One noticeable factor in the Tour De France both this year and in recent ones has been the number of stages that have not actually been contested wholly in France. Rather, they have incorporated parts of other mainland and non mainland European countries.

Indeed, the first three stages were held in England, incorporating two highly popular stages across Yorkshire and another that finished in London. Millions of spectators were on hand to witness scenes akin to a repeat of London 2012 for the cycling events. Organisers even seemed to be attempting to mask the location of the event as the riders passed by Le Chateau de Skipton in Yorkshire!

Whilst it is laudable for Le Tour to pass through other countries besides its own, does this have the effect of making it less distinct from other countries' cycling events, albeit without the same kudos that goes with such a historic event as the Tour De France?

Many British cycling fans will already be familiar with some of the places that the event passed through this year from the domestic Tour of Britain, so at least they were probably aware of the best vantage points to view the event from as the peloton flew (briefly) past them.

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Of the 21 stages overall, besides the three that were contested wholly in England, there have also been brief sections in Belgium on stage 5 and Spain will witness part of stage 17. So almost a quarter of the stages are "non" Tour De France in their totality.

Thankfully the iconic finish in the heart of Paris, with its expected highly charged sprint finish, seems to remain intact and unchanged. Perhaps if they ever have roadworks on the Champs-Élysées, then "le detour" could transport them to "Le Palace de Buckingham" sometime in the future?

However, the Tour De France is not alone in transporting itself across the sea to other countries in recent times. Only this year, the Giro D'Italia held its first three stages overseas, incorporating Dublin and Belfast landmarks. Such relocating of those events clearly has a bearing on plans for other events wanting to ensure continued appeal and success.

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It seems that Le Tour is merely recognising the global appeal of cycling events and reacting accordingly by spreading its wings to meet the demand outside of its own country. This is sure to encourage a wider appeal for current and potential future sponsors, and safeguarding the future of the sport it supports.