With the Tour de France postponed from its traditional July slot, a brand new e-racing series has stepped up to fill the gap. Let's take a closer look at the Virtual Tour de France.

The format

The popular Zwift platform provides the basis for the six-race series - run over three consecutive weekends in July.

Each Saturday and Sunday will see a race, with 23 men's and 17 women's teams tackling the same courses. Four riders will represent each team during each event, with the lineups set to be continually rotated.

Just as in the regular Tour de France, the yellow, green, polka dot and white jerseys will all be up for grabs - as will the prize for best overall team and most aggressive rider.

The stages

Saturday 4 July - Race 1: Hilly reverse, 36.4km (Start time: 15:05 UK)

With the Watopia world doubling for Nice, the action kicks off with an undulating course. Riders will tackle the same third-category climb four times, with KOM and green jersey points available on each passage.

Team INEOS lineup: Jonathan Castroviejo, Christian Knees, Michal Kwiatkowski, Pavel Sivakov.

Sunday 5 July - Race 2: Mountain, 29.5km (Start time: 15:07 UK)

A day for the climbers, a large second-category climb dominates the stage, with a long descent and a flat run-in set to make it interesting.

Team INEOS lineup: Andrey Amador, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Carlos Rodriguez, Geraint Thomas.

Saturday 11 July - Race 3: R.G.V, 48km (Start time: 14:52 UK)

The second weekend sees Zwift's new French map debut - with a flatter course featuring some short, sharp climbs. A bunch sprint is expected.

Team INEOS lineup: Egan Bernal, Ethan Hayter, Michal Golas, Christian Knees.

Sunday 12 July - Race 4: Casse-Pattes, 45.8km (Start time: 14:52 UK)

The climbing intensifies with two laps of a circuit, featuring a pair of third category climbs. It's another downhill run into the finish.

Team INEOS lineup: Owain Doull, Chris Lawless, Carlos Rodriguez, Cameron Wurf.

Saturday 18 July - Race 5: Chalet Reynard, 22.9km (Start time: 14:58 UK)

The queen stage sees Mont Ventoux recreated with the riders tackling the famous climb to Chalet Reynard.

Team INEOS lineup: Rohan Dennis, Eddie Dunbar, Salvatore Puccio, Carlos Rodriguez.

Sunday 19 July - Race 6: Champs-Elysees, 42.8km (Start time: 14:55 UK)

It wouldn't be the Tour without finishing on the famous streets of Paris. This virtual finale sees six laps of the famous Champs-Elysees before a sprint finish.

Team INEOS lineup: Chris Froome, Filippo Ganna, Chris Lawless, Cameron Wurf.
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How to watch

All the action will be streamed live on the Team INEOS Facebook page, with Eurosport and GCN also showing the racing.

Click here for a full list of broadcasters in your region

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