- Who is airing Tour de France?
- Broadcasters and geo-blocking
- Unblock geo-restrictions with a VPN
- Best VPN for Tour de France
- About Tour de France
Cycling fans rejoice! The 2021 Tour de France is back following a two-month postponement due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The global pandemic hit the sports industry hard, forcing organizers to postpone or cancel tournaments. But after months of lockdowns and quarantine, the world is cautiously trying to resume everyday life.
TDF will begin on June 26 and conclude on July 18. The three-week race is the biggest cycling event of the year, gathering millions of fans worldwide. As such, broadcasters line up left, right, and center to cover the tournament for both cable and online viewers.
For those who will be cutting the cord, several streaming platforms will air Tour de France. Unfortunately, each one is strictly available inside its respective market, with geo-blocks preventing users from watching while abroad. Thanks to the virtual private network (VPN), though, you can watch Tour de France on your favorite channel from anywhere.
Table of Content
- Tour de France Broadcasters
- Tour de France Geo-blocks
- Avoid Geo-blocks with a VPN
- Best VPN for Tour de France
- About Tour de France
- Final Words
Tour de France Official Broadcasters
The 2021 Tour de France is just a couple of days away, and to all us cycling fans out there, it’s about time. Saying the upcoming edition is unprecedented would be an understatement, as riders and their teams have to juggle one of the biggest races amid a COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone must pass two coronavirus tests to enter the camp. And if two team members test positive or show symptoms, it’s au revoir to the entire group.
Furthermore, participants did not have the usual time to prepare for the five-stage race. Competitions were scarce these past few weeks due to the coronavirus, so I guess it’s safe to say that all predictions are out the window. This should add to the excitement the biggest UCI WorldTour race brings, so make sure not to miss it.
If you’re watching Tour de France online, there are plenty of channels to choose from, depending on your location, of course. The event has several official streaming broadcasters, including:
|France TV (free)||France|
|ITV (free)||The UK|
|Rai Sport (free)||Italy|
|NBC Sports||The US|
|Eurosport||Europe and South East Asia|
|beIN Sports||MENA Region|
|Sky Sports||New Zealand|
|Supersport||South Africa and Subsaharan Africa|
|ESPN||Latin America and the Caribbean|
Now, these are just a sample of the Tour de France broadcasters. For the full list, check out the website. Moreover, France TV, Rai Sport, ITV Hub, RTBF, and Sporza allow you to stream the entire race for free, as long as you reside inside their respective markets.
Internet Pay-TV Services
Most of the other Tour de France broadcasters are paid streaming channels. But some users prefer taking an alternative route since they’re already splurging the cash. They subscribe to Internet pay-TV platforms, cable subscriptions but for cord-cutters. These services offer an extensive lineup of major American TV networks like NBC, CBS, Fox, and ABC.
As a result, you’ll enjoy rich content, from sports to movies and series. You just need a service that offers NBC Sports, like:
- Sling TV: The Sling Blue package offers NBC Sports and 40+ more channels for $30/month. First-time subscribers get a 3-day free trial.
- YouTube TV: NBC Sports and over 70 channels are available for $64.99/month. The service also offers a one-week free trial.
- FuboTV: A sports-dedicated platform with a 7-day free trial and multiple subscription plans, starting at $64.99/month. FuboTV also features plenty of shows and movies.
- Hulu + Live TV: Hulu isn’t just a video-on-demand service. It also offers a live TV package starting at $54.99/month. You can benefit from a seven-day free trial.
- AT&T TV Now: Formerly known as DirecTV Now, this platform has a basic price of $55/month and a 7-day free trial.
Now, all these services are US-based, meaning you can only access them from inside the United States.
Tour de France Geo-blocks
Viewers from pretty much every region can tune in and stream the 2021 Tour de France. Each country has a designated streaming platform or two, allowing cord-cutters to watch the race without cable. But due to licensing issues, these services cannot air the event outside their coverage zone. That way, one media outlet cannot monopolize broadcasting rights, leaving room for competition.
Securing coverage rights does have its share of downsides, including geo-blocking. Networks use this technology to keep out-of-market viewers from accessing their content. Those who travel, work, or study abroad will feel aggrieved the most because they won’t watch sports on their favorite channels. US fans living in Italy, for example, won’t enjoy streaming Tour de France on Rai Sport. They’re used to NBC Sports’s commentary and coverage.
But if they attempt to watch Tour de France on the streaming platform from outside the US, a location error message will pop up on their screens.
“Due to broadcasting regulations, NBC is only allowed to show NBC Sports content on the internet in the United States and U.S. Territories.”NBC Sports
And the same thing goes for the other online services, including Internet Live TV platforms like fuboTV.
What Exposes Your Location?
Streaming platforms and every online service can locate you using either the GPS location on your phone or your IP address when you go online. The latter method is usually the most common because you can’t surf the web without an IP address. Each country has a list of designated IPs. Internet service providers are in charge of distributing them to users. Most ISPs give you the same IP address when you browse the web, while others change them.
Either way, these numerical labels are basically your digital ID card, allowing streaming services to determine your rough location, i.e., city or town. And that’s more than enough to block you if you’re outside their coverage zone.
Avoid Internet Restrictions with a VPN
As you can see, your IP address is the biggest obstacle keeping you from watching Tour de France 2021. Your only option is to change it so that you’ll appear elsewhere. Enter the VPN. This tool offers a network of private servers that spreads across the entire. It will reroute your traffic through a server of your choice and give you a new IP address that matches the server’s location. And don’t worry, your original IP will be concealed.
In other words, if you want to watch Tour de France on ITV Hub for free but you’re outside the UK, all you have to do is connect to a British server. Once the VPN connection is established, you’ll be able to log in to your ITV account and watch the race from anywhere.
And the same thing applies if you prefer a different channel. Simply connect to a server inside its broadcasting market and voila! You can catch all the action live.
Privacy and Anonymity
In addition to bypassing geo-restrictions and unblocking content, VPNs are excellent tools for anonymous browsing.
First, they encrypt all the data that you send or receive using the most secure algorithm in the industry: AES with 256-bit keys. Not all VPNs are alike, of course, but reputable ones employ this military-grade encryption. It is the same one the NSA uses to protect classified files.
Second, premium VPN providers follow a zero-logging policy, which means they delete sensitive data from their servers. That includes IP addresses and other personally identifiable information (PII), as well as your online activities. As a result, even if one of their servers is seized or breached, third parties can’t track you.
And third, you don’t have to worry about any data leaks because top VPN brands have a backup plan in case of a malfunction. They will terminate your connection to the Internet with a kill switch so that your traffic won’t travel through your ISP’s servers. That way, your online activities won’t be compromised.
Some VPNs go the extra mile to protect your online privacy by offering a double VPN feature. It reroutes your traffic through multiple servers instead of one and encrypts your traffic at least twice. And while it significantly enhances your anonymity, it also affects Internet speed. Other providers present a tool that blocks ads and malicious websites, while some feature a new VPN protocol called Wireguard. It is easy to use and faster than OpenVPN.
Moving on to more essential features, your VPN must help you avoid censorship. China, Iran, and several others ban social media platforms like Facebook and Google’s products. In fact, the Great Firewall of China even blocks VPNs. But those that still work inside the country should allow you to connect to foreign servers and unblock banned websites, without the scrutiny of Chinese authorities.
You can also benefit from a VPN in peer-to-peer activities. As you may know, downloading copyrighted material is a crime in some countries. And with copyright trolls lurking the web, it is easy to get caught. But VPNs protect you by hiding your IP address and encrypting your traffic. You’ll also be safe from potential hackers posing as members of the P2P network.
Install a VPN – Five Easy Steps
As you can see, VPNs can bypass online restrictions, avoid censorship, and increase your privacy. And the best thing about them is that you can install them without breaking a sweat. They have compatible apps with major operating systems, including Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. However, they don’t work with gaming consoles or Smart TVs. But if you set one up on your router, any device connected to your hotspot will enjoy VPN perks.
To stream Tour de France from anywhere, you have to:
- Subscribe to a premium VPN service. Enter your email, select a subscription plan, choose a payment method, and you’re good to go.
- Download the VPN app on your device. If you’re using a phone a tablet, got to the Play Store or the App Store to install it. Or you can download it directly from the VPN website if you’re on your computer.
- Launch the app and sign in.
- Connect to a VPN server that’s inside one of the above countries, depending on your favorite channel.
- See who will get to wear the Maillot Jaune (yellow jersey) by the end of the race.
Best VPN for Tour de France
As I mentioned earlier, not all VPNs offer the same quality in terms of features. In fact, some of them aren’t safe to use, like free VPNs. Operating and maintaining VPN servers is expensive, and it’s impossible to offer a free service without generating income. Therefore, these brands resort to ads. They collect logs of your browsing history and the websites you visit, then sell it to advertisers who use this data to deliver personalized ads.
Free VPNs also rarely use secure encryption algorithms, while some of them don’t even encrypt your traffic in the first place. That means anyone will be able to see where you are and what you’re doing. Furthermore, they might contain malware that hackers can exploit to steal your data.
And free VPNs aren’t just terrible in terms of privacy and security, but also performance. They don’t have a broad server network, can’t bypass all geo-blocks, and aren’t fast enough for live streaming.
Therefore, stick to premium VPN providers, like our top picks for the Tour de France.
If you want a provider that checks every box in the VPN feature list, look no further than ExpressVPN. It has more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries, spread across 160 locations. These servers offer excellent speed rates and bypass the VPN IP address ban that most streaming platforms implement. As a result, you’ll have access to all Tour de France broadcasters.
Moreover, ExpressVPN uses the Advanced Encryption Standard, better known as AES, with 256-bit keys. To break it, cybercriminals or government agencies would have to go through trillions of possible combinations. It would take the world’s combined supercomputers billions of years to accomplish that.
The company has a proven no-logging policy, leaving no trace of your sensitive data on its servers. It also has an automatic kill switch to prevent any data leaks.
Furthermore, ExpressVPN allows torrenting and P2P activities. You can connect up to five devices simultaneously with just one account, and install the app on PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, and Linux. You’ll also benefit from a 30-day refund policy.
- Broad server network.
- Unblock popular streaming platforms.
- MediaStreamer: Smart DNS proxy.
- Apps for iOS, Android, PC, Mac, Kindle Fire, and Linux.
- P2P support.
- Military-grade encryption.
- No-logs policy.
- Kill switch and DNS leak protection.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Five concurrent device connections.
- Expensive subscription plans.
There are several other premium VPN services in the industry, and BulletVPN is one of them. This Estonian provider can also unblock all the above Tour de France broadcasters, in addition to popular streaming platforms like Netflix US and BBC iPlayer. In fact, it is one of the few VPNs that can access TVNZ, Showmax, and DStv.
Moreover, BulletVPN servers allow torrenting and offer fast speed rates. They may not be as many as ExpressVPN, but they cover a lot of ground, with locations in the US, the UK, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, South Africa, and Australia. And the company is always expanding into new territories, so expect coverage to grow.
In terms of privacy and security, BulletVPN offers AES-256 encryption and zero-logs policy. It also offers a kill switch, which features an optional BulletShield. When activated, the latter won’t allow Internet access unless you’re connected to a BulletVPN server.
BulletVPN subscribers also benefit from a 30-day refund policy, six simultaneous device connections, and a Smart DNS proxy. You can install the app on iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac.
- Excellent unblocking capabilities.
- Fast speed rates.
- Allows torrenting.
- Zero-logs policy.
- Kill switch + BulletShield.
- AES-256 encryption.
- 30-day refund policy.
- Six simultaneous device connections.
- Smart DNS proxy.
- Smaller server network than its peers.
About Tour de France 2021
The upcoming edition of Tour de France was set for June 27, but it was postponed for two months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fans can be forgiven if they forgot certain information as everyone was busy trying to stay safe.
Therefore, we rounded up certain Tour de France facts and figures to jog your memory.
- AG2R La Mondiale
- Astana Pro Team
- CC Team
- Deceuninck – Quick-Step
- EF Pro Cycling
- Israel Start-Up Nation
- Movistar Team
- NTT Pro Cycling
- Team Ineos
- Jumbo – Visma
- Team Sunweb
- UAE Team Emirates
- Total Direct Energie
- B&B Hotels – Vital Concept p/b KTM
- 29 August: Nice Moyen Pays to Nice
- 30 August: Nice Haut Pays to Nice
- 31 August: Nice to Sisteron
- 1 September: Sisteron to Orcières-Merlette
- 2 September: Gap to Privas
- 3 September: Le Teil to Mont Aigoual
- 4 September: Millau to Lavaur
- 5 September: Cazères to Loudenvielle
- 6 September: Pau to Laruns
- 7 September: Charente-Maritime
- 8 September: Île d’Oléron to Île de Ré
- 9 September: Châtelaillon-Plage to Poitiers
- 10 September: Chauvigny to Sarran
- 11 September: Châtel-Guyon to Puy Mary
- 12 September: Clermont Ferrand to Lyon
- 13 September: Lyon to Grand Colombier
- 14 September: Isère
- 15 September: La Tour-du-Pin to Villard-de-Lans
- 16 September: Grenoble to Meribel
- 17 September: Meribel to La Roche-sur-Foron
- 18 September: Bourg-en-Bresse to Champagnole
- 19 September: Lure to La Planche des Belles Filles
- 20 September: Mantes-la-Jolie to Paris
Watch Tour de France Live Online – Finish Line
The 107th Tour de France is finally happening, folks. After a two-month delay, the race will begin on Saturday, August 29. If you wish to watch it on your favorite channel but live outside the coverage zone, you don’t have to deal with geo-blocks anymore.
All you have to do is install a premium VPN service like the ones we suggested above, then connect to a server inside your broadcaster’s market. It’s smooth sailing after that because you’ll be able to stream the race live from anywhere.
Which rider will wear the iconic yellow jersey this year? Leave your predictions below.