By Paul D. Bowker | July 06, 2018, 12:01 a.m. (ET)
Taylor Phinney crosses the finish line during Stage 1 of the 2017 Tour de France on July 1, 2017 in Duesseldorf, Germany.


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Three-time Olympian Taylor Phinney and 2012 Olympian Tejay van Garderen are among five Americans who’ll join the best road cyclists in the world Saturday for the start of Tour de France.

The world’s most famous cycling race consists of 21 stages covering 3,351 kilometers and finishing in Paris on July 29.

Twenty-two teams of eight men are competing in the Tour, including Phinney and Lawson Craddock of the U.S. on the EF Education First–Drapac p/b Cannondale team.

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Van Garderen, who won the time trial in the Tour of California in May, is on the BMC Racing Team. Van Garderen placed fifth in both the 2012 and 2014 Tour de France races.

Other Americans in the race are Ian Boswell on Katusha-Alpecin and Chad Haga on Team Sunweb.

The race begins Saturday with a 201-kilometer leg from Noirmoutier-en-L’ile to Fontenay-le-Comte, followed by a 182.5-kilometer leg in Stage 2 on Sunday from Mouilleron-Saint-Germain to La Roche-sur-Yon.

Among the contenders for this year’s title is Britain’s Chris Froome, a two-time Olympic medalist who is seeking to become the fifth to win five Tour de France races.

TV: 5 a.m. ET Saturday, 7:30 a.m. Sunday, NBCSN

Webcast: 4:40 a.m. ET Saturday, 7 a.m. Sunday, NBC Sports App

Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.