Tour de France: Winners & Route Mapped

Each year in July, over one hundred serious cyclists gather together in France to compete in an endurance race, the Tour de France. The event takes more than three weeks, as the route covers 2,200 miles (3,500 km). It’s definitely no small feat to be be the first to cross the final finish line, although some countries are more familiar with their cyclists winning the title than others.

View Tour de France Winners in a full screen map

Click around on the map above to see which countries have won the Tour de France so many times it will make your wheels spin, or read on for highlights about the winners and the 2018 route mapped.

Pump Those Brakes, How Many Times Has France Won?

Many countries send their most talented cyclists to France each year in the hopes of being Tour de France champions. The following countries have had the most success at the race:

  • France, 36 wins
  • Belgium, 18 wins
  • Spain, 12 wins

The Tour de France is just that, a Tour of France. It should then come as no surprise to learn that the French have won the competition more times than any other country in the world. With 36 wins under its belt, France is clearly pedaling in a different gear than the rest of the world. Perhaps even more amazing is the fact that 21 of those 36 wins were from different cyclists. There is clearly something in the water in France that produces not just one all-star cycler but many. However, the country is in the middle of a slight dry spell. The last time France won the competition was 33 years ago in 1985.

Belgium has won the second-most amount of Tours. While nowhere near as many wins as France, Belgium’s 18 wins are still notable. Impressively, 10 out of those 18 wins were all won by separate cyclists. Belgium last won the Tour in 1976.

Spain has won the Tour de France 12 times with seven different riders. Their last win was in 2009, which is much more recent than France and Belgium. However, if all of these top winning countries haven’t won in the past eight years, who has been winning the Tour de France lately? Well, since 2012, Great Britain has won every Tour de France save for 2014 when Italy snagged first place. So, in the past six years, Great Britain has won five competitions.

Wheelie, Wheelie Big Winners

As for the individual cyclists who did the grunt work of cycling nearly every day for over three weeks? There are five cyclists who at one point won the Tour de France five or more times.

  • Lance Armstrong, 7-time winner (disqualified)
  • Bernard Hinault, 5-time winner
  • Eddy Merckx, 5-time winner
  • Jacques Anquetil, 5-time winner
  • Miguel Indurain, 5-time winner

Lance Armstrong is perhaps the most controversial cyclist in history. While his wins have been denounced and reallocated to the runners-up, at one point the whole world believed he won seven consecutive Tour de France tournaments. Armstrong initially won the competition for the U.S. in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 before he was stripped of all titles due to doping.

Bernard Hinault, unlike Armstrong, is still considered a Tour de France winner, and a pretty talented one at that. With Armstrong’s disqualification, Hinault is one of the four cyclists to officially tie for the most Tour de France wins. Hinault won the Tour for France four consecutive times in 1978, 1979, 1981, and 1982. He lost in ‘83 and ‘84, only to make a staggering final comeback in 1985 with his last win for France.

Eddy Merckx, also with five Tour de France wins, is a Belgian cyclist who won the competition for his country in four consecutive Tours in 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972. He did not win in ‘73 but came back to win the 1974 competition. Jacques Anquetil, another Frenchman, won the Tour in 1957, and then again consecutively from 1961 to 1964. The Spanish cyclist Miguel Indurain won the competition for five years straight starting in 1991.

Because Lance Armstrong doesn’t really count, we’ll add in the next highest winner to replace him. Chris Froome is a British rider with four wins under his belt. He is the reason for Great Britain’s most recent domination of the Tour de France, winning the competition for them in 2013, 2015, 2016, and is the current title holder having won in 2017. Will he win again this year?

A Vicious Cycle: Cheating Throughout the Tour

Avid Tour de France fans know all about the cheating scandals that rocked the races. In fact, there are five cheating scandals you should know about that explain why official Tour de France reports vary regarding how many times a country has won. Some countries, once a Tour winner has been implicated in doping and subsequently disqualified, refuse to give their title back.

You already know about Lance Armstrong, but let’s hear about the others with rescinded wins and tarnished reputations due to doping scandals.

Bjarne Riis is one of the first cyclists who won the Tour but who was then disqualified. Riis is Denmark’s only Tour de France champion from way back in 1996. So you’d understand why they’d have a tough time giving up their one and only title just because Riis admitted to cheating in 2007. Over ten years after his big Tour de France win, Riis admitted to having used performance-enhancing drugs during the 1996 Tour. The Tour de France rescinded his win, and Jan Ullrich of Germany was proclaimed the new 1996 winner. However, in 2008, the Tour gave him back the W, likely because of just how much time had passed since his win. However, that reinstated W* was forever followed by an asterisk to ensure everyone would always know it was a tarnished victory.

Because the Tour reinstated Riis’s win, Jan Ullrich is no longer considered to be the winner of the 1996 Tour. Though Ullrich, the German-born cycler, did officially earn Germany its only first-place status the year after the Riis fiasco in 1997. However, Ullrich’s reputation is not as squeaky-clean as you’d expect of someone who kind-of sort-of won the 1996 Tour de France due to the original winner’s drug use. In fact, Ullrich himself has had some trouble with PEDs, although it didn’t have any effect on his 1997 win. In 2006, Ullrich was banned from competing in the Tour de France pending an investigation into whether or not he was familiar with using PEDs in recent years. He was found guilty of PED use in 2012 and admitted it in 2013. Ullrich’s admittance has had no effect on his second-place but kind-of first-place status in 1996 and actual win in 1997.

In addition to Armstrong, Riis, and Ullrich, two more cyclists have has run-ins with the law when it comes to PEDs during the Tour. Both Floyd Landis, an American cycler, and Alberto Contador from Spain had titles rescinded due to doping. Landis doped in 2006, and the runner-up, Óscar Pereiro from Spain is officially considered the winner. However, Pereiro’s win didn’t give Spain much of a leg up in wins because, in 2010, Alberto Contador lost the Tour de France win for Spain due to doping.

Tour de France: 2018 Route

The Tour de France lasts a grueling 21 days, with only two days of rest. A mixture of terrain types from nice and flat and hilly to mountainous keeps the cyclists on their toes. More so than just the variety of terrains, the competition throws in a blend of Team Timed-trials and Individual Timed-trials so the Tour is never the same from day to day. It is also not the same from year to year, so we thought we’d map this year’s 2018 Tour de France route.

View 2018 Tour de France Route in a full screen map

Follow along by stage on the map above to get a feel for just how much land these cyclers cover in an attempt to take home the W for their country.

The cyclists are on the move from their very first point signaling the beginning of the yearly Tour on Saturday, July 7 in Noirmoutier-en-l’Île and traveling their way around France’s borders to the Tour’s finish line on Sunday, July 29, in Paris Champs-Élysées. Of the two rest days they get in between, the first occurs ten days after the start of the Tour on Monday, July 16th, in Annecy. Seven days after that comes the second rest day on Monday, July 23rd in Carcassonne, France. Note that the insane amount of kilometers traveled from Stage 9 to Stage 10 is traveled by plane, just as with Stage 20 to the finish line at Stage 21.

And there you have it, folks! The Tour de France’s biggest winners and the route the 2018 competitors will take very soon, all on a map. Who will win in 2018? Watch the Tour de France in July to find out. And, if you’re just slightly under the Tour de France’s level, you can still map your own neighborhood bike path today with BatchGeo in seconds.

Voting Age Around the World

The age at which a citizen of a country may cast their vote differs around the world. Before World War II, most countries set the minimum voting age at 21 years old. In 1946, Czechoslovakia became the first country to lower their minimum voting age to 20, and over twenty years later 17 countries too lowered their voting age. By the end of the 1900s, 18 had become the most common voting age, and it remains the same today. However, that doesn’t mean every country around the world subscribes to the same age. In fact, the minimum voting age around the world ranges from 16 to 25 years old. In some countries, citizens of eligible age are required by law to vote. However, for most countries, voting is optional. As you will see, there are many different minimum ages when it comes to voting.

View Voting Age in a full screen map

Click around on the map above to discover for yourself the voting ages of over 235 countries, or read on to see what fascinating tidbits of information we’ve selected from the voting ages of countries around the world.

Most Common Voting Age

A glaring 86% of the 237 countries on our list have a minimum voting age requirement of 18 years old. However, the 205 countries that require their citizens to be at least 18 years old to vote are not all homogenous when it comes to exceptions to the rule and histories. Take Bosnia and Herzegovina, for example. The country has an 18-year-old voting age requirement, however, an exception to the rule is that 16-year-olds who are employed may also vote.

The legislative body of Iran can’t seem to make up its mind when it comes to Iran’s voting age. While currently Iran’s voting age coincides with the majority of the world’s countries, before 2007, Iran’s minimum voting age was just 15 years old. It was changed to 18 years of age in 2007 and then changed back to 15 years old in 2009 after just two years. In 2011, Iran’s voting age returned to 18 years old.

Japan has also experimented with changing its voting age as recently as 2016. Japan changed its minimum voting age from 20 years old to 18 years old.

The history of why 18 is the most common voting age lies in its connection to military enlistment. For most countries, 18 years old is the age when a citizen may enlist in the military. Logically, those who may be drafted or volunteer to fight for their country desire to cast their vote come election season.

Where Police and Military Members Cannot Cast Their Votes

Some countries disagree with allowing police and military members the right to vote. The Dominican Republic bars all members of its police and military forces from partaking in elections. The Dominican Republic is not the only country to do so, at least in the past. Peru used to ban all police and military members from voting in elections, however, a 2005 constitutional reform removed this law and now police and military members may vote.

The countries of Oman, Kuwait, and Indonesia have yet to express interest in allowing their police and military forces to vote. Guatemala also prohibits active duty members of the armed forces from voting, and those members are even restricted to their barracks on election day.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, in North Korea, members of the military may vote regardless of age.

Youngest Voting Age

The youngest minimum voting age is 16 years old. Eleven countries lay claim to this young national voting age or just 5% of all of the countries on our list.

These countries include:

  • Brazil
  • Ecuador
  • Austria
  • Cuba
  • Guernsey
  • Isle of Man
  • Jersey
  • Malta
  • Nicaragua
  • Scotland
  • Argentina
    • In Argentina, voting between the ages 16 to 18 is optional, but becomes compulsory after 18 years old.

Where Voting is Required

Voting may be optional for those aged 16 through 18 in Argentina, but once you hit 19, voting becomes mandatory. Argentina is not the only country in which voting is compulsory, meaning that eligible citizens are required by law to vote in national and or local elections. The following countries also mandate that their citizens vote:

  • Argentina
  • Brazil*
  • Luxembourg
  • Dominican Republic
  • Belgium
  • Peru
  • Paraguay
  • Bolivia
  • Ecuador*
  • Australia

While the above-listed countries may all be similar in that voting is compulsory, they are not exactly all the same. What differentiates the countries from each other is the different age ranges for which voting is compulsory. For example, in Brazil and Peru, all citizens from the age of 18 through age 70 must vote. In Luxembourg and Paraguay, citizens 18 years old or older must vote until they reach the age of 75 years old. Ecuador has the youngest age at which voting stops being compulsory at 65 years young.

In addition to compulsory voting, the Dominican Republic boasts a fascinating voting obligation: all married people regardless of age are required to vote. The same rule applies in Indonesia.

In some countries which require their citizens to vote, voting is optional for citizens who are illiterate. These countries include Brazil and Ecuador. However, the literacy rates in Brazil and Ecuador, over 92%, and over 94% respectively, don’t imply this is much of an issue.

Oldest Minimum Voting Age

Finally, the oldest minimum voting age is 25 years old. The only country to implement this is the United Arab Emirates. The UAE elects its officials with a 6,689-member electoral college. The electoral college members are appointed by the emirates and are required to be citizens of the emirate they are to cast their vote on behalf of and must be 25 years old or older, depending on the emirate. They must also be literate.

Is your country’s voting age the same as 86% of other countries at 18 years old or does your country share a voting age with less than 1% of the world with a voting age of 19 or 25? Whatever your country’s minimum voting age is, you can make your own map like the one above at today.

Mapping the Most Electricity Use by Country

Understanding the world’s electricity consumption can be a daunting task. However, here at BatchGeo, we find that maps make it easier to view lots of information all at once. This map is helpful in getting a sense of which country uses the most electricity, and if there are any geographical reasons for why that may be. Where do world leaders like China, the U.S., and Canada fall when it comes to how much electricity they use, and how do the rest of the 219 countries on our list stack up? The map below holds all of that information, and more.

View Most Electricity Use by Country Map in a full screen map

Check out your country’s electricity consumption versus the competition on the map above, or read on for insights into the world’s electricity use.

Most Electricity-Consuming Countries

Rank Country/Region Electricity consumption (kW·h/yr)
1 China 5,920,000,000,000
2 United States 3,911,000,000,000
3 India 1,408,624,400,000
4 Russia 1,065,000,000,000
5 Japan 934,000,000,000
6 Germany 533,000,000,000
7 Canada 528,000,000,000
8 Brazil 518,000,000,000
9 South Korea 495,000,000,000
10 France 431,000,000,000

China, the world’s number one most electricity-consuming country, uses a whopping 5,920,000,000,000 Kilowatt hours per year. Now that’s a lot of zeros! The electricity-monopolizing country also has the highest population of all of the countries on our list with 1,373,541,000 people, and those people are all in need of electricity, so the high number makes sense. Before 2011, the United States actually used up the most electricity per year, but China surpassed the U.S. after steadily growing from the 1990s onward. Most of China’s electricity comes from coal, as the country happens to be the largest producer and consumer of coal in the world.

While China may have passed the U.S. in electricity consumption, the U.S. is still the second-largest electricity-consumer in the world. Most of the U.S.’s electricity comes from natural gas, which is used to heat water for steam. Just like China, the U.S. also has lots of people who need electricity with a population of 323,995,528, the third highest populated country on our list. Another factor in the U.S.’s extensive electricity use may be the U.S.’s love of cars. Electric fuel pumps, cooling fans, starters, and power steering all use up electricity, and seeing as over 360 U.S. cities have a drive alone percentage of over fifty percent that may be a large contributing factor to its second-place status.

Least Electricity-Consuming Countries

Photo by NOAA Photo Library

The first and second place titles for the least electricity-consuming countries belong to the Northern Mariana Islands and the Gaza Strip respectively.

The Northern Mariana Islands are located in the northwest Pacific Ocean and consist of 15 islands in total. With a combined total population of 53,467, these small islands come in at #219 on our list of electricity consumers, only consuming a mere 48,300 Kilowatt hours per year. Compare that to our number one electricity consumer, China, and the Northern Mariana Islands’ 48,300 kW·h/yr is over 120,000,000 times less than China’s thirteen figure number of 5,920,000,000,000 kW·h/yr.

The Northern Mariana Islands import nearly all of their largest energy source: petroleum, which fuels the islands’ electric plants. The islands have no reserves of their own. Because the cost of petroleum changes in accordance with the world’s diesel fuel price, the price of electricity in the Northern Mariana Islands is between three to four times higher than the price of electricity in the U.S. Due to the high cost of running electric plants in the Northern Mariana Islands, many big-ticket businesses such as hotels have generators and use them make their own electricity, especially when diesel fuel prices skyrocket worldwide.

The Gaza Strip, the second least electricity consumer worldwide, or #218 on our list consumes only 202,000 Kilowatt hours per year, which is the second and last electricity consumption under six digits. The Gaza Strip, with a population of 1,753,327, has a tumultuous history when it comes to accessing electricity, and in 2017 many residents were lucky to get four hours of electricity a day.

Gaza’s issues with accessing electricity began in 1967 with the Arab-Israeli War, which left Gaza under the control of Israel. Until 1993, Israel provided the Strip with electricity, but upon removal of Israeli forces in 2005, Gaza was left with an only sometimes functioning power plant and a fast-rising population. Gaza’s one and only power plant was bombed repeatedly by Israel in 2006, 2008, and again in 2009. Only about 60 percent of Gaza’s population has intermittent electricity while the other 40 percent are forced to completely forgo what some may deem a necessity for daily life. To this day, hospitals in Gaza are unable to function fully.

Highest Electricity Usage Per Capita

Rank: Electricity Usage Per Capita Country/Region Population Average energy per capita (kWh per person per year) Electricity consumption (kW·h/yr)
1 Iceland 335,878 50,613 17,000,000,000
2 Liechtenstein 37,937 35,848 1,360,000,000
3 Norway 5,265,158 24,006 126,400,000,000
4 Kuwait 2,832,776 19,062 54,000,000,000
5 Bahrain 1,378,904 18,130 25,000,000,000
6 United Arab Emirates 5,927,482 16,195 96,000,000,000
7 Qatar 2,258,283 15,055 34,000,000,000
8 Canada 35,362,905 14,930 528,000,000,000
9 Finland 5,498,211 14,732 81,000,000,000
10 Sweden 9,880,604 12,853 127,000,000,000

While China, the United States, and the rest of the top ten electricity-consuming countries of the world may need to start rethinking how much electricity they use, both China and the U.S.’s electricity usages aren’t as unbelievable if we look at electricity consumption per capita. With population size taken into account, China actually moves from #1 to #64 on our list and the U.S. just narrowly misses being in the top ten with its #11 spot.

However, one country ends up in the top ten electricity-consuming countries with or without a noted population size. Canada is in the top ten for both overall electricity consumption and electricity consumption per capita.

Lowest Electricity Usage Per Capita

While we saw the #1 electricity-consuming country move all the way down to #64 when population size was added to the equation, not much changes for the lowest electricity consumers. Once again, both the Gaza Strip and the Northern Mariana Islands are the lowest of the low when it comes to electricity consumption, even once population is noted.

However, there is one slight change. Per capita, the Northern Mariana Islands move down from the lowest electricity-consuming country to the second-lowest electricity-consuming country. With population size taken into account, Gaza wins the title of least-electricity consuming country. The Northern Mariana Islands may have a much smaller population of 53,467 than the Gaza Strip, which has a population of 1,753,327, (nearly 33 times larger than the Northern Mariana Islands), but the islands don’t struggle with political issues impacting their power plants like Gaza does. The Northern Mariana Islands’ small population size and subsequent lower electricity usage explain why they were #219 for overall electricity-consumption, but compared to Gaza’s significantly larger population size, and their relatively similar electricity usage, Gaza comes out as using less electricity per capita.

How did your country come out in terms of electricity consumption? If you feel like turning off all of your lights and unplugging your computer charger after seeing just how high those electricity numbers went, we don’t blame you. Hopefully, your computer is charged enough that you can make your own interactive map like this one with BatchGeo.

If not, you can also get your map data to go on any iPhone or iPad.