• The Tour de France 2018 on SBS. (Getty)Source: Getty
Come July, Australian sports fans will have a bounty of free-to-air action every night. While the 2018 FIFA World Cup heads towards the thrilling finals in Russia, in France the world’s biggest cycling race begins.
Cycling Central

25 Jun 2018 - 11:24 AM 

This 7 – 29 July, SBS broadcasts all stages of the 2018 Tour de France live, free and in HD. TV start times vary with most stages beginning at 8.30pm AEST.

Every stage will be available in full on SBS’s digital platforms, streaming on SBS On Demand, Cycling Central website and the ŠKODA Tour Tracker app. The Cycling Central website offers news, opinion, stats, highlights and video on demand. The ŠKODA Tour Tracker app returns, streaming live pictures and allowing viewers to view real-time data, stage profiles and catch up video to complement the full race coverage and deliver a fully comprehensive offering.

SBS has every minute of the Tour de France covered for audiences to catch up on the previous night’s action throughout the day, with a morning Daily Update from 7am, a Stage Replay from 1pm in the afternoon, Stage Replay from 3pm over on SBS VICELAND, and evening Highlights from 5.30pm (times vary, check local guides).

SBS’s esteemed cycling host Michael Tomalaris leads the team in France. Matthew Keenan and Robbie McEwen are at the helm of SBS’s commentary, calling every stage from start to finish. Cycling journalist Sophie Smith will report the latest news from the race as well as feature stories. David McKenzie will deliver in-depth analysis and will be getting close to the stars for all the reactions from the day's race.

French chef Gabriel Gaté is back for the fourteenth consecutive year to present his delicious serve of Taste Le Tour, a gastronomic feast that follows the route of the epic Tour de France bicycle race as he discovers the best gourmet specialities of each region. During his epicure adventures, Gabriel meets talented food artisans, including the best pastry cooks, bakers, winemakers, cheese makers and, of course, some wonderful master chefs.

The Zwift SBS Tour de France podcast is hosted by SBS French Radio’s Christophe Mallet, with David McKenzie and featuring other special guests. Recorded on-the-ground in France, the daily podcast will have updates on the race, as well as the fascinating characters and distinctly ‘French’ things that make this cycling race the biggest rolling event in the world.

The 105th edition of the Tour de France departs from Île de Noirmoutier, a small island off the west coast of France, before hitting the mainland. Except for a very short venture into Spain, the Tour this year is 100 per cent French, with no stages outside the borders of France.

This year's Tour features a team time trial in Stage 3 - a 35km route starting and ending in Cholet in western France. Stage 9 could also be tricky, with 15 treacherous cobblestone sections: the highest number since the 1980 Tour, with nearly 22km altogether. Stage 17 also promises to shake up the race and sport with a grid start and short mountainous 65km of which 43 will be spent climbing.

Richie Porte will again fly the flag as Australia's best chance to take home the overall title, coming into the Tour de France fresh from his impressive win at the Tour de Suisse.