The player competes in various cycling races and events. To move forward, they must mash the X (PS2) or A (Xbox) button, non-stop. They must do this while monitoring their stamina meter. Stamina can be rebuilt naturally over time, by drafting behind another racer (signified by the blue wind pattern behind them turning green) or by drinking one of five bottles of unnamed stamina-boosting drink which are allocated per race.
The game is very buggy. On multiple courses, the rider will be travelling along and suddenly crash into an invisible wall, causing major damage to their stamina and most likely costing them the race. Coastline 1 is particularly buggy, as near the end of the course the rider if not in the right position on the track will descend downwards into the ocean, upon hitting which they will crash and lose a massive amount of time.
The game has four modes: Arcade, Tour de France, Time Trial and 2 Player.
In Arcade Mode, players can freely choose between 11 courses. However, 10 of the courses are actually 5, as areas such as 'Countryside' are simply ridden in reverse to provide 'Countryside 1' and 'Countryside 2'. Differing locations of mountains in these stages do provide some level of variation. Courses include the aforementioned Countryside, Bastide, Mountain, Peak, Coastline and Paris, the latter of which is based on the final stage of the real Tour de France which finishes on the Champs-Élysées, the road which the Arc de Triomphe is found on. Players can also choose between six types of weather (Fine, Cloudy, Rain, Snow, Fog and Heat Haze), four times (Day, Morning, Evening and Night), 21 teams, both real and fake (Bismuth Buch, Oro Martello, Duex Electricite, Almenara, Rheno, Welle Verlag, Welt Eisenbahn, Once-Eroski, Mapei-Quick Step, Ibanesto.com, Kelme, Lampre-Daikin, Scintilla Argentaria, Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone, Credit Agricole, Domo-Farm Frites, Fassa Bortolo, Euskatel-Euskadi, Lotto-Adecco, Stato Comunicazione and Tacconi Sport-Emmegi), their Bike Setup (Normal, Sprint or Mountain), Automatic or Manual gears and the difficulty.
In Time Trial Mode, players have the same options in Arcade Mode but are racing against the clock rather than other racers.
In Tour de France Mode, players create a character and race over 5 seasons, each of which finishes with the Tour de France itself, which consists of 6 stages - one of each type of course (ie Bastide 1, Countryside 2, Mountain 1, Peak 2, Coastline 1) finishing with Paris. The fastest rider over all six stages wins the Tour de France Yellow Jersey, while minor places can see the player win other jerseys such as the Green for sprinters, the Polka-dot for mountain climbers, and the White for the best young rider. In reality, these jerseys are given for differing styles of riding - in the game, they're simply allocated to 2nd/3rd/4th place. There are also RPG elements as the rider must build up his attributes in categories like Strength, Stamina, Turning, Braking and Toughness to become a better cyclist. The rider does this by training, which takes up a month of a season, as do the individual races which are occurring at the same time.
2 Player Mode is a split screen version of Arcade.