Just for the fun of it I thought I'd see if there's a Tour de France for Dummies -- and there is! Not only that, it was written by Phil Liggett!
This book was published in 2005 so it won't have the latest info, but this book with cycling commentator Phil Liggett as a contributor should be authoritative and it's gotten good reviews on Amazon.com.
The product description says Tour de France for Dummies is a plain-English guide to the world's most famous-and grueling-bicycle race. It's an easy-to-follow, entertaining guide that demystifies the history, strategy, rules, techniques, equipment, and competitors in what is arguably the most grueling and intriguing multiday, multistage sporting event in the world.
...pretty much VS channel programming is also "tdf for dummies" & while it can be exceedingly redundant for any of us schooled in the basics, i don't find that to be particularly a bad thing because phil n' paul n' bobby roll, et al, provide the "casual" viewer w/ plenty of insight...
...hopefully that insight will provide casual viewers w/ something to stimulate further involvement in the sport & activity of cycling...
I found a free live video feed from Austalian SBS TV. Lots of "TdF for Dummies" there too, which like BGW writes isn't necessarily a bad thing. Still, there was a lot of "LANCE ARMSTRONG IS GOING TO WIN THIS THING" cheerleading.
It's a good resource with interesting history and whimsical TdF facts. The other authors of record are cycling journalist James Raia, who shows up as a "cycling examiner" at Examiner.com sometimes, and Sammarye Lewis, who goes by nickname "Velogal"