The most well-known and prestigious race in the world of professional cycling is indisputably the Tour de France. The 2012 edition will begin on Saturday, June 30 and will last for the better part of a month, finally wrapping up on Sunday, July 22.
The grueling 20-stage race begins in Liege and finishes along the Champs-Elysees in Paris. Cadel Evans of Australia will be returning to defend his 2011 title, but he will need to deal with a very deep talent pool that includes Bradley Wiggins, a British cyclist who is on an absolute tear in stage races this year.
Although the big names of the past like Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador will not be participating, the competition will be fierce, with Giro d'Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal and Tour of California winner Robert Gesink will be in the mix.