The 2023 Tour de France route has been unveiled
Here's what next year's race has in store.
Here's what next year's race has in store.
The route of the 2023 Tour de France has been announced.
Following the Bilbao start and Grand Départ in the Basque Country, the race heads into the French Pyrenees before making its way north with stages finishing in Bordeaux and Limoges.
A mouthwatering summit finish at Puy de Dôme brings the first week to a close before the race travels east towards the Alps. Bastille Day will see a finish atop the Grand Colombier before the Alps sees finish lines at Morzine, St-Gervais Mont Blanc, and Courchevel, the latter of which includes a return to the Col de la Loze.
Following the second rest day, a lumpy time trial from Passy to Combloux will be the sole race against the clock in the 2023 edition of the Tour. The race then heads north once more before the customary final stage on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
An opening loop around Bilbao is puncheurs delight, with more climbing than we are usually accustomed to on the first day of racing. Two final springboards towards the end of the stage with gradients of up to 15% could provide the perfect platform for the likes of Alaphilippe, Van Aert or Van der Poel to snatch the first yellow jersey.
At 209 km, stage 2 is the longest of this year’s race, the Jaizkibel plonked near enough to the end of the stage to wake you from your afternoon siesta before a finish in San Sebastian, which was the first Spanish city to host the Tour in 1949.
The third and final day in Spain sets off along the coast, passing back through San Sebastian before hopping over the border into France where the sprinters will get a chance for stage glory in Bayonne.
Another day for the sprinters on stage 4 between Dax and Nogaro, an opportunity for the race to (probably) take a breather after a frantic Basque Grand Départ but those eyeing the green jersey will want to take as many points as possible.
Stage 5 begins in Pau before the race tackles the Pyrenees, working its way up to the Col de Soudet (1,540 m) and the Col de Marie Blanque (1,035 m) before a descent into the valley for the finish in Laruns.
Day two in the Pyrenees begins in Tarbes and heads towards two of the most frequently used climbs in the Tour – the Col d’Apsin (1,409 m) and the Tourmalet (2,115 m) before a drag up to the finish line at Cauterets-Cambasque (1,355 m).
A breather after the Pyrenees as the race heads north, a likely day for the sprinters ending in Bordeaux. Is this where Mark Cavendish will take number 35?
After a 35-year absence, a return to Libourne for the beginning of stage 8 before the peloton heads eastwards for another probable bunch sprint in Limoges.
3,600 m of altitude gain on Sunday’s big one, with the Tour de France finally heading back to the Puy de Dôme for a summit finish spectacular. Standing at 1,415 m, the climb is 13.3 km in length with an average gradient of 7.7% and the final few kilometres to the line being over 9%.
After the first rest day in Clermont-Ferrand, a route from Vulcania to Issoire provides a day that looks poised for the breakaway to take the spoils.
Back to Clermont-Ferrand for the start of stage 11, another day for the sprinters punctuated by three minor climbs ahead of an expected bunch sprint in Moulins.
A hilly day on stage 12, taking in the Col de la Croix Montmain and the Col de la Croix Rosier before a finish in Belleville-en-Beaujolais.
Bastille Day begins in the medieval town of Châtillon-Sur-Chalaronne before a day entirely in the Ain department and culminating atop the Grand Colombier (1,501 m), which is 17.4 km in length with an average gradient of 7.1 %. Pitches above 9% feature sporadically on the way up.
On stage 14 we head into the Alps with more than 4,200 m of altitude gain on the four categorised climbs of the day – the Col de Cou, the Col du Feu, the Col de la Ramaz and the Col de Joux Plane before a downhill finish into Morzine.
Not wanting to be outdone by the previous day, stage 15 takes us up 4,300 m of climbing, with three categorised climbs before the summit finish on Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc.
Following the second rest day below Mont Blanc is the sole 22 km time trial of this year’s race. From Passy, the road heads uphill to the Côte des Soudans before the classified climb of the Côte de Domancy, 2.5 km-long at 9.4%. There’s no respite yet, however, with the road continuing uphill until the finish at Combloux.
Stage 17 sets off from Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc, hitting the Col des Saisies (1,650 m), Cormet de Roselend (1,968 m) and the Côte de Longefoy (1,174 m) before the Col de la Loze (2,304 m) coming just before the finish in Courchevel.
Stage 18 heads through the valley from Moutiers, winding past rivers and lakes up to Bourg-en-Bresse. A reward for the sprinters after all the climbing they’ve had to suffer over the past few days.
If the legs are feeling wooden by this point, the Tour has aptly situated the start of stage 19 in Moirans-en-Montagne, the capital of wooden toys. Another day for the sprinters finishing in Poligny, despite the few hills, as the race continues north towards Paris.
The final day before the processional stage into the French capital. Heading out from Belfort, the riders will tackle the Ballon d’Alsace (1,173 m) before four further categorised climbs providing the last chances for anyone to try and disrupt the general classification.
Champagne will be served and celebratory photographs taken on the way to the Champs-Élysées where a sprinter will take the final stage victory and the yellow jersey will be crowned.
Present at the Tour route announcement in Paris, resplendent in a checkered suit with braces, two-time champion Tadej Pogačar gave his verdict of the course.
“I really like the route. It’s going to be a hard race right from the start with a tough first week in the Basque Country,” Pogačar said.
“It has a lot of climbing which I like, particularly the first and third week. It’s still a long while away but I’m sure it will be another great Tour and I’m excited for next July.”
1 July – Stage 1: Bilbao – Bilbao (Spain)
2 July – Stage 2: Vitoria-Gasteiz – San Sebastian (Spain)
3 July – Stage 3: Amorebieta-Etxano (Spain) – Bayonne
4 July – Stage 4: Dax – Nogaro
5 July – Stage 5: Pau – Laruns
6 July – Stage 6: Tarbes – Cauterets Cambasque
7 July – Stage 7: Mont-de-Marsan – Bordeaux
8 July – Stage 8: Libourne – Limoges
9 July – Stage 9: Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat- Puy de Dôme
10 July – Rest day 1: Clermont-Ferrand
11 July – Stage 10: Vulcania (St-Ours-les-Roches) – Issoire
12 July – Stage 11: Clermont-Ferrand – Moulins
13 July – Stage 12: Roanne – Chiroubles ou Belleville-en-Beaujolais
14 July – Stage 13: Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne – Grand Colombier
15 July – Stage 14: Annemasse – Morzine
16 July – Stage 15: Les Gets – Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc
17 July – Rest day 2: Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc
18 July – Stage 16: Passy – Combloux (ITT)
19 July – Stage 17: Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc – Courchevel
20 July – Stage 18: Moûtiers – Bourg-en-Bresse
21 July – Stage 19: Moirans-en-Montagne – Poligny
22 July – Stage 20: Belfort – Le Markstein
23 July – Stage 21: St-Ouentin-en-Yvelines – Paris Champs-Élysées