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Tour de France 101 – Helpful tips for new Tour fans

  • By Ben Delaney
  • Published Jun. 13, 2009
  • Updated Jul. 23, 2011 at 12:39 PM EDT

Why do riders race in a pack?

By riding behind other cyclists — called drafting — on a flat road, a rider uses roughly 30 percent less energy than he would riding alone. When the speed is extremely high (in chasing a breakaway or in the final hour of a flat stage), the pack stretches into a single line as each rider fights to stay in the draft created by the fast-moving group.

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