So you want to watch the 2023 Tour de France. Good, you should. Maybe you’ve watched it in the past and just can’t figure out where you’re supposed to be watching this year for some reason. Maybe you watched Tour de France: Unchained and have decided to tag along for the ride live this year. Either way, good. Personally, I think it’s one of the greatest and most exciting sports events of the year, if not the most.

Now you gotta figure out how to actually watch it this year. Do you have to watch every minute of every stage to catch the action? What if you miss a stage? What’s the best way to see the rankings every day? Will I even know what I’m watching?

First off, if you want to have some added fun, start a Tour de France fantasy team. It’s a pretty easy process, free, and, worst comes to worst, you can just stop caring a few days in if you get bored. It is a great way to force yourself to pay a bit more attention, though, and it’s a great time. Getting your friends involved is also highly recommended.

Secondly, for easy access to rankings, stage maps, rider lists, and news, you should download the Tour de France app. I’ll be honest, it’s definitely not the best sports app out there. It can be a bit finicky and a bit confusing at times, but it gets the job done. You can also access live tracking throughout each stage, with information relating to where each athlete is located and everything that’s going on. If you can’t be actively watching the stage, the app is the way to pay attention.

Finally, for those hoping to watch the races live in the United States, you’re going to need to have access to NBC Sports. That can be through your television provider or it can be directly through NBC’s streaming platform, Peacock. The service is $4.99/mo for Premium and $9.99/mo for Premium Plus. If you really want to pay attention to what’s going on, Peacock is probably the way to do it. Plus, you’ll get access to the full stage replays.

Scheduling wise, being in the United States, catching entire stages will be a bit of a waking-up-early game. Many of the stages start around noon in France and Spain (the Tour starts in Spain this year, in case you’ve paid no attention). Unfortunately, that means North Americans will see stage starts around 6 a.m. EDT, 4 a.m. MDT, or 3 a.m. PDT. The good news is many of the stages will go on for several hours, so while you may be fast asleep at the start, you can enjoy a stage finish in the morning or early afternoon!

Beyond there, look for some podcasts focusing on day-to-day recaps of the Tour (The Cycling Podcast would be my go-to) and, if you can, find a friend who knows way too much about the sport of cycling. I’m sure they’d be more than happy to explain everything to you after every stage.

Featured Image Credit: Tour de France via Twitter