week race and for those wanting to stream via mobile or tablet, you can do so with ITV Hub.
UK viewers will also be able to watch the Tour de France with Eurosport if their TV subscription services include the channel. Mobile viewing comes via Eurosport Player if cycling fans want to stream the race that way.
Another alternative is to watch the Tour on TVPlayer.com, which let's you channel hop at your convenience and delivers a reliable, robust live stream online. And if you're out of the country but still want the UK coverage, then we suggest using a VPN to virtually relocate to the UK - full instructions above.
How to watch the Tour de France 2018: live stream in the US
In the US, NBC Sports is the official broadcaster for the Tour de France 2018 and the channel has revealed its daily schedule for covering each stage of the race.
For the most extensive coverage NBC has to offer, you can subscribe to NBC Sports Gold, which is offering a Cycling Pass for $49.99, delivering live, on-demand and commercial free coverage of the Tour.
If the more costly NBC route doesn't work for you, there's always the VPN option for a completely free watch. By downloading and installing a VPN, you can effectively trick your computer into thinking that it's in the UK and stream via TVPlayer.com. It's really easy to get started with a VPN – all the details are above.
How to watch Tour de France cycling: Australia stream
Great news for those wanting to catch the cycling down under – free-to-air SBS has the rights to show the Tour de France 2018.
And don't worry if you're out of the country and want to catch that SBS (or UK) broadcast, as using a VPN will let you watch as if you were back at home.
The best way to stream Tour de France 2018 in Canada
In Canada, subscription TV channel Sportsnet will be showing the Tour, but if you don't have that, you can sign up to Sportsnet NOW for a live HD stream on your computer or mobile device (WiFi signal permitting). Month-long Sportsnet NOW subscriptions are priced at $24.99. For French-speaking coverage in Canada, viewers will need to tune into RDS Sports.
However, if you want to watch for free, your best bet is to use a VPN and access the UK's coverage for no cost in the comfort of your own home.
The best ways to stream the Tour de France 2018 live in New Zealand for free
Rights to show the Tour in New Zealand belong to Sky Sports, so it's a case of no subscription, no live stream for cycling fans in NZ.
Where else can I watch the Tour de France 2018 using a VPN?
A VPN will enable you to get a Tour de France live stream from literally anywhere. So that obviously includes: the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, China, Russia, France, Spain, Japan, Italy, Poland, Germany, Mexico, Czech Republic, Austria, Thailand, Denmark, China, South Africa, Argentina, Singapore, Turkey and more!
Main image courtesy of letour.fr