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The Tour De France As A Tube Map

First designed in 1931, Harry Beck’s Tube Map of the London Underground might be the most iconic transit map in the world. But can a design language used to make sense of the 249 miles of underground tunnels be successfully applied to the Tour de France, the biggest bicycle race in the world, with a length of track 10 times longer?

Designed by Visual.ly user cupajoe, this map of the Tour de France uses the London Underground’s system of brightly colored lines and bright, button-like dots to show the various stages of the approximately 2,277-mile race.


Unlike the interconnected snakes-and-ladders of the Tube, the Tour de France is a straight and linear circuit. This year, the 101st Tour threads from Leeds in the U.K. to the Champs-Élysées in just three weeks. But the design language Harry Beck first came up with, more than 80 years ago, works surprisingly well when applied to the Peloton, making sense of the Grand Départ in Leeds, the subsequent hop over the English Channel, the loop-de-loop through Belgium, and then the circuitous, roundabout route through Spain and France.

More incredibly? The Tour de France’s massive European tour will make better time than even the fastest London Underground metro. The average speed of a train in London is just 20.5 mph. Comparatively, a cyclist in the Tour De France will average more than 35 mph–before exploding downhill at speeds that would get you pulled over on the freeway. When it comes to commuting, it looks like pedal power beats horsepower.

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