The 2018 Tour de France gets underway Saturday, July 7, as Chris Froome seeks a fifth title, while the likes of Richie Porte, Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa and Vincenzo Nibali attempt to stop his reign during the three-week race from Noirmoutier to Champs-Elysees in Paris.
In the United States, coverage of all 21 stages of the Tour de France will primarily be on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), with some coverage also on NBC. There will be both live coverage in the early mornings, as well as replayed coverage later each day (full schedule here).
If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch NBC live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
In addition to their extensive Netflix-like streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including both NBC (live in most markets) and NBCSN. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of both channels on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch a stage or certain part of the race live, “Hulu with Live TV” also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials), allowing you to watch at a later time.
NBC (live in most markets) and NBCSN are both included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package, which is largely tailored towards international sports fans. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch the race live on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app.
If you can’t watch live, FuboTV comes with 30 hours of Cloud DVR (with the ability to upgrade to 500 hours), as well as a “72-Hour Lookback” feature, which allows you to watch most events or shows–including broadcasts of the Tour de France–up to three days after they air even if you forgot to record them.
NBC (live in select markets) and NBCSN are both included in the “Sling Blue” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch the race live on your computer via the Sling website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch live, you can get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as an additional add-on.
Surprising to no one, Chris Froome is the favorite to add another title to his resume after winning for the fourth time overall and third in a row last year.
But Froome, who was recently cleared of doping charges stemming from a failed test in September at the Vuelta a Espana, decided to participate in the Giro d’Italia in May for just the second time in his career. He won the race in unbelievable fashion, but winning the first two Grand Tours of the year–the Giro and the Tour de France–is a difficult task that has only been accomplished by six other riders in history–the last by Marco Pantani in 1998.
“Riders who tend to double up on the first two Grand Tours of the season tend to have a hard time staying in top form during the third week of the Tour,” wrote Deadspin’s Patrick Redford. “He’s also 33 and only won last year’s race by 54 seconds. Froome is there for the taking.”
There are a handful of different riders capable of putting an end to Froome’s run.
Australia’s Richie Porte, who finished fifth overall at the Tour de France in 2016, just captured the overall victory at the 2018 Tour de Suisse last month. Nairo Quintana has twice finished second to Froome in France and will look to bounce back after the Giro-Tour double led to a 12th-place finish last year. Or perhaps his Movistar teammate Mikel Landa, who came over from Team Sky this year, will lead the way. There’s also Vincenzo Nibali, who take advantage of Froome’s crash in 2014 to win it all. Rigoberto Uran and Romain Bardet were both on the podium last year, with the former losing to Froome by just 54 seconds, and both could certainly challenge again.
If Froome sweeps aside the other challengers as he has done in the past, a fifth win would tie him with Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain for the most (non-stripped) titles of all-time.