If you've never watched Le Tour de France and are baffled as to how the scoring system works, here are the best explainations I can offer.
Each team begins with 8 riders, one of whom will be assisted by the others to gain maximum points towards overall tour leadership. The job of the other riders is to essentially lead out, pace and support the key rider. Each team is comprised of its share of sprinters, mountain specialists all competing for their respective classification title and general cyclists, helping to deliver drinks, food and raincoats to their team. Each team has one rider they hope they can support and get through to win overall victory.
The highest point scoring winner of each stage, or day, can earn a yellow jersey, which they will wear the following day.
The best sprint performer wins a green jersey, the best mountain performer gets the red polka dot jersey and the best young rider a white jersey.
These scores are cumulative across the three weeks of the tour. Points are awarded for designated sprints and mountai sections according to gradient.
Each team is comprised of its share of sprinters, mountain specialists and general cyclists.
Additionally, two days will be allocated for time trails of individual cyclists and team performances.
Generally, the protocol is that scores will be decided by the pen ultimate day, and the final ride into Paris is largely a glory ride, with the exception being the coveted final sprint down the Champs de Elysses.
On top of that each team also accumulates points and the best team is also awarded a trophy in Paris.
The teams are made up of professional cyclists who are sponsored to win races and promote a "brand". Everything from Sky television, to banks, to supermarket chains. To keep a cycling team is an expensive undertaking. Not only will the individuall team need keeping and supplying with equipment during Le Tour De France, cycling teams are made up of many more cyclists who compete in other extended tours, such as Le Giro d Italia, but also of day or week long races and time trials on a smaller scale.
However, arguably, Le Tour de France is the cycling equivalent of Wimbledon to the tennis circuit. It is the pinnacle most professional cyclists aim for.
It also is a fabulous means of promoting tourism to France itself and other places Le Tour ventures into. This year, whilst in Howarth in April, I witnessed workers preparing the artwork to be photographed by Le Tour's helicopters in late April.
I certainly enjoy the cycling, but I also love seeing the amazing landscapes, scenery and indeed crowds that are a feature of Le Tour De France's television coverage.