How did Belgian people follow the Tour de France?

Almost all Belgians are familiar with the Tour that started on July 6. Although this is a sporty highlight, research by Garmin(1) shows that no less than 94% of the Belgians who followed the race last summer, do so from their lazy seats. You’d think it’s not really sporty. Yet we see that this group of Belgians sports more often on a weekly basis than those who don’t follow the race. That’s why Garmin is helping cycling enthusiasts this summer to find beautiful routes through Belgium, including a number of local mountain rides. Because the figures also show that the mountain rides are most popular (64%), so let’s experience them for real.

How do we look at cycling races?

Almost all Belgians are familiar with the big French cycling race that started on 6 July in our capital (98%). And more than half (54%) also followed the race last year. They did this mainly via television (94%), the newspaper (28%) or the radio (24%). Only 2% said they started to encourage the riders in real life. It is striking that people under the age of 34 indicate that they follow the race twice as often via radio, news apps or social media than people over 34.

Most of us are sitting in our lazy seats (or on the rolls?). But that doesn’t necessarily mean that cycling fans are not sporty. On the contrary.

Who watches cycling?

We see that men more often follow the course than women (65% vs. 44%). This is not necessarily a surprise. Because cycling is still the most practiced by men. 27% of the Belgian men say they do cycling themselves compared to 9% of the Belgian women.



Men are more often the hard fans who invariably follow each stage (16%, against 6% women).

We also see that the Tour is very popular with the elderly people. No less than 71% of the 55+ riders follow the race. That’s almost twice as much as the Belgian who is younger than 34 years old, where 36% follows the Tour.

Finally, we notice that those who sport weekly, in the past, followed the Tour more often than those who did less sport (60% vs. 40%). Especially running and cycling are the sports that are often practiced by the loyal spectator of the Tour(2).  Fitness is the most popular sport with Belgians who do not follow the Tour(3).


Inspiration for the sportive cyclist

Garmin’s bike computers, including the Edge 530 and Edge 830, offer tons of inspiration for the cyclist who wants to go out this summer.  They feature a preloaded Garmin bike map, making it easy to discover new routes wherever you are.

Routing based on popularity allows you to choose from roads and paths that local cyclists travel most often. Those who want to deviate from the planned route to discover hidden places can do so as well. The Edge 530 and 830 will always lead you back to your route or starting point.

The figures also showed that mountain stages are most popular to follow. 64% of Belgians like it the most. Thanks to the ClimbPro function on the Edge devices (530 and 830), anyone who wants to experience them for themselves can automatically check the remaining ascent and angle of inclination. So you know what’s in store for you.


(1)Online research conducted by research agency iVOX on behalf of Garmin Belux between 3 May 2019 and 8 May 2019 among 1000 Belgians representative by province, gender, age and diploma. The maximum error rate for 1000 Belgians is 3.02%.